To begin the February 10 regular meeting of the Blanco ISD School Board, President Matt Herndon requested to start a tradition of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each meeting. All stood and recited the Pledge.
Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford began his report by noting that the most recent numbers show a total enrollment of nine hundred and eighty eight student in Blanco ISD. This number is up forty two students from last year. “To the best of my knowledge,” said Ford, “we have never been over one thousand in enrollment so that’s something we’re going to be looking at.”
Dr. Ford also presented the Board with reservation confirmations for the TASB Winter Governance and Legal Seminar that they will be attending as part of required hours for their terms.
Open House times and dates were announced for each campus. The Elementary School’s will be held March 4 from 5-6pm and the Middle School’s will be the same day, from 6-7pm. The High School has tentatively scheduled theirs for March 17.
Dr. Ford closed with announcing the February 17 will be a regular school day; that day had been reserved as a Bad Weather make up day.
In the Student Spotlight, Elementary School Principal Linda Romano presented a “You Make a Difference!” certificate to Joshua Ludolf. Romano read part of a letter sent to Joshua’s parents, “Every once in awhile, a student will shine above all others, in a demonstration of caring and responsibility that is unprompted and unexpected. I’m happy to say that Joshua is one of these students.” Joshua has volunteered to serve on the Safety Patrol, helping with the morning car lines, and he rounds up and leads his school mates in singing the school song every Friday for the morning announcements.
High School Principal Dr. Dustin Barton presented the Staff Spotlight. “Along the same lines as Ms. Romano, we wanted to try and recognize somebody for doing something they’re not required to do.” said Dr. Barton. He presented Jennifer Bird with a Certificate of Recognition for her five years of volunteer work as the National Honor Society Sponsor. Dr. Barton explained that the position was not an easy one, “Mrs. Bird coordinates the induction ceremony, keeps an organized approach to maintain the chapter’s success, and monitors students as they continue to uphold the standard upon which they were selected.”
An update on the District Counseling Program was given by BISD’s three counselors. Elementary School Counselor Patricia Mangold stated they have “updated guidance lessons... to go along with the six character traits put forth by the Gustafson Institute.” Mangold also reported that children were able to come to her for lessons, opposed to last year when she met with them in their classrooms, thanks to the updated safety of the new building. Middle School Counselor Lisa Rogers told the Board about new programs including the Catch Council which promotes healthy living, a program encouraging random acts of kindness, and additional Parent Night’s to educate parents on the new Graduation requirements. High School Counselor Linsey Balmos, who was appointed to the position just three months ago, is looking forward to beginning new programs next year, such as an anti-bullying campaign and a Senior Breakfast Club that will offer college and scholarship application assistance.
At the November 11 meeting, the Board approved to accepted bids for the portable buildings no longer in use by the Elementary School. At this meeting, the bids were looked over the highest bid for each Portable was approved. Dennis Moore’s bids on portables #1, #2, #4, #5, and #6 were accepted and Mountain Home Co.’s bid on Portable #3 was accepted.
In the open forum portion of the meeting, Maria Barracco signed in to speak on the subject of “reaching out”. In her speech to the Board she stated that “students don’t want to lose their possibility of being accepted… and teachers, they’re thinking about their paychecks, so how much are they going to risk to point out something that is going the wrong way?” Barracco went on to say, “We have to guarantee our kids to be able to have fair treatment, not favoritism. And we have to be clear in our actions. We can’t blame the kids for not reaching out to the teachers, we are responsible for reaching out to them first.” Board President Matt Herndon replied, “I think we’d all like to see that.”
The Board then adjourned to Executive Session. Following executive session, the Board approved contract extensions for: Dr. Dustin Barton, High School Principal, Thomas Cozzi, Technology Director, Kay Fraser, Business Manager, Dr. Richard LaBuhn, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Danny Rogers, Athletic Director, Linda Romano, Elementary Principal, Kathryn Rutherford, Special Education Director and Keitha St. Clair, Middle School Principal.