The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees approved a personnel report Monday night, which consists of hiring four teachers with the addition of two special education life skill aids, before a lengthy workshop and planning session.

The two special education aides, also known as Life Skills paraprofessionals, will be placed at Finley Junior High and Waxahachie High School; while the teachers will work at WHS, Coleman Junior High, Howard Junior High and Finley Junior High.

Life skills paraprofessionals support the functional needs of special education classrooms and are utilized to support students when they are mainstreamed into general education classes as appropriate.

"The recommendation was based on enrollment numbers and maintaining appropriate student to staff ratios in the Life Skills programs," stated Special Education DirectorAudrey Thomas. 

As of Tuesday, about 106 students are enrolled in life skills, with 13 teachers and 26 paraprofessionals — now 28.

According to a Daily Light article published in July, the district has experienced a 25 percent enrollment increase of life skills students over the past three years. Over the past five years, more than 50 staff members have been hired on with more advanced programs were implemented across all 11 campuses.

Following the called meeting, the trustees met with John Spies, who is contracted by Region 10, for a goal workshop. Spies reviewed the board's SMART goals, which should be systemic or straightforward, measurable, attainable, results-focused and time-bound. When creating a goal, the board was suggested to consider the impact on students, impact on staff, impact on programs, impact on the budget, to keep it simple, quality vs. quantity and to have one target.

The trustees will present these goals at the next meeting to be voted on.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450