KNOX COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
February 6, 2019
The Knox County Board of Education met in Work Session on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building at 400 Main Street, Knoxville, Tennessee. The meeting could be viewed in its entirety on the video located on the Knox County Board of Education website at knoxschools.org. All supporting documents were posted with the work session agenda and the February 13, 2019 regular session agenda on the website.
Evetty Satterfield, District 1
Jennifer Owen, District 2
Tony Norman, District 3
Virginia Babb, District 4
Susan Horn, District 5
Terry Hill, District 6
Patti Lou Bounds, District 7
Mike McMillan, District 8
Kristi Kristy, District 9
Hannah Selph, Student Representative
Chair Hill presiding
A Moment of Silence was observed followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Ms. Owen.
Knox County Deputy Law Director Gary Dupler noted the Board had met in Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. just prior to this meeting. He explained that Executive Session meetings were the only exception to the Open Meetings Act. These meetings were closed to the public and allowed Board Members to meet with Law Department representatives regarding pending litigation.
Chair Hill noted that additional information had been shared with Board Members and attached to the electronic February 13 regular session agenda for items 5C1, 5C4, 9E, and 9F.
Changes to the Agenda
No changes to the agenda were requested.
Approval of the Agenda
On motion made by
9 - 0 Passed
School Closures Due to Illness
Knox County Schools was closed due to illness on February 7 and 8. Each school facility was cleaned and disinfected to prevent the further spread of illness. Athletic and other school events were rescheduled at the principals' discretion. Central office employees and principals reported to work on regular schedule on both days.
Bearden and Farragut Dance Teams
The Bearden and Farragut High School Dance Teams had recently competed in the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando Florida. The Bearden High School Dance Team won the Medium Varsity Pom and Large Varsity Game Day Divisions and the Farragut High School Dance Team won the Small Varsity Jazz Division.
Knox County Schools would host an annual Career Day event on Tuesday, February 12 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Knoxville Expo Center in partnership with Pellissippi State Community College and Partners in Education.
Teachers of the Year Banquet
Knox County Schools annual Teachers of the Year celebration would be held on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center.
Knox County Schools annual Recruitment Fair was scheduled for Saturday, March 2 at Central High School from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Both certified and classified job positions would be highlighted and on-site interviews would be offered for certified high-needs areas.
Community Health Council Update - Council Chair Ellen Zavisca
Community Health Council (CHC) Member Ellen Zavisca of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization introduced Council Chair Mitchell Olszewski. Mr. Olszewski shared information regarding the CHC's four priorities including mental health, opioid abuse, tobacco use and access to safe parks, greenways, and sidewalks. He stated that the CHC was established in 2013 to advise elected and appointed officials in matters of health and had drafted and implemented the Community Health Improvement Plan under the initiative called Together Healthy Knox.
With a final report of the Community Health Improvement Plan activity to be shared in June 2019, Mr. Olszewski noted that the CHC had partnered with existing organizations to include their areas of expertise. He stated that the CHC did not currently have a specific ask, but just wanted to create awareness of their progress. He thanked Knox County Schools staff for sharing important data and stated that the CHC was ready to work with schools as needed.
Discussion of February 13, 2019 Board of Education Regular Session Agenda
Knox County Deputy Law Director Gary Dupler noted that he was working with the school principal on the documentation being considered on item 5C8 and if not finalized prior to the February 13 meeting date, this item may need to be withdrawn.
Mr. Norman asked for detail on disciplinary action for a student who was caught vaping. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jon Rysewyk stated it was the same action taken for student's found to be using tobacco. L&N STEM Academy Principal Becky Ashe clarified that if it was a first offense, a student could be suspended for 2-4 days. Ms. Ashe stated that it was very hard to catch students who were vaping at school, since the devices looked much like a USB drive. Student Support Services Executive Director Melissa Drinnon said there was currently a huge national push around public service announcements and combating this issue through education.
Ms. Horn requested further information regarding item 7A. Dr. Rysewyk explained that the agreement offered for Board consideration was to fulfill the requirement for external evaluator services regarding the programming being funded through the U.S. Department of Education Innovation and Research Grant approved by the Board in November 2018.
Mr. Norman noted that funding from a Verizon grant for Bearden Middle School being considered as item 7E was being used for the purchase of an iPad cart. He asked if this would be replacing an existing cart or a new piece of equipment for the school. It was noted that it would be a new piece of equipment. Further discussion included technology inventory and maintenance.
There was no discussion regarding contracts being considered.
Regular Agenda Items
Several Board Members voiced that they had not had time to review the draft Strategic Plan documents they had received earlier in the day as described in item 9F. Discussion included a proposed Board mission statement, plan objectives and metrics. Ms. Hill encouraged Board Members to spend time reviewing the documents and reminded them that it was a fluid document that could be amended at any time.
Lance McCold of Knox County, Tennessee addressed the Board regarding concerns with the proposed strategic plan.
Board Chair Hill expressed her appreciation to Mr. McCold for his comments. She noted that she had a list of recommendations regarding the strategic plan provided by his coalition made up of 7-8 community groups and stated that she knew it was an ordeal for the coalition to create the recommendations. Ms. Hill said with one exception, every recommendation on the list was mentioned in the proposed strategic plan and even though it may not be as specific as the coalition desired, every point was mentioned and included. She felt it was important to have this statement on the record since the Board and staff had been diligent to include all of the information needed in this concise and fluid document. Ms. Hill stated with full confidence that the Board had certainly not ignored the coalition's recommendations.
In response to the Community Health Council Update, Ms. Owen noted that State Representative Rick Staples had offered a resolution to recognize teen suicide as a health crisis in Tennessee and the resolution was currently being reviewed by the Health/Substance Abuse Subcommittee.
Ms. Bounds congratulated the Powell Middle School boys basketball team as they had recently won the district and would be moving on to the regional competition.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:57 p.m.
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