January 23, 2014

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Trustees Recognize Innovative Educator Grant Recipients, Approve Class Size Exception Waivers and Tuition Rate

Texarkana, TX – During their Tuesday, January 21, 2014 regular session, Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees had the opportunity to join with the Texarkana Public Schools Foundation in recognizing Innovative Educator Grant teacher recipients.

As part of their continued efforts to enrich and maximize educational opportunities for students, Texarkana Public Schools Foundation awarded $19,828 to 43 teachers.   Grant monies will be used to assist the teachers in developing innovative and imaginative instructional programs which promote student achievement and advance new approaches to teaching.

The Texarkana Public Schools Foundation was established in 2003 by a group of citizens dedicated to enriching and maximizing the educational opportunities for students and staff at TISD through funding that is not available from local, state or federal sources.  Through community support, the foundation works toward building a legacy of excellence in education, ensuring that every child and teacher has the tools necessary for success.  To date, the Texarkana Public Schools Foundation has awarded approximately $150,000 in grants to district teachers.

Teachers receiving Innovative Educator Grants, along with program name are:

Emily Burns – “Loose in the Science Lab”
Paula Burris – “Star Quality Learning”
Dianne Cherry – “Do the Storybook Shuffle”
Christina Cook – “Discovering Printmaking”
Samuel Coston – “Loose in the Lab”
Kaye Crank – “Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum”
William Cruz – “Loose in the Lab”
Abby Davis – “Improving Reading & Writing Performance”
Erin Davis – “Versatile Versa Tiles”
Wendy Dowd – “Arts Integration…It’s What’s for Dinner!”
Amy Frierson – “Shake & Learn Mathematics”
Sheri Gibson – “Wind Beneath My Wings”
Todd Gibson – “Implementing Colors in Classroom Mediums”
Krystal Harris – “Think It, Tell It, Do It”
Meagan Hensley – “Material Girl”
Robin Hilton – “Riding the Underground Railroad”
Senitha Hodge – “Math Stations to the Rescue”
Joya Holden – “Raising Rigor with Non-Fiction”
Carlyn Hubnik – “Robotics Groupies”
Heather Huckabee – “It’s a Wrap”
Nichole Keener – “Reading for the STAAR”
Jessica Kline – “Ah-ha!  Seeing is Believing”
Kristen Larey – “Reading Rocks”
Kristi Lewis & Janice Norton – “Family Math Night Fun”
Rita Martin – “Investigating Newton’s Laws”
Jordan Mathis – “Teacher Geek Goes Gadget”
Lisa McEvoy – “Keeping Science Visual”
Roughntina Metcalfe-Collins – “Materials R Us”
Colton Mullins – “Contour Model Kits”
Taylor Page – “Interactive Science”
Emily Ransom – “Modern Thinkers at THS”
Shannon Roberson – “Engaging Dry Erase Paddles”
Jennifer Singleton – “Listen to that Book”
Carrie Slay – “Caring for our Oceans”
Nichole Smith – “Experience Science”
Kim Spaulding – “Making Connections with K’Nex”
Brandi Swann – “Enrichment of Science Lessons”
Amy Triptow – “Sensational Sensory”
Nathan Upchurch – “Starry Night”
Tonja Upchurch – “Kinetic Coasters”
Kelli White – “Speech Buddies” & “Storybook Celebrations”
Lauren Willis – “EV3 and STEAM”

In other business, board members approved class size exception waivers for four elementary campuses – Highland Park Elementary, Nash Elementary, Spring Lake Park Elementary and Wake Village Elementary.

School districts in Texas are required to review class size enrollment at the beginning of each school year in order to determine whether its class size for grades kindergarten through 4th meet requirements of Texas Education Code 25.112.  If the survey indicates any class exceeding a 22:1 student to teacher ratio, districts must submit a class size waiver and compliance plan.

According to Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools, “TISD’s continues to see enrollment growth at all levels.”  “During the last five years, we have had an average enrollment growth of 116 students per school year.  Our class size waivers are a direct result of this growth and we work very hard to keep with the general rule of no more than 24:1 student to teacher ratio.  In most cases, when we have a class that is above the 22:1 ratio, we will add in a classroom aide to assist those teachers with the larger class.”

Additionally, Board of Trustees approved a tuition rate of $5,161 for ineligible students effective the 2014-15 school year.  TISD establishes a tuition fee on an annual basis for students seeking enrollment that are ineligible for state funding. The annual rate is set according to the estimated Adjusted Basic Allotment the district expects to receive from the state. 

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