Business at the Poteet school board meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 was handled quickly and efficiently, starting with the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting and the monthly financial information without discussion.
Salazar Almanza has represented the school district with the Atascosa Central Appraisal District for several years. Superintendent Charles Camarillo recommended reappointing him for the position for another two years. Albert Garza moved to approve the nomination. Rocky Wilson seconded and Margie Martinez and Jo Marie Cervantez voted affirmative. Diego Puente and Ronnie Ambriz were absent.
Migrant PFS Action Plan
Sheryl Mills, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, briefly discussed the “Priority for Service” PFS plan for migrant students. The District partners with Region 20 to provide support for these students. Since they receive federal funding for this program, there are certain required guidelines to be met. Currently, there are seven students in the district that fall into this category. The normal range for this is between seven and 10 students at any given time.
Bilingual/ESL Program Evaluation
Mills also discussed the District’s ESL program for students whose home language is other than English. Most are Spanish speaking, but there is one student from Cambodia in high school. This is an annual report for information only. Students are screened as to how well they speak and understand English, and if there are 20 or more students in any grade level that need it, they will offer bilingual education. Currently, they do not have those numbers, but they do have classes in elementary. The District is required to offer ESL classes, however. Poteet outperforms the region and state in reading, math and all subjects and are comparable to the other classes. Students are given the TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System) test each year to help determine achievements during the year. The District met the target for accountability by 56%. All teachers are bilingual-certified in grades K through fifth, with exception of the math teacher. High school receives an incentive for bilingual, English learners and non-English learners through additional funding for the program.
The board approved the investment policy as presented with no changes from last year. They also unanimously approved applying for a waiver for remote homebound instruction for Section 504 and Special Education students.
Latest enrollment figures for elementary are 560 students, with 90% attendance. Teachers are continuing with the Reading Academy and the Seven Mindset lessons, as discussed last month. Staff has also been able to take a half day for team building. The campus held an anti-bullying rally and parent conferences are ongoing.
Math assessments have been completed in primary and will be tested again in January with the same information to determine how much the students have learned. They are holding interventions after school with up to 55 students attending. Throughout the month, they had activities for Hispanic Heritage Month, as they have for the past two years. Current attendance stands at 91%.
Junior high teachers are also working on the Seven Mindsets, as well as receiving Title I training, Special Ed training and support. If students are absent, the campus is using phone calls and letters to contact parents. They held an anti-bullying rally and a pep rally this month.
High school is offering grants to help staff complete their master’s degree so they can teach dual credit classes. Principal Tony Dominguez said that four seniors have already received acceptance letters from colleges. Many other students are working on their FAFSA paperwork. STAAR testing begins in six weeks.