BY LEW VAIL
CORRIGAN – Citing safety and security needs, the Corrigan-Camden Independent School District's board voted last week to call a $3.2 million bond election.
The election will be held Saturday, May 9, along with the previously scheduled school board election.
"The focus of the bond issue will be to generate funds to increase the safety/security of all campuses and make upgrades to increase compliance/accessibility," Superintendent Sherry Hughes explained. "Some examples of 'planned projects' are to renovate all building entrances to create security vestibules, bring in access controls on all external doors to increase campus security, make necessary upgrades to various facilities to ensure access by all students.
"We will begin working on flyers to distribute to the community as well as planning town meeting dates next week," she said.
During the meeting, the board reviewed three bond proposals developed during a workshop held in January that called for bond issues ranging from $3 million to $3.8 million. After reviewing the proposals with their bond council, the board voted to seek the $3.2 million.
In addition to security issues, some of the money will be used to remodel areas to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Security and ADA work will be performed on all C-CISD campuses.
During the meeting the board named Government Capital Securities as the project's financial advisors, the firm of Powell and Leon as bond council and the firm of Goodwin, Lassiter and Brown as the architects. In a final step the board will employ Gallagher Construction to serve as the districts general construction manager.
Board President Sean Burks stressed the bonds will not require any increase in the C-CISD tax rate during the payback. Should new values be added to the district, the bonds will be retired sooner.
In other business, the district will apply for a TEA Innovative Course Application for 2015-16. The curriculum has been developed by RoyOMartin Company in anticipation of being able to hire local graduates for the proposed oriented strand board (OSB) plant in the industrial park.
During campus reports, Primary School Principal Barbara Roden issued a reminder to parents not to send sick children to school, or to return them to school too soon after being sent home with fever. She also reported pre-k students, who are tested five times during the year, have had their level of achievement increase from 66 percent to 87 percent on the third test this year. The Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) has shown growth in the kindergarten students also.
The elementary school has also seen illness and attendance is slightly lower than expected. A total of 13 students achieved Star Student status and enjoyed a double header basketball game at Sam Houston State University. SHSU furnished the tickets for the students and their parents.
The high school reported the tardies have decreased by 37 percent this semester and the attendance is stable with about equal withdrawals and new students. Enrollment was listed at 285 in February. Three students have signed letters of intent to play football, including two at McMurry University -- Justin Robbins and Zaquan White – and one at Lamar University -- Keegan Mitchell. Vincent Lazcano was a winner at the Fort Worth calf scramble. A total of 598 students had perfect attendance for the third six weeks.
Hughes reported the utilities are holding fairly steady with the exception of the electric bill and they are monitoring what the issues may be. Tax collection was at 74 percent, while last year at this time it was only 44 percent. The values for the district were $309 million, a 12 percent increase over the last year.
Hughes reported there are two bills in the legislature that address the funding issues with smaller districts receiving a lower Average Daily Attendance (ADA) rate than large ones. She said Rep. James White is working toward bring small districts better funding and both bills are being monitored. The early resignation program was successful with 11 teachers signing up, seven are retiring and the $25,000 allocated for the program was used up. This will allow the district to advertise for teachers to fill vacancies early and hire those who met the criteria for the specific vacancy.
A large consent agenda consisting of minutes of two January meetings; the election of trustees in May; interlocal agreement with Polk County for election equipment; allocation of funds for Title I and Title VI grants; a focus grant and rural and low income grant all were passed in a single motion.
During the meeting, junior high students who participated in UIL events were recognized.
SPELLING -- Sixth grade: first place, Angelina Alvarez; second, Nelson Flores. Seventh grade: first place, Riley Fisher. Eighth grade: fourth place, Gerderian Sells.
MAPS, GRAPHS and CHARTS -- Sixth grade: sixth place, Biridianne Castro. Seventh grade: first place, Jade Beauchamp. Eighth grade: first place, Madison Knight; fifth place, Gracie Wilkinson.
ART SMART -- Sixth grade: first place, Jackson Kilgore; second place, Micah Hughes. Eighth grade: first place, Gerderian Sells; fifth place, Maribel Escobedo.
LISTENING -- Sixth grade: first place, Kanaosha Moore; third place, Alaina Lawson
SCIENCE -- Eighth grade: first place, Kobi Poage. Sixth grade: Marc Sowers.
NUMBER SENSE -- Seventh grade: second place, Luke King; fifth place, Brianna Monroe; sixth place, Chris Love. Eighth grade: first place, Emilio Ramirez.
DICTIONARY SKILLS -- Sixth grade: first place, Cameron Scott; third place, Jorge Vargas Seventh grade: fourth place, Abigale Antastacio. Eighth grade: third place, Kavon Moore.
READY WRITING -- Sixth grade: second place, Analysa Caskey; third place, Marissa Acevedo. Seventh grade: fourth place, Abigail Antastacio; fifth place, Sylvina Guzman. Eighth grade: sixth place, Dorothy Popham.
IMPROMPTU SPEAKING -- Seventh grade: Jerehian Settler; fourth place, Chris Love. Eighth grade: Ruth Tapia.
CALCULATOR -- Sixth grade: third place, Cole Casper. Eighth grade: Alan Casper.
MATHEMATICS -- Eighth grade: third place, David Thompson.
MUSIC MEMORY -- Sixth grade: fourth place, Erica Chinn.
ORAL READING -- Sixth grade: fifth place, Kaylee Conarroe.