The Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees approved the purchase of up to four buses for special education and extracurricular activities during their Monday night meeting. The board also discussed budget amendments with districtwide benefits.
Assistant Superintendent of District Operations Kevin Freels discussed the consideration of purchasing two, customized 35-passenger special education buses. They are equipped with a three-point seat belt, which has been implemented in the past.
Trustees passed this unanimously.
Freels proceeded to discuss the consideration of purchasing up to four, 77-passenger buses that are also equipped with three-point. These buses will be used as “sub-buses” when other buses are in the shop or for extracurricular activities. It will not be used on a daily basis as a route bus.
Freels plans to approach the board at a later date about possibly purchasing more buses if it fits into the budget. The quote he has is good until January 2019.
At this point, none of the buses will retire, but if the district is granted the four buses, Freels will consider cycling out some of the buses that are over 20 years old.
District CFO Vickie Benhow discussed three topics in the financial update. There were three budget amendments in consideration. The first amendment focuses on professional development coming from an instruction standpoint.
Red Oak Superintendent Dr. Michael Goddard then shared that the public address system at the baseball fields is “fried.” He said it would cost just as much to fix it as to replace it. The new public address system is budgeted at $9,100. This funding is coming from the extracurricular and technology funds.
The final budget amendment was for contracted services with the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). TASB provides two programs, which is a review of pay schedule, which hasn’t been updated in many years. The program will display how ROISD competes within the market.
The other program offered through TASB involves inspecting operations in the human resources department. This will make sure the district is drawing in employees that resemble the four Talons.
Freels dismissed the Texas Education Agency (TEA) class size waivers. He then presented the consideration of TEA low attendance day waiver.
He said it hit December 2017 the hardest. The waiver was unanimously passed by the school days Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, through Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.
Freels also presented the 2018-19 school calendar to trustees. He said there are not any drastic changes. When mentioning parent feedback, there were 273 respondents, with 81 percent in favor, 13 percent neutral and six percent against.
One noticeable difference Freels pointed out are the two bad-weather makeup days. He mentioned the state doesn’t require the contingency days and will instead be referenced as holidays on the schedule. It was also confirmed that Spring Break would fall during the same week as the rest of the schools in TEA Region 10.
The 2018-19 calendar was unanimously approved.
Before entering a closed session, Goddard recognized School Board Appreciation Month. He also recognized the 2018 National Merit Scholar finalist Sara Bannister.
Red Oak Middle School Principal Cristi Watts highlighted eight-grade UIL students during the meeting.
The board of trustees closed open session at 7:51 p.m. to hear and deliberate employee level three grievances for three faculty members.
Trustees returned from the closed session at 10:57 p.m. and a motion was made to uphold a level-two grievance and authorized the superintendent to evaluate the District Alternative Program. This passed unanimously. Trustees returned to closed session at 11:05 p.m. and finished at 12:30 p.m.
The next ROISD school board meeting will be on Monday, March 26.
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