Eighth grade math requirements discussed at school board meeting

The requirements for eighth graders regarding math and Algebra 1 were discussed during the Superintendent's Report at last week's meeting of the Sweetwater ISD Board of Trustees.Several area schools were polled on whether their eighth graders took algebra, with a majority of schools not offering the class. Most districts have students take the course in high school, while a few other schools with either combine eighth grade math and Algebra 1, or offer Algebra 1 as an elective.This past school year, eighth graders at Sweetwater ISD were able to take Algebra 1 and its end-of-course exam. But this coming school year, Algebra 1 will be offered as an elective at Sweetwater Middle School to eighth graders.This decision was made due to the fact that the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for eighth grade math are now required and will be new beginning next year. Around 21 students have signed up for the Algebra 1 elective course.Recently, the district received test scores for high school students who took the Algebra 1 end-of-course test, with 34 students passing the test.Tax collections for the district were reported at 96.86% for Maintenance and Operations (M&O), while the I&S (Interest and Sinking) stood at 96.98%. Enrollment numbers as of June 6 came in at 2,159 students.Discussion was also held on the district's hiring process in regards to board members having the opportunity to learn more about potential, high-profile candidates prior to the monthly meeting. Approval was given toward four resignations, four reassignments and five new hires in professional personnel, while one resignation, six reassignments and four new hires were noted for paraprofessional personnel.The board also approved forming a sub-committee to learn more about possibly appointing an SISD representative to serve on the Fisher, Mitchell and Nolan County Juvenile Department Board. The sub-committee will include board members Mark Meneses, Neal Hoover and Leah Andrews, with Superintendent Terry Pittman also joining the group.The consent agenda was also approved at the meeting, which is made up of the minutes of the May 19 meeting, the investment statement and delinquent tax lot bids, as well as the May 2014 financial statement and bills.Looking ahead, board members will take part in the Summer Leadership Institute later this week, with the July board meeting scheduled for Monday evening, July 7.