CISD Campuses Going High Tech

By Kelly McChesney

Crockett ISD campuses are going high tech. The CISD Board of Trustees voted during its Monday, Dec. 15 meeting to accept bids from Apple Inc., Sunrise HITEK and CDW Government to purchase electronic devices for student and teacher use.

The cost of the devices is covered by the recently awarded Holistic Engagement for Lifelong Proficiency (HELP) grant and a TEA technology grant.

Over a three-year term, CISD will receive over $1 million ($1,151,210) from the HELP grant.
Through the Texas Education Agency Technology Lending Program Grant, Crockett ISD will receive $100,000 to go towards devices for students and laptops for teachers.

For the elementary campus, the district will purchase a total of 145 devices (I-Pad Minis) from Apple Inc. for a cost of $33,855. Also for the elementary campus, 145 covers for the I-Pad Minis will be purchased from Sunrise HITEK for a cost of $4,763.

CISD will purchase 101 Chromebooks from CDW Government for the junior high campus. These devices will cost $29,999.02.

The district will purchase 100 Chromebooks for the high school campus. They will be purchased from CDW Government for $30,000.

Seven Chromebooks will be purchased for a total cost of $1,819.16 from CDW Government for use at the Piney Woods Alternative Education Campus.

The tablets will be used in the classrooms, and will not be taken home by the students, according to Assistant Superintendent Wendy Tullos.

"Maybe next year we will look at lending the tablets, but there are a lot of things that need to be done before we take that step," she said.

The board also voted to accept the following gifts and donations:
• $386 from the Bealls bi-annual Community Counts program called "30 Days of Giving" from Stage Stores.
The gift, made possible by donations collected from customers at the Bealls store in Crockett, part of the Stage Stores family, was designated for the Accelerated Reading program.
• Brookshire Brothers and Polk Pick-It-Up and its partner, ExxonMobil, donated $500 to Crockett High School and $500 to Crockett Junior High. The schools were among 24 East Texas schools receiving the Educational Alliance Math and Science grants.
• An anonymous donor gave 50 pairs of shoes and socks. The shoes and socks are being distributed on an "as needed" basis, according to Tullos.

The trustees voted also to subscribe to the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Legal Services. The mission of TASB Legal Services is to advance public education by providing sound legal information and high quality training to Texas public school officials.

Myers said CISD subscribes every year, but it requires approval by the board of trustees to do so.

The subscription includes the monthly TASB School Law Update Newsletter, the monthly newsletter "PLUS", which includes embedded links to the full text of newly released Texas Commissioner of Education decisons; and access to the TASB online Legal Research Library.
Trustees additionally voted to advertise for Request for Proposals and Contract for Food Service Management Operation. The U. S. Department of Agriculture requires the district to re-bid its food service management every five years.

Also during Monday's meeting, members of the Crockett High School Bulldog area championship football team (3A Region 3 Division 2), were honored by the CISD Board of Trustees.

Each member of the team was congratulated by the superintendent and board members at a reception before the regular scheduled board meeting. Football players were treated to cake, cookies and punch.

After the board convened in its regular session, the players and coaches were formally recognized by the board and congratulated on their success.

Myers said, "It is a great accomplishment."

Coach Jimmy Thompson added, " I am very proud my team and of what this group accomplished this year."

Myers also announced that Crockett Junior High won the UIL (University Scholastic League) Academic competition at a recent UIL meet and the elementary team placed second.
Myers said, "Our kids are just as smart as any other kids. They just need to be motivated."
In other business, Myers reported that Roberta Mason and Johnnie McKnight, both of Crockett, recently recognized 20 individuals for making public service announcements on local radio about the importance of education. A reception was held on Wednesday, Dec. 10 in honor of those individuals.

Following an executive session, board members voted to hire two new teachers. Cash Thompson is a new high school teacher and Hannah Van Gorp is a new elementary teacher.
In other CISD news, three board members' terms will expire in May: District 7, President Lela P. Wheeler; District 4, Secretary Karen Johnson; and District 3, Roy E. Johnson.

Election filing dates for these positions are Jan. 28, 2015 - Feb. 27, 2015. Applicants can apply in person at the CISD Administration Office at 1400 West Austin St. The office is open Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

The CISD administration offices will be closed Dec. 22 - Jan. 5.