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Seen and Heard at the May 2022 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 05/23/2022

Seen and Heard at the May 2022 School Board Meeting

May 16, 2022 – The May School Board meeting began with recognizing the National Champion Marine Corps Junior ROTC Drill Team from Caprock High School; and a dance performance by Amarillo High student Kinsey Johnson, who is the first student in AISD history to be named an All-State Dancer by the Texas Dance Education Association. These are just two examples of AISD’s outstanding and award-winning students! Trustees followed the annual tradition of reading a list of students across the District who have placed in or won regional, state, and national athletic, academic, or fine arts competitions in 2021-2022.

Superintendent Doug Loomis and the District’s legal counsel, Andrea Gulley, gave a report regarding the history of AISD’s voluntary desegregation plan, North Heights neighborhood schools and bussing, and the District’s recent attempts to get approval from the federal Office of Civil Rights for a new proposed plan that would give school choice to North Heights families. In 2017, a plan developed by a committee of parents, citizens, AISD staff and School Board members proposed a resolution to the long-standing issue of a neighborhood school in the North Heights area of Amarillo. The Board approved the proposal in December 2018 and submitted it to the OCR in February 2019, but AISD has yet to receive a ruling from OCR about whether the plan is approved.

In other business, the Board set June 20, 2022, as the date to hold a public hearing on the 2022-2023 school district budget and proposed tax rate. Next year’s budget is scheduled to be adopted on June 20. The regular board meeting for June is rescheduled to June 13. The Board also voted to propose a 2022 tax rate of $1.0938 per $100 of property valuation, which is a 5.5-cent reduction from last year’s rate. The tax rate won’t actually be adopted until August. 

At the unanimous recommendation of AISD’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), the Board approved Worth the Wait, an abstinence-based education and decision-making program, as the District’s human sexuality program, which is taught in science classes to all 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in AISD. Worth the Wait is taught by trained professionals and has been in use in the District since 2004. 

The Board authorized four state-approved innovative courses to be taught at AmTech Career Academy: Computer Aided Drafting for Architecture, Dental Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacy I, and Programmable Logic Controller.  Trustees also awarded a contract for food service management to Chartwells K12, at an estimated annual contract value of $8,042,868.40.  The District has contracted with Chartwells for more than 18 years to provide school lunch and breakfast programs.  

The Board expressed appreciation for $44,585 worth of gifts and donations given to various schools this month from Amarillo National Bank, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Inc., Carss LLC, Tyson Foods, Eddie Bauer Store, Tecta America CS Roofing, Amarillo Association of Realtors, Happy State Bank, Mary E. Bivins Foundation, David Forsberg, Soluna Computing, Carpenter & Millwright Training, and Melissa Morris.