NOTE: These are summaries of previous school board meetings. NOT official minutes.
PISD Board Meeting Jan. 19, 2017
The Perryton ISD Board of Trustees met Thursday evening for their regular monthly meeting. Since January is School Board Appreciation Month, the meeting began with a presentation by Wright Elementary. Third Grade students whose parents are associated with PISD performed “Jambalaya” (watch here) and then members were treated to a special meal. Wright Principal, Tiffany Bietz had prepared Shrimp Etouffee and Blackend Pork Chops.
Following the meal, the board heard the auditor’s report from Gary Murrow who had nothing but positive things to say about the district’s financial records and reporting. The board voted unanimously to approve the audit.
Chief Financial Officer, Doug Kile then gave the monthly financial report followed by the Superintendent’s Report. Robert Hall reported on the recent ice storm and informed the board of some damage at Perryton High School. A drain issue caused a leak above the stage in the auditorium. Hall said the maintenance crew was still assessing the damage but that it appears the stage will have to be replaced.
In student recognition, Hall recognized Lanie Schollenbarger for qualifying for the All State Choir and Patrick Broadbent for being selected second alternate. He also recognized Bryan Castro for making the All State Band on the flute. Hall announced that two veteran Perryton High School teachers, Allan Herbert and Carolyn Newcomb will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Communications Director, Darin Clark reported on the success of the district’s mass notification system, School Messenger, during the recent ice storm. Clark said that there are still a few issues to work out regarding disconnected numbers in the system that slow the process down.
Rodney Throgmorton, Technology Director, announced the hiring of PHS graduate, Eric North, to help in the technology department. He also announced that the long awaited E-Rate funding had been approved. These funds will pay approx. 80% of the cost for about $200,000 of equipment to fortify the district’s network. Mr. Hall added that the district is looking into adding more instructional technology in the near future.
The board took action to call for the next board election, set for May 6, and to hold a joint election with the city of Perryton.
Board members then went into an over four hour executive session to set the superintendent’s contract and to discuss personnel with each district administrator.
Upon reconvening, the board voted unanimously to extend Hall’s contract.
PISD Board Meeting 12/19/16
PISD BOARD OPPOSES A-F DISTRICT GRADING
Monday night, December 19, 2016, the Board of Trustees of Perryton ISD voted unanimously to pass a resolution expressing their opposition to the A-F school & district grading system. The scoring system was passed in the last legislative session and is to be implemented for the 2017-2018 school year.
The A-F grading assigns a letter grade to schools and districts based on student performance on high stakes testing. PISD joins numerous districts across the panhandle and around the State of Texas, who oppose the use of these tests as the primary basis for a public school rating system.
The board resolution (see here) states “we embrace meaningful accountability that informs students, parents, and teachers about the learning needs of each student and each school” and goes on to call for the repeal of the A-F system and to replace it with a community based system.
Also at the Monday meeting, the board heard a report from Assistant Superintendent, Keith Langfitt on the Texas Academic Performance Report for the 2015-2016 school year. The report continued to show improvement in the district’s weaker areas including, English language learners and at-risk students. These are areas where PISD has a higher population than the state average. Langfitt and the board members were pleased with the progress the district has made in these areas and expect the trend to continue.
The board also approved an amendment to their agreement with Perryton Wind that modifies the boundaries of one of their two wind farms in the west part of the district.
Superintendent, Robert Hall reported a couple of additional mid-year resignations including Perryton Junior High PEIMS clerk, Donnita Richburg and Wright Elementary Dyslexia Interventionist, Barbara Pshigoda.
PISD Board Meeting 11/21/16
The Perryton ISD Board of Trustees met Monday, Nov. 21 for their regular monthly meeting to work through a short, mostly routine, agenda.
District CFO gave the monthly financial report. Kile announced that the 16 passenger bus, approved a couple of months ago, has arrived and is getting it’s Perryton Ranger color scheme as designed by PHS teacher, Darrin Davis.
In the monthly enrollment report, PISD is down 16 students from the previous month but still up over 60 students from the first day of school. (See full enrollment report at: http://bit.ly/PISDEnrollment )
PISD Superintendent, Robert Hall recognized a number of student achievements over the past several weeks, including a number of Ranger football players earning honors from Amarillo Globe News, Cross Country Regional Qualifiers and Ranger Band advancing to area. (See that full list at: http://bit.ly/StudentRecog )
Hall also mentioned that the All-District Football list had just been released and there are 19 Rangers on that list including the District MVP, Offensive and Defensive MVP’s.
