FISD Board approves
The Friona Independent School District met in regular session on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the FISD Administration Building, 909 E. 11th with all members in attendance.
Monty Humble, Managing Director with Brightman Energy, updated the board on activities at the Mariah North, South and East projects. Mariah North has 96 turbines came online December 31, 2016 and produce 230 megawatts of electricity with their 2.4 megawatt turbines.
“The recent election caused some concerns with one of the investors considering the tax benefits,” stated Humble. “We are committed to building the Mariah East. We are determined to get it built.”
When asked by FISD Board President Ricky Barnett about wind technology, Humble replied, “We are seeing continuous improvement of the wind technology. The price per kilowatt has come down by 40 percent. The power generated from this area is sent to the ERCOT grid and covers 75 percent of Texas”
This area is served by Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative and Golden Spread Electric.
Angela Hochstein addressed the board concerning the 2016-17 Dual Credit program. Hochstein stated that Fall participation had 31 students taking 61 courses from South Plains College at a cost of $15,074.65 and 8 students taking College Engineering Algebra from Amarillo College at a cost of $2,400.
The Spring participation numbers had 38 students taking 69 courses from South Plains College at cost of $16,452.40 and 11 students taking College Trigonometry and Algebra at a total cost of $2,750.
The program is limiting students to 9 hours per semester and allowing dual credit courses in the summer terms beginning with the summer terms after the freshman year.
She proudly announced that a student at FHS will graduate from South Plains College with an Associates of Arts degree before he will graduate from high school. He will start college in the fall at Sul Ross as a junior.
FHS Principal Erika Montana addressed the board about the current safety plan that has not changed in four years. She stated that real world experience has proven good practice with fire drills and lockdowns. They have a tornado drill planned before the season begins.
Montana announced that Daniel Pineda was named as a UIL Semi-finalist with his film entry.
FJHS Principal Mark Sundre spoke to the board about the PEG (Public Education Grant) letters being sent out to parents. He stated that FJHS met standards in all areas but still had lower scores in Science and Social Studies on the STAAR Test.
Sundre stated that the school safety plan was in practice with all classroom doors locked during the day and the front door being the only unlocked door. He has implemented a silent safety plan that has a new exit plan for fire and tornado drills. There are call buttons in every room and the camera system is in good shape.
When asked about students movements outside the main building, Sundre stated, “We are pretty naked when kids are going to the gym, cafeteria and football field as well as being right next to the highway.”
During a recent lockdown practice, that luckily occurred during lunch, they were able to have all three grades (6-8) and faculty enclosed with available food, water and restrooms in the cafeteria.
Sundre who has submitted his resignation effective at the end of the school year said, “Thank you for 9 great years. I have enjoyed working for you. This is a great campus and easy to run and a good place for kids!”
FHS Athletic Director Jimmy Arias gave an overview of upcoming events and sports scheduled. He stated that 86% of the male athletic students are participating in three sports and 80% of the female athletic students are participating in three sports. He explained that the pre-athletics program in 5th and 6th grade will be a big help in building for the future.
At this time there are 28 girls and approximately 20 boys out for track. Baseball has 20 team members, golf has 5-7 participants, tennis is very popular with 30 students turning out.
“UIL has not done us any favors,” stated Arias. “We need not only the school but parents and the community to help these students succeed academically as well as in athletics.”
The Board approved the consent agenda and paying December bills. The board discussed the route busses and repairs to the pizza ovens at the high school.
Kim Smiley, G/T coordinator, addressed the board concerning the Gifted & Talented program and tightening procedures before the state begins auditing the program. The board unanimously agreed to the proposed changes.
The Board unanimously approved the general election of two at-large School Board Trustee positions on May 6, 2017, the notice and order of the general election for early voting and election day, and the Joint Election Agreement with the City of Friona.
Cody Kimbrough spoke to the board about improvement to the Ag farm. The proposal included relocating the farm and building a new facility that is more secure for both students and animals. The proposal included asking the community and local businesses for donations to fund the project.
“This is not for us. It is for the kids,” stated Kimbrough. “This is a way of uniting the FFA and 4-H.”
Kimbrough and FISD Board member Wade Schueler will return to the board with more information in the upcoming months.
The 2017-18 calendar was unanimously approved after a brief discussion. Students will be starting school on August 17, 2017 and attend a total of 77,875 minutes in the school year. There will be 175 student days and 12 Teacher Service days.
Ricky Barnett and Jose Cigarroa were designated as the 2016 Graduation officials. They will be passing out diplomas at the event.
The board discussed and approved unanimously Policy Update 107. Minor changes were made to the policy.
Before going into Closed Session they announced the next school board meeting will be Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 6 p.m. These meetings are open to the public.
dana jameson photo
Friona Junior High School Principal Mark Sundre, right, addressed the FISD Board of Trustees on Monday evening. He informed them of the Junior High School safety plan and other activities. He has submitted his resignation effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year. He thanked the board for 9 great years.