IN THE LOOP WITH THE SUP
During this month of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. Our character word of the month coincides with the theme of Thanksgiving; the character word of the month is gratitude. Gratitude is choosing to notice and appreciate things in our life, things in others, and things in the world. Remember that gratitude is a choice, and everyday when you wake up, not only in the month of November but everyday, focus on the things in which you are grateful, notice them, and appreciate them.
Andrew Peters, Caldwell ISD Superintendent
*From Trish Ryan: I am so thankful to Caldwell High School and the CHS cheerleaders for the balloons, roses and the check. You will never know how thankful and appreciative I am for all of you. I am so grateful that I work for such wonderful people, and that I get to know the amazing students that attend our schools. I don't know how I will ever be able to repay the kindness that has been shown to me.
*From Beverly Lilie: When I see high school students who come up to me and remind me of all of the things that I taught them here at the elementary school on character. That is a true blessing to me!
*From Coach Giese: I can't even put into words how grateful I am that we were able to have a volleyball season this year. In the midst of chaos, I am so happy we were able to compete with minimal issues. I am so proud of each member of the Lady Hornet volleyball program for their efforts and will always remember how dedicated they were to work during this unsure time. Sting 'em!
*From Larea Gamble: CISD responded with funds for reading intervention teachers when CIS data showed the need for more intense reading intervention services to students.
Stephanie Salazar covered football duty for me on October 23rd (when I was out due to a vehicle accident).
CISD has been so responsive to any and all needs I have experienced as a new principal in the district.
Susan Groce has gone above and beyond to support academic and instructional efforts at CIS.
When CIS teachers were struggling with At-Home and On-Campus teaching responsibilities and concerned about the quality of service they were able to give students, CISD supported our students and staff with an additional staff member to help at-home learners.
The principals at CHS, CJHS, and CES have been very welcoming, friendly and supportive of me since I joined the district.
I am thankful for the Caldwell community and the support of our efforts to keep their children safe and in school.
I am thankful for the smiles I receive (from unmasked drivers) every morning in the car rider drop off line at CIS.
I am thankful for the Maintenance department's quick response to our need to move into the Science labs.
I am thankful for the Technology Department and all they have done to tackle viruses, provide service, and respond to any and all unique and unexpected needs.
I'm feeling (quite good now that I have thought about many reasons to be grateful. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect!)
*From Kristi Barber: A Thankful Teacher...
In 2008, I was working as a secretary at CMS and went through a divorce. I couldn’t live on my paraprofessional salary alone, so I had to make a decision - I was going to have to quit my job and move back to Ft. Worth. I loved living in Caldwell and had been working at CMS since 2000, and didn’t want to leave, but I had no choice. Several of my colleagues had been hounding me about going back to school to get my certification. I already had a degree in English Literature from TAMU, but I couldn’t afford more school at the time. When I thought my world was going to crumble, Caldwell ISD stepped up to the plate. Dr. Cummings, Superintendent, Kim McManus, CMS Principal, Gary Stout, Asst. Principal, Barbar Jancik, retired teacher now, and Sarah Jane Broadus took a chance on me and offered me a proposition I couldn’t refuse. Caldwell ISD would loan me the money to go back to school to get my teaching certificate. I signed up for the Blinn TEACH program and took classes at night. Mrs. McManus worked with me and my work schedule, along with letting me use the library at school and my work computer, because I didn’t have a computer of my own at the time, to complete my assignments. And the rest is history…. I started teaching in 2010 and haven’t looked back.
*From Brenda Gilbert: I am thankful we teach our kids to respect our country, our state and our God by taking time to start each day with the pledges and a moment of silence to pray.
*From Sara McMullen: I am so thankful to be in a district that invests in its employees.
I am so thankful that my 2 year old daughter has found a school at Little Stingers Child Development Center. I am excited for her to be a part of the inaugural class of Little Stingers, and I am even more excited to watch her grow and learn in Caldwell Schools. I can not express how thankful I am for my daughter, and to be welcomed into the Hornet family.
*From Leda Williams: I am thankful for my co-workers who always treat me like family--fixing a flat tire one year, sharing online resources and ideas, and leaving random gifts on my desk (such as a t-shirt, a coffee from Starbucks, or homemade cookies).
*From Tabbatha Pipes: I am so blessed to have belonged to 2 fabulous teams in my 2 years at CISD! I LOVED my team last year and we truly loved each other. I thought I would never find a team I loved again. But low and behold, this year as well, I love the ladies I work with!! The support, positivity, family-feel of our grade-level team is AMAZING! The love for kids and putting kids first is contagious!! I am also blessed to work with an AMAZING group of 4th graders! The 3rd grade teachers did a fabulous john of preparing them for 4th grade! The students in 4th grade are polite, respectful, sweet-spirited, kind, helpful, and love their teachers and love to learn!
