Based on a number of state-mandated criteria, Blanco ISD achieved a Recognized rating from the TEA for the 2009 school year. Curriculum Specialist Kathy Anderson reported to trustees that the district received five Gold Performance Acknowledgments for achievement in these areas: College-Ready Students and SAT/ACT results at Blanco High School; and based on spring TAKS scores for grades 3-11, Commended for Writing, Social Studies, and Comparable Improvement in Mathematics. Blanco High School and Blanco Middle School received Academically Acceptable ratings, while Blanco Elementary achieved an Exemplary rating. Full results may be obtained from the TEA website. The district also met federally-mandated Adequate Yearly Progress goals. Trustee Matt Herden thanked Anderson for all her efforts in compiling and presenting the data.
In honor of National School Counselors’ Week February 1-5, superintendent Dr. Buck Ford presented certificates of appreciation to Blanco ISD’s three counselors—Patricia Mangold, BES; Lisa Rogers, BMS; and Michele Skillman, BHS. Each of the three gave a short presentation on the role of the counselor at each level. They stressed that counselors spend more time on individual goal-setting as students mature and explore options for their future. “It’s very rewarding for all of us as counselors,” concluded Skillman.
The Spotlight on Students portion of the meeting highlighted Blanco Elementary students for their UIL participation. Principal Sue Ann Reininger recognized those present with certificates of participation, including the following: Kevin Peyton, Mitchell Barnett, Malinda Campbell, Taylor Kotfus, Johanna Villarreal, Allie West, Megan Brown, Helen Hunter, Bailey Bryan, Lily Avila, Alyssa Kunkel, Griffin Wearden, JoMac Wyatt, Chloe Flores, Anni Weisbrich, Alyssa Dellinger, Allison Foydyce, Jackie Orozco Zapata, Nelly Saldana, Garrett Seales, Chase Coggins, Devin Sauerhoff, Luis Elizondo, Destinie Bryan, Kailen Webster, McKenzie Foth, Jake Mangold, Brittany Keith, Victoria Moya, Steven Flores, and Kathryn Hull.
Superintendent Ford announced that the filing period for two vacancies on the Education Service Center Region 13 board will end February 20 Candidates for place 6 may live in Blanco County as well as others of the 16 member districts. A news release from Pat Pringle, executive director of the Education Service Center, states that candidates must file on a board-approved form, in person or by certified mail, between 8 a.m and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the region administrative office, 5701 Springdale Road, Austin.
Dr. Ford updated trustees on the house at 1015 Elm Street which has been purchased by the district along with the property on which it sits. Trustees have determined that the house will not be useful for district purposes and should be sold. The cost of moving a 1000-sf home would be approximately $20K, according to information Dr. Ford has obtained. Trustees will vote on the proposal to sell the home at a subsequent meeting.
BISD will celebrate Texas Public Schools Week March 8-12 with open houses at all three campuses, as follows: Blanco Middle School, March 8; Blanco Elementary, March 9; and Blanco High, March 10, from 6-7 p.m. followed by the UIL one-act play.
Parents Ernie Corolla and Rodney Green spoke in Open Forum, both concerning athletic issues. Mr. Corolla questioned why no progress had been made on tennis courts for the district. Matt Herden responded that the courts are part of the facilities update study being conducted by Fromberg and Associates and can not be dealt with as a separate issue. Mr. Green voiced concerns about the boys’ basketball program and was told that he could be placed on the agenda for the March meeting.
In a related issue, a proposal to construct new bleachers on the visitors’ side of the Panther Stadium was tabled. Dr. Ford expressed concern that the Blanco stadium visitor seating would be “an embarrassment” now that Blanco is part of Division 1 in the Class 2A football conference. The new division will include Ingram Moore, Luling, Marion, Comfort, and Lago Vista. Nearby Canyon Lake High School is also on the schedule for next year. He also expressed concern that Sturdisteel, the company which would build the bleachers, may be too busy to do the work if they are not hired immediately.
In a discussion of the proposal, trustee Darrell Wagner commented that the matter had come out of nowhere and was not part of the feasibility study. Trustee Troy Immel commented that the likelihood of ever getting new tennis courts would be diminished if the money remaining in a $800K fund set aside for ongoing maintenance and repairs is diverted to stadium bleachers. He questioned whether teams in the newly-configured District 13 2-A Division 1 will send a significant number of spectators to their away games. After discussion, a motion by Immel to table the proposal passed.
Charles Riley brought several coaches and trainers, as well as the athletic director at Dripping Springs High School, to continue the discussion of the advantages of hiring an athletic trainer for the district. Howard Ballard, athletic director for Dripping Springs ISD, and Larry Lechow, trainer for Dripping Springs High School, both emphasized that a trainer relieves the coach and trustees of liability in case of an injury. “The biggest investment is (in) the safety of your kids,” said Ballard. “I’m in this business for the kids,” seconded Lechow. Matt Monzingo, coach at Canyon Lake High School, called his trainer, Israel Peña, his “right-hand man,” adding, “The biggest thing is the relationship with the kids, the trust that exists.” Peña called himself “the gateway to the medical profession,” referring injured students to the proper medical professional. Rick Fox, one of two trainers at Burnet High School, said, “We’d like to see you get a trainer—we think your kids are worthy of that.” Brandon Belk, a trainer at Marble Falls High School, also teaches world history and a sports medicine class. Finally, Shandra Esparza, an instructor at Incarnate Word University, spoke about another option, a sports medicine outreach program in New Braunfels, through which medical personnel work at high school football home games. As was explained at the previous BISD meeting, athletic trainers receive a teacher’s salary and a stipend, working at all home events. The Canyon Lake trainer stressed that he works with other team members such as cheerleaders, the dance team, and the band.
Finally, trustees approved the school calendar for 2010-11 and a resolution from Kendall County to construct a new appraisal district facility. They also voted to appoint the following judges and clerks for the May 8, 2010 school board election: Deborah Stenulson, election judge; Kenneth Moore, alternate judge; and Amy Hulburt, Chuck Homan, and Magdalena Avila as election clerks. Early-voting clerks will be Landa Lassberg and Olga Campa.