Murchison Foundation Grant

by Coy Holcombe.  

EISD thanks the Ginger Murchison Foundation for their very generous grant of $100,000. This grant will be used to provide additional Promethean Boards for our teachers. Over the past several years, the Murchison Foundation has generously contributed to EISD to help with the technology needs of the district. Some of the other projects funded through the Murchison Foundation include the teacher laptop and training program, multimedia projectors for classrooms, and a grant that helped send over 20 faculty members to the ISTE Conference in San Antonio during the summer. EISD is truly thankful for the help that the Murchison Foundation has provided for our teachers and for our students.

  

Property Tax Balances

by Coy Holcombe.  

EISD has recently added a link on their Tax Office webpage that will provide information on the balance of taxpayers’ accounts. To find this link, first go to our homepage, www.eustaceisd.net. In the top right hand corner of our homepage, is a section called "Administration, Board, Jobs". One of the links in this section is for the tax office. Click on that link.

This will take you to the tax office homepage. In the middle of the screen, is a link called "Find your property tax balance". Click on this link. A new page will open with a the cursor in a search box. There are several options for searching at this point. You can search by owner’s name, account number, property address, CAD reference number, or fiduciary number.

The default search parameter is by owner’s name. The owners name must be typed in with the last name first. If you choose to search on something other than the owner’s name, you must change the criteria by clicking on the appropriate button in the "Search By" section.

Once you have done your search, the results are displayed on a new page. At this point, the webpage becomes a little misleading. There are two options listed at the top, "print version" and "Excel version". Do not click on either of these links. Instead, scroll down a little and a series of rectangles appear. The left most rectangle contains the account number of the property. The number is underlined. Click on this account number. A new page will open with all the information on this account, including the amount of property tax owed.

If you have any questions regarding your property taxes, please contact Debbie Myers, our tax collector, at dmyers@eustaceisd.net, or by calling 425-5232.

Handbooks on the Website

by Coy Holcombe.  

At our homepage, www.eustaceisd.net, there is a section that contains several different handbooks that provide information about our district that parents/guardians and the general public may find useful. The section is located on the right side of our homepage, just below the "Administration, Board, Jobs" section.

The bus handbook, student handbook, EISD telephone and email directory, and UIL Parent Manual are all located in this section. There is also a "Useful Forms" link that takes you to a page where you can download student transfer requests, the form for reserving school facilities, and employment applications.

While most people are familiar with our bus handbook and student handbook, the UIL Parent Manual contains a wealth of information regarding extracurricular activities. The UIL (University Interscholastic League) is the governing body for all of the district’s extracurricular activities.

I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and explore the contents of this section of our webpage. If you have any questions, please email me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

Band Concert Tomorrow

by Coy Holcombe.  

All three EISD bands will be presenting their annual Christmas concert tomorrow. The concert is set to start at 7:00 PM and will be held in the High School auditorium. There is no charge for admission.

The beginning band (6th grade) will start the concert. They will be followed by the 7th and 8th grade band. The High School band will close out the Christmas concert. All three bands have been working for weeks in preparation for this concert. I encourage all community members to come out and hear the sounds of the season as performed by the EISD bands.

Update on Construction

by Coy Holcombe.  

Work has started again on the new transportation facility that will be located just south of the football field. The site work is over 80% completed and should be totally completed within the next couple of weeks.Plumbing and foundation work will follow. The steel building is ready to be delivered.

The new competition gym is progressing nicely. Work continues on the brick work, both inside and outside. The field house portion of the gym, located on the far west side, is ahead of schedule. With the wind that we have experienced lately, the roofing work has fallen behind. Work on the bleachers started this week. The bleachers will be constructed by pouring concrete on site and lifting the forms into place. Individual chairs will be added later.

The classroom addition project is almost 100% complete. There are only a few punch list items left. The only payment left for the contractor is about $14,000 in retainage. That amount will be paid once the punch list items are completed.

Update on PaySchools

by Coy Holcombe.  

At the beginning of the school year, I wrote about the new online pay service that the district uses, PaySchools. The service allows parents/guardians to pay for certain school related services either by credit card or with an e-check. Today, I wanted to review the PaySchools activity through the end of November.

In September, we had total sales through PaySchools of $739.00. We also had $31.15 in convenience fee charges for the month. In October, the sales jumped to $1,361.34. The convenience fees also increased to $51.65. In November, our total sales continued to increase to $1,666.34. The convenience fees totaled $49.90 for the month.

