Sulphur Springs, Yantis school board trustees to meet tonight

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug 13, 2007 - Two local school districts will hold their regular monthly board of trustees meetings Monday night. Sulphur Springs trustees will begin their session at 6 p.m. in the board room of the Administration Building, 631 Connally St. Yantis will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the school cafeteria.

Sulphur Springs’s agenda includes administrative reports, action items, a budget work session, consent agenda, and executive session.

The board is slated to hear an update on construction projects at the high school. They should learn at that time whether the high school projects will follow the schedule set and be ready for the Aug. 27 start of classes. 

School officials will also hear a proposal from Child Nutrition Program Director Rickie Elliott that all student and adult lunch rates be increased by 25-cents, and all individual entree sales which includes items such as hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, submarine sandwiches, hamburgers and steak sandwiches be increased by 50-cents.

Elliott, in an memo to Support Services Director Judy Tipping on Aug. 6, made the recommendation as a way to “lessen the impact of rising food and labor costs on the current food service fund balance.”

The proposed increases, however, won’t effect the cost to “income qualifying households for reduced-price meals.” She also explained that adult meals cost more because “‘non-student’ meals do not receive any type of federal/state reimbursement or commodity assistance.” Breakfast costs would remain unchanged. The student lunch cost at elementary would increase to $1.75 and secondary to $2. Adult lunch at all campuses would be $$2.50, and entrees would be $1.50.

Elliott also noted that while she is recommending the increase the rate would be one of the lowest in the area. Mount Pleasant currently charges $1.75 for elementary lunch. However, Mt. Pleasant lunches are also $2 for middle school students, and $2.25 for both high school students and entree lunches. Commerce and Paris both currently charge $2 each for elementary lunches. Paris also charges secondary students only $2, with entrees costing $1.75. Commerce charges their secondary students $225, with entrees costing $2.50.

The school lunch increase is to be discussed at Monday night’s SSISD board meeting, and dates for parent orientation activities will also be presented.

The board will be asked to approval changes and additions to legal policies as recommended in Texas Association of School Boards Policy Services according to the instruction sheet for TASB Localized Policy Manual Update 80.

The board will also be asked to consider renewing the compact with Upper East Texas Tech-Prep/School-to-Work Partnership, endorsing Robert Sheppard as their candidate for TASB Board of Directors-Region VIII, electing a board vice president and secretary, and a Judy Tipping’s recommendation that the district continue using Texas Association of Public Schools agent Offenhauser and Company of Texarkana for district property and casualty insurance.

On the consent agenda to be considered for approval at one time, unless a board member requests otherwise are monthly bills and statements such as tax credit and supplements for July delinquent tax collection for july, financial statements and bills payable. Also included on the consent agenda is approval of a Head Start community assessment summary.

The board is also slated to hold a budget workshop, one of only two more slated before the approval deadline. They will work during the session to tighten up numbers and various budgets, answer questions and attempt to finalize spending and revenue estimates for the coming school year.

The SSISD board at the end of the session can then enter into executive session for any sensitive personnel or property issues. Following the closed session, they will then reconvene and take action on any items discussed during the session before adjourning.

An hour after Sulphur Springs ISD begins it’s meeting, the Yantis ISD board will open its 7 p.m. August meeting in the school cafeteria.

Officials will hear financial reports including “gain in state aid after appeal of property taxes” and “approve budget amendments.”

Superintendent Harold Cowley will report on the 2007 campus and district accountability rating, and PEIMS report comparing current and prior attendance information.

Among the items the YISD board is being asked to consider are fuel bids for the 2007-2008 school year, the faculty handbook, substitute teacher list, appraisal calendar for teacher evaluations, a quote regarding a drainage ditch, “hazardous bus routes” and the 2007 tax planning calendar. 

The trustees will also be asked to “adopt policy regarding ‘student rights, responsibilities and student expression,’” and to review and take necessary action on campus improvement plans.

The Yantis consent agenda includes approving minutes from two trustee meetings in July as well as paying the monthly bills.

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