There will be no notched eyebrows or black fingernail polish allowed on campus at Henderson Junior High School.
New rules and policies were a topic of discussion at the Stephenville Independent School Board meeting Monday night as each principal presented changes and additions to campus student handbooks. Many of the changes have been prompted by the 80th legislative session.
Henderson Junior High School Assistant Principal Tyler Chaplain reported most student failures are a result of not turning in assignments. The school will now implement a new program called Zeros Aren’t Permitted (Z.A.P.) that will hold students accountable for assignment completion. If an assignment is not completed, the student will be required to eat lunch in an alternative setting. After eating lunch, the student will be expected to complete assignments for the remainder of the lunch period.
At Stephenville High School Travis Stilwell is excited about a new policy for compulsory attendance for students 18 years or older.
“Almost all turn 18 during their senior year,” Stilwell said. “Up until now they (students) had the option of dropping out with no truancy charge. I’m real excited about that. It’s going to help us.”
A student who enrolls or attends after turning 18 is now subject to compulsory attendance laws if the student is under 21 years of age, Stilwell said.
Stilwell said the legislature made the 90 percent attendance rule a little clearer with House Bill 1137. Students are still required to attend 90 percent of the time in order to receive credit but if a student falls below that rate a review committee will not need to address the issue as in the past unless the student falls below attending 75 percent of the time.
Now, an administrator may provide or approve a plan for the student to make up class credit requirements.
Stilwell said state law for incoming freshman will require those students to earn 26 credits in order to meet graduation requirements. The additional credits are required in math and science.
Another change prompted by the legislature involves random steroid testing. Any student participating in UIL athletics may be subject to testing.
Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said the state has allocated $3 million to pay for the tests.
“Three million will not go very far,” Floyd said. “It costs a $110 per student for the test. I think drugs and alcohol are a much bigger problem than steroids. But I guess that’s what the legislators wanted to do.”
Stilwell said no longer will graduating in the top 10 percent of the class guarantee automatic admission to a public university. Stilwell said new requirements due to House Bill 3826 will be not only graduating in the top 10 percent but now students will also need to complete the recommended or distinguished diploma programs and score at least 1500 out of 2400 on the SAT. If the student takes the ACT test then the College Readiness Benchmark must be satisfied.
At Chamberlin and Hook Elementary, shoulder straps on female apparel must be at least one-inch wide and no halter-tops, spaghetti straps, or midriffs will be allowed. Both schools will now require a doctor’s note if a student is absent due to illness for more than four consecutive days.
Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Debbie Hines said all of the student handbooks will be updated and online by the time school starts on Aug. 27 for anyone who would like to look at these changes.
Tracy Ray, assistant superintendent for business, recommended Coca-Cola for the soft drink vending company for the district. The district has been doing business with Pepsi for several years. Ray said Coca-Cola and Pepsi were the only companies to respond to the request for proposals. She said Dr Pepper declined to submit a proposal due to changes in the nutritional food requirements set forth by the state. Ray said Coca-Cola agreed to front 75 percent of the estimated revenue to the district in September. She made a conservative estimate of the amount to be nearly $12,000.
“The product change along with a local vendor that has stated they will respond timely to our district needs should produce more revenue earnings than what is estimated,” Ray said.
The board approved a five-year contract with Coca-Cola.
The board met in closed session and approved the following personnel changes,
Kellye McLeroy is to replace Trish Schreiber at Central Elementary School, Kim Kaiser was reassigned to sixth grade social studies to replace Carolyn Pingleton and Carolyn Pingleton was reassigned to fifth grade social studies to replace Janet Black at Gilbert Intermediate School, Tammy Jones will take over yearbook duties at Stephenville High School replacing Debbie Cashell, Sheila Stewart was employed as an inclusion aide at Hook Elementary School, Central elementary hired Rebecca Thomas to replace Kim Kaiser, Henderson Junior High School will employ James King as a history teacher/coach, At Stephenville High School Kathy Slemmons will be employed as the technology teacher, Brad Montgomery will be a new basketball coach/speech and physical education teacher, Kristol Carter was hired to teach math and Shawna Newton was hired to teach criminal justice, Judy Hemphill, Jeannie Resendiz, Donna Belcher and Elaine Foster were hired for the child nutrition department, and Resignations were accepted from Misty Benson, Vicki Dunn, Stanton Marwitz, and Beth Dixon.