Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson on Tuesday announced the formation of a School Reopening Task Force to begin plans for children to return to school.
During a 12:30 p.m. press conference in the board room at the central office of Hamilton County Schools, Dr. Johnson announced the two member team of Keith Fogleman, chief talent officer for Hamilton County Schools, and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William T. Brooks, director, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) for Hamilton County Schools.
Lt. Col. Brooks and Fogleman will work with staff, parents, students, business leaders, health professionals, and the community to formulate the plan for schools reopening and children once again learning in the classrooms.
They expect to have a plan ready by the end of June, or early July, to give everyone a month to prepare.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” Task Force Co-Chair Lt. Col. Brooks said. “But we’re going to stay focused on the task at hand, and that’s to reopen the schools.”
Dr. Johnson said there will be four main areas of focus as plans are developed to make the reopening of schools in August as safe as possible for students and faculty.
“The Task Force will seek to minimize risks to public health, address impacts on student learning and well-being, recognize the importance of the local public school to the community, and they will seek to optimize operational readiness,” he explained.
Lt. Colonel Brooks is from Chattanooga and has held a variety of command and staff positions in his career. He served as the senior Army instructor at Chattanooga Central High School, a professor of Military Science at Grambling State University with a partnership at Louisiana Tech University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe for Army ROTC.
Fogleman has almost 40 years of experience in human resources and labor relations, predominantly in the electric utility industry. As an experienced human resource leader and strategic business partner, he has been responsible for the development and implementation of strategic human resource programs in the functional areas of labor relations, compensation and benefits, workforce planning, talent management, leadership development and succession planning.
“Lieutenant Colonel William Brooks and Keith Fogleman are uniquely qualified to lead the effort to plan a safe return of children, teachers, and staff to our schools,” said Dr. Johnson.
“The Task Force will take what we have learned as our teachers and students have responded remarkably during this COVID-19 pandemic, and reimagine every aspect of what we do to be an even better school district when we are able to provide a safe return to classrooms across Hamilton County. The fall will bring unique challenges and we will work closely with public health officials at the local, state and national level and defer to their expertise in the reopening process.”