Overall, through the end of November, we have had sales totaling $3,766.38 through PaySchools. While the majority of the sales have been for breakfast and lunch charges, we have also had fees and dues and property taxes paid through PaySchools.

A total of $132.70 in convenience fees has been collected through the end of November. As discussed previously, PaySchools assesses a service fee of 3.5% of total sales for the month. The convenience fees offset this service charge. Currently, the district is achieving its goal of just breaking even on the service fees versus convenience fees.

If there are other services that you would like to see offered through PaySchools, please let me know. If you have any questions regarding PaySchools, please contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

Pupil Projections

by Coy Holcombe.  

A few weeks ago, we talked about pupil projections. Every 3-4 years the state publishes their projections for enrollment in each district. These projections may be modified by the district based on current enrollment trends. Yesterday, I submitted EISD’s pupil projections through the 2010-2011 school year. The numbers submitted are below:

  07-08 Final 08-09 Estimate 09-10 Projected 10-11 Projected
Total Refined ADA 1455.393 1440 1450 1460
Bilingual ADA 15.262 11.00 12.5 14.00
Mainstream ADA 56.075 53.517 54.5 55.5
GT Enrollment 72.769 73.023 73.023 73.023
Compensatory 1070.7 1040.2 1045 1050
CATE 59.21 80.00 80.00 80.00
Special Ed FTEs        
Homebound .026 0 0 0
Hospital Class 0 0 0 0
Speech Therapy 4.067 3.161 3.161 3.161
Resource Room 46.201 41.265 41.2 41.00
Self-Contained 5.462 3.254 3.254 3.254
Off-Campus 5.487 3.859 3.859 3.859
VAC 3.785 2.147 2.5 2.75
State School 0 0 0 0
Non-Public 0 0 0 0
Residential Care .8 .833 .833 .833

The above numbers will be used by the state to help plan their budget and to provide a basis for funding our district. It is important to remember that we still must earn all state aid. The numbers above are only estimates and our final state aid will be based on actual attendance.

A few notes:

The column labeled 08-09 estimate is based on actual enrollment and attendance through the second six weeks.

Most of the 09-10 and 10-11 columns are based on a very modest growth. We currently do not have as many students enrolled as in the past. However, that trend is likely to change.

The state estimates for the 09-10 and 10-11 (which were not included because of space issues) were substantially larger than our actual enrollment.

The 07-08 Final column contains the actual enrollment and attendance information from the 2007-2008 school year.

If you have any questions regarding any of these numbers, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

Upcoming Events

by Coy Holcombe.  

We are starting to get into a very busy part of the school year. Many different activities are planned over the next few weeks.

  • Today, our annual varsity girls basketball tournament tips off. The tournament will run through Saturday, Our Lady Bulldogs will play T.K. Gorman at 3:30 in the Bulldog Gym. I encourage everyone to come out and support our girls.
  • Several band members will be participating in the all-region tryouts today.
  • The varsity boys basketball team will be playing in the Scurry-Rosser tournament. The tournament starts today and runs through Saturday.
  • Saturday is an SAT testing date.
  • Next Tuesday, December 9, all of our high school basketball teams will be traveling to LaPoyner. Games start at 5:00.
  • On the same date, tryouts will be held for the middle school all-region band.
  • Thursday, December 11, is the date that progress reports for the third six weeks will go home.
  • On the same date, our bands will be performing their annual Christmas Concert in the High School auditorium. The concert is set to start at 7:00 PM.
  • Also, starting on December 11, our varsity boys basketball team will be playing in the Brownsboro Tournament and our varsity girls basketball team will be playing in the Mineola Tournament.
  • On Friday, December 12, our Primary students will be decorating for Christmas on the Square.
  • Christmas on the Square is set for Saturday, December 13.
  • That same Saturday is also an ACT testing date.
  • Also on December 13, our JV boys basketball team will be playing in the Mabank JV Tournament.
  • On Tuesday, December 16, our girls basketball teams will be traveling to Grand Saline while our boys basketball teams will be hosting Cross Roads.
  • On Thursday, December 18, a public hearing will be held to discuss the 07-08 AEIS Report. The public hearing will take place in the High School library starting at 6:30 PM. At 7:00 PM, our regular monthly board meeting will begin.
  • On the December 18, 19, and 20, our varsity girls and varsity boys basketball teams will be playing in the Grand Saline Tournament.
  • Friday, December 19, will be an early release day. School will dismiss 2 hours early at all campuses.
  • From Monday, December 22 through Friday, January 2, EISD will be closed for the Christmas Holidays

I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Second Six Weeks – By the Numbers, Part 2

by Coy Holcombe.  

