BOE Meeting Notes - December 1, 2016

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, December 1, 2016. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A performance by the TJ Singers from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School;
  • A report on Canvas, a learning management system being implemented in KCS;
  • Recognition of the D-B student who recently won the TSSAA individual Cross Country State championship;
  • A proposed budget amendment;
  • Consideration of both new and revised Board policies;
  • A report on the KCS Professional Learning visioning process;
  • A report on the work of the KCS Instructional Design Specialists;
  • A review of the proposed 2017-18 budget timeline and process.
Tonight's reports and recognitions were broadcast live on the KCS Facebook Page! Click here to view this video from tonight's meeting.
Regular Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led tonight by Ashley Derosia, a senior at D-B EXCEL.  Ashley is the daughter of Matt and Patricia Derosia.


Mrs. Debbie Johnson, music teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, and members of the TJ Singers, a choral group comprised of 5th grade students, shared information about various aspects of the music program at Jefferson.  The TJ Singers also performed two songs and their favorite cheer for the Board and meeting attendees.


Mrs. Laurie Norris, KCS e-Learning Coordinator, provided a report on Canvas, a learning management system which is being implemented in KCS.  
  • Canvas allows teachers to simplify teaching and learning by connecting digital tools into one user-friendly platform.
  • Canvas is a web-based platform which provides choices for teachers on content delivery.  Those choices include the method of delivery, design of materials, and assessment.
  • The system supports capacity building through teacher empowerment.
  • Canvas is being implemented in grades 4-12 and was selected over other learning management system options for several reasons including, but not limited to:
    • Communication and integration with PowerSchool.
    • 24/7 live support and embedded digital support tools.
    • Multi-modal student feedback opportunities.
    • Allowing for differentiation of content to reach all learners.


Board President Mr. Eric Hyche and Dobyns-Bennett Girls Cross Country Coach Bob Bingham recognized Sasha Neglia, a D-B freshman, for winning the 2016 TSSAA Class AAA, Division 1, State Girls Cross Country Championship.  
  • Sasha earned this top award on November 5, 2016 by completing the 5K run in 17:32:17.  
Also recognized were Sophia Neglia, a D-B senior named to the 2016 All-State Girls' Cross Country Team, and the entire team for placing 2nd overall in the State Championship meet.


Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed Budget Amendment #3 for Board consideration.  
  • This amendment provides recommendations pertaining to a Tennessee SCORE grant and IDEA Special Education funds.
  • KCS has received supplemental funding from Tennessee SCORE in the amount of $30,265.  This money is to be used to support the K-2 literacy initiative.  
  • Item 1 of the budget amendment proposed increasing the Other Local Revenue line item by $30,265 and increasing the appropriation for Curriculum and Instruction by the same amount.
  • IDEA Special Education funds are applied for annually at the end of each school year, with notification each Fall specifying the amount of funding that will be received.  An expected $50,000 of funding was included in the FY 2016-17 budget, but only $40,074.93 was received. 
  • Item 2 of the budget amendment proposed decreasing the estimated revenue for Special Education High Cost funds by $9,925 and that appropriations for Special Education Instructional Supplies and Special Education Travel be decreased by $5,000 and $4,925, respectively.
  • Following review and consideration, the Board voted to approve Budget Amendment #3 by a vote of 3-0.
Assistant Superintendent - Administration Mr. Andy True reviewed three proposed policy revisions and one new policy for Board consideration on First Reading.
  • Policy 3.202 Emergency Preparedness Plan was updated to address the new requirement to conduct a CPR and AED drill in schools that have an AED.  A drill must be conducted annually so employees and students are aware of steps to be taken in event of an emergency.
  • Policy 3.500 Food Service Management was revised to incorporate meal charging provisions to comply with new information released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The policy also includes a provision for meal modifications.
  • Policy 4.700 Assessment Programs was updated to assist districts in complying with State Board of Education rules regarding the methodology used and the required weighting for incorporating student scores on EOC examinations into final report card grades.
  • Policy 2.601 Fundraising Activities is a new policy, re-titled and renumbered from 6.701 Student Solicitations/Fundraising Activities and now placed in the Financial Management section.  Provisions have been added regarding online fundraising.  
  • Following review and consideration, the Board voted to approve the three revised policies and one new policy by a vote of 3-0. The new policy will be placed on the agenda for second reading at the next Board meeting. 


Dr. Stephanie Potter, Director of Professional Learning, reported on the Professional Learning visioning process, its results, and plans for the future.
  • A visioning committee comprised of teachers, administrators, and cabinet members has worked to develop a vision for Professional Learning for the district.  This vision is based on the KCS Guiding Tenets and supported by research.
  • When polled, KCS teachers desired more time for collaboration and planning, personalized and content-specific opportunities for professional development, and more in-depth initiatives.
  • Specifically, teachers responded that they need more collaborative planning opportunities, peer observation and feedback, and training in technology.
  • The path forward for improved professional learning within the district includes developing leadership action teams to drive planning and implementation with the goal of providing just-in-time professional learning to all employees.
Instructional Design Specialists Mrs. Amanda Cole (middle school) and Mrs. Sarah Kitzmiller (elementary school) reported on the work of the new Instructional Design Specialists and their roles within schools.
  • The InDeS have worked with consultant Mike Murphy on issues such as defining the role of an InDeS, building relationships with teachers regarding instruction, using tools for non-evaluative observations, coaching styles, and feedback.
  • In elementary and middle schools, approximately 75% of the InDeS time has been spent in providing resources, instructional coaching and curriculum coaching and working with PLCs.  The remainder of their time has been spent in coaching regarding usage of data, serving as a mentor, facilitating learning, and working to help teachers overcome challenges.
  • At the high school level, slightly more than 75% of their time has been spent in observation and providing feedback, assisting in problem-solving, and sharing new learning.  The remainder of their time has been spent in developing resources and co-planning.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed the FY 2017-18 budget timeline and process.
  • The proposed timeline includes:
    • Distribution of budget materials to principals and administrators on December 5, 2016;
    • Deadline for submitting budget materials by January 9, 2017;
    • Planned work by the Budget Review Committee to hear presentations from January 16 - January 27, 2017;
    • Compilation of the budget during February and March, 2017;
    • Review of the budget with Kingsport's City Manager on April 7, 2017;
    • Presentation to the Board on April 18; approval by the Board on May 2, 2017;
    • Presentation to the Board of Mayor and Alderman on May 9, 2017.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.  The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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