June 21, 2011

STARS Academy Bell

The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting on June 20, 2011, and approved a name change of STARS Academy to STARS Accelerated High School. 


“We hope that by changing our name we will be able to reach a larger group of students who are in need of our special type of education,” commented principal Edwin Young in a memorandum to the board and superintendent. “We, as a staff, believe that by changing our name we will emphasize the acceleration of our program and that we are an accredited high school where students who are behind in their credits can, if they choose to do so, earn a high school diploma.”


Board members discussed phasing out German as a foreign language course at Granbury High School and Crossland Ninth Grade Center.  For students pursuing a distinguished or recommend high school graduation plan, two years in the same language are required.  Spanish, French, and American Sign Language would continue to be offered, with the expectation that enrollments in those courses would expand.  The board is expected to consider the proposal at a future meeting.


The board adopted a resolution regarding maintenance tax notes, which are low-interest loans utilitized for short-term projects or facility and equipment purchases and financed through maintenance and operation funds.  These do not require voter approval for a bond and do not affect the debt service tax rate.


Trustees appointed board member Mark Jackson and superintendent Ron Mayfield to serve on the board of directors of the forthcoming Granbury ISD Education Foundation.  The foundation, which will be a charitable organization able to accept tax-deductible donations, is expected to support Granbury students and district programs.


Board members determined that the expansion of Brazos River Charter School will have a negative impact on the district.  That determination will be sent to TEA, which has requested comments on the school’s application.  The board made similar determinations regarding other area charter schools.


In personnel matters, trustees received notification of employees resigning or retiring.


The board heard several reports:


  • Sharay Boynton, executive director of finance, presented financial statements for April 2011 and investment report for February 2011.
  • Boynton also reported on the disposal of surplus property and equipment.  The district will be utilizing an online system for auctioning this property throughout the year.
  • An outlook of potential action by the state legislature and the impact on the district budget was provided by Mayfield.   While the legislature continues to meet in a special session regarding education funding, budget numbers are only preliminary and could change once a state budget is enacted.
  • Mayfield also reviewed potential changes to local district policy proposed by the Texas Association of School Boards.
  • Student attendance figures for the 2010-11 school year were presented by Mayfield.  Overall, attendance increased to 95.46% - an improvement over 1.04% over the 2008-09 school year (94.42%) and .68% over the 2009-10 school year (94.78%).  Top campuses increasing over the last year were GHS and Acton Middle School, while the high school, Baccus Elementary School, Brawner Intermediate School, and Mambrino School improved the most over the two-year period.
  • The district received pre-clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice for the cancellation of the May 2011 trustee election.  The approval for changes in election administration is required under the federal Voting Rights Act. 

In addition to approving budget amendments and minutes from the last regular meeting and a special meeting, purchases and renewals approved were technology items; bus parts and repair services; remanufactures transmissions; automotive lubricants; automotive filters; transportation supplies and after-market parts; bus refurbishing and collision repairs; music items and services; library books, class sets, reference materials, and videos; and instructional supplies. Additional purchases were approved for band instruments, technology equipment at Granbury High School, technology rewiring at Oak Woods School, and buses.  Board members also approved contracts for services provided by the Region XI Education Service Center.


Trustees tabled action on possible modifications to school board elections.  A new state law could mean a number of changes on timing (either in May or November) and in frequency (annual or biennial).  Trustee terms could also possibly increase to four years.  Given the number of options, the board decided to postpone action and study the choices available.


The board will next convene for a budget workshop on Monday, July 18 at 8:30 A.M.  The regular monthly meeting will be held Monday, July 25 with executive session at 5:00 P.M. and regular business following at 6:00 P.M.  Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room located next to the Administration Building at 600 W. Pearl Street.
Pictured above is a bell that is rung each time a student finishes all their coursework and is ready to graduate from STARS Accelerated High School.

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