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Seen and Heard at November 2020 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 11/23/2020

Seen and Heard at November 2020 School Board Meeting

November 16, 2020 — Trustees recognized and congratulated David Gibson, machining teacher at Caprock High School, who is one of only 18 teachers across the nation to be named a winner of the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.  Mr. Gibson will receive a $50,000 award for his skilled trades program at Caprock. 

The Board received a handful of e-mailed public comments for the meeting from teachers expressing concern about COVID-19 safety protocols not being followed on some campuses.

The Board approved Targeted Improvement Plans for 10 schools that were required to develop the plans as a result of low performance in certain categories of the state/federal accountability rating system.  Because STAAR testing was cancelled last spring due to COVID, this year’s accountability measures are based on 2018-19 performance.  The improvement plans, which include targeted strategies to improve performance in the identified areas, were developed by campus intervention teams at each school composed of teachers, principals, support staff and parents.

Trustees hired an engineer to design and oversee a project to repair and/or replace roofs at Caprock High School, Bowie 6th Grade and Travis 6th Grade campuses, and Tradewind Elementary School.  The roofs at these schools were damaged by a hailstorm in June 2017. Trustees also selected a contractor for perimeter security fencing projects at Amarillo High, Caprock and Tascosa high schools.  Palo Duro High School was the first campus to receive a security fence around the perimeter of the campus; this fence was completed just prior to the start of the school year.

The Board expressed appreciation for gifts and donations totaling $137,840 to various schools this month from Southwest Ambucs and Exerplay, Randall County Farm Bureau and Texas Farm Bureau, Atmos Energy, Happy State Bank, Deb Nance, Tyson Fresh Meats, CareXpress, Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital, Anne Northcutt, Education Credit Union, Amarillo National Bank, Renay Goodman, Amarillo Association of Realtors, and Anytime Fitness – Jacob Torbert and Cassandra Villarreal. 

In other business, trustees gave brief reports on school visits from recent weeks.  Every month, each Board member visits a different school to meet with the principal, tour the campus and visit with teachers and students.  These campus visits help trustees gain a better understanding of the culture, challenges, and day-to-day work occurring in AISD’s 55 schools.