Seen and Heard at May 2018 School Board Meeting

Seen and Heard at the May 2018 School Board Meeting
At the School Board Meeting

May 21, 2018 -- The Board honored four National Merit Scholars, 14 National Merit Commended Students, and eight National Hispanic Scholars with certificates and congratulations. Trustees also honored five middle school students who were selected for state recognition in the 2018 Talent Identification Program (TIP) sponsored by Duke University.  These students scored at or above the 95th percentile on college entrance exams as 7th graders. 

Following an annual tradition, trustee Cristy Wilkinson also read a list of students across the district who have placed in state or national athletic, academic, or fine arts competitions in 2017-18.    
                                                   
The Board heard a presentation from Steve Smith, Vice President of Business Affairs at Amarillo College, regarding financials for the proposed new ACE Scholarship program, which has been re-named THRIVE.  As part of the Superintendent’s Report, the Board heard an update from Dyron Howell, executive director of Snack Pak 4 Kids program, regarding participation in the program.  Over 4,000 AISD students participate in the Snack Pak/Snack Shak program, which to-date has received more than $750,000 in community donations.  Trustees also received a report regarding AISD’s Profile of a Graduate initiative, they received an update on the North Heights community engagement process, and they heard a report from Dr. West on school safety, specifically related to visitor and volunteer check-in/check-out procedures.   

The Board set June 21, 2018, as the date to hold a public hearing on the 2018-19 school district budget and proposed tax rate. Next year’s budget is also scheduled to be adopted on June 21, which is the date of the next regular Board meeting.  The Board voted to propose a 2018 tax rate of $1.239 per $100 property valuation, which includes a 5-cent increase to the debt service portion of the tax rate as a result of the 2017 voter-approved bond election.  The tax rate will not be officially adopted until later in the summer.

Trustees also approved the 2018-2019 Student Code of Conduct, with no changes from last year, and they approved several high school innovative courses for special education students designed to help prepare them for success after graduation.

The Board approved detailed design documents for the first 2017 bond project - a fairly extensive remodel of Fannin Middle School, and resolution of drainage issues and installation of bullet-resistant glass at Lamar Elementary School.  Trustees also approved schematic drawings for a bond project at Amarillo and Tascosa high schools, and Coronado and Lee elementary schools.  The two high schools will get renovations to restrooms and auditoriums (lighting, sound systems, seating, etc.), locker room shower/restroom upgrades, plumbing/sewer line replacement and site drainage improvements.  The two elementary schools will get plumbing and sewer line replacement, bullet resistant glass installation in exterior doors, and also site drainage work and drop-off/pick-up area improvements.

The Board approved an inter-local agreement with the City of Amarillo to participate in a city-wide emergency radio communications system, at a cost of $370,892.  They also heard a report from Chief Operations Officer Brent Hoover who said, though there is still money set aside from the 2013 bond election to build a new elementary school in southeast Amarillo, development of the Tradewind Square area is not progressing as quickly as anticipated and student enrollment projections do not indicate a need to start building a new school before 2020.  The Board will review updated information and projections later in the fall.

Trustees accepted gifts and donations totaling $22,086.82 given to the District and its schools from Dr. Carl Paetzold and ER Now, Panhandle Regional Advisory Council, Two Knives Catering (Kristi Aragon), Danny Jordan Studios, Happy State Bank, Woodlands Elementary PTA, Amarillo Association of Realtors, Michael and Phyllis Unruh, Aaron and Sallye Barnes, Paul Matney, and Tascosa Road Fellowship Church and Pastor Joe Dwyer.

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