BOE Meeting Notes - February 4, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 4, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A presentation about two student reading initiatives at Johnson Elementary;
  • A presentation about the D-B YES! Club (Youth Engagement Strategies), a mentoring program involving students at Dobyns-Bennett, Jackson Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary;
  • Recognition of four students who earned a perfect score on the 2015 TCAP Writing Assessment;
  • Information regarding a calendar adjustment to the end of the 3rd nine weeks and distribution of report cards;
  • A resolution in support of appointed superintendents;
  • A resolution in opposition of legislation to create a voucher program in Tennessee;
  • A resolution in support of establishing a Tennessee Advanced Placement Partnership; and
  • An update on the financial state of self-insurance at the end of Year 1.
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 Sophie Dawson and Libby Russum, 6th grade students at Robinson Middle School.  Sophie is the daughter of Tony and Lori Dawson, and Libby is the daughter of Ryan and Marci Russum.
Student Focus Report
Ms. Vicky Treadway, Associate Principal at Andrew Johnson Elementary School, presented information about two school library outreach programs designed to strengthen reading emphasis and skills.  
  • "Books on the Bus," a pilot program operated in partnership with KCS Transportation and facilitated by bus drivers Billy and Donna Nelson, brings the joy of reading to students during their commute to and from school.
    • Books are made available to students for reading during their bus ride home, resulting in increased literacy access, focus, and improved behavior during the afternoon commute.
  • "One School, One Book" is a movement designed to get the entire school community, including parents, involved in the joy of reading.  
    • The first book chosen for Johnson's program is The World According to Humphrey, by Betty G. Birney.
    • Through the program, each family will receive a copy of the selected book.  
    • Following a shared schedule, families read at home together.
    • In the classroom, there are daily events and projects that reinforce the reading selections and encourage the entire school community to get excited about the book.
Parent Interest Report
Mrs. Alice Browder, Counselor at Roosevelt Elementary, and Ms. Jaclyn Clendenen, Family Liaison at Jackson Elementary, reported on how members of the D-B YES! Club are partnering with elementary students to provide positive mentoring during Tribe Time at D-B.
  • This club began in the fall of 2015 and there are now more than 100 students from D-B, Roosevelt, and Jackson meeting together to build relationships. 
  • D-B students Ben Osborne and Jordan Goodwin shared from the student's perspective how this program is stretching participants and reinforcing positive behaviors.  
  • In a video presentation, D-B YES! parent and KCS teacher Laura Click shared her thoughts about the positive aspects of the program.
Board member Dr. Karen Reed-Wright recognized four students who earned a perfect score on the 2015 TCAP Writing Assessment.  These students scored a four (4) in all categories of the assessment.  The four students recognized were:
  • Sophie Dawson, a 6th grade student at Robinson Middle School (5th grade student at Jefferson when earning this perfect score), daughter of Tony and Lori Dawson.
  • Libby Russum, a 6th grade student at Robinson Middle School (5th grade student at Jefferson when earning this perfect score), daughter of Ryan and Marci Russum.
  • Allison Glynn, a freshman at Dobyns-Bennett High School (8th grade student at Robinson Middle when earning this perfect score), daughter of Ted and Bethanie Glynn.
  • Emily Baker, a senior at Dobyns-Bennett High School (junior at DBHS when earning this perfect score), daughter of Russell Baker and Leslie Boucher.
Dr. Reed-Wright presented each student with a Certificate of Achievement signed by Governor Bill Haslam and Dr. Candice McQueen, Commissioner of Education for the Tennessee Department of Education.
Business Items
Mr. Andy True, KCS Chief Administrative Officer, presented information related to a slight revision to the KCS Calendar in March.
  • Due to snow days missed in January, the recommendation was made to move the final date of the 3rd 9-weeks to Thursday, March 10.
  • Following the KCS professional learning day planned for March 11, the date of Report Card distribution for the third 9-weeks will now be moved to Thursday, March 17.
  • The revision was approved by a vote of 5-0.
Board Vice President Mrs. Susan Lodal reviewed a Board resolution in support of appointed superintendents.  
  • The Education Improvement Act of 1992 patterned school governance after a business model, with an elected school board tasked with the responsibility of hiring a board-appointed superintendent.  
  • This resolution encourages the Tennessee General Assembly to reject any attempts to revert to superintendent elections.  
  • After review and consideration, the resolution by the KCS BOE in support of continuing the practice of appointed superintendents in Tennessee was approved by a vote of 5-0.
Mrs. Lodal reviewed a Board resolution opposing proposed legislation to create a voucher program in Tennessee.
  • Currently, the Tennessee State Legislature is considering a bill that would allow for parents of children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches to apply for a voucher if their school falls within one of the state's bottom five percent of schools.
  • Opponents of the legislation feel that vouchers are controversial, unproven and unpopular, and take needed funding away from public schools.
  • After much review, consideration, and discussion, the resolution by the KCS BOE to oppose any legislation or similar effort to create a voucher program in Tennessee was approved by a vote of 3-2.
Mrs. Lodal reviewed a Board resolution supporting the funding and development of a Tennessee Advanced Placement Partnership (TAPP).  
  • Because the State of Tennessee's public schools rank significantly behind the national average in students scoring a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam during high school, multiple First District Tennessee Directors of Schools support and encourage having a TAPP to assist public schools in strengthening their AP programs.  
  • Kingsport City Schools has been named to the AP District Honor Roll for the quality and quantity of AP offerings, as well as the level of success KCS students obtain on AP exams.
  • After review and consideration, this resolution supporting the funding and development a TAPP was approved by a vote of 5-0. 
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, provided a health insurance financial update for January-December 2015, which was Year 1 of self-insured benefits in KCS.
  • Actual year end revenue streams nearly matched projections made in October.
  • Actual expenditures were above projections, mainly due to claim expenses being more than anticipated ($286,278).
    • This was due to three factors:
      • An increase in the number of covered employees.
      • Out of aggregate claims.
      • Adjustments of previously paid claims.
  • After much review and discuss, members of the Board requested that future updates include representation by Sherrill Morgan, the consulting firm hired by the district to provide guidance and projections related to the KCS benefits plan.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. The work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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