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School Health Advisory Council Brings Family, Community Involvement To Crockett Schools

By Alton Porter
Courier Reporter
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Two board members were re-seated and six high school athletes commended for recent outstanding finishes in state-level competition at the Monday, May 23, meeting of the Crockett Independent School District's Board of Trustees.

Returning Board Trustees Joshua S. Crabtree and Trey Young, who ran unopposed and were re-elected to three-year terms on the board were re-seated as trustees after re-taking the oath of office, administered by CISD Executive Secretary Angela Fudge.

Senior William Holcomb was among the student athletes who received kudos from the trustees. He led a team of five golfers recognized by the board for their distinguished performances in Class 3A state competition. Holcomb is this year's Class 3A Medalist State Champion and has signed with Sam Houston State University.

In addition to Holcomb's individual accomplishment, he and four other Crockett High School students -- Case Robinson, Tyler Dowell, Colby Davenport and Grant Brannen -- formed the group that placed fourth as a team in the UIL state boys golf tournament.

Also commended by the trustees was Senior DaMarkus Griffin, who placed fifth in the Class 3A triple jump event at the Friday, May 12, University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Meet in Austin. To place in the top five in the event, he put forth an effort that gave him a jump of 45 feet, 8-1/4 inches. On the way to the state meet, he won the regional competition he participated in with a jump of 46 feet, 4-1/2 inches.

During the Superintendent's Report part of the board's meeting, Assistant Superintendent Wendy Tullos gave the annual report of the activities of the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), a group state law requires the district to have. It meets four times a year, according to Superintendent Terry Myers, who said there are student, parent, teacher and school representatives on the council.

Tullos added, there is "great family and community involvement" in SHAC activities. She said the council met in October, December, February and April, and there was "good turnout at most meetings."

According to Tullos, some of the things SHAC accomplished this school year include putting on a highly-successful Parent Fair on Nov. 10, 2015 and working with National Honor Society (NHS) students who donated more than 100 cans of food for families in need and worked as volunteers in the community. She said the NHS students and some parents will offer their services during a two-day field day event at Crockett Elementary School.

In addition, she said, the district was fortunate in receiving a "buckle-up grant for free car seats" which made it possible for the council to provide seats for a number of parents who needed them.

Logging another accomplishment, the district saw "an increase in report card pickups this year," Tullos said, adding "and we attribute that to the mass communication system. Parents seem to really like that. A reminder the day before is helpful. So (we've received) good feedback on that."

In the area of health services, Tullos said the council provided shot clinics, and over 50 employees took advantage of that offering. She said, "We brought the mobile clinic in this year for the first time and parents seemed to really like that. Our little ones at the Early Childhood cannot start school anymore without those. Actually, we have the first day of school." Shots are also available for older students, including high school students," who need them in order to move on, she said.

In reference to "the counseling, guidance portion of the SHAC committee," Tullos said, "We've brought in through the counseling grant a lot of professional development this year. We're doing social lessons in the classroom ... (but) we have not been able to facilitate that as well because we weren't able to provide the curriculum."

She added, Crockett Bank has funded a financial literacy program that gives youth the opportunity to receive certification for financial literacy, and four students have participated in it so far.

In the area of Nutrition Services, the Back Pack Program continues to grow, Tullos said. "We've got over 40 students right now receiving Back Pack Program services," adding, SHAC is now preparing for the Summer Feeding Program.

The Breakfast in the Classrooms Program at the Junior High School wasn't popular at the start of the year, but it is now, Tullos said. "They wouldn't go back; they love it. It calms our kids in the morning, gives us the opportunity to talk to them and build a relationship with them. It's really been a good thing."

She said the program is also being offered again at the high school, adding, it's always harder to carry out such programs at that level. "No matter what we do with breakfast, our older students just don't eat it," she added. "We're going to keep tweaking it to see what we can do."

In the area of fitness, Tullos said, "We are in the final stages of the fitness area back here. We've had lots of questions about that. We are waiting on the evaluator of the grant to come and sign off. As soon as she does, we can get the word out to the community. I love seeing these kids back here playing basketball in the afternoons. I counted 15 or 16 out there the other day. I think it's a good, safe place for our kids to be playing and congregating."

She said all but two pieces of fitness equipment have arrived and been set up, adding, "I think that's going to be a really good thing. In fact, our P.E. classes have been coming over and taking advantage of it."

For security purposes, Tullos said, "We have cameras just about at every angle. There's really not a spot that you can't see on the camera system. We've got good security out there." She said no security fence, wall or other barrier was built around the equipment "because we want it to be available to the community. That was sort of the point of that. We went with high security, and we're going to see how that goes.

Tullos said the equipment is very durable, adding, "We got a good quality product."

Turning her attention to the early childhood facility and another campus, Tullos said, buzzers were installed on the doors for safety reasons. Now, people "can buzz in and out of the buildings," she said, adding CISD is pleased with having the presence of police officers at the schools.

Myers said the district has received numerous comments from parents and others who like the idea of having resource officers present at the schools.

In addition, Tullos said all automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are in their rightful places for safety in the schools and all the coaches for the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes are in place to train teachers, staff and students.

She said, the schools have salad bars and drinking water that came through SHAC. Also, as a part of SHAC, a group of teachers at the elementary school participate in group walks and other exercises, Tullos added. Myers noted that the track around the football field is available to the community and groups, including some police officers and firefighters, who use the facility as a place to work out.

"I want to thank the people who served on this committee because sometimes the meetings get long," Tullos said. "It doesn't turn into a gripe session. They (SHAC members) really bring good things to our schools...."