School Board approves ‘monitoring system’ lease for school

by dentonramsey

School Board approves ‘monitoring system’ lease for school

By Denton Ramsey / Staff Writer

The Alpine Independent School District met last Wednesday, March 29, at the Administration Building for their Regular Board Meeting.

The key issue addressed and approved concerned Southwest Security Alarms and discussion surrounding a lease proposal.

“The lease system is great because we can move on with the system right away,” board member Carole Causey said.

According to board members and the Southwest Security Alarms proposal, training will be provided for the teachers and staff on how to properly use the system.

Another key issue addressed on Wednesday surrounds the new ‘Wellness Policy’ and its effects on the educational aspect of the school system.

After discussion among board members, it was the general consensus that there’s not much on the policy that the schools are not doing already.

“This will be a work in progress,” AISD Board President Ray Hendryx said.

A motion was made by Mary Jane Morgan to approve the ‘Wellness Policy’ as the board unanimously approved the new policy.

Board training was also an issue due to recent hurricanes and natural disasters that prevented board members from attending their training sessions.

“What happened last fall effected not just us, but school boards everywhere,” Hendryx said.

Certification of unopposed candidates for District 1, District 3 and District 4 were approved unanimously.

After acceptance of certification, the board moved to accept the cancellation of the May 13 School Board Election as the motion was approved unanimously.

In other news, Alpine High School Principal Verl O’Bryant addressed the board to present band accomplishments and a proposal to begin counting band as an athletics option.

O’Bryant also addressed UIL competition and the success AHS has tasted thus far throughout their district meets.

“[UIL meets] depend on so many people doing so many things,” O’Bryant said. “It goes like clockwork. It’s sort of like putting on a track meet – I guess that’s just the former coach in me.”

O’Bryant then called on Band Director Chuck Wilson to address the board concerning how the band fared in their pre-UIL competition.

“The band did great and pulled out a one yesterday,” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, the band is in a “slightly better position” due to their pre-UIL competition.

“The relaxation level for looking down the road is a lot better,” Wilson said.

In addition to the UIL band competition success, AHS also has two band members, J.D. Leyva and Daniella Houston, doing private lessons and tutors for the younger band kids.

Another issue during Wednesday’s regular board meeting surrounded the attendance and enrollment rates at the elementary school, the middle school and the high school.

Looking at the numbers, enrollment in AISD schools has remained constant, but after the 2006 Spring Break, those numbers dropped.

“We held steady up until Spring Break,” Hendryx said. “After that, we took a pretty good nosedive. There are various reasons for this decline.”

According to reports, AES, AMS and AHS all have attendance rates in the 95-98 percent range.

“We’re still pushing to stay above 96 percent,” Hendryx said. “We do a pretty good job of staying right around there.”

For TAKS reports for third grade reading at AES, the school showed a 91 percent passing rate compared to 97 percent last year.

However, of the 91 percent passing, 51 percent scored a ‘commended performance’ and 16 students had perfect scores compared to 31 percent receiving a ‘commended performance’ last year.

“We’re moving more than a grade level a year,” board member Mike Davis said. “That’s way more impressive than anything we’ve done so far.”

While Alpine scored a 51 percent ‘commended performance’ and a 91 percent passing rate, the state average was 43 percent ‘commended performance’ and an 89 percent passing rate.

Also discussed during Wednesday’s board meeting was the Business Manager’s Report on tax collections and financials.

According to reports, the percentage of taxes collected in February 2006 were 90.24 percent compared to a year ago when the figure was at 56 percent.

Looking ahead to March, tax collections appear to be right around 92 percent with delinquents over 96 percent.

As far as the February tax sales are concerned, it will take approximately three weeks to a month to see the end results.

After meeting in an executive session, the board accepted the following resignations: Sharon Lester (AHS Teacher), Maria Rodriguez (AMS Counselor) and Rebecca Watley (588 Co-Op Diagnostician).

‘Performance Goals’ were also accepted as amended during Wednesday’s board meeting.

“It’s something we do every year,” Hendryx said. “The performance goals are something the superintendent refers to as ‘marching orders’ – it gives us a little more detail on what’s expected of us.”

The adopted ‘performance goals’ are, to put it simply, ‘mission, vision, values, goals and objectives statements.’

The AISD Board of Trustees next meeting will be held Wednesday, April 19 in the Administration Building Board Room beginning at 5:30 p.m.