By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – The Latexo Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Oct. 10 and received information on the results of two reports – mandated by the State of Texas – as to how well a school district was performing.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Board President Willie Patton and after public comments on security measures (door locks) at the elementary school as well as potential gender issues concerning bathroom usage, the board moved into the actionable part of the agenda.

The first item addressed by the board concerned the usage of Latexo ISD facilities by Latexo Youth Basketball (LYB).  LISD Superintendent Dr. Stacy Easterly read a letter she had received from LYB President Ed Stockton which stated, “The LYB would like to request the use of Latexo ISD facilities from Jan. 7, 2017 through April 5, 2017. All LYB events including practice times will be scheduled around school functions. The LYB Board, along with all participants, thanks you in advance and looks forward to a great year.”

At the conclusion of the letter, Dr. Easterly commented, “We are always pleased to be able to extend our facilities to LYB. We will have a facility use agreement we will be looking at today, that you will need to sign, but we look forward to our continuing relationship.”

Stockton, who was present at the meeting, spoke next and thanked the ISD Board and superintendent. He added, “I also have a presentation of a check in the amount of $2,200 for helping us out.”

A motion was made, seconded and approved to allow LYB to use the LISD facilities and to accept the LYB donation.

Following the LYB discussion, the Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) was the initial report addressed. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, the TAPR “… pulls together a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas every year. Performance is shown disaggregated by student groups, including ethnicity and low income status. The reports also provide extensive information on school and district staff, programs, and student demographics.”lyb

Dr. Easterly commented, “Of course, we met standards. This is for the 2014-2015 academic year and it used to be known as the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). The AEIS report was published from 1990-91 until 2011-2012.”

As she continued, the superintendent remarked, “The 2014 STAAR is shown because a direct comparison to 2015. We have had the STAAR test for five years and it is not possible to compare to the next. We have no apples to apples (comparison). We have vegetables to fruit and there is no way possible to compare these at this juncture. There is a phase in and I will bring that to you next month.”

After detailing the individual items evaluated on the report, Easterly said if any member of the public wished to view the TAPR, copies of the report would be available on both campuses and in the administration building.

Once the TAPR discussion concluded, Easterly turned the floor over to Business Manager Jo Lane for a report on the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report.

According to the TEA, the FIRST was designed to “…ensure that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.”

The business manager said, “Last year, the best you could receive was a ‘P’ for pass. Now, they have changed their scale again so for this year, the accountability ratings system assigns one of four financial ratings. These are: ‘A’ for superior; ‘B’ for above standards; ‘C’ for met standards; and ‘F’ for substandard achievement.”

Lane explained the period the district was rated on was from 2014-2015, reported LISD received an ‘A’ and added the district received 100 points on a 100 point scale.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Easterly requested Elementary Principal Sandy Simpson and High School Principal Kris Whisenant to come forward to receive well deserved recognition for their service during National Principals Month.

Easterly read a proclamation from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott which stated in part, “As school leaders, principals are entrusted with our most valuable resource—our next generation of leaders. At this time, I encourage all Texans to acknowledge the important role principals play in ensuring that every child has access to a high-quality education.”

She added, “We appreciate everything you do.”

In other matters brought before the LISD Board of Trustees:

  • An agreement with the Lufkin Regional School for the Deaf was approved.
  • The trustees gave their approval to a budget amendment.
  • Payments to Goodwin-Lasiter – Strong in the amount $1,052.95 and Berry & Clay in the amount of $7,030 were approved.
  • Textbook committee members were approved.
  • Changes to Board Policy GKD (local) were adopted by the board.
  • The facility agreement, referred to earlier in this article, was also approved by the board.
  • Consent Agenda items were approved.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.