This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We have 16 days left in the first semester of this school year. With all the events between now and December 18, it will go by quickly.

This week’s activities:

Monday – MS girls basketball v. Kemp 5:00; MS boys basketball at Kemp 5:00

Tuesday – Boys basketball v. Scurry-Rosser 5:00; Girls basketball @ Fruitvale 5:00

Thursday – Eustace varsity girls tournament; 9 & JV boys basketball at Grand Saline Tournament;  Varsity boys at Scurry-Rosser Tournament; MS All Region band auditions

Friday – Eustace varsity girls tournament; 9 & JV boys basketball at Grand Saline Tournament; Varsity boys at Scurry-Rosser Tournament; MS girls basketball at Brownsboro Tournament

Saturday – Eustace varsity girls tournament; 9 & JV boys basketball at Grand Saline Tournament;  Varsity boys at Scurry-Rosser Tournament; MS girls basketball at Brownsboro Tournament; MS boys basketball at Brownsboro Tournament

A Little History

by Coy Holcombe.  

In two days, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. While we have all heard about the first Thanksgiving involving the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, we may not be familiar with the original proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving written by George Washington. This proclamation was written over 150 years after the first recognized Thanksgiving in 1621. The proclamation written by George Washington served to solidify the date and reason for observing Thanksgiving. Below this entry is a copy of the original proclamation. It is difficult to read at best; so, I have also attached a word for word transcript of Washington’s proclamation.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

This Week and Changes to Graduation Plans

by Coy Holcombe.  

This is a short week at EISD. We will be out Wednesday – Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will dismiss classes at 1:30 on Tuesday.

Monday – MS girls basketball at Canton – 5:00 PM; MS boys basketball v. Canton – 5:00 PM; Varsity boys basketball v. Trinidad – 6:30

Tuesday – Early Release – 1:30; Boys and girls basketball v. Malakoff – 5:00 PM

Wednesday – Holiday

Thursday – Holiday – Thanksgiving Day

Friday – Holiday

Last week the State Board of Education voted to make changes in two of the graduation plans for high school students. Below is the text of a press release from TEA:

 AUSTIN – The State Board of Education today gave preliminary approval to revisions to two high school graduation plans to bring them in line with the Recommended High School Program.

    This spring, the Texas Legislature eliminated some specific course requirements students must complete for the Recommended High School Program (RHSP), which is the graduation plan followed by most Texas public school students.

    Legislators eliminated the requirement that students take a one-semester health class, a one-year technology applications class and reduced the amount of physical education classes high school students must take by one semester. By doing so, students are given more flexibility to take elective courses. Students who entered ninth grade in the 2007-2008 school year and beyond are still required to earn four credits each of math, science, English and social studies.

    Because students sometimes transfer between graduation plans, the board took preliminary action to align the 22-credit Minimum High School Program and the 26-credit Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) with the 26-credit Recommended Program.

    These changes include: 
    • Eliminating the requirement that students take a health class; 
    • Eliminating the requirement that students take a technology applications class; 
    • Reducing the number of physical education credits required from 1.5 to one credit; 
    • Increasing the number of elective credits to 7.5 for the minimum plan and 4.5 for the DAP. 

    In addition, under all three graduation programs, students will be allowed to earn up to four credits for athletics. Team sports and individual sports will be replaced with four new courses.

    Board members also added courses that may be taken for math, science, fine arts and speech credit. A Career and Technical Education class called Professional Communications could now be taken for speech credit under this proposal.

    The board approved three courses that students will be able to take for math credit under the Minimum High School Program and the Recommended High School Program. Those are: Mathematical Applications in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Engineering Mathematics; and Statistics and Risk Management. Students will be able to take Engineering Mathematics and Statistics for Risk Management under the DAP.

    Additional classes will also be available for science credit. Students following the Recommended and DAP programs could receive science credit for classes such as Engineering Design and Problem Solving, Advanced Biotechnology, Advanced Animal Science, Advanced Plant and Soil Science and Food Science.

    To comply with new legislative requirements, the board also added a fine arts credit to the Minimum plan.

    All of these changes are subject to review and final approval at the Jan. 13-15 board meeting.

    The board, which already had one of the most stringent ethics policies in state government, also revised ethics policies that govern board members and those bidding for work with the board or contracting with the board. Board members are now required to annually report all businesses in which they hold a substantial interest. This will provide transparency in determining whether any potential conflicts of interest exist.

    The board also revised a disclosure requirement to bring it into alignment with the rules of the Texas Ethics Commission. The rule now requires those doing business with the board to disclose if they have spent more than $250 during the preceding four years on a board member. Previously, the board’s rule had a $50 disclosure requirement, which caused a disparity with Ethics Commission requirements.

    The board adopted new English language arts and reading materials, which will make 2,200 new products available for use in Texas classrooms next fall. The state expects to spend about $465 million on these materials over the next year. The board refused to purchase a statewide license offered by one publisher.

