By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

 CROCKETT – “Believe me, Mrs. (CISD Board of Trustees President Lela) Wheeler, you won’t have to listen to this superintendent tonight because I have such good news, I’m just going to be quiet,” Crockett ISD Superintendent Terry Myers said as he began his report during the regularly scheduled meeting of the CISD Board of Trustees held on Monday, March 27.

“I’m just going to let Mrs. (Assistant Superintendent Wendy) Tullos and Mrs. (Administrative Assistant Toni) Nicol take it away,” he said.

As the assistant superintendent began, Nicol disappeared into a back office and re-emerged with an oversized check in the amount of $4,692,182 which had been awarded to CISD under the Texas Title I Priority Schools grant (TTIPS).

TTIPS grants are made from funds made available under Section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

According to the Texas Education Agency, “The purpose of the 2016-2020 TTIPS, Cycle 5, grant is to provide funding to local educational agencies (LEAs) for use in eligible schools in order to substantially raise the achievement of their students and enable the schools to meet annual goals in program-term measurable objectives. Funding is intended for LEAs that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources that will enable schools to meet the criteria to exit priority or focus status.”

“We wrote this for whole school reform. This is for our academics, that’s the main thing I would like everyone to know. This is an opportunity we have never had in Crockett – to improve our student/ teacher ratio; to buy materials we have never had; to be able to put smart boards in every classroom in the elementary; and to be able to get to a 1:1 ratio with student devices. These are all things we wrote into our grant, based on our needs,” Tullos said.

Tullos said with the grant, several new positions would be created within the district and these would be posted over the summer.

“There will be about six or seven positions that will be grant positions through 2020,” she said.

“One thing really quick,” Nicol added. “I went back to 2009 when I started with the grant department and this grant is $1.3 million higher than anything we have ever received.”

Myers added he appreciated the amount of effort and the hours put in by Tullos, Nicol and Elementary Principal Robin Stowe.

“I personally want to thank them for their hard work and diligence. Obviously, our demographics and our need in this community defined that we needed it, but they had to write the grant right,” he said.

Nicol also expressed her appreciation to Business Manager Gail Hanson “… because we could not get through compliance and reporting the spending without her assistance.”

CISD Board Member Dr. John Garner also commented on the grant award.

“I would like the whole community to understand, this is for instruction and academics. Often times the perception is our district is more involved or more interested in things other than academics. This goes directly to academics. It doesn’t go towards the facilities, it doesn’t go towards extracurricular activities. It goes directly to where it is needed,” he said.

“We would like to invite those in the community who are not using the elementary at this time that this will continue to improve our school and if they would like to get involved with a good educational program, we would like to invite them to come join us in the fall,” Garner said.

In other matters brought before the CISD Board of Trustees:

  • Consent Agenda items were approved.
  • The 2017-2018 school calendar was adopted by the CISD board.
  • The meeting dates for August, December, January and May during the 2017-2018 school year were changed because of scheduling conflicts.
  • Weaver and Tidwell, LLP was approved as the district’s annual auditing firm.
  • TASB Policy Update 107 Affecting Local Policies was approved by the board.

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