The LISD Trustees approved consent agenda items including the approval of an extracurricular resolution, along with a report that must be approved to submit to the Texas Education Agency. They also approved a budget amendment for the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget.
Trustees also approved a resolution to sell 2 forty nine passenger Van Hool Activity buses. Both of those vehicles are 1998 models and have caused some break downs while enroute to athletic events this fall. They were both purchased used in 2007 with over 500 thousand miles on each of them. There have been several problems this year and cannot be counted on. On one occasion they broke down with the volleyball team and the team had to come home on a bus borrowed from Lamesa ISD and did not get home until after 1:30 in the morning. It was noted that the VanHool activity buses are good products however they require very specialized maintenance which the district could not provide.
Trustees then discussed the purchase of 2 new activity buses. Both Blue Star Bus Sales and Thomas Built buses brought sample buses to Levelland approximately 2 weeks ago and most trustees were able to view and visit with sales representatives. The district received a buy board quote of $179,975 each for a total of $359,995 for 2 Blue Bird 2016 model buses. They also received a total bid of $358,270 from Thomas Built Buses. Both companies provided 84 passenger buses. The district also accepted a buy board quote of $56,200 for a 14 passenger Blue Bird bus and a quote of $68,650 for a 14 passenger Thomas Built bus. It was noted that the Thomas Built Bus was for a diesel engine. It was noted that all of the buses meet the federal governmental standards. There was discussion concerning the 14 passenger buses weather or not to go with diesel or gasoline. The transportation department supervisor said that for the most part. Sales Reps from both companies were on hand and discussed all of the options for purchase or the option of leasing. Board Member Tania Moody stated she wanted to hear the lease option because it would help as we are trying to be good stewards of the money. Board President FE Shaheen pointed out he would prefer the straight purchase because financing would cost 2.4% interest rate at least. There is an estimated 200 day delivery time frame from the date ordered. The board voted to table action to await hard numbers on leasing options and the possibility of diesel engine for the 14 passenger bus. The item will be discussed at the next board meeting.
The trustees also took action to purchase 5 acres of land located on the northeast corner of South Alamo Road and Mouzon Lane in Levelland which is south of the existing ag farm which is located on land that the district does not own and the current business man which owns the property has told the district they must relocate the ag farm before September 1, 2015. The purchase price for the land would be $17,500. The seller has requested that he have first right of refusal in the event the school district decides to sell it and the land must be utilized for an agricultural farm or other vocational activities. Superintendent Kelly Baggett was notified today that a portion of the land was found to be in the FEMA 100 year flood zone. Architects are currently looking at what portion is in a flood zone. It was noted that the city does have lift station facilities in the area. Board President FE Shaheen pointed out that Parkhill, Smith and Cooper engineers did the engineering on the city facilities and they are doing the work for the school district and they were asked 2 weeks ago if any of this was in a flood zone. At that time they said to their knowledge it was not. The company which did the survey said today they will order the FEMA maps for Texas and then calculate the elevations and how much is in the flood zone. It may be possible to construct the facility in such a way that the flood zone would not be an issue. Baggett said the options are to buy the property and take a chance which architects are against or wait on more information on possible ways to work around the flood zone. After much discussion, the board decided to table any action waiting on more information from architects.
The board also took action to advertise for public sale to the highest bidder property owned by the district known as the Old Junior High site. Law requires that the district not sell for less than fair market value even if it is sold to a governmental entity with eminent domain. It was noted that the district only owned a portion of that property and the other portion is owned by Hockley County and could only be used for a public school purpose. Superintendent Kelly Baggett stated that the district has been contacted by someone about purchasing the land. The property will be advertised for sale to the highest bidder.
The board also authorized the superintendent to negotiate with the owner of property at 1401 Ave. D which is by South Elementary. The district has offered $65,000. The board feels it wise to purchase the property to protect what would be near the school and it could be used to extend the playground and other items. It was noted their is a structure on the property which could be torn down or sold to be moved at a later date.
The board also approved an incentive stipend to be paid to employees in December. The payment would be limited to a maximum of $300 per employee.
The board also approved appointing Jenneatte Gonzales as a replacement on the School Health Advisory Council.
The board also received a report that all school board members have received the necessary training as required of school board members each year.
The administration also presented a report showing Special Education State Assessment Results. It pointed out that success rates have increased substantially in all content areas for Special Education Students from 2013 to 2014 even though it had dropped from 2011 to 2013.
The board also received information on a letter that will be sent to all parents with information and facts on managing eradicating head lice. Much of the information in the letter comes from recommendations from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The district has also implemented Head Lice Procedures which include contacting parents of a student with head lice and the student can remain at school until the end of the day, however, parents have the option of picking them up. If live lice is present the school MAY require the parent pick up the child and they will be readmitted after treatment and a clean examination by the school nurse. Parents will be given information on how to treat. It was noted that this is the same procedure which has been in placed. Any parent with questions may contact the school nurse.
The board will hold a December meeting on Monday, December 15.