by Emily Waldrep
The Warren Independent School District held its monthly board meeting on August 28, at 7 p.m in the Administrative building. The board discussed various items, approved bids, and received an update from Superintendent, Lance Johnson.
Johnson reported on various events and updates across the campus. He reported that the teachers in-service went extremely well, and that a few twists were added into the beginning-of-year training sessions.
"Teachers say this could be the best in-service they have had in years," Johnson told the board.
The teachers and faculty at Warren had a chance to take part in a poverty simulation, where they had to live in a poverty situation for two hours. According to participants, it was an extremely moving and eye opening experience. The teachers also got to hear from various guest speakers, including representatives from Lamar University.
"Morale seems to be high and we are having a good start to the year," said Johnson.
Johnson also reported that the Agriculture department will now be offering a welding certificate upon completion of a welding program. This means that students will be able to put themselves on the job market and can offer welding services to individuals or companies right after they graduate High School.
Mr. Johnson also informed the board that the new anti-bullying campaign is a huge success, and that Warren has implemented a "New Student Greeting Committee." The committee is made up of current Warren ISD students that are willing to help diffuse bullying. The current students will spend two weeks with new Warren students when they arrive. They will show them around, check on them in the halls, and even eat lunch with them. Johnson says that this campaign will help new students feel welcome and will put a huge damper on bullying.
Johnson then updated on the new, rigorous teaching style that Warren has adopted. Last year, several teachers attended meetings and workshops that would help prepare them for a new curriculum that will no longer cater to a State test, but will help the students gain real, hands on knowledge. The 2012-2013 is the first school year that the new curriculum will be introduced to students, but Mr. Johnson says that he believes it will not only take pressure off students to learn the test, it will help them pass the State test with flying colors because they will go above and beyond State mandated materials.
"We have embraced this new style of curriculum and teaching, and Warren ISD is on the right path," says Johnson.
Warren also accepted another big change at the boardmeeting by becoming part of the Region 5 ESC Food Service Cooperative for the 2012-2013 school year. Several other districts in the area are part of the co-op, and Warren hopes to have the same success with it as other schools have had in the past. The Food Service Cooperative basically operates as a middleman between big food companies and the schools. If schools were to buy chicken nuggets directly from the company, they could be expensive. But, the food companies can give the Food Service Cooperative a better price, and the Cooperative offers that price to schools. The Cooperative also looks into recipes, nutrition and health so that they can provide their schools with healthy, affordable meals.
In other business, Warren approved bids for heating and air conditioning services, fuel and general maintenance supplies. Sims will be providing HVAC services at a very competitive price, Suncoast will be providing Warren's fuel, and TelStar out of Doucette will be providing general supplies.
The next meeting will be held on September 25, at 7 p.m in the administrative building.