BOE Meeting Notes - January 7, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A student-focused report about the Dobyns-Bennett Dramahawks' performance of the musical, Grease.
  • A presentation on services provided by school psychologists.
  • Recognition of John Adams Elementary winning the School Bell Award for school fitness programming.
  • Recognition of a D-B student for accomplishments in bowling.
  • A recommendation to initiate condemnation of a property adjacent to KCS owned land.
  • A recommendation to renew contracts with Gordon Food Service and Prairie Farms Dairy.
  • A recommendation for a budget amendment pertaining to the Capital Projects fund.
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 Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students Javon Graves and Evie Kitzmiller. Javon is a third grader and is the son of Damon Alexander and Teana Graves.  Evie is in Kindergarten and is the daughter of Greg and Sarah Kitzmiller.
Student Focus Report
The Dobyns-Bennett High School Dramahawks, the theater performing arts group at D-B, will present the School Version of Grease in late January at the Nancy Pridemore Theater.  As a preview to the upcoming event, students in the Dramahawks performed two songs from the musical and then shared their thoughts on the importance of theatrical arts in education.
  • Performances of the musical will be Friday, January 22 and 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, January 23 and 30 at 7 p.m, and Sunday, January 24 and 31 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Cast members include Dawn Strobel, Jackson Fox, Devin Hooven, Morgan Hudson, Ethan Addlestone, Mia Waugh, Moose Odom, Mikaela Lifford, Jacob Lamb, Kendall Hubbard, Raine McKee, and Savannah Honaker.
  • Ms. Laura Humprey will serve as artistic director, with choreography by Ms. Brenda Fox, and music direction and accompaniment by Mr. Bryant Denmark.
Parent Interest Report
School Psychologist Dr. Paula Nickels provided a report on how staff from KCS Psychological Services promote student social-emotional competencies and academic achievement  through prevention, evaluation and consultation.  
  • Dr. Nickels shared information about special education referrals and preliminary data about the impact of the Tennessee Response to Intervention (RTI) Model initiative on student achievement.  Psychological services are provided under the framework of the Special Education Department. 
  • Members of the Psychological Services team include school psychologists Dr. Paula Nickels, Ms. Jessica Koon, and Ms. Leilani DeFord, and educational diagnostician Ms. Kaye Gillenwater.
  • After the first year of RTI implementation throughout KCS at the elementary school level, there has been a 43% drop in special education referrals.
  • Services provided include, but are not limited to, evaluations for autism; developmental delay; intellectually gifted; language, hearing, speech, orthopedic, or visual impairment; specific learning disabilities; and emotional disturbance.
  • There are 1,293 students with disabilities identified within Kingsport City Schools, which represents approximately 17% of the total student population.
Mrs. Carrie Upshaw, Board president, recognized John Adams Elementary School for receiving the Tennessee Principals Association (TPA) inaugural School Bell Award for excellence in school fitness, due to the success of its Morning Mile Program.  
  • Adams Principal Dr. Stephanie Potter shared that all at Adams were excited to be the first school to receive this award and applauded Physical Education teacher Mr. Jason Hincke for his leadership of this running program.
  • Students from all grades at Adams are eligible to participate in the voluntary running program, which is conducted prior to the start of each school day.
  • Nearly 30 parent volunteers help with this program each week.
  • Between 50 and 70 students in grades 3-5 run an average of 1.5-2 miles each day.
  • Between 30 and 50 students in grades K-2 run an average of 1 mile each day.
  • The TPA School Bell Award was established to recognize outstanding programs that promote healthy living for students and/or faculty.
  • The award was presented to Adams Associate Principal Mr. Philip Wright during the TPA Annual State Conference, which was held December 8-10 in Nashville, TN.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche and Dobyns-Bennett High School Bowling Coach Ms. Debbie Knott recognized Cameron Phillips for bowling a perfect game during a competition against Chuckey-Doak High School on October 28, 2015.  
  • Cameron set a new school record by bowling a perfect 300 game.  
  • Two weeks later, he bowled a 756 three-game set, which set a new high school and regional record.  
  • Cameron is an 11th grader at D-B and is the son of David and Teneva Phillips.
Business Items
Chief Academic Officer-Secondary Dr. Carmen Bryant, and Dobyns-Bennett High School Principal Dr. Chris Hampton reviewed the proposed list of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses to be offered at D-B during the 2016-2017 school year.
  • The State Board of Education requires that this list of course offerings be approved by the local Board annually.  
  • New courses include "Introduction to Engineering Design through Project Lead the Way" and "Principles of Engineering through Project Lead the Way."  
  • The Board approved the listing of Honors and AP courses for the 2016-2017 school year by a vote of 5-0 on the Consent Agenda.
City Attorney Mr. Mike Billingsley presented to the Board a review of the City of Kingsport's property condemnation process.
  • Condemnation is proposed for a small triangular parcel of land which fronts Center Street and is surrounded by the parking area for D-B soccer and softball fields at Indian Highland Park.
  • Because there is some question regarding the title to the property, filing an action by eminent domain will help clear the title and provide for any future transfer of ownership.
  • Following review and consideration, the Board approved the initiation of the condemnation process on this property by a vote 5-0.
Supervisor of School Nutrition Services Mrs. Jennifer Walker presented a recommendation to approve the renewal of a contract with Gordon Food Service.
  • The proposed contract would last for a period of one year, from March 16, 2016 - February 28, 2017.
  • The amount of the proposed contract is not to exceed $1,3000,000.  
  • Funding for this contract is included in the School Nutritional Services budget.  
  • Gordon Food Service provides grocery and beverage items to KCS cafeterias under the terms of this contract.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to extend the contract with Gordon Food Service as proposed.
Mrs. Walker also presented a recommendation to approve the renewal of a contract with Prairie Farms Dairy.
  • The proposed contract would last for a period of one year, from January 6, 2016 - January 6, 2017
  • The amount of the proposed contract is for $250,000.  
  • Funding for this contract is also included in the School Nutritional Services budget.  
  • Prairie Farms Dairy provides a continuous supply of dairy items to KCS cafeterias under the terms of this contract.  
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to extend the contract with Prairie Farms Dairy as proposed.
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed budget amendment #3 for Board consideration.  
  • This amendment calls for four completed projects to be "closed" and the fund balance for those four projects, which amounts to $116,025, to be transferred to a new project for a School System Property Purchase.
  • The completed projects awaiting "closed" status include the secure entrance for Jackson Elementary School, Robinson Middle School parking lot improvements, and other school improvements.
  • After review and consideration, the proposed Budget Amendment #3 was approved by a vote of 5-0.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, January 19 at 6 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., immediately prior to the work session, there will be a brief reception to honor Board members.  Board of Education Appreciation Week is January 24-30, 2016.  The reception and work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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