By Kathi Bliss
During the course of conducting regular business at their meeting on Monday evening, the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees finalized the resolution borrowing more than $63 million for facility upgrades.
The bond package, which passed with voter approval in May, was finally slated to close by a unanimous vote of the Trustees, as work has begun on the Lockhart High School facilities upgrade, as well as construction at other facilities.
According to Robert Gadbois with Owners’ Building Resource, the firm selected as the project manager on the massive facilities overhaul, surveying has begun at Lockhart High School, in an effort to move forward with that construction and meet the 2017 construction schedule.
Gadbois reminded the trustees that there are not only several projects being considered at the same time, but several prongs to each project. Therefore, he said, his company has worked with LISD Central Office to add a page to the Lockhart ISD website, offering up-to-the-minute updates on the construction projects.
The website is currently active, and Gadbois said new information will be added to the timelines and graphics immediately as the information becomes available.
In other business, the trustees heard a report about Lockhart’s preliminary accountability ratings based on last year’s STAAR testing.
Newly-hired Superintendent Rolando “Rudy” Trevino reported last year’s test scores showed an increase in most cases over the prior year’s scores, with exceptions in some areas of the third and seventh grades.
“We are looking at those scores, and we will be able to focus on what went wrong and how to fix it,” he said. However, he noted because the STAAR test is a relatively new program imposed by the State, there are still questions as to how the District will be judged on those test scores.
Still, in most cases, the preliminary data shows that Lockhart ISD students are generally performing as well as, or better than, students throughout the state.
“This data drove a lot of the curriculum writing over the summer,” said Director of Secondary Curriculum Pam Johnson. “The campuses had their own benchmark tests, but we are looking at having districtwide benchmarks. When we have success at one grade level, we can look at that and figure out how to replicate it at other levels.”
She noted in the past, teachers’ focus had changed to specific student groupings and numbers of questions to attain success in testing. However, because the state standards with the STAAR test have not yet been fully determined, the teachers are able to take an approach that focuses more on critical thinking.
A full review of LISD’s testing results will be available after the Texas Education Agency determines all testing standards, expected later this fall.
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at Lockhart High School. The meetings are open to the public and webcast at www.lockhartisd.org.