The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a called meeting and work session on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
- Consideration of revisions to Board Policy 4.700;
- Consideration of a change in how state assessments are to be used in calculating final grades for the 2016-17 school year;
- Consideration of several School Nutrition Services contracts;
- Consideration of a bid for a water cooling tower at Johnson Elementary;
- Consideration of a professional services agreement for track upgrades at Dobyns-Bennett;
- A report and demonstration by the Dobyns-Bennett robotics team; and
- Reports from several KCS student services programs.
Called Meeting and Work Session Audio
Mr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration, reviewed changes to Policy 4.700 Assessment Programs for Board consideration. These revisions will align the policy with current state law regarding weighting of state assessment scores in final grade calculations for students.
- Current KCS policy states that Grades 3-8 TNReady scores are to count for 15% of a student's final grade calculation in mathematics, reading/language arts, science, and social studies. However, changes to law during the recent Tennessee legislative session state that TNReady test scores count 10% of a student's final grade for the current school year, 15% for 2017-18 and 15-25% for 2018-19 (determined by local BOE decision).
- Wording has also been added to the policy to define the methodology utilized in determining weighting. KCS will use the cube-root methodology for calculating quick score percentages.
- After review and consideration, the revisions to Policy 4.700 were approved on first reading by a vote of 4-0.
- At the June Board meeting, the Board will consider (on second reading) a final determination of the 2018-19 state assessment weighting to final grades in grades 3-8.
Tonight's revision to policy 4.700 brings KCS Board policy into long-tern alignment with current state law. However, both policy 4.700 and state law also state that should state test scores not be received by school districts within five days of the end of the school year, school boards and superintendents have the ability to decide whether or not to utilize state assessment scores in final grade calculations.
As KCS has not received state assessment quick scores within the five day deadline, the KCS BOE addressed this consideration in its next business item.
Mr. Michael Hubbard, Director of Performance Excellence, and Dr. Carmen Bryant, Assistant Superintendent - Instruction, requested Board approval to exclude EOC scores and TNReady scores from calculations of student final grades for 2016-17. This request is due to KCS not receiving student EOC and TNReady assessment scores at least five instructional days prior to the last day of school, as allowed in state law and KCS Board Policy 4.700.
- If approved, student final course grades will be calculated by averaging nine-week grades.
- Following review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the request to exclude EOC and TNReady scores from final grade calculations for the 2017 spring semester.
Mrs. Jennifer Walker, Supervisor of School Nutrition Services, reviewed a contract with Tyson Prepared Foods for Board consideration. This contract, up for renewal, is a commodity chicken agreement for school year 2017-18.
- It is recommended to change the spending threshold from $65,000 to $85,000 due to increasing student enrollment and school lunch participation.
- Following review and consideration, the Board voted to renew the contract with Tyson Prepared Foods for commodity chicken by a vote of 4-0.
Mrs. Walker also reviewed seven vendor agreements recommended for renewal for the 2017-18 school year. These agreements are for chicken, beef, chemicals, ice cream, Dippin' Dots, bread, and produce.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approval contract renewals with these seven vendors by a vote of 4-0.
Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed recommendations for replacing the cooling tower at Johnson Elementary School.
- The recommended bid is from HVAC, Inc. in the total amount of $130,455, including construction costs, architect fees, and a 6% contingency.
- Funding for the project, which is projected to take 65 days to complete, is from the current Capital Improvement Plan.
- After review and consideration, the Board approved the bid recommendation by a vote of 4-0.
Mr. Frye reviewed a Professional Services Agreement with Mattern & Craig regarding track upgrades at Dobyns-Bennett for Board consideration.
- The agreement covers civil engineering services and construction administration services and is for an amount not to exceed $16,980, which includes all labor, expenses, and subcontracts.
- Proposed upgrades to the track and field facility include resurfacing the existing track, updating the field layout, upgrading lighting, and installing fencing and bleachers.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the agreement with Mattern & Craig.
Detailed Work Session Notes
Mr. Cody Davenport, Robotics Team Assistant Coach, along with several members of the D-B Cyber Tribe FIRST Robotics Team, reported on this year's robotics results and accomplishments.
- After seven weeks and completion of all district and regional competitions, D-B's team is ranked #55 in Offensive power rating out of 3,331 teams competing worldwide.
- The team had strong performances at two competitions this season, demonstrating excellence in both robot design and execution.
- The team also provided a robotics demonstration as part of their presentation.
Updates on five different student services programs were given to the Board.
- Mrs. Kerri Sensabaugh, Coordinator of After School Programs, shared information regarding LEAPS and summer programming. LEAPS is in its third year of operation in conjunction with the Greater Kingsport YMCA, providing academic support, nutrition, recreation, and family engagement. It serves approximately 200 students in grades K-8 at Jackson, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Robinson, and Sevier.
- Mrs. Michele Wilder, Coordinator of the Homeless Education Program, provided updates on the program which has served over 312 students and 48 additional siblings this school year.
- Ms. Misty Keller, Coordinator of Coordinating School Health, updated the Board on the scope of health services provided this year. Areas of focus included physical activity and dynamic classrooms, professional learning, and installation and use of water bottle refill stations.
- Mr. Matthew Smith, Coordinator of Attendance, reviewed a variety of attendance objectives, procedures, and goals to minimize student absenteeism. Due to efforts and focus on attendance, referrals decreased by over 8% during the 2016-17 school year.
- Mr. Jim Nash, Chief Student Services Officer, provided an update on the variety of services provided by the Family Resource Center this year. Community partnerships and donations throughout the year met needs related to food, clothing, shoes, hygiene items, school supplies, and holiday food boxes.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, June 20, 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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