The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
- A review of the status of the KCS Consolidated Application for Federal Programs for the 2017-18 school year;
- Consideration of a software platform purchase critical in the support of higher levels of College and Career Readiness;
- Consideration of a purchase agreement for teacher laptop devices;
- Consideration of a purchase agreement for student Chromebooks;
- Consideration of a policy revision related to student assessment programs;
- Approval of the KCS differentiated pay plan for 2017-2018.
CALL TO ORDER
The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Adams Elementary School students Caroline and Jackson Congello. Caroline is a rising 2nd grader and Jackson is a rising 6th grader who will attend Robinson Middle School. They are the children of Oberdan and Lillian Congello.
Dr. Jacki Wolfe, Director of Special Education, and Dr. Lamar Smith, Supervisor of Federal Programs, reviewed the status of the Consolidated Application for Federal Programs for the 2017-18 school year.
- The proposed budget reflects a decrease in the ability to fully cover required special education programming with federal funding, resulting in an increase of local money being necessary to covered required services.
- Due to a variety of factors, the KCS special education population continues to increase, resulting in multiple additional required positions and services. Pre-K programs have seen a particularly significant increase, caused in large part to the growing opioid epidemic in our region.
- It is anticipated that federal Title I, Title II, and Title III funding will see significant decreases for the 2017-18 school year.
- After a lengthy discussion regarding KCS special education services, populations, and the inability of federal funds to cover required necessary services, the Board approved the application by a vote of 4-0.
Dr. Brian Cinnamon, Chief Academic Officer - Secondary, and Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed proposals for purchasing a critical college and career readiness software platform, designed to assist students in achieving post-secondary goals and to provide school staff with data in the support of student outcomes.
- Two vendors submitted proposals for this software, with administration recommending the purchase of Naviance.
- The Naviance platform offers customizable solutions including, but not limited to, curriculum, test preparation, transcript and document exchange, and course planning.
- Because of its customization options and benefit to students, Naviance has been determined to be the solution that best aligns with the KCS K-12 college and career readiness focus and efforts.
- The total cost for the Naviance software is $185,567, spread over a five-year period. The agreement to approve this purchase includes a five-year payment period.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approve the purchase of Hobson's Naviance Software Platform by a vote of 4-0.
Mr. Frye and Mr. Scott Pierce, Director of Technology, reviewed quotes to purchase approximately 157 Dell Latitude E5570 laptop devices with docking stations for teachers, utilizing previously budgeted funds from FY 2016-17.
- As a part of the KCS technology vision, the desire is to initiate a more systematic approach and plan for teacher technology device replacement.
- Three quotes were obtained for purchasing teacher devices this year:
- A bid from FireFly Computers was the low bid submitted, with laptops quoted at a cost of $899 each with an additional $129 per docking station.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of 157 teacher laptops and docking stations from FireFly Computers for a total cost of $161,396, using budgeted 2016-17 FY funds.
Mr. Frye and Mr. Pierce reviewed quotes to purchase approximately 1,300 Chromebooks for students in 4th and 9th grade, utilizing budgeted 2016-17 funds.
- The device purchase is this year's portion of the regular systematic replacement cycle.
- Three quotes were obtained for the purchase of student devices:
- FireFly Computers was the low bid submitted, with Acer N7 Chromebooks quoted at a cost of $233.99 each, including the computer, Chrome license, service fees, and carrying case.
- The purchase will utilize the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance pricing with FireFly Computers as the partner vendor.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of 1,300 student Chromebooks from FireFly Computers for a total cost of $304,187.
Mr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration, reviewed proposed changes to Policy 4.700 - Assessment Programs, which align the policy with newly enacted State law related to the weighting of TCAP scores in students' final grades.
- The considered policy change reflects new State requirements regarding weighting of TCAP scores in final grade calculations for grades three through eight (3-8) for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond (Law sets the weighting at 15% for the 2017-18 school year). State law provides Boards the option to set the weighting between 15%-25% beginning in 2018-2019.
- At the May BOE meeting, the Board (on first reading) considered placing the weighting at 25%, while requesting additional feedback from KCS school administrators.
- After discussion this evening, the Board proposed setting the weighting of TCAP testing in final grade calculation for grades 3-8 at 15% beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 3-1 to approve changes to Policy 4.700 Assessment Programs on second and final reading, setting the weighting of TCAP scores at a 15% level beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.
Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, reviewed the proposed 2017-18 KCS differentiated play plan for Board consideration.
- The district utilizes a single-lane salary schedule that uses evaluation criteria to determine forward movement in step increases to teacher base pay.
- Other elements of the pay plan include compensation for advanced degree completion and provision for one employee to complete a Masters of Administration program through the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's new Leadership Academy.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approve the 2017-18 KCS differentiated pay plan by a vote of 4-0.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, July 6, 2017 at 6 p.m. 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.