2023-24 Board of Education Meeting/Work Session Notes » BOE Meeting Notes - October 10, 2023

BOE Meeting Notes - October 10, 2023

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.  Several key items were discussed, including:
  • Recognition of a Dobyns-Bennett High School student for achieving a perfect score on an AP exam;
  • Recognition of eight National Merit Commended students;
  • Recognition of four National Merit semifinalist students;
  • Approval of the KCS Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) plan;
  • Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding KCS use of the Kingsport Civic Auditorium;
  • Approval of the purchase of teacher laptop devices;
  • Approval of an amendment to the contract regarding renovations to the Buck Van Huss Dome at Dobyns-Bennett;
  • Approval of an agreement to provide architectural services regarding a roof project at the Tribe Athletic Complex;
  • Approval of Amendment #4 to the 2023-24 KCS Budget;
  • Approval of the 2024-25 KCS Calendar and Designated Holiday Schedule; and
  • Approval of several Board policies on first reading.
Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Malachi McNair and Jackson Weakley, students at John Sevier Middle School.  Malachi is in 8th grade and the son of Jonathan and Mercedes Lampley.  Jackson is in 7th grade and the son of Ben and Stefanie Weakley.


Several KCS students were recognized at the beginning of tonight's meeting:
  • Board member Tim Dean recognized Aidan Ponasik, a senior at Dobyns-Bennett High School, for earning a perfect score on the Advanced Placement (AP) Seminar Exam in May 2023.  
    • Aidan was one of only 27 students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Seminar Exam. 
  • Board member Julie Byers recognized eight Dobyns-Bennett High School seniors who have been named as Commended Students in the 69th Annual 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.
    • Approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation were recognized for their academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2024 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students place among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2024 competition by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
    • Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
    • D-B's National Merit Commended Students are:
      • Emma Baker
      • Mallori France
      • Anna Harrington
      • Salma Heiba
      • Adam Krcal
      • William Mayhew
      • Alexis Schubert
      • Oliver Winkler
  • Board Vice President Dr. Brandon Fletcher recognized four Dobyns-Bennett High School seniors who have been named as Semifinalists in the 69th Annual 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States.
    • These four D-B students will compete with the top high school students in the nation for some 7,100 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $28 million that will be offered in spring 2024.
    • Only 16,000 U.S. students qualified as Semifinalists this year. 
    • D-B's National Merit Semifinalists are:
      • Alexander Batts
      • Charles Deng
      • Ryan Venett
      • Evelyn Yang

business items

Dr. Rhonda Stringham, Assistant Superintendent - Instruction and Michael Hubbard, Director of Performance Excellence, presented the KCS Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) Annual Accountability Report for review and approval.  
  • The report outlines the district goals, measures, and actions to be taken to meet identified goals.  
  • With the new TISA funding model (beginning with the 2023-24 school year), each school district in Tennessee is required to present this annual report to the public for review and comment before the report is submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education.
  • After review and discussion, the Board approved the TISA report by a vote of 5-0.
Jim Nash, Chief Student Services Officer, presented a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Kingsport and Kingsport City Schools regarding the use of the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.
  • The MOU, previously approved by the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen, outlines the terms of use in turning over the Civic Auditorium from the City for use by the KCS.
  • The MOU outlines the guidelines for use and any potential modifications of the Civic Auditorium, parking lots, and convenience center.
  • After review, the Board approved the MOU by a vote of 5-0.
David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, presented a recommendation for the purchase of laptop devices to be used by KCS teachers.
  • The recommendation was for the purchase of 200 teacher laptops from Dell Marketing L.P. utilizing the Wilson County Schools Cooperative Purchasing Agreement (Contract 51AHO).  
  • Per the purchasing agreement, the Dell Latitude 5340 laptops are $1,057.59 each for a total cost of $211,518.00.  
  • These laptops would replace the current laptops used by teachers and administration at Robinson, Sevier, and Cora Cox Academy.  
  • Funding for the purchase would come from the School General Purpose Funds.
  • After review, the Board approved the purchase by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye presented a proposed amendment to the previously approved construction agreement with Preston Construction regarding renovations to the Buck Van Huss Dome at Dobyns-Bennett.
  • When approving the contract at the September 26, 2023 called meeting, the Board discussed acceptance of project Alternate 5, which included renovations to some of the boys and girls locker rooms, spirit shaker and cheerleader locker rooms, and public restrooms at the rear entrance of the Dome.  The bid price for this alternate was $315,000.    
  • Since that time, there have been several additional value engineering reductions identified, resulting in a savings of $171,500.
  • The recommendation this evening was to approve an amendment to the Preston Construction Dome Renovation contract to include Alternate 5 for $315,000 and value engineering reductions of $171,500.  
  • After review, the Board approved the contract amendment by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye presented a recommendation to enter into a professional services agreement with Cain Rash West Architects, Inc. for architectural services for the reroofing of specific areas of the Tribe Athletic Complex (TAC).  
  • To better protect the investment made in renovating the TAC, replacement of the roof (which is the original roof, built in 1980) over the gymnasium and concourse areas is recommended.  These areas have seen leaks following heavy rains due to the age and condition of the roof, requiring several repairs since the TAC was renovated. 
  • The proposed contract amount is a minimum fee of $29,232.00.  Funding will be from the Sullivan North Renovation Project account.
  • After review, the Board approved the professional services agreement by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. Frye presented 2023-24 Budget Amendment #4 for review and approval.  The amendment includes:
  • An increase in revenue due to grants and Youth Risk Behavior Survey funds.
  • An increase in the Dobyns-Bennett Dome Renovation Project.
  • After review, the Board approved Budget Amendment #4 by a vote of 5-0.
Dr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration, presented the proposed 2024-25 KCS Calendar and Designated Holiday Schedule for review and approval.
  • The proposed 2024-25 calendar is largely unchanged from the 2023-24 KCS Calendar, except for a minor adjustment of Fall Break in 2024 to align with the Dobyns-Bennett Football bye week (Oct. 7-11, 2024).
  • Components of the presented calendar include:
    • School starts the first full week of August (First student day:  Aug. 5, 2024)
    • Fall Break:  Oct. 7-11, 2024
    • Thanksgiving Break:  Nov. 27-29, 2024
    • Two full weeks off over Christmas/New Years (Dec. 23, 2024 - Jan. 3, 2025)
    • Spring Break the last full week of March (March 24-28, 2025)
    • Spring Holiday: Friday, April 18, 2025
    • Last student day: Thursday, May 22, 2025
  • After review, the Board approved the proposed calendar and holiday schedule by a vote of 5-0.
Dr. True presented four proposed policies for review and approval on first reading:
  • 1.400 - School Board Meetings (revised)
  • 6.303 - Interrogations and Searches (new)
  • 6.309 - Zero Tolerance Offenses (revised)
  • 6.4052 - Opioid Antagonist (new)
After discussion and review, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the policies on first reading.
The next session of the Board of Education will be a work session on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 6 p.m.  The work session will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
KCS has been ranked the "#1 Best Place to Teach in Tennessee" by the 2023 NICHE Best Schools Ranking and the City of Kingsport has been voted as the "Nicest Places in America" in the October 2022 Reader's Digest.
For more information visit www.k12k.com, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, or call the KCS Administrative Support Center at (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (kcsdistrict), Instagram (kcs__district), Twitter (@kcs__district), LinkedIn (kcsdistrict), and check out our YouTube Channel (@kcs__district).