*From Karen Rhodes: I am very thankful for the support and empathy I was shown by our school leaders during a very difficult time in my life.
*From Dianne Luna: I am thankful for choosing a career in education!!
I truly believe it is a calling, it is a service, it is a gift, and it is a privilege!
*From Sarah Jane Broaddus: I just wanted to be sure to thank you for all the hard work I know you have put into your job, the hard decisions that you have to make, dealing with COVID and making sure our new buildings are exactly the quality they need to be for the long run. I also appreciate the opportunity to wear nice scrubs to work at the CES. I’m on the floor a lot with my kiddos in class and I work lunch duty. Mustard wiped right off with a wet rag on my scrubs the other day. Nice clothes would have been ruined. I’m also grateful for my job.
I just wanted to say thanks.
November 16, 2020
Members Present: Board of Trustees - Tripp Warren, Pam Evans, Terri Jurena (via ZOOM), Clover Cochran, Mark Goodman, William Foster, and Rebecca Gardner
Caldwell ISD Administration - Andrew Peters/Superintendent, Dr. Alex Salazar/Assistant Superintendent, and Heather Escalante/Chief Financial Officer
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm with the pledge and prayer.
*Superintendent Peters stated that the meeting was also available on ZOOM due to COVID issues.
There was no public input.
Public Hearing - Superintendent Peters stated there were two A’s in a row for the audit that was conducted for 2019-2020. The was only one area in the audit where the district did not get a perfect score, but that was due to the bond. Superintendent Peters explained that as the debt goes down for the bond that score will go up. (More details about the audit will be detailed in “Consider and Approve the 2019-2020 Audit.”)
Superintendent Report (Information Only) - Director of Fine Arts, Cody Knott, recognized band students who competed in the All State Jazz Band, which was competing against students from across the state from 1A-4A. Even with COVID 19, the competition was held virtually and each student submitted recordings. This is an incredibly competitive event and these students did well.
Adolfo Gaucin - 6th Chair (Alternate) to the All State Jazz Band) Trumpet - Completed against 60 trumpets and the band took the top 5.
Cierra Zamora - 7th Chair - Tenor Saxophone. Completed against 37 tenor saxes and that band took 2.
Benjamin Foster - 23rd Chair - Bass Trombone- Competed against 28 bass trombones and the band took 2.
Emmanuel Hernandez - 13th Chair - Drum Set. Competed against 34 drum set players and the band took 2.
Mark Conly, Junior Beta Club Sponsor, from Caldwell Junior High School presented Kodi Hitchcock. She was selected as the state representative for Texas and is eligible to run as a national representative.
COVID-19 Update - The COVID - 19 update was presented by Caldwell ISD Director of Nurses, Tracy Ayers. Nurse Ayers reported that over 40 students were recently quarantined, but these were not students that were positive for COVID. Superintendent Peters also explained that there are parent issues with being positive, so students must be quarantined. Nurse Ayers explained that the number of positive cases in Burleson country has been on the rise, but there has not been a lot of school spread, but rather community spread. In total, approximately 50 student positive cases have been reported since the beginning of school, which is still low in comparison to the total student population.
Enrollment Number - The enrollment numbers are still flat. Caldwell ISD has still remained at approximately 1,710 students.
2018 Bond Update - Rusty Wallace gave an update on the CTE (Career and Technical Education) facility. Drymalla is still completing a few punch list items, but the facility is completed. Teachers are scheduled to begin moving into the building beginning November 17th and fully in the Monday after Thanksgiving. The new building of the elementary is finishing up the parking lots. The building’s plumbing crew and masons will be on site and begin installing plumbing and the brick work. On the existing building, the roofers will be putting the new roof and then moving on to the finishing projects inside of the building. Paint is now going on the former band hall and putting in the drop ceiling. The new Caldwell Junior High School weight room still has a bid out. There might be 13 contractors that might be interested. The projected time to present bids to the board will be extended to the December 15th board meeting.
Some updates for future projects were detailed such as ventilation in the welding shop along with putting in some electrical items and adding a storage area.
New Business (Action Needed): Election results were posted and Mrs. Evans and Mr. Foster won the 2020-2021 election. All board members voted and passed to accept the election results. (7 Yes/0 No)
Administer the Oath of Office to the Newly Elected Trustees and Present the Statement of Officers - Mrs. Angie Zamora, Superintendent Peters’ Administrative Assistant and CISD’s Notary, swore in Mrs. Pam Evans and Mr. William Foster for the board member seats.
Reorganization of the Board - Pam Evans was nominated and approved by vote (4 to 3) to serve as the President of the Board of Trustees. Pam took the seat and opened the floor for nominations for Vice President. William Foster was nominated and approved (7 to 7) for Vice President, and Terri Jurena was nominated and approved (7 to 7) as the Secretary.
