ITALY — The Italy ISD board of directors approved a sick leave bank for teachers and paraprofessionals at its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday night.

Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said the District Educational Improvement Committee met recently and recommended a voluntary sick leave bank for personnel.

The purpose of the sick leave bank is to provide additional sick leave days to members of the bank in the event of an unexpected, catastrophic illness, surgery or a temporary disability due to an injury. Days may be requested from the bank only after the member has exhausted all accumulated state sick leave and state/local extended leave days.

Malone said employees wishing to use days from the bank must make application to a five-member committee. He said the employees who contribute two local personal business days of leave each year are eligible for membership.

The superintendent said personnel receive five sick/personal leave days per year from the state and five additional leave days from the district. He said that after all state and local sick days have been exhausted, then the teacher/paraprofessional may apply for up to 30 days of extended leave per year.

He stressed the fact that the sick leave bank is voluntary and employees will contribute two local personal days of leave each year to be eligible for membership.

Board member Cheryl Owen and retired teacher said, “I think this will be a draw for teachers. I don’t think it will be abused.”

Board member Tommy Morrison had several questions, including the number of teachers who might participate and how many were required to make it worthwhile. After the discussion, the board unanimously approved the sick leave bank.

Malone said the governing committee will approve or disapprove all requests and all decisions will be final. There will not be an appeal process.

The DEIC consists of parents, business owners, community members and school personnel. Its purpose is to set goals that provide student/teacher incentives.

In other business, the board ratified board member training hours for 2007. Ricky Boyd earned 25.75 hours, Cindy Carter earned 19.75 hours, Larry Eubank earned 15 hours, Ronal Janek earned 23 hours, Tommy Morrison earned 25.75 hours, Cheryl Owen earned 20.75 hours and Curtis Riddle earned 29 hours.

Administration reports

Stafford Elementary Principal Carolyn Maevers updated board members on safety issues on the campus. She explained that the school is working with the police and emergency service departments to implement the school safety program.

She reported that several events were planned at Stafford Elementary. The kindergarten, first and second grades will be caroling downtown and at the nursing home Dec. 20-21. The English as a second language parent meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10. The honor assembly for this six weeks will be at 9 a.m. Jan. 11. The campus will host a Pennies for Patients Campaign for Leukemia from Jan. 22 to Feb. 8.

Scott Herald, junior high/high school principal, reported that the junior class hosted a junior high dance in December and earned about $300. The class hosted a basketball tournament earlier in the year and earned between $600 and $700.

He indicated that power lifting team begins soon.

He also reported that mid-term finals begin Wednesday.

Pam Luttrell, director of special programs, said the program is “still on target.”

Malone told board members that student enrollment is 625 with 339 students at Stafford and 286 at the junior high/high school. Refined average daily attendance is 575.486 campus-wide.

Malone said the elementary campus received 13 new students in one week.

He also indicated that current basketball gate receipts are “breaking even.”

Financial reports

The board approved the financial statement, utility report, tax collections, check register, and expenditure/revenue statement. The district has received 32.79 percent of its projected revenue and expended 27.23 percent of estimated expenditures.

They also approved minutes from the Nov. 19 and Dec. 11 meetings.

The next meeting of the school board of trustees is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.