|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Ager, Nettles sworn in for new terms at LISD board of trustees
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — During the November meeting of the Livingston ISD Board of Trustees Henry Ager III and Mike Nettles took the oath of office for new four-year terms after neither candidate drew an opponent for the November election. The board was then reorganized with Bea Ellis continuing to serve as president, Casey Evans as vice president, and Ben R. Ogletree III as secretary. Human Resources Director Penee Hall reported that four of the LISD campuses reached the 100 percent mark on highly qualified teachers, but the district was one teacher away from reaching the goal for the entire district. Auditors presented a clean, unqualified opinion on the district’s financial statements for the preceding fiscal year as well as the federal funding awarded to the district under Title I funds and the education job fund. Architect Richard Crump gave a report on construction at the new Livingston Intermediate Campus under way on Lions Avenue. One item Crump noted that despite significant rainfall experienced at the site during the weeks preceding the November meeting, the French drain and other improvements installed to deal with stormwater runoff have resulted in a noticeable improvement in how stormwater flows at the front side of the building. Crump informed the board that the delivery of chairs for the auditorium chairs has been delayed, so the date of substantial completion for the building has been moved back one month to Feb. 7, 2013. “The manufacturer said that is the soonest they can get here,” Crump said. Police Intervention Report Campus resource officers made five arrests during the month of October, according to a report made to board members. Four of the arrests were for disorderly conduct; one occurred at the AEP campus, two at the junior high and two at the high school. One arrest was made at the junior high for possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone. Officers also issued two citations at the junior high for Class C assault. English Language Learners and Special Education Other reports to the board showed that 255 students attending LISD are classified as “English language learners”, students who speak a language other than English at home and testing indicates they have some limits on their English language abilities. The greatest number of students identified as English Language Learners are in the early elementary grades — there are 45 first-graders alone. But two students in 10th, 11th and 12th are so classified. Also during the November meeting, Pamela Mitchell, Director of Special Services, notified board members that the number of students identified as needing special education services may have been inflated at the beginning of the school, at least partially because of migrating data from the special ed co-op to the district’s own system. The state would like to see a special services population of 8.5 percent, which would be 347 students. Originally the special education enrollment was 477, but that was shown to be an inflated number and it quickly dropped to 440. Mitchell said a lot of the students in special ed are speech impaired. Several other students that had been in the database were “no shows” that had not been exited from the program. “We are trying to reduce the number of referrals,” Mitchell said. “We are working on interventions without referrals and helping counselors addressing behavior problems before they interfere with academics.” Janan Moore, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, explained the district’s policy how end of course exams will be calculated as part of a student’s overall grade — provided it is not changed by in the upcoming legislative session. Moore said the student’s grade for semester 1 and semster 2 will be averaged and count as 85 percent of their final grade. Then the end of course grade will count as 15 percent of their course grade. Students who retake an end of course exam will only be allowed to use the new score to obtain credit for the course, not to change their class rank. The end-of-course grade police affects current sophomores and freshmen.