by Michael G. Maness
Chester ISD Board President Ray McKnight convened with a prayer and the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags, led by fellow Board member Vernon Lewis.
Citizen comments being the first order of business, McKnight invited Chuck Davidson, who asked if the school would accept a donation box from the Chester Lions Club to collect eyeglasses or even parts of eyeglasses. Superintendent Wayne Ivey gladly accepted. Davidson further asked if the school would hold a service project in which they would encourage the staff and students to collect used eyeglasses over the course of a designated week. The Board and Ivey were open to that.
The Board approved $4,173 from the Athletic Booster Club.
Ivey went over the essence of the Texas Association of School Board's Update 99 which summarized the many changes, clarifications, or adaptations in school policy and law from the recent legislative session. Some of the clarifications included that local board presidents may designate members who may seek legal counsel from the district's attorney. School staff will be reviewing all Personal Graduation Plans of ninth grade students, the PGPs made in consultation with the children's parents. Teachers will be allowed to defer money to Roth IRAs, something they were not previously allowed to do. CPR classes will be taught to all students, the requirement being that each student must have had at least one class between the 7th and 12th grades. Though the CPR class requirement does not require the students to become certified, the board discussed the prospects of upping the class to include certification for each student.
Ivey reported that enrollment was up a bit. He was particularly proud to report that one third of their High School students were involved in regional athletics, a percentage above average. For instance, in fifteen track events, they had ten girls and five boys. Discussion ensued on Chester developing a professional grade track.
Their prom last Saturday on April 20 went well and was well attended, with only two students not attending because of prior family engagements during the Easter weekend.
Their interim food service director was finishing training with projected graduation in May.
The board approved a slight increase to Pre-K Tuition to $225 per month, up from $200, to help cover costs.
The board went into executive session and returned, accepting the resignation of Carol Harkness and acknowledging all of the at-will positions for the 2014-2015 school year.