CCAISD test scores trending up

By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD Board of Trustees met in Regular Session on July 29, 2019.

Principal Charles Gonzalez, and Sondra McCoy, Director of Academic Programs, presented an update on the STAAR test results indicating that there has been a significant increase in most testing areas. They will be exploring methods to improve scores in the few areas where there was a drop in test scores and to continue the trend of continued improvement in the other areas. Special kudos were given to Coach Armando Ortega for the End of Course pass rate in Biology. Gonzalez also reported that the District has received the preliminary accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency which reflects an increase from a score of 68 (D) to a score of 80 (B) in just one year. Gonzales noted that “this is your students and teachers doing all the work” noting that “the heart and passion in the faculty and staff is reflected in student performance.” Final scores will be released in August.

The Trustees received an update on the K-12 Campus construction project from HB Construction Manager Manuel Quinones. He reported that the walk-through has been conducted, and the punch-list items are being addressed. The landscaping is scheduled to be completed within the next two weeks. Supt. Ken Baugh reported that the gym has received a “conditional” Certificate of Occupancy. Once the permanent Certificate of Occupancy is received, the District will be able to put the gym into use. Baugh estimates this should be delivered by August 6, 2019. Baugh is also obtaining quotes for expansion of parking lots in several areas. Trustee Sandy Urias expressed safety concerns with the pedestrian traffic that will be crossing Fannin Street from the parking lot to the campus, requesting that the District resurrect the proposal to close that portion of Fannin Street between W. 7th and W. 9th.

During “open forum,” Pete Torres addressed concerns with the drainage from the roof of the new building noting that recent rains have gouged out the soil by the parking lot. Torres requested that the District address this issue prior to the closeout of the project.

Becky Brewster, Director of the Rainbow Express Day Care Center, presented an overview of the Day Care Center creation and operation over the last 32 years. She noted that an impending staffing shortage is jeopardizing the continued operation of the facility and discussed options that could ensure that the day care center stays open to serve the citizens of Van Horn. Brewster has served as Director in a volunteer capacity since 1991, and provides financial services for a small stipend. The facility does not generate enough income to pay the salary of a qualified director, and the hourly rate for existing caregivers is very low. The most feasible option would be for the CCAISD to assume the operation of the day care service in Van Horn. The school has access to licensed teachers, paraprofessionals, and substitutes to ensure adequate staffing at the day care center and could implement a curriculum to facilitate transition into school. Supt. Baugh indicated that he had opened a day care center at a previous school. He will provide information on what it will entail for the school to operate the day care center to the board at the next meeting.

After a lengthy executive session, the Board reconvened and approved teacher contracts for Erica Urias, Kianna Fierro, Michaela Goode, James Davis and Rebekah Onate. Supt. Baugh presented a proposed salary schedule for 2019-2020 reflecting a 3% across the board increase for all positions. Trustee Eddie Seyffert requested that Baugh calculate the impact of a 7% increase, citing the impressive increase in scores as one of the reasons to explore this proposal. Baugh will complete templates showing the overall budgetary impact of 3%, 5% and 7% increases to present to the Board at the next meeting.

In other business, the CCAISD Board members:

Held an executive session with no action taken.

Approved contractual authority to the Supt for State Funding.

Approved State Funding Contract Option 3 for 2019-2020.

Approved a tax sale proposal submitted by the CCAD.

Approved consent items.

Heard report from Athletic Director Brock Tyrrell on summer camps and two-a-days.

Heard report on grants from Supt. Baugh.

Scheduled a special board meeting for August 12, 2019 for the tax rate.

Scheduled the next regular meeting for August 26, 2019.

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