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Seen and Heard at October 2019 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 06/03/2020

Seen and Heard at October 2019 School Board Meeting

October 21, 2019 --The October 21 School Board meeting started off with a report about early childhood education, spotlighting AISD’s new family engagement initiative called InSync, as well as the District’s efforts to implement full-day pre-kindergarten.

Trustees approved the District Improvement Plan for 2019-2020, as well as Campus Improvement Plans for each of AISD’s 55 schools.  Mr. Loomis said these plans reflect the important work that is done in classrooms across the District.  All of the improvement plans are based on the needs of the students at each campus and are developed by committees of administrators, teachers, parents and community members.

For 10 schools identified as needing improvement in the State’s accountability system, the Board approved campus-developed Targeted Improvement Plans.  The 10 schools received either an overall ‘D’ or ‘F’ in the rating system, or they received a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in one of three categories of performance:  student achievement, school progress, or closing achievement gaps.  Victor Favela, principal of Hamlet Elementary School, described how his campus engaged teachers, staff, students and parents in developing Hamlet’s improvement plan.  He added the school is focusing on two primary improvement goals - data-driven instruction and developing a safe, positive school culture.  

The Board approved the design phase of a $6.8 million bond project that will include work at Bowie and Houston middle schools and Forest Hill and Emerson elementary schools.  Bowie and Houston will receive restroom renovations, renovations to locker room showers and restrooms, plumbing/sewer line renovations, site drainage improvements and installation of bullet resistant glass at entrances.  Forest Hill and Emerson will see site drainage improvements and bullet resistant glass at entrances. 

In other business, trustees approved a contract with Shiver Megert Architects to design a security fence around the perimeter of Palo Duro High School.  In line with a Board priority of student safety, the Administration identified Palo Duro as needing additional perimeter security fencing.  The Board also voted to move forward with a proposed Amarillo career academy by hiring Corgan Architects to design Phase 1 of the multi-faceted career center, to be housed in the former Hastings building on Plains Blvd.  AISD purchased this empty building in the fall of 2017 and spent last year researching a possible career academy, dialoguing with partners, conducting surveys and hosting more than 25 community engagement meetings to gauge the community’s interest and commitment in the project.  “The feedback about a proposed career academy has been extremely positive throughout the community,” said Mr. Loomis, adding his vision is to open the academy by the 2021-22 school year.

The Board acknowledged gifts and donations totaling $39,919.53, given to various schools this month from Thermo King, Teachers PETS at Faith Southwest Church, Puckett Elementary PTA, Jay and Sue Roach, Kenneth and Diane Ewing, Nancy and Bill Johnstone, Mike Coleman, Ryan and Vanessa Freidberg, the Amarillo High Volleyball Booster Club, Northside Cleaners, Oliver Saddle Shop, Kelly Roofing, Amarillo National Bank, and El Manatial Mexican Restaurant.  Other donors include Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical, the Evans Family, Woodlands Elementary PTO, Royal Glass of Amarillo, Leslie Massey Agency, Atmos Energy, Michael Holliman and Plains Dairy, Tyson Foods/Ernesto Sanchez, Shelley and Byron Singleton, Carpet World of Amarillo, Coye Duncan, Amarillo Association of Realtors, and the Northwest Texas Physician Group.