the news photo by pearl cantrell
A grant of $6,425 from the Malakoff Education Foundation will allow six Tool Elementary teachers to get a mobile Smart Table for their classroom, for collaborative computer projects.
By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF—The Malakoff ISD School Board approved the 2016-17 School Calendar Tuesday to include 76,515 minutes. The state now measures school attendance in terms of minutes, Superintendent Randy Perry explained, with 75,600 minutes a minimum requirement. The 900 extra minutes are built in for bad weather time off, or early dismissal on days an athletic team is going to compete at state, he said.
The change calls for the first day of school for students to begin on Aug. 22 and the last day be May 25, 1917, before the Memorial Day Holiday, he noted. The school day will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. and five minutes later at the high school, while buses are in transit to the campus.
Other important board decisions Tuesday included amending local policy to increase the superintendent’s discretionary spending from $10,000 to $25,000. The trusting relationship between the board and the superintendent was noted, along with a change in state ethics law that would delay by 30 days the district’s ability to respond promptly to unforeseen needs.
The board also granted permission for the superintendent to extend the district’s current contract for electrical services in order to lock in a low rate through 2025, in view of the likelihood of rates increasing with the projected reduction in coal-powered generation plants. “It’s a hedge against any spikes in prices way down the line,” Perry said. Currently, the district is paying 4 cents per kilowatt hour with two years left on its contract. The current extension offer is for a little less than 5 cents per kilowatt hour (.04599 -.0469/KWH), he said.
At the top of the meeting, Perry recognized Malakoff ISD Police Chief Stacy Hillhouse for her prompt action to halt a shooter in the parking lot at a basketball playoff game in Teague last month. “It had nothing to do with any Malakoff people,” Perry said, except that our police chief drove up on the action and stopped the suspect, and that two bullets hit a car belonging to a Malakoff resident attending the game. “We’re very proud of Stacy Hillhouse.”
The meeting was held at the Tool Elementary School, which was advantageous because the Malakoff Education Foundation presented a grant request to a group of teachers at the campus.
MEF President David Bullock presented a check for $6,425 for a smart table. The technology is used as a social, inclusive, and captivating collaboration tool that makes it easy to get young students excited about learning. It’s a great way to enhance the social and academic skills of active learners and ensure all students can achieve success. Third, fourth and fifth grade teachers Kristi Dalrymple, Stephanie Youngman, Tasha French, Amanda Jones, Jolinda Caar and Kristina Mast submitted a grant proposal to the foundation and were extremely pleased by the presentation. “They’ve been wanting to get that table for years, ever since they saw it demonstrated at a teachers’ conference,” Tool Elementary Principal Crystal Calhoun told The News.
The foundation also presented a check to install 15 new overhead projectors throughout the district. “Teachers indicated that the most used piece of equipment in the classroom was the overhead projector,” Bullock said. “So we thought some of these could probably stand to be replaced.” He presented a check for $13,845 for the project for a grand total of $20,270. To date, the foundation has distributed $123,000. “They (MEF) put in a lot of effort to taking care of Malakoff students,” Perry said.
In other business, the board members:
reviewed the Quarterly Investment Report, with a total of $13,961,893.75 as of Feb. 29 invested in three different accounts, garnering various amounts of interest between (.15 to .50 percent).
Certified that the superintendent may serve on the Region VII Education Service Center’s Advisory Committee; and that instructional materials in all subjects other than physical education meet or exceed TEKS requirements for 2016-17.
Viewed a summer plan for teachers’ professional development in the use of technology and best practices in the classroom.
Approved three properties to be sold at the Sheriff’s Tax Foreclosure Sale,
Approved a budget amendment to add funding received from an insurance settlement in connection with the overturning of a school bus last year. It was noted that the district paid a $1,000 deductible and came out even on the costs of repairs.