KINGSPORT — The Kingsport City Schools Budget Committee kicked off its budget hearings for the 2008-2009 fiscal year Friday by hearing requests from elementary schools, community relations and comprehensive school improvement.
One common theme that came up throughout the requests was the need for help with the growing amount of technology in schools. Increasing numbers of Smart Boards and computer technology means the need for more support. In light of this, several schools requested positions for technology assistants, who could possibly be shared between schools.
“It would be wonderful if we had somebody (a technology assistant) to split between two schools,” said Johnson Elementary principal Lenore Kilgore. “Currently, we have someone who is an instructional assistant. We have pulled that person for just doing troubleshooting. … Sometimes our teachers won’t use technology or they’ll shy away from it when something happens and they can’t get any help. … But technology means everything. I really want them to (have) all the available resources that we could be using.”
Washington Elementary principal Cookie Greer said many of her teachers are very tech savvy, but it would be nice to have support for those who are not as familiar with the technology. In this way, she said, the school could get the most use out of the technology it has in place. Washington is a Smart Board showcase school and has several Smart Boards throughout the building.
Common capital requests included security-related upgrades — which are currently being looked at by the system — additional parking, and improvements related to physical activity and wellness initiatives.
Lincoln Elementary School requested the addition of two basketball goals for its marked basketball court. Roosevelt included among its capital project requests a paved walking trail for students and teachers.
Two additional budget presentation meetings have been scheduled for Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. Both will take place beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Central Office conference room. A discussion meeting for the Budget Committee is scheduled for Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. until noon.