BOE Meeting Notes - March 12, 2019

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A community interest report on KCS Science Olympiad teams;
  • Recognition of the Robinson Middle School Junior Varsity FIRST LEGO League Robotics team; 
  • Recognition of a Dobyns-Bennett Junior for scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT;
  • Recognition of two KCS employees for going above and beyond the call of duty in protecting a young child;
  • Recognizing Washington Elementary School for receiving a special distinction related to Response to Intervention; 
  • Board calendar approval regarding the use of stockpiled days due to the recent district closure for illness;
  • Approval of the furniture purchase agreement for the D-B Science and Technology Center; and 
  • Approval of a Board resolution opposing elected superintendents and retention elections.
Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Emma and Jeremiah Parks, students at Jackson Elementary School.  Emma is in the 4th grade and Jeremiah is in the 1st Grade.


Robinson science teachers Daniel Way and Marsha Buck led a report by the coaches and the Science Olympiad teams at Robinson and Sevier Middle Schools and Dobyns-Bennett High School.
  • Team have competed in a wide range of subject areas, including 23 team events in each division.
  • Over 250,000 students nationwide participate on over 8,000 Science Olympiad teams.
  • 51 KCS students are on Science Olympiad teams this year.
  • The D-B team finished in 1st place in the ETSU Regionals.
  • Current KCS students have earned 19 1st place awards at the state level.


Board Vice President Mr. Todd Golden recognized members of the Robinson Middle School Junior Varsity FIRST LEGO League robotics team.
  • The RNR team received 1st place in the Innovation Solutions Award category of the East Tennessee Championship Tournament in Cookeville on February 9, 2019.
  • The team is coached by RNR teachers Shelby Morris (7th grade) and Daniel Way (8th grade).  Haleigh Garber is a volunteer assistant for the team.
  • Team members include: Rylee Adams, Bladen Hooper, Victor Kitzmiller, Aidan Ponasic, Jakob Price, Reid Scott, Alexis Shuppert, Molley Smallwood, Seth Wilder.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche recognized D-B Junior Arnab Day for earning a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.
  • On average, around than 0.1% of students that take the ACT earn a perfect composite score of 36.
  • The ACT composite score is generated by combining the assessments of English, mathematics, reading, and science.
Board President Mrs. Carrie Upshaw recognized KCS bus driver Rick Osborne and Palmer Center Instructional Assistant Abby Clark for rescuing a young unattended juvenile on a recent cold day.
  • While driving Bus 09 on a cold February day, Mr. Osborne and Mrs. Clark noticed a young child walking alone along Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in limited clothing.  They assisted the child (approximately 4-5 years old) by wrapping him in a blanket supplied by another good Samaritan and placing him on their warm school bus until authorities arrived to work on reuniting the young child with his parent(s).
  • The Board commends Rick and Abby for their heroic action and looking out for the best interest of a child in need!
Board member Dr. Karen Reed-Wright recognized the leadership and staff of Washington Elementary School for being named an RTI2-B Bronze Level Model of Demonstration School.
  • The honor, given by the Tennessee Behavior Supports Project (TBSP) at the University of Tennessee, recognizes only a small percentage of the over 1,800 schools in Tennessee.  
  • Washington has participated in training and technical assistance provided by the TBSP and has implemented a positive and proactive behavior system for all students.
  • The support framework includes identifying common behavioral expectations across campus, teaching, re-teaching, reinforcing, and regularly acknowledging students, faculty, and families for exhibiting these expectations. 


Mr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration, presented a request to utilize two additional stockpiled days during the 2018-2019 school year.
  • By attending class 30 minutes beyond the minimum required by the Tennessee Department of Education, KCS is able to "stockpile" 13 days which, according to policy, are able to be used to offset days missed for professional development or inclement weather.
  • When approved in October 2017, the 2018-19 KCS Calendar pre-approved the use of four stockpiled days for inclement weather.  So far this year, KCS has already used these four snow days.
  • Since that time, KCS closed due to illness on Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26, 2019. These two days are in addition to the four missed days that have been pre-approved for inclement weather.
  • A request by KCS to utilize stockpiled days for illness closure was approved by Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn March 1, 2019.
  • After explanation and discussion, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the use of two additional stockpiled days to offset the days missed due to illness.
    • Based on this evening's vote, no adjustments will be made to the 2018-19 KCS calendar due to the closing of the system for illness in February.
Mr. True shared information related to a proposed revision to KCS Board Policy 1.803 - Tobacco-Free Schools.
  • The current policy uses the phrase "e-cigarettes" to refer to the use of vaping devices. Based on the types of vaping devices showing up in districts across the state and the way students are using them, TSBA has updated this policy with broader language. It now includes the terms "electronic/battery operated devices" and "vapor products" to more clearly include a wider variety of these devices and associated products.
  • The Board elected to defer action on this item until the April meeting, to gather additional information and counsel from the City Attorney.
Mr. David Frye, KCS Chief Finance Officer, presented a quote from WorkSpace Interiors for the purchase of furniture for the new Science and Technology Center currently under construction at D-B.
  • The recommended purchase would utilize the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Agreement and furnish the student, adult, office, and common areas in the new 70,000+ sq. ft. addition.
  • WorkSpace Interiors is the authorized Steel Case distributor for this area.
  • After review and discussion, the Board approved the quote not to exceed the amount of $588,789.25 by a vote of 5-0.
BOE President Mrs. Carrie Upshaw presented a Board Resolution for review and approval, supporting the continuation of appointed superintendents in Tennessee and opposing retention elections for superintendents.
  • The purpose of the resolution is to encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to place the interest of students above any other by recognizing the value of appointed superintendents and to reject any attempt to revert to superintendent elections, such as holding a retention election for school superintendents.
  • After review, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the Resolution.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a called meeting and work session on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 6 p.m.  The called meeting and work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
The purpose of the special called business meeting is to review the contract of KCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Moorhouse and consider a change to the terms of employment, including a contract extension. The regularly scheduled Board Work Session will take place immediately following the called meeting.
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