The Lady Gladiator varsity basketball squad, who finished 6-0 in district and are advancing to the area round on Friday, were recognized by the school board during their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening. The Lady Gladiators are ranked 15th in TGCA (Texas Girls Coaches Association) and 20th in the TABC (Texas Association of Basketball Coaches).
Administrators gave their reports, discussions on new business, and action items included the extension of the Athletic Director and campus principals’ contracts, extension of the Business Managers contract and the approval of the Director of Operations contract.
During the Open Forum, Joe Windham, Jr. stood up to discuss the “bad attitudes” that the boys sports program seems to be suffering. Mr. Windham felt that these issues need to be worked on from the top down and stated that the school board is the top.
During the review of the consent agenda, Mrs. Owen asked about the status of some waivers for the few days when attendance was the low due to wide spread illnesses. Mr. Velasco responded that he had submitted those waivers and is waiting for a response.
Mr. Velasco reported on the Building Committee’s progrees. The committee is working with a 10.5 million dollar bond package budget. Stafford Elementary’s remodel and upgrades are number one on their list. This leaves a 5 million dollar budget to work with at the high school. The committee will be meeting again tonight, Tuesday, February 17.
Mr. Velasco continued with a report on a food services update. Italy ISD has been with Red Oak since 2011. Mr. Velasco had some conversations with Red Oak about the drop in quality this year. Upon further discussions, Red Oak has decided to stop servicing Italy. Mr. Velasco felt like we were heading that way already, but this sudden drop on their end sped up our timeline. The current equipment in the cafeteria is available to us for purchase from Red Oak, but we are going to do some more pricing before reviewing that. Region 12 has a program that teaches the current staff, by chefs, that can help produce good food that will be good for the kids. Mr. Velasco continued by stating that if we go that route, we will have to put out for about 7 cafeteria workers and 2 new cafeteria managers.
High School Principal, Lee Joffre, gave his report. Italy Junior High and High School students are required to have a maintain a 75% average in all classes and a 95% attendance rate for the second semester to earn test exemptions. This month, our attendance rate was 96.72%, that’s down from 96.9% last month.
Mr. Joffre also commented on the college and post high school readiness. The class of 2015 has 6 students graduating with Level 1 Welding Certificates. These Level 1 Welding Certificates qualify as a dual credit course. These students can go straight to a Level 2 course at Navarro College with this certificate or go right into the workforce in some cases. Navarro College is using our entire dual credit program as a model for small schools in this area. This includes our welding program as well as our college core curriculum.
Mr. Joffre stating that during the week of March 30th the FAFSA and Scholarship Workshops will be held. Local scholarship deadline has now moved to April 3rd to allow students extra time in getting these scholarship applications completed.
Mr. Joffre also reported that we have 32 students competing in Ag extracurricular activities. “The Ag Mechanics group is building a hydraulic trailer that is impressive”, said Joffre. There are students showing cattle, lambs, pigs and rabbits this year.
Fort Worth Livestock Show Results
- Ty Windham – 9th Place Brangus
- Thomas Crowell – 6th Place Brangus
- Clay Riddle – 3rd Place Maine
- JT Escamilla – 6th Place Maine
- Jaclynn Lewis – 7th, 9th, 10th, and 12th place lambs
- Clay Riddle – $500.00 Calf Scramble certificate
- FAFSA Workshop – February 21st
- San Antonio Livestock Stock Show begins this week
- Too Good for Drugs Program – Weekly lessons starts in March
- Shattered Dreams – March 9th and 10th
The elementary principal reported strength at Stafford right now. “TPRI testing went well for our Kindergarten through 2nd grades, tutorials are going well, and everything is going very good right now”
In new business, the call for the new school board election and the call for that election to be held jointly with the City elections on May 9th was carried.
There was some discussion on the TASB Policy Update 101. Updates included: Additional statements for board member training, increases in school board trainings, they want new construction to have a bid package sent and registered with them, some newer rules on school nutrition, superintendent has the flexibility to adjust the calendar due to illnesses that can go through the school, a new form that would outline any outside mediations of disciplinary issues, employment issues, secondary instruction, CPR instruction, there was a section that they discussed about a “certificate of completion” that would allow some kids who may not have passed the end of course exams to walk at graduation but not receive a diploma, adopting new policies to increase awareness of abuse at home, attendance credit would look at all absences including excused absences, and simplification on the rules for students traveling to and from events. This motion was carried.
After executive session, Item 9A was a motion to consider/approve the contract of Athletic Director. Mr. Velasco recommended that the school board not accept the extension of the athletic director at this time. The motion was unanimously carried.
Item 9B was a motion to consider/approval of Campus Principal(s) contracts. Mr. Velasco recommended that they extend the campus principals contracts by one year. The motion was carried unanimously to extend their contracts as suggested by Mr. Velasco.
Item 9C was a motion to consider/approve the business manager and director of finance contract. Natasha Blackburn has Non-Chapter 21 contract with Italy School District now. Mr. Velasco recommended a 1 year extension. The motion was carried unanimously to extend her contract.
Item 9D was a motion to consider/approve the contract for the Director of Operations. Michael Chambers has been in charge of many different aspects of the school operations, and the board voted unanimously to put him under a Non-Chapter 21 contract for one year.
Information items: State testing calendar is still under revision. So the school calendar for 2015-2016 will be finalized at a later meeting.
Meeting was adjourned.