Student safety discussed at MISD Board meeting

BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS, Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

The Muleshoe Independent School District Board of Trustees met in regular session on Monday, Feb. 26. Minutes of the previous two meetings on Jan. 22 were approved.

Mules Powerlifters were recognized for their success as they competed in Regional Powerlifting.

Dr. Barry Cowart told the board that 56 percent of school districts in Texas either have police departments, security guards, school marshals or staff members that carry concealed handguns. This leaves Muleshoe ISD as one of the 44 percent that do not have such measures in place.

Cowart encouraged the board to develop a Comprehensive Safety Plan that includes and allows some staff members the capability of protecting students from active shooters.

“Our children are our most important resource; we must take action to protect them from an active shooter event,”
Cowart said.

The board directed the administration to research the issue. The school currently has an Emergency Operations Plan that includes drills and procedures in the event of an active shooter. However, the Muleshoe ISD Board of Trustees is considering more aggressive steps to protect children in case there is an active shooter.

Assistant Superintendent Dani Heathington shared test scores from some area schools. Muleshoe students are testing at, and usually higher than, some of the area schools.

Due to a change in the law, the Muleshoe Board of Trustees will be required to become more active in the instructional part of school. SB 1566 requires that board members complete a three-hour Accountability Training class before Sept. 1. Muleshoe School District, as well as all other districts in the state, will receive an A-F label in late August.

Letti Tovar received a glowing letter from the Littlefield Masonic Lodge for a special project she had completed.

The May 5 General Election for District 1 and District 4 has been canceled. Incumbents Sergio Leal and Jay Cage signed up for their respective District 1 and District 2 Board of Trustee positions. Since no other candidates or write-in candidates signed up to run for the seats, Muleshoe City Secretary Zanea Carpenter, presented the school board with a resolution to cancel the May School Board Election. The board approved the resolution as presented by Carpenter.

The board approved SHAC, the School Health Action Committee. The committee has presented several challenges for students such as an Abstaining from Soda Challenge and an Abstaining from Sugar Challenge. The SHAC also works on mental health, physical and sexual initiatives to help our students in a changing society.

The 2018-19 School Calendar was developed and refined by the District Forum under the direction of Heathington. The school board set some simple parameters for the calendar process. The new 2018-19 Instructional Calendar will begin in the third week of August, but Muleshoe schools will begin on a Tuesday rather than a Monday to assist the younger children in that first week transition to school. The board approved the calendar as presented.

Heathington, Erin Boatmun, Darla Myatt, Letti Tovar, Melvin Nusser and Rob Hollis were hired in administrative positions for the 2018-2019 school year.

Several resignations were accepted by the Board of Trustees. Due to the change in athletic directors, several positions will change. Those who resigned were Albert Lopez, high school special education teacher and coach; Wes Boatmun, high school English teacher and coach; R.C. Millis, high school social studies teacher and coach; Jay Parker, high school English teacher and coach; and Jalissa King, junior high math teacher and coach.

Others who  submitted resignations, resigning or retiring for personal reasons, were: Jody Wood, junior high technology teacher and tennis coach; Erika Griffith, fourth grade science teacher; Jim Daniel, high school ag science teacher; Steve Myatt, high school principal; and Sonia Bustillos, high school secretary.

Matt Vaquera was hired to teach history and be the defensive coordinator, and Sarah Vaquera was hired as high school secretary.

All members of the freshman class received Chrome Book Computers from the school. At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, sophomores and freshman will receive Chrome Books. This process will be sustained as each incoming freshman will receive a Chrome Book computer. Within two years all students will have received a school-issued Chrome Book Computer. Heathington, Erik Craig, Myatt and Hollis initiated this process for students after a Board of Trustees 2017 Summer Goal Setting Meeting. This process will assist students for their future in our technology-driven society.

Sam Whalin and the maintenance crew have begun summer renovations. Please look at the new construction at Dillman Elementary playground. The Deshazo Gymnasium has been updated and improved. The board offered kudos to Whalin and his staff.

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