BOE Meeting Notes - December 5, 2017

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report on the KCS Student Resilience Team, which focuses on increasing student capacity in recovering from difficulties;
  • Recognition of a Dobyns-Bennett freshman for the design of the artwork selected for the 2017 KCS Christmas card;
  • Recognition of the D-B Competition Band for their outstanding competition season, concluding with a 6th place finish in the Bands of America Grand National Championships;
  • Consideration and approval of a School Nutrition Services bid for dairy products;
  • Consideration and approval of Budget Amendment #2, regarding funding for D-B track upgrades;
  • Consideration and approval of an agreement for a new VOIP phone system;
  • A report on the budget process and timeline; and
  • A review of Board Policy updates and revisions.
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 Jackson Elementary students Shameiah Brown and Adamari Diaz.  Shameiah is a 3rd grader and the niece of Linda McMillian.  Adamari is in Kindergarten and the daughter of David Diaz and Nora Rangel.  


Mrs. Julie Malone, Director of Alternative Learning, provided a report on the Kingsport City Schools Student Resilience Team.  This team is made up of representatives from KCS schools and the Administrative Support Center.  The goal of the team is to develop practices to support students in building increased resiliency. 

  • Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.  Lack of resiliency is reflected in low attendance rates, student apathy, low graduation rates, high unemployment rates, high drug usage, behavioral issues, and high crime rates.
  • Resiliency can be improved through effective use of mentoring relationships, social emotional curriculum integration, counseling, positive relationships at school, teaching effective techniques for dealing with difficulties, positive reinforcement, restorative practices, improved relationships with parents and caregivers, and volunteerism.
  • Social emotional learning includes instruction in self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness.
  • Team members have received training in cutting edge restorative practices and participated in book studies to build their knowledge base.  This knowledge is being used to establish positive climates and supports for students to increase resiliency. 
  • Mrs. Malone shared information from a video that explores student resiliency and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).  Click here to view the ACEs video.


Dr. Dwain Arnold, Interim Superintendent of Schools, recognized Erin Colhoun, a freshman at Dobyns-Bennett High School, for designing the artwork selected for the 2017 KCS Christmas card. Erin, the daughter of Frederick and Lenore Colhoun, is a student in Mrs. Juanita Mitchell's drawing class at D-B.
  • The card was sent to elected officials (state and local), select community members, members of local Boards, and other administrative personnel.
  • Dr. Arnold presented Erin with a framed copy of her artwork, which served as the cover of the 2017 KCS Christmas card.  She was also given printed copies of the card as a keepsake.
Board member Mr. Todd Golden recognized the D-B Competitive Marching Band, which recently completed its competition season by placing 6th out of the top 100 bands at the 2017 Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN.
  • The D-B band placed higher in the finals than any other band in Class AAA at Grand Nationals, the most competitive high school marching band event in the nation.
  • D-B is only the second Tennessee band to ever make the finals at this prestigious competition and the only Tennessee band to achieve this level of success twice.  The 6th place finish in the nation is the highest in school history.
  • D-B finished first among all Tennessee bands competing in the 2017 Grand Nationals.
  • Director of Bands Mr. Lafe Cook is assisted by Associate Director of Bands Mr. Ryan Gilbert and Assistant Director of Bands Mr. Turner Hawkins.


