Seen and Heard January 2019 School Board Meeting

Seen and Heard at the January 2019 School Board Meeting
at the school board meeting graphic

January 22, 2019 - At Tuesday’s meeting, the School Board voted to post the position of Superintendent for internal applicants only.  In accordance with state law, the position will be posted for 10 business days.  After the position closes, the Board will review applications and determine next steps.  Board President F. Scott Flow said, “We have in this district always striven to hire the best superintendent that works the best within our district.  Sometimes that’s been outside the district and sometimes it’s been inside the district.  Given our history, I think it is important that we at least start this process by looking at internal applicants.”

Trustees listened to multiple public comments regarding the resignation of Kori Clements as head volleyball coach at Amarillo High School.  Ms. Clements resigned her position on January 16.  The Board also ordered a School Board election on May 4, 2019, for the purpose of electing four members to the AISD School Board.  Three of the positions up for election are four-year terms currently held by F. Scott Flow, John Betancourt, and Jim Austin. One position, currently held by appointee Robin Malone, is an unexpired two-year term.

The Board adopted the school calendar for 2019-2020.  Next year school will begin on Tuesday, August 13, and will end on Friday, May 22, 2020.  The calendar, which is very similar to this year’s calendar, includes the following student/staff holidays:  Labor Day, Columbus Day, three days at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, a week at Spring Break and Good Friday.  The 2019-2020 calendar provides for 178 instructional days for students and 187 teacher contractual days.  

The Board heard a report from Interim Superintendent Doug Loomis regarding enrollment numbers.  The District has seen a drop in enrollment of 736 students (or 2.2 percent of the student population) over the last two years, resulting in a decrease in state funding of about $4 million.  Mr. Loomis also reported to the Board that the District is continuing to host community input meetings and that feedback has been very positive so far regarding the concept of building a career academy in the AISD-purchased former Hastings facility on Plains Blvd.  Chief Financial Officer Pati Buchenau provided a report regarding public school funding issues before the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature currently underway.       

Trustees approved the purchase of new seating for auditorium renovations at Palo Duro, Amarillo, and Tascosa high schools, and they approved Western Builders as the contractor for bond project upgrades and improvements at Palo Duro High School, Mann and Travis middle schools and Allen 6th Grade Campus.

The Board accepted gifts and donations totaling $3,364, given to various schools this month from Jerry and Janie Hensley, Dolores Bull, the Belmar Bobcat Booster Club, Stan Moore, Drs. Jerod and Alison Lunsford, Rick Looby, and the Amarillo Association of Realtors. 

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