BOE Meeting Notes - December 3, 2015

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A student-focused report on the Jackson Elementary Morning Choice system.
  • A presentation on the proposed Regional Science and Technology Center at Dobyns-Bennett.
  • Recognition of the D-B EXCEL student whose artwork was selected for the 2015 KCS holiday card.
  • Recognition of the undefeated Sevier Middle School Girls Cross Country Team for winning its second consecutive State Championship in 2015.
  • Recognition of the undefeated Robinson Middle School Volleyball Team for winning the Middle School Regional Tournament and their undefeated play throughout the tournament.
  • Recognition of Jackson Elementary for being one of eleven 2015 Good Sports Always Recycle school challenge winners.
  • Recognition of Dr. Lamar Smith, Supervisor of Federal Programs, for being named a finalist for the Tennessee Department of Education Annual Supervisor of the Year Award.
  • Approval of a stop loss insurance provider for the 2016 KCS health care plan.
  • Approval of a contract with Sherrill Morgan to continue as health insurance program and plan consultant for KCS during 2016.
  • Review and approval of the KCS Capital Improvement Projects plan.
  • Review and approval of the 2015-2016 KCS Strategic Plan.
  • A report on E-Rate funding and services for KCS.
  • A review of the timeline and process that will be used to develop and approve the 2016-17 KCS budget.
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 George Washington Elementary students Gillian and Langley Brents.  They are the children of Robert and Arielle Brents.  Gillian is in Kindergarten, while Langley is in second grade.
Student Focus Report
Ms. Lindsay Statum, Physical Education teacher at Jackson Elementary, and members of the Jackson Brave Council shared information regarding the Morning Choice system, a program designed to help students begin each school day in a positive mindset.
  • The program is based on scientific research which indicates students aren't ready to learn if they are under stress, hungry or thirsty, sleepy, or anxious.
  • The Morning Choice starts each day at Jackson with all students having the opportunity to receive a free and nutritious breakfast.
  • After breakfast, students may participate in activities such as the "morning mile" running/walking club, reading, yoga, and tutoring.
Parent Interest Report
Dr. Randy Watts, Assistant Principal of Dobyns-Bennett High School, presented a report on the proposed Regional Science and Technology Center at Dobyns-Bennett.
  • The Regional Science and Technology Center would be constructed on the D-B campus and would provide extensive learning opportunities, as well as additional student capacity.
  • The mission of the center is to create an educational culture that inspires innovation through Science and Technology.
  • Expanded engineering and research opportunities would be examples of programs that would be fostered through this center.
  • The addition of the center would enhance the possibilities for a variety of scientific programming and instruction at Dobyns-Bennett.
  • Proposed components and benefits of the center would include:
    • Engaging and real-world scientific curriculum.
    • A resource center for professional learning.
    • A chair of excellence.
    • Authentic laboratory experiences, practicum, and clinical experiences.
    • Supplemental and co-curricular opportunities.
    • Authentic research opportunities.
  • Proposed next steps include, but are not limited to:
    • Working with district administration and the Kingsport BOE to determine the possibility of changing graduation requirements to include 4 credit hours for Sciences.
    • Continuing to shift the focus of instruction to more inquiry-based teaching and learning.
    • Considering potential facilities and programming developments.
Board President Mrs. Carrie Upshaw recognized Ellie Olson, a 9th grade student at D-B EXCEL, whose artwork was selected for the 2015 KCS Holiday Card.
  • The card will be sent to elected officials (state and local), select community members, members of local Boards, and other administrative personnel.  
  • Mrs. Upshaw presented Ellie with a framed copy of her artwork, which serves as the cover of the KCS holiday card.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche introduced the undefeated Sevier Middle School Girls Cross Country Team and congratulated them for the winning the TMSAA State Championship on October 10, 2015.  
  • This is the second straight state title for the JSMS Girls Cross Country team.
  • Team members include Sasha Neglia (who also won the Individual State Championship for the second year in a row), Sarah Smith, Macee Pickup, Julianna McReynolds, Jaden Potts, Grace Waters, and Emma True.
Board Member Mr. Todd Golden recognized the undefeated Robinson Middle School Varsity Volleyball Team for winning the Middle School Regional Tournament in Knoxville earlier in the year.  
  • To accomplish this feat, the RNR team, coached by Mr. Bryan Dean, went undefeated throughout the tournament to capture the title.  
  • Team members include Caroline Cable, Sophie Frohlich, Zioe Larkings, Meg Maynor, Sarah Moore, Carly Shell, Hannah Watson, and Rylee Waye.
