The Yantis School Board last week approved the 2018-2019 school calendar calling for students to be back in the classroom Wednesday, August 24.
Approved unanimously, the calendar schedules the last day of class next spring on Friday, May 24. The 170 days of instruction were adjusted to complete the school year before the 2019 Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Preparations for the fall semester dominated the board meeting. Trustees discussed security, transportation, staffing and scheduling. Superintendent Tracey Hilfferich briefed the board regarding the updated safety and security plan status and reported that a draft plan should be available for the board to review at the July meeting.
Following a closed session, the board hired teachers Stacey McMinn and John Walker on 10-month probationary contracts, and school counselor Robin Boggs on a part-time ten-month probationary contract. Hilfferich noted the school is getting very close to having a full staff in place for the fall.
By unanimous vote, the board approved the District of Innovation plan which will become official once the Texas Education Agency Commissioner’s Office receives and approves the letter request from the board. The five-year plan will allow a greater degree of local control over Texas education policy and procedures. Specifically, the school board requested control over the school calendar, authority to revoke a student’s transfer status, and an exemption from the teacher certification requirement in order to have flexibility in staffing hard-to-fill teacher positions.
The board also approved a final draft of the Mission, Vision and Goals statement without objection. Board Member Stacey Wetzel described the statement as the “best thing I’ve seen in a long time,” while Hilfferich lauded those involved in developing the statement. The Mission states: “in partnership with parents, community and students, Yantis ISD will educate all students to achieve their full potential in a secure learning environment as knowledgeable, self-assured citizens ready for college or careers.” The five goals are fiscal responsibility, community relations, a professional environment, quality training, and vigilance in security.
Board Member Michael Burnett raised a number of transportation issues including bus rotations and investigation into the feasibility of leasing busses. Hilfferich commented, “We must better our bus fleet,” and agreed to present more information regarding a leasing option at the next meeting.
Hilfferich informed the board that based on student population and tax values it is anticipated Yantis school district will once again be a Texas Education Agency Chapter 41 school district and hence will have some state funding redirected to less-wealthy school districts. According to the Texas Education Agency, “The relative wealth of the school district is measured in terms of the taxable value of the property that lies within the school district borders divided by the number of students in weighed average daily attendance.”
All board members were in attendance at the meeting. Agenda items anticipated for the July board meeting include security, student transfers, handbooks, board orientation, and new hires.