LISD board examines enrollment fraud issue

LIVINGSTON -- The Livingston Independent School District’s Board of Trustees was presented with a report on enrollment fraud and approved changes to its dual credit program during its September meeting.

LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins presented the district’s Enrollment Fraud and FDA Policy. Administrators have recently met to discuss the digital vision in student learning from the student aspect, personnel aspect and ancillary aspect.

That vision includes the possibility of using digital forms for the registration process. One of the advantages is the ability to track the forms. The mobility rate of students transferring in and out of LISD students is near 20 percent.

“We have students wanting to come into the district that are not residents. According to policy, students must meet one of several criteria under FDA (local) before they are admitted or allowed to stay in LISD. They must have resident parents, be grandfathered in as an approved transfer, must be classified as homeless, or resident minors living apart. If the student does not live in the district the transfer policy is the only way to attend LISD,” Hawkins said.

“Transfer status is dictated by capacity which is a factor for enrollment.” Hawkins added. “Capacity may be classified as classroom availability but can also apply to personnel available to teach classes. The district has a clear policy and as a district, we will follow that policy to ensure that the resources by the taxpayers of LISD are directed appropriately. Those that break policy are subject to fines and penalties accordingly.”

During admin reports, a short video introducing Advancement Via Individual Development (AVID) was presented. The program is currently being utilized by the district and is designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. The program places special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills.

LISD Athletic Director Brian Broussard provided information on UIL junior high baseball and softball programs during the fall season. UIL allows 12 games and two tournaments a year. The closest schools currently participating in this program include Lufkin (6A) and smaller schools like Onalaska (3A.) Budgeting would have to be considered for equipment, travel expenses and coaches. Each coach currently employed at Livingston Junior High School instructs three different sports.

LISD Chief Curriculum Officer Janan Moore gave a curriculum update and presented the beginning-of-the-year report on the SRA (Science Research Associates) Reading Mastery program for 2nd through 5th grades. The program is used at each of the three elementary campuses and the intermediate school.

“There is a loss of retention over the summer so principals have assessed students and rearranged the groups where they can receive the biggest benefit of the program,” Moore said. “Corrective reading is implemented in the third grade to help students with reading difficulties move up to the proper grade level. It focuses on helping students with reading skill deficits and aides with intervention.”

Teachers report SRA results every five weeks, at minimum. Principals review SRA data once a week and regroup students with like skills. Outside tutors are brought in to help with the interventions.

“We have chosen Lead 4ward to address interventions and teaching strategies. District assessments will be more defined in scope and sequence. They are now based on units that need to be covered and will allow unity with teachers,” said Moore.

Changes to the LISD Dual Credit Plan in conjunction with EIC were approved by the board during the action agenda. The changes would allow students in the Class of 2022 to increase enrollment from one to two courses of dual credit during their freshman year. The plan is the final piece that would allow students to earn 60 college hours paid for by the district.

“We have a plan in place that will allow the students of our community an opportunity to obtain half of their college coursework by the time they receive their high school diploma. This program has the potential to save the parents of Livingston literally thousands of dollars by cutting the cost of college in half for LISD students,” the superintendent said.

Action items also approved during the meeting included the quarterly investment report, reflecting a $16,020,606 balance as of Aug. 31 with $48,362 of interest earned during June, July and August.

The purchase of a chiller from J.C.I. for $457,800 for the Livingston Junior High campus was approved, along with a budget amendment in the amount of $458,000 to make the purchase.

Items were approved under the consent agenda included minutes from the previous board meeting, the financial statement and payment of bills, personal property donations, purchases over $25,000 and an overnight trip by Livingston FFA.

LISD employees Shea Gibson and Kim Stanley were inducted into the prestigious Apple Corps.

Campus recognition was given to Pine Ridge Elementary for TEA Academic Achievement in ELA Reading, Timber Creek Elementary for TEA top 25 percent in closing performance gaps and top 25 percent in student progress. Livingston Junior High was recognized for TEA Academic Achievement in Science and Mathematics.