The Stephenville Independent School District has received a perfect score of 100 on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) from the Texas Education Agency.
The news was announced during Monday’s meeting of the SISD board of trustees. Matt Underwood indicated that it was a notable achievement, marking only the second time the SISD reached the 100 percent FIRST score during his 16 years as the superintendent.
“You don’t usually get that,” Underwood said, recalling that the last time the SISD got a 100 percent score was “2016, maybe.”
Underwood gave credit to Debbie Hummel, the SISD’s executive director for finance and operations, and Julie Griffin, the school district’s business manager.
Underwood said the score from the TEA is based on a one-year period grading the “financial records and how you manage the budget, and having an adequate fund balance.”
Underwood added, “i’m proud of the business department. I just think they do a great job of forecasting the enrollment and our revenue and watching expenditures.”
Also during Monday’s meeting, the trustees heard from Bill and Michelle Davison on possible training for teachers if the Guardian Program is eventually approved. The Guardian Program is designed as a school safety option in which teachers would be allowed to carry a firearm on campus after receiving the proper training.
Also, a representative from Tac Pro Shooting Center of Stephenville gave an update on what type of training they can provide.
Crux Security, which is doing longterm strategic planning for the district's security upgrade, also had a representative who gave a presentation.
Underwood said that Crux presented the board with a timeline for when questionnaire surveys will be emailed.
“We will do a comprehensive survey of students, parents and staff to find out what they want to do. After the surveys, then we will have face-to-face meetings with students and parents and get a broad range of ideas,” Underwood said.
Also during Monday’s meeting, a representative from Hellas Construction based in Austin gave a report updating the construction cost for the softball field that will be on the high school campus.
Underwood said that trustees voted to approve the scope and price of the softball field at approximately $1.4 million. He noted that the construction of the softball field will begin “as soon as it stops raining.”
Underwood said the $1.4 million figure is “a little more than what we planned for, but I think we have plenty of contingency (funds) to make up that difference.”
Part of the extra cost will be for LED lights and bleachers to seat an additional 250 spectators, Underwood said.