By Michelle VineyardSpecial to The NavCo Chronicle
Kerens ISD school board held its monthly meeting on July 25th at 6 pm, meetings are typically held on the fourth Monday of the month.
During the open forum the district was presented with excess proceeds from tax sales in the amount of approximately $12,000 to go to the district’s general fund.
The action items that were discussed and voted on are as follows:
- Employee handbook: Changes to the employee handbook include moving away from requiring receipts from teacher for reimbursement when attending conferences. Teachers will now be receiving $40 per diem for conferences, to accommodate rising meal prices and streamline the process of compensation for teachers. The mileage rate has also gone up to accommodate the rising costs of fuel.
- Student handbook: Changes proposed to the student handbook were minimal, the board approved the new student code of conduct, which was the same as last years.
- Bond Payment BOKF and UMB Banks for debt services: The board approved their bi-annual bond payments.
- Approval of 22-23 teacher appraisers: The board approved the same staff as the previous year to remain qualified to give teacher appraisals .
- 22-23 appraisal calendar: The board approved dates for goal-setting, and due dates for teacher appraisals. The boar recognized that teacher appraisals can be performed only during the period of time from September 13 through May 5.
- Property & casualty insurance: The board voted to approve a stand-in limit (capped) of $120K, the quote has not been finalized and this will be updated once the final amount is known.
- Approved budget amendment under facilities: The board approved a new bus tracking system for students, that will utilize smart cards with GPS for routes. Superintendent, Mr Brumit compared it to Life360 for children on the bus, giving more accountability to where children are, if they arrived on the bus, and if they are on the correct bus. The students would be able to use this smart card as a new school id, lunch, and library card all in one.
- Region 12 contract: The board approved the contract that is up for renewal. This contract comes up annually for renewal for data center housing, business center, etc.
- Adding innovative course in Advance Floral Design : The board approved a new course to be offered in the High School. This advanced class would be a step up from the current course that is offered. There are 10-12 kids already in line to take the class, which would be considered a CTE/ Elective course and include certification.
- Superintendent & Principals Report: Items discussed include-
- Facilities are prepared and ready for school to start.
- Discussed the fire safety due to the current dry weather conditions,
- Plans to fix the front exterior yard to improve aesthetics.
- Safety & security: As to be expected, the topic of safety did come up and Superintendent Martin Brumit assured attendees that Kerens is doing everything in their power to keep their students safe. The meeting took a somber turn, as he reminded attendees of the school’s entry signs that state the staff at Kerens is armed and will use excessive power to protect their children.
- Mandatory training is being done prior to the school year for employees.
- Procedural changes for elementary and secondary students will be implemented to help ensure their safety .
- Safety checks for entry points will be implemented and carried out at regular intervals.
- The school already employs a controlled access system, and new potential methods were discussed for finding the best solutions to ensure children’s safety.
- As a reminder there are deterrent signs posted on the school grounds that inform would-be trespassers that Kerens ISD staff are trained and allowed to conceal carry on the premises.
- Principal’s report : These report were presented by Dr Satterwhite of the elementary school and Mr Priddy. Items presented to the board included:
- Excitement of all the new teachers coming in, with new ideas and ready to start the year fresh. Kerens is lucky enough to be one of the few districts in the state of Texas that is fully staffed for the upcoming school year.
- The Theater program has been reinstated for the upcoming school year.
- Aug 3 from 3-5:45pm will be Meet the Teacher followed by Meet the Bobcat from 6-7pm in the gym .
- Aug 17: First day of school