Trustees Complete Long Agenda – Financial Audit, Facility Usage, AYP updates, plus link to Board video

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? ?The Kennedale Board of Trustees met in regular session on October 18, 2012. Members present were Dr. Mike Walker, Joe Taylor, Rhonda Barnes, Janet Adams, Lori Glovier, John Hunt and Julie Green. The full agenda included the following:


? ?National Merit Scholar Commendations were given to three KHS students ? Theresa Dinh, Blake Strocek and Colton Watson. The students had scores in the top 34,000 scores out of the 1.5 million students taking the National Merit Exam or in the top 3% of all students taking the exam. The KISD Board of Trustees issued proclamations recognizing their achievement. The proclamations were presented by KHS Principal Rita Whatley and Superintendent Gary Dugger. A Board Proclamation was also awarded Jeff Krieger, KHS Assistant Principal, for his selection by the Texas Association of Secondary Principals as Assistant Principal of the Year for North Texas. Mr. Krieger is in his third year at Kennedale High School.


? ?Nina Roller addressed the Board saying that she was responding to a request from Board member Joe Taylor at the public forum last week for information regarding pricing of after school providers and if on-site providers would be willing to come to Kennedale. {{more}} information was submitted to the all the Board members and Mrs. Roller provided a summary. Off-site providers were lower at $40 and 55 per week with a parent pick-up time of 6:30, snacks included. The on-site providers that were contacted were Mansfield Boys and Girls Club, Arlington YMCA and Academic Athlete, all are non-profits. The first two were at $55 per week and the YMCA was at $42.50 a week. Both the YMCA and Academic Athlete were willing to provide on-site services in Kennedale. Academic Athlete mostly closely resembles I-Zone in that it employs teachers at the site they serve and pay a comparable rate for the teacher. Academic Athlete paid a rate of a daily rate of $21 or an average of $422 a month. A rate for a for-profit would be $300 a day in Mansfield. I-Zone currently pays $135 a month. She also checked on rates for private instruction such as music lessons for band students and found that Kennedale was in line with similar fees charged in other districts. She encouraged the Board when considering this in the future to compare to like providers. She hopes that ?we all want what is best for families and the taxpayers of Kennedale and I hope that this information helps that cause.?

See a video of the KISD Board meeting by click here

? ?Dr. Maria Douglas addressed the Board concerning I-Zone and its relationship with the District. She understood that there were no legal violations and stated ?that was good, but that information does not alleviate my concern.? She felt that this was really an ethical issue ? that it was she felt a conflict of interest. She argued that as one of the owners of I-Zone, Dr. Furman, represented a real conflict of interest when doing business with the district and as in her role as a district associate superintendent. She felt like this was an inappropriate financial gain to a high ranking employee of the district. She urged the school board to question this situation and to stop it. She finished by lecturing to the Board about what she felt their responsibilities were and how they should conduct themselves.
? ?Cheri Paroulek addressed the Board as the chairman of the annual KHS PTA Scholarship Auction and Chili Supper, asking them to remember the event scheduled for November 3rd.


? ?AYP UPDATE – a presentation by Dr. Karen Furman, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) is part of the federal government?s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative. Kennedale ISD is currently in ?Stage One? classification as a result of certain segments of the student population who have failed to meet the yearly progress standards as set by NCLB. The report is part of the Board request to have periodic updates on status and progress in meeting the standards. ?The reason that we did not meet the standards two years in a row was due to our special education students,? stated Dr. Furman. She identified the area of concerns were in reading and math. To help identify and monitor improvement in grades 3-8 the district now uses STARR, an assessment tool. STARR is a national normed test. The results of current testing show the vast majority of students score appropriately (70% to more than 90% depending on grade and subject). At the lower end are three tiers. In the first group or tier are those students who are on ?watch? and are monitored as being on the lower end but still meeting the standards. The next two groups of students are those where some type of intervention is used to assist in bringing them up to and/or exceeding the required standards. There are several ways that the campuses then use to identify these students in the early grades with several assessments with appropriated interventions. At the secondary level, grades 7-12, a program called Gradpoint is being utilized. This program allows teachers to identify easily within the classroom setting the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. These areas and students can be targeted with individual assistance without losing time in re-teaching efforts for the whole class. Dr Furman felt that Gradpoint has many other uses including providing the ?rigor? that the District has been looking for in challenging all students including advanced students. Again this allows the teacher within the classroom setting to provide those students who are ready a learning challenge that is beyond the regular course work. In addition, Dr. Furman reported that previously the District had provided services for disabled students in a restrictive environment including ?pull-out? programs where student left a regular education classroom for assistance in a separate classroom according to their need. But due to what has been learned about significant gains for disabled students in classes with their non-disabled peers and the requirements of NCLB, the district made changes accordingly. One of these changes is sending teachers into the classroom to assist students who are in need in place of the pull-out programs. The District has a program that has been use with students with limited English and reading proficiency in grades 1-2. This same program has also been found to be good for the students in the Essential Academics Program, formerly called Life Skills. The district is reviewing it procedures for ?retention? for those students with greater disabilities and is moving to a system that allows the students to move from grade level to grade level with less retention. Retention has negatively affected the students and the district in several ways, requiring more testing and putting students in more restrictive classroom settings.

