Sep

28

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 28, 2016

Sonny Hodges (right) receives a plaque from Dr. Coy Holcombe for his long service on the Eustace ISD Board.

Sonny Hodges (right) receives a plaque from Dr. Coy Holcombe for his long service on the Eustace ISD Board.

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–First on the agenda at the Eustace ISD Sept. 19 meeting was to consider the resignation of long-time board member Sonny Hodge. After accepting Hodges resignation, David Morton was appointed to fill the vacant position. Morton, of Eustace, has a son attending school in the district in second grade. He said he felt this opportunity would allow him to become more involved and keep him up-to-date on what’s going on at the district. Hodge accepted a plaque for his dedication and many of his family members were in attendance.
After a brief financial report, EISD Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe discussed the Performance Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) Report which showed the district received top scores (zeroes) in all categories except in special education.
“We will get the kids the help they need. We will do right by our students, even if that means scoring threes and fours,” Holcombe said. Area superintendents feel that the way progress is measured for special ed students by the state set them up to fail.
School principals spoke to board members about the 2016-17 Campus Improvement Plans. The intermediate school reported a 97 percent attendance rate and all schools reported parent involvement challenges. The intermediate school is offering free breakfast and lunch meals as well as offering several field trips to larger towns so children can see more of the state and the way others live. The school is also making an effort to teach the children about morals and ethics, in and out of school. The middle school has recently created a middle school Facebook page for engaging parents which has already received 10,000 likes to posts. The primary school’s Love & Logistics program teaches students practical ways of dealing with all areas of life. The class is free, lasts six weeks and the workbook is $10. The school has also implemented a new snack program called Building Bulldog Bodies, which offers extra fruits and vegetables to the kids. “We are impacting family structures and the community from the bottom up,” Principal Dianne Shaffer said.
The high school is offering a computer science class this year and also brought in a part-time science teacher. A Principal Leadership Team has been created so students have a direct line to the principal.
In other news, board members:
• accepted a big for $21,000 from J & L Technology for fiber optic upgrades throughout the district. The current cables were installed 16 years ago. With the slow speed, amount of devices currently in the district, Holcombe said the district will see a significant difference in performance.
• approved the bid for teacher laptop replacements from Region VII vendor, CDI. Veteran teachers whose laptops they were issued as new teachers will get the replacements.
• approved EHBAF (local) for Special Education Video/Audio monitoring. If the district receives one video request it triggers all classrooms in the district to get them. The recording may never stop even if the person who requested it changes their mind and retracts the request. The recordings will cost the district local money as no funding is available yet for this type of procedure.
• heard enrollment decreased at primary and middle schools and increased at intermediate. Total enrollment for the end of August was 1,547.
• heard all campuses met standards on all areas of the TEA accountability. The high school was one of 432 school that earned every distinctions possible. Holcombe said all schools in the district received post-secondary readiness but the district did not. “I don’t understand and have no explanation for it,” he said.

Sep

14

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 14, 2016

ricki-dewayen-kirkpatrickBy Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK-Mabank ISD Police Chief Joey Rich placed a Eustace man under arrest the night of the homecoming game on a second-degree felony drug charge.
The action went down in the high school parking lot between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Rich was patrolling for suspicious activity and found a gentleman smoking by a pickup truck in the student parking lot. Upon coming within the vicinity, a strong odor of marijuana was detected and the chief called for backup from the Mabank Police Department. Officers were close by, working the football game. The chief obtained consent from the man to search his vehicle and found a number of small bags containing what was believed t0 be marijuana, along with a scale and empty bags and about two ounces of marijuana nearby.
Ricki Dewayne Kirkpatrick II, 43, was taken into custody. He is charged with delivery of a controlled substance/marijuana to a minor and is being held in the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center on a surety bond totaling $75,000.
“We want to be perfectly clear; drugs will not be tolerated on school property,” Rich said.

Sep

09

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : September 9, 2016

Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–Kaufman County has ended the speed and school bus stop arm program that resulted in many motorists getting notices of violations in the mail.
Cameras recorded motorists speeding in school zones and passing school buses stopped with lights flashing and stop arms extended.
A car with a camera had been parked in front of Kemp High School on Highway 274 in Kemp during the two-year program.
County Judge Bruce Wood announced the end of the program in a press release. “This program has helped the county better understand the scope of the school zone speeding and school bus stop arm running problem. Program violation data will be a valuable tool for the county to use as part of its future enforcement strategy,” he said.
Another goal of the program was met, Wood said — heightening public awareness about the problem of speeding in school zones and the failure of motorists to stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students.
“Let there be no mistake, we take the issue of stop arm running and school zone speeding very seriously in Kaufman County,” Wood said. “Our sheriff’s department is ready to increase enforcement as needed.”
Motorists complained about erroneous citations, while others pointed out that there was no mechanism for protesting a citation.
Violations issued through Aug. 22, 2016 will be pursued, and those citations must be paid, Wood added.
The program was funded through income raised by the citations.