By Janette Blackwell
The highlight of the March 17 Woodville ISD Board of Trustees meeting was the recognition of the following STAR students who are advancing to state level in various extracurricular competitions:
HOSA (Health Occupations Student Association): Victoria Hadnot
SkillsUSA (a cooperative effort of students, teachers and industry to ensure development of a skilled American workforce): Chris Messer, Enrique Gonzalez, Drake Allison and Tyler Hollingsworth
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America): Diana Hernandez and Kelsey Jackson
Theatrical Design State Qualifying team: Brittany Lancaster, Alexus McQueen, Monique Moye, Paige Ogden, Sean O'Neal and Alexis West
Texas All-State Choir member: Michael Nanney
Superintendent Glen Conner asked the Board to approve the 2014-2015 Instructional Materials Allotment and TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) certification. The District applies for state funds to purchase instructional materials every school year, specifying the grade levels and subjects included in the Woodville academic ISD program. In order to receive funds, the Board must declare the materials we purchase will meet TEKS requirements and the funds will be spent appropriately to comply within state parameters. The Board unanimously approved the annual certification.
Mary Nell Rainey addressed the Board with a request to include observation of all federal holidays, including Labor Day and Memorial Day, in the 2014-2015 school calendar.
Conner presented and recommended approval of the proposed 2014-2015 school calendar. Preparation of the calendar entailed his meeting with the superintendents of four County school districts to establish common professional development days and to coordinate spring break dates. The Board discussed the calendar's proposed holidays and flex days and carefully considered the feasibility of observing all federal holidays, as requested. Conner addressed Board members' questions, comments and concerns, as members discussed the proposed calendar's details. The Board approved the calendar as presented in a five-to-one vote.
After the Board reviewed and unanimously approved the February meeting minutes, Assistant Superintendent for Business Cody Jarrott presented the February Financial Reports and Investment Report, which the Board subsequently approved. The Board also approved the Tax Collections Report, which revealed 93 per cent of property taxes have been collected for the year.
In his Superintendent's Facilities Report, Conner stated that District-wide facilities updates and improvements are complete except for attention to the final details on the building access control: the equipment itself is in place, and only work on programming and card readers continues.
Dates and the schedule for the much-anticipated TASB facilities assessment remain pending.
The District is responsible, in part, for maintenance of Shivers Library facilities, and coordinated the paving of the parking area behind the library buildings.
Student competitions this month include the UIL One-Act Play, FFA students' showing of the animals they have raised and AG mechanics projects, HOSA contest, SkillsUSA competition, FFA judging contest and middle school and high school choir contests.
Middle School students have the STAAR® test coming up in April. The STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) replaced the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test of academic progress.
Conner provided Board members with options for attending the Summer Leadership Institute, where they may participate to meet state continuing education requirements.
Superintendent Conner also suggested the possibility of calling a special Board meeting to address topics that might otherwise slow the progress of regular scheduled meetings. In particular, these subjects may include a workshop with the TASB facilities assessment team, annual budget planning and salary schedules.
Conner asked Board members to begin considering graduation preparations, including scheduling the related events and program content.
Campus principals, Ms. Atkins (District test coordinator and instructional specialist) and Conner are meeting to compare and contrast the different grading policies among the various campuses and to align them for a consistent District-wide policy.
Conner presented the need for the Board to consider how to address a budget question related to replacing technology equipment. The budget includes technology maintenance and replacement of computers, and the administration has historically replaced obsolete equipment according to a predetermined schedule. Recently, however, short-falls in funding and the purchase of necessary laptops and hand-held devices from the replacement fund created a shortage of monies specifically for replacing equipment that is aging out, as well as outdated operating systems. From a budgetary perspective, the trade-off is that assets for previously-needed large computer labs are no longer needed, as technology has been integrated / migrated into classrooms.
In closed executive session, the Board also considered various personnel matters, as well as administrator contracts for the 2014-2015 school