Board Meeting Last Night

by Coy Holcombe.  

Last night, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees met for a public hearing on the budget and tax rate and held their regular monthly meeting. The budget and tax rate hearing started at 6:30 followed immediately by the regular board meeting.

The proposed budget and tax rate were reviewed by the board during the public hearing. This year’s budget will be slightly less than last year’s budget. The proposed tax rate is exactly the same as last year’s tax rate. Because this was a public hearing, no formal action was taken on either the budget or the tax rate.

Board President Diane Russ called the regular meeting to order at 7:05 PM. Among the items reviewed and considered by the Board were:

  • Request for transfer from a parent
  • Monthly Board Reports
  • Reports on the 2008-2009 accountability ratings and 2008-2009 AYP ratings.
  • Report on the Carl Perkins Grant for 09-10.
  • Report on Pre-K grant for 09-10.
  • 08-09 Audit letter from TEA
  • Property, vehicle and liability insurance for the 09-10 school year. The Board approved Texas Schools Cooperative’s proposal for this insurance.
  • Reviewed workers’ compensation insurance proposals for 09-10. The Board approved the proposal submitted by the Texas Association of School Boards.
  • Reviewed and approved changes in the substitute pay scale for 09-10.
  • Reviewed and approved changes to DEC, EIC and EIF Local Policies.
  • Discussed and approved repairs for the football field.
  • Employed Brennan Popham as an aide at the Primary School.
  • Approved the substitute list as presented.
  • Approved a teacher pay raise of $875 as specified by the guidelines set forth in HB 3646.
  • Approved the requested student transfer
  • Adjourned at 9:24 PM.

We enjoyed a great first day back yesterday. I want to thank Sandy Sowers and the varsity cheerleaders for their performance at our general meeting yesterday. Also, a special thank you to the food service staff for taking care of the snacks and drinks yesterday.


Welcome Back

by Coy Holcombe.  

All of the staff members for EISD will be reporting today. It is our first, full in-service day of the 09-10 school year. So, what exactly happens on an in-service day? At the beginning of the year, in-service days are full of lots of meetings: general meetings, insurance meetings, UIL meetings, and campus meetings. Besides meetings, the in-service days also contain professional development for EISD staff members. The professional development might consist of learning new software, incorporating technology into lessons, or working on curriculum. Of course, a certain amount of time must be devoted to preparing classrooms for the soon to arrive students. Preparations must also be made for meet the teacher night. Following the in-service day, the band directors and coaches will continue to hold practice sessions.

I am looking forward to a fantastic school year!

This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

Believe it or not, a week from today we will officially begin the 2009-2010 school year. For many staff members and students, the summer break ended on August 3. Cross Country, band, volleyball, and football have been practicing since that date. Many teachers have already been working in their rooms.

Some of the activities scheduled for this week:

Monday – Band Practice from 6:30 – 9:00 PM

Tuesday – Teacher in-service, volleyball games at Eustace starting at 4:30, band practice from 6:30 – 9:00, school board meeting starting at 6:30 (public hearing on budget and taxes)

Wednesday – Teacher in-service

Thursday – Teacher in-service, Fish Camp, Meet the Teacher Day (Primary, Intermediate, and Middle Schools), football scrimmage at Elkhart, band practice 6:30 – 9:00, Eustace varsity volleyball tournament starts

Friday – Teacher in-service, volleyball tournament continues, band practice 6:30 – 9:00

Saturday – Volleyball tournament concludes 



by Coy Holcombe.  

Our JV and freshman volleyball tournament is continuing today. I visited with Coach Powers yesterday and he said that 40 teams will be participating in this tournament. If you came by the school yesterday, you probably saw all the buses from different districts. During the day, there were two games going at the new gym, one game at the old gym, one game at the Middle School main gym, and one game at the Middle School new gym. In other words, there was a lot of volleyball played in Eustace yesterday!

Tomorrow is the date of our first football scrimmage. The Bulldogs will be traveling to Venus for a Saturday morning scrimmage. The varsity is scheduled to start at 9:00 AM The JV will follow the varsity.

The Bulldog Band has been practicing hard since August 3 also. This week they have been practicing in the evening from 6:30 – 9:00 PM.

Next week, all staff report on Tuesday, August 18. We will be in-service from Tuesday through Friday.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

New Teacher Orientation

by Coy Holcombe.  

Today and tomorrow are new teacher orientation days. Janice Beasley, assistant superintendent, is in charge of the activities for the new teachers over the next two days. Introductions will be made, local policies and procedures will be reviewed, technology training will be provided, and first year teachers will go through training on the teacher evaluation system. I would like to welcome the following teachers to the district:

Jeff Brown – Reading Teacher and Coach – High School

Aimee Johnson – Inclusion Teacher – High School, Middle School, & Intermediate

Lindsey Spivey – Compensatory Teacher – Intermediate School

Karey Smith – Spanish Teacher – High School

Jeremy Taylor – Science Teacher – High School

Deidre Lancaster – Technology Teacher – High School

Donna Chiles – 5th Grade Teacher – Intermediate

Tonya Richardson – 5th Grade Teacher – Intermediate

Mark Ferrell – Social Studies – High School

James Taylor – Assistant Band Director – Middle School




District Calendars

by Coy Holcombe.  

