|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Third LISD elementary eyed by board
BY BRIAN BESCH
LIVINGSTON -- Recommendations for a third elementary campus and the district's truancy policy were reviewed Monday by the Livingston Independent School District's board. Superintendent Dr. Darrell Myers discussed some of his recommendations for Livingston's third elementary campus. The school will be located on Church Street in the same facility previously used by Livingston Intermediate School. "Over the last three years, we've been talking to elementary faculty members and administrative staff and I think what would best serve Livingston ISD is a third elementary school," Myers said. "Because of transitional grades, if we have an early childhood campus that's kindergarten or through the first grade and then we move to another campus, it adds a transitional grade for us. "If you look at the data of where our kids struggle the most academically, it's in the transitional grades. For instance, the fourth grade, sixth grade and the ninth grade. In order to avoid another transition and the stress that goes along with it, I think in our community, we would be best served by a Pre-K through third campus. I'm hesitant to draw attendance zones. I like the lottery and assignmenttype system we have; it has served us well. That's not to say that at some point there will not have to be attendance zones, but I would like to try it without attendance zones to start with to see if we can do it through assignment and request like we do it now. "If the board would permit, I would like to start that new campus in the fall semester of 2014 and I would like to phase that campus in. Starting with Pre-K through first (grade). We will have to divide those (Kindergarten) and 1st (grade) kids up to that campus. The reason I say that is the transition. If we uproot the second and third graders from the campus they are on right now, I am afraid that we are going to initiate some problems that we could avoid if we phase it in with those older kids. I would like to do that and add a grade until we get up to the third grade. We can do that and begin the first year with 230 kids on that campus. I think we can do that with a principal and some office support. Then in the fall of 2015, add the (assistant principal) when we add another grade to that campus." Myers said he would like to come back to the board next month to acquire a definition of what the campus will be and clarification for an action item. The board also discussed the Livingston ISD Truancy Prevention Plan and the number of unexcused absences in the district. "I believe last year there was a total of 79 that were filed and issued subpoenas and probably about 70 of those were served, because some of them went ahead and came in, according to Judge (Darrell) Longino's Office." Myers said. According to the plan, intervention officers make phone contact with parents or conduct a home visit when a student is absent three consecutive days and the reason for the absence is unknown. Parents are mailed letters advising them of the child's attendance on the third, fifth and eighth absence each semester. Warning notices are mailed to parents and students when a student receives a third unexcused absence in a four-week period. Parents are advised to contact the intervention officer to schedule an office visit to discuss the student's attendance to avoid court action. Failure to attend school or parents contributing to non-attendance cases are filed when students continue to have unexcused absences after a warning notice has been mailed.