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Trustees looking to expand curriculum

by Dolores Hamilton
Iowa Park school trustees approved a Strategic Plan for the next two to five years at their meeting Thursday night, and learned of several expansions to the high school curriculum.
The Strategic Plan has five goals and lists objectives to reach those goals. “One of our objectives is to continue looking at different career and technical education programs that we can offer our students,” Superintendent Steve Moody told the board members. As an example he said, “We partner with Burkburnett with our ROTC program. Now we have an opportunity that Burkburnett is looking at sharing with us, and that’s our cosmetology program.”
High School Principal Leah Russell described how the program would work and added, “At the same time we’re starting some courses at our campus with the idea of trying to include some more culinary (classes) down the road.” The school would also pair with Burkburnett for this program. Russell said they would also be expanding the computer program in addition to Robotics.
Trustees canvassed ballots from the May 6 election and Steve Fairchild, Place 6, and Jeff Rhoades, Place 7, were declared the winners and took the oath of office. Officers were elected and include Jeff Rhoades, president; Ken Cooper, vice president; and Greg Deatherage, secretary.
Iowa Park High School science teacher Erin Christie Nimetz and some of her students were at the meeting to show the nesting boxes for birds they built.They have an agreement with Highland Cemetery to place the boxes in trees around the perimeter of the cemetery, and needed approval from the school board, which they received. The boxes were installed by the students the next day.
Jonathan Clubb said five bids for artificial turf for the baseball and softball fields had been received. The bid could be awarded at the next board meeting. The projected start date is mid to late August and the work should be finished by December.
Jamie Shipp, school nurse, gave the annual School Health Advisory Council report, and Ray Schultz gave the Safety Audit report. Schultz, who is Iowa Park CISD Police Chief, said personnel from Region 9 ESC visited the local campuses for the purpose of a security/safety audit, and found no problems. He said they did recommend putting fences around the playground at Kidwell and Bradford Elementary schools.
Schultz also recommended the purchase of emergency management radios for teachers, staff and administrators. Trustees approved the purchase of 200 radios for$59,419.
Orthopaedic & Sports Therapy Center (OSTC) was selected for athletic trainer services for June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018 for $21,000. They also approved resale bids for Terrace Hillside Addition properties.
Janet Bowling gave results of the 5th and 8th grade STAAR reading and math tests. Iowa Park students’ scores were above those of Region 9 and the state.
Trustees conducted the final reading of Update 107, and it was approved with a local policy change.
Supt. Moody gave a report on 2017 appraised values. He said oil prices are up, but at this time production is down. Property values are seven to nine million dollars higher than in 2016.
Moody said enrollment is 1840, 65 students up from this time last year. He also gave information about the Senior Breakfast on May 19, and graduation on May 27.
IPHS senior Kaci Wells, the Iowa Park Rotary Club’s Student of the Month for April, was recognized by the board.
After meeting in closed session, the board hired Elise Rhodes, high school math teacher; Casey Jordan, middle school teacher/coach; and Sherri Beavers, middle school secretary.
Resignations were accepted from Paula Tagalos,middle school band director; Cortney Spitzer, high school teacher/coach; and Lisa Dyer, middle school teacher coach.