By Miranda Rogers
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees has chosen to move forward in filling the board vacancy left by Chip Pittman’s resignation earlier this summer.
During their regular meeting on Oct. 24, the board voted to accept letters of interest from members of the public interested in filling the position, and will make a vote at a future meeting to fill the vacancy.
Letters of interest should be hand-delivered to the LISD Administration Building (Central Office) before noon on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, and addressed to LISD Board President Timoteo “Tim” Juarez, Jr.
In addition to providing full name, current street address, phone numbers, and an e-mail address, interested parties must answer the following questions:
1) What has been your involvement with the public school system?
2) How long have you lived in the Lockhart ISD?
3) What special qualifications and experience do you have, including Board or committee experience?
4) What is your interest in serving in the at-large position?
5) After reviewing the district goals, how would you prioritize them? Which goal would you delete, if any, and what goal would you create to take its place?
Letters of interest will be reviewed by Juarez and other members of the Board of Trustees before a vote is taken on an appointment, likely during the Trustees’ November 2011 meeting.
Beginning in spring 2012, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. The STAAR program at grades 3-8 will assess the same students and grades that are currently assessed on TAKS (Math and Reading, Writing, Science and Social Studies).
At the high school level, however, grade-specific assessments will be replaced with 12 end-of-course (EOC) assessments. Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English I, English II, English III, World Geography, World History and U.S. History will replace 10 grade level tests.
The STAAR tests will provide a more clearly articulated assessment program, focus on fewer skills, and have the skills addressed in a deeper manner, the Board was told. STAAR will help prepare students for their next grade and support college and/or career readiness.
Testing standards will be set in February 2012, with “performance labels” ready in June 2012. There are no fees required to take the tests and re-tests will be made available at the end of spring, summer and fall.
In other business, some board members, teachers and parents expressed concern that some students are not getting to eat at lunchtime.
Under the current rules governing the free- and reduced-price lunch program, parents can file for entry into the program at any time during the year, if their financial circumstances change. In addition, current policy allows for students without money to purchase lunch to be provided with a cheese sandwich and milk, although one individual said, “prisoners get a better meal than that.”
As an alternative, trustees recommended, that policy will be changed to allow students to receive a hot meal from the lunch line, whether they are eligible for free- and reduced-price lunch or not, and for the school administration or cafeteria manager to “deal with the situation discreetly.”
Architects from Pfluger and Associates came before the Board members with a presentation highlighting potential development on the Lockhart High School campus, in light of the growth that will inevitably occur in Lockhart in the future.
The group, using the 2006 Master Plan, showed how various improvements would affect the campus layout and help administrators and trustees to better understand how the school functions.
One idea addressed was to remove the single story structure and add a two-story building, which would add to the number of classrooms. As the campus grows, trustees said they would like to add more campus technologies, perhaps a vocational or career building, and a larger central library off of the courtyard area.
Pfluger and Associates urged the board members to discuss their desired programs with them, confirm their needs, determine priority and estimate and compare construction costs.
In brief business:
The Board recognized participants in the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority “Keep Lockhart Beautiful” Town Branch Clean Up.
The contracted positions for the GED Testing Services originally approved in July 2009 renewed for another year. The new contracts will run from November 2011 through October 2012. The contracted positions that were approved consisted of one chief examiner, six examiners and two proctors.
In an effort to manage the new budget for 2012-2013, preliminary assumptions were reviewed and changes that were taken into consideration were to reduce staffing through attrition, reduce expenditures such as Communities In school, and have the Kids Klub site management changed from full time to part time. In addition, the forecast report plans to do away with the Employee Catastrophic Leave Bank and tuition reimbursement. A review of optimum fund balance showed that the LISD’s fund balance is healthy, and that TEA recommends three months of operating expenses.
The Board approved the certified tax roll as presented by Chief Appraiser Carlton Pape, in the amount of $11,558,573.42.
Janet O’Keeffe instructed a PowerPoint Presentation to the board members reviewing the 2010-2011 LISD Bilingual/ESL Program, which included statistics on attendance, TAKS results and program effectiveness.
The Board heard the recommendations for supplemental science materials for the 2011-2012 school year.
They gave their final approval on plans from the Redistricting Advisory Committee regarding the revision of the single-member district boundaries.
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 parents, students and interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend.