Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford reported to the BISD trustees at their regular meeting February 13 that all three campuses will hold an Open House in honor of Texas Public Schools Week February 27-March 2. Monday, February 27 is the date set for Blanco High’s open house; Tuesday, February 28, is the date for Blanco Middle School; and Blanco Elementary will host an open house on Thursday, March 1.
Dr. Ford gave an update on the Blanco Elementary School building and renovation project. In spite of rain delays, Vanguard Construction Company has put fencing around the property; and a slab has been poured for the new cafeteria, which Dr. Ford said is a priority for the project. In other construction news, trustees approved the purchase and installation of a new floor in the elementary school gym at a cost of $55,200. Money for the project was included in last May’s bond election, and installing the floor now will save the district almost $13,000 over doing it in the summer—the busiest time for Quality Hardwood Floors. Dr. Ford reported that this company is well recognized and experienced in the gym floor business. He added that the current floor has been sanded so many times that the nails are now exposed, and there are holes that go through to the subflooring. In response to a trustee question, Dr. Ford responded that money is also available from the grant to renovate the gym restrooms.
Trustees approved a boundary line agreement resolution with the City of Blanco to determine the correct boundaries on the BISD school complex, located within the boundaries of Elm, 11th Street, Mesquite, and 13th St. According to a 1949 survey, the boundary lines of BISD and the City of Blanco overlap on the school’s east and west boundaries. Matt Herden said that he has been working with the city to agree upon a correct east and west boundary. City council will address the issue at their February 15 meeting.
In addition, trustees approved the purchase of security cameras for the new construction. M&A Technology, an approved vendor on the Buy Board Purchasing Cooperative, will purchase and install the cameras and related equipment and services for $75,071.91. Last May’s bond election included $100,000 toward the purchase of these cameras.
Jeff Garcia, attorney from Linebarger, Gobban, Blair, and Sampson, LLP, gave trustees an update on their debt collection services. He outlined the various steps his firm follows to contact delinquent taxpayers, beginning with five mailings and concluding with lawsuits if necessary. If delinquent taxpayers pay, lawsuits are dropped, he explained. In the current fiscal year his firm has collected $245,000 in delinquent taxes. Garcia pledged “to move forward with an aggressive approach to delinquent tax payers.” Fifty lawsuits are pending at this time.
Garcia’s firm has received a bid to purchase Lot 16, Block 19 in Lake of the Hills, which was struck from the tax rolls in 2006. The bid is $500. Trustees voted to approve a resolution authorizing the tax resale of this property. In answer to a question from president Matt Herden, Garcia said that five additional properties are awaiting tax resale. In a February 6 letter to business manager Kay Fraser, Garcia explained that all the funds from this resale will go to cover court costs and costs of the sale. In his words, “The benefit of accepting this offer is to get the property back on the tax roll as soon as possible, resulting in future tax revenue for the district.”
In other business, trustees voted to approve the 2012-13 school district calendar. Teachers will report on August 20 for professional development, and students return on August 27. School holidays include Labor Day (September 3); Thanksgiving (November 21-23); Christmas Break (December 24-January 4); the County Stock Show (date TBD); President’s Day (February 18); Spring Break (March 11-15); Good Friday (March 29); and Memorial Day (May 27). The last day of school will be June 6, and Graduation will be June 7.
The date of the March trustees’ meeting has been changed to March 5 because the regular meeting date falls within the district’s spring break. The TASB Winter Governance and Legal Seminar will be held February 16-18, 2012, in Corpus Christi, and a TASB Board Training will be held June 18, 2012, in Blanco. The filing period for a place on the ballot of the ESC Region XIII Board of Directors is February 1-20.
Dr. Ford reported that the district has received a Statement of Impact Correspondence from Texas Preparatory Academies and Premier High Schools in Lewisville, Texas, as required by TEA. The district has determined that the opening of these two charter schools will not have an impact on BISD, either financially or in pupil enrollment.
Finally, the Spotlight on Students featured Blanco Elementary fourth grade flag captains Marcela Alegria and Kevin Peyton. Principal Sue Ann Reininger praised these students for their faithfulness in raising the flag every day and presented them with certificates.
After discussion in Executive Session, trustees accepted the resignations of Blanco Elementary principal Sue Ann Reininger and special education teacher Angie Smith. These resignations will become effective at the end of the school year. Contract extensions went to the following: Kay Fraser, Business Manager; Kathy Anderson, Director of Curriculum and Special Programs; Kathryn Rutherford, Director of Special Education; Thomas Cozzi, Director of Technology; Tony Petri, Director of Maintenance; Dustin Barton, High School Principal; Jesse Salazar, Middle School Principal; and Danny Rogers, Athletic Director.