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Seen and Heard at the November 2021 School Board Meeting   

Posted Date: 11/19/2021

Seen and Heard at the November 2021 School Board Meeting   

November 15, 2021 – At their November 15 meeting, the Amarillo ISD Board heard from Chandra Perkins, founder and director of Storybridge, Mellessa Denny, Amarillo High School debate teacher, and Ryan Lovell and Heather Soltero, Tascosa High School debate teachers. Ms. Perkins spoke about the importance of introducing books to a child’s early educational years and the four programs within Storybridge, including Free Book Fairs held at AISD elementary schools; Little Free Libraries installed in high-need neighborhoods; Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library; and Born to Read 806 which ensures every new baby born at Northwest Texas Hospital in 2021 will receive a free book. Ms. Denny and Mr. Lovell talked about the debate program and competition, and two Amarillo High students spoke to the Board about their involvement and preparation for UIL Student Congress competition. AISD students swept the recent Student Congress regional competition, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes.

The Board approved the annual audit report after hearing comments from Pati Buchenau, Deputy Superintendent, and Janie Arnold, CPA with CMMS CPAs & Advisors PLLC.

In other business, the Board voted on nominees for the Potter-Randall County Appraisal District Boards of Directors and they approved schematic drawings for the remodel of the former Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL) campus to accommodate programs from North Heights Alternative School. AACAL programs are all moving to the new AmTech Career Academy campus, which will be fully open in January 2022. Once remodeled, the AACAL building will become North Heights Alternative School, and future plans are to renovate the North Heights building into an early childhood center. The Board also approved a construction manager to provide shoring for deteriorated areas of the first floor crawl space at Austin Middle School.

In keeping with a priority of ensuring a safe and secure environment, the Board approved a contract for a 3D photo capturing project that will take interior and exterior pictures of all AISD schools and facilities for future safety, emergency, and/or security needs.

Trustees acknowledged gifts and donations totaling $10,110.41, given to various schools this month from Jerry and Janie Hensley, Western Plateau Elementary PTO, Oliver Saddle Shop, Robin Weir, Office Depot, Art and Rita DeMar, Taylor Kelly with Sprouse Shrader Smith PLLC, Thomas Winston, and Happy State Bank.