LISD eyes area partnerships
By LPR Staff
The Lockhart Independent School District board of trustees is considering at least two community partnerships to further both adult and student education – both past and present.
Representatives from the Caldwell County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce approached the board on Monday evening, proposing a program of mentoring
and dropout intervention. The Carver Alumni Association has also asked for a partnership to bring the Carver Vocational School back under the district”s umbrella as an educational center.
The Hispanic Chamber proposed a vision to help target at-risk high school students and to decrease Lockhart High”s dropout rate.
“This is a community problem, and the entire community needs to address it, ” said Lydia Serna, who presented information about Projecto Volver on behalf of the Hispanic Chamber. “Our vision is to help keep students in school.”
Serna suggested a volunteer program to focus on dropouts and at-risk students that includes telephoning students after the beginning of the year to ask why they did not return to school.
“If they think that they can make more money at a job than being in school, or if they just need some encouragement, we”d put them with mentors to help them,” Serna said.
The program is in its infancy, but Serna committed on behalf of the Chamber to work on the project, and enlisted the support and guidance of the district.
“I welcome the kind of spirit and intensity that [this organization] brings to the community,” said LISD superintendent John Hall. “If you bring that kind of enthusiasm and that kind of broad base to this, then I think we have a valuable program here.”
In the coming months, the Hispanic Chamber and LISD will be working toward activating “Projecto Volver.”
The board also heard information from Hall in regards to talks with the “Masonic Lodge” and the Carver Alumni Association that would bring the historic Carver Vocational School back under the district”s care.
Hall has, apparently, been contacted by Alumni Association representative Homer Williams, who suggests that a partnership could help to preserve the history of the Carver School. Williams also suggested that the school would be available as a community center of sorts, hosting both district and community functions.
The funds required to refurbish the Carver School would be substantial, and the board opted to review the idea again as a portion of the budget process.
In other board business:
In the near future, Lockhart ISD will consider instituting a number of programs geared toward offering students training for the future.
Among the ideas presented by Assistant Superintendent James Rabe are options for a “4-in-5” program allowing students to graduate with one year of college credit, expanded vocational training including certifications and a partnership with Austin Community College to bring college-level teachers into Lockhart High.
Rabe said that his first priority is bringing each campus in the district to an “exemplary” level on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores, but that he would like to see every LHS graduate leave the system with at least some college credit.
The board canvassed the voting results from the June 18 run-off election and confirmed that election winners were Timoteo “Tim” Juarez, Jr., Gary Allen and Clint Mohle. The three new Trustees were sworn into office shortly after the canvass. The new board selected officers and appointed John Flores as president, Dennis Placke as vice-president and Juarez as secretary.
Lockhart High School graduate Mitchell Ward donated $3,500 to Plum Creek elementary. Ward requested that his donation be used to take students on field trips, which have been removed from the school”s budget.
The board also heard a proposal from Hall on behalf of Aramark, the district”s food service provider, to increase the price for both student and teacher meals for the coming school year.
The increase will range between 25 and 50 cents per meal. It should generate income sufficient to cover the expense of adding foodservice staff when Bluebonnet Elementary opens next fall.
The board did not decide on the increase, asking instead to have more information from Aramark before committing to a price increase.
Currently, Aramark serves 4,700 meals to LISD students and staff each day. Only 1,081 of those meals do not qualify under the free- or reduced-lunch program. Those 1,801 meals are the only ones that would increase in price.
Hall presented LHS student Scott Woody with the Alexander Hamilton Citizenship Achievement award. Woody was one of 20 students in the U.S. to receive the honor, which is in its first year, and includes a letter of recognition, a proclamation and a cash award.