BOE Meeting Notes - May 1, 2018

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A report on the Leader in Me program at Johnson Elementary;
  • Recognition of Dobyns-Bennett's Student Council for achieving Four Star Council status;
  • Recognition of the D-B EXCEL M.A.T.E. team for winning first place at a regional underwater robotics competition;
  • Consideration of the weighting of TCAP scores as part of students' Spring Semester grades;
  • Consideration and approval of an energy savings contract for LED lighting and solar panels;
  • Consideration and approval of a budget amendment;
  • Consideration and approval of the FY 2018-2019 budget; and
  • A 3rd quarter financial report for FY 2017-18.
 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 D-B EXCEL student Gavin Bentley. Gavin is a highly-engaged 10th grade student at DBE and is the son of Phillip and Amy Bentley.  
At the start of tonight's meeting, BOE President Mrs. Susan Lodal recommended that the agenda item on Random Drug Testing be postponed so that further discussion could take place at the BOE Retreat on June 9, 2018.  The agenda was approved with this recommendation.


Johnson Elementary School Counselor Mrs. Colleen Weems and student leaders Grant Ausband, Justin Kerkoff, Zara Laughlin, Addie Miller, and Sybil Jane Miller provided a presentation on the Leader in Me program at Johnson. 
  • Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model empowers students with the leadership and life skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. 
  • The Leader in Me program helps students learn skills such as self-reliance, initiative, self-control, and effective communication.
  • At Johnson, every student has a classroom leadership role and students also have school-wide leadership roles.


Board president Mrs. Susan Lodal recognized the Dobyns-Bennett High School Student Council for receiving the Four Star Council Award during the 2018 Annual Tennessee Association of Student Councils (TASC) State Convention.  The convention was hosted by Bearden High School in Knoxville on April 6-8, 2018.
  • In order to receive the Four Star Council Award, student councils must meet a lengthy list of criteria including:
    • Plan and lead at least one recreation activity,
    • Plan and lead at least two education-based projects,
    • Plan and lead at least two "attitude" projects that promote morale and a cooperative spirit within the school,
    • Plan and lead at least one project that raises money for council expenses,
    • Plan and lead at least two projects that are community service-related, and
    • Plan and lead at least one new project. 
  • The purpose of the TASC is to promote student councils in the State of Tennessee.  TASC offers leadership training and provides a platform for student leaders and their adult mentors to share ideas as they work to motivate and inspire each other to make a positive difference in their schools and communities.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche recognized members of the D-B EXCEL Marine Advanced Technology Education (M.A.T.E.) Underwater Robotics Team for winning first place in the Tennessee Regional Underwater Robotics Competition held on April 28, 2018 at the Kingsport Aquatics Center.  DBE Science teacher, Ms. Antonia Adinolfi, is coach of the M.A.T.E. team.
  • Team members playing an active role in building the ROV, documentation, project development, and competition include Gavin Bentley (10th grade), Braden Debruin (9th grade), Quintin Folkner (10th grade), and Ashlee Wall (9th grade). 
  • Other members of the team include Makayla Arnold (11th Grade), Logan Bolton (9th Grade), Makenzie Bolton (12th Grade), Scotty Chadwell (11th Grade), Brie Hall (9th Grade), Garrett Lawson (11th Grade), Shelby Rose (10th Grade), Mirranda Thomas (11th Grade), Richard Vautrin-Hickam (11th Grade), and Grace Worley (9th Grade).
  • With the victory this weekend, the team will next attempt to qualify for the MATE International Competition in Seattle, Washington on June 21-23, 2018.


