BOE Meeting Notes - January 14, 2020

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A meeting ceremony presented by the Dobyns-Bennett Future Farmers of America;
  • A report by the D-B EXCEL staff involved with creating Christmas tree ornaments that were displayed in Washington D.C. during December;
  • Recognition of Johnson Elementary School for being named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by the Franklin Covey Company;
  • Recognition of Michelle Ramey, Assistant Procurement Manager, for receiving a significant professional certification;
  • Consideration and approval of five business items:
    • A contract related to substitute teacher staffing by an outside agency;
    • 2019-20 Budget Amendment #2;
    • Purchase of a new student information system to be implemented for the 2020-21 school year;
    • A contract to provide athletic uniforms, footwear, and equipment for KCS schools;
    • A bid to replace outdated serving lines in the D-B cafeteria during summer 2020; and 
  • An update on the work of the KCS Compensation Committee, which has been working on the development and implementation of a new teacher salary scale beginning in the 2020-21 school year.
Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Gabriel Morelock and Kamden Shoemaker.  Gabriel and Kamden are both 4th grade students at Johnson Elementary School.
  • In a special announcement, Gabriel shared that tonight's Pledge was being presented in memory of beloved Johnson teacher Patti Fleenor, one of Gabriel's former teachers, who passed away last week.
Following the Pledge, students from Dobyns-Bennett's Future Farmers of America (FFA) team presented their FFA Opening Ceremony to the Board.  This provided members a greater understanding of the work and efforts made in the FFA program.
  • The FFA team is made up of D-B freshmen and competes at the district level.
  • The opening ceremony highlights the purpose of FFA meetings, the duties of officers, and the significance of recognition given to individuals.
  • All FFA ceremonies are memorized, rehearsed, and conducted with pride and dignity.

Community Interest Report

Representatives from D-B EXCEL presented a report to the Board regarding their participation in the 2019 National Christmas Tree Display.  DBE created one-of-a-kind ornaments representing Tennessee in the display, which was located on the ellipse in President's Park in Washington D.C. during the holiday season.
  • DBE digital arts students utilized Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create art that captured the essence of Tennessee landmarks, generating 24 designs that represented the state's three distinct regions.
  • After the artwork was crafted, print-outs were encased in transparent globes, providing both a formal elegance and a traditional feel.
  • Designs included images such as Dolly Parton, vistas of the Smoky Mountains, the neon lights of Nashville, and assorted images of the Tennessee.
  • The ornaments were on display on the Tennessee tree from December 5, 2019 through January 1, 2020.
  • The selection of DBE occurred through a partnership between the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Education.


Board Vice President Eric Hyche recognized Johnson Elementary School principal Dr. Stacy Edwards and members of the Johnson Lighthouse Team for being named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by the Franklin Covey Company.
  • Since implementing The Leader in Me at Johnson, the program has had an extraordinary impact on students, parents, staff, and the community. The school has seen amazing results over the past four years from implementing the process, such as strong growth in leadership, culture, and academics. 
  • The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model, developed in partnership with educators, that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness.
  • The Leader in Me integrates leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process.
Board member Todd Golden recognized Assistant Procurement Manager Michelle Ramey for recently receiving the designation of Certified Professional Public Buyer.
  • The certification is designated by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council Board of Directors and includes a lengthy and rigorous application and examination requirement.

business items

Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Guthrie presented a services contract for substitute teacher staffing to the Board for consideration.
  • The proposed contract with ESS Southeast would outsource substitute teaching staffing services with the goal of providing a higher fill-rate percentage (an important need for the district) and additional options for current substitute teachers.  The structures and processes to be utilized would be very similar to those currently in place and has benefits for both substitutes and schools.
    • Substitutes could take advantage of full-time status with benefits if desired.
    • Substitute pay would remain at KCS rates.
    • ESS would work directly with KCS to manage the filling of absences with the goal to increase the filling of vacancies.
    • As an employee of ESS, KCS retirees would be able to substitute without having those days count against the 120 day cap required by TCRS.
  • Following discussion and review, the Board approved the contract with ESS by a vote of 5-0.
Chief Finance Officer David Frye presented 2019-20 Budget Amendment #2 for consideration.
  • The Budget Amendment includes four items:
    • Acceptance of a donation by Battelle Education to DBE for their designation as a STEM School.
    • Acceptance of a donation from the John Adams PTA to pay for partial poured-in-place surfacing for the Adams playground.
    • Finances related to the Washington Elementary and Washington Elementary PTA purchase and installation of security film at Washington.
    • Allocation of funding for the potential purchase of a new student information system for KCS.
  • After consideration, the budget amendment passed by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye and KCS Director of Performance Excellence Michael Hubbard presented a proposal to purchase a new student information system for the district, Follett Aspen SIS.
  • After a thorough evaluation of the current SIS system (PowerSchool), it was determined that a shift to a new SIS was needed due to lack of functionality, reporting, customization, and support with the current system.
  • An evaluation team of KCS staff reviewed multiple platforms for consideration, including analysis of options and onsite demonstrations to teachers, administrators, and attendance staff.
  • After reviewing multiple platforms and evaluating options, the evaluation team recommended the Follett Aspen SIS (see information below for more details regarding the review and selection process).
  • After reviewing the presentation and discussion, the Board approved the purchase of the Follett Aspen SIS by a vote of 5-0.
    • With tonight's approval, staff will begin the process of transitioning to the new SIS, with the intent of implementing the new system for the 2020-21 school year.  Additional information regarding communication, training, and roll-out will be forthcoming.
Mr. Frye presented two contracts for Board consideration, which include a proposal for BSN Sports to provide athletic uniforms and sports equipment for KCS.
  • The contract would provide high-quality Nike clothing, footwear, and equipment to KCS schools at a significant discount below retail costs (see below for the full contract agreement w/ BSN).
  • After consideration and discussion, the Board approved the BSN contract by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye reviewed the recently opened bid for the D-B cafeteria serving line equipment replacement project.
  • The replacement project would take place during the summer of 2020 with the goal of having the serving lines in place when school starts in August, 2020.
  • One bid was received, by Armstrong Construction Services, for $552,000 plus architect/engineering and contingency fees.
  • Funding for the project would come from the School Nutrition Services budget.
  • The Board accepted the bid by a vote of 5-0, contingent upon approval from the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen.


Mrs. Guthrie provided an update to the Board regarding the work of the KCS Compensation Committee. 
  • Please click below to view the update Mrs. Guthrie presented to the board.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, January 28, 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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