BOE Called Meeting and Work Session Notes - October 20, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a called meeting and work session on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • An update on the KCS health insurance plan.
  • Recommendations and approval of the 2016 KCS health insurance plan.
  • Budget amendment #2 for fiscal year 2015-2016.
  • An update on the D-B Excel program.
  • A summary of a recently completed survey of D-B graduates.
  • A report on the fall meeting of the Eastern States Consortium, of which KCS is a member.
Work Session Audio
Called Meeting Notes
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, and Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, presented an update to the Board on the current year health insurance plan and made recommendations related to the 2016 plan.
  • 2015 marks the first year in which KCS has been self-insured.
  • Notes from tonight's presentation included:
    • Claim expenses for 2015 are projected to be significantly higher than normal and than were expected.
      • For instance, for the two years January 2013 - December 2014, there were 22 claims filed by KCS employees in excess of $25,000, with the average claim being $35,720.  So far in 2015, there have been 24 claims filed in excess of $25,000, with the average claim being $64,000.
  • It was recommended that $1,000,000 be appropriated from the KCS Unreserved Fund Balance to cover the anticipated deficit caused largely by the unexpectedly high claims year.
  • For 2016, no changes to benefits or premium increases are recommended.  This affirms the commitment to employees that the KCS plan will be equal to or better than the state plan (It is not anticipated that the state plan will see a rate increase in 2016, but it is expected that they will see a significant increase in the out-of-pocket maximum for their plan).
    • The amount of funding share previously contributed by the state for retiree insurance will again be contributed by KCS.
  • After review and discussion, the Board approved the recommendations for the 2016 health insurance plan by a vote of 5-0.
  • Open enrollment for insurance coverage will begin this week.
  • To view Mr. Frye's full presentation on KCS health insurance, please click the file below.
Mr. David Frye then reviewed budget amendment #2 with the Board for their consideration and approval.  This budget amendment included recommendations to:
  • Increase the anticipated County Property Tax revenue by $1.2 million dollars to reflect increased revenue brought about by the recently approved Sullivan County property tax increase.
  • Fund two teaching positions over and above those already budgeted with money from the expected property tax increase (positions have been previously hired due to increased enrollment).
  • Address the anticipated shortfall in health insurance for 2015 with funds from the Unreserved Fund Balance. 
  • Implement approved funding changes for the 2016 health insurance plan.
  • Appropriate remaining additional expected funds for future building improvements (anticipated for one-time expenses, rather than for recurring expenses), so to not tie up the expected recurring tax revenue in future years.
  • Following review and discussion, this amendment was approved by a vote of 5-0.
Work Session Notes
Mrs. Shanna Hensley, Principal of D-B EXCEL, and Mrs. Laurie Norris,  e-Learning Coordinator, presented a status update on the D-B EXCEL program, including an increase in enrollment for 2015-16.
  • The vision of this program is to "provide an innovative approach to personalized learning."  The program's mission is to "prepare students to be career and workforce ready with success in citizenship and leadership in the community."
  • Since the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, enrollment at D-B EXCEL has grown from 26 students to 175 students, with the number of online offerings also growing significantly.
  • Based on the current situation, additional teaching staff is planned for the program to meet student needs and program goals.
  • D-B EXCEL also anticipates a move to a larger facility, which includes room to continue to expand enrollment and course offerings.
Dr. Chris Hampton, Principal of Dobyns-Bennett High School, shared results from a recently initiated Lifetrack survey of D-B graduates.
  • 369 students participated in the 2015 survey. Of those, results indicate that more than 300 plan to pursue a 4-year college degree.
  • Survey questions included items such as perception of readiness for college, helpfulness of counseling staff/resources, perception of teacher/student relationships and expectations, and perception of course offerings.
  • Overall, the overwhelming majority of students who participated in the survey rated their experience at D-B as excellent and their education in KCS as adequately preparing them for the future.
Mrs. Dory Creech, Assistant Superintendent, and Dr. Carmen Bryant, Chief Academic Officer-Secondary, provided a report on the Eastern States Consortium meeting, which was held September 20-22, 2015, in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.
  • This Consortium is a group of high performing school systems in the eastern U.S. that collaborates with the express purpose of exchanging ideas and strategies for improvement.
  • Nine different school systems were in attendance, representing six states, from Louisiana to Ohio.
  • Participants toured a number of schools in the St. Charles Parish Public School District in addition to attending the collaborative meetings.
  • Future meetings of the Eastern States Consortium will be held in Upper Arlington, OH in Fall 2016 and Goochland, VA in Fall 2017.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Thursday, November 5, 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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Watch for the "Saturday Six," debuting this weekend on the We Are KCS blog... Six big things related to Kingsport City Schools!