Latexo FFA gives slide show for school board
Houston County Courier
By Ashlie LeBlanc
The Nov. 11 Latexo ISD school board meeting opened with the group of students that went on the trip to the National FFA Conference in Indianapolis. Board members viewed a slide show containing pictures of the students’ experiences. In addition to the conference, they went to Indianapolis 500, where they were able to look at all the cars from generation to generation of car racing. Some of the photographed cars looked as if they were from the 1920s. The students also visited Conner Prairie Living History Museum, located in Fisher, IN. There, they observed the blacksmith, potter and the general store owner conduct business. There were over 55,000 FFA students in attendance. The students were able to attend career fairs and listen to motivational speaker Josh Ship who gave three speeches every day. There are 51 paid members of the FFA and a total of 150 agriculture students currently at Latexo. Some of the students attend Ag classes more than once a day. During the recent Sam Houston District meeting, the Senior Farm Skills team earned first place and the Radio Broadcast team earned second place. They competed with schools that are not in Latexo’s division. In other business, there was discussion in regards to the old marquee outside of the school. The question is, should it be removed or repainted? The marquee is rusting, it’s an eye sore and maybe it can be used for something else were some of the comments made. Suggestions were that it could be donated to a local church or given to the Ag class to use for welding. The position that was taken, was to get estimates on how much it would cost to have it painted or removed. Then, if it was removed, what to do with the area where it was located would be addressed. It has been put on the agenda for the next board meeting after the superintendent gets more information to bring to the board. Further business concerned athletes. Students who play sports at this time are given $5 for a meal while they are a way from school. There was a motion to increase the amount given to each student. Superintendent Don Elsom said, “These kids are out promoting our school and I know that you can not get a meal at a fast food place for $5. We need to give out more money.” The process of this is that as the student leaves the bus to go into the restaurant, they are handed $5. That is what they use to pay for dinner or lunch. The board voted to up the amount from $5 to $8 per student. Also, if the kids are leaving before lunch, the cafeteria can make them a sack lunch to take with them and then they still get dinner on the way home. There were new policy changes to discuss for the first reading of the DEC. The school board went over some minor changes that were going to be made to the policy. Discussion was also about what to do when a teacher retires, how to handle the days that they have accumulated to take off, and how to best not effect the students. Elsom said, “We don’t want to pay for a substitute teacher when we can just pay at the end of the year the teacher back for her days that she has. We would rather have a teacher in the classroom than a substitute. “When the teacher builds up so many days, they can almost take off all year. The students miss out.” The board decided to review the new changes at the next meeting. Team of Eight training was scheduled for Dec. 6, but it has been moved to either Dec. 1 or 15. Team of Eight training is where the school board members get together with a trainer in order for them to evaluate how the superintendent is doing in his role. If his evaluation is not done by a certain date, he will not get paid until he has been evaluated. That is the state law. In order to evaluate the superintendent the board will have a goal setting meeting. They will decide what goals they want the superintendent to achieve and what he has accomplished so far. The Latexo School Board went in to a closed session to discuss approval or denial of some transfer students applications. The students that had applied for a transfer were denied. The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The next Steering Committee meeting has not yet been announced.