Poteet school board hears campus reports

The Poteet ISD school board met Oct. 26. In attendance were trustees Ronnie Ambriz, Rocky Wilson, Margie Martinez, Jo Marie Cervantez and Albert Garza. Not in attendance were trustees Yvette Navarro and Diego Puente.

A public hearing was held pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Section 180.007 regarding a one-time stipend for all employees (except temporary employees, substitutes and tutors) for the 2020-2021 school year. There were no comments made.

Poteet ISD Superintendent Charles Camarillo explained this proposed stipend is due to there being additional monies in the budget. The additional compensation will help boost the morale of employees and help retain district employees.

He broke it down how the one-time stipend will be distributed among employees, based on when they were hired.

It will be awarded in December of 2020 and employees who start work after Oct. 31, 2020, shall not be eligible for this additional compensation. The source will be from the district’s general fund, said Camarillo.

Budget amendment

Trustees approved budget amendment Nov. 2 for the 2020-2021 budget. It was explained the numbers might fluctuate, since the board has not yet determined the amount of the proposed stipend for employees.

For 2019-2020, the district ended up with a $9.6 million fund balance. This year, they adopted a deficit budget as of now, which takes it down to $9.1 million. Including the amendment for the purchase of the van takes the district to $8.6 million.

Other business

The board approved the purchase of an Ag/ band truck for the district from Southway Ford in the amount of $65,979. Camarillo said they found a great deal and traded in the old truck. Ag advisor Jeff Kennedy and the FFA officers were on hand at the meeting.

“The truck was definitely something that was necessary. 2006 is when the last one was purchased,” said Kennedy.

He added the old truck had some problems with it and so the Ag and FFA programs are extremely thankful to the trustees for the purchase.

The FFA officers did not get to have the banquet where they are usually introduced, so they were announced at the meeting. They are: president- Cutter Blagg, vice-president Julia Smith, secretary- Haley Hammonds, treasurer Madison Maglievaz, sentinel- Kaitlin Smith, reporter- Memphis Landa and chaplain- Hannah Camarillo. Smith was awarded a Texas FFA Lone Star Degree earlier in the year.

Trustees and those in the audience took a short break during the meeting to go outside and see the truck.

Campus reports

Poteet High School Principal Tony Dominguez said parents are asking when their child can come back to school.

The district is averaging one student back every other day. One student leaves about every 30 days, for a variety of reasons. They started the school year with about 244 students and are expecting 300 by the end of the month. He discussed the six new employees on the campus and the great job they are doing. The week before, 50 students took the TSI. After Christmas, the district will be hitting approximately 100 students taking dual credit classes, which Dominguez is happy to see.

Poteet Junior High Principal Julie Poth reported on Red Ribbon Week, which was celebrated that week. Students wore red and took part in different activities throughout the week. The district received 56 new Chromebooks that she ordered last April.

“Those kids who are using laptops right now, they are going to start using the Chromebooks, because the Chromebooks are more conducive to Canvas in the classroom,” said Poth.

The junior high girls volleyball teams ended their season strong and are ready to move on to basketball.

Poth reported on the busy staff and their planning day for each department. They are continuing with weekly meetings and focusing on the areas in which students are struggling. Staff are also looking at student progress and attendance and contacting parents of remote learners.

Poth also spoke on their round of PLCs with the Region 20 consultant, focusing on strategies that support student engagement for both face-to-face and remote students.

Regarding face-to-face learners, the teachers are starting to transition back to the more traditional setting, shared Poth. Teachers are still Zooming with the remote students, maintaining parent contacts and recording and uploading video lessons. Then they are going home and continuing to do these things, as they run out of time.

Poth also discussed the transition students take to go from seventh grade math to eighth grade math. Letters were going home to parents to explain the courses and who it affects.

Poteet Elementary Principal Donisha Miller also spoke on their productive planning days. This year’s reading academy is in full force. They have had their registration paperwork “round-up” as they call it. There are home visits and phone calls, talking to people who say they are going to be at the school at 3:30 and don’t show up.

She discussed different activities that have been going on such as the Fire Prevention presentation by the Poteet VFD, school pictures and Red Ribbon Week. Teachers are still conducting their Zoom meetings from 2-4 p.m., meeting with students as needed. Trustees also wished Miller a happy birthday.

Athletic Director Darby House was pleased to report Cross Country runners Eduardo Lopez and Alania Nethkin had advanced to the Regional competition in Corpus Christi. He also reported on the football team’s successful season. Basketball practice was scheduled to begin soon.

A donation of $8,000 from Energy For Schools was approved. Superintendent Camarillo reported the district was once a member of this group and had received money in the past. The district is no longer a member, but was still given a donation.

A presentation was shared on the Migrant PFS Action Plan. There is a survey included in the registration paperwork families fill out each year. Once a migrant family is identified, Region 20 confirms their status to make sure they are truly migrant. The district currently has six migrants.

There was also a presentation on the district’s Bilingual/ESL Program evaluation.

The advanced user innovative class course was approved by the board and will be submitted to TEA.

The trustees also approved the resolution pertaining to the investment policy and strategies for Poteet ISD with no changes.

Trustees approved the monthly financial information as presented.

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