We are in the process of printing our district calendars for the 09-10 school year. The are not the same as the one page school calendar. These calendars will have all of the currently known activities already built into the calendar. All district employees will receive a copy of this calender. We also make a copy available on our website. Anyone that wants a hard copy of this school calendar may pick one up at the administration building. These should be available next week. 

District Executive Committee

by Coy Holcombe.  

Every UIL district has a district executive committee (DEC) made up of the superintendents or designees of each school system within the district. EISD is a member of District 14 AAA. Besides EISD, 14 AAA consists of Canton, Kemp, Mineola, Wills Point and Van. The DEC of District 14 AAA is holding its annual fall meeting today. DECs are used to coordinate and establish rules from everything from sporting events to academic contests.The overall governing rules are established by the UIL. However, the planning and operations of events are done by the DEC. Other than the superintendent, the athletic director and high school principal are also involved in the planning process for UIL events. Some of the agenda items for today’s meeting include:

  • Election of a DEC chair and vice chair
  • Review UIL rule changes
  • Review new UIL forms
  • Hear 08-09 financial report
  • Review athletic handbook
  • Rules, regulations, event places, dates and time, and all other matters concerning:
    • Football
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Cross Country
    • Tennis
    • Baseball
    • Softball
    • Track
    • Golf
    • UIL Academic Meet
    • One Act Play
  • Establish district start up fee
  • Review student transfers

Start up fees are paid by each member district to cover costs of district meets in cross country, golf, tennis, one act play, and the academic contests. At the end of the year, a final amount is billed to each district. Fees are used to pay for medals, trophies, judges, the cost of hosting an event, meals, etc. The DEC meeting is an open meeting and will take place at 2:00 PM today in the Canton High School library.


Summer Hours End this Week and Other Stuff

by Coy Holcombe.  

This week marks the end of the summer hours for EISD. We will go back to a five day week starting this week. District offices and campuses will now be open from 8:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday.

The Monitor newspaper may have gotten the facts right in the story, but they had the accountability rating for the district in the chart next to the story completely wrong in the edition about  area districts’ accountability ratings. The chart area stated that EISD was Academically Acceptable as a district. This is not correct. As we discussed last week, the district earned a rating of Recognized for the 08-09 school year.

I noted that the required Notice for Public Hearing on our tax rate and budget for the 09-10 school year was published in the weekend edition of the Monitor. This notice must be published no more than 30 days before the hearing and no less than 10 days before the hearing. The hearing is scheduled for August 18, 2009. It will take place prior to our regular board meeting. The hearing will start at 6:30 PM in the High School Library.

Gym Dedication

by Coy Holcombe.  

I want to thank everyone that attended the dedication of the E.L. Kirk Gymnasium Thursday night. We had a great turnout. In attendance were school board members, district personnel, members of Mr. Kirk’s family, the mayor of Eustace, and the city council members of Eustace. Our school board president, Diane Russ and Linda Kirk cut the ribbon to officially open the gym at 7:00 PM. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the audience gathered in the gym for a brief dedication ceremony. The ceremony was started by Harmony Allen singing the National Anthem. Introductions were made followed by the mayor of Eustace, Laura Ward, reading a proclamation declaring August 6, 2009 as E. L. Kirk day.  Misty Kirk, daughter of Mr. Kirk, spoke about the life and accomplishments of her father. The ceremony ended with Harmony Allen leading the audience in the school song. Following the dedication, everyone got to tour the entire gym. Student-athletes were on hand to answer questions about specific parts of the gym. 

I would like to thank Karen Thompson and Janice Beasley for all that they did in getting things ready for the dedication. Also, a special thank you to Jack Wallace and the maintenance and custodial crews for getting the gym ready for the tours. Also a special thank you goes out to all the family members of Mr. Kirk that attended. Among those in attendance was his wife, Linda, daughter, Misty, and father, Chester Kirk.


Accountability Ratings

by Coy Holcombe.  

TEA has released preliminary accountability ratings for campuses and districts. Below are the ratings for each campus and for our district:

High School – Recognized

Middle School – Academically Acceptable

Intermediate – Exemplary

Primary – Exemplary

District – Recognized

Compared to our ratings in 07-08, the High School went from Academically Acceptable to Recognized and the district went from Academically Acceptable to Recognized. The Intermediate and Primary continued to be rated as Exemplary. The Middle School missed being Recognized by 2% in one sub-population.

We have also been notified of our preliminary AYP status for the 08-09 school year. All of our campuses and our district met AYP standards for 08-09.

I want to thank all of our staff members, parents/guardians, other relatives and friends, and the students for all the hard work that went into the 08-09 school year.  There is no way that one group can do it all by themselves: it takes everyone working together to provide the best education possible for our students.