    Because the value of the Permanent School Fund has rebounded to almost $22 billion, the board voted to transfer $60.7 million to the Available School Fund, which provides funds to public schools. Earlier this year, it appeared unlikely that funds would be available for this transfer because of the downturn in the market.
 

Academic All-District

by Coy Holcombe.  

The Academic All-District football team has been announced. Below are the Bulldogs that received this honor:

Zach Bennett- 99.76

Skyler Johnston- 90.71

Chris Compton- 92.81

Jessie Contreras- 103.15

Shawn Baldwin-90.59

Cody Roberts- 91.55

Nick Dunlap-92.22

Owen Babcock- 96.57

Addison Scott-95.11

Jacob McCarter-97.64

Congratulations to these young men for their hard work and dedication both on the field and in the classroom.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

All-District Football & Food Service Audit

by Coy Holcombe.  

The All-District football selections have been released. As you can see below, our Bulldogs were well represented:

 

Eustace Bulldogs 14 – 3A All District Selections:

 

1ST TEAM OFFENSE:

    –  Nick Dunlap  – T

    –  Owen Babcock – C

    –  Chris Compton – QB

    –  Joseph Bradburn – RB

    –  Trevan Johnson – RB

    –  Justin Calhoun – FB (unanimous)

 

2ND TEAM OFFENSE:

    –  Shawn Baldwin – TE

    –  Dillon Yates – T

    –  Justin Hall  – Rec.

 

2ND TEAM DEFENSE:

    –  Cody Folsom – DE

    –  Blake Ward – LB

    –  Jacob McCater – S

    –  Skylar Johnston – C

 

Honorable Mentions:

    Zach Bennett – Kicker

    Jacob Petillo – LB

    Tanner Thompson – OL

    Tony Alfaro – OL

    Blake Hammonds – LB

On a different note, our food service department was audited yesterday by a representative of the Texas Department of Agriculture. This audit is different from the financial audit that we have done every year. These food service audits occur about every 4-5 years and look at many different aspects of the food service department. Included in this review are the areas of counting and claiming, eligibility certification, benefit issuance/updating eligibility, meal components/menu items, financial, Texas Public School Nutrition Policy, free and reduced prices process, verification, meal patterns, compliance, monitoring responsibilities, the district’s wellness plan, and food safety sanitation. As you can imagine, the process of review is fairly lengthy. The representative from Agricultural Department arrived at around 8:15 AM yesterday and stayed until about 3:15 PM. During this time, the representative reviewed relevant paper work and observe the meal preparation and serving at the Middle School.

In the review document, there are literally dozens and dozens of items that are documented and/or observed. Of all of these items, our food service department received notes on only two. Both items are easily correctable. One was not charging  enough for adult breakfasts. Yes, unfortunately, we are going to have to increase our adult breakfast price. The second was not having our latest health inspection document on public display. We had the document posted in the kitchen area, but it needs to be posted in the serving area of the cafeteria. The representative noted that it was not uncommon for districts to have pages of items that needed correction: we had only two items in all. 

I want to commend the personnel that had a part in making this review so successful: Rosemary Abbott, food service director; Tracy McPherson, food service secretary, Carolyn Davis, cafeteria manager at the Middle School, and the other cafeteria staff members at the Middle School. Great job ladies!!

 

Board Meeting Recap

by Coy Holcombe.  

Last night the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting. The meeting started at 7:00 PM and was held in the High School Library. Below are the reports the Board reviewed and the actions that were taken: 

 

  • Approved minutes of previous board meetings
  • Reviewed and approved the financial reports for the month of October
  • Received DEIC Report
  • Reports on: PaySchools, Highly Qualified Teachers, Accountability Summary and Gold Performance Acknowledgments, Activity Funds
  • Approved adding American Express as an option for Certified Payments
  • Approved the pay grades and pay scales for the Henderson County Shared Services Arrangement for the 2010-2011 school year.
  • Received an update on enrollment and attendance
  • Accepted the resignation of Stefani Hines, math teacher at the High School, effective January 4, 2010.
  • Approved the list of employees for the Henderson County Shared Services Arrangement for the 2010-2011 school year as presented.
  • Approved the substitute list as presented.
  • Approved student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned

 

Big Bad Wolf; Big Hit

by Stan Sowers.  

The high school drama department under the direction of Tammy Beaty preformed The Big Bad Wolf for the Primary and Intermediate campuses this week.  Outstanding in their performances were:

     James Hampton – Piedmont Pierre; Hubert Lowry – Big Bad Wolf; Madeline Johnson – Red Riding Hood; Jason Ballenger – Porky; Alicia Ortiz – Oink; Cassie Hubble – Bacon Bits; Lillian Foster – Mrs. Hood; Jake Lucas – Grandma Hood

Congratulations!  Proud of everyone involved.

