District snapshot completed, results presented

A district snapshot was recently conducted within Sweetwater ISD (Independent School District), in which the recently-received results were presented at the December meeting of the SISD Board of Trustees.Along with this first matter, two other reports were presented during the meeting, in which all three required no action from the board. The district snapshot took place to comply with the state's AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) results.Nine parents took part in interviews, mostly parents of elementary students. Teachers, students and administration were also interviewed and surveys were given, in which more surveys will be administered at a later date for feedback.Out of eight foundations of high performance for the district, SISD obtained top honors for five out of eight. However, some concerns were also brought up by parents who took part in the study, one of which was a desire for more clear communication.Currently, the district is utilizing their website which has various parent aspects, social media like Facebook and Twitter, and other media outlets to present information.Parents were also noted as wanting a say in the planning of the district calendar. Other indicators noted to be addressed were high-quality learning --notably the measures of state accountability, and family and community involvement.One aspect noted in the meeting that has proven beneficial to families in the district and the community is the available counseling currently offered. However, funding may not be available next year for this program.The district desires for parents and teachers to have their voice heard on matters. Overall, the report was noted as enlightening and will serve as a learning experience to address the concerns presented.In addition, the safe and effective school services report for 2011-2012 was presented. The assistant superintendent of Sweetwater ISD, Kathy Smartt, went over the report, which is a yearly requirement.Outlined in the report is the number of participants in various programs and its effectiveness, the number of hours accumulated in student training, and community involvement. Also, the report looked at drug use and violence within the district as well as discipline action codes.For the latter, some of the incidents recorded within the codes did not take place on campus, and in one instance a single person was committing multiple offenses.Furthermore, a report was given on the training that board members must complete. Board president Russ Petty expressed his appreciation to the board members for meeting the state requirements.Three tiers were noted, with all board members meeting and/or exceeding the first tier. Tier 2 requires all board members and the district's superintendent Terry Pittman to complete three hours as required by TASB (Texas Association of School Boards), which will take place on January 14.The final tier of training has been exceeded by all of the board members. The two new board members, Leah Andrews and Neal Hoover, and board president Russ Perry all received and completed training relevant to their position on the board.The next meeting of the Sweetwater ISD board of trustees will take place on Thursday, January 24--a change from the regular meeting usually being held on the third Monday of each month--as the school district will be observing a holiday on Monday, January 21.