BOE Meeting Notes - October 3, 2017

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report on the grant-funded Read to Be Ready camp held in June, 2017;
  • Introduction of new KCS employees;
  • Recognition of current and former Sevier students for receiving international and national journalism awards;
  • Recognition of eight D-B seniors for being named Commended Students in the 63rd Annual 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program; 
  • Recognition of five D-B seniors for being named Semi-Finalists in the 63rd Annual 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program;
  • Consideration and approval of a budget amendment related to funding for the Regional Science and Technology Center;
  • Consideration and approval of a construction bid for the Regional Science and Technology Center;
  • Consideration and approval of an amendment to the professional services agreement related to a bid for track upgrades at D-B;
  • Consideration and approval of the KCS School Calendar for 2018-19 and the 12-month Designated Holiday Calendar;
  • Consideration and approval of three revised policies related to open records requests, school system goals, and student wellness;
  • Presentation of the 4th Quarter Financial Report for FY 2016-17; and
  • Presentation of the FY 2016-2017 Audit Report.
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 Lincoln Elementary 3rd graders Tristan Holmes, Adeline Lyttle, Maliyah Mathes, and Jackson Riner.  Tristan is the son of Chris and Noelle Ball.  Adeline is the daughter of Stephen and Amanda Lyttle.  Maliyah is the daughter of Robert Mathes and Jessica Neale.  Jackson is the son of Billy and Elaine Riner.


Dr. Amy Doran, Coordinator of Early Childhood/Grant Writer, provided a report on the June 2017 Read to Be Ready Camp.  This camp, funded by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Education, was held at Lincoln Elementary and designed to improve reading levels and engagement of students from Title schools.

  • Two directors and 15 teachers worked with 60 students, a 1:5 ratio.
  • Reading activities, field trips, and Family Fridays were all part of this 100% literacy-rich camp.


Mrs. Jennifer Guthrie, Chief Human Resources Officer, introduced the newest KCS employees to the Board.  The 159 employees hired since October 4, 2016 (the previous new employee recognition) were recognized this evening.  All of these employees were invited to a reception held in their honor immediately prior to this evening's Board meeting.

Board member Mrs. Carrie Upshaw recognized current and former students from Sevier Middle School for winning international and national journalism awards for their work as members of The Sequoyah Scribe school newspaper.

  • Two students, Kristin Thorneloe and Fathima Shaikh, won first place in the annual Youth Journalism International contest for the multimedia sports article, "Little Known Swim Team Unites Sevier and Robinson Middle."
  • Scribe staffers captured three of the nine awards, including two sweepstakes winners in the "Quill and Scroll" Honor Society's annual competition.  Madison Britt was a sweepstakes winner in Feature Writing for "Former Sevier Middle Assistant Principal went to war." Grace Lyles was a sweepstakes winner in Opinion Writing for "Genders are Still Not Equal in Athletics."  Maddilyn Rimer was a national winner in Photography for "A True Kindness."
  • Eighteen awards were captured in the annual Journalism Education Association contest. Receiving superior ratings, the highest honor, were Molly Turner (Front Page Layout Design), Micah Maynard (News-Feature Writing), Brianna Galloway (Other Writing - Column), and Isabella Wilkinson (Sports Writing).  Receiving excellent ratings were Molly Turner (News-Feature Writing), Harrison Barnes (News-Feature Writing), Rylee Elliott (News-Feature Writing), Patrick Galloway (Other Writing - Editorial), and Conner Hall (Sports Writing).
Board member Mr. Todd Golden recognized eight D-B seniors recently named Commended Students in the 63rd Annual 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor top high school students in the U.S.
  • These eight students are among 34,000 in the nation recognized for exceptional academic promise.  
  • Commended students will not advance to the next level of competition for National Merit Scholarship Awards, but they placed in the top three percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMST) in 2017.
  • Honored as Commended Students from Dobyns-Bennett were:
    • Emily Addlestone, daughter of Steven and Claire Addlestone;
    • Karli Ailshie, daughter of Lyle and Vanessa Ailshie;
    • Joseph Fry, son of Jake and Nancy Fry;
    • Lydia Helton, daughter of David and JoElla Helton;
    • Josh McCreight, son of Kevin and Denise McCreight;
    • Mason McDougal, son of Christopher and Kelly McDougal;
    • Kendall Miller, daughter of David and Kellie Miller; and
    • Lauren Williams, daughter of Vernon and Shari Williams.
Board Vice President Dr. Karen Reed-Wright recognized five D-B seniors recently named semi-finalists for the 63rd Annual 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.  These students will compete with other top students from across the nation for some of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $32 million that will be awarded in the Spring of 2018.
  • Students achieving the semi-finalist ranking represent less than one percent of all seniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT.
  • About 90% of semi-finalists are expected to advance to the Finalist standing and more than half of those will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
  • Merit Scholar designees are selected without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
  • These five D-B students are among 16,000 who qualified as semi-finalists:  
    • Ashley Batts, daughter of David and Michele Batts;
    • John Lewis Corker, son of Cliff and Alice Corker;
    • Nathan Silvey, son of Danny and Cindy Silvey;
    • Kate Tolleson, daughter of John and Ginette Tolleson; and
    • Rithvik Vutukuri, son of Suresh Vutukuri and Sunita Gunda.


