August 21, 2012

Tina Veal-Gooch
Director of Public Relations
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Employee Handbooks, Student Code of Conduct, Logo Patent, Tax Rate & TASA Resolutions Approved

Texarkana, TX – During their Tuesday, August 21, 2012 regular session, the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the Employee Handbook and Student Code of Conduct for the 2012-13 school year.

Revisions to the Employee Handbook clarify the superintendent’s requirement to report the arrest, criminal charge, termination, or resignation of a certified employee to the Division of Investigations at the Texas Education Agency. Revisions were also made to the topic regarding possession of firearms to clarify a district’s right to prohibit individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun from bringing a gun onto school premises.

Student Code of Conduct revisions further revise the definition of bullying to include “when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the district vehicle and that the behavior: results in harm to the student or the student’s property; places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property; or, is so severe, persistent and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.”

“Our revised definition of bullying in the Student Code of Conduct adds that conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and interferes with a student’s education or creates a disruption in the operation of school,” stated Lori Ables, Director of Curriculum & Instruction. “We feel that it is critical to redefine bullying because of particular incidents that have occurred across the nation and more importantly to make sure that bullying through electronic means is addressed given the high usage of social media by students.”

Additionally, the Board of Trustees approved the adoption of Texas Association of School Administrators Resolution Concerning High Stakes Standardized Testing of Public School Students. An estimated 580 school districts have adopted the resolution to send a message to state legislators that educators want what’s best for students and the over-reliance on standardized testing is crippling our ability to provide that. Superintendents and school trustees are advocating for children and for a system that is student-centered and fosters creativity, innovation, problem-solving skills, collaboration and critical thinking. 

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved:

*knoMi logo to be submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to secure ownership of the logo as the district moves forward in marketing the knoMi program within the state and the U.S.
knoMi was created in 2009 by TISD in support of their district belief statement that a personalized education maximizes the potential in every student. The program centers on students owning their education by utilizing an individualized plan. Additionally, the knoMi curriculum teaches students how to set goals through a teaching strategy called SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely). Through goal setting, students can create long term goals and learn how to clearly define what must be done today to realize those goals. Other features include subscription sites for school clubs, athletic events, university and local non-profit organizations, as well as social networking components to keep students engaged.

*Tax Rate and Certified Values for 2012-13 at $1.17 for Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and $.169 for Interest & Sinking Funds (I&S) which is used to repay bonded indebtedness and other debts. The newly approved Tax Rate has remained the same since 2008. Certified appraised values for TISD from the Bowie Central Appraisal District remain flat at $1,890,628,553.

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