Posted by : September 25, 2013| On :
The Monitor Correspondent
KEMP–The Kemp Independent School District kicked off the 2013-14 school year with 1,363 students, and that is a figure school administrators want the average daily attendance to reflect as closely as possible throughout the year.
School officials are shooting for a 96 percent average daily attendance rate, and they are planning penalties and incentives to encourage it. The plan was outlined at the district’s board meeting Sept. 16.
The high school attendance plan includes making contacts by phone and documenting each day a student is absent. Warning letters and truancy filings will result if students skip school. Teachers will issue computer Internet and homework passes at their discretion.
In the intermediate school homerooms without absences will be designated with a star in the hallway, and homeroom teachers with exemplar attendance will be recognized in morning assembly. The homeroom class with the best attendance for each nine-week period will receive class treats such as root beer floats, popcorn and snow cones. Every nine weeks there will be a drawing for a $25 Walmart gift card for both a student with perfect attendance and a parent of such a student.
In the primary school students with perfect attendance for the previous week will be randomly selected to receive their choice of a “treasure box” item. The items might include books, Hot Wheel cars, sheets of stickers and Play Dough. The students will also have their name read during morning announcements, and a group picture will be taken and posted to the Primary Facebook page.
In the junior high school, students with perfect attendance every four and one-half weeks will receive a “Jacket Buck” to redeem at the Snack Shack. Five students will receive from a drawing a $10 gift card to various businesses. Every nine weeks three parents of students with perfect attendance will receive from a drawing a $25 gift card to Walmart.
For staff, three teachers with perfect attendance every nine weeks will be selected from a drawing to receive $25 Walmart gift cards.
In other business, trustees:
• recognized students of the month: Johnathan White, Primary Campus; Logan Rice, Intermediate Campus; Kassandra Mast, Junior High Campus and Jose Baeza, High School Campus.
• recognized employees of the month: Greg Thomas, KISD Maintenance Department auxiliary; Angela Penland, Kemp Intermediate Campus paraprofessional and Londie Lemons, Kemp Junior High Campus professional.
• recognized First Baptist Church of Kemp Pastor Russel l Bryan and Student Pastor Ryan Smith, noting the church had hosted a school district convocation meeting dinner, feeding 230 people.
• approved the submission of a Texas Education Agency waiver for class sizes possibly exceeding the 22 to 1 ratio for kindergarten, first and second grades during the school year. One class now exceeds the ratio by one and others are at the maximum.
• heard Dr. Jim Collingsworth was installed as the KISD Education Foundation chair.
Posted by : September 14, 2013| On :
MABANK–Tri-County Ford owner Andrea Pickens presented a $6,000 donation to the Mabank ISD Education Foundation Aug. 13.
The funds were raised during the Drive One 4 UR School event May 4 in conjunction with the Cedar Creek Chamber Car Show and Kiwanis Krawfish Boil.
Ford Motor Company donated $20 for each valid test drive up to $6,000.
Foundation board members would like to thank everyone that participated in the fundraiser and helped reach the maximum donation.
With the additional funds raised, the Foundation will have more than $50,000 available for approved grants this year.
Grant applications will be accepted from Tuesday, Oct. 1 to Friday, Nov. 22. All teachers are encouraged to apply.
For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, go to www.mabankisdeducationfoundation.com
Posted by : September 7, 2013| On :
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank Intermediate School is leading local schools in moving to 21st century learning with a new state-of-the-art library.
The new interior began its extreme makeover in April and made its opening debut to teachers and staff Aug. 19.
“The new library includes brighter colors, bistro-style tables, a stage with a drop-down screen and an Internet bar with several phone jacks and electrical outlets to accommodate devices,” Mabank Intermediate School principal James Pate said.
The up-to-date facility also comes with 400 eBooks, 10 iPads, several lava lamps, three flat screen televisions, a lounging area for reading and classroom activities, and a beverage bar.
“We want our students’ learning to be more aligned with the technology of today. Most school libraries are still traditional and have not changed over the years to accommodate the new devices,” Pate added.
“We are encouraging college awareness and feeding that mindset with the ability to check out eBooks 24/7,” Pate said.
In January of this year, Pate began the Bring Your Own Device pilot program where kids were allowed to bring iPads, cell phones and eReaders to school.
With more than 75 percent of students bringing Internet devices to school, Pate said giving kids permission to use these devices to aid learning has led to fewer disciplinary problems regarding these devices.
“The new library has a calming, peaceful effect,” Mabank Intermediate School counselor Tanya Chapman said.
“We wanted a more welcoming environment, not the out-dated ‘hush-hush’ feel of other libraries,” she added.
The school staff agree part of their responsibility to students is to teach them how to use new technology appropriately and the new ‘Internet cafe’ allows them to do that more easily.
No comments were made on the out-of-pocket expense to the school but Pate did say ‘it was a sizable investment.’
He also said the school would like to acquire close to 1,000 new eBooks a year, hopefully seeing a sizable collection within the next five years.
The library still displays several hundred hardback books which are placed against the walls around the library.
“We have not received any negative comments so far,” Mabank Intermediate assistant principal Brent Fisher said.
“It draws people in. Kids are now asking when do they get to go to the library instead of when they get to go to recess or PE.”
“Teachers are making special trips to show their students around the library and reserve classroom time in the lounge,” he added.