Consider and Approve the 2019-2020 Audit - The auditor, Osea Yagomate with Singleton, Clark & Company, presented the audit with no findings. All board members approved and voted to accept the audit as presented (7 Yes/0 No) for the 2019-2020 school year. There were no findings of any material weakness in the audit. The General Fund of the District reported a fund balance decrease of $566,531 for the year, to end at $9,888,274. The District's Capital Projects fund reported a fund balance of $20,668,385 which is $15,205,601 less than last year's total of $35,873,986. This is due to the ongoing construction projects in the District for the current year. Even though there was a decrease the district is in extremely good shape with 6 months operating expenditures in fund balance. TEA recommends at least 2 months while the auditors recommend 3-6 months.
Consider Changes to Kovar Scholarship Awards: The superintendent didn’t expect any action at this board meeting, but stated there needed to be more input on how the Kovar Scholarship should be organized for awarding money to students. Superintendent Peters asked if the board wanted a workshop or a committee to look at how the board would like to proceed on the Kovar Scholarship. The board agreed for a committee. Pam Evans appointed Rebecca as the chair for the scholarship committee along with Clover and Mark as members of the committee. Details of this scholarship will be discussed in a future board meeting, and at that time action will be taken.
Consideration and Approval Regarding Proposed Employee COVID Stipend Resolution: The recommendation for giving a COVID stipend to all district employees was approved and passed (7 Yes/0 No). Superintendent Peters stated that the district was in very good shape financially to do this for our employees, as indicated in the audit report. The District will use the Transition Grant fund from TEA .
Consider and Approve Budget Amendment - The board approved and passed (7 Yes/0 No) the budget amendment to include the COVID stipend.
Consider and Approve Changes to DEC (Local) - In the summer of 2020, the board approved to change the local days offered from 3 to 5. At this November 16th board meeting, the board approved to change the amount of days you are able to accumulate from 20 to 50. The board also adopted a rate of $50 per day an employee can be paid for their accumulated local days as long as they meet the following conditions:
- Contracted employees must provide 90 day notice
- Non contract employees must give a 2 week notice
The board approved the changes to DEC policy (7 Yes/0 No).
Consideration for Facility Rental Rates - Raising the rates for renting the facilities other than for our students, such as funerals, play off games from other districts, etc. was approved (7 Yes/0 No).
Consideration of Voluntary COVID Testing at CISD: Nurse Ayers stated that Caldwell ISD was participating in the voluntary, free COVID testing that TEA was providing to approximately 300 Texas school districts. Nurse Ayers explained to the board that the testing was completely voluntary and would give parents and staff an avenue to offer free testing. Nurse Ayers explained the testing is in the front nares and is a rapid test, and the test is very accurate. Nurse Ayers stated students under 18 must have a parent consent. The board members passed (7 Yes/0 No) for the district to offer free COVID testing for Caldwell ISD students and staff.
Consent Agenda - The minutes from the October board meeting were approved (7 Yes/0 No) along with the financial report and the gifts and donations given to Caldwell ISD from Caldwell Brethern Church of $100 and the grant from Walmart of $1,000.
The board went into a closed Executive Session to discuss personnel.
The board meeting was adjourned at 8:38 pm.
Pam Evans and William Foster Being Sworn In as Newly Elected Board Members
All State Jazz Band Recognition
From Left to Right: Cierra Zamora, Emmanuel Hernandez, Benjamin Foster, Adolfo Gaucin, Cody Knott
Junior Beta Club State Representative, Kodi Hitchcock
Take A Tour of the New CTE Facilities!
The new CTE building includes additional classroom space, state-of-the-art culinary arts facilities, science labs, a floral design classroom area, ag rooms as well as space for medical field careers like CNA’s and EMT’s
Caldwell ISD Partnership Shout Out
Caldwell students, staff and parents now have a safer drive to the high school thanks to an effort lead largely by students. TxDOT recently installed a new traffic light on Highway 21 at County Road 307 and FM 2000.
The City of Caldwell Gives to Caldwell ISD
The City of Caldwell received federal funds that were designated to the Texas Department of Management for COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment. The City of Caldwell did not need all of the funds, and the federal regulations allowed the city to share the remaining funds with Caldwell ISD; therefore, City Manager Camden White and Mayor McManus, representing the City of Caldwell, gave the remaining funds of $79,300 to Caldwell ISD. Superintendent Peters stated, “These are federal dollars that belonged to Caldwell that Caldwell City was going to have to return because they couldn’t spend it, but they were able to legally pass it on; the council voted unanimously a couple of weeks ago to do this, and we gave them all the paperwork they needed.” Superintendent Peters stated that Caldwell ISD has spent nearly $400,000 along with other federal funds given to the district for protecting students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent Peters stated, “I really appreciate the fact that the ISD and the City can work together for our community and save our local tax payers money and take advantage of federal grants that are available.”