Mr. David Frye, Chief Finance Officer, reviewed Budget Amendment #1 with the Board for consideration.  This amendment pertains to funding for the Regional Science and Technology Center (RSTC) addition at D-B.
  • Bids for this new addition were received in August and all bids came in slightly above the estimated project cost.
  • Project architects from Perkins+Will and KCS staff have been working with the low bidder to identify potential savings that will not impact the scope of the project (value engineering).
  • Potential savings of over $1.3 million have been identified.
  • It is recommended that an additional $1,175,000 be appropriated for the RSTC from the Future School Capital Projects fund.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve this amendment and shift $1,175,000 from the Future School Capital Projects fund to help fund the building of the Regional Science and Technology Center.
Mr. Frye reviewed construction bids for the Regional Science and Technology Center.  The low bid was received from Burwil Construction Company, Inc.
  • Architects from Perkins+Will and KCS staff have worked with the contractor to identify cost savings, bringing the final contract amount to $19,812,354.  Total project costs are expected to be $23,173,108.
  • The construction bid also includes upgrade of PA system, renovation to the existing school lobby, and additional sitework/paving.
  • Mr. Frye recommended the Board accept the bid from Burwil Construction as the approved contractor for the RSTC.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to accept the bid from Burwil Construction in the amount of $19,812,354 with total project costs of $23,173,108.
Mr. Frye reviewed an amendment to the Mattern & Craig Professional Services Agreement for Civil Engineering and Construction Administration Services for the D-B track upgrades.
  • This amends the 5/17/17 signed agreement to include the proposed scope of additional services from Mattern & Craig related to the preparation of new construction bid documents, revisions to Exhibits 1 & 2, rebidding the project, and three meetings during the bid process. 
  • The amendment increases the cost of the agreement by $4,630 to cover additional supplemental engineering and administrative services.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the amendment to this Professional Services Agreement.
Mr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration, reviewed the proposed 2018-19 KCS School Calendar for Board consideration.  He also reviewed the proposed 2018-19 Designated Holiday Schedule for 12-month employees.  These calendars were initially reviewed at the September 5, 2017 Board meeting.
  • The school calendar includes a start date of July 30, 2018 for teachers and August 6, 2018 for students.  
  • Fall break is slated for the week of October 15-19, 2018 and Spring Break is March 25-29, 2019.
  • The Fall semester is scheduled to end with an abbreviated day on Friday, December 21, 2018 and students will return to school for Spring semester on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
  • May 23, 2019 (an abbreviated day) is the last day of the school year with graduation scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2019
  • Following review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the 2018-19 KCS School Calendar as proposed.
The Designated Holiday Schedule includes ten holidays for those employees working 12 months per year.  Those holidays include three days at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Mr. True reviewed three revised policies for Board consideration.
  • Policy 1.407 - School District Records has been revised to define a "record" and in response to Public Chapter 233, which expands the ways in which citizens may submit open records requests and allows LEAs to deny requests based on the citizen's failure to comply with the policy.  Records may now be requested by phone, fax, U.S. mail, email and via electronic portal, if the district maintains a portal for this purpose.
  • Policy 1.700 - School System Grades has been updated to reflect the current KCS Mission and Vision, as found in the district's Guiding Tenets.
  • Policy 6.411 - Student Wellness has been revised to better align with the final rule from the United States Department of Agriculture regarding student wellness programs.
  • Following review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve all three revised policies on First and Final Reading.
  • All other policies covered in Section 1 Board Operations of the KCS Policy Manual were approved with no changes as part of the meeting's Consent Agenda. 


Mr. David Frye reviewed the fourth quarter financial update with the Board for FY 2016-17.
  • Net operating results from FY 2017 resulted in a surplus of $679,038, bringing the General Purpose School Fund Unreserved Fund Balance to $5,498,566.  This is 7.2% of the FY 2018 operating budget.
  • Received BEP funds were in line with estimates.
  • Revenue from current year property taxes, sales taxes, and other county revenues all exceeded estimates.  
  • The Early Childhood tuition-based program ended with a deficit and adjustments have been made to curtail this deficit for FY 2018.  In addition, program changes to further reduce the deficit are also being considered.
Mr. Frye also presented the 2016-2017 Audit Report for School Activity Funds.
  •  All School Activity Funds are in good financial condition and all have received an unqualified opinion.
  • The audit report contained some findings (none material), which have been reviewed individually with all affected bookkeepers and principals.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a Work Session on Tuesday, October 24, 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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