Hall announced one resignation to be effective at the end of the school year as Coach James Hinton is seeking a head coaching job. The board approved hiring former PISD teacher, Jeanne Garner to teach Family Consumer Science at Perryton High School next semester, replacing Claudette File, whose retirement was announced previously.
The board opened new bids for purchasing diesel with Euity Exchange and West Texas Gas submitting bids. They awarded the contract to the lower bid, Equity Exchange.
The next PISD School board meeting was set for Monday, December 19 at 6:00 pm.
PISD Board Meeting 10/18/16
The Perryton Independent School District Board of Trustees met Tuesday evening, October 18. The meeting began with a report from Carol Hayden on the SHAC (Student Health Activity Committee). Hayden also thanked the board for their support of the Snack Pack for kids program which has been very successful.
CFO Doug Kile gave the monthly financial report and reported district enrollment at 2336 students, up from an opening day number of 2257. Enrollment is down just 34 students from the same period a year ago. See full report at: http://bit.ly/PISDEnrollment
PISD Superintendent, Robert Hall recognized the following students for their accomplishments in the last month. Hadley Allred and Dalton Rigdon for each being chose the Amarillo Globe News/Happy State Bank Player of the week. Allred for the Pampa game and Rigdon for the game at Bushland. The following choir students made the Region 1 small school District Choir, Sarai Rosales, Shaelyn Harp, Lanie Schollenbarger, Kynleiqh Vela, Kaylee Johnson , Patrick Broadbent, Jesus Cervantes, Abraham Cano, Ryan Quist, Jonah Karber and Travis Baker.
Communications Director, Darin Clark reported on the continued success of using social media to connect students and parents with teachers.
Rodney Throgmorton, Technology Director, reported on the recent installation of interactive boards at Perryton Kinder (see photo). He also said they have set up a way for teachers to electronically share their projects with other teachers.
James Wester from the Underwood Law firm and representatives from APEX energy, updated the board on the application process for the Perryton Plains wind project which is phase II of their overall projects in the northeast corner of Ochiltree County. Phase I, Perryton Wind, is anticipated to begin construction in April with Phase II set to start in early 2018 as the first project wraps up.
They reported that this will bring between 250 and 300 workers to the area for the duration of the two projects with 15 or so full time employees remaining permanently after that.
The board approved the next step in the application process for Phase II. The district receives $100 per average daily attendance per year for each project once completed. This amounts to almost $24,000 per project each year. PISD already receives that amount from the existing wind farm, Palo Duro Wind.
Dr. Stepanie Phillips reported on her work with the Perryton Junior High staff and the Campus Improvement Plan they have put in place to continue the progress made last year.
After setting November 15 for board “Team of Eight” training and Monday, Nov. 21 at 6 pm for their next regular meeting, the board went into a brief executive session to discuss personnel. After a 15 minute session, they took no action and adjourned.
PISD Board Meeting 9/20/16
The Perryton ISD school board met Tuesday night and began the meeting with a public hearing on the School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) Report. Chief Financial Officer, Doug Kile presented the annual report which showed, once again, that PISD scored a perfect 100 for Financial Management. (A rating of 70-100 is considered Superior.)
In another public hearing, Superintendent, Robert Hall explained an amendment to the Perryton Wind, LLC, application with the state comptroller. The amendment will divide the area previously approved into two smaller projects. Hall explained the benefit to PISD is that the district will receive the contracted $100 per average daily attendance on each project separately. Later in the meeting, the board voted unanimously, to approve that application.
In the regular meeting Kile gave the year-end report for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year. He projects the district to have just over $8.3 million in the general fund balance, down $942,952 from a year ago. Kile explained that the decrease was from additional funds used for the PHS Parking Lot Project and additions to the Junior High renovation that the board voted on during the year.
Kile also gave the final report on Phase 4 of the PJH project. He stated that the nearly 5 year project finished on time and under budget, something the Board President, Bruce Cowan agreed is extremely rare for a project of that size.