Board member Dr. Karen Reed-Wright congratulated Jackson Elementary School Principal Dr. Krissy Turner and School-Based Family Liaison Ms. Jaclyn Clendenen for Jackson Elementary being named a winner in the 2015 Good Sports Always Recycle (GSAR) school challenge.  
  • The program is sponsored annually by Eastman Chemical Company, in conjunction with Food City, Waste Connections, and the University of Tennessee.
  • Jackson was among 11 Tennessee schools that received $1,000 to support their ongoing environmental programs.
  • The money will be used at Jackson for improving signage for their recycling program, purchasing t-shirts for recycling program student leaders, and taking a field trip to a regional waste management facility to build awareness of the continuing need to recycle. 
  • The Recycling Club, for which the award was garnered, was inspired by the very successful "Rock and Wrap it Up" program.  Last school year, Jackson students, faculty, and staff recycled more than 1,000 pounds of food and drink through "Rock and Wrap it Up."
Board Vice President Mrs. Susan Lodal recognized Dr. Lamar Smith, KCS Supervisor of Federal Programs, for being named a finalist for the Tennessee Department of Education's Annual Supervisor of the Year Award.  
  • Each year, a public school supervisor earns the distinction of being named Tennessee Supervisor of the Year, an award given for meritorious service in the field of education and outstanding leadership achievement which leads to improvements in the school district.
  • Nominees for this distinction must have a minimum of eight years of professional experience in Tennessee public schools and must serve in a system-wide, district-level supervisory position.
  • Dr. Smith, as well as other finalists and winners, were recognized at an awards banquet during the Tennessee Educational Leadership Conference (LEAD) which was held on October 27, 2015 in Nashville, TN.
Business Items
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, and Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, reviewed the quotes received for the Kingsport City Schools "stop loss" coverage renewal for the 2016 insurance plan.
  • Seven different stop loss carriers submitted proposals/quotes for this insurance coverage.
  • After weighing proposals from each carrier, administration and consultant Sherrill Morgan recommended to remain with Aetna as the stop loss carrier for 2016.
  • Aetna was selected due to it's competitive bid and in consideration of the benefits of establishing a long-term relationship with the same company.
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved the proposal that Aetna provide stop loss coverage for 2016, by a vote of 4-0.
Mr. David Frye presented to the Board a recommendation to renew the district's contract with Sherrill Morgan regarding insurance consultation through calendar year 2016.  
  • This contract would allow Sherrill Morgan to continue as the consultant for KCS with respect to medical insurance plans, coverage, and operations.  
  • The contracted amount for this agreement is $33,000, which is a line item in the approved budget under Health Insurance Funds.  
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved an extension of the contract through 2016 by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye reviewed a draft of the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) for consideration by the Board.  
  • This plan projects major work on existing facilities and expected expenditures through the end of Fiscal Year 2020.  
  • Projects include work such as boiler replacements, cooling towers, roof replacements, and other facilities needs and improvements.
  • After review and discussion, the Board approved the CIP by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Michael Hubbard, Director of Performance Excellence, presented the 2015-2016 KCS Strategic Plan for Board consideration.  
  • The Strategic Plan is the result of a yearly ongoing review cycle and summarizes the work, goals, progress, and Guiding Tenets of Kingsport City Schools.  
  • The plan contains key core documents for the district, including the KCS mission, vision, goals, and guiding tenets, as well as providing highlights of accomplishments and goal targets.
  • Each KCS system goal, along with targets and a "scorecard" related to prior goals, is included.
  • After a review, the Board accepted the Strategic Plan by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. John Payne, Director of Technology, provided an overview of E-Rate, a telecommunications financial funding tool.
  • The primary goal of E-Rate funding is to support internet connectivity, internal connections, and wireless services.
  • During a transition period currently underway, phone, cell phone, and some other services will no longer be eligible for E-Rate funding.
  • The current contract for KCS internet service expires on June 30, 2016.  The Board will consider a new contract during the spring of 2016.
Mr. David Frye presented a review of the timeline and process that will be utilized in developing and approving the 2016-17 KCS Budget.
  • Materials used to prepare budget requests will be sent to principals and administrators on December 7. 2015.
  • The BOE Budget Review Committee will meet to hear budget presentations January 18-29, 2016.
  • Following deliberations and the compilation of a final budget proposal by the Budget Review Committee, the BOE will review the Budget on April 21, 2016.
  • The Board is expected to consider a final budget for approval on May 5, 2016.  If approved, it would be presented to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.
There will be no Board work session in December.  The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a regular meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2016 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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