By CHERIL VERNON
Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Carolyn Martin gave an update on Palestine Independent School District's 1-to-1 Technology program to board members during the regular meeting Monday.
“We now have the iPads rolled out at the high school and have started on the junior high school. We have 95 percent of the eighth graders done and will start on the seventh grade on Monday. We hope to have them all rolled out by the Christmas holiday,” Martin told the school board.
In other business, the school board:
• HEARD Superintendent Jason Marshall's report, which included an enrollment report, update on extracurricular activities, report on Lunches in the Lounge, etc.. Currently, the district has 3,272 students.
“That is a good hundred students above what we have budgeted for and that should lead to an additional $500,000 in state aide.”
Also, Marshall reported on the employee incentives. Professionals will receive a $700 incentive bonus and paraprofessionals will receive $350.
In addition, the district will be handing out turkeys to employees on Thursday.
The district also put together two student Thanksgiving baskets per campus.
“We paired up with the principals to find two students to provide Thanksgiving basket for them,” Marshall said.
• HIRED Erin Palmer for Palestine Junior High School's ELA program.
• HEARD a presentation by the Palestine High School Audio Video Production Department. Instructor Paul Carr and PHS audio video production department students led by Elvin Espinosa discussed the many projects they have worked on since school started. Board members were shown a video made by the students that compiled their projects ranging from interviews for Wildcat News to videos of football games, etc.
Espinosa said the skills he has learned in the program has led to job opportunities and has encouraged him to pursue a career in audio video production.
• HEARD a financial update, including a tax collection update by Robert Myers of McCreary, Veslka, Bragg & Allen, P.C., Attorneys at Law. Myers reported that PISD has one of the highest collections he has charted with 102 percent of taxes collected for 2012 and after only four months, the district has collected 42 percent.
• HEARD report on Public Reporting of Meeting Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements
• APPROVED Policy Update 98, affecting local policies: BBE (Local): Board Members – Authority; DBA (Local): Employment
• AWARDED fuel bid to Spencer Distribution for the period of Dec. 1, 2013 to Aug. 31, 2014.
• APPROVED fund balance expenditures associated with construction. Due to unanticipated time schedules, the Design-Build project was unable to be completed in fiscal year 2012 and expenditures were incurred in the fiscal year 2013. Because the funding of the project was required to span across two fiscal years prior to completion, excess funds from the fiscal year 2012 that were used to finish the project had to be rolled into the fiscal year 2012 fund balance, resulting in a fiscal year 2012 total fund balance of approximately $10,100,000. Because the funding of the Design-Build project was completed in fiscal year 2013 rather than in fiscal year 2012 as originally projected, the board approved the use of up to $700,000 for the remaining costs of the Design-Build project incurred in fiscal year 2013. In doing so, it is anticipated that the fiscal year 2013 fund balance will subsequently be approximately $10,000,000.
• APPROVED consent items, which included the following: minutes of the Oct. 21 regular meeting; bills paid for October; financial report; monthly investment report; tax collection report; budget amendments; donations; administration of Credit by Exam for December; Palestine ISD Emergency Operations Plan; Legal Services Retainer Agreement with Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C., Attorneys at Law for 2013-14.
• RECOGNIZED Palestine High School cross country teams.
• RECOGNIZED Junior Rotarians for the month, Leanne Fort and Branden Dantin.
• RECOGNIZED PHS Students of the Month, Gabrielle Steele and Wesley Ives.
• RECOGNIZED The Honorable Robert Nichols, Texas Senate, District 3.
• RECOGNIZED The Honorable Byron Cook, Texas House of Representatives, District 8.