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September SSISD Board Meeting Focused on New Programs, Security, Success

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Sulphur Springs School Board gained insight into a number of programs at Sulphur Springs Elementary School including a Gentlemen’s League, a program for 4th and 5th grade boys, and “My Classroom Economy”, a program that teaches students basic financial and budgeting skills. A number of other reports were heard as the board approved a number of policies and purchased two new maintenance vehicles.

Clay Johnson (rt) presented a Certificate of Completion to Master Trustee Leesa Toliver  

Leesa Toliver, SSISD board member and former President of the local board, is now a Master Trustee. Toliver invested a year of activity in a state-wide program, Leadership TASB, for trustees from schools of all sizes and types. Fellow board member Clay Johnson presented a certificate of completion to Toliver.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Lamb presented information and a video focused on the new “Gentlemen’s League” for 4th and 5th grade boys. The program will teach life lessons to the male students. Lessons taught will include what to wear and how to wear it, etiquette at meals, respect for and how to treat others with respect, and accepting oneself for who they are. According to Lamb, students will gain a sense of belonging, preparation for academics and how to contribute to community. In the video students in schools where the program is begin utilized stated the program gave them confidence and motivation. The League is optional for students and will meet twice a month. The program begins Wednesday, September 12th at the SSES campus. A science program for 5th grade girls is in its second year.

My Classroom Economy enables 4th and 5th grade students to learn life skills in a real world way. Principal Holly Folmar, assisted by teachers Amanda Hgginbotham, Chandra Maddox, and Maria Martinez presented the program. Six students told of t heir experience in the program. Students learn the value of a pay check, bank account, loans, budgets, making payments, and saving to attain. They earn money (paper currency for the program) up to three and four digit amounts. They have deposit slips, withdrawal slips, and a balance sheet. They earn a salary for completing classroom jobs and receive bonus rewards for achievements. Loans must be paid back and students pay rent for desks, buy items at auctions, pay fines for not following rules, and more.

Jenny Arledge presented the CTE Program evaluation for 2017-2018. She noted the program was meeting goals and standards set locally and by the program. The evaluation was conducted by a team from Region 6 due to the fact that Region 8, the region in which SSISD is located, does not do CTE Program evaluations.

Rusty Harden presented the Human Resources and Communications report. He noted that in the past five years the district has averaged hiring 86 new employees per year. Approximately 60 new teachers are hired each year. He stated the numbers are below average number of hires when the district is compared to other Texas districts. The majority of teachers in SSISD have six or more years of experience. Recent hires have been teachers with less than five years’ experience.

Harden showed slides of actions taken in to increase security at the high school and presented a video focused on an emergency operations app that would be used by teachers and staff in the district.

Lamb presented the TEA 2018 Accountability Rating for SSISD. He noted the successes achieved and the concerns that had focused on the SSES campus. However, with the recent restructure of campuses, many of the concerns are being answered. He anticipates a much higher rating for the local district.

The board approved all action items including the purchase of two 6-cylindar vans for the maintenance departments. Toliver Ford was awarded the bid which was lower than the only other bid from Hodge Chevrolet. Nine local policies and 57 legal policies were approved in a TASB Localized Manual Update. Extracurricular status was awarded to lower grade 4-H and the local county extension agents Johanna Hicks and Dr. Mario Villarino were approved as Adjunct Faculty.

No district personnel changes were made.  

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Author: Staff Reporter

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