During the Superintendent’s Report, Hall recognized PHS Powerlifter, Janet Becerril for her World Championship, earning 4 gold medals and setting 3 national records. Hall reported on two resignations happening at the end of the semester. Claudette File will be retiring and Angie Burleson will be moving to Africa for mission work with her husband.
Communications Director, Darin Clark reported on the many positive things receiving publicity in the first month of school, especially Becerril’s accomplishments. Clark reported that the video of her return to Perryton, after winning the world championship, was aired on Amarillo television as well as on KAMR’s Facebook page, where it was viewed over 34,000 times.
Kile update the board on options for a smaller activity bus. A 16 passenger bus was included in the Capital Projects portion of the budget. The board had requested he consider slightly larger options as well. Kile explained that a larger, 28 passenger, bus would cost nearly twice as much and that the transportation department said the 16 passenger bus will meet a large need in the district and decrease the use of multiple vans for smaller group trips. After a brief discussion, the board voted to purchase the 16 passenger van, as budgeted for.
The final action of the board was to formally change board policy on the board meeting time to 6:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, instead of 7:00 p.m.
PISD Board Meeting 8/30/16
The Perryton ISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday evening. The meeting opened with a public hearing on the 216-2017 budget and tax rate. CFO Doug Kile proposed a maintenance and operating budget that includes a $3.5 million deficit for the coming year. That deficit will be covered by fund balance which is projected to be $8.5 million at the end of the current budget year. Kile recommended a tax rate of $1.04, which is the same as it has been for several years.
As for the interest and sinking fund budget, Kile explained that, due to lower taxable values, it will be necessary to increase that tax rate from .06 to .09 in order to cover payment on the Perryton Junior High construction bond. That .09 rate is still lower than it was two years ago when the district was paying off the Williams Intermediate construction bond.
After no public comment on the budget and tax rate, another public hearing was held on Federal Program Funding. Assistant Superintendent, Keith Langfitt reported that funding projections from the various federal programs are expected to be over $73,000 less than the current year. Langfitt said that typically, these estimates tend to be lower than what the district actually receive.
After Kile reported on the current monthly financial reports, he shared promising news regarding enrollment. PISD ended the 2015-16 school year with 2325 students. On opening day of the current year enrollment was down to 2257. However, three days later enrollment was up to 2307.
Langfitt discussed the state’s requirement to have a Professional Service Provider at Perryton Junior High for another year, even though test scores for 2015-16 met standard. After consulting with Region XVI, Langfitt recommended seeking a contract with Stephanie Phillips of Wichita Falls. He estimates cost for that service to be about $22,500, which was included in the proposed budget. The board voted unanimously to authorize Langfitt to pursue a contract with Phillips.
In the Superintendent’s Report, Robert Hall informed the board of one resignation, a teacher hired for Top Of Texas AEC who was unable to move to Perryton. Hall also discussed changes to the district’s teacher mentoring program.
Communications Director, Darin Clark told the board about teachers using Facebook Groups and Pages instead of web pages to communicate with parents and/or students. He said that this has been well received by teachers, parents and students.
Technology Director, Rodney Throgmorton told the board his department has been quite busy updating computers etc. He also discussed a delay in federal funding they plan to use to update and expand wi-fi capability throughout the district. The equipment is on order, pending release of funds through the federal E-Rate program.
Following the reports, the board voted, unanimously, to approve the proposed 2016-2017 budget and tax rate as presented by Kile.
Hall presented the board with a number of policy changes, most of which were basic wording changes due to the changes at the federal or state levels. He also proposed a change in the district calendar, due to a date change for the stock show in January. The date for the stock show holiday is now January 27, 2017.
After setting the date for the next board meeting for September 20 at 6:00 p.m., the board went into executive session to discuss personnel. After approx. 15 minutes, they reconvened and voted to hire Shannon Jackson at TTAEC and Jesus Ramirez at PJH.
PISD Board Meeting, July 19, 2016
The Perryton Independent School District Board of Trustees met Tuesday evening, July 19, 2016. Assistant Superintendent, Keith Langfitt reported on the preliminary results from the 215-2016 State Testing. Langfitt mentioned that these results are still subject to change. He stated that the district will be requesting that some of the tests be rechecked by hand due to some questionable results.
