BOE Meeting Notes - August 6, 2015

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, August 6, 2015. Several key items were discussed, including:

  • A presentation highlighting the "Be Loyal, Buy Local" campaign.
  • Overviews of the 2015 KCS STREAM summer camp and XSTREAM summer program.
  • An update from the KCS School Nutrition Services department.
  • Recognitions highlighting a Dobyns-Bennett student achieving a perfect score on the ACT, the D-B Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit and Instructor, and winners of the "Quill and Scroll" International Honor Society Award.
  • A review of the recently completed performance evaluation of Dr. Ailshie and adjustments to his employment contract.
  • Consideration and approval (on first reading) of a change to BOE Policy to add a holiday for 12-month KCS employees.


Please note: Continuing with tonight’s meeting, following the Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance delivered by a KCS student, each meeting will begin with a specific focus on the students and programs of KCS. Reports will be provided by students and staff highlighting student work and achievements, innovative classroom practices, and information of interest to parents. Following the Student/Parent Interest section of the meeting, a short recess will be held prior to the business portion of the agenda. KCS students, parents, and community stakeholders are invited and encouraged to attend!

Work Session Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes
Call to Order
To start tonight's meeting, members of the Dobyns-Bennett High School Air Force JROTC presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Cadet Major Elisabeth Lambert, Acting Corps Commander, led the Pledge of Allegiance, while Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Blake Releford, Color Guard Commander, and members of the Color Guard Team (Cadet Master Sergeant Toscany Cope, Cadet Master Sergeant Jordan Harker, Cadet Airman 1st Class Isaiah Hall, Cadet Airman 1st Class Mason McDougal and Cadet Airman Matthew Vogel) presented the colors.
Special Presentation
Mr. Miles Burdine, President and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Jeff Fleming, City Manager for the City of Kingsport, presented an update on the “Be Loyal Buy Local” campaign. 
  • The effort encourages Kingsport residents to patronize local businesses whenever possible.
  • The financial impact of buying local results in a direct positive result for Kingsport City Schools.
    • For every sales tax dollar collected on purchases within Sullivan County, $0.50 is split between local school systems, while the other $0.50 goes to the city’s general fund for services such as fire, medical, police and public works.
    • Of the $0.50 allocated for schools, KCS, Sullivan County, and Bristol City Schools split funding based on average daily attendance.
    • In 2013-2014, approximately $31.8 million dollars in sales tax was collected in Kingsport with $15.9 million going to city and county schools.
Student Focused Report
Mrs. Nikki Skeen, Principal of Roosevelt Elementary School, and Mrs. Amy Doran, Associate Principal of Washington Elementary School, shared highlights from the summer STREAM Camp and X-STREAM Summer Program.
  • Both camps were held in June and provide students hands-on learning opportunities in on Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
  • STREAM Camp activities were targeted for rising 3rd -6th graders, while X-STREAM Summer Program was designed for rising 7th-9th graders.
Parent Information Report
Mrs. Jennifer Walker, KCS Supervisor of School Nutrition Services (SNS), provided information relating to healthy food choices for school menus and regulations regarding individual meal items.
  • Additional information regarding food options, regulations, and SNS can be found on the KCS website.
  • Website information includes menus, application for free & reduced meals, meal prices and serving times, how to put money in a student meal account, and how to choose a reimbursable meal.
  • D-B senior Alexander Caviness was recognized by Board member Mr. Todd Golden for having earned a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT. Less than one-tenth of one percent of all students who take the ACT nationwide earns a top score.
  • Cadets from the D-B Air Force JROTC were recognized by BOE vice president Mrs. Susan Lodal for earning the Distinguished Unit Award for the 2014-2015 school year. This marks the 8th consecutive year the D-B program has received the Distinguished Unit Award. In addition, Mrs. Lodal recognized Colonel Eric Vogt for being named Outstanding Instructor for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Four KCS students were recognized by Board president Mrs. Carrie Upshaw for winning the “Quill and Scroll” International Honorary Society’s annual photography and writing contest for middle school students. Only nine national winners were named, with five awards given to journalists from the John Sevier Middle School Sequoyah Scribe newspaper.
    • Russ Hubbard was a national winner in Opinion Writing for “DRM is a Problem in Gaming” and a Sweepstakes Winner in Opinion Writing for “Complaints about Islam Standards Unfounded.” Russ is a freshman at D-B and is the son of Alan and Beth Hubbard.
    • Madison Britt was a national winner in Photography for “Football Players Hard at Work.” Madison is the daughter of Mark and Ashley Britt and is an 8th grader at John Sevier Middle School.
    • Maddi Rimer was a national winner in Feature Writing for “Former Sevier Student Celebrates Music.” Maddi is an 8th grader at Sevier and is the daughter of Wesley and Mary Rimer.
    • Sara Whitley was a Sweepstakes Winner in Opinion Writing for “From Russia, with Love,” a story about adoption. Sara is the daughter of Jerry and Christina Whitley and is a sophomore at D-B.
Business Items

As part of a review process, the Board has completed an evaluation of KCS Superintendent Dr. Lyle Ailshie, which included ratings and comments by each Board member, interviews with staff members, and the results of the 2015 KCS Employee Satisfaction Survey.  The evaluation was used to consider potential revisions to the Superintendent's employment contract.

  • Mrs. Upshaw reported on the evaluation process and presented general findings from staff interviews.
    • Dr. Ailshie's last contract review occurred in 2013.
    • With 16 years of experience as a superintendent, Mrs. Upshaw noted Dr. Ailshie has more experience than any other area superintendent, as well as any superintendent in districts with which KCS benchmarks.
    • Additionally, Dr. Ailshie has a long track record of successes, experience and recognitions, and statewide respect among school administrators.
    • Mrs. Upshaw also conducted interviews with ASC staff to gain information regarding Dr. Ailshie related to the evaluation. These interviews revealed a culture of high expectations and commitment to the development and usage of the KCS Guiding Tenets.
  • Mr. Mike Billingsley, Kingsport City Attorney, presented a summary of results from the BOE rating instrument, as well as compiled written comments.
    • Results from the Board’s evaluation were strong in all categories, and also included the results from the 2015 KCS Employee Satisfaction Survey.
    • To see the rating instrument used in the evaluation, click on the file below.
  • After a review of the evaluation results, the Board discussed possible adjustments to the Superintendent's contract. Proposed changes included:
    • Unifying the way that salary, automobile, and home office allowances would adjust in future years (pending positive BOE evaluation results). These would increase by 2% yearly plus a cost of living increase equal to the cost of living increase other KCS employees receive (starting next year).
    • Based on the positive results of his performance review and overall accomplishments of the district this past year, the Board proposed a 3% salary increase for this year, similar to the increase received by other KCS staff.
    • The Board proposed that Dr. Ailshie’s contract be extended to the four years allowed by law, through June 2019.
  • Following review, discussion, and questions, the Board approved the proposed changes by a vote of 3-0.
Mr. Andy True, Chief Administrative Officer, presented a proposed revision to Board Policy 5.310:  Vacations and Holidays.
  • The proposed change would provide one additional paid holiday for KCS 12-month employees.
  • Currently, 12-month employees receive nine paid holidays.  The change would bring the total to 10, aligning KCS with the City of Kingsport, who recently adopted a policy to provide 10 paid holidays for city employees.
  • After questions and consideration, the board approved the first reading of the policy change by a vote of 4-0.
    • If approved on second reading, the 2015-16 KSC Holiday Calendar will remove the "either/or" option regarding Thanksgiving Wednesday (November 25, 2015) and New Year's Eve (December 31, 2015).  Both would become designated holidays for 12-month employees.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 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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