November 16, 2016

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

Community Teacher Grants Audit Report High School Curriculum and Professional Development Key Topics for TISD's November Board of Trustees Meeting

Texarkana, TX – Representatives from the Junior League of Texarkana kicked off the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees November meeting with Teacher Take Wing grant presentations to campus teachers totaling $7,200.

The annual grants program awards area teachers for innovative in-class projects that might not otherwise be funded. Applications are accepted, reviewed, scored and ranked by a League committee and the grants are awarded to the highest scores.

This year’s TISD teacher recipients are: Christi Coleman (Wake Village Elementary); Britani DeMaet (Nash Elementary); Barbara Fugitt/Jennifer Leach/Mindy Spigner (Morriss Elementary); Cindy Gore (Nash Elementary); Shelby Hickingbottom (Wake Village Elementary); Tara Hogue (Texas Middle School); Tamara Hudspeth (Wake Village Elementary); Heather Kelley (Dunbar Early Education Center); Cheryl Northcutt (Nash Elementary); Cora Patton (Highland Park Elementary); Jenny Pinnell (Nash Elementary); Clint Smith (Texas High School); Rachel Sparks (Nash Elementary); Alisha Taylor (Nash Elementary); Kelli Thomerson (Waggoner Creek Elementary); Carolyn Vernon (Texas High School); Amanda Waits (Dunbar Early Education Center).

Mason Andres, CPA with the firm of Thomas & Thomas, LLP, presented the audit report for 2016.

For the 2015-16 fiscal year, TISD ended with a fund balance of $15.9 million, an increase of $1.6 million over the previous year. The fund balance at the end of 2015-16 was 28% of expenditures.

According to Andres, “TISD continues to maintain sound financial practices along with a strong fund balance which is a significant indicator of their financial strength.”

In other business, Brad Bailey, Principal of Texas High School presented the proposed changes for the 2017-18 THS Program of Studies and Course Description Guide. Board members approved 31 new course offerings for Texas High School students to consider, bringing the total number of courses available to 507 of which 106 will be Dual Credit, allowing for both high school and college credit.

“There is no doubt that one of the most effective strategies to impact student achievement, is a guaranteed and viable curriculum,” said Bailey. “As a high school, we are educating today’s student, not only for college but for tomorrow’s work environment.”

The additional courses include more practicum, hands-on approaches for students within the Career & Technology program that will assist students as they pursue different interests and career pathways. New academic courses have been added based upon student interests. Those are: Engineering Science, Physics C-Mechanical and Latin. Other new courses include: Electrical Technology, Principals of Construction, Forestry & Woodland Ecosystem, Equine Science and Algebraic Reasoning.

“Offering 507 courses at the high school level opens up amazing opportunities for all students. I am very excited about the additions of our new courses and look forward to working with our students to help them reach their academic and career goals,” shared Bailey.

A review of professional development programs offered by TISD for 2016 and coming up in 2017 was given by Wes Kirkham, Executive Director of Instructional Services.

“TISD professional development plan is to improve student learning by supporting professional development activities that are closely related to the work of teaching and the process of learning,” said Kirkham. “We design our efforts so that they enhance the continuous professional growth and development of all staff, while supporting the goals of the district, the campus and the individual educator.”

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