C/LTC Simon Karsky, who serves as Pleasanton High School JROTC Battalion Commander, was recognized at the Nov. 9 school board meeting as one of the few recipients of The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award. The official presentation of the award was scheduled during the Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
Dr. Matthew Mann announced that an additional three teachers have reached the second level of HRT, High Reliability
Teacher and will be introduced at the next meeting. The school is partnering with Bountiful Harvest again this year, already collecting a large amount of donations. The Red Ribbon week was Oct. 25-29 and a drug-free rally was held during that time. Nine high school organizations helped out with the Ghostly Reading Night, which was attended by 368 parents and students.
Junior High students held a shelter-in-place drill last month. The campus sponsored their Annual Pumpkin Carving event, along with their first Halloween dance. A Veterans Day ceremony was held on Thursday, Nov. 11 at the PAC. High School held a College Fair. The ASVAB exam will be given on Dec. 1.
Heather Foster, President of the Education Foundation, addressed the board with information on their activities during the last year. They provide scholarships for many seniors and award Innovative Teaching grants each year. Since 2015, they have given over $105,000 in scholarships. The two major fundraisers are the gold tournament and the Eagles for Education, a weeklong on-line auction.
Dr. Venus Vela informed the trustees that it was time to review the District Improvement Plan for this year. It is intended to increase student performance based on overall goals and strategies. Jessica Tom asked if these could be changed. After a little history on the document, Vela admitted that the Board goals can be revised, but there are many steps to doing that. Strategies, on the other hand, can be changed for efficacy and usefulness.
Local Policy Update
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Barron discussed the updates to the local policy, mainly legal changes and clarification of language. This is the first reading of them, so they will be brought back for approval at a later meeting.
The minutes of the Oct. 12 regular meeting, Oct. 12 Public Hearing and the Financial Reports are included in the agenda. Blasa Chapa moved to accept; Pete Pawelek seconded. Motion passed unanimously with Tom and Loren Gillespie voting yes. Gerald Guerra and Patrick Hurley Jr. were not present. President Ralph Unger was present but not voting.
Arthur Troell was reappointed as the ACAD representative for the 2022/2023 board.
April’s prom venue was approved for a San Antonio location, with the proviso that they conduct themselves well, since they represent the entire school.
The trustees also approved the purchase of the FEV Tutoring Instructional Services, using the ESSER funds (Federal COVID grant) in the amount of $45,000. Based on the STAAR test results, intervention is needed with some students who did not pass and to mitigate the learning loss because of the lockdown. This is mandated by the state in HB 4545. Tutoring will be held in blocks of 45 minutes during the day, with tutoring also before and after school. Each student will have to complete 30 hours per subject.
Hellas has completed all the work at the tennis courts, so Jennifer Donato, Chief Financial Officer, requested the final payment in the amount of $40,318.26. Motion passed unanimously.
Donato stated that the annual renewal of the Microsoft 365 Software License for the district computers in the amount of $29,521, which is included in the technology budget. Motion passed unanimously.
Next up was the purchase of an additional Suburban in the amount of $43,810, which was approved. Donato also presented the purchase of an extended cab pickup for the Maintenance Department and funding would come from that budget. Pawelek asked why they weren’t getting a double cab, instead. It was agreed that she would look into that for the next meeting.
An 8-foot fence to surround the JROTC obstacle course with two 16-foot wide gates and 4-foot walk gate was proposed for $45,000. Trustees approved the purchase. Based on that, budget amendment No. 1 was approved to move funds from the maintenance budget for the fencing.