Kennard ISD Board of Trustees Address New Legislation

By Barrett Steed
Contributing Reporter

The Kennard Independent School District Board of Trustees convened on Thursday, Oct. 12.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m., with Superintendent Malinda Lindsey and Board Members Rebecca Parker, Ronnie Gladden, Crest Adair, Tod English, and Josh Bobbitt present. Tony Currie and Brijesh Patel were not in attendance.

After a prayer from Adair and the Pledge of Allegiance, Kennard Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor Lane Hoy introduced two students, Emily Walters and Tori Cole, who are competing in FFA Creed Speaking at the end of the month. Walters and Cole effortlessly recited the FFA creed to the board and were met with applause from the members.

The next item of business was a discussion of highlights from the Texas Association of School Boards convention earlier in the month in Dallas. Parker addressed new legislation that will require board member training to be completed before elections in May and that failure to do so will result in posting the names of members who have not met their requirements on school district websites.

English then relayed a student-centered direction from an interview with the School Board of the Year at the convention. He commented, "One of the main things that they stressed and what has happened in their districts is to make sure the school is aligned not mainly for the adults but for the students—to meet the needs of the students before those of teachers."

Following the approval of the agenda, Lindsey presented state required targeted elements that she has submitted to the TEA for the elementary school. This year's focus would be on curriculum and improving reading scores. English made the motion and Bobbitt seconded to accept the superintendent's recommendations.

Lindsey then addressed the need to make up minutes in the school year. After missing two school days as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the elementary needs to make up 244 minutes. A suggestion to extend the school day seven minutes at the end of each day was made. Bobbitt moved to table the matter until further options could be explored and English seconded his motion. It unanimously passed.

Next on the agenda, Lindsey voiced a need for a class-size waiver from the state regarding first grade attendance. She explained, "By law K-4 the ratio is 22-1. Any time you exceed 22 students you have to ask the state for a waiver to have over 22 students in a classroom with one teacher." Bobbitt made a motion to accept Lindsey's suggestion and Gladden seconded it. The motion passed on a 3-1 vote, English casting the nay vote.

The board had no need of convening an executive session and adjourned the meeting at 7:09 p.m.