Before getting into action items during their meeting Monday evening, the Jacksonville ISD school board took time for some important recognitions.
At Joe Wright Elementary, construction of the Wilson Folden Outdoor Classroom is well underway and students are already using the facility. Named after the late Wilson Folden, a well-beloved faculty member at Joe Wright, the outdoor classroom is a welcome addition to the school. Joyce Folden was present at the meeting and was given a photograph of the outdoor classroom.
The board also took time to recognize the Cherokee Charmers, the high school drill and dance team team. The Charmers recently competed at the ADTS Galveston Island dance festival, taking home several awards. Some of these awards include:
The Guissie Nell Davis Award of Excellence;
Best overall in the categories of technique, presentation and choreography;
Best in class for medium ensemble;
First runner up for best in class; and
Sixth place Best of The Best.
The JISD dress code was also updated during the school board meeting. While there were various changes to the dress code, two of the biggest include allowing jeans all days of the week and making belts optional for students kindergarten through fourth grade.
Updates to several construction projects were also given to the board. Renovations to the Tomato Bowl are reportedly near the end of the “demolition” phase, with reconstruction to begin soon. The new CTE building at Jacksonville High School is also coming along, according to reports. Underground utility lines are being installed, and the companies handling the project are expecting to see “vertical movement” in construction by mid-April.
The board also listened to a presentation on updates to the school district's bullying procedures, to stay in accordance with the law. The Texas Legislature recently passed “David's Law,” which expands the definition of bullying to include cyberbullying. According to Sara Gill, the presenter, JISD is now required to notify parents/guardians of a child within three business days of any bullying incident being reported. Gill said that this was not a problem, as the school district already notifies parents as soon as an incident is reported. The district is also looking into ways to provide avenues for students to report bullying anonymously. Gill said that they are also going to start using Oddesseyware, a tech pilot program for kindergarten through fifth grade students. Oddesseyware is designed to teach students more about social and emotional development and can give students easier access to school counselors.
Other items covered in the meeting include:
A discussion of summer board training options. The school board will either travel to San Antonio or Fort Worth in June for training, with no official decision being made yet;
Appointment of Dr. Chad Kelly as the district representative to the Region VII Advisory committee for 2018-19;
A resolution for missed work days due to severe weather;
Nomination of Dr. Chad Kelly for Superintendent of the Year;
An interlocal agreement with Central Texas Purchasing; and
The 2018-19 school calendar.
The school board also briefly discussed the Tiny Tribe Construction Project. Tiny Tribe, Kelly explained, is a daycare program for district employees. The school board will be holding a special meeting on Thursday to discuss construction of the daycare facility.