Colmesneil ISD students shine in STAAR

by Michael G. Maness

Colmesneil ISD president Curtis Pittman convened the board, and secretary Kenneth Adaway led the invocation, with an extensive agenda of items at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15.

After passing the consent agenda, including the financial reports, Superintendent Angela Matterson reported that their Pre-K program was underway with 20 students.

For the older students, the TEA's STAAR results were in, and Matterson was proud to report that across the board their students made over 80 percent in satisfactory scores in all of the indices, noting that the basic requirement was that the school have over 55 percent satisfactorily scoring.
Matterson showed several examples of excelling from the students. For instance, the elementary school students were at 88 percent in reading, and the junior high students were at 87 percent in writing and a whopping 91 percent in science.

The board voted to allow stipends for the teachers teaching science classes.

Matterson noted how hard it is to find and secure an instructor certified as a composite science teacher.

The board approved the appraisers for the teacher assessments, the appraisal timelines, and the list of transfer students.

Matterson reported that the 2014 high school seniors had submitted a local graduation policy, noting how the students themselves had worked up the guidelines. "They're stakeholders," said Matterson, and took some pleasure in reporting the students' high level of responsibility in forming their policy, and the board approved it.

The board approved the Memorandum of Understanding for Concurrent Enrollment and Dual Credit between CISD and Angelina College. Adaway noted how a student could earn as many as 30 college hours if they worked hard through the summer. A few of the students, said Matterson, had already earned 24, and it was not unusual for several to earn 16 or more hours. With paying the proper tuition to Angelina, the student got both HS and College credit, giving them a head start toward their college degree.

Business manager Gina May made several rather minor but noteworthy proposed changes in the budget in order to reduce their debt note and pay the bills. The school finances were in good order, the budget balanced, and the estimates of revenue on target. The board approved May's budget adjustments without any debate.

Taking up for consideration a new Facilities Use Agreement, there was a lively discussion regarding requests. Board member Kenneth Graham, with extensive experience in school administration, mentioned how his previous district had included a clause that required any entity to be in concurrence with the schools values and goals. Action was postponed to the next meeting to give the members time to think through the agreement and its ramifications.
Since coming on board, Matterson had been busy leading the district's superintendents and teachers through the development of comprehensive administrative manuals, student/employee manuals, handbooks, and their code of conduct. All things would be in complete compliance with state law, TEA and TASB policy.

On the horizon, Matterson indicated that there appears to be interest in starting an official Student Angler Federation under The Bass Federation's renowned program, whose motto is "Promoting Education Through Fishing." At no cost to the school and only moderate fees for the students, with TBF's extensive insurance policy, this seems like a real catch that the students seem motivated to reel in – see for more.