First, congratulations to the JV boys basketball team, the varsity girls basketball team, and the varsity boys basketball team. All three teams recorded wins last night. A special congratulation goes out to Dalinda Cassell, our varsity girls basketball coach, on her first win as a head coach.

Yesterday, we looked at attendance data through the second six weeks. Today, we will examine how that attendance data is affecting our state funding. Below is a table that compares the amount of state aid that we are earning with the amount that was budgeted:

Budget vs. Actual – 08-09 – End of 2nd Six Weeks

   Earned Budget  Difference 
 Regular Block Grant  $4,672,273 $4,766,154  -$93,881
Special Ed. $791,111  $941,197  -$150,086 
 CATE $392,660  $288,406  $104,254 
 GT $30,643  $30,992  -$349 
 Compensatory $690,050  $667,805  $22,245 
 Bilingual $3,816  $5,432  -$1,616 
 Transportation $139,000 $139,000  $0 
 Total Tier I $6,719,553  $6,838,986  -$119,433 
       
 Less Local $3,766,526  $3,766,526   
       
 Tier I $2,953,027  $3,072,460  -$119,433 
 Tier II $744,283  $771,936  -$27,653 
 HB 1 $224,205  $228,232  -$4,027 
 Additional State Aid  $1,541,987 $1,561,080  -$,19,093 
 Staff Allotment $53,500  $53,500  $0 
 HB 1 (80th Session) $48,163  $49,028  -$865 
 Technology $41,956  $42,456  -$500 
 HS Allotment $119,435  $115,693  $3,742 
 Pre-K $98,000  $98,000  $0 
EDA $121,574 $133,390 -$11,816
       
Total $5,946,130 $6,125,775 -$179,645

 A few notes:

The local share is calculated on the district’s property valued multiplied by $.0086. This amount is subtracted from the total Tier I aid. So, as a district’s property value goes up, the amount of Tier I aid goes down.

CATE – Career and Technology – This is the money that we receive for classes such as agricultural science, home economics, certain business classes, and certain technology classes.

EDA – Existing Debt Allotment – This is money that the district receives to help pay for voter approved bonds.

Additional State Aid – This category of funding is used to offset the decrease in property taxes.

Because of our decreased enrollment, EISD is currently earning less than the amount budgeted. While this may not be an ideal situation, as long as we are aware of the situation and keep track of the amount that we are actually earning, we will be okay. We have already made additional adjustments to the budget to account for the additional shortfall. If you have any questions concerning any of these numbers, please contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

 

Athletes Get Honored

by Stan Sowers.  

 

All District Honors were selected before the holiday and Eustace was very well represented:
 
1st Team:
    Nick Dunlap – Offensive Tackle (unanimous)
    Josh Lopez – Offensive Guard
    Shawn Baldwin – Fullback (unanimous)
    Trevan Johnson – RunningBack
    Zach Stokes – Defensive Tackle
    Joseph Bradburn – Safety
    Cord Bailey – Corner
 
2nd Team:
    Cody Folsom – Center
    Ben Caswell – Offensive Tackle
    Zach Keeling – Wide Receiver
    Chris Compton – Quarterback
 
Honorable Mention:
    Ryan Compton – Defensive End
    Kasey Hudgens – Kicker
 
 
Volleyball Players were honored as well:
 
Cassie Freeman was selected to the ALLSTATE class 3AAA volleyball team by the TGCA.  Krysta Lowry was selected to the ALL STATE ACCADEMIC class 3AAA volleyball team by the TGCA.
Also,Cassie Freeman was selected MVP PLAYER OF THE YEAR of the area in volleyball and Nicole McNeel was selected as MVP Setter.  Coach Powers was selected as Coach of the Year.  Other girls making the ALL AREA team were Jenny McConathy- first team, Allison Cass- second team, Camille Rogers- second team, Kim Austin, Jessica McConathy, Chelsea Truitt, and Krista Lowry all made honorable mention.
 
Congratulations to the both teams and coaching staff on a great year!