January 20, 2016

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

TISD Board of Trustees Approve Class Size Waiver, Call for Trustee Election in May, Adopt Annual Tuition Rate and Hear Report on STEM Programming During January Session

Texarkana, TX – During the January 19, 2016 regular session of the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees, members approved class size waivers, called for a Trustee election in May, adopted the annual tuition rate for ineligible students and heard the latest on STEM programming for the district.

At the beginning of the school year, each school district in Texas is required to review its class size enrollment to determine whether its class size for grades kindergarten through four meets the requirements of Texas Education Code 25.112. If the survey indicates any class exceeding a 22:1 student to teacher ratio, the district must submit a class size waiver and compliance plan.

“We are submitting a class size waiver for Nash Elementary, specifically for one section in fourth grade,” commented Nanette Power, Executive Director of Quality Assurance. “Nash Elementary has continued to grow in student enrollment year after year. It is our hope that by building our new elementary school on Gibson Lane, which opens in August 2016, it will alleviate some of the overcrowding that we are seeing at this campus.”

In other business, Trustees approved the order calling for a Trustee Election on May 7, 2016. Incumbents Wanda Boyette, representing District 3, and Bryan DePriest, serving District 5, will both seek re-election for their respective positions.

Additionally, Board of Trustees approved a tuition rate of $5,359 for ineligible students effective the 2016-17 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.

Final report of the evening was from Ronda Jameson, TISD Director of STEM Education, who reported that TISD has seen an overall enrollment growth of 604% in the STEM program since its inception in 2007. Today, TISD offers a continuous STEM education opportunity for grades K-12.

According to Jameson, “The 2015 graduating class of Texas High School had 126 students (33%) who were STEM graduates with 63% of those named honor graduates. Gender data showed 52.47% of STEM students being female and 47.53% male. STEM students earned 75% of the total $16,584,345 scholarships awarded.”

TISD’s STEM professional development program has been designated as an Exemplar model by the Texas Education Agency and Educate Texas. The district’s STEM program has earned the Texas Education Agency T-STEM Designation since 2009 serving as a demonstration school and learning lab in the development of innovative methods to improve science and math instruction. Since the inception of the STEM program at TISD, over 400 site visitors from regional, national and international level STEM-related programs and assorted organizations have visited the District to see first-hand the opportunities that are being offered to students and the professional development programs implemented.

TISD earned the Comprehensive School District STEM Leadership Award from the International Association of STEM Leaders in 2014 and was recently awarded a T-STEM Exemplar Grant of $75,000 which brings their total STEM grant funding since 2009 to $2 million.

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