By Kathi Bliss
Gratitude was the name of the game on Monday as dozens of Lockhart Independent School District students gathered at the regular meeting of the LISD Board of Trustees to honor School Board Recognition Month.
The theme of the celebration was “Rising to new Heights,” and students from each of the district’s ten campuses honored the seven trustees with a variety of artwork, gifts, snacks, cards and poems, prepared by the students, as a means of saying “thank you” to the trustees.
In a particularly poignant moment, the students from the Lockhart High School, ML Cisneros Freshman Campus brought tears to Trustee Carl Cisneros and many members of the audience as they thanked him not only for his service, but for the legacy of his late father, the school’s namesake and former neighbor.
Trustee Juan Alvarez was not able to be present for the meeting, but Superintendent Jose Parra accepted a basket of goodies on his behalf.
The remainder of the Board’s open business centered around presentations, including a District Assessment Report (“state of the district”) from Parra, who reiterated that LISD students continue to grow and succeed.
Parra expressed concern, however, that the shift to the STAAR and End of Course testing has impacted the students’ – and the District’s – educational rating. However, because the tests were new last year and the State of Texas has been unclear thus far as to how schools will be judged, Parra said there is every reason to expect that the students’ scores will rebound, and that LISD will continue to be a well-performing district.
The Trustees also heard a presentation regarding a new student initiative that will help match students to appropriate employment experiences.
The program which will begin in a pilot phase in Lockhart later this year, will use a variety of measures to determine student aptitudes and then seeks to partner with business to offer students employment opportunities and internships based on those aptitudes.
More information on the program will be available as the groundwork is set and partnerships are developed. Parra said the initiative is expected for launch in late March.
After conducting several orders of routine business, including renewing their contract with Sodexo Services for food service and approving a contract for legal services, the Trustees convened in an executive session to discuss the annual Superintendent’s evaluation.
While students recognized the Board, the Trustees also recognized several students and community members who have succeeded and contributed during the last two months. They recognized several students who participated in the Regional Competition for the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) and who moved on to the State level in those competition.
The board also recognized volunteers from the First Christian Church for their contribution to the community with the annual Coats for Kids program.
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 are webcast at www.lockhartisd.org.