LISD eyes calendar changes


By LPR Staff

The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees will meet during a special public hearing on Thursday evening to discuss a series of changes to the 2006-2007 school year calendar. The changes could involve moving graduation ceremonies from Friday evening to Saturday in the future.
According to Human Resources Director Theresa Ramirez

, who presented four proposed schedules to the board on Monday night, the district hopes to adopt a calendar for the 2006-2007 school year in March. At the suggestion of LHS principal Larry Ramirez, each of the four proposals include a Saturday date for graduation ceremonies.
A Saturday graduation would facilitate ending the week on Friday and allow the teachers to get the grades in, Mr. Ramirez said. He also suggested that a Saturday graduation might facilitate the parents getting family in from out of town.
The Saturday graduation proposal was met by some resistance from the trustees.
“I think that every one of the parents of the senior class that this affects should be contacted,” said Trustee Dennis Placke. “It”s possible that with the large families, they”re already making plans.”
Trustee Timoteo “Tim” Juarez also expressed concern, saying teachers have been resourceful in the past in preparing grades, and indicating that he did not see a need to change the traditional Friday graduation.
Mr. Ramirez said he only offered the proposal as a suggestion,
Other possible changes to the school year calendar include moving the start of the Christmas Break to Dec. 21, 2006 and possibly eliminating Good Friday as a school holiday. The public hearing will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Lockhart High School Conference Center (old library) at 7 p.m.
During the regular business of the school board meeting on Monday, dozens of LISD students came forward to thank board members in honor of School Board Appreciation Week. Students and staff from each campus presented gifts, including cakes, t-shirts and baskets of treats to thank the board and their families for their selfless service to the students of the district.
In other board business:
Assistant Superintendent James Rabe presented a report on the Academic Excellence Indicator (AEIS) report.
The official AEIS document contained a wealth of information that the board has reviewed during past meetings, including the “Academically Unacceptable” rating that Lockhart High School earned during the last Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) testing period.
“We are in striking distance of being recognized, but we are in striking distance of being unacceptable in one area,” Rabe said. “When you put it all together, we can make it but we need to work on it.”
According to Rabe”s figures, most LISD campuses achieved or exceeded standards for “Recognized” status, based on last year”s TAKS testing, but some campuses fell short in some areas, bringing down the average.
“We have to teach what is on the TAKS test,” he said. “I did instructional audits and in some cases there was no work that the students were doing that would fit in the middle of the bullseye (TAKS standards). We have to get that down first.”
Rabe assured the board that he was working with LISD staff and teachers, and indicated that scores on the TAKS test could be improved within the next year.
Assistant Superintendent Phil McBride announced that the next school board election will take place on May 13, 2006. The three at-large seats will be up for election.
Candidates interested in filing for an at-large seat on the LISD Board of Trustees must file from Feb. 13 – March 13. For information on filing, contact the LISD offices at 398-0000.
In brief board news:
The City of Lockhart”s Assistant Manager Vance Rodgers discussed the city”s ongoing Lockhart Springs Walkway project. The project was designed in part using the district”s “Safe Routes to School” research, and will eventually connect the parks on the north end of Lockhart with each school in the district.
Food Services Director Haley Ratliff presented a report detailing the services ARAMARK provides as the district”s food service contractor.
The board approved a proposal allowing students from the Prairie Lea ISD to be sent to the Lockhart”s Discipline Management Center (DMC) campus. The contract calls for PLISD students to be at the DMC for no less than 30 days, at a cost of $90 per day to Prairie Lea.


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