The Sweetwater ISD (Independent School District) Board of Trustees met for their meeting on Monday night, in which approval was given for an early release day on Wednesday, December 4.
The purpose of the shortened class day is due to the fact that the district will be hosting the junior high UIL (University Interscholastic League) academic meet, as they did last year. This year, Big Spring will be hosting the high school and elementary meets, while Snyder will host the one-act play competition.
The early release will allow students not involved with the event to leave campus, so that all teachers can assist with the meet.
Also during the meeting, the adjunct faculty agreement with the Nolan County Extension Office was approved, which allows the office agents to be considered as faculty during 4-H and other similar contests. Approval was also given toward a resolution recognizing the 4-H organization as an extracurricular program, which means that students will not be counted as absent while participating in events.
The local CDA policy, which deals with revenues and investments, was approved--an annual item in which no changes were noted. Discussion was held on the delinquent tax lot bids, which were additionally approved in order to bring them back onto the tax rolls.
The consent agenda was approved as well, which is made up of the minutes from the August 15 and 28 meetings and the investment statement, along with the financial statement and bills for August 2013. One resignation in professional personnel was approved, while 2 resignations and one new hire was acknowledged in paraprofessional personnel.
The board also met in a brief closed session for the superintendent's monthly evaluation. Thereafter, the superintendent's report was given, which noted enrollment for the district at 2,171 students as of September 11--an 85-student increase from the first day of classes.
Tax collections were reported at $7,442,172 for Maintenance and Operation, or 98.10%, and $886,552 (98.25%) for Interest and Sinking (I&S). And before the board took part in a training session, discussion was held on the district's FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) rating.
There was an issue with this year's rating, in that one measure--the submission of an audit report by February 28--was not met, thus earning a "substandard achievement" rating for the district. However, several technical and clerical errors prohibited the district from submitting the report online, although several attempts were made to submit the report prior to the deadline.
An appeal was filed by Sweetwater ISD, but it was denied by the TEA (Texas Education Agency). The rating stands for one year, and the district is determining what further action, if any, can be taken at this time.