by Tina S. Richards
August was a busy month for the Woodville Independent School District with preparations for the 2012-2013 school year. The Board of Trustees held their regularly scheduled meeting August 20 plus two specially called sessions August 13 and August 28. Items discussed included new personnel, approval of the 2012-2013 budget and a two cent tax rate reduction.
The special session, convened on August 28, produced a surprise for tax payers. This year's school taxes will reflect a two cent reduction, per one hundred dollars property evaluation, compared to last year's rate. Trustees approved the reduction from $1.12 to $1.10. As the board approved budget amendments concerning the 2011-2012 budget they also approved the submitted budget proposal for 2012-2013. As Trustee Cody Jarrott explained, the new budget of $12,783,003.00 included a reduction of $700,358.00 from the 2011-2012 budget of $13,483,361.00. Superintendent Glen Conner noted that enrollment was up slightly however, the district needed a significant increase in enrollment coupled with improved attendance levels in order for an increase in revenue and state funding to occur. Copies of the 2012-2013 budget are available at the Woodville ISD's Administration building.
August 13th's special session addressed a vacancy at Wheat Elementary for the position of principal. Charles Lowery was approved for immediate hiring. The board's quick action enabled Mr. Lowery to begin his duties just as faculty and staff began preparations for the start of the new school year. He and his family will be relocating from the Jacksonville, Texas area.
During the regular scheduled board meeting on August 20th, the Trustees approved the acceptance of a $50,000 bid to replace the roof on the Middle School's gym. They also learned that improvements to Kirby Gym were finished and the project had been completed on budget.
Superintendent Conner noted that parents will soon be receiving a report explaining the district's failure to show adequate yearly progress (AYP) according to 2011-2012 federal accountability figures. The federal government requires districts, campuses, and each state to meet AYP criteria on three measures: Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, and either Graduation Rate (for high schools and districts) or Attendance Rate (for elementary and middle/junior high schools). The district has started the process of developing a "School Improvement Plan" in order to meet AYP requirements. It should be noted that 35 of the 39 districts in this region failed to reach AYP criteria.
The district's next regularly scheduled meeting is September 17, 2012.