DISD to make a decision on bank for loan next week
By Robin Scott
The Dalhart Independent School Board has accepted bids from local banks for a $750,000 loan. At Tuesday’s regular school board meeting, June 16th, no decision was made as to which bid to accept. A revision letter will be delivered to each bank specifying the district’s needs more clearly. All banks will be requested to submit new bids and the board will meet again on Monday, June 22nd for a special meeting to make a determination.
Honors classes no longer exist at the High School. Instead, the board unanimously accepted the incentive plan for the Advanced Placement (AP) courses. DHS will offer AP courses that will still allow students to earn a weighted g.p.a. as with the Honors courses. Also to continue are dual credit courses. In the 2009/10 school year students who earn a 3 or 4 on their tests in an AP course will receive a $100 credit, and teachers whose students earned the credit will earn a $200 credit. The incentives are designed to encourage students to enroll in AP courses as well as do excel in those courses. The school will pay the costs associated with the exams, and most of the coursework is offered at no charge to the students. Currently, four teachers are getting certified to teach AP courses in Biology, Chemistry and History.
A request by DISD employees was made during the meeting and essentially the employees have asked that their children be allowed to ride a DISD school bus after school beginning in the 2009/10 school year. The children would be allowed to ride the buses to another DISD campus where their parent works. Approval of the request would allow DISD employees to have their children driven to their campus after school. In the past, DISD employees have had to leave their campus to go pick up their child and go back to the campus until their workday ended. They have also had to find other ways of having their children picked up after school, including paying for alternative busing. Their request would also allow them to avoid the cost of after-school childcare. The board has tabled the request for further discussion.
Agenda items that were unanimously accepted by the board included approving the Region 16 ESC contract for the 2009/10 school year. Most of the contracts DISD has had before and many are free. Business Manager Delbert Dodds stated, “We don’t turn down free.” Those contracts that have a cost associated with them have increased very little. Also approved was the standard audit engagement letter for DISD for the compensatory education audit for the year ending August 31, 2008, with Kenney, Hembree and Company, LLP.
DISD full-time employees will have the opportunity to select a Section 457 Voluntary Deferred Compensation Pretax Annuity Plan beginning in the 2009/10 school year. Superintendent Foote noted that only about 10 employees will make the election in the first year, but that the number will grow in time. Regardless of the number of employees that elect to have a DCPAP, the right to have them must first be approved by the board and approval was unanimous.
DISD has also unanimously approved a change in Worker’s Compensation carriers. A benefit to the change will be the return of unused monies paid to the carrier for claims and insurance. The current carrier does not refund any money to DISD.
Other business included the appointment of Russell Routon as this year’s TASB delegate and Rick Dunham as alternate delegate. The mobile home located on land recently purchased by DISD adjacent to the Bus Barn is ready for sale. Delbert Dodds has the keys and the property may be shown to prospective buyers. Russell Routon mentioned that the spread sheets prepared by Delbert Dodds for the month-to-month use of the DISD budget are very helpful. Dodds has added information on the percentage of the budget used in each budget category. Dodds also warned everyone that the next West Texas Gas bill will show an amount due of about $20,000. The district is aware of the error in math made by WTG last year and the bill will get paid in July.
Resignations received at the end of the school year included Kendall Cotton, Jr. High; Chris Smith, Jr. High/High School; and Maegan Frische, Jr. High. New employment contract approved included Allison White, Jr. High Home Economics; Meredith Meuchel, Jr. High Science; Tawny Allen, DIS Reading Interventionist (1/2 time); Don Smith, 3rd grade; Traci Shields, ESL/Migrant; Aaron Witten, High School Teacher/Coach; Jared Brock, High School Math/Coach; Joseph Hood, Jr. High Teacher/Coach; Crystal Pitti, High School Science; Kathryn Lobley, High School Math; Larry Kidd, XIT Special Education; and Gary Clazner, XIT Transition Teacher. Reassignments for the 2009/10 school year are Christie Przilas from 3rd grade to ESL; Mo Brydon from PPCD to XIT; and Melissa Fox from Head Start to Elementary Library.
The DISD School Board President Jeff Lloyd conducted Tuesday’s meeting. Present at the meeting were board trustees Russell Routon, Doug Claborn, Rick Dunham, Randy Sherrill, Misty Mellema, and Gary Schniederjan, DISD Superintendent David Foote and Business Manager Delbert Dodds. Also in attendance were DHS Principal David Steele, Vice Principal Denise Hutchinson, XIT Principal Carolyn Field and DIS Principal Mark McCormick.