Italy ISD trustees hear STARR/TAKS/EOC results

The Italy ISD Board of Trustees heard preliminary test results in their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Stafford Elementary Principal, Pamela Thomas, reported that 3rd Grade Reading and Math percentages were lower than last year; 4th Grade Reading and Writing improved; 5th grade Math and Science improved and 6th Grade Reading and Math improved and exceeded target.

“We have a tentative plan for improvement in place for next year,” Thomas said. “Tutorials will begin in September. We also have a mentoring program in place for first year teachers. We have added a new member to the 3rd and 4th grade team. We have also established an At-Risk List.”

Lee Joffre, High School Principal, told the Board that 7th Grade Reading and Math scores were lower than last year, but Writing scores improved. He also reported that 8th Grade Reading, Science and Social Studies scores also increased.

“We have a plan of improvement in place to help our students pass,” said Joffre. “This includes a summer remediation for SSI and EOC, EOC/STAAR classes for students who failed, teachers professional development during the summer and Write for Texas with Region 10.”

Mr. Velasco explained the Write for Texas program offered by Region 10. He said that the program is being offered to select schools and he is pleased that Italy is one of them. The program is expected to improve a student’s writing skills.

Velasco also reported that he met with Pete Hinohosa, owner of Tri-County Appliance and Air Conditioning. Hinohosa was an instructor at ATI in the past and offered to work with the school to teach classes to high school students. Velasco said they would take a year to research the cost of equipment, possible involvement with Navarro College and location of classes.

Velasco also discussed the meeting he had with Mayor James Hobbs. Hobbs requested the meeting to discuss strengthening the relationship between the city and the school.

“I told Mr. Hobbs I would like to know why people are moving out of Italy,” Velasco said. “We would like to obtain that data from the City. We also discussed meeting with local realtors to hopefully get information to turn things around.”

The Board accepted the resignations of Melissa Bedard, Stafford Counselor and Jane Medrano, 5th Grade Math Teacher. The board hired Jane Laws as the Volleyball Coach and Secondary Business Teacher.

They also hired Steven Berry as the Secondary Social Studies teacher. Berry has been employed by the Seagoville ISD for 7 years. He received his degree from the University of Oklahoma and taught in Japan for 5 years.

Mr. Velasco reported that they had received information that the new school bus is ready for delivery. He also said that during June and July the district employees will work 10 hour days Monday through Thursday so the school, including the offices, will be closed on Fridays.

The Board approved budget workshops at 6:00 p.m. on June 23rd and July 28th.