The Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met last night for their regular monthly meeting.
The board held a public hearing on the FIRST accountability rating which is the Financial Integrity Rating System Texas. Levelland ISD received a Superior Rating. The district received 69 of 70 possible points. The same item that the district has been counted off for in the past is the amount of debt per student ratio. The district has received a superior rating for the past 12 years.
The board also approved consent agenda items with little discussion.
The board also approved placing 834 votes for FE Shaheen on the Hockley County Appraisal District Board and 509 votes for Paul Ochoa.
The board also approved the purchase of technology equipment as part of the bond project. They approved going through the Government Vendor Program. They are recommending replacing all teacher laptops in the district that have the older laptops. All of the laptops being replaced are 8 plus years old and have Windows XP which support will end in early 2014. They are replacing 150 laptops at a cost of 169,117 dollars from Dell and purchasing 130 Classroom Projectors at a cost of 47,320 dollars from CDW-Government.
The board approved a stipend to help the district hire and retain a bilingual teacher. The state requires that the district now offer a bilingual class for eligible students based on the numbers of bilingual students. We are already short several certified Bilingual Teachers. The board is approving $2000 sign on bonus and a $3000 annual stipend for certified bilingual teacher. These figures are above the state pay scale. It was pointed out that districts around this area are recruiting teachers based on stipend. Frenship is offering a $5000 sign on bonus. There is currently approximately 180 students in the district that are classified as bilingual. The state requires a Bilingual Teacher for 20 or more in a grade level. Currently in 1st grade there are 23. The program would also be available to current teachers and the district will pay for the certification. It was noted that the certification test is very challenging. Several board members voiced concern about a stringent mandate from the state and federal government. It was pointed out that out of the 500 applicants for various positions this summer none of them were certified in bilingual education. FE said I am against unfunded mandates but I believe we have no choice in the matter. It was approved with a unanimous vote with Glen Smith abstaining from the vote.
The board also approved a trip for 8th grade students to go to Washington DC–May 17-21 which would be different from the past. Usually the trip is in March, however, due to weather the trip is being moved. It was noted that district funds are not used for the trip each student must pay their own way.
The board also reviewed the continuing education credits currently held by all board members. Tania Moody had 18.25 hours, Glen Smith, 14.5; Paul Ochoa, 14.0; FE Shaheen, 13.75; Missy Himango, 12.75; Rusty Gibson, 12.5; and David Etheredge with 6.0.
Under the Superintendent Report—The restrooms at the high school are nearing completion. The renovation at Capitol is on going. The asbestos abatement in the library has been completed. There was more asbestos than expected. The restrooms at Capitol are now being demolished. The ADA parking and ramp on the south side has been completed. The heating and air conditioning replacement will be occurring in the coming weeks. Window replacement will be done in the summer. The design plans for Lobo Stadium are 95% complete and will be presented to the construction manager next week. The district will begin accepting bids on 11/24 and will have a pre bid conference on December 2 and will open bids on December 12. The board will have a special meeting on December 19 at 6pm to award the bids for the stadium. A ground breaking ceremony will be scheduled before Christmas.