BOE Meeting Notes - September 5, 2017

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report regarding Dobyns-Bennett being named a "Best High School" in the United States by U.S. News & World Report;
  • Consideration and approval of a contract with the firm selected to conduct the search for the next KCS Superintendent of Schools;
  • Consideration and approval of a recommendation to reject a bid for upgrades to the Dobyns-Bennett track;
  • A review of the draft 2018-19 KCS School Calendar;
  • A review of the recent budget action by the Sullivan County Commission, resulting in lost revenue for KCS, Bristol City (TN) Schools, and Sullivan County Schools.
Tonight's reports and recognitions were broadcast live on the KCS Facebook Page! Click here to view the video from tonight's meeting.
Meeting Audio
Detailed Meeting Notes


The Pledge of Allegiance was led this evening by Hanna Davis and Coen Rude, students from Johnson Elementary School.  Hanna is a 4th grader and the daughter of Patty Davis.  Coen is a 1st grader and the son of Christopher and Kathy Rude.


Dobyns-Bennett High School Principal Dr. Chris Hampton presented a report regarding D-B again being named a "Best High School" by U.S. News & World Report.  The school received a silver medal designation in the rankings.

  • While including a wide variety of information about D-B's amazing level of achievement and success, Dr. Hampton's report also included a comparison of three of the major ranking publications (U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, and the Washington Post).  All three publications have ranked D-B as one of the top high schools in the country.
  • U.S. News & World Report rankings are produced in conjunction with a North Carolina-based research firm, RTI International, using a four-step process.  
  • U.S. News published information on more than 28,000 public high schools, including school-specific data on enrollment, student ethnicity, location, school type, results of state assessments, and scores for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.  
  • D-B is ranked in the top seven (7) percent of all high schools nationally at number 1,901.  
  • Approximately 816 Advanced Placement tests were administered to D-B students in 2016.  Seventy-four percent (74%) of those tests resulted in students receiving a score of three (3) or higher. 


Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal reviewed the terms of the contract with Teams, Inc. (Mr. Wayne Qualls) for work associated with conducting a search for the new Superintendent of Schools.  
  • Mr. Qualls' work will involve the identification and vetting of potential candidates for the KCS Superintendent position. 
  • The contract for Teams, Inc. will be for a flat-fee of $6,000 plus expenses.
  • Following review and discussion, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the contract.
Chief Finance Office Mr. David Frye recommended that a bid for upgrades to the Dobyns-Bennett High School track facility be rejected this evening.
  • The bid opening was held on August 16, 2017, with one bid being submitted.  
  • The single bid came in substantially higher than the estimated costs of $750,000.  Hellas Construction's bid to complete the track renovations was $1,030,001.
  • Following review and discussion, the Board voted to reject the bid for upgrades to the D-B track by a vote of 4-0 due to the fact that only one bid was received for the project and the bid amount was significantly higher than the project estimate.
    • Moving forward, a review is ongoing by KCS and D-B staff to explore how the scope of the project may be reduced without significantly affecting the project in a negative way.  This revised project will then be rebid, with the goal of having improved lighting and bleachers in place before the spring track season.  It is likely that track resurfacing would not occur prior to the 2018 track season.


Assistant Superintendent - Administration Andy True presented a draft 2018-19 KCS School Calendar for review and discussion.
  • The draft calendar was reviewed in report form this evening, with formal consideration and potential approval to take place at the October Board meeting.
  • As currently proposed, major details of the draft calendar include:
    • First day of school for students:  Monday, August 6, 2018
    • Fall Break:  October 15-19, 2018
    • Winter Break:  December 24, 2018 - January 4, 2019 (Teacher in-service on Monday, January 7, 2019)
      • First student day back after Winter Break:  Tuesday, January 8, 2019
    • Spring Break:  March 25-29, 2019
    • Spring Holiday:  Friday, April 19, 2019
    • Last student day of school year:  Thursday, May 23, 2019
    • D-B Graduation:  Saturday, May 25, 2019
  • A draft 2018-19 Employee Designated Holiday schedule was also presented for initial review.
    • The Designated Holiday schedule will also be considered for approval at the October Board meeting.
Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal presented a report on the budget passed by the Sullivan County Commission on Thursday, August 31, 2017.  The passed budget resulted in a decrease of over $1.7 million in revenue for Kingsport City Schools starting this school year.
  • The County Commission's budget moved 5.5 cents from the educational fund tax rate, resulting in a projected revenue loss of $644,882 to KCS.
  • The County Commission also, for the first time, elected to not share renovation tax revenue funding proportionally, based on student distribution, with each school system in Sullivan County (KCS, Bristol City Schools, and Sullivan County).  This change resulted in a revenue loss of over $1.1 million to KCS.
  • KCS administrators and staff will now begin the process of identifying potential adjustments to current and next year's budgets, knowing that revenue shortages this year that could be covered by Fund Balance monies must be planned for in next year's budget.
  • Mr. Frye will present a financial update to the Board at an upcoming work session.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a Work Session on Tuesday, September 19, 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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