The Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees met this week for its regular July meeting. The Board approved an 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. full day Pre-K schedule for the 2019-2020 school year at Drane Learning Center in Corsicana.
Elmer Avellaneda, Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs, presented the benefits of the full day schedule. Already high language, math and writing skill metrics as well as social and emotional learning opportunities are expected to improve with a full day of instruction Avellaneda said.
Avellaneda touted the Drane Learning Center teachers’ collective experience and dedication, before he outlined eligibility requirements for the program. Students must meet at least one of the following to attend:
The student must be four years of age as of Sept. 1 2019; be unable to speak and comprehend the English language; be educationally disadvantaged or homeless, having been in the care of or currently in the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services; or be the child of a member of the United States Armed Forces, active duty, disabled, or deceased.
Other criteria include a child of an individual eligible for the Star of Texas Award, or the child of a person who died while assisting the police fire or first responders.
Those who do not meet these requirements will have the option to pay a fee towards enrollment.
Enrollment in the program has increased since 2017 and is expected to exceed 300 students next school year.
The Board also heard a presentation about the impact of Senate Bill 3. The law which, was signed June 11, is designed to overhaul school funding. The numbers remain preliminary.
Gary Barker, School Finance Agent for Region 12, which includes Navarro County, discussed some of the law’s provisions and gave the board a primer as they begin the process of preparing the 2019-2020 budget.
The law increases the individual basic allotment from $5,140 to $6,160 per child. The law also mandates that a percentage of state money be used to pay teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians.
The Board convened a closed session to discuss possible options, but returned making no formal decision. Board President Leah Blackard said she believes that Corsicana ISD is in a good position to roll with these changes, thanks to conservative budgeting decisions in past years. Blackard asked to see more options, to be discussed at future meetings.
Board member Dr. Kent Rodgers stressed caution.
“You never know what is going to come later,” he said.
The Board approved routine policy changes and the consent agenda unanimously.
Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost also announced that Billy Harlan, Chief Administrative Officer at Corsicana ISD, was named as lone finalist, and is expected to be named as the Superintendent of Academy ISD at a July 19 meeting of their board, according to a press release.
Frost presented Harlan with a plaque and thanked him for his years at Corsicana Independent School District.
The Board also approved and announced several facility position changes and promotions.
Jennifer Warren was named Director of Special Education, and deaf education
Elmer Avellaneda, previously Executive Director of Special Programs, was named Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs and Federal Budgeting.
Molly Corrington was named Principal of Sam Houston Elementary.
Laura Ellis was named Assistant Principal at Corsicana Middle School.
Brittany Mathis was named Assistant Principal at Corsicana Middle School.
Jima Montfort was named Administrative Intern at Collins Intermediate School.
The next meeting of the board is set for Aug. 26, with a workshop set for Aug. 5.