During what was supposed to be Roy Neff’s last meeting, the Dublin ISD board of trustees finalized many items of business Tuesday night.

After recognizing fourth and fifth graders who achieved a 90 or better average during the school year, Nancy Russell addressed the board and presented the district's preliminary TAKS results. While other results have been presented at different meetings, these results reflect the various demographics, ages and socioeconomic statuses of the students.

“There were several areas where we experienced growth,” said Russell, who serves as the district’s director of curriculum and instruction.

The third grade group tested higher in mathematics than they did last year, and their commended performance was up in both math and reading. The fourth graders experienced a jump in number of commended students and in their writing skills, while fifth graders raised there reading and science scores along with their commended students. The sixth graders moved up the scale in both reading and math scores as well. Seventh graders boasted a higher commended performance in their math scores, while the eighth grade experienced huge gains. The percent of students who met the state-set standards went up in every subject. In the ninth and tenth grades, math scores improved over last year and the eleventh grade saw gains in English/language arts and social studies.

“We still have work to do,” said Russell, who stated the campus is not far from being “recognized," a level of achievement that is above what is required of schools in the state. “We’re on our way,” she added.

After hearing the TAKS results, a few board policies were discussed. The main change the district approved was the deletion of the “sick pool.” This system was used by employees who had used all their sick leave due to a long term illness. Other employees could donate their days to an individual in need and the state would give them back days at a two-to-one ratio. The problem with the system, according to Neff, was that some people did not want to ask others for days and that those who donated days sometimes did so selectively.

In place of the “pool” system, the district voted to make 30 days available to employees who have used all of their previously allotted days, a policy which would be subject to the superintendent’s approval.

The board then began discussing the budget for the new school year and the addition of new staff members. The budget talks were preliminary, however, and will be discussed in both the July and August board meetings before they are ready for final approval.

The board also called a special meeting next week to deal with the district's additional staffing needs.