Texas Association of School Boards

by Coy Holcombe.  

We talk quite a bit about how our school district functions and why it functions in certain ways. One thing that we have not talked about in this regard is our school board. The Board is comprised of seven elected members. These members receive no compensation for their services. Each board member is elected to a three-year term.

Our board members, along with most other board members in the state, are members in the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). TASB provides numerous services to district and board members. TASB services range from property and vehicle insurance, to legal services, to policy updates. Besides these major services, TASB offers many other services. One of the services that literally thousands of board members across the state participate in are the conventions and training sessions offered through TASB. These training sessions offer board members an opportunity to get first hand information on a variety of education related issues through workshops, breakout sessions, and through networking with other board members. Often times,  our board members arrive at the workshops at 8:00 AM and attend sessions until 5:00 PM.

EISD is making use of several services of TASB to help reduced the amount of paper used in our policy manuals and to help reduce the paperwork associated with board books. First, the district utilizes the policy online service offered through TASB. This service puts our entire policy manual on line so that multiple paper copies are not necessary. By placing our policy manual online, we have reduced the number of paper copies from over 10 to just one. In addition, EISD has enrolled in the TASB BoardBook service. This service allows our monthly board books to be produced electronically. The books are then downloaded to laptops so that our board members are able to access the materials. This process has literally saved thousands of paper copies that would normally go into producing these board books. It has also saved the cost of mailing these materials, the cost of putting these materials together, and the cost of storing this information.

To access the district’s policy manual, go to our homepage, www.eustaceisd.net, click on the link "Board Members" and stroll down to the bottom of the page. The link for the policy manual is located there.


Congratulations to the Boys Basketball Team

by Coy Holcombe.  

The boys basketball team had a big win yesterday afternoon over Mineola. The victory puts the boys district record at 2-2. They have an important game this Friday at Canton.

The girls played a hard fought game yesterday and came up a little short. The girls will also be traveling to Canton this Friday.

Thankfully the worst of the ice missed Eustace. There are some icy sidewalks this morning, but the roads seemed okay. Our maintenance crews are out treating icy patches in the district right now.

At the Board meeting last night, the EISD board was recognized for their service to the district. Middle School and Primary prepared presentations thanking the Board for their hard work and dedication. The Intermediate School prepared placemats, banners, and personalized, framed certificates thanking each Board member. The High School provided a meal for the Board.



Board Meeting Tonight

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tonight, the EISD Board of Trustees will meet in regular session starting at 7:00 PM. The meeting will take place in the High School Library. A couple of notes about agenda items:

  1.  Nathan Cason, 8th grader at Eustace Middle School, will receive a proclamation from the Board congratulating him on winning the MathCounts art statewide competition.
  2. The Board will be recognized as part of School Board Appreciation Month. Each campus has prepared special presentations for the Board.
  3. Our technology people will be at the Board meeting to discuss netbooks. Netbooks are ultra-portable computers that are smaller than conventional laptops. The district has purchased small quantities of these computers for use at the various campuses.
  4. The 2009-2010 school calendar will be considered.
  5. The audit for the 2007-2008 school year is on the agenda; however, the final reports will not be available until February. The audit will be presented to the Board then.

I encourage everyone to come out and show your appreciation for the Board tonight. Our Board Members are:

Diane Russ – President
Thomas Frazier – Vice President
Sara McAtee – Secretary
Cotton Walker – Member
Mike Smith – Member
Gary Walsh – Member 

Drama, Drama, Drama

by Stan Sowers.  


Theater students and the drama department are gearing up for One Act.  Several members and their sponsors, Tammy Beaty and Chad Bently, attended the Texas Educational Theater Association (T.E.T.A.) Convention on January 25th. Two of our seniors we’re granted auditions in which senior Alex Wadsworth received 5 scholarships offers for Theater Arts/Performance from the followings colleges:

 Texas Women’s University
 University of Texas at El Paso
Congratulations Alex! 
This year Ms. Beaty and the drama department have chosen the play, The Diviners, for the UIL One Act Play competition this Spring.  This will be a definite change from the heavy, dark dramas of the past few years and everyone is excited.  Break a leg!  You’re not allowed to say good luck.
Bulldog Proud,
Stan Sowers








Food Service Accounts Online

by Coy Holcombe.  

Parents/guardians can now check the balance in their children’s lunchroom account via the Internet. A few days ago, I wrote that this still in the testing process and would go online soon. This service is now available through the "Food Service" link on the EISD homepage. This link is located on the left side of the homepage under the "Calendar, Menu, Depts." section.

In the top right portion of the Food Service page is a section called "Lunchroom Balance". In order to access your child’s account, you must have their student id and a password. The password may be obtained by emailing Traci McPherson (tmcpherson@eustaceisd.net).

Once you have the password, you can click on the button "Lunchroom Balance". You will be taken to a new page where you choose the campus that your child attends, enter their student id, and enter the password. The account balance in the lunchroom account will then be displayed.

Once again, I would like to thank Robert Cook for all his work in making this a reality. He designed and wrote the program that allows this service to take place.

