BOE Meeting Notes - May 5, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:

  • A presentation regarding Washington Elementary School's TV news production,
  • A report on the extended learning options available for children at Washington Elementary, 
  • Recognition of a Jefferson Elementary School student for exemplary performance in this year's regional Spelling Bee,
  • A presentation by students from Dobyns-Bennett who recently attended the Tennessee Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) conference,
  • Recognition of KCS Chief Finance Officer David Frye for receiving a prestigious professional certification,
  • Consideration and approval of bids for School Nutrition Services large equipment purchases, 
  • Consideration and approval of 2015-16 Budget Amendment #5,
  • Consideration and approval of the KCS FY 2016-2017 budget,
  • An update on energy efficiency efforts across the district,
  • Reports from several Student Services programs, including After School, Attendance, Coordinated School Health, Family Resource Center, and Homeless Education, 
  • An update on the KCS health insurance plan for the first quarter of 2016.
Regular Meeting Audio   
Detailed Meeting Notes
Student Focused Report
Washington Elementary School art teacher and project sponsor Mr. Howard Dale presented a report on the school's television production initiative, "WSIC."
  • The project allows students to produce a daily television newscast, highlighting key school events and news.
  • The presentation included a video that shared information about the school's new WSIC format.
Parent Interest Report
Washington Elementary School Director of ECLC and After-school Programs Mrs. Diane Ivey presented information about two programs housed at Washington Elementary School, the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) and the School Age Child Care program (SACC).  
  • Both programs are designed to help children build relationships, make connections and grow friendships, develop life skills, and begin their journey to be lifelong learners.
Board President Mrs. Carrie Upshaw recognized Lauren Thomas, one of two KCS students who placed in the top six of all students taking part in the 2016 News-Sentinel Southern Appalachia Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 12, 2016. 
  • Lauren, a 5th grade student at Jefferson Elementary School, tied for 4th place.  She is the daughter of Thomas Thomas and Cheryl Stanski.
  • More than 180 students from East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia competed in the regional bee, which was held at the Alumni Memorial Building on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • After a written round in the morning, 52 students, including Lauren, advanced to the oral bee in the afternoon. 
  • The oral bee last nearly three hours and went nine rounds before a champion was crowned.
Board Vice President Mrs. Susan Lodal, and Mr. Jason Clayman, Dobyns-Bennett Social Studies Teacher, recognized the four students who attended the Tennessee School Boards Association's 2016 Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) Conference.
  •  High school students from around the state gathered in Murfreesboro to discuss current topics effecting education.
  • Students also participated in activities such as mock school board meetings, group discussions, and debates.
  • The KCS Board of Education sponsored the four students to attend the SCOPE Conference.  Participating students for 2016 were Ashley Barnette, Jacob Mayo, Ben McNabb, and Ruth Rogers.
    • To view the students' SCOPE presentation from this evening, select the "2016 SCOPE Presentation" file below.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche congratulated Mr. David Frye, KCS Chief Finance Officer, who was named a Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).  
  • Mr. Frye is the first person in the state of Tennessee to receive this SFO certification.
  • SFO is a new certification granted to highly qualified individuals who fulfill multiple requirements, including demonstrating eligibility through work experience, passing a comprehensive two-part exam, and adhering to the ASBO International Code of Conduct.
  • Mr. Frye, a graduate of East Tennessee State University, has spent most of his professional career with KCS. 
  • In his current role, Mr. Frye oversees payroll and procurement, budget preparation and oversight, the Maintenance Department, and School Nutrition Services.
Business Items
Mrs. Jennifer Walker, KCS Supervisor of School Nutrition Services, reviewed bids for nine separate equipment items for three different elementary schools.  
  • Equipment needs include both hot and cold food service counters, a convection steamer, a hot water dispenser, shelving, a dish table, and a dishwasher.
  • Funding for equipment items will come from the School Nutrition Services budget.
  • Combined bids for Lincoln and Johnson Elementary are for $65,276 from KaTom Restaurant Supply.
  • The bid for Kennedy Elementary is for $28,922 from TriMark Strategic, Inc.
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved the bids for large equipment items by a vote of 5-0.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed Budget Amendment # 5 for consideration.  
  • This type of amendment often occurs at this time each year and includes recommendations for the General Purpose School Fund, Federal Projects Fund, School Special Projects Fund, and insurance-related funds.
  • Due to interest earned from bonds, it is recommended that transfers from the General Fund for Debt Service be reduced by $100,000.
  • Upon discovery of hail damage to the roof at Lincoln, a claim was filed and an insurance check in the amount of $31,087.90 was received and deposited into the Other Local Revenue fund.  It is therefore recommended that $31,088 in funds be transferred from that fund to the Lincoln Roof Replacement project.
  • Grant monies received into the Federal Projects Fund were greater than estimated.  It is recommended that the Fund be increased to reflect revised estimated revenue and appropriations of $4,101,132, an increase of $166,608.
  • Various grants and donations have been received which have resulted in an increase in estimated revenues and appropriations of $64,151 to the School Special Projects Funds, bringing the total revised estimated revenue and appropriations amounts to $1,245,367.
