Seen and Heard at the February Board Meeting (2)

Seen and Heard at the February Board Meeting
At the School Board Meeting

February 27, 2017  --  At the February 27 meeting, the School Board conducted a public hearing regarding the proposed District of Innovation Plan and they heard a presentation from Lavin Architects regarding possible construction at Bowie Middle School to make the façade of the school more consistent with the new and neighboring Bowie 6th Grade Campus.  In her Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Dana West called on executive directors to update the Board on projects they are working on including collaboration between AISD school libraries and the instructional technology department, college and career readiness, a dropout prevention program that builds community support for at-risk students called Communities in Schools, and Path 2 Teaching, an AISD-initiated program to actively recruit community members, especially minorities, who are interested in becoming teachers.   

The Board voted to stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas as the third-party administrator and Prime Therapeutics as the pharmacy benefits manager for the District’s self-funded employee health insurance plan.  Trustees also discussed a proposal by Board member James Allen to bring in an outside company to perform a diversity study and conduct diversity training for AISD staff.  Other Board members considered the proposal carefully, but cited the cost of an outside consultant, the lack of a systemic problem, the fact AISD is already making efforts to address the issue of diversity, and the need to focus resources and teacher time on the District’s mission as reasons they did not support bringing in an outside company for a diversity study and training.

In other business, the Board approved the District of Innovation Plan.  A new state law allows school districts to assume more local control through exemptions from certain state laws and rules related to education.  The approved AISD plan, which addresses only three areas, allows for a school-year start date before the fourth Monday in August.  It also provides for flexibility in setting the last day of school, and it allows the District to continue to offer morning and afternoon pre-kindergarten classes even though they don’t meet the required daily minutes of instruction.

Finally, the Board adopted the school calendar for 2017-18, and they approved a project to partially replace the roof on the 200 building at Caprock High School.

The Board expressed appreciation to the following individuals and organizations for gifts and donations to schools totaling $10,650.91 this month: United Supermarkets, Peter and Anne Lizdas, Brenda Brooks & Razzle Dazzle, Woodlands Elementary PTA, Xcel Energy, Amarillo National Bank, Happy State Bank, Becky McKinley & Two Knives Catering, Richard & Natalie Archer, Mark & Kathy Crawford, Rakesh & Shilpa Shah, Dr. James Douthitt, Amarillo High School Panther Pride Booster Club, Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home, and the Tascosa High School Softball Booster Club.

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