Parents rile against lack of teachers
By LPR Staff
During a brief meeting geared mostly toward future student success, parents of Lockhart High School freshmen came forward to express their concerns about staffing at the ML Cisneros Freshman Campus.
According to complaints lodged by parents, the Freshman Campus has been without a Spanish I teacher
since the first day of class, a situation that has caused heartburn with parents across social media.
“I don’t know why those parents that are talking about it on social media aren’t here,” said Cynthia Powers. “Why aren’t we attracting the teachers, and why has it taken so long to replace her, if she left the first day of school?”
According to Powers and other parents that lodged complaints, students in Spanish I classes at the Freshman Campus have received a “participation grade,” entered by the campus administration, for the first nine weeks.
“I don’t understand how they can get a passing grade, just for showing up,” they said. “They aren’t learning the fundamentals, and when they get to Spanish II next year, they are going to be behind because they aren’t getting that foundation now.”
Though under law, the Board cannot respond to or address concerns raised during public comments during the regular meeting, Board President Brenda Spillmann thanked the parents for attending the meeting, and assured them the Board and Administration was addressing the situation.
In fact, during an early executive session, the Trustees discussed, and ultimately approved a probationary contract for a Spanish teacher at the ML Cisneros Freshman Campus.
In other business, the Board heard a brief overview of the proposed Campus Improvement Plans, which provide the “skeletal structure” for student learning over the course of the educational ye within the guidelines of those plans, teachers, staff and administrators from across the District’s campuses will work to enhance and track student progress through a series of testing and educational benchmarks.
Superintendent Susan Bohn noted in the past, the Trustees have approved the Campus Improvement Plans, but had not received any real follow-up as to whether the plans had succeeded. She assured the Trustees that, in addition to the quarterly benchmark testing, the Trustees would receive a report at the end of the year noting how the children in the District have succeeded, and what improvement is still needed.
They also heard a highlighted presentation regarding the progress of construction at Lockhart High School, as well as an update on Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary.
At Strawn Elementary, according to Jo Zunker, the project manager with Owners Building Resource, construction is on schedule, and under-slab plumbing has been installed in several areas of the construction site. She said construction should be complete well before the projected opening date of Fall 2016.
In connection with the construction of Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary, Bohn noted that the District’s leadership team has already begun discussions about how the school will be staffed and populated, and will be seeking Board and community input in the coming months as the school’s opening nears. She also said the position has been posted for the principal at the campus, and she hopes to have a principal in place by the end of this calendar year.
At Lockhart High School, masonry and framing structures are in place for the new wing and entryway for the campus. Additionally, the expansion of the Field House is nearing completion, and the Auto Tech classes should be moved into their temporary home in the Field House over the Winter Break.
A full breakdown of the bond projects and their status is available online at www.lockhartisd.org.
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Library at Lockhart Junior High School, 500 City Line Road, in Lockhart. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast at www.lockhartisd.org.