Good news dominated the agenda during Monday’s meeting of the Stephenville Independent School District Board of Trustees.
With March being National Athletic Training Month, the board opened the meeting by recognizing Mike Carroll and Meredith Swain, the district’s athletic trainers.
“These two spend countless hours working with our athletes,” Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said. “They work hard and do a great job.”
The board also recognized the dedication of the Stingerette Drill Team who brought home three grand champion trophies in February.
“There were three grand champion titles available for the taking and our girl took them all,” Floyd said. “It was a clean sweep.”
Meanwhile, after 11 years, mathematics students in grades K-5 will see new texts in the classrooms at the beginning of the 2008-09 school year.
Under the direction of Karol Howell, director of technology/advanced academics, a committee was established consisting of instructors from each of the district’s campuses and also included Joyce Anderson, director of guidance/curriculum, and Xavier Vasquez, director of special programs.
Howell explained that the district began receiving examination materials from publishers in the early fall and the review of the texts was completed late last month.
In the review process, the committee paid close attention to the shortcomings of the district’s current math books and asked committee members to evaluate the texts based on the skills required at each grade level. The review also focused on areas of concern based on the district’s Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores.
A total of eight publishers submitted evaluation materials for each grade level. The committee scored each of the texts and narrowed the search to four publishers. The four finalists were Harcourt School Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Company, Macmillan McGraw-Hill and Saxon. Saxon published the texts that have been used by the district for the last 11 years.
With the evaluation process complete, the committee decided that Macmillan McGraw-Hill was the most thorough in mathematical instruction.
In other business, Tracy Ray, assistant superintendent for business and finance, explained that the district is in good financial standing.
“As of February 2008, the district has adequate cash to meet all financial obligations,” Ray said.
In reference to the district’s debt service fund, Ray said that following a bond interest payment of $144,630, which will be made in August, the district will have paid all bond debt for 2007-2008.
Finally, investment of district funds continue to show a positive return with more than $57,000 in interest collected in February, bringing the annual total to a little over $300,000.
The board gave final approval on a contract with Vibra-Whirl Sports, Ltd., to begin construction of the district’s first ever UIL competition track at Lem Brock Field. Construction is set to begin in early April. The total cost is $482,555, with $500,000 budgeted for the project.
Preliminary results from the TAKS reading exams showed that the districts third, fifth and eighth grade students have made easy work of the standardized tests. The first round of test results showed that 95 percent of third grade students met the standard; 86 percent of fifth graders made the mark; and 92 percent of the district’s eighth graders have what it takes to make the grade.
In his report, Floyd announced a number of upcoming banquets and events that will be held over the next few months.
• A special education track meet will be held at Tarleton State University (TSU) on Monday, March 31.
• The SISD Employee Appreciation Banquet will take place at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 14, at Henderson Junior High.
• The high school’s Academic Hall of Fame banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17, at the high school cafeteria and foyer at 6:30 p.m.
• A Special Education Banquet is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24, in the junior high cafeteria.
Finally, Floyd announced that the SHS Baccalaureate Services will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, at First Baptist church and graduation has been set for Friday, March 30, at 8 p.m. at TSU’s Memorial Stadium.
Following a closed session to discuss teacher resignations and contract renewals, the board reconvened and accepted the resignations of eight of the district’s teachers. The resignations of Jody Vols, learning lab teacher at Henderson Junior High (HJH); Kelli McKinzie, science teacher at HJH; Melissa Park, social studies teacher at HJH; Julie Green, high school social studies teacher and coach; Jana Jimenez, bilingual teacher at Hook; Jana Weiler, second grade teacher from Chamberlin and Heidi Daugherty, kindergarten teacher from Central will take effect May 30. Kim Jones, choir teacher at HJH, has also resigned, effective March 24.