The Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees approved significant revisions to the student drug-testing program at the June meeting. The board also moved forward with improvements to current and proposed athletic facilities, among a host of other agenda items.

In the 2018-19 school year, students in ninth through 12th grade who are involved in any school-sponsored extracurricular activity or that park cars on campus are subjected to random drug testing.

School-sponsored activities include any extracurricular activity.

Previously, the program focused on students who participated in a competitive extracurricular activity.

Each student and his or her parent is required to annually sign a drug testing consent form before participation in an affected activity or parking on school property.

The use of the drug test is not to impose disciplinary sanctions or academic penalties.

Before the revision, random tests were conducted throughout the year — no less than five percent and no more than 40 percent of the students participating in the program shall be randomly selected for each random test date. Now, that number is no less than two percent and no more than 20 percent.

When a student tests positive for the first time, he or she will be required to participate in two district counseling sessions within 15 days of the test. If the student does not participate in counseling, he or she will be suspended from the activity and/or parking on school property for 15 days. Also, the student shall participate in two additional district counseling sessions assigned by the school counselor and shall document completion within 40 school days. If the student does not adhere to this, they will face suspension from the activity and parking for 15 days.

The student will be retested on the next random test date. The student and parents will strongly be encouraged to seek intervention, assessment, and counseling through the Ellis County REACH Council.

If the student tests positive the second time he or she will be removed from the activity and/or parking for 90 school days. Additional counseling is required with education and advisement.

If the student tests positive the third time, they will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities and/or parking for the remainder of their time enrolled in the district.

Another section, Reasonable Suspicion Testing was added to the policy that stated if a student is subjected to drug testing by a parent or guardian and refuses the test then the district would report the refusal to the parent or guardian.

“Any student may be required to submit to a drug or alcohol test at any time upon reasonable suspicion by the principal or designee that the student is under the influence of a drug or alcohol while at school or a school-related activity,” the policy reads. “Reasonable suspicion shall be based on a specific personal observation concerning the appearance, speech, or behavior of the student that indicates the effects of drug or alcohol use.”

To read the entire revisions made to the policy, visit https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=42650420.

ATHLETIC UPGRADES

The softball and baseball complex at the MHS sports complex was officially named after long-time Midlothian Panther baseball coach, educator and employee, Ronnie Clanton, 67.

“Ronnie has been a pillar in our community for Midlothian Independent School District in athletics and Panther baseball over the years,” MISD Director of Athletics Steve Keasler elaborated. “The impact he has continued on our community and in athletics will always be remembered.”

Keasler detailed Clanton’s history with Panther baseball.

In 1973 Clanton started his career at MISD. Between 1977-1993 as head coach for the Panthers he obtained 386 wins, four district championships with seven playoff appearances. In 1982, Clanton took MHS to the state finals in Austin. In 1991 Clanton won his 200th game for the Panthers.

In 2003, he retired from coaching after 30 years in education. The district created a new position to keep him on staff as the head groundskeeper. In total, Clanton has over 45 years with MISD.

The naming of the field will most likely be staged on the scoreboard. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the naming of the field.

After 14 years, the track at Walnut Grove Middle School will be replaced entirely and will include a new shock pad. The board also unanimously approved the replacement of the synthetic turf at the MHS practice field and the multi-purpose stadium and the brief renovation of the track at Frank Seale Middle School.

“They are in pretty bad shape,” Keasler relayed to the board.

The track at Walnut Grove Middle School was most recently replaced when it was under warranty in 2010. But, it was refinished with the same product. Keasler relayed that student-athletes who practiced on the turf reported safety issues.

Dan Arrowood with HKS Inc. presented an update of the design of the W.G. Roesler Athletic Complex at Midlothian High School. At this time, details are sorted out such as locker count and the number of restrooms. The weight room was refined with a column-free space with more training room and functionality.

“We are on budget with Pogue,” Arrowood concluded about construction.

The completion date is set for July 30, 2019.

Trustee Gary Vineyard questioned where the marching band would practice and Arrowood relayed how this information was presented to him that day and he is determined to keep 100 yards of parking for the marching band to practice.

MISD Superintendent Dr. Land Ledbetter made sure to point out how the total square footage of both the Heritage field and Midlothian High School field are equivalent, but the spaced utilized for facilities is different.

The design development phase for the MHS sports complex was unanimously approved.

FINANCES

MISD Superintendent of Finances Jim Norris presented the 2018-19 final budget amendment. The child nutrition fund estimates a slight increase of $33,417 to fund balance and also includes a more substantial payment to MISD for maintenance and operating expenses. The fund balance for child nutrition was also approved, which includes renovations to the serving line and kitchen at Frank Seale Middle School.

The debt service fund estimates an increase of $1,582 to fund balance and includes an approximate amount of $1 million for refunding or early payment of bonded debt. The final amount available for refunding will be determined in August after the certified tax values are finalized. The administration is recommending no change to the current tax rates of $1.04/$100 of valuation for M&O and $0.50/$100 of valuation for I & S.

General fund is budgeted for $79,278,027 and the child nutrition fund is at $3,223,100.

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450