At their regular meeting October 12, trustees of the Blanco ISD honored the school lunch staff during National School Lunch Week October 12-16. Eleven members of the staff from all three campuses were recognized by business manager Kay Fraser, who presented impressive statistics to the board. The staff serves over 200 breakfasts and 600 lunches a day, observing a number of state and federal guidelines for nutrition, sanitation, and even the temperature of foods. “Our greatest joy comes from serving our beautiful students in Blanco, whose smiling faces we look forward to seeing every day,” concluded Fraser. Dr. Ford added that the experience of eating is one that is a focal point for students during the school day and thanked the staff for “all you do for our kids.”
Kasi Baker spoke for the Blanco Panthers band program in the Open Forum portion of the meeting, urging trustees to support the program for the sense of achievement it gives students and the spirit it imparts to school events. Matt Herden agreed, remembering a time when the band had only 13 members, and praising band leaders Mr. Shirk and Mr. Aly for their efforts.
Trustees also recognized the achievements of Blanco Middle Schoolers who earned the Principal’s Award and the Proud Panther Awards for the month of September. In the “Spotlight on Students” portion of the meeting, principal Jesse Salazar recognized the following students who earned the Principal’s Award for academics and behavior, based on teacher nominations: in sixth grade, Brock Bonner, PE; Jackson Forcyce, social studies; Madison Kunkel, math; Maryn McMain, science; Bret Nance, language arts; and Vanessa Skillman, reading. Seventh graders recognized were Jake Breeding, science, and Travis Caswell, reading. In eighth grade the following received the award: Dayna Alston, reading/language arts; Annabeth Griffin, theater arts; Callie Nance, Spanish/social studies; and Meaghen Seales, health. The Proud Panther Award, based on nominations by all teachers, went to Kristin Watt. Trustee president Matt Herden commended the students for their hard work, saying, “That’s what we like to see—students who make us all proud.”
Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford updated the board on the ongoing facilities study conducted by Fromberg and Associates. The study has looked at enrollment projections and assembled a list of perceived needs. The site-based team will meet November 4 and determine how to prioritize perceived needs, perhaps through a survey. He also announced that the auditing firm of Neffendorf, Knopp, Doss and Company, P. C., has been approved to conduct the annual audit of the school district for the year ending September 2009.
Members of the Kendalia Community Club and the Kendalia Library made a presentation on the history of the club, housed in the old Kendalia School, and requested that the 2.0649 acre tract and building be deeded to the non-profit 501.C.3 Kendalia Library, as allowed under a revision in the Texas Education Code in 2001. Representatives Bob Schwab, Joy Brussell, and librarian Donna Jonas spoke to trustees, citing the fact that the historic WPA-constructed building has undergone over $55K in maintenance and renovation expenses paid for by the community over the years since its construction in 1938. Jonas presented many statistics verifying the commitment of the library to public education and its increasing role in community service. President Matt Herden said that the board would study the request, consult with an attorney, and then make a decision.
Special education coordinator Kathryn Rutherford and Blanco High School principal Dustin Barton made a presentation on upcoming inclusion workshops for teachers, to promote the inclusion of learners with disabilities and “close the achievement gap” in Rutherford’s words. Training for teachers using the C-Scope program of reinforcement will also be held every six weeks. SPARC, or Structured Planning-Aligning Resources and Curriculum, will be held at the Region 13 headquarters, and teams of teachers will attend representing various academic areas. Blanco has four teacher-leaders for Region 13, teachers who in curriculum director Kathy Anderson’s words, “had success with C-Scope and were willing to share.” The teachers are Mike McClure, elementary science; Pam Meier, middle-school science; Tish Sauerhoff, middle school English/Language Arts; and Marie Graham, high school mathematics.
Dustin Barton also explained a math coaching program, paid for by federal stimulus funding, which will give classroom teachers additional support in use of resources, lesson plans, and classroom management.
Trustees nominated two candidates to the Blanco County Appraisal board—Jack Felps and David Behrends— but did not nominate any candidates to the Hays or Kendall County district boards. In other business trustees approved a textbook committee to select English Language Arts and reading texts, approved the sale of a 1993 71-passenger school bus to Frio Depot for $832, and approved a budget amendment adjusting the preliminary estimated budgets for the federal programs under the No Child Left Behind Consolidated Application to the actual amounts approved by TEA. After executive session, trustees approved the hiring of Lisa Duncan as an elementary special education teacher and the resignation of Laurel Housley from the same position.