ITALY — A representative from the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management, Jennifer Jones, spoke to the Italy School Board of Trustees at their monthly meeting held Monday evening.  

Jones said she was asked to speak to the board regarding insurance coverage.

Barry Bassett, superintendent, had been questioned by Mark Stiles, board member, as to why he had not gone out for insurance bids at a recent meeting.

Bassett said he has worked with TASB Risk Management in other districts and said they have been very pleased with the service they receive.

Jones said they specialize in insuring small to mid-size schools. “We only cover schools. That’s our specialty. So, we know schools.”

She said they have not increased contributions in the Italy ISD within the last two or three years. She added, “We know what’s going on in Austin and we know what challenges the districts are having.”

She said the TASB Risk Management Fund has more than 1,100 members and is a financially strong risk pool. In addition to providing coverage through its unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, auto, liability, and property programs, it also offers a wide range of services and member benefits, such as loss prevention, free member training, online claim forms and resources and grant programs.

Currently, she said the district can go online and add or remove insurance on equipment as it is bought or sold.

Locally, she said they also provide coverage for Avalon, Milford and Maypearl schools.

Bassett commended the firm’s level of service, pricing and level of coverage.

In other business, Jon Mathers, board member, praised Bassett, both principals and Melissa Badard for their prompt response to making the schools safe for students.

Bassett said he received a call from one of the television agencies questioning why the district did not have a safety audit on file with the state. He said a safety audit has been done but apparently has not been turned in by Region X. He said he would contact Region X immediately to get necessary information on file with the state.

The attendance report has current enrollment at 540 students – 287 at Stafford Elementary and 253 on the junior high/high school campus.

The board approved minutes from November meetings, the monthly utility report, check register, monthly investment and cash position report, the November financial statement and tax collections. The tax collection report indicates 34.41 percent of projected revenues received and expended 29 percent of the budget.

Natasha Blackburn, business manager, said the audit is ongoing and should have results at the January meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 22. A called meeting, an evaluation meeting, is set for Jan. 14.