BOE Meeting Notes - June 2, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A presentation about a student-led community service art-based project,
  • A review of KCS summer programming,
  • Recognition of three distinguished KCS educators,
  • Consideration and approval of a vocational rehabilitation grant,
  • Consideration and approval of a bid for Lincoln Elementary Phase #2 roof repair,
  • Consideration and approval of purchase plan for student devices for 1:1 implementation, and
  • Consideration and approval of the 2016-17 differentiated pay plan.
Regular Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes
Call to Order
The Pledge of Allegiance was led tonight by Mena Dixon and John Guthrie, students in the ECLC Pre-K class at Palmer Center.  Mena is the daughter of Daniel and Danessa Dixon.  John is the son of Keith and Jennifer Guthrie.
Student Focus Report
Dobyns-Bennett High School Art Teacher, Mrs. Ashley Hobbs, shared with the Board about the Empty Bowls fundraiser which was held to support the food pantry at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church.  Eleven DBHS Art Club students, with the help and support of Hobbs and other adults, raised almost $3,300 at the fundraising event on April 13, 2016.
  • Members of the Art Club made 200 ceramic bowls from clay donated by Mrs. Hobbs from her business, Clinch Mountain Pottery.
  • Students sought soup donations from local restaurants and monetary donations from individuals and businesses.
  • Soup-filled bowls, bread, and a drink were sold for $15 each. The Empty Bowls project raised $3,294, which was enough to provide more than 500 meals to nearly 200 families.
  • Waverly Road's food pantry is run in association with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.
  • Students led the whole project, from conception to finish.
  • Plans are already underway to hold an Empty Bowls fundraiser in 2017, with individuals already expressing interest in donating clay for the bowls and in providing manpower to make the bowls.
Parent Interest Report
Dr. Carmen Bryant, Assistant Superintendent - Instruction, provided an overview of KCS Summer Programs for the Board.  Programs for students are available through school and community partnerships, with numerous summer learning opportunities available for teachers as well.
  • A wide range of programming is available for students of all ages.
  • Enrichment in reading, math, social studies, and science, STEM camps, music camps, and athletic camps are among the offerings.
  • Partnerships with YMCA, Kingsport Parks and Recreation, and KCS Summer Meals Program serve many KCS children.
  • Outside agencies such as the Kingsport Arts Council, Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM), United Way, and Niswonger Foundation also offer a variety of programs.
  • Summer opportunities for teachers include a literacy symposium, an athletic strength and conditioning clinic, MathElites and ScienceElites, coding training, and more.
Board member, Dr. Karen Reed-Wright, recognized Mrs. Beth Lee, a KCS English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher, for recently being named the Tennessee Teachers of Speakers of other Languages (TNTESOL) 2016 Teacher of the Year for the Eastern Region.
  • This award honors and recognizes outstanding K-12 ESL teachers with a distinguished career in English language teaching and a history of service to students, schools, and communities.
  • Mrs. Lee has taught Spanish and ESL in Kingsport City Schools for 12 years.  She earned a B.A. in English from Mississippi College, an M.A. in English from Louisiana State University, and an M.A. in English as a Second Language from Carson-Newman College.
Board member, Mr. Todd Golden, recognized Mr. David Flanary, John Sevier Middle Schools Social Studies Teacher and Journalism Adviser, for being named Youth Journalism International (YJI) Journalism Educator of the Year.  This marks the first time a middle school teacher has won this prestigious award.
  • Now in its seventh year, the YJI holds an annual global contest recognizing students aged 19 and younger for superior journalism in a variety of media. Winners in 2016 represent 19 states and nine countries on five continents.
  • Sevier's student newspaper, The Sequoyah Scribe, captured ten awards, tying with a Missouri high school for most awards in a global contest.  For the 2015-16 school year, The Sequoyah Scribe has won a total of 24 awards.
  • Flanary, who holds a B.A. in History with a minor in Political Science from the University of Virginia's College at Wise, first became interested in journalism as a middle school student.  He has taught at Sevier for eight years, during which time he has been instrumental in starting The Sequoyah Scribe newspaper and its broadcast companion, The Sequoyah Scribe Newscast.
Board President, Mrs. Carrie Upshaw, recognized Dr. Holly Flora, Principal of John Sevier Middle School, for being named a 2016 Tennessee National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).  
  • This award is given annually to outstanding elementary and middle school administrators for setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for students, families, and staff in their learning communities.
  • Flora is serving in her second year as principal at John Sevier.  Prior to that, she served as principal at Jackson Elementary School and as a system-wide Literacy Coordinator, in addition to teaching at both Lincoln and Washington Elementary Schools.  
  • A graduate of Milligan College with a B.S in both Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, Dr. Flora also received a M.A. in Early Childhood Education and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from East Tennessee State University.
Business Items
Mr. Richard Brown, Assistant Principal at Dobyns-Bennett High School, and Mr. Jim Nash, Chief Student Services Officer, reviewed a request to accept a grant funded through the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services/Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • The proposed grant-funded Work-Based Learning program will provide opportunities for students at Dobyns-Bennett with moderate to severe disabilities. The program will help students develop work-readiness skills, participate in true life work experiences at local businesses, and secure connections with potential employers upon graduation from high school.
  • The grant provides funding totaling $96,311 which will be used to pay salaries for one teacher/coordinator and three job coaches for one year.  Matching funds are required for this grant, and those matching funds will come from an already approved budget line item. 
  • The grant is for one year, but is renewable on an ongoing basis.
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved acceptance of this grant by a vote of 4-0.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed the bids for Phase #2 of the roof replacement project at Lincoln Elementary School, which includes replacement of the siding and copper roofing on the dormer vents and replacement of the main entry cupola.
  • Three bids were received, the lowest one from Davis Brothers Roofing and Sheet Metal Fabrication, Inc. 
  • This bid, in the amount of $187,050.20, includes a project cost of $164,670, architect fees of $12,500, and a 6% contingency of $9,880.20.  Funding in the amount of $200,000 is already set aside for this project in the CIP budget.
  • After review and consideration, the bid to Davis Brothers Roofing and Sheet Metal Fabrication, Inc. for Phase #2 of roof replacement at Lincoln Elementary was approved by a vote of 3-1.
KCS Director of Technology Mr. Scott Pierce gave an update to the Board on 1:1 device purchases for fourth, fifth, and sixth grades.
  • The next phase of 1:1 implementation is to provide devices for approximately 1,700 students in grades 4, 5, and 6.
  • A total cost of approximately $380,800 will pay for Chromebooks, a Chrome license, and a carrying case.  The cost for one Chromebook, license, and case is $224.
  • It is recommended that Lenovo N22 Chromebooks be purchased through FireFly Computers, the partner vendor, utilizing the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance. 
  • Follow review and consideration, the Board voted to purchase Lenovo N22 Chromebooks for students in grades 4, 5, and 6 by a vote of 4-0.
Chief Human Resources Officer Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie reviewed the 2016-17 Differentiated Pay Plan with the Board. This plan must be submitted annually to the State. 
  • KCS utilizes a single-lane salary schedule with step advancement for performance, advanced degree attainment, and participation in designated activities aligned with district strategic goals.
  • The KCS pay plan also addresses things such as hard to staff subjects or placements, incentives for National Board Certification, and work experience prior to KCS.
  • After review and consideration, the Board approved the 2016-17 Differentiated Pay Plan by a vote of 4-0.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, June 21 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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