The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:
- A report on elementary school "Club Time;"
- A report on coding education at KCS elementary and middle schools;
- Recognition of the retiring Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey for his tenure in the Tennessee Legislature;
- A financial presentation from the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau supporting athletics programs at Dobyns-Bennett High School;
- Recognition of KCS educator Theresa Feliu for receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching;
- Recognition of a D-B student for receiving an award from the Tennessee School Boards Association;
- Recognition of D-B students named in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program;
- Consideration of a bid for food service equipment for D-B EXCEL;
- Consideration of a budget amendment to fund the Design Development phase for the Regional Science and Technology Center;
- Review and approval of the 2017-18 KCS School Calendar;
- Review and consideration of three new KCS Board policies.
CALL TO ORDER
The Pledge of Allegiance was led tonight by Jackson Elementary School students Chrishyra Bunche and Braxton Walker. Chrishyra is a 5th grader and the daughter of Christopher and Ashlei Bunche. Braxton, the son of Brandon and Chelsea Walker, is in Kindergarten.
STUDENT FOCUS REPORT
Mrs. Christy Free, principal of Adams Elementary School, and Mrs. Heather Wolf, principal of Washington Elementary School, presented a report about Elementary Club Time, a co-curricular period serving students of Washington and Adams elementary schools.
The purpose of "Club Time" is to:
- Enhance the overall development of students.
- Strengthen self-confidence and provide a greater sense of belonging.
- Help students develop and recognize specialized skills that hone their talents.
- Increase achievement, while motivating and engaging students.
PARENT INTEREST REPORT
Mrs. Krystal McReynolds, Lincoln Elementary School librarian, and Mr. Grant Smith, K-12 Classroom Projects Facilitator with Emerald Data Systems, provided a review of the coding instruction currently taking place in KCS elementary and middle schools during the 2016-17 school year. Students Juan and Tony Camacho assisted in the presentation. Juan is a 5th grader Tony is in 3rd grade at Lincoln Elementary School.
- Mr. Smith is teaching coding to teachers and students in grades K-8. The grant covers the costs of Mr. Smith's services while he is embedded in KCS for this school year.
- "Coding" is a term used to describe the tools and skills related to computer science programming.
- Coding requires students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators.
- Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States, and jobs related to the coding field are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.
- Studies show that girls who take AP Computer Science in high school are ten times more likely to major in a computer-related field in college.
Board President Mr. Eric Hyche recognized retiring Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey for his service and dedication to the citizens of Sullivan County and the State of Tennessee.
- Since 1992, Lt. Governor Ramsey has served seven terms in the Tennessee General Assembly as a member of the House of Representatives and the Tennessee Senate.
- Lt. Governor Ramsey was presented with a framed resolution, signed by Mr. Hyche and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lyle Ailshie, which recognizes the Lt. Governor as an "educational trustee" in Kingsport.
- The Lt. Governor was also presented with a framed piece of student artwork to thank him for his service to the students of Kingsport City Schools.
- Dobyns-Bennett Senior Braeden Christian, a student in Juanita Mitchell's Advanced Drawing class, created a pen and ink rendering to be given to Ramsey on this occasion.
- Braeden was also recognized by the Board this evening for his efforts and talents in creating a one-of-a-kind artwork piece for Lt. Governor Ramsey.
On behalf of the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau (KCVB), Executive Director Mr. Jud Teague and Associate Executive Director Mr. Frank Lett presented a check for $24,000 to the Dobyns-Bennett High School athletic program, including the baseball, girls basketball, and wrestling programs.
- These funds were for assistance provided by these programs in helping the KCVB operate and manage several athletic events in Kingsport throughout 2016.
- Since 1989, the KCVB has donated more than $1,000,000 to local schools through its profit sharing efforts.
Board Member Mr. Todd Golden recognized KCS Instructional Design Specialist Mrs. Theresa Feliu for recently receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
- Mrs. Feliu is among 213 math and science teachers nationwide who were formally recognized by President Obama and the National Science Foundation for this award.
- This award recognizes outstanding K-12 science and math teachers. Winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the State level.
- Nomination years alternate between teachers in grades K-6 and those in grades 7-12.
- Winners of this award receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.
- In addition, winners attended an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 8, 2016. They also participated in professional development opportunities, listened to guest speakers, and toured the White House.
- Mrs. Feliu holds a B.S. in elementary education from Illinois State University and a Master's degree in counseling from East Tennessee State University.
- She is the third KCS employee to receive this prestigious award since its inception in 1983.