  • When considering combined totals, the budgets for health insurance for active employees and for retirees are at anticipated levels. The active employee fund will be over budget while the retiree fund will be under budget.  It is recommended that re-appropriation of funds take place within the insurance budgets to account for the realized differences.
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved Budget Amendment #5 by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye presented the proposed FY 2016-2017 budget for review.
  • To view tonight's full budget presentation, which includes specific details related to both revenues and expenses, click on the file titled "Budget Presentation 5-05-16" below.
  • Revenues for 2016-17 are expected to be higher than 2015-16 levels.
  • The proposed budget includes salary increases for staff, new teaching and instructional design specialist positions, new educational assistants, new technology-related expenses, as well as other planned expenditures.
  • The proposed budget totals $91,469,031.
    • Of that amount, $72,729,950 is for the General Purpose School Fund.
    • School Nutrition, Federal Projects, and School Special Projects funds account for the remaining amount.
  • No additional general purpose funding from the City of Kingsport will be requested.
  • After review and consideration, the Board adopted the proposed budget for FY 2016-17 by a vote of 5-0.
  • With tonight's approval, the budget will now go to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman for review and consideration during the City of Kingsport budget approval process.
Mr. Terry Cutshall, KCS Custodial Services Field Supervisor, and Mr. Glen McCoy, Energy Coach at Energy Systems Group, provided an update on the KCS Energy Efficient Schools Initiative, which is being done in partnership with Energy Systems Group.
  • To date, there have been $5.1 million dollars in needed facility upgrades throughout the district, including energy efficient lighting, water conservation improvements, replacement of aging HVAC equipment, revisions at Palmer Center, and energy management control upgrades.
  • These upgrades are being funded entirely from energy savings impacts, including:
    • A projected $6 million in utility savings over 15 years.
    • A projected $3 million in maintenance and CIP budget savings, and
    • A low interest loan.
  • The savings to date (start of project through Feb. 2016) is just over $1.5 million.
  • The projected total energy savings for years 1-4 is just over $1.7 million.
  • Additional benefits are reduced kilowatt hours of electricity, water usage, and carbon emissions per year.
  • All but one KCS school was identified as now meeting the "Energy Star" criteria.
Representatives from five departments in Student Services shared highlights of the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Mrs. Kerri Sensabaugh, KCS Coordinator of After School Programs, spoke about LEAPS and summer programming.
    • LEAPS after school programs served approximately 200 students in grades K-8 this year.  Activities included academic tutoring, recreation, and technology classes.
    • 2015 Summer programs served approximately 150 students in grades K-8, with activities included tutoring, the United Way's Summer Reading program, field trips, arts and crafts, science experiments, physical activity, and more.
  • Mr. Matthew Smith, KCS Coordinator of Attendance, provided an overview of KCS student attendance.
    • KCS utilizes systematic procedures to address students having multiple unexcused absences.  
    • Depending on circumstances, a conference may be convened to discuss a path forward, or referalls may be made to non-KCS entities such as the Department of Children's Services or the Kingsport Police Department.
    • The average attendance for KCS during 2015-16 has been 94.6%
  • Ms. Misty Keller, KCS Coordinator of Coordinated School Health, shared information about health screenings and other health-related items.
    • Various health screenings conducted throughout the year checked students for vision, hearing, blood pressure, and body mass index.
    • Partnerships with MSHA and SPARK and the use of Go Noodle and the Kinesthetic Classroom were discussed.  School Health Index Scores and the Wellness Policy/Plan Review were also shared.
  • Mrs. Michele Wilder, KCS Coordinator of Homeless Education, shared information about food and clothing needs met through partnerships with various community organizations.
    • Second Harvest, WCQR, and Rotary Sunrise contributed to supplying weekend food bags for 577 students (8,488 bags), Thanksgiving food boxes, and Easter food boxes.
    • Scottish Rites, Rack Room, Kiwanis, and local churches donated shoes and socks for 392 students, winter coats for KCS families from Palmer Center and elementary schools, and gloves, hats, and scarves for 100 KCS children and families.
    • The Family Resource Center served 925 students representing 617 families.  Clothing, food boxes, hygiene items, and holiday food boxes were among the items given to those in need.
    • Other services provided were parent involvement meetings, participation in expos and wellness fairs, community referrals, lending libraries, help with job searches, home visits, and sponsorship for summer and after school programs.
  • Mrs. Wilder also gave an overview of the Homeless Education program.
    • As of 4/28/16, KCS has had 285 students in the Homeless Education Program. Seventy-five percent of those students are living in "doubled up" arrangements, two percent are in inadequate housing, seven percent are in shelters, and sixteen percent are currently living in motels.
Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Mr. David Frye provided an update on the KCS health insurance plan for the first quarter of 2016.
  • Total revenues and expenses for the first quarter of 2016 are close to estimates.
  • Medical claims per employee per year are down 20% this year, compared to last.
  • For the full health insurance update for the first quarter of 2016, click on the file titled "Health Insurance BOE Update" below.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Thursday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m. The work session will take place in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church, Kingsport (200 W. Church Circle).  
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