Mrs. Jennifer Walker, Supervisor of School Nutrition Services, presented a bid from Prairie Farms Dairy to provide a continuous supply of dairy items to KCS School Nutrition Services beginning January 8, 2018.
  • Two bids were submitted, with the Prairie Farms bid coming in more than $11,000 less than the competitor's bid.
  • It was recommended to accept the Prairie Farms Dairy bid in the amount of $250,000.  Expenditures to Prairie Farms Dairy will be fully funded by the School Nutrition Services Budget, which receives federal reimbursements and revenue generated by sales (meal and a la carte) and catering. 
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to accept the bid from Prairie Farms Dairy in the amount of $250,000 to provide a continuous supply of dairy products for KCS.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye presented Budget Amendment #2 for Board consideration.  This amendment pertains to funding for upgrades to the track at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
  • Funding in the amount of $700,000 was approved by the Board in May 2017.  Only one bid was submitted at that time, which was was significantly higher than expected, so the bid was rejected.
  • A change in project scope has been made with plans to open bids on January 4, 2018.  The current revised estimate for the total project is now $925,000 which includes cost of construction, architect fees, and miscellaneous costs.
  • With current approved funding at $700,000, an additional $225,000 is to be identified to transfer to this project.  Bond funds from 2014 and 2016 are available to cover this cost.
  • It was recommended to use all of the 2014 bond funds ($89,445) and a portion of the 2016 bond funds ($135,555) to provide the funding to complete track upgrades. 
    • This recommendation would leave $335,239 in 2016 bond funds that will be used with additional 2017 funds for a roof replacement at Johnson Elementary.
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to approve Budget Amendment #2 and transfer $89,445 in 2014 bond funds and $135,555 in 2016 bond funds to the Dobyns-Bennett track project.
Mr. David Frye and Mr. Scott Pierce, Director of Technology, presented a contract to replace the KCS phone system with an Education Networks of America (ENA) VOIP Voice Services system.
  • The system currently in use needs to be improved due to increased failure rate, difficulty in locating replacement equipment, and a need to upgrade services and functionality.
  • Current annual expense for the phone system is $124,000.
  • Contracting with ENA for a fully-hosted Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone system will provide significant upgrades from the existing KCS phone system.  This service is available through an Opt-In Agreement which Metro Nashville Public Schools has with ENA.
  • Because it's fully hosted, there will be no equipment to purchase, maintain or upgrade (such as back-end infrastructure), with the exception of new phones. 
  • Annually, this new system will cost $123,000 and the cost of new phones will be a one-time expenditure of approximately $108,000.
  • It was recommended to enter into the Opt-In Agreement to Metro Nashville Public Schools for ENA Voice Services and to authorize purchase of phones and related services in the amount of $108,407 plus a 6% contingency of $6,504.  Funding for monthly charges is already included in the operating budget for phone services.  Funding for equipment is already included in the technology capital outlay budget. 
  • After review and consideration, the Board voted 5-0 to enter into a new agreement for a VOIP phone system as recommended, including the purchase of phones in the amount of $108,407 with an established contingency of $6,504.


Mr. David Frye reviewed the upcoming budget timeline and process for FY 2018-19. 
  • Budget materials are expected to be distributed to principals and administrators by Friday, December 8 with a planned return to Mr. Frye by Monday, January 8, 2018. 
  • Budget presentations to the Budget Review Committee are scheduled for January 15 - January 26, with budget recommendations being made by March 2018.
  • The City Manager and Board of Education will be presented the budget in April, with the BOE slated to vote for budget approval on May 1, 2018. 
Board Member Mr. Todd Golden and Assistant Superintendent - Administration Mr. Andy True reviewed two new policies and revisions to one existing policy for Board discussion.  They also presented a slate of policies from Sections 3 and 4 of the KCS Policy Manual to be updated with no revisions.
  • Policy 4.210 - Credit Recovery is a new policy to specify grading calculations for credit recovery courses.
  • Policy 4.211 - Work-Based Learning Program is a new policy to comply with state law regarding work-based learning experiences.
  • Policy 4.301 - Interscholastic Athletics is a revised policy to comply with state law regarding allowable excused absences due to religious holidays/days of worship or official school holidays.
  • The Board will consider potential action on the policy recommendations at the January 9, 2018 Board meeting. 


At the conclusion of the meeting, Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal read the following statement by way of updating the public regarding the search for a new Superintendent of Schools for KCS:

Our Board of Education is actively working on identifying the next superintendent for Kingsport City Schools, in consultation with Mr. Wayne Qualls from Teams Inc.  We originally targeted January 1 for a new superintendent to be in place.  The second choice was to have someone on the job by July 1. We are learning that the beginning date for the new person will be based on who is chosen and his or her current contract. 

Kingsport City Schools is in a good position to not be under pressure to make a hasty decision.  This is due to the capable leadership of Interim Superintendent Dr. Dwain Arnold.  Thank you, Dr. Arnold!

This Board will continue to do our due diligence in locating and determining the best person for the job.  Board members are independently engaged in this process and all evaluation results are communicated to Mr. Qualls.  He is keeping a tally as various candidates are considered.  After we make a final decision on that person by voting at a future School Board meeting, we will work through the details of when our new superintendent will step into the leadership position at Kingsport City Schools. 

We are looking forward to that day!

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 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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