Director of Performance Excellence Mr. Michael Hubbard provided information about BOE Policy 4.700 - Assessment Programs, which specifies the percent of TCAP raw scores to be used in calculating students' final grades.
  • KCS utilized paper testing this year in grades 3-5.  Online testing was utilized for grades 6-12, which is still continuing this week.
  • Like other districts across Tennessee, KCS has experienced multiple issues with online testing throughout the testing window.  These issues are not unique to KCS or caused by any problems at the local level. 
    • In light of these issues, the Board reviewed guidance on whether or not to include TCAP raw scores in final grade calculations for the Spring semester of 2018.  
After review and consideration, the Board voted 3-1 to not utilize student score data in the calculation of KCS student grades for the 2018 Spring semester.  Exception:  A parent may request use of the scores for his/her specific student if it would benefit the student in the calculation of the grade.  
*Editorial note:  Based on the conversation during this issue, the single "no" vote was not interpreted as desiring to count scores in student grades...  Rather, that the scores should not be used at all, removing the included exception.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye, Supervisor of Maintenance and Custodial Services Mr. Bill Shedden, and Mr. Mike Norris, Senior Account Executive with Ameresco, requested Board approval on a contract with Ameresco regarding the installation of LED lighting and solar panels, resulting in guaranteed savings on KCS utility costs.
  • Under the agreement, Ameresco would:
    • Conduct an energy audit on multiple Kingsport City Schools and City of Kingsport sites as stipulated;
    • Prepare and submit a proposal outlining scope of project, implementation costs, and proposed savings.
  • The agreement includes project development and an equipment installation phases.
After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the agreement between KCS and Ameresco.
Mr. Frye reviewed Budget Amendment #4 for Board consideration.  This amendment addresses student ticket subsidy grants, miscellaneous fund transfers within two school accounts, as well as the Federal Projects Fund and the School Special Projects Fund.
  • Five elementary schools have received grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission for student ticket subsidies totaling $6,218.
  • Sevier Middle School requested to transfer $481 from its Non-Instructional Equipment account to Instructional Supplies.
  • Jefferson Elementary School requested to transfer $440 from the Library Periodical account to their Library AV account.  In addition, they requested to transfer $1,000 from Staff Development and $765 from Principal Travel to their Non-Instructional Equipment account for the purchase of radios.
  • KCS has received multiple grants totaling $219,155, making the revised estimate $4,162,349 for the Federal Projects fund.
  • Actual grant amounts awarded for the School Special Projects fund resulted in a decrease of net funding in the amount of $14,608.
After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve Budget Amendment #4.
Mr. Frye presented the proposed FY 2018-19 budget for Board consideration.
  • The 2018-19 budget development has been especially challenging due the action of the Sullivan County Commission in the Fall of 2017 that resulted in reduced funding of approximately $1.8 million for Kingsport City Schools.  As a result, over $1 million in budget cuts were required for KCS to develop a balanced budget for 2018-19.
    • Additionally, in order to maintain the "maintenance of effort" funding required by the state, the County Commission's action forces the City of Kingsport to increase funding to KCS by approximately $644,000 for 2018-19.
  • The proposed budget has been developed through the work of both district and school-level administrative personnel.
  • In cutting $1 million from the budget, every attempt was made to focused on items and programs as far from the classroom and for-credit courses as possible.
  • Major items that are in the proposed 2018-19 Budget include:
    • Step increases for employees.
    • Shifting related arts staff at Roosevelt from part-time to full-time.
    • Custodial support to service the D-B Science and Technology Center when the facility is completed.
    • SPED assistants required by increased student population.
  • Major items not included in the proposed Budget or items that were a part of the proposed $1 million in cuts made to balance the budget include:
    • No cost of living increase for employees in 2018-19.
    • No Step increase for ASC administrators' salaries for 2018-19.
    • Raising tuition for out-of-district students by $100 per year.
    • Reduced funding for capital improvements.
    • Relocation of an ASC administrative assistant to the school-level. 
    • Elimination of costs related to the Chinese program.
    • Elimination of the Drivers Ed program at D-B.
    • Note - The reduction in programs or positions will result in employee transfers to comparable positions currently open in the district and will not result in the termination of any employees.
*For the full review of items in and out of the 2018-19 Budget, please see the report below.
After review and consideration, the Board approved the FY 2018-19 budget by a vote of 4-0 with the following amendments to the original proposal:
  • Raising the tuition increase for out-of-district students to $200 per year instead of the originally proposed $100.
  • Eliminating the originally proposed salary freeze/no step increase for ASC administrators. 
Mr. Frye provided the 3rd quarter financial report for FY 2018.  Overall, expenditures are 68% of the budget which is in line for this time of year.  Key highlights from the 3rd quarter include:
  • The BEP allocation is expected to result in a net increase of $96,000 over the original estimate.
  • Funding from county property taxes is estimated to be less than projected, resulting in the need to transfer from the Unreserved Fund Balance to help offset the shortage.
  • It is expected that up to $2,000,000 will need to be transferred from the Unreserved Fund Balance to cover shortfalls in the FY 2018 budget, which resulted from the Sullivan County Commission's decision in August 2017 to reduce funding to Kingsport City Schools and Bristol City Schools.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be a Work Session on Tuesday, May 15, 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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