Board member Mrs. Susan Lodal recognized Dobyns-Bennett High School senior Isaac Ick, son of Kurt and Tonya Ick, for being named the 2016 Northeast District winner of the Student Recognition Award from the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA).
- Each of the nine State districts honors one student who has achieved distinction in the areas of academics, community leadership, and engagement.
- In early November, one of these nine honored students will be named the statewide winner of this award which will be presented at the TSBA Annual Convention in Nashville. The State winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
- Isaac is president of the Beta Club Service Honor Society, was the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society representative for his junior class, and is a member of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Panel.
- He is an active volunteer with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, "Tractors for Tita" movement, and S.H.O.U.T.! (Students Helping Others Understand Tomorrow). He is also active with the Future Business Leaders of America at both the local and State level.
Dr. Karen Reed-Wright, Board member, recognized four Dobyns-Bennett seniors who have been named Commended Students in the 62nd Annual 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program, which is designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States.
- These students place among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
- Commended Students include:
- Jamie Bass, daughter of Tim and Christi Bass.
- Jordan Guest, daughter of Chet and Jennifer Guest.
- Isaac Ick, son of Kurt and Tonya Ick.
- Rachel Summers, daughter of Becky Summers.
Board member Mrs. Carrie Upshaw recognized four D-B seniors who have been named semi-finalists in the 62nd Annual 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
- These four students will compete with top high school students from around the nation for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth a total of approximately $33 million that will be offered in the Spring of 2017.
- The national pool of semi-finalists represents less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors who enter the competition. Approximately 16,000 students qualified nationwide as semi-finalists.
- Merit scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential success in rigorous college studies.
- Semi-finalists advance to the level of Finalist by fulfilling several requirements. About 90% of semi-finalists are expected to attain standing as a finalist, with more than half of all finalists expected to be named a National Merit Scholar and awarded a National Merit Scholarship.
- Semi-Finalist Students include:
- Kendall Bonner, daughter of Richard and Tracy Bonner.
- Joelle Jarjoura, daughter of Chad Jarjoura and Amy Khoury.
- Samatha Maness, daughter of Michael and Karen Maness.
- Jon Chandler Woods, son of Jon and Melissa Woods.
Mrs. Jennifer Walker, Supervisor of School Nutrition Services, reviewed bids for food service equipment needed for the new D-B EXCEL facility.
- Fifteen equipment items were included in the bid.
- Three vendors submitted bids on various pieces of equipment with KaTom Restaurant Supply providing the lowest bid for all items at a total cost of $57,423.04.
- Funding for these items will come from the School Nutrition Services budget.
- After review and consideration, the Board approved the bid awarding the contract for D-B EXCEL's new food service equipment to KaTom Restaurant Supply by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed Budget Amendment #2 for Board consideration.
- This amendment is to fund the Design Development phase of the architectural work for the Regional Science and Technology Center project.
- The proposed amendment transfer $100,000 from the funds slated for Summer 2017 improvements to the parking lot at Indian Highland Park to cover this phase. The parking lot project would remain in the construction plan for the summer of 2017.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approved Budget Amendment #2 by a vote of 5-0.
Assistant Superintendent - Administration Mr. Andy True reviewed drafts and feedback related to the 2017-18 KCS School Calendar.
- An initial draft of the 2017-18 Calendar was reviewed at the September meeting, with additional information requested by the Board related to positioning the 2018 Spring Break concurrent to a D-B Band & Orchestra performance trip to New York City during March 2018, minimizing lost instructional time for such a large segment of the KCS student population.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approve the 2017-18 school calendar by a vote of 5-0.
Mr. True also reviewed three new policies for the Board to consider on First Reading.
- Policy 3.205 - School Safety Plan, addresses a State requirement that school boards adopt a comprehensive policy addressing a district-wide school safety plan for crisis intervention, emergency response, and emergency management.
- Policy 5.403 - Alcohol and Drug Use, addresses a State requirement that employees engaged in safety-sensitive positions be tested for drugs/alcohol; i.e, when student transportation is provided by a district.
- Policy 5.3021 - Bereavement Leave, establishes parameters for leave related to the death of an employee's family member.
- Employees would be able to utilize three days of bereavement leave per year without having to take sick leave for such absences.
- After discussion and review, the Board approved all three policies on First Reading by a vote of 5-0.
- All three policies will require approval on second reading at the November business meeting.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a Work Session on a date to be determined. The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
Read and follow our blog, "We Are KCS" to learn more about the great people and programs of Kingsport City Schools. Check it out at www.WeAreKCS.com.