By Priscilla Seals
In his report at the March 9 meeting of the Blanco ISD trustees, superintendent Dr. Buck Ford announced that Blanco High School’s speech and debate team under the leadership of Russell Kirksey was honored recently at the Texas State Capital by House Resolution 660 introduced by Representative Patrick Rose. The one-act play “Into the Woods” has been entered into district UIL competition and will be performed at Blanco High School March 12 at 7:30 p.m. On March 25 it will be performed in district competition at Randolph-Brooks High School.
Dr. Ford reported that the comprehensive energy audit of all three BISD campuses performed by TAC has been completed and asked the board to set a date to discuss the findings. Members set March 24 at 6 p.m. as the date to meet and discuss options for increasing the energy efficiency of facilities in order to save the district money in the long term.
The district is also in need of a shorter passenger school bus in order to serve routes requiring turns of more than 90 degrees. Dr. Ford explained the need to keep the bus fleet current by buying a bus a year. He also stated the need for a new maintenance pickup truck to replace the current one, which is 20 years old and will not pass inspection. A new truck with a towing package would run around $19K and would last 15-20 years, according to Dr. Ford.
Dr. Ford notified trustees that Shekinah Radiance Academy, a charter school in Converse, Texas, is expanding its jurisdiction into the Blanco school district. Trustees agreed to respond to the academy’s letter by stating that the school is expected to have no significant impact on the Blanco district. In other business, the superintendent suggested that it might be time to update BISD goals, which have not been revised since the 2000-01 school year.
Finally, Dr. Ford introduced Blanco police officer Robert Armstrong and assistant chief Carl Bragg, who are seeking a grant to make the city of Blanco a campus for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLOESE). A regional training center would save the city money, according to Bragg, by allowing Blanco officers and those from nearby law enforcement agencies to receive mandated training courses locally rather than traveling to San Antonio or Austin. The police department requested the use of the parking lot by Panther Stadium in order to demonstrate that the training center will include a driving course, although it is unlikely that the course would ever be used. Trustees had no opposition to the idea.
In other business, trustees approved the District and Campus Improvement Plans for 2009-10 as submitted by campus administration and curriculum director Kathy Anderson. The school calendar for 2009-10 was also approved. The year will begin August 17 with three days of professional development activities, followed by staff workdays on August 20-21. Students will begin classes on August 24, taking a break on September 7 for Labor Day. October 12 and November 18 will be professional development days, followed by Thanksgiving Break November 25-27. In December students will have early release on December 18 to begin Christmas Break and will resume classes January 4. This year’s Blanco County Stock Show will take place January 14-15 followed by a staff workday January 18. Spring Break will be March 15-19 with one day off, April 2, preceding Easter. Students will have Memorial Day off May 31, and graduation will be held June 4.
Trustee president Matt Herden announced that both candidates running for seats on the board are running unopposed: Daryl Wagner and Kirk Felps. The deadline for filing was March 9. However, March 16 is the deadline for write-in candidates. The Blanco ISD, Blanco Groundwater Preservation, and City of Blanco will hold a joint election at the Blanco ISD Elementary cafeteria on May 9, 2009. Amy Hulburt, Chuck Homan, and Monica Villegas have all consented to serve as election clerks. Early voting clerks will be Landa Lassberg and Olga Campa. An election judge and alternate judge will be determined at a later date. Trustees voted to approve the election clerks and others as needed.
Trustees also voted to approve the Local board of Trustees Certification for 2009-10 of all instructional materials adopted by the state. The certification states, “We understand that all textbooks adopted by the state are appropriate for use in the schools, and districts may choose any materials from the state-adopted lists.” Finally trustees approved a resolution authorizing the tax resale of four lots in Lake of the Hills, Blanco County, in the amount of $500, in order to get the properties back on the tax rolls.
After discussion in executive session, trustees voted to extend the contracts of all campus teachers for one year and to accept the resignation of two teachers: Elizabeth Inge, high school special education; and Bonnie Immel, fourth grade.