|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - April 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Coldspring schools show improvement
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING -- Annual discipline reports and a grant request to the Governor’s Offi ce, Criminal Justice Division, were among items of business before Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District trustees. Meeting in regular session, Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Assistant Principal Greg Solberg told trustees there have been 207 disciplinary incidents at the campus this school year. That is 50 fewer than the same period last year, he said. High school incidents have declined rapidly over the last four years, from 1,079 in 2006- 2007 to 688 for 2008-2009. Solberg predicts that incidents will number about 400 at the end of the current school year. He specifi cally noted that students cited for possession, selling, and/or use of a controlled substance – including tobacco - doubled this year, from four to eight. (Three violations are for tobacco.) “This is because of the District’s new tip line,” Solberg said. “Reports can be made anonymously so all our tips have been from students. Students want our school to be the best; they don’t want illegal substances on our campus. “To me,” Solberg added, “this report means teachers are in the hallway making sure students get to class and afterwards they are in the classroom providing challenging instruction. Students are showing more respect to teachers and – I believe – teachers are showing more respect to students.” Johnny Walker, Lincoln Junior High assistant principal, expressed similar thoughts. “We have the best kids around,” he said, “and we are working effectively as a team under the leadership of Ms. Spivey (LJH principal).” LJH reported 178 discipline incidents thus far for 2009- 2010. The highest occurrences are under the heading of “horse play”; the fewest number are for “students in unauthorized areas” and “tardy”. There were 480 total incidents in 2008- 2009. Next, Coldspring Intermediate School and James Street Elementary School Assistant Principal James Shumake reported 178 incidents at CIS and 43 at JSE for the fi rst semester. The numbers represent a decrease in violations by 24 and 27, respectively. Shumake further noted that 291 of 350 CIS students and 338 of 365 JSE students have had no discipline referrals at all this school year. Finally, Disciplinary Alternative Education Program principal, Carolyn Jefferson, reported that 15 LJH students and 29 COHS students had been placed in DAEP this school year. Of those, Jefferson said, there is only one incident of recidivism. “When they leave,” she said, “they are prepared to return and stay within the rules of their campus.” To continue to address discipline referrals District-wide and minor recidivism to DAEP, trustees approved a resolution to submit a grant application to the Offi ce of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, for additional funds aimed at intervention and reducing dropouts. Jefferson told trustees the grant is for $186,150 through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. Grant money would employ an early intervention support person and it would fund an after-school program focused on academic acceleration. “It is unique and separate from the Boys and Girls Club,” Jefferson said later.In other business: COHS band director, Peter Muller, presented plans for the purchase of new band uniforms. Projected cost for the initial purchase of 100 uniforms is more than $31,000 with $27,000 funded by the District and about $4,000 contributed by the Booster Club. Muller said the District will advertise for bids, to be submitted for trustees’ approval. “The current uniforms were purchased in 1999,” he noted, “new ones should last until 2018-2020.” Trustees approved the District calendar for 2010-2011. It is patterned after the current calendar, a result of parent, student, staff, and community surveys. The fi rst day of the new school year is August 23. The last day is June 2. Schools close one week for Thanksgiving and a little more than two weeks for Christmas. Spring Break is March 14-18. Following executive session, trustees acknowledged the retirement of long-time teacher and COCISD employee, Dolly Brown. Brown has taught 34 years in Special Education, Home Economics, and Career Investigations. She has been employed in COCISD for 33 years. Trustees also accepted resignations, effective the end of the 2009-2010 contract year, from the following instructional staff: Street Elementary: Bobbie Levan, music; Elizabeth Smith, 2nd grade; Sandra Warren, 2nd grade; CIS: Tina Sparto, 5th grade; LJH: Karen Lee, math; Kathy Whatley, Language Arts – Resource; COHS: Nicole Atherton Gates, math; Juan Ramirez, Social Studies; Jeff Sockwell, Ag mechanics; and Laurie Sykes, math.