Jourdanton superintendent squelches rumors of special education co-op

Superintendent Lana Collavo opened the Jourdanton ISD meeting with the Supplemental Funds Report. This annual report was formatted to show the values of the last ten years. Comparisons show that there is less money coming in from the Federal government than in the past, including the rural education money, which is no longer received and the stimulus money from 2009/2010, which is no longer received. Currently, the District gets approximately $360,000, which is based on the county population and the number of free/reduced lunches.

Collavo spent several minutes to squelch rumors that the Atascosa- McMullen County Special Education Cooperative was breaking up. This consists of five districts: Charlotte, Tilden, Pleasanton, Jourdanton and Poteet. Classes provide for diagnostics, occupational therapy, physical education and life skills for certain students. A district can pull out of the coop and the organization will not break up. The smaller districts need the coop because they cannot afford to offer these services on their own. There are over 80 students being served now, half of which belong to Pleasanton. It is possible that there will be a shift in which the other four schools go together to another location, in either Jourdanton or Poteet. This change in location will facilitate the growth of the program. Nothing definitive has been decided, yet.

Jourdanton ISD has 100% requirement of Highly Qualified Teachers. A paper report was given on the recruitment, retention and staffing of the district, which showed that they had attended job first at UTSA and the San Antonio Personnel fair. Job openings are posted on the website and sometimes printed in area papers. Stipends were listed, along with who receives service awards at the district.

The school did a survey on the current offerings at the cafeteria and a report was made up of every tenth comment, or so. Apparently, the likes and dislikes were pretty much the same in High School and Junior High. Pizza, chicken fried steak, chicken nuggets and tacos heading the list, along with sides of potatoes, mac and cheese, fries or tater tots. Green vegetables were on no one’s list. Comments were: “serve real food,” “cook with salt,” “put all food back on the snack bar” (which included donuts and hot wings). Elementary students seemed to be more open to different food choices, but they didn’t like green veggies either, preferring corn and rice.

President Barbara Peeler read the consent agenda, which contained the minutes of the last meeting, the business office report and the bills to be paid. The grand total of all accounts is $7,452,966.52. Collections this early in the year stand at 7.19%. Amount of all bills is $466,955.58. Tricia Taylor moved to accept the agenda, Lannie Wheeler seconded. Motion passed with Mary Ramirez, Vance Jupe and Amador Lugo, Jr. also voting affirmative. Conflict of interest bills were approved with Peeler abstaining.

Monday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m was chosen for the official canvassing of the votes from the November 4 election for District 3. Voting for Districts 1 and 2 were cancelled since the incumbents were unopposed.

There were other housekeeping issues, such as the suggested review the Open Meetings Act policy that has a new handbook for 2014. The annual review of the conflict of interest questionnaires were also considered, completed, signed and returned to the school secretary.

A construction planning workshop was discussed, possibly having a representative from Gallagher Construction to meet with them and explain the different types of project management. There are eight different options, such as design/build, architect and contractor, construction manager at risk and so on. No action was taken on this.

The trustees retired into executive session at 8:18 p.m. to consider a contract for an assistant Junior High Principal. Upon returning at 8:41 p.m., a motion was made and passed unanimously to give a contract to Pepper Jo Byerly for the remainder of the school year.

The district should have the decision on the San Miguel lawsuit on December 1. Collavo also announced that the school now has a drumline in High School.

Meeting adjourned at 8:49 p.m.

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