? ?STATE ACCOUNTABILITY RATING REPORT – given by Rick Edwards, Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services. Mr. Edwards wanted to ?point out a few things we are very happy about.?

The District had received a rating of ?superior achievement?, the top category out of 5 possible. Kennedale ISD had a score of 67 out of a possible 70 points. Mr. Edwards listed the achievements stating as that all ways our local audit came back ?clean?; the fund balance was well within the required amount approximately 4 million; the tax collection rate was above 98%; administrative cost were at 9% well below the state recommended of 14%; and, the student-teacher ratio is at 14.3 with the state recommendation of between 11 to 22.
? ?BOARD DISCUSSION OF FACILITY USE AND PUBLIC FORUM FEEDBACK: – Board members provided their thoughts on this issue.?

? ?Board member Julie Green led off by reading a prepared statement. In it she listed her concerns as being in the area of what seemed to be inconsistency in what is charged from group to group and campus to campus. She proposed a new system that the Board could consider. The system set up 4 different categories and charges for facility use would be based on the category a group would fit. The categories and charges were listed as Category 1, not for profit organizations not associated with Kennedale – full rate; Category 2, for profit organizations that are not associated with Kennedale or Kennedale students – full rate; Category 3, not for profit organizations serving Kennedale students ? no charge; and, Category 4, for profit businesses that serve Kennedale students (90%) ? a reduce rate set by the Board and applied equally. She added she thought it should be 75% for individuals and 50% for corporations in Category 4. She said that the district needed to recover more of the cost of utilities and custodial charges and that ?we need to be good stewards of the taxpayers? money.?
? ?Board member Janet Adams, stated that she was appreciative of all the information and input from the community but I ?think we are done.? ?People keep coming up to me and asking why do they keep bringing up I-Zone? Our Counsel has looked into it. No one is doing anything wrong. ? Are there some issues that we need to address, probably so. She when on to say that this should be done when the contracts come back at the end of the year. ?But until that time I would like to see it settle down. It has really torn up our community.?
? ?Trustee Rhonda Barnes, ?We have spent a lot of money proving something that most of us already knew, that no one was doing anything wrong.? ? ?Let us take all our pieces of papers that everyone has and bring them back in September or August and let us do it again.?
? ?Trustee Lori Glovier wanted to thank everyone who came out to the forum and she was ?really gratefully so many people showed up.? She added that we really aren?t talking about this year but next year. She complimented Trustee Green for her work. She felt that ?we do need to revisit the situation so that we do have something that is consistent across the board.?
? ?Superintendent Gary Dugger addressing some of the concerns about inconsistency in charges specifically use of kitchen facilities said that a member of the kitchen staff is required to be paid whenever a kitchen facility is used. Sometimes this employee volunteers their time and there is no charge. If a group chooses not to clean up after the use then there is a custodian fee.
? ?Trustee John Hunt stated ?I think that this is an important issue. It concerns me that I am under the impression that there may be a lot of personalities driving some of this discussion. And I think that is really sad that we have that going on. I think the rates we charge should be fair and that we should look at those. ? That was what I said initially ? that we be open and honest and I think everyone is willing to be that way. But I want to make sure?this not a personality driven discussion because that is just against the spirit of this district and why I became a board member.?
? ?Board President Dr. Mike Walker expressed frustration about the time and money spent by the board ?having to chase down allegations and things that were totally false.? He recognized that there were those who truly concerned about the issue but he said that there were others who had a different agenda that include ?character assassination.?
Trustee Joe Taylor said ?a lot of this has been misguided ? and I heard of three maybe four people who have a problem with this and that does not sound like to me many people. I have a problem with someone that appears to me who seems very much misinformed, challenging the ethics of this board ? or Dr. Furman or any other administrator of this district?. No motion was made so Dr. Walker moved on to the next agenda item.

Personnel Matters:
? ?Resignations of personnel ? Kelly Ramsay, Assistant Principal at James Arthur

Hiring of Personnel :
? ?Elisabeth Morris as Assistant Principal at James Arthur Elementary


? ?RACHEL’S CHALLENGE – introduction of Rachel?s Challenge with a brief video by Rita Whatley, KHS Principal. This same presentation has already been presented to the Kennedale City Council. The KISD Board was ask for their support and participation because the anti-bullying program is part of a community effort that begins in the schools. There is a student assembly scheduled for November 14th at 10 am and then a “Challenge” at 12:55 pm with selected students, parents and staff and at least one member of the Board and City Council in attendance. A “Community Event” is scheduled that evening at 6:30 pm. on the campus of Kennedale High School and the Performance Arts Center.


In final action before going into Executive Session the Board Meeting for November was rescheduled for November 29th after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

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