The Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met Thursday evening in a regular meeting. The full report of that meeting is below……
1) Board recognized South Elementary as a Title I Distinguished Campus. The criteria to receive award–Title I for last 3 years, Met AYP in 2011-2012, Exemplary in 2011, Recognized in 2009-2010. Only 8 campuses in Region 17 received award. It was pointed out only 1 campus in Lubbock received award.
2) Recognized outstanding accomplishments of 6th-7th-8th grade bands over this past semester. Sweepstakes ratings at solo and ensemble and they have also been recognized by Texas Association of Small School Bands.
3) The board approved the monthly financial report for Levelland ISD with little discussion.
4) The board approved an increase in lunch meal prices for next school year from $1.60 to 1.65 for Elementary and 1.85 to 1.95 for secondary lunches. This was required by Texas Department of Agriculture.
5) The board considered updates to Localized Policy Manual. The policy revisions were all at the recommendation of the Texas Association of School Boards and have been reviewed by District Administration and Legal Counsel.
6) The board also reviewed changed to local policies regarding non-chapter 21 contract. This pertains to licensed professionals who are licensed by other professional organizations other than Texas Education Agency. The policy update was requested by Texas Association of School Boards.
7) The board approved a budget amendment to budget funds for Cafeteria Substitutes which was inadvertently left out of this years budget.
8) The board also handled a budget correction for an error in budgeting in payroll.
9) The board also discussed a possible change from 2 year term contract to 1 year term contracts following their probationary time. School districts in this area that currently have 1 year contract include, Brownfield, Shallowater, Lamesa, Plainview and Frenship. It was pointed out that it would only affect new hires not current employees. Rusty Gibson pointed out that he thinks it was a good idea previously but he now feels that after research a 2 year contract could be an advantage for Levelland ISD. Supt. Kelly Baggett pointed out that the school attorney has reviewed and said that their really isn’t an advantage or disadvantage either way. The Supt. said that it usually does not come up in interviews or negotiation with new hires. A multi-year contract can be an extra expense to the district in the event an employee has to be terminated. Board Member Tania Moody stated she received several emails and phone calls as well as personal visits following the May board meeting thanking the board for tabling action on the item. A motion was made by Glen Smith to move to 1 year term contract as recommended by school administration, the motion was seconded by Paul Ochoa. Glen Smith, FE Shaheen, Paul Ochoa, Missy Himango and David Ethridge all voted in favor–Rusty Gibson and Tania Moody voted against. The Superintendent said the change will take effect with brand new employees to Levelland ISD for the 2013-2014 School year.
10) The board reviewed the quarterly cafeteria report and workers compensation report with Finance Director Nick Williams.
11) The board also heard a review of the investment report for the district.
12) The board also reviewed the quarterly activity reports for activity accounts. Tania Moody asked for a standardization of all activity reports. It was stated that all activity funds use quick books. There is a feeling of a deficiency in real time reporting. The school finance director said that he would take that under advisement. Tania suggested possibly that faculty who are responsible for activity funds are mandated to go through training in proper accounting methods and standard methods. The superintendent said that something will be ready to go as far as procedures for activity accounts by the start of school in August.
13) The Superintendent presented a timeline on the process for the Bond projects. Bonds will put out for a competitive bid process as is required in mid July and the bond proceeds will actually be received by the district no sooner than August 8, 2013, which would be the earliest time that any project could go out for bids. Architects and the Construction manager will be ready once the bid process is closed.
14) The board retired to executive session to hear a level 3 grievance filed by a district employee, Stacey Brown concerning the school board action at its April 11 board meeting to not extend her current employment contract for an additional one year period. According to policy, due to the remedy requested by the employee in her Level One Appeal form, the complaint started at Level Two–Supt. Kelly Baggett heard the Level Two Conference with the employee on May 7 and denied her request on May 21. The School Board heard the Level 3 request tonight. They were in executive session hearing and deliberating the request for nearly an hour and a half. The re-convened in open session and the motion was made by Tania Moody to grant the requested extension to the employees contract with the stipulation to implement a counseling department growth plan. It was pointed out that the board was given some new information tonight that they did not have when they made the initial decision in April to not renew the contract. Some of that information included the number of days taken out of the office for testing as well as numerous other tasks that require them to be out of the office. The motion to extend the contract passed unanimously.