School board hires three, accepts resignations of two

ITALY — The Italy School Board of Trustees approved the hiring of three new teachers and accepted the resignation of two others at its monthly meeting held Monday evening.

The board hired Clover Stiles at Stafford Elementary; Christy Willis and Amanda Patrick, both at the high school. They accepted the resignations of Candace Puckett and Linda Doherty.

The board spent a great deal of time discussing the pre-kindergarten local eligibility requirements.

Rochelle Hellner, a Stafford Elementary teacher, said she has a four-year-old and wants to get him into pre-kindergarten this fall but has been unable to get a definitive answer from the district.

Jimmie Malone, superintendent, provided each board member with the state policy regarding pre-kindergarten.

Malone said a district, according to the Texas Education Code, shall offer pre-kindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least four years of age by Sept. 1 of the current school year.

Eligibility requirements are children unable to speak and comprehend the English language, is educationally or economically disadvantaged.

Malone said the district receives compensation for 15 students but the district can legally accommodate up to 22 students. That is why students who do not qualify for the pre-kindergarten program pay $200 a month.

Currently 10 pre-kindergarten students have been approved for the 2010-2011 school year, four have qualified as English as a Second Language and the elementary school is awaiting eligibility approval for three other students. Four students are on a waiting list that will pay tuition.

Curtis Riddle, board member, said one of the objectives of the board is to obtain and attract quality teachers. He suggested that the district not charge teachers if they have children that want in pre-kindergarten. He said this could be a “perk” for teachers.

The board directed Malone to create guidelines for a local policy. He should have guidelines drawn up for board approval by the next school board meeting.

The board took no action regarding the endorsement of Keith Foisey or Lloyd Jenkins to serve on the TASB Board of Directions for Region X. Malone said the board will cast their votes for one of them later but did not need to specifically endorse either man at this time.

A “Team of Eight” training is tentatively scheduled for September. This year’s training will be entitled The Road to Exemplary.

During financial reports, Monica Boyd, business manager, reported the district has received 83.85% of projected revenue and expended 81.68% of its expenses.

Malone said the district received a rebate check for approximately $3,000 from Oncor through a rebate savings program. He credited Speed Hamby for getting this rebate.

Malone also praised the work of Lisa Jacinto, the new PEIMS coordinator at the high school. He said a few problems arose and said Jacinto got the report completed just under the deadline.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the renewal of membership with Walsh, Brown, Gallegos and Green, PC for legal services,
  • Approved employment of Patillo, Brown and Hill, LLP as independent financial auditors,
  • Approved a resolution designating Mark Arnold, Page Bishop and Rita Hodges as adjunct faculty,
  • Approved application to TEA to participate in Optional Flexible Year Program – six days at the end of the school year, two in November and two in February,
  • Approved minutes of the June 21 and June 30 meeting,
  • Approved the 2010-2011 PDAS appraisers, and
  • Approved the 2010-2011 PDAS calendar.

Following a brief executive session, the board returned and accepted the formative board expectation for the superintendent.

Earlier in the evening, the board held a budget workshop for the upcoming school year. The board will hold a second budget workshop in August.