Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met in a regular meeting Thursday evening. The board recognized all of the principals and assistant principals in the district as part of a declaration by Governor Rick Perry designating October as Principals month in the state of Texas. They also recognized Deborah Payne as a Mrs. Baird Teacher on the Rise, she was nominated for the award by Baleigh Pugh.
During the public comment section of the meeting. The board heard from a parent of a high school student who stated the code of conduct handbook for the high school students needs reviewed and updated. She relayed information concerning an incident where her son was “threatened” by another student last Friday at school and then on Monday the same student who made the initial threat then got her son’s attention in the hallway and made the insinuation of a gun, which the parent felt was a very serious offense. She visited with the assistant principals at the high school and they told her disciplinary action was taken. She stated the discipline was 5 days in ISS which she did not think was severe enough according to the student code of conduct. She also talked to a police officer who stated to her that insinuating a gun can be considered terroristic threat and is considered a Class B Misdemenor and if the student was not a minor he could be arrested. She strongly encouraged the board to review the code of conduct and make needed changes. Michael Wiiest also addressed the board. He told the board they were doing a good job and applauded the efforts involved in making sure administrators and board members attend extra curricular activities. He told the board “you have made some tough decisions” but you are doing the best you can with what you are dealt. He went on to say every day we hear what is wrong with the district, but he said, each day my 3 kids come home from school happy and sharing the things they have learned in LISD. He said “you may not make the popular decision” but in the end we all must remember we are in this for our kids.
The board held a required public hearing on Highly Qualified Teacher Report…..For the first time in 10 years Levelland ISD is 100% staffed by highly qualified teachers according to state and federal requirements.
The board then discussed replacement of the remainder of the stadium seats in the Gano Tubb Gym at the high school. It was noted that any item costing more than $50,000 must go out for bid unless it is procured through a state procurement process such as the Buy Board. The district was able to use the Buy Board and have the same company that did the installation of part of the seats last year. It was also pointed out that the district will have to remove some of the seats in the lower section in order to comply with ADA requirements. Parkhill Smith and Cooper Architects stated that requirements state that you must have space for a wheelchair next to regular seats. The Architects will look at plans and try to make the ADA seats on the west end. The total cost for the replacement of the remainder of the seats is $84,415.50. The district will look at the possibility of selling the old seats in an upcoming auction. It was noted this work will be done over the Christmas holidays.
The board gave approval to open a specific bank account to hold bond proceeds. State law requires that bond proceeds and interest earned on the proceeds must be kept separate so that it can be used only for bond projects.
The Chief Financial Officer, Nick Williams for the district told the board that there were some errors in coding when the 2013-2014 budget was developed and the budget had to be amended to make those corrections.
The board also reviewed the South Plains Educational Coop annual report. The coop includes Levelland, Anton, Meadow, Morton, Ropes, Smyer, Sundown, Whiteface, and Whitharral. Their is a total of 28 staff members. Superintendent Kelly Baggett complimented Director Kathy Hutchinson and her staff for the profossional job they do.
The board also reviewed monthly financial reports. It was also pointed out that a new policy is being development by district administration for school activity funds. This is in response to guidance from the accounting firm which performs the annual audit for the district. It was pointed out by the administration that their will be accountability on all activity accounts.
The district recently went through an independent safety audit. It was a very good audit. There were some minor findings and those have been discussed with district administration.
Levelland Middle School Choir teacher, Deborah Payne has requested that the 7th and 8th grade choirs be allowed to travel to Dallas to perform in a state choir competition. It will be a 1 day trip by leaving the school at 12:30am and returning late that evening.
The South Plains Association of School Boards “The Role of Community Partnerships in Safe and Secure Schools” will meet Tuesday October 22 at the Region 17 Service Center in Lubbock at 6:30pm.
The bond oversight committee is now in place and monthly meetings will start in the near future.
Architects from Parkhill Smith and Cooper were present and gave a review of current projects underway including renovations to the restrooms at the high school and work is starting at Capitol. They are currently working on making additional parking on the outside and making improvements to the parent drop off. Renovations will begin in the library in the near future. They currently are moving the library to one of the larger classrooms as a temporary location while the work is done on the current location.