ITALY – The Italy ISD board of trustees prepared for the upcoming school year with the adoption of student handbooks and code of conduct for both campuses and an employee handbook at its regular meeting Monday night.

Trustees approved the employee handbook with a minor change.

Cheryl Owen, board vice president, praised both principals for their student handbooks, saying they were clear and concise and that she didn’t see any changes that weren’t appropriate.

Mark Stiles, trustee, had several questions relating to items in the handbooks.

He asked if the district is checking the driving records of employees/staff who drive school buses/vehicles, saying that should be done on a regular basis.

Paul Cockerham, trustee, said he thought the insurance company runs driving checks on all personnel driving school vehicles.

Celeste Carroll, superintendent’s secretary, said the district would be notified if school personnel receive a ticket for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated through the fingerprint records done on all personnel.

Barry Bassett, school superintendent, said he would make sure the insurance company is taking this step. If not, he said the district could check driving records.

Stiles also questioned how many district employees are first aid certified.

Bassett said coaches and Rita Garza are certified. Speed Hamby, maintenance director, said he had three certified employees in his department.

Stiles said those employees who are first aid certified are required to turn that certification into the school by Aug. 15 per the employee handbook. He urged Lee Joffre, high school principal, to ensure the certification is up-to-date.

Before the board approved the consent agenda, Stiles questioned the large electric bill, saying the district is using more electricity in the summer than during the school year.

Hamby said the dome is one the biggest electrical users. Although the dome has energy-efficient units, he said the staff doesn’t always turn lights off or the air conditioning up when not in use.

Hamby said the district has had engineers investigate the system and they are preparing a proposal to install a new system that would allow him to control the heating and air conditioning temperature from a computer.

Stiles said they should also investigate lighting that goes off in a room when there is no movement after so many minutes.

During the financial report, business manager Tammy Gillespie said the district received 99.48 percent of expected revenue and spent 88.02 percent of projected expenditures.

In other business, the board approved a resolution adopting a governmental accounting standard board statement (GASB 54).

Bassett said the state has decided that schools have too much fund balance and are requiring fund balance monies be “committed” to a project.

The trustees approved the resolution but Bassett said they could commit the money anytime throughout the year, adding that if they do that, the board can change that commitment if something unexpected arises.

The board also approved Professional Development Appraisal System appraisers: Joffre as appraiser for the high school/middle school with Jason Miller, elementary principal, serving as secondary appraiser. Miller is appraiser at Stafford Elementary with Joffre serving as secondary appraiser.

Bassett presented the trustees with district appraisal deadlines, something the board has not had in writing in the past.

The trustees also accepted the resignation of Amanda Daughtry and Stephen Coleman.

Following an hour-long meeting, the trustees adjourned into a closed, executive session for informational purposes only. They took no action following the session.

One set of parents addressed the board regarding their child failing to promote to the next grade. The child’s father said the child has special needs and failed TAKS for the third time.

He said former school officials failed to take necessary action the parents had requested, saying the child needs special attention and is taking medication to help with focus.

Since the item was not an agenda item, the board was unable to take any action on the issue.