1. Approval of Grant of Tenure to the Recommended Teachers
Recommended Motion(s): Motion passed: I move to approve the grant of Tenure to the recommended teachers, passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
2. Nominations for 2021 TSBA Volunteer and Student Awards
Recommended Motion(s): Motion passed: I move to approve the Nomination of Kelly Yates for the 2021 TSBA Volunteer Award and the Nomination of Emma Grace Benzing for the 2021 TSBA Student Award, passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
TSBA 2021 Award Nominations:
Student Excellence Award
Emma Grace Benzing, Submitted by Houston High School
Each year the Tennessee School Boards Association recognizes rising senior students from across the state who have distinguished themselves in academics, community and service activities and leadership roles and activities.
Emma Grace is no stranger to the school board, as she serves on our Student Communications Intern team. Principal Rob Taylor chose her after spending time serving on engagement committees with her—impressed with her leadership qualities as she represented the students of Houston High in all kinds of matters for the district administration this year. Emma Grace grew up in our school system, with both a mother and father who are school teachers. She has spent her entire life at our schools. Fascinated with the behind-the-scenes aspect of school, she has been an emissary of ‘student perspective’ ever since she can remember. As a member of the student intern team, she organizes social media for the district, features good teaching and learning in journalistic style for our website, and assists in event planning. Her favorite role, however, is advocating for her fellow students. She is a fixture in all engagement meetings (from school calendar, grading practices, facilities master planning, to family engagement). More than just a committee member, she conducts research prior to each of these meetings and arrives prepared. Emma Grace runs an Instagram page where students can engage in quick surveys about days off from school, their grading preferences, and their ideas about future capital investments for the district. Often students find her for one-on-one conversations in which they share their perspectives and ideas. She’s a born presenter and relays these ideas back to our committees and administrators. This has been a valuable asset during the pandemic as it’s hard to imagine life as a teenager navigating the national crisis and attending high school partially from a computer.
Emma Grace is an excellent student with a 4.2 G.P.A., but told us she prefers to retain a well-balanced approach to school. While she takes a full roster of honors and advanced classes, she made a conscious effort to spend time in her school schedule to explore different career pathways within our CTE programming. She’s studying dual paths in Health Sciences and Business Communications. Emma Grace is also enrolled in the work-based learning course and spends each seventh period working at the school district in the public relations/community department.
Outside of school, Emma Grace participates in the theater programs in roles both on and off the stage. This year, she was excited to take on the role of set designer for the spring musical. "It was a great experience to lead a team of adult volunteers in constructing the set," she said. Emma Grace also volunteers a lot of her time to support theater programs at each of our feeder schools—running lights, assisting with choreography or direction. She’s also one of Germantown’s most sought after babysitters. Children love her. At her church, Germantown Baptist, she was named a lead teacher at VBS and led/planned the Kindergarteners’ last summer.
Kelly Yates, Submitted by Houston High School
Each year the Tennessee School Boards Association recognizes school district volunteers from across the state who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating exceptional commitment to volunteerism in a local school district.
Kelly Yates has been described by several other parent volunteers, teachers, coaches, and administrators as down-to-earth, loyal, helpful, supportive, and giving. She is the founder and chairman of the Celebrate Our Seniors on the Houston School PTSO, the president of the Houston High School Basketball Booster Club, the leader of Houston Moms in Prayer Group, and a workhorse of regular school and PTSO functions. Over the winter holiday, she also organized a gift card drive for families and staff in need.
The Celebrate Our Seniors Committee on the PTSO is a special interest workgroup that formed in response to the pandemic. The PTSO regularly runs teacher appreciation events, but decided that this year they would run simultaneous events for the Class of 2021. The group collected additional funds from community members and hosted giveaways and treats for the seniors each month. They are also working to host an unofficial senior picnic leading up to Graduation in May.
Houston High School is coming off of its most successful basketball season to-date. And, much thanks to that, according to Athletic Director Chad Becker is in part due to the excellent parent support of Kelly Yates. "She’s completely selfless," he remarked when describing instances that she went above and beyond. As the president of a newly restructured booster club, Kelly oversaw communications and family relations on the team. Organizing travel and keeping parents in the loop could have been a full-time job on its own. The team traveled to Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Atlanta, South Dakota, and New Orleans to provide national exposure to the state championship team.
This is Kelly’s second year leading the HHS Moms in Prayer Group. They meet every week to pray for Houston staff and families. The group also writes and delivers notes to those who they have prayed for. Because she is always at the school working on PTSO or booster-related business, she is poised to hear of needs and relays them to the Moms in Prayer Group. Kelly has also developed a relationship with the school counselors and has worked with them to anonymously collect and deliver gift cards to families in need.
"In short," said Principal Rob Taylor, "she does a little bit of everything and is all around awesome". "I don’t know what we will do without her next year [her youngest graduates this year]," said PTSO President Sherrie Sands.
3. Annual Review / Revision of Polices - First Reading
Rationale: Department of Teaching and Learning Assessment
No Changes recommended at this time
IP 4.209 Alternative Credit Options
IP 4.210 Credit Recovery
IP 4.211 Work-Based Learning Program
IP 4.502 Parental and Family Involvement
IP 4.604 Credit for Prior Courses
IP 4.606 Graduation Activities
IP 4.804 Religious Content of Courses
Revision Policy IP 4.603 Promotion and Retention - Proposed revision / updated to align with state policy now that we have Summer Learning Camps
Rationale for changes: Our current policy needs to be updated to align to state policy. All of the strikeouts and additions on the attachment bring us to compliance.Human Resources - No Changes recommended at this time
HR 5.602 Staff Time Schedules
Department of Operations - No Changes recommended at this time
SS 3.400 Student Transportation Management
SS 3.401 Scheduling and Routing
SS 3.600 Insurance Management
SS 3.201 Safety
SS 3.202 Emergency Preparedness Plan
SS 3.2022 District ERP
SS 3.205 Security
Department of Student Services
Revision Policy 1.704 Charter Schools
Department of Exceptional Children Education
Policy IP 4.613 Programs for Students with Disabilities - No Changes recommended at this time
Revision Policy 4.202 Special Education * Housekeeping
Revision Policy 4.615 Service Animals * Housekeeping
5. Fire Alarm System Replacement at Houston High School
Recommended Motion(s): Motion passed: I move to approve the purchase and installation of a new fire alarm system at Houston High School and award the contract to Johnson Controls in the amount of $567,264, passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
6. GMSD FY 2021-2022 General Fund Budget - First Reading
Recommended Motion(s): Motion passed: I move to approve the GMSD FY 2021-2022 General Fund Budget after first reading, passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
7. Ten Point Grading Scale
8. Further Business