BOE Work Session Notes - May 15, 2018

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a work session on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Several key items were discussed, including:
  • A presentation by the Dobyns-Bennett High School Cyber Tribe FIRST Robotics Team;
  • A performance by the Jackson Elementary School Dance Club;
  • A report on the KCS micro-credential pilot;
  • Recognition of educators who have received Google certifications;
  • A report on KCS Student Services programs;
  • Review of several potential Board Policy revisions; and
  • A report from the NSBA Annual Conference.
Work Session Audio
Detailed Work Session Notes
Dobyns-Bennett High School Project Lead the Way Engineering teacher and robotics team coach Mrs. Angela Conrad, Social Studies teacher and robotics team assistant coach Mr. Cody Davenport, and several members of the Cyber Tribe FIRST Robotics Team provided a report on this year's robotics results and accomplishments.
  • At the Palmetto Regional tournament in Myrtle Beach, SC, the team qualified 10th out of 64 teams and captained the 6th ranked playoff alliance, the first time D-B has served as captain in the playoff round.
  • At the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland, OH, the team qualified as 14th out of 60 teams and competed as the 1st pick of the 7th ranked playoff alliance.
  • After all regional and district qualifying competitions, the Cyber Tribe finished in the top 20 percent of all teams, ranking 722nd out of 3,659 teams in Offensive Power Rating.  Within Tennessee, the Cyber Tribe ranked 4th out of 34 teams in Offensive Power Rating.
Members of the Jackson Elementary School Dance Club performed dance routines that they have learned this year.  The club sponsor is Jackson's Reading Interventionist, Mrs. Teresa Haywood.
  • The dance club is one of the Leader in Me leadership clubs at the school.
  • Club members are girls in grades 3-5 with an interest in dance.
Robinson Middle School Language Arts Teacher Dr. Rachel Heaton and Director of Professional Learning Dr. Stephanie Potter presented a report regarding the KCS Micro-Credential Pilot, now in its second year. 
  • Micro-credentials are one way in which teachers can demonstrate professional competencies and provide evidence of outcomes from professional learning.
  • This pilot program has been conducted by the State of Tennessee to gather feedback and explore avenues for providing more personalized learning for educators across the State.
  • Within KCS, 26 teachers participated in the pilot, with 26 micro-credentials granted.
Instructional Design Specialist Mrs. Alyson Dowda recognized KCS educators who have shown enthusiasm for using Google tools in the classroom and have been engaged in the certification process to gain proficiency and demonstrate expertise.
  • Level 1 educators are those who have learned the fundamentals of using Google tools in the classroom.
  • Level 2 educators are those who are "super users" and enthusiasts of Google tools.
  • KCS teachers achieving Educator Level 1 are from Dobyns-Bennett, including:
    • Wayne Buchanan, World Language
    • Katie Beth Byerley Boggan, English
    • Alyson Dowda, Instructional Design Specialist
    • Jana Engle, World Language
    • Jason Jones, Library Media Specialist
    • Cindy McGuire, Social Studies
    • Natalie Pickett, Science, and 
    • Wayne Saul, Science.
Chief Student Services Officer Mr. Jim Nash reported on several student services programs for the 2017-18 school year.  Those programs include Attendance/Truancy, Coordinated School Health, Homeless Education Program, Nursing, and the Family Resource Center.
  • Attendance referrals have dramatically dropped since 2013-14, going from 847 referrals that year to only 591 so far this year.  Average daily attendance for the 2017-18 school year is 94.2 perecent. 
  • More than 2,500 health screenings have occurred in KCS this year for blood pressure, body mass index, hearing, and vision, with referrals made to health care providers when appropriate.  KCS received more than $150,000 in grants, donations, and in-kind funding this year for health-related items from various agencies and partners.  The Tennessee Department of Education recognized KCS as one of only ten districts in the state whose BMI rates have trended downward for the past three years.
  • KCS has identified and served 323 students and their siblings through the homeless education program during 2017-18.  Services provided have included school supplies, meals, after-school/summer programs, food assistance, transportation, zoning/tuition exceptions, assistance with immunization records, and clothing.
  • The goal of the nursing program is to keep students healthy and in class.  Of the 61,280 clinic visits from August 2017 - April 2018, 55,219 of those resulted in students returning to class, an 89% return to class rate.    
  • The Family Resource Center is a KCS organization which provides additional assistance for KCS families in need.  This has been done directly and through referrals to other community agencies/resources.
Board member Mr. Todd Golden and Assistant Superintendent - Administration Mr. Andy True reviewed proposed changes to five existing policies.  Proposed revisions are based on changes to state policies and one KCS Board request.  Policies will be voted on at the June 5 Board meeting.
  • Policy 4.603 Promotion and Retention - Suggested revisions reflect changes made to the State policy which now places a greater emphasis on promotion. 
  • Policy 6.413 Prevention and Treatment of Sports Related Concussions - Suggested revision expands the definition of a health care provider to include a Physician's Assistant (P.A.).
  • Policy 6.601 Student Records Annual Notification of Rights - Suggested revision eliminates wording referring to post-secondary education status.
  • Policy 6.700 Student Activities - Suggested revision, made at the request of the Board, includes verbiage to mirror Policy 4.301 which expands exemptions for attendance at school activities.
  • Policy 6.709 Student Fees and Fines - Suggested revision eliminates wording allowing for voluntary student work in exchange for elimination of incurred debt.
Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal reported on the National School Boards Association Annual Conference which was held on April 7-9, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Sessions included Googlicious (tips for using Google search more effectively, Google apps and trends), Rock & Wrap It Up and Food Recovery programs, Youth in Governance, Student Voice, Megatrends in Education, and STEM in the real world.
  • KCS has participated in the Rock & Wrap It Up program since 2014.  There are currently "sharing tables" in each of the schools and unsold food from Dobyns-Bennett High School's cafeteria is donated to community feeding programs.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 6 p.m.  The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).
Read and follow our blog, "We Are KCS" to learn more about the great people and programs of Kingsport City Schools.  Check it out at