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Stories Added - December 2010
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Benchmark testing addressed at Kennard ISD board meeting
Houston County Courier

By Ashlie LeBlanc

Elementary School Principal Ginger Arbuckle addressed the Kennard School Board Thursday, Dec. 9 regarding benchmark tests and the importance of them. “By giving the benchmark tests we can find out how the teachers are teaching and how well the students are learning,” said Arbuckle. Benchmarks are given to act as a guide to show where the student is mastering a certain objective. Arbuckle told the board that there are several things that the school is doing in order to bring up TAKS scores. Teachers will be monitored to make sure they are using the programs correctly. Students will be pulled out of certain elective classes in order for them to receive additional help as well. It will give them time to be academically successful. High School Principal Jason Crow said, “They are facing the same problems and will be implementing the same things as the elementary in order to bring up scores.” “Math benchmarks are not good and you can see that some objectives have not been covered yet,” said Crow. When asked about the seniors and if all of them had passed the TAKS, Crow said there is one student that has not passed any section of the test. The student will be given two more times in the school year and one in the summer to try to pass. Amendments to facility guidelines were also discussed. Superintendent David Baxter told the board that he wanted to add a few more clarifying details to the agreement. Baxter said, “I want to make sure that the lessee knows the policy regarding the no alcohol or tobacco on school grounds.” He also said that he wants to make sure that the lessee knows that the facility leased must be cleaned after its use. Also, the only furniture that can be provided by the school will be tables and chairs from the cafeteria. “As far as security, they will have to provide that, but before they are able to use the facility they must meet with me so that I can make sure proper security is in place,” said Baxter. The board also discussed and approved handing over the summer lunch program to Crockett ISD. Students up to age 18, during the summer, are eligible to come up to the school cafeteria and is provided lunch. The meal must be consumed on school premises. The main reason to waive the program for this summer is the high cost of fuel. Because of the geographically large district that Kennard serves, it would not be feasible to transport all of the students to and from the school. Terry Stubblefield was appointed to be the school board representative to the Site-Based Decision-Making Committee. The first meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 3:30 p.m. The committee will be discussing a mission plan. A closed session was called provided by Texas Government Code Section 551.074 of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Results from the executive session were the approval of new substitute teachers, approval of the superintendent’s goals and approval of the discipline report.


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