Agreement with Interquest Detection Canines Approved

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – The Latexo ISD Board of Trustees met in a regular meeting on Thursday, April 12 to begin firming up agreements and policies for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

The first actionable item addressed concerned an agreement between the district and Interquest Detection Canines.

LISD Superintendent Dr. Stacy Easterly explained this agreement concerned the drug dogs who come to search the campuses at various times throughout the year.

“They have done a great job for us in the past and I recommend we continue with Interquest Detection Canines,” Easterly said.

When asked what the cost of service was, the superintendent said the price had increased from $240 to $260 per visit. After a brief discussion, the measure was approved.

As the meeting continued, LISD Nurse Krystal Patterson said the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) had a change to current board policy they would like to see implemented.

Patterson said the current policy “… states five consecutive days (of absence) before a student would need a doctor’s note (to return.) Our recommendation is to change that to three. Many schools use that and the rationale behind it is to hopefully increase the ADA (average daily attendance) and decrease the chance of spreading illness.”

A motion was made, seconded and approved to change the five day policy to three days, as recommended by the SHAC.

Following the SHAC measure, Easterly gave her superintendent’s report.

“Since the board goals are on our board meeting agenda every time, I have tried to center my board report around those things. The number one goal you set was district security. We are looking at security IP cameras. These are internet protocol cameras and a type of digital video camera employed for surveillance,” she said.

Easterly said the IP cameras would cost the district approximately $10,000.

Once the camera discussion concluded, the trustees ventured down the hallway to a classroom to see the latest door security measures employed by the district.

After the field trip to the classroom, Easterly informed the board Region 6 would be hosting a school security conference where the attendees would receive active shooter training.

“We have agreed to a safety audit on April 20 where three of us will walk around the district, go to the bus barn and maintenance department,” she said.

After the superintendent’s report concluded, Board VP Kelly Nicol said he would like to see the students involved in any type of active shooter training so they would know what to do in the event of a crisis situation.

“Our kids need to be informed and they need to know whether the threats are real or whether it’s a joke – it is a serious matter. Whether it’s a kid or a teacher, they need to report the threat and it needs to be taken seriously,” he said.

“I think we need to have an assembly with a speaker who can come in and talk to our kids, teachers and staff about threats,” Nicol said.

Following the security discussion, a lengthy discussion was held on the athletic department handbook but no action was taken and the measure was tabled for further consideration.

Before the meeting adjourned, tensions began to rise over curriculum programs within the district.

Board Secretary Bobbi Jo Frizzell asked the superintendent if the plan was to wait until the 2019 school year to install an aligned curriculum system.

Easterly replied, “The plan is to find the curriculum that will work for our kids.”

Frizzell repeated her question and Easterly replied that was not he plan, adding if the district found the appropriate curriculum they would implement it.

Nicol spoke up and said the board had previously agreed to have a curriculum program in place by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Frizzell said her belief was the board and administration seemed to be for this but now seemed to be pulling back.

“I don’t think we’re pulling back, I think we’re trying to find something that works. If we could have found something five years ago, we would have,” Easterly said.

After several more minutes of discussion, Nicol remarked, “In my personal opinion, if we do not have a curriculum – starting next year – I will consider that a failure of our number one goal.”

In other matters brought before the board of trustees:

  • An agreement with the Region 5 Food Service Cooperative was approved by the trustees.
  • The final reading of Policy Update 110 was given.
  • A resolution designating the week of May 7- 11 as Teacher Appreciation Week was approved by the board.
  • May 8 was designated as the date to canvass the votes from the May 5 election. The canvassing will begin at 8:30 a.m.
  • The date to install new board members was set for the evening of May 10, during the regularly scheduled LISD board meeting.
  • Dress codes for the elementary, high school and district were approved by the board.
  • Consent agenda items were approved.

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