BOE Joint Work Session Notes - September 24, 2015

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a joint work session with the Bristol City Schools and Sullivan County Schools Boards of Education on Thursday, September 24, 2015.  The work session took place at Northeast State Community College.  Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report on the future of public education in Sullivan County, including information regarding potential facilities and programming for Bristol City Schools, Kingsport City Schools, and Sullivan County Schools.
Detailed Work Session Notes
Following a welcome by Kingsport Mayor Mr. John Clark, the Superintendents of Bristol, Kingsport, and Sullivan County Schools shared information regarding programming and facilities.  This report, titled "Together for Tomorrow:  Partnering in Education to Expand Opportunities for ALL Students," included a review of the current situation, as well needs and suggested paths for the future.
  • The report stressed the desire for collaboration between the three districts in building a clear vision for the future, making most efficient use of space and tax dollars, while improving education opportunities for students.
  • Bristol City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gary Lilly opened the report by describing the future as an "unprecedented journey of cooperation" between the three school districts. 
  • Potential benefits to collaboration include:
    • Cost savings for future construction.
    • Opportunities for stronger and more innovative curriculum.
    • Enhanced facilities and increased teacher pay.
    • Greater equity of educational programs for all student populations.
    • Increased opportunities for grant acquisition.
  • In addition to the recently completed facilities studies by Kingsport and Sullivan County, Bristol City Schools underwent a facilities study in 2006.  This study has become a part of Bristol's current facilities master plan.
  • Dr. Ailshie and Sullivan County Superintendent Evelyn Rafalowski presented a review of the Kingsport & Sullivan County facilities studies, completed in Spring 2015.
  • Dr. Ailshie reviewed a potential 3-phase capital plan, which would span 15 years and end in 2029.
    • Phase I would be funded through a bond issuance of approximately $140 million, to be distributed among the three districts based on Average Daily Attendance:
      • Bristol:  19.7%
      • Kingsport:  31.5%
      • Sullivan County:  48.8%
    • Kingsport would use a portion of funds from its share to purchase Sullivan North High School from Sullivan County Schools for future middle school space.
      • Under suggested time frames, Sullivan North would remain a county high school through the 2018-19 school year, then be renovated to a KCS middle school, opening in 2020-21.
  • The capital projects that would be funded under the bond issue were then outlined by each district.
    • For KCS, this would include construction of a new Advanced Science and Technology Center at D-B, repurposing existing space, and expanding the cafeteria.
    • Additionally, funding would support the renovation of both Sullivan North (into middle school space) and Sevier Middle School (to prepare for transition to an elementary school).
  • All three districts then outlined the specific programming objectives for such a collaboration, including optimizing space and resources, using tax dollars most efficiently, and maximizing the educational opportunities for all children.
    • In KCS, this includes a strong emphasis on STEM learning and creating a culture that inspires innovation through science and technology.
    • The Science and Technology Center would prepare students for a STEM-driven workplace, provide students a competitive advantage, and better connect them to STEM related jobs.
  • To close the presentation, the superintendents highlighted similar projects in our region where educational collaboration has produced positive benefits.
To view the full presentation from tonight, please open the file below.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a regular meeting on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 6 p.m.  The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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