The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a work session on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Several key items were discussed, including:
- A construction update regarding the Science and Technology Center addition at Dobyns-Bennett High School;
- A review of the 2016-17 State Report Card;
- A review of new and existing policies from Board Policy Manual Section 6 - Students; and
- A presentation regarding random drug testing.
Detailed Work Session Notes
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye and Mr. Stephen Trimble, Project Architect with Perkins + Will Architects, provided a status update on the Science and Technology Center addition at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
- Construction began December 22, 2017 with a 450-day timeline for completion.
- After approximately three months of construction, the majority of activity thus far has involved utility and foundational work, including removal of rock and expansive shale.
- Vertical progress on the new facility is expected to begin in the coming weeks, as shale removal continues and foundation work continues.
Mr. Michael Hubbard, Director of Performance Excellence, provided a brief overview and highlights of the 2016-2017 State Report Card. Topics of review included demographics, composite scores, graduation rates, and information related to college and career readiness.
- KCS is comprised of students from five primary ethnic groups with minority groups representing nearly 18% of all students.
- The overall TVAAS growth score for the district was a five (out of five). Individual TVAAS subject area scores for Science and Social Studies were also five out of five.
- The graduation rate for D-B was 94.8%, as compared to 89.1% for the State.
- KCS ACT Composite scores were also among the best in the state. KCS students scored a Composite 22.4 (7th in Tennessee), well above the state average of 20.1.
- The Board also had an extended discussion related to the high volume of KCS students taking advanced and AP coursework and how at several data points, this causes a result that does not accurately reflect how KCS compares to other districts (based on how other benchmark districts do not have the same volume of students taking such rigorous coursework, especially in middle school).
Board member Mr. Todd Golden and Mr. Andy True, Assistant Superintendent - Administration reviewed new and revised policies from Section 6 - Students for Board consideration at the April meeting.
- Policy 6.300 - Code of Conduct is a revised policy to comply with state law specifying that “Boards are required by state law to adopt a discipline code that prohibits students from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent manner that disrupts the learning environment during the school day.” (TCA 49-6-4216, TCA 49-6-4009, TCA 49-6-4002)
- Policy 6.319 - Alternative School Programs is a new policy which aligns with State Board of Education Policy 2.302 Alternative Education Programs.
- Policy 6.405 - Medications is a new policy to comply with state law. “Public Chapter 84 requires boards to adopt a policy on administering adrenal insufficiency medication that complies with rules created by the State Board."
D-B Principal Dr. Chris Hampton, Chief Student Services Officer Mr. Jim Nash, KCS Athletic Director Mr. Larry Shively, and Mr. True reviewed a presentation regarding the concept of random drug testing for students involved in voluntary extra-curricular activities.
- Previously, KCS has reviewed the concept of random drug testing. The purpose of tonight's presentation was to reintroduce the topic and share information related to the legal limits of random drug testing (according to Tennessee state law) and how such programs are commonly constructed.
- The key objective of such a program is to provide an opportunity for students to have a deterrent to drug use and to encourage counseling and supports for those currently using illegal substances.
- This evening's presentation covered key concepts found in other best-practice programs and outlined the types of issues to be reviewed in considering such a program.
- The Board would like to continue discussion on the topic, including gathering additional information and feedback. This may include holding a public information and input session in the coming weeks.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center(400 Clinchfield Street).