By Chuck Davidson
CHESTER – The first action of the Chester ISD Board of Trustees at its Monday night meeting, after Bryan Martin convened the meeting, was to adopt an order authorizing the issuance of the $5.3 million dollar bond at an interest rate of 4.6 percent.
This rate, it was noted, is far below the projected rate of 5+ when the bond passed, thus lowering the amount of interest to be paid once approved by the state within the next 30 days.
Information from business manager Austin Odom and principal Amy Dinger was covered, along with comments from Chester ISD Superintendent Paul Drake, that after three weeks of school, all is going well in the new school year.
Enrollment is currently at 200, and more than 100 families attended the recent “Meet the Teacher” night. The district is reviewing its special education options for next year due to Woodville dropping out of the cooperative.
One new challenge for the district is in the growth of the pre-K and Kindergarten. programs: each have 13 students now.
Other highlights shared: 11 students are enrolled in Lamar’s dual credit program and seven CTE courses are now being offered.
Several action items were approved: 1) 2023-24 school handbook; 2) HB 3 resolution to waive mandated security officers on campus; 3) donations from the Alex Johnson Memorial Fund and Enon Baptist church; 4) a memorandum of understanding with Angelina college for welding; 5) expenditure for elementary school’s foundation repair; and 6) change to school calendar.
The board did meet in executive session and once back in public session did approve an amendment to the district’s compensation plan. Next meeting is set for next Monday night to discuss the district’s budget and proposed tax rate with the next regular board meeting set for Sept. 18.