ITALY – The Italy ISD board extended Superintendent Jimmie Malone’s contract for 42 months during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.

This extends his contract through June 30, 2012.

The vote came after board members heard a glowing audit report from Greg Shropshire, CPA, with Pattillo, Brown & Hill of Hillsboro.

Shropshire went through the completed audit with board of trustees, pointing out that the district now has a fund balance of $1.4 million, a 3.5-month fund balance. He said the district was in very good shape in that aspect.

He did point out that the state wants school districts to have fund balances but not with too large of a balance. He said trustees might want to consider designating a portion of the fund balance.

The auditor said there were no deficiencies with internal controls, no compliance failures, no disagreement with management and no unusual findings.

Shropshire did suggest a risk assessment sweep, which consisted of four steps: risk assessment, check/modify internal controls, monitor internal controls and communication.

He pointed out that the district did “have a lot of internal controls in place” and suggested the board and management remind the staff of the fraud policy and continually urge them to point out discrepancies they might discover.

He also said other school districts were adjusting their food and fuel line items due to increased costs in these areas – as the local district has done.

In other business, Malone read a proclamation from Gov. Rick Perry recognizing trustees for their service by naming January School Board Recognition Month in Texas.

Malone presented trustees a certificate, suitable for framing, for their service to the district.

He also certified that school board members had earned their board training hours, saying, “All seven members have met or exceeded the board requirements.”

Jesus Perez was January Employee of the Month. He teaches a class on Tuesday evenings and was unable to be present. Malone said he would recognize Perez in February along with the February winner.

Financially, David Wood, business manager, said the district has received 39.34 percent of its revenues and expended 36.1 percent of its expenditures as of Dec. 31. The board approved the financial report as presented.

Current student enrollment is 629 with refined average daily attendance at 591.78 – 26 more students than were enrolled in January 2008.

Malone told the trustees that he planned to seek estimates to repair the tennis court. He said students were developing an interest in tennis and said they did not need to play on those types of conditions.

“It’s getting to the point where we need to do something,” Malone stated.

Board member Curtis Riddle recommended Malone check the cost of adding basketball goals at both ends of the court as well. He also suggested the adjoining park needs a picnic table.

Scott Harold, high school principal, presented the board with benchmarks grades for classes at the junior high/high school. He said the scores were 1.5 percent over what he had predicted.

He also reported that the junior high UIL participants came back from competition with a “bag full of medals.”

Harold said the varsity basketball teams were doing well, predicting the boys would make the playoffs. He said the girl’s team has come along well and could make the playoffs as well. Softball and baseball begins in a couple of weeks and powerlifting has a couple of meets scheduled. Track practice begins at the end of February.

Kevin Witte, technology director, was on hand to announce that the fiber line that linked the campuses was now up and running. He also told the board that the district has received 100 Dell computers from the Waxahachie ISD.

The next meeting of the school board is set for Monday, Feb. 23.