BOE Meeting Notes - October 8, 2019

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.  Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report on the Roosevelt Elementary Fresh Start program;
  • Recognition of National Merit Commended Students from Dobyns-Bennett;
  • Recognition of National Merit Semi-Finalists from Dobyns-Bennett;
  • Consideration to proceed with further engineering studies related to a solar electricity project;
  • Approval by the Board of the City of Kingsport Americans with Disabilities Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan;
  • Approval of the 2020-21 KCS School Calendar; 
  • Approval of fiscal and health/wellness policies on first reading; and
  • Review of a quarterly financial update and audit report.
Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Keaton and Paxton Campbell, students from Jefferson Elementary School.  Keaton is in 4th grade and Paxton is in kindergarten. 

Community Interest Report

A report was presented to the Board tonight reviewing the Fresh Start Morning Club at Roosevelt Elementary School.
  • The report, presented by Roosevelt staff members Alice Browder, Christy Elliott, Megan Turner, and Tonya Warner, described how the club serves Roosevelt students and helps them start their day in more positive light.
  • The club provides students the opportunity to start each day fresh by having time before school to do things like finish homework, read, freshen up, or even have hair braided.
  • Serving approximately 25 students each morning, the Fresh Start Club is an innovative and student-focused way to help children set a positive tone for their entire day.


Board member Eric Hyche recognized several Dobyns-Bennett students for being named as Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in 2019, which served as an initial screening of program entrants.
  • The Dobyns-Bennett Commended Students are:
    • Nathaniel Barton, son of Ben and Alison Barton
    • Natalie Bates, daughter of Chad and Gayle Bates
    • Allison Gamble, daughter of Ben and Nancy Gamble
    • Ethan Glover, son of Scott and Tiffany Glover
    • Gavin Harman, son of Eric Harman and Monica Case-Harman
    • Owen Klug, son of Jeremy and Ellen Klug
    • Kynadi Lane, daughter of Michael and Wendy Lane
    • Behrod Nejad, son of Mohammad Nejad and Fetemeh Yamani
    • Joshua Romero, son of Jon and Sunny Romero
    • Emma Russum, daughter of Ryan and Marci Russum
    • Pia Winkler, daughter of Uwe Winkler and Karen Salazar
  • Joshua Romero and Pia Winkler have also been named in the National Hispanic Recognition Program Class of 2020.
Board president Carrie Upshaw recognized seven D-B students for being named semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • The program is designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the U.S.
  • These seven students will compete with the top high school students in the nation for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $31 million that will be offered in spring 2020.
  • The national pool of semi-finalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors who enter the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/MMSQT, which served as an initial screening of program entrants.
  • Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.
  • Approximately 16,000 U.S. students qualified as semi-finalists.
  • The Dobyns-Bennett National Merit Semi-Finalists are:
    • George Armentrout, son of Scott and Sheila Armentrout
    • Arnab Dey, son of Nabin and Piyali Day
    • Benjamin Floyd, son of Gary and Jean Floyd
    • Ethan Maness, son of Michael and Karen Maness
    • Lillian McCloud, daughter of Brian and Megan McCloud
    • Vikram Nathan, son of Sam and Rohini Nathan
    • Kendrick Tate, son of Brian and Tonya Tate

business items

David Frye, KCS Chief Finance Officer, reviewed a recommendation for the Board to continue engineering work on a potential solar energy project.
  • If approved, the proposal would continue to the 60% engineering level of a project by Ameresco, which could eventually result in the installation of solar panels for energy generation at KCS facilities.  If used to facilitate a Power Purchase Agreement, such panels would be owned by Ameresco and generate energy which would be sold back to KCS at a rate lower than what could be provided by another energy provider, resulting in potential savings to the district.
  • Approval to move to the 60% level does not mean that the solar project has received final approval, but that further engineering will occur to better determine final costs, benefits, and design/scope of the project. 
  • To this point, KCS has not spent any funds for the work done by Ameresco.  Approval to move to the 60% level would result in a $40,000 engineering fee assessment if KCS does not eventually move forward with the full project implementation.
  • After review and discussion, the Board voted 5-0 to proceed to the 60% engineering level with Ameresco.
Andy True, KCS Assistant Superintendent - Administration, and Mike Billingsley, Kingsport City Attorney, presented the City of Kingsport 2019 Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan for approval.
  • The plan, as required by law, outlines the steps taken to analyze and plan for physical and program improvements necessary for Kingsport to meet ADA requirements.
  • As a department of the City of Kingsport, KCS has been an integral part of the plan development and has its own segment of program and physical needs.  As such, it is included as a part of the city's ADA plan.
  • As there are financial needs that will be required to complete the work necessary to bring KCS facilities and programs up to ADA code, the Board needs to review and approve the overall City plan.
  • Over a 10-year budgeted implementation period, the improvements are expected to cost KCS a total of approximately $1,750,000.
  • After review and discussion, the Board approved the report by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. True presented a proposed 2020-2021 KCS Calendar for review by the Board.
  • The proposed calendar is similar to the calendar implemented in previous years and includes:
    • Student Start Date:  August 3, 2020
    • Fall Break:  October 12 - 16, 2020
    • Thanksgiving Break:  November 25-27, 2020
    • Winter Break:  December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021
    • 2nd Semester Student Start Date: January 5, 2021
    • Spring Break:  March 29 - April 2, 2021
    • Graduation Day:  May 22, 2021
  • After discussion and review, the Board approved the 2020-21 KCS Calendar and Designated Holiday Schedule for 12-month employees by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. True presented potential policy additions and revisions, to be considered on First Reading.  The policies address a variety of health/wellness and fiscal needs.
  • Health/Wellness Policies considered on 1st Reading:
    • 6.411 – Student Wellness (Revised)
      • Adds federal USDA requirement of a Wellness Plan review every three years.
  • Fiscal Policies considered on 1st Reading (Per the guidance of the Federal Programs monitor, several policies are highly recommended for adoption in response to the most recent federal programs audit. These relate to fiscal operations that are required by federal policy or procedure, but do not currently exist in KCS Board Policy.):
    • 2.200 – Annual Operating Budget (New)
      • Places in policy requirements for the Budget preparation process, review, and adoption procedure.
    • 2.201 – Annual Operating Budget (New)
      • Establishes authority for approving transfer of funds between Budget line items.
    • 2.403 – Surplus Property Sales (New)
      • Outlines procedures and requirements related to the disposition of surplus items.
    • 2.702 – Inventories (New)
      • Establishes procedures and requirements related to inventory of equipment and property procured with federal funds.
    • 2.808 – Purchase Orders and Contracts (New)
      • Establishes requirements related to purchase order and contract essential elements.
    • 5.601 – Conflict of Interest (New)
      • Sets parameters for the definition of conflict of interest for staff related to financial interests and scope of work.
  • Following discussion and review, the Board approved the policies by a vote of 5-0.


Mr. Frye presented the FY 2019 4th quarter financial update and the 2018-19 audit report to the Board.
  • Click below to view the full financial update and audit report.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 6 p.m.  The work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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