Home Education Grapeland Elementary Update Presented to GISD Board

Grapeland Elementary Update Presented to GISD Board


2019-2020 Calendar Goes from 6 to 9 Week Grading Period

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland School Board met in their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, March 25 and received an update on construction at the new elementary school.

Prior to the construction update, Executive Assistant/Human Resources/PEIMS Coordinator Kathy Richmond was recognized for her service to the district.

“Today we would like to recognize a staff member and we are going to ask Kathy Richmond to please stand. Mrs. Richmond is retiring. She has been with the district for eight years and we have a gift basket for her. We would like to wish you well in your retirement and thank you for your service,” Grapeland ISD Superintendent Don Jackson said.

Shortly after the recognition, Jackson provided the board with an update on the progress of the elementary school construction.

As he began, the superintendent took the trustees on a virtual tour of the facility beginning with the entryway and showed photographs of what had been accomplished up to Spring Break.

One of the areas highlighted by Jackson concerned security.

“Security is a really great asset to this building because you will not be able to access the building without coming into the office. You cannot access the office without being buzzed in,” he explained.

As he continued, Jackson showed the board members pictures of the office area, the counselor’s office, the principal’s office, the teacher’s lounge and conference rooms.

He also guided the trustees through the various classrooms, hallways and wings of the building while identifying what has been done and what still needs to be accomplished.

“It’s coming together and starting to look like a school,” the superintendent added.

Once Jackson concluded, Board Secretary Melissa Cobb provided an update to the board pertaining to the childcare center.

“The remodel has already started for the childcare center. New plumbing has already been completed and they are adjusting some of the drainage issues because of the playground area. We have sheetrock coming in on Wednesday. We have the Dutch doors which are being fabricated and will be installed. Then, we are going to take a break because we have testing going on in those hallways and we will resume in May. Our certification with the state is out the first week of April so we will have our first inspection in 30 days,” she said.

AS the meeting continued Jackson, reported the GISD staff had voted on what he termed Option B for the district’s 2019-2020 school calendar.

“What you see before you is – in lieu of a six-week grading period – it will be a nine-week grading period. I think the kids will like it because after every nine weeks, there is a week off for the students, starting in October,” he said.

Jackson said he borrowed this calendar from Forney ISD and after speaking with staff in Forney, he felt it might be a good fit in Grapeland.

“For UIL purposes, you will still have to check grades for the first six weeks of school for eligibility. Then we have to check again at the ninth week. If they are eligible in the ninth week, they are eligible for the next nine weeks. If you are ineligible at nine weeks, you have three more weeks to gain eligibility. So, we will still be checking grades every three weeks,” he explained.

Also of note, the board accepted the resignation of Coach Cannon Earp. Earp has led the Sandies basketball team to at least the Regional Finals in basketball every year he has served as head coach. He also helped guide the team to an appearance in the State Semifinals as the head coach and also while serving as an assistant coach.

In addition, Earp led the boys’ and girls’ golf teams to the Class 2A State Championship in 2017 (boys) and in 2018 (boys and girls).

In other matters brought before the GISD Board of Trustees:

  • The board members approved the bid on playground equipment from PTI Sports and Recreation.
  • Bids for furniture and fixtures for the new elementary school were approved. Bids for technology equipment and acoustical ceilings in the childcare center were also approved.


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

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