BOE Called Meeting and Work Session Notes - March 21, 2017

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a called meeting and work session on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • Consideration of an agreement regarding a principal's leave of absence in 2017-18 to participate in a national leadership role;
  • Consideration of an intent-to-apply for a teacher incentive grant;
  • Consideration of an agreement for architectural services for the Regional Science and Technology Center;
  • A report on the Special Education Visioning Process;
  • An update on the status of the FY 2017-2018 budget.
Called Meeting and Work Session Audio
Called Meeting Notes
Assistant Superintendent - Administration Mr. Andy True presented an agreement between Kingsport City Schools and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) requesting leave approval for Robinson Middle School Principal Mr. Brian Partin to serve as NAESP President during the 2017-18 school year.
  • NAESP will provide reimbursement to KCS for Mr. Partin's salary during this time.
  • Mr. Partin will be able to continue to provide service to KCS during the school year when he is not traveling on NAESP business.
  • An interim principal will be selected to assume leadership at Robinson Middle School for the 2017-18 school year.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the agreement granting Mr. Partin a one-year leave of absence to fulfill his duties as president of the NAESP.
Dr. Amy Doran, Coordinator of Earlychildhood/Grant Writer, and Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, requested permission to apply for the Teacher and School Leader Incentive (TSL6) grant.  
  • Funding for this grant focuses on performance-based compensation and supports for educators to drive increased student outcomes through improved teacher effectiveness.
  • Funds from this grant may be used to improve pay structures, reward effective teachers and principals, and provide greater professional opportunities to educators in high poverty schools.
  • After review and consideration, the Board granted approval to apply for the TSL6 grant by a vote of 5-0. 
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed an agreement with Perkins + Will for architectural services for the Regional Science and Technology Center (RSTC), which is expected to start construction in the fall of 2017.  This agreement is for services provided for following phases:  Construction document, bid, construction administration, and project close-out.
  • Programming, schematic design, and design-development phases for the RSTC are now complete.
  • It is recommended that the Board approve the agreement in the amount of $650,100 for architectural services, the next phase in the construction of the RSTC at Dobyns-Bennett HS.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the agreement for funding of architectural services for the final phases of the RSTC project.
Detailed Work Session Notes
Mrs. Jacki Wolfe, Director of Special Education, provided an update on the Special Education (SPED) Visioning Process which began in late October 2016.
  • A team from across the district began work on the development of the SPED vision in late 2016.  This team includes administrators, teachers (both general and special education), and a school psychologist.  Through regular collaboration, these individuals have worked to create a vision for specialized programming and support.
  • The team has conducted research through data review and site visits to determine best practices.  
    • The data review included, but was not limited to, graduation rates, gap closures, achievement/TVAAS data, and teacher-student ratios.
    • Site visits included Putnam County, TN; Oldham County, KY; Fairfax County, VA; Lancaster County, PA; and classes within KCS.
  • In addition, team members also researched successful/new programs and attended field-related conferences.
  • Discovered best practices included (but were not limited to) college fairs for students with disabilities, diagnostic kindergartens, job-training services embedded in schools, tiered intervention, adapted curriculum, improved assessment programs, transition plans, assistance with Medicaid billing, and improved professional learning.
  • The KCS path forward includes:
    • Intensifying focus on SPED Pre-K and strengthen foundational programs to lead to greater growth for all students;
    • Decreasing the staff:student ratio for students with disabilities;
    • Streamlining processes and procedures to ensure continuity and consistency in services, support, instruction, and transition;
    • Providing professional learning for all staff to ensure successful and individualized support services;
    • Establishing a more defined and broad-scope continuum of services;
    • Establishing procedures for successful and consistent transition to the next grade level, learning environment, and/or exit from high school;
    • Establishing a method for determining school staffing needs relative to providing specialized programming and support.
Mr. David Frye provided an update on the proposed FY 2017-2018 budget. 
  • KCS is expected to received $600,000 in growth funds from the State.
  • The proposed State budget for next fiscal year includes $100 million for salary improvements, $22 million for the EL component of the BEP, and $60 million for inflation and growth.  Based on the FY 2016 distribution of BEP funds, KCS should receive approximately $1,150,000 in new BEP funds.
  • KCS is also expected to receive additional funds from Sullivan County property and sales taxes based on increased ADA percentages.
  • Expenditures for the FY 2017-18 budget are expected to include items such as step increases and salary scale cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and classified staff, new teaching and staff positions, increases in funding for insurance premiums, increases in curriculum and instruction resources, upgraded wireless infrastructure, and planned operating expenses.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6 p.m.  The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
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