There was some very positive news from the reports. While the final campus and district assessments will not be out until mid-August, it appears that the hard work of the staff and students at Perryton Junior High has paid off. The campus will, most likely, receive a “Meets Standard” rating as opposed to the “Needs Improvement” rating of a year ago. Langfitt was especially pleased with Social Studies results which showed an exceptional 18% improvement.
However, the reports show that there are now some concerns at Perryton High School. Langfitt stated that Principal, James Mireles and the PHS staff have been proactive and have already made some changes to help remedy these issues. This includes reworking the English/Language Arts curriculum and designating a “Freshman Wing” to help soften the adjustment to High School for those students. One very positive result at PHS was in the area of US history where 97% passed the test.
Chief Financial Officer, Doug Kile gave the monthly financial reports and recommended that the district use Gary Murrow of Borger for the annual audit. Murrow has conducted the district’s audit for the last 12 years. The board approved the letter of engagement with Murrow.
Superintendent, Robert Hall reported on a few additional resignations including Bobby and Sherrie Ventura at PHS, Marcus Wilson at PJH and his wife, Megan at PHS, and Sara Martinez at Wright Elementary.
Hall updated the board on the construction at PJH stating that the four year project is down to the final couple of weeks of fine tuning. He also updated the board on the latest conversation with representatives from APEX Energy of the Perryton Wind Project. It appears that they have returned to the plan of two separate phases. This is good news financially for the school district as PISD will receive funding on a per student basis on each phase separately.
Communications Director, Darin Clark reported on changes to the district web page he’s been working on this summer including converting the district calendar from a paid third party service to Google Calendars, which are free.
After a brief executive session to discuss personnel, the board reconvened to hire Charity Baird, Terri Hanson and Francisca Zavala on full time teaching contracts. Also hired on part time teaching contracts were Jessica Bailey and Gary Mills. Larry McVey was hired on a teaching/coaching contract and Kathy Frantz was hired as a nurse.
The board set a budget workshop for August 9 at 6 p.m. They set the regular August meeting, which will include adopting the budget and setting the tax rate, for August 30 at 6 p.m.
PISD Board Meeting June 16, 2016
The Perryton Independent School District Board of Trustees met Thursday evening, June 16. The meeting began with the bi-monthly tour of Phase 4 construction at Perryton Junior High. Construction is almost complete on this final piece of the four year project which includes new art and family consumer science classrooms, a nurse’s station and renovation of Raider Gym, including adding HVAC units.
During the regular meeting, District CFO, Doug Kile gave the monthly financial report and discussed the revenue projections as he continues to work on the 2016-2017 budget. Kile presented the board with a proposed compensation plan that allows the district to continue the step plan for teachers and provide small raises for all employees. Kile felt that this plan would be possible despite the coming budget issues. Funds for the increases will come from the unspent capital expenditures from the current budget.
Superintendent, Robert Hall informed the board of two resignations; Mark Styles and Kelsey Sosebee, both of whom are taking positions elsewhere.
Hall also shared details of a recent meeting the he and Board President, Bruce Cowan had with representatives of Apex Clean Energy regarding phase 2 of the Perryton Wind Project. Apex is awaiting a decision from their buyer about the scope of the project.
Assistant Superintendent, Keith Langfitt updated the board on the District Improvement Plan as well as State Accountability scores. Langfitt and Hall informed the board about the delays in receiving test results from the state due to issues with the new company conducting those tests, ETS.
They also discussed the recent decision by Texas Education Commissioner, Mike Morath to eliminate the June retesting and not hold students accountable for the testing problems. There are still many questions about how this will affect district and campus accountability ratings.
Mr. Hall discussed overall results from the employee survey conducted in May at the request of the board. Most of the results were overwhelmingly positive. The board opted to defer discussion of the more detailed results to closed session, as those results dealt with specific personnel issues.
After approving the design for the plaque to be mounted on Perryton Junior High upon the completion of construction, board members went into executive session for almost two hours to discuss the survey, hiring recommendations and to conduct Hall’s mid-year evaluation.
After returning to open session, the following applicants were hired: David Fuqua, PJH Technology Applications; Joseph Farnsworth, PJH Science; David Massey, PJH Math; Diana Ramirez, Kinder teacher; Missy Klafka, PHS Special Ed.; Amy Adams, PJH English; Peter Martinez Rivera, PJH Math and Lindsay Clark, PJH/PHS Coach/PE teacher.