Sulphur Springs school trustees have called a special board meeting for 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 29, to discuss personnel and property matters. Unless someone signs up to speak in public forum, the meeting will be an executive session.
The school board this summer has been working to fill vacancies. Remaining to be filled as of the July 22 posting are: Head Start 4 bilingual teacher, physical education teachers for Early Childhood Learning Center and Lamar/Travis Primary schools; fifth grade teacher, bilingual/English as a second language aide and a keyboarding/computer aide for Douglas Intermediate School; and a secretary, chemistry teacher and physics dual credit teacher for high school. The board will be asked to consider top candidates for unfilled positions based on administrators’ recommendations.
The water problem and repairs at Sulphur Springs Middle School are expected to be among the other items to be discussed during that session.
In the most recent board meeting, the regular July meeting on the 15th, school trustees approved a contract with The Faulk Company for contracted custodial services. The district received five bids. TFC’s bid was not the lowest. However, low bidder GCA Service Groups’ proposal did not meet the bid request; it included additional fees and charges that were listed throughout the proposal but not included in the bid. Those additional fees would increase the company’s square footage price. TFC’s bid was the next lowest, followed by ACBMS LLC’s bid, then that of American Family Services and Marcis & Associates.
Sulphur Springs Independent School District Director of Plant Operations Dale Guest recommended TFC based on cost, past history and references. Trustees gave their approval.
The school board also approved an application for “expedited teacher data portal of the Texas Assessment Management System Waiver” at the July 15 meeting.
Jason Evans, who earlier this year was approved to make the move this summer from Sulphur Springs Middle School academic specialist to district PEIMS, testing and accountability coordinator, explained that in 2009 the 81st Legislature mandated in House Bill 3 that teachers have access to student data in the classroom. Districts that choose not to use the tool made available through the state have to file a waiver to use another system which meets local teacher data portal requirements outlined in Texas Education Code 32.258. The district plans to use Eduphoria Aware, Suite 5, which meets those requirements and suits the district better than the DMAC system. A link to Eduphoria can be found on the district website: www.ssisd.net.
During the July 15 meeting, SSISD Director of Support Services Judy Tipping explained that the district food service department will be making all food purchases through Region VIII Food Purchasing Cooperative this year. She explained the district has gradually signed on for more and more services through Region VIII over the last few years, starting with basic food supplies and adding milk last year. Using the cooperative, the district won’t have to go out for bids for those services, as they’ve already been bid and secured by the service center. And, if services or products do not meet district expectations or needs, the district can opt out of those services by giving a 30 day notices on those items, then seeking bids on the products.
Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed earlier this month also presented the Texas Association of School Board policy manuel update 97, noting that administrators would be bringing the local policies on the update to the board for approval during the regular August school board meeting. Reed said the two recommended changes involve transportation and criminal history checks for potential employees.
Reed said the transportation policy stipulates only students the district receives funds for should be eligible for transportation. The board will be asked to consider adding a few exceptions including handicap and homeless students.
The July 15 meeting closed out with a budget work session. District Business Manager Sherry McGraw presented the board with copies of summaries for the 2013-14 draft budget. After questions and discussion by the board, it was noted that the next budget session will be held at the Aug. 26 special board meeting, where the budget will be presented for approval, according to the minutes from that session.
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