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Seen and Heard at the September 2021 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 09/30/2021

Seen and Heard at the September 2021 School Board Meeting

September 20, 2021 – At the September 20 Board meeting, the Board conducted a public hearing regarding the annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Annual Management Report.  Each year, the Texas Education Agency assigns a rating to every school district in Texas, based on 15 criteria of financial data.  AISD received a rating of ‘Superior’, based on data from the 2019-2020 fiscal year.  The Board also conducted a public hearing regarding the 2021 state accountability ratings for AISD.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 accountability rating for the District and each campus is “Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster.”

During his Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Loomis introduced Wolflin Elementary School Principal Steffanie Chew who, along with a Wolflin teacher and a student, talked about the school’s experience with Paedeia Seminar and how it has enhanced thinking and writing skills on the campus.

The Board adopted a 2021 tax rate of $1.1496 per $100 property valuation, compared to last year’s rate of $1.1554.  The debt service portion of this year’s tax rate is the same as last year; the portion for maintenance and operations is less due to tax rate compression called for in House Bill 3.  However, even though the 2021 tax rate is lower than last year, higher appraisal values in Amarillo will likely cause most homeowners to see an increase in their AISD tax bill.

Trustees adopted a resolution nominating individuals for the Potter-Randall Appraisal District Boards of Directors and they approved a list of private or commercially-sponsored activities, for example, Amarillo Little Theater, that can substitute for physical education requirements for middle school students.  The Board also appointed members to the School Health Advisory Council, or SHAC.  The Board is required to appoint an advisory SHAC to assist the District in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the District’s health education instruction.  A majority of SHAC members must be parents of students currently in AISD.

Trustees approved the purchase of a community engagement/response vehicle.  The vehicle will be used as a mobile interface with the community to support and promote school programs and activities, and also to respond to campuses during disasters or emergency situations with equipment, technology and support.  The Board also approved the purchase of an integrated software suite from Raptor Technologies to provide several safety and security applications.

The Board acknowledged gifts and donations totaling $44,849.42, given to various schools this month from Toot ‘n Totum, Renay Goodman, Anna Street Church of Christ, The Gilliland Foundation, Atmos Energy, Rico and Amber Soto, Leinen Medical Supply, Amarillo Association of Realtors, Amarillo National Bank, Dr. David Harney, an anonymous donor, the Wolflin Elementary Booster Club, and Covenant Presbyterian Church Ladies Sunday School Class.