Board award contracts to repair roofs, update HV/AC units

The Italy School Board of Trustees awarded two contracts using Tax Rate Election (TRE) funds at its monthly meeting held Monday evening.

The voter-approved $0.13 tax rate increase added an additional $481,500 to the budget for the 2008/2009 school year and each year thereafter until the State legislature changes current law.

The board awarded the first contract — for $105,978 — to DK Haney Roofing Construction of Fort Worth. Ralph Harris, a firm representative, was present to answer board member questions. This contract is to replace portions of roofs on both campuses.

Haney said a Duro-Last roof has a 15-year warranty but expects it to last much longer. He explained that the 14 facilities with Duro-Last roofs survived the recent hurricane in Galveston with minimal damage. Haney also explained that the school should see a significant energy savings with the new roof.

He told the board they would probably need to have the roof re-caulked after 15 years but suggested the roof should last up to 25 years. Harris said the firm could get started on the project as early as June 6, just after the school year ends.

The trustees awarded a second contract to Lockridge-Priest Heating and Air Conditioning. The board recommended Jimmie Malone, superintendent, and Speed Hamby, maintenance director, determine the better of the two proposals from the firm. The bids range from $108,000 to $146,000.

This contract will replace 33 of the 125 HV/AC units, some going on both campuses.

In other business, the board approved Texas Kids First as the 2009-2010 student accident carriers and the first reading of the board policy update regarding donations to the district.

They accepted the resignation of Lee Owens, cheerleading coach and Spanish teacher.

Financially, the district has received 71.19% of expected revenue and has expended 61.94% of its expenses. All financial/budgetary reports were approved as presented.

Current enrollment is at 624 students with 347 students at Stafford Elementary and 277 at the junior high/high school. Refined average daily attendance is 584.97.

Malone named Speed Hamby as employee of the month for April.

He praised Hamby for his going “above and beyond” his duties.

Malone said Hamby gets things done and gets them done right. He added that Hamby and his staff are “not afraid to work.”

The superintendent read an e-mail he received from David Wilson, transportation director for the Corpus Christi ISD. In the correspondence, Wilson thanked the district after Hamby went out of his way to repair the Corpus Christi school bus when it broke down outside of Italy. Malone said Hamby went beyond his duties to assist the stranded riders.

Hamby was presented an apple and a $25 gift certificate from the district.

Additionally, Malone read a letter from Angelica Garza praising Jennifer Reeves, teacher and coach at the high school. Garza said Reeves, who is suffering with Multiple Sclerosis, is a positive influence, has taught perseverance through personal trials and has been a most influential teacher.

Both school principals were on hand to address the board.

Carolyn Maevers, Stafford principal, said the school will host a Play Day on May 8 when students have an Hawaiian Luau.

She also reported that the district received preliminary results from TAKS testing for the third and fifth grades. The third grade, she said, realized 91% passing in the reading portion with 43% receiving commended performance. Four students will be required to retest on the reading portion. This is an Exemplary rating for the district.

The fifth grade had 77% passing in the Reading portion with 27% earning commended performance. Thirteen students will have to retake the TAKS. The fifth grade math saw 71% passing with 27% earning commended performance. Sixteen students will retake this portion. The students being required to retake the test will have two more chances to pass.

Maevers said many of these students just missed a question or two that caused them to fail. She said teachers already have plans in place to work with these students. She added that the campus has tutoring available after school but said she has trouble getting students to stay after school for the additional assistance.

Scott Herald, high school principal, said his campus is busy with end of year events. He said both the girl’s softball and boy’s baseball teams will be going to the playoffs. He added that four students advanced to regional competition in track and three have advanced to area competition.

He said the FCCLA and agricultural students have won awards in every competition they have entered. The high school UIL competition has 12 students advancing to regional competition.

The board will meet again to canvas votes on May 12 at 5 p.m. following the May 9 election. The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Monday, May 18.