BOE Meeting Notes - October 1, 2015

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Several key items were discussed, including:

  • A presentation by the John Sevier Middle School Chorus.
  • A demonstration of Google Classroom and how that technology is being utilized by KCS.
  • Recognition of Tennessee Teacher of Year finalist Rebekah Haren.
  • A review of school calendar survey results and the proposed calendar for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • The KCS audit report for fiscal year 2014-2015.
  • The fourth quarter financial report for FY 2014-2015.

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!

Regular Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes
Call to Order
The Pledge of Allegiance was led tonight by Johnson Elementary students Miss Caroline Chandler and Miss Ivy Sullivan. Caroline is in 2nd grade and is the daughter of Joseph and Danielle Chandler. Ivy, a 4th grader, is the daughter of Travis and Heidi Sullivan.
Student Focused Report
The John Sevier Middle School Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Angela Miller, shared a brief performance.
  • Three Sevier students, Taleshia Allen, Alissa Davidson, and Summer Hiatt, spoke about their participation in chorus and the impact that chorus has made on them.
  • Following the student reports, the chorus sang two songs highlighting their talents.
Parent Interest Report
Ms. Lindsey Golden, Media Specialist at Jackson Elementary School, and Ms. Ashley Page, Kindergarten Teacher at Jackson Elementary School, provided a demonstration on Google Classroom.
  • Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools to use to enhance the student learning experience, as well as help minimize or eliminate the use of paper for student assignments.
  • Four KCS elementary schools (Jackson, Jefferson, Kennedy, and Roosevelt Elementary Schools) utilize Google Classroom.
  • Additional benefits of using Google Classroom are to aid in collaboration, allow for ease of sharing outside school walls, provide immediate feedback, prepare students for the future, and positively impact student interest and engagement.
  • To view the parent interest report on Google Classrooms, please click here.
Mrs. Rebekah Haren, Dobyns-Bennett High School English Teacher, was recognized by Board member Dr. Karen Reed-Wright for representing KCS and northeast Tennessee in the 2015-2016 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award competition.
  • Mrs. Haren was the regional winner and a state finalist for this prestigious award.
  • The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding teachers in Tennessee and is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation, stimulate interest in teaching as a career option, and encourage public involvement in education.
  • Teachers of the Year are selected competitively from three levels of teaching through five cycles:  Building, System, CORE Office Level, Grand Division, and State.
  • As a result of being a regional finalist, Mrs. Haren will serve on the Commissioner's Teacher Advisory Council to share feedback and advice on issues impacting teachers. 
Business Items

Mr. Andy True, Chief Administrative Officer, reviewed community feedback from the recent 2016-17 School Calendar survey, shared the designated holidays for the 2016-17 year, and reviewed a potential 2016-17 school calendar.  Significant survey results included:


  • A total of 1,754 people responded to the calendar survey, with 1,238 being parents/guardians of KCS students.

A potential 2016-17 calendar was reviewed.  The calendar was built with the following priority considerations:

  • Protecting the amount of instructional days, especially prior to student testing each semester (due to such scores counting toward a student's grades and teacher evaluations).  Testing dates are set by the state and not movable.
  • Building a balanced calendar that places an equal number of instructional days in each semester (providing the maximum amount of instruction for each semester-long class).
  • Balancing the results of community input from a variety of different stakeholders, each having expressed oftentimes opposing wishes and priorities.
    • Such information includes desires regarding the start date, holiday schedules, breaks, and professional learning days.
  • Protecting the length of summer vacation, which has traditionally been 73 or 74 days long.
The design of the 2016-17 calendar is especially difficult, given the calendar location of the winter holidays (Christmas and New Year's on a Sunday).
  • Typically, KCS has started school during the first full week of August. 
  • Given the location of specific calendar dates, this creates a situation where the first full work week of August in 2016 begins on August 1.  In projecting the calendar in future years, this appears to be a one-year situation that would not occur again in the near future.
    • For instance, initial projections for the 2017-18 calendar point to school potentially starting on Monday, August 7, 2017.
    • While starting on August 1, 2016 was recognized as a concern, it was also noted that it was a one-year situation before the calendar "flipped," resulting in a later potential start date.
  • The length of the proposed summer vacation in 2016 remains consistent to previous years, lasting 73 days.
  • After much consideration and discussion, the 2016-17 calendar was adopted by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed audit results of the financial statements for the School Activity Funds for the fiscal year which ended  on June 30, 2015.
  • This annual review, required by law, indicated KCS is in sound financial shape overall, with a few accounting discrepancies noted and corrected at the school level.  
  • The full audit report, a summary of audit findings, and a summary of issues addressed were included in Mr. Frye's report to the Board.
The fourth quarter financial update for 2014-2015 was also shared by Mr. Frye.  
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 6 p.m.  The work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
Read and follow our blog, "We Are KCS" to learn more about the great people and programs of Kingsport City Schools.  Check it out at