By Teresa Holloway
Latexo Independent Sch-ool District officials honored Houston County Courier's Editor-in-Chief, Lynda Jones, in an informal ceremony at the LISD Board of Trustees meeting Monday, June 22.
Jones received the "Media Honor Roll" award from Superintendent Don Elsom and the board members in recognition of the year's outstanding media work.
"Every year through the Texas Association of School Boards we have an opportunity to nominate local media for the 'Media Honor Roll'," Elsom said.
"This year, Lynda Jones of the Houston County Courier has been recognized for fair and balanced reporting, and providing valuable information to the community about public schools, their students, parents and patrons, by Latexo ISD and the school board," Elsom said as he presented the certificate to Jones.
In other business, the board reviewed results from the Community and Parent Survey. Elsom explained the grading scale as 0-2.99, unacceptable; 3-4.99, acceptable; 5-8.99, recognized and above 9 is exemplary.
Most of the scores for the district, elementary and high school fall into the "recognized" category, with several earning "exemplary" scores.
The overall scores for the district are: Fine Arts, 7.33; Wellness and Physical Education, 8.10; Community and Parent Involvement, 8.69; 21st Century Workforce Development, 8.52; Second Language Acquisition, 8.50; Digital Learning Environment, 9.36; Dropout Prevention, 8.96; Gifted and Talented Program, 8.55.
The elementary scores are Fine Arts, 6.92; Wellness and Physical Education is 8.21; Community and Parent Involvement is 9.27; 21st Century Workforce Development is 8.76; Second Language Acquistion is 8.95; Digital Learning Environment, 9.71; Dropout Prevention is 9.18 and Gifted and Talented was 8.38.
The high school ratings are Fine Arts, 8.04; Wellness and Physical Education, 7.91; Community and Parental Involvement is 8.02; 21st Century Workforce Development is 8.30; Second Language Acquistion 8.05; Digital Learning Environment is 8.98; Dropout Prevention is 8.68 and Gifted and Talented is at 8.64.
Action items approved by the board include the following:
Breakfast and lunch fees for students will remain the same for the upcoming school year, though the cost of adult meals will be raised slightly to bring the Latexo ISD into accord with the state mandated compensatory program. The adult (non-student) lunch prices will be $3.
Employees will see a 3 percent salary increase in their 2015-2016 paychecks. This is on the high end of the prudent expenditures acceptable within the Latexo ISD budget, according to Elsom.
The board also voted to hold its budget workshop for Thursday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m., in the Latexo High School Library. Workshops are held in preparation for development of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget and subsequent establishing of the FY 2016 tax rate.
In other action, to better utilize underused space, the board voted to approve the installment of astroturf in the batting cages and other athletic facilities.
These will be multi-use facilities, and will benefit elementary and high school students using the outdoor facilities for sports and recreation events.
The board also voted to use a construction manager with 'competitive bid' capacity to build the science/classroom wing onto the high school.
Elsom recommended the method based on analysis and discussion of the different types of construction management techniques, and the board approved the recommendation.
Elsom additionally updated the board on the status of the district's energy retrofit project.
The elementary school has new lights, and the high school lighting is 25 – 50 percent complete, Elsom reported.
As for summer project, Elsom said the high school gym is painted and the elementary gym is being repaired and painted.
"The floor refinishing in the classrooms is going extremely smoothly," Elsom said. "The HVAC system is going up in the elementary - I believe they are finished with the back two hallways," he added.
After meeting in an executive session, the board reconvened and voted to accept the hiring of Stephanie Willis as an elementary school teacher. The board then welcomed her to the staff.