Date: 11/21/2005
November 21, 2005


The Knox County Board of Education met in work session at 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 21, 2005, First Floor Board Room, Andrew Johnson Building 912. S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN. The following members were present:

Dr. Daniel P. Murphy, Chairman
Diane Dozier, Vice Chairman
Sam Anderson
Indya Kincannon
Cindy Buttry
Karen Carson
Chuck James
Jim Williams
Robert Bratton

Chairman Murphy presiding

1. There were no additions to the Agenda

2. Lucy Spurgeon director of the Knox County Schools/PTA Teacher Supply Depot gave a report on the Depot activities. The Teacher Supply Depot opened in January 2001 and has provided over $1 million worth of classroom materials free to Knox County Teachers.

The Depot will be open again on January 21 from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. She invited members of the Board to attend.

3. Betty Sue Sparks and Dr. Barry Goss presented the Distinguished Professionals Education Institute (DPEI) program. On October 21, 2005 the Tennessee State Board of Education approved the “Distinguished Professionals in Schools: Adjunct Licensure” program. On November 1, 2005 DPEI was chartered as a nonprofit Tennessee Corporation.

DPEI partners with educational organization across the State to address their unmet critical course needs with Distinguished Professional who hold teaching licenses for those specific critical courses and to address the growing need for course matter experts with expertise in math, science, foreign languages, and other areas of current shortage.

DPEI’s initial funding will be a $25,000 grant from Pro2Serve, $15,000 grant from Public School Forum of East Tennessee and cost of courses from local school systems. Once the institute is operating the cost of the actual courses will be born by the school systems.

DPEI candidates must have a Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree with 24 semester hours in the teaching field or a related field, 10 years of work experience in the field to be taught, and 50 contact hours of pre-service preparation.

The program is not designed for individuals who desire to teach on a full-time base. The DPEI’s are highly qualified professional who would teach courses, course by course. The individuals would go through the same screening as other Knox County School employees.

The current critical needs in Knox County Schools are math, foreign language, chemistry and physics.

For a proposed pilot program the cost includes pre-service preparation, substitute teachers and compensation for Distinguished Professionals. Contracts will be presented for Board approval in December and the first courses taught by Distinguished Professionals in January 2006.

The salary was figured based on the average salary of a teacher with a Master’s degree with ten years experience and their benefits divided by six for a total of approximately $7,500.00 per course.

Knox County Schools human resource department would make the request for a DPEI.

Mr. Anderson requested that a list of critical needs courses be provided to the Board for their approval.

Chairman Murphy said following approval of the Board the Superintendent should bring every semester a report of what positions have been filled, at what school and what levels.

4. Cheryl Kershaw executive director of the county’s Great Schools Partnership presented a report on the Teacher Advance Program (TAP). An information packet was provided.

TAP is a California-based Teacher Advancement Program, which seeks to boost student achievement by boosting teacher quality and pay. The four elements of TAP is 1) multiple career paths, ongoing applied professional growth, instructionally focused accountability and performance bases compensation. Master teachers or lead teachers are selected from their own schools. The lead teachers provide support for teachers in their school.

The suggestion was to pilot the program in two or three elementary schools. Performance pay is figured by how many teachers are in a school and $2,000 would be put in per teacher per year and would be divvied up as performance pay based on how many mentors and lead teachers. The estimated cost is $400 per student. In Knox County the cost could be $10 million to $21 million a year if it were in place at every school.

Some school systems are reallocating Title I and Title II and other professional development funds. The TAP Foundation will help school system write grants for funding. Congress is considering providing some states with funding. The school system would need to provide local funds. Some systems blend foundation funds and system funds.

Mr. Bratton requested Superintendent Lindsey meet with individual Board members to discuss TAP and schools to consider for a pilot program.

The majority of the school staff would have to buy into the program. If a teacher(s) in a school did not want to participate they could transfer to another school.

Betty Crawford with Knox County Education Association said the recommendation is 75% of the school staff approves participation. If a teacher did not want to participate in the program they will be allowed to transfer out and teachers that really want to work in the TAP program can transfer into the school.

The suggestion is to proceed slowly with the TAP program implementation. Site visits are planned for early January.

5. Sidney Brown, Tennessee Concrete Association Regional Director provided a brochure and explained the benefits of using pervious concrete. He offered to assist the school system if they were interested or had questions regarding pervious concrete.

6. Board Forum

Ms. Carson reported attending the Community Relations workshop at TSBA convention in Nashville. She would like to pursue some of the suggestions. Metro Nashville has started a customer service center and every call automatically goes to the customer service center. She suggested the Superintendent look into the program.

Ms. Carson said more parent involvement was needed in all that the school system does and the Great School Partnership (GSP) does not have but one parent on the implementation teams. She suggested the GSP consider adding parents to the implementation teams.

Mrs. Carson requested that a construction area be added to the school system web site so that parents can know the status of construction and have a mechanism for feed back.

Mrs. Carson said it was time to have a community meeting to deal with the new high school. She suggested parents should be on the construction committee. Parents want to provide input. It will show that the system wants communication with parents. That applied to naming the new high school. You can’t name a high school until the community has an opportunity to provide input.

A year ago Bearden High School students presented the Board information on banning smoking at all schools. This request was referred to the law department. She would like to provide follow-up to the students.

Chairman Murphy suggested Mr. Owings confer with Marti McCampbell to follow-up on the Bearden student’s proposal.

Mr. Anderson said the City of Knoxville has implemented a 311 system similar to the Nashville system and it is a marvelous program. The program is not as expensive as staff time.

Superintendent Lindsey said he would pursue the suggestion with staff.

Ms. Buttry said Board members should have the opportunity to serve on implementation teams.

Ms. Buttry said the naming of the new high school is something the Board needs to decide. It is not known what communities are going to be involved. It is the Board’s direction to make a decision on the name.

Chairman Murphy stated Board Policy FDC says, “A senior high school shall be named according to the area which the building is located.”

Ms. Buttry said it should be Hardin Valley High School. Mr. James agreed.

Chairman Murphy said board members are required to participate in various TSBA training and work toward levels 1 through 5. He recognized Diane Dozier who has earned Level 5. Sam Anderson has previously earned Level 5.

Chairman Murphy said the Board would participate in an executive session with the law director at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 5, 2005.

Chairman Murphy asked the Superintendent to prepare a schedule for when the capital budget and general-purpose budget will be addressed.

Chairman Murphy said at the fall retreat the Board set goals to increase parental/community involvement, increase schools academic rigor, and explore alternative methods of recruiting teachers to Knox County Schools. He encouraged using the mid-month work session to discuss these items. One item will be on the agenda for every mid-month session. Academic rigor is the first to be scheduled for December mid-month.

With no other items before the Board for discussion the meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

December 7, 2005

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