Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
CISD School Board Meeting
Houston County Courier - August 2008
By Sharron Randall
Before the Crockett Independent School District trustees got down to business in the regular meeting Monday, Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m., public comments from Paul Clebourn, Paula Jones, Pam Wells and Emma Hamilton touting the administrative abilities and character of Mark Giles were heard by audience and trustees.
After considerable discussion and questions addressed to John Walker, business manager and Superintendent Dr. Bill Like, board members, minus Trustee Trey Young, unanimously approved consent items 6-0.
Trustees questioned bills and expenses for such items as "yellow sticky notes" for $149, $25,000 charge for high school restrooms, fuel and locksmith costs, recruitment and tuition, and bus driver recertification fees.
Trustee Karen Johnson suggested that there be "more detail" and a fuller description on line items, while Trustee Helen Dubcak asked Walker if he could better "define what we're paying for,"
While Board President Claude Watson fielded the somewhat querulous questioning, Walker and Dr. Like assured board members that they would have all the information asked for at the budget meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 25.
New band directors Conrad Flusche and Jessica Acosta were introduced and delivered their band report and the board heard that Crockett High School would be going to an eight period day, along with the junior high.
TAKS interventions are built in and much more inclusion services have been added at the secondary level.
Dr. Like explained that the academic focus has to be on student achievement as board members expressed concern about AP and pre-AP classes in core subjects.
Interim CHS principal David Baxter, junior high principal Stephen Tuggle, Counselor Boyd and high school instructional coordinators Connie Pasho and Judy Leediker discussed course credits and course offerings on respective campuses.
One major issue to board members is the lack of a certified AP social studies teacher. Ms. Kennedy asked if the students who had done preparatory work during the summer for AP world history and AP U.S. history had been notified.
Baxter said he would notify those students by the end of the day on Tuesday, Aug. 19 after Ms. Boyd said that registration for Angelina College "was tonight," but that another signup was next Wednesday, Aug. 27.
Six people were unanimously approved to serve on the SHAC (School Health Advisory Council): Dale Clark, Lori Dowell, Kathy Haeckler, Lauda Taylor, Sammy Wagner and Marilyn Walker.
The 2008-2009 appraisal calendar was approved per the superintendent's recommendation and the 2008-2009 expedited waivers or early release days.
The No Pass/No Play course exemptions brought more discord when Trustee Deborah Kennedy made a motion, seconded by Ms. Dubcak, to "decline" the superintendent's recommendation as written, because it didn't "include pre-AP classes" or advanced classes in the junior high.
Trustee Johnny Lawrence cautioned the board to "Be careful," Ms. Johnson said, "Not many students are beating down the doors," Baxter reiterated that exemptions weren't just for athletes but all UIL contests, and Dr. Like said he had no objection to amend his recommendation to include Ms. Kennedy's suggestion.
Watson called for a vote, on Ms. Kennedy's motion: Ms. Dubcak voted for, Lawrence and Watson voted against, and Ms. Johnson and Trustee James Berry abstained; then a motion was made by Lawrence restating the suggested changes which passed 6-0.
Dr. Like reminded the board that no action was required for the budget review and that changes could be made until the budget workshop and even afterward.
Lawrence disputed the format of the budget. He said, "It's not clear, not transparent, impossible to read," to which Ms. Kennedy, Dubcak, Johnson, all agreed. Walker said he would work on making the budget clear to everyone.
Berry challenged the previous board's' use of the $400,000 the district received from the sale of the old intermediate school property, citing a conversation he overheard between two board members before his own election to the CISD School Board.
Walker explained that the money could not have been used without the board's approval and he could produce the minutes giving approval for any action taken on those proceeds.
Lawrence and Ms. Kennedy suggested raising the stipend per UIL event from $100 to $500. Mark Giles suggested that district administrators be allowed to discuss the language of the amended version and bring back their recommendations.
Berry wanted to bring in an outside audit to make sure the district's money is being spent wisely and that "things are done appropriately."
Dr. Like said the budget is never reviewed until the end of the fiscal year. He repeated, "Stipends are already figured in the budget."
Lawrence motioned and Watson seconded to accept Dr. Like's stipend schedule, but before a vote was taken, Ms. Kennedy began a discussion. She said, "You get to discuss the motion. It's Parliamentary Procedure."
Watson said, "You're being argumentative," and called for a vote on Lawrence's motion to accept the superintendent's recommendation to approve the stipend schedule. Lawrence, Ms. Johnson, and Watson voted to accept; Ms. Kennedy, Dubcak and Berry opposed.
Ms. Dubcak motioned, Berry seconded, to table the matter but Dr. Like said, "Please, do not start school without letting teachers know they will receive stipends they depend on."
A vote of 4-2 opposing tabling followed by an amended motion by Lawrence and Ms. Kennedy to approve the stipend schedule including Gile's suggestion that administrators take a look at raising the amount for sponsoring a UIL event passed unanimously.
The coaches' stipends were approved, and with very little discussion, Attorney Wayne Haglund's five board goals, which arrived at 4:06 p.m. with apologizes for being late, were approved as was the student code of conduct.
The student handbook did not require board approval, only "board review" said Dr. Like. A standardized TASB template provides one general handbook for each campus. Dress code is the same except for the alternative school.
After requests by Ms. Kennedy and Ms. Dubcak to discuss bids on tax trust properties and administrative salary scale in closed session, the board rejected the bids on the five suits and did not approve the three-percent administrative salary increase.
The board denied the Level III Complaint but administrators will now have to report all disciplinary actions when police are called. Ms. Johnson, Dubcak, Lawrence and Berry favored the new policy, Ms. Kennedy opposed it, and Watson abstained.