 

Bulldog Proud

 

Drama Production

by Coy Holcombe.  

Yesterday, the Drama Department performed the play Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? for the second grade students during the school day and had an evening performance for the public. The Drama Department put a lot of time and effort into producing a play that was entertaining for both students and adults alike. Thanks to Tammy Beaty and all the students in the Drama Department for their hard work and dedication. Below are some pictures of the performance for the second grade:

 

 

 

Football, Mindset, FFA, and This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

The Bulldog football season came to an end Friday night in the bi-district game against Farmersville. The final score was 14-17. This was just a good, hard-fought, football playoff game. I want to extend congratulations to Doug Wendel and all the coaching staff, the players, parents, and fans for another exciting football season. This year marks the second consecutive year that the Bulldogs have made the playoffs. A special thank you goes to all the seniors for their hard work and dedication this year. Finally, thanks to the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band and the varsity cheerleaders for all their support during this football season. 

On a different note, congratulations to the Intermediate School Mindset Team for advancing to the next round of competition. The Mindset team will be competing again in January. Great job staff and students!

Also, congratulations to the Eustace FFA team on their showing at the Leadership and Development Events held last Friday. The Eustace team finished third overall out of 13 districts in the Sandyland District Competition. Four teams will be advancing to area competition: Senior Farm Skills, Junior Farm Skills, Public Relations, and Radio Broadcast. The team members are as follows:

Sr. Farm Skills- 2nd place Advancing to Area: Ethan Grimes, Michael James, Chris Compton, and Brady Tindel

 Jr. Farm Skills- 2nd place Advancing to Area: Dillon Gragsone, Austin Given, and Trey Russell
 
Public Relations- 2nd place advancing to Area: Mallory Mobly,  Austin Pogue, and Halie Northcutt
 
Radio Broadcast- 3rd place advancing to Area: Harmony Allen, Chris Compton, and Nick Austin

Congratulations to all of the students that competed at district. Also, congratulation to the FFA sponsors for preparing our students: Zach Tappan Theresa Tindel.

This Weeks Activities:

Monday – Drama Department presents, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? 6:00 PM High School Auditorium

Tuesday – Board Meeting – 7:00 PM High School Library; JVG and VG Basketball v. Grand Saline 5:00 – E. L. Kirk Gymnasium

Thursday – Eustace JVG Basketball Tournament; VG Basketball – Quinlan Tournament

Friday – Eustace JVG Basketball Tournament; VG Basketball – Quinlan Tournament; Boys basketball at Grand Saline

Saturday – Eustace JVG Basketball Tournament; VG Basketball – Quinlan Tournament

 

Bi-District Football and By the Numbers, Part 2

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tonight our football team travels to Mesquite to take on Famersville in a bi-district championship game. Kickoff is set for 7:30. The game will be played at Hanby Stadium in Mesquite. The stadium is located at 410 E. Davis 75149. Looking at a map of the location, the basic directions are to take 635 to Military Parkway and turn right on Military Parkway. I encourage everyone to make the drive up to Mesquite and show your support for our football team, band, and cheerleaders.

 

Yesterday, we looked at the attendance numbers through the second six weeks. Below are the funding numbers based on those attendance numbers:

                                                          Earned             Budget

Reg Block $6,552,365 $6,642,593 -$90,228
SE $987,722 $1,114,165 -$126,443
CATE $522,109 $555,181 -$33,072
GT $40,098 $43,655 -$3,557
Comp $1,059,831 $1,042,648 $17,183
High School Allotment $115,346 $116,765 -$1,419
Bilingual $5,503 $5,229 $274
Trans $139,400 $139,400 $0
Total Tier I $9,422,374 $9,659,636 -$237,262
       
Less Local $4,589,175 $4,558,008 $31,167
       
Tier I $4,833,199 $5,101,628 -$268,429
Tier II $427,918 $453,217 -$25,299
Staff Allotment $50,500 $50,500 $0
  $5,311,617 $5,605,345 -$293,728
Less Available $369,292 $369,292 $0
Less Title XIV $248,624 $248,624 $0
Total Foundation School Fund $4,693,701 $4,987,429 -$293,728

As you can see, we are currently earning a little under $300,000 less than what was budgeted. The majority of this difference comes from our lower ADA and our lower special education FTEs. Even though we were only a few FTEs below what was budgeted in special education, this affects our special education funding more than being almost 30 below in ADA. The lower ADA is reflected in the row "Reg Block". Our lower ADA and lower special education FTEs also affects the amount of money that our district earns in Tier II.

Right now, we have made budget adjustments to offset all but about $70.000 of this shortfall. I am hopeful that our enrollment will show an increase over the next several months and that the reminding shortfall will be absorbed by this increase in enrollment. If not, further cuts will have to be made in the budget.

As always, if you have any questions regarding our enrollment, attendance, or state funding, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.