By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
Questions raised about the Corsicana Independent School District’s scheduled spring break for the coming school year prompted school board members to ask for more information.
The district 2013-14 school calendar was on the school board’s agenda for Monday’s monthly meeting, but the only item discussed was the proposed spring break week of March 17 to 21. Some other districts in the county along with Navarro College are taking spring break the week of March 10 to 14. Most of the Dallas area schools have selected that week as well.
According to a list presented to trustees, Corsicana, Dawson, Rice, Frost and James L. Collins Catholic School scheduled spring break for March 17 to 21. Blooming Grove, Mildred, Kerens, and Navarro College opted for the week of March 10. Ennis and Waxahachie schools are also out the week of March 10, as are several of the schools in the athletic district the CISD plays.
After the calendar was approved earlier this year, several other districts decided on the week of March 10, said Dr. Diane Frost, CISD superintendent, which prompted a discussion among staff and some parents about the CISD calendar. Frost said the choice was made taking school testing schedules and staff preference into account.
Board member Leah Blackard pointed out that a number of districts, including Dallas area schools, were taking the week of March 10, and said she’d been contacted by some parents about the CISD choice.
The impact on dual credit courses was also discussed, with Navarro College taking off the week of March 10 — students in dual credit courses would lose two weeks of instruction with the CISD break a week later than the college.
Marti Shaner, assistant superintendent of instruction, said she didn’t think teachers would mind if the district were to move spring break to the week of March 10, as long as they knew now the change was taking place.
“They just requested we not do the week of (March 24),” she said, which would impact tests scheduled for the first week in April. “To be in line with Navarro College would help our dual credit students.”
“Every year there’s a two week window like this but to match it with Navarro makes sense,” added Scott Watkins, board president.
Trustees took no action on any change, asking for full information from all the schools the district faces in athletics to determine those schedules.
Trustees are expected to re-visit the calendar at a special meeting called for 6 p.m. Aug. 26 for a vote on the budget and tax rate for the district.
CISD Meeting Briefs
New assistant principal named
Trustees approved the naming of Sean Kays as a new assistant principal at Collins Middle School. Dr. Diane Frost said it was possible the trustees may be asked to approve more new teaching positions based on final enrollment numbers.
2013 School Ratings discussed
Dr. Frost reviewed the CISD’s performance in the state’s new school rating system, noting the district and all but one campus met the standards. Sam Houston Elementary fell short of the standard by only two points on the state scale to measure one of the three criteria used to measure campus performance. Three district campuses received special distinctions — Navarro Elementary was noted for Reading, ELA and Math; Bowie also received a distinction for math performance; and both Fannin and Navarro were honored for Top 25 percent student progress. Noting the score for Sam Houston falling only two points short, Trustee Fr. Ed Monk said “It’s not a failure — those kids did great.”
CISD to apply for Leadership Circle designation
Trustees authorized district administrators to make application with the Texas Comptroller’s office for designation in the Comptroller’s Texas Leadership Circle, that recognizes the district’s efforts in making information readily available via the school district’s website.
Student Health Advisory Council report heard
Trustees heard an update from Cheryl Blanton, co-chairperson of the Student Health Advisory Council, on its assessment of health services and needs in the district. Blanton cited the need for continued education of students
Trustees officially accepted several contributions made to the district, including $1,000 from Cory and Amy Neal for plastic footballs to be used at football games, $200 from Watkins Construction for the football activity fund, and $3,052.50 from the Corsicana Tennis Boosters Association for tennis shoes and a stringer.
Public comment made
During the open forum time, Beth Avery appeared and repeated allegations made at a recent Corsicana City Council meeting about an alleged verbal altercation with a member of the school board at a local restaurant.
Bob Belcher may be reached by email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org