This weeks events:

Monday – Primary Awards Assembly

Tuesday – Basketball v. Mineola at Eustace, School Board Meeting – 7:00 PM HS Library

Thursday – MS Basketball v. Van

Friday – Basketball at Canton


3rd Six Weeks – By the Numbers, Part 2

by Coy Holcombe.  

Before we look at the funding numbers through the third six weeks, I want to remind everyone that the basketball teams will be traveling to Van tonight for a district contest. The games will start at 4:30.

Yesterday, we looked at our attendance data through the third six weeks. Below is a table that details how the attendance data translates into the district’s state aid:

Budget vs. Actual

  Earned Budget Difference
Regular Block Grant $4,647,988 $4,766,154 -$118,166

Special Education

$782,861 $941,197 -$158,336
CATE $387,174 $288,406 $98,768
G/T $30,468 $30,992 -$524
Compensatory $690,050 $667,805 $22,245
Bilingual $3,726 $5,432 -$1,706
Transportation $139,000 $139,000 $0
Total Tier I $6,681,267 $6,838,986 -$157,719
Less Local $3,766,526 $3,766,526 $0
Tier I $2,914,741 $3,072,460 -$157,719
Tier II $735,418 $771,936 -$36,518
HB 1 $222,915 $228,232 -$5,317
Additional State Aid $1,533,479 $1,561,080 -$27,601
Staff Allotment $53,500 $53,500 $0
HB 1 (80th Session) $47,886 $42,028 -$1,142
Technology $41,719 $42,456 -$737
HS Allotment $118,247 $115,693 $2,554
Pre-K Grant $98,000 $98,000 $0
Existing Debt Allotment $115,967 $133,390 -$17,423
Total $5,881,872 $6,125,775 -$243,903

A couple of notes:

The deficit has already been accounted for by budget adjustments.

We continue to have a healthy enrollment in the High School. That is a contributing factor to the High School Allotment and CATE (Career and Technology Education) being more than the budgeted amount.

Our lower enrollment is the primary factor in the other categories being less than what was budgeted.

We will continue to monitor our finances closely and make any necessary adjustments. At the end of the 4th six weeks, we will review the numbers again.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

3rd Six Weeks – By the Numbers

by Coy Holcombe.  

Today we will look at the attendance numbers through the end of the third six weeks. The actual numbers will be compared with those used to build the budget for 08-09.

Budget vs. Actual – 3rd Six Weeks

  Earned Budget Difference
ADA 1418.0429 1443.09 -25.0471
HS ADA 429.99 420.7 9.29
SE FTE 53.3351 65.174 -11.8389
Mainstream ADA 49.044 56.748 -7.704
CATE 79.313 59.113 20.2
GT Students 81 72.15 8.85
Compensatory 1040.2 1010 30.2
Bilingual 10.31 15.03 -4.72

As you can see, the main difference in the two columns is in the overall ADA. This difference can be traced directly to our decreased enrollment. Our attendance rate for the third six weeks was good (about 96.3%). Although fuel costs have decreased drastically over the last 6 months, this alone has not been enough to bring families back into our district. The overall state of the economy is having an impact on our district. I do not see this changing much throughout 2009. As we plan for our 2009-2010 budget, this factor will play a major role.

Tomorrow, we will look at how the above numbers translate into state aid for the district.

Checking Cafeteria Balances

by Coy Holcombe.  

Since we introduced PaySchools as a way of paying for cafeteria meals, several parents have inquired about the possibility of viewing the amount of money left in their children’s account via the Internet. Currently, we are in the testing phase of program written by our own Robert Cook that does just that. We are hoping to have this available to all parents sometime next month.  When the service is available for everyone, a notice will be placed on the homepage. Directions on how to get your child’s account number and password will be detailed on our webpage.

I want to thank Robert Cook for all his work to make this service a reality. He has literally put in days of work on this project.


by Stan Sowers.  

Eustace High School is dedicating the 1st half of each day this week to benchmark tests.  Going into the second semester with TAKS looming, we feel it is essential at this time to assess where our students are in their ability to pass the TAKS exam.  The results will help teachers adapt instruction in order to target student’s weaknesses.  We will also use results to determine what students need to be in attendance on FLEX Days.  We have four FLEX Days scheduled this semester which are designed to concentrate on students that are in most need of intervention.  Good luck to all.

Bulldog Proud 

MDA Fundraiser

by Coy Holcombe.  

Coach Chuck Powers and his Focus group will be hosting a spaghetti supper tonight at 5:00 to benefit Roland Bailey and MDA. The supper will be held in the High School cafeteria. Adults can eat for $7.00 and children for $5.00. The cost of the meal also includes admission to the basketball games against Wills Point. Everyone please make plans to come out and eat some good food and then watch some good basketball.

Congratulations goes out to the girls soccer team on their 4th place finish in the Kennedale Tournament this past weekend. Tonight, both the boys and girls soccer teams will be traveling to Ferris. Games start at 5:30.