by Janette Blackwell
January is School Board Recognition Month, the perfect time for parents and students – every citizen, really – to thank those who serve the community in this capacity. Their task is to meet local educational needs for the benefit of students, families and the local economy. School Board members serve without compensation, while bearing responsibility for decisions that will influence current and future students' long-term wellbeing, their opportunities for fulfilling their individual potential and their abilities to provide for their families. The Board's 2013 – 2014 school year goals, in summary, involve:
• Maximizing student academic, technological, social and personal development in a safe and secure learning environment to prepare them for college achievement and career success.
• Managing fiscal, capital and human resources, with integrity and prudence.
In the January 20 Woodville ISD Board meeting, Superintendent Glen Conner presented highlights of the District's 2012-2013 Annual Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR). The report includes financial data, District objectives, District and campus academic performance (including subject and grade level state achievement test and college entrance exam results, compared to regional and state results; staff information; attendance rates; and more), higher education report for graduates, discipline summary, school violence prevention and intervention report, and the evaluation of District goals pertaining to the Texas Safe and Drug-Free School and Communities Act.
The 2012-2013 Accountability Rating achieved by the District and all its campuses "met standard" (previous designations such as 'recognized' and 'exemplary' are no longer in use; current designations are limited to 'met standard' or 'did not meet standard'). Woodville High School's earned distinction designations include Academic Achievement in Reading / ELA (English Language Arts) and Academic Achievement in Top 25 Percent Student Progress. Woodville Middle School qualified for a distinction designation in Academic Achievement in Reading / ELA.
According to the report, 95.8 percent of Woodville High School's Class of 2012 graduated, as opposed to the State graduation rate of 87.7 percent.
Also, the average ACT score for the Class of 2012 was 20.5 points, exactly matching the State figure, but surpassing the region's average. The maximum ACT score is 36 points; the total score is determined by combining science, reading, math and (optional) writing subject areas scores.
SAT scores for the local 2012 graduating class fell between the state's average of 1422 points and the regional performance level. A perfect score of 800 on each of three tests (math, critical reading and writing) is required to achieve the maximum SAT score of 2400 points.
District-wide, the student-to-teacher ratio was 12 to one for the period, exceeding the State's ratio of 15.5 to one.
Public access to the District and campus TAPR reports is available at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/tapr/2013/srch.html?srch=C
Assistant Superintendent for Business Cody Jarrott presented December 2013 Financial and Investment Reports, both of which the Board approved. Jarrott also provided a review of the District's Mid-Year Funding Template. According to Jarrott, the template is a tool for evaluating the District's current fiscal status through the first semester, based upon the budget that the Board adopted in August, and it estimates financial expectations for the remainder of the school year, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Superintendent Conner reported the following
• The Highly Qualified Report to TEA documents that all District teachers and paraprofessionals have met requirements to be classified as 'Highly Qualified' in their present positions, as required by the No Child Left Behind federal mandate.
• Pertaining to the facilities update, the HVAC network thermostat upgrade in all buildings, as well as Summit and campus kitchen improvements, are finished. While the centralized HVAC system controls in the gym have been mounted, tasks to make them fully functioning are nearing completion. Fencing, an enhanced security measure, on Reed Street and part of Kirby Street is completed. Most locks on the required exterior doors are installed, and can be controlled and monitored from campus principals' offices. Motion-sensor controlled lighting installation is finished in the gyms, producing a significant increase in lighting quality. Conner anticipates a wrap-up of the entire project by the end of February.
• Spring semester academic, arts, building and trades, and sports competitions have started. Principal Neil Hennigan was pleased to note that high school student participation in the contests is about 50%.
• Winter break is scheduled for Monday, February 17, through Friday, February 21.
• Superintendent Conner reminds voters that primaries for elective offices pertaining to the State Board of Education (SBOE) and various local, state and federal posts are scheduled for Tuesday, March 4. In what appears the most controversial of State Board of Education races this term, in the March GOP primary Rita Ashley, R-Beaumont, has challenged incumbent David Bradley, R-Beaumont. Ashley – a former classroom teacher, business owner, and state-level education policy advisor – opposes Bradley, who voters first elected to the SBOE District 7 position in 1996. The District 7 SBOE member represents Tyler County, in addition 12 of our neighboring counties. Voters have Web site access to summaries of SBOE duties at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4214 and http://www.txpta.org/legislative/legislative-sboe/
After emerging from a closed executive session, the Board approved hiring two fulltime employees: a high school English teacher and an intermediate school life skills aide, and accepted two resignations.
Scheduling conflicts made it necessary to change the date of the February Board meeting, and the board voted to meet on Thursday, February 13, at 7 p.m. in the Woodville ISD Administration building's board room.