Hawkins School Board discusses safety options

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A discussion of school security dominated the Hawkins School Board regular meeting Thursday evening at the school’s administration building.

Superintendent Morris Lyon broadly outlined three options for enhancing security which were the Guardian Program, the School Marshal Program and school security guards often referred to as school resource officers. The discussion revolved mainly around input received from the legal firm of Powell and Leon regarding the legal implications of each measure.

Wood County Sheriff Tom Castloo contributed significantly in the discussion, and lauded the Alba-Golden School as an example of a school instituting efficient and effective security procedures. Board President Robbie White referred specific security measure discussion to closed session.

Also in the regular March meeting, a healthy discussion transpired regarding state testing, State Academic Performance Reports, and specific school accountability standards. Lyon noted an overall four to six percent gain in test scores compared to the previous school year. Board Member Janice Vonner questioned the state grading scale or scales presently in use. Elementary Principal Stephanie McConnell responded that state standards vary by grade and subject.

In additional elementary reports, McConnell described a staff goal-setting project and a new kindergarten writing workshop.

Middle school Principal Jason Boyd highlighted progress in social studies in which 22 students received the highest state performance standard mark. He also briefed the board on the Globe Project which connects students worldwide. Presently Hawkins students interact with students from the Czech Republic and the State of Israel. The Globe Project is administered by the University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.

High School Principal Kelly Moore briefed the board on a variety of events including incentives for attendance, the one-act play advancing in competition, and the hard work of all those participating in the Houston Livestock Show. Hawkins students showing livestock in Houston are Harlie Conover, Kaitlyn Dunn, Alli Boyd, Grant Henneous, Coby Hagan and Morgan Thompson.

In his report, the superintendent discussed outcomes from the passage of Texas Senate Bill 1566 containing several amendments to the State Education Code and which was signed into law June 15th 2017.

The superintendent also addressed election ethics and the inaugural Education Foundation meeting. Lyon informed the board that he had received a letter of resignation, effective immediately, from Board Member Sam Hollingsworth.

Elementary Student of the Month Shianne Burnam led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge. Adrian Jackson, described as a mature voice of reason on campus, was named Middle School Student of the Month, while Kalob Hines, a key player in the agriculture mechanics team, was recognized as High School Student of the Month.

Recognition was also awarded to Lauren Conover as Elementary Teacher of the Month. Special Education teacher Heather Hamilton and Art teacher Trudy Atteberry were introduced as Middle School and High School Teachers of the Month, respectively. High school office secretary Cindy Green received recognition as Staff Member of the Month. Superintendent Lyons noted that school success is a partnership of teachers, students, and parents.

Texas Association of School Boards Local Policy Update 110 was approved unanimously. This update provided recommendations to enhance the verbiage describing school board elections in the district.

Prior to convening in closed session, the board discussed enacting spectator rules of conduct for events. The safety of and accountability for minor children was the primary benefit of this potential policy. It is anticipated that once a policy is decided upon, it will be posted at the entrance to the football field and at both gymnasiums.

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