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.



Second Six Weeks – By the Numbers

by Coy Holcombe.  

The attendance numbers through the second six weeks, compared with the numbers used for budgeting are given below:

ADA 1426.1034 1443.09
HS ADA 434.31 420.7
SE FTEs 53.5557 65.174
Mainstream ADA 50.586 56.748
CATE 80.4368 59.113
GT Students 81 72.15
Compensatory 1040.2 1010
Bilingual 10.55 15.03

 Although our attendance rate was again very good (96.55%), we continued to have a lower than expected enrollment (as of yesterday, our enrollment was 1485) and as a result, our actual ADA is below the budgeted ADA. Our high school ADA continues to be above the budgeted figure simply because we have a very healthy enrollment in the high school at this time.

Our special education FTEs and mainstream ADA continue to be below budgeted amounts, while our career and technology FTEs are greater than the budgeted amount. As explained before, because our high school went to an 8 period day, this allowed more opportunities for our students to choose career and technology electives.

Note that our compensatory numbers are exactly the same as after the first six weeks. This occurs because the compensatory numbers used for this year are taken from last year’s federal fiscal year. These numbers will remain the same for the rest of the year. Recall that the compensatory numbers are based on the number of approved free and reduced meal applications. The actual number comes from the average of the best six months from the previous federal fiscal year.

While we would certainly like to be at or above our budget in all of the categories above, the key is monitoring the numbers and making adjustments as the school year progresses. Tomorrow we will look at the impact that these numbers have on the district’s funding.


Gold Performance Acknowledgments

by Coy Holcombe.  

In the recently released AEIS report, EISD received several Gold Performance Acknowledgments. These awards are based on meeting or exceeding certain performance goals in the 2007-2008 school year. Below are the Gold Performance Acknowledgments received by EISD for the 2007-2008 school year:

Texas Success Initiative English/Language Arts
Commended on Writing
Commended on Social Studies

High School
Texas Success Initiative English/Language Arts
Commended on Social Studies
Comparable Improvement: Reading/English Language Arts

Middle School
Commended on Reading/English Language Arts
Comparable Improvement: Reading/English Language Arts & Mathematics

Intermediate School
Commended on Reading/English Language Arts
Commended on Writing
Commended on Mathematics

The Primary School is paired with the Intermediate for accountability purposes and shares their Gold Performance Acknowledgments.

Congratulations to all staff members and students on these accomplishments!

Happy Thanksgiving

by Coy Holcombe.  

Please forgive the formatting issues. I wrote this blog in Word and Moodle seems to have a very difficult time with the bullets.

EISD will be dismissing classes two hours early today. There will be no school Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume Monday, December 1, at regular times.

Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of reflection and a time for expressing our gratitude. There are certainly many things for which I am thankful. With that, here is my list:

·          I am thankful for a maintenance and custodial staff that takes great pride in how our buildings look and takes great pride in providing the best learning environment possible for our students.

·         I am thankful for a transportation department that everyday gets about 1000 of our students safely to school and safely home in the afternoon.

·         I am thankful for our security and safety personnel.

·         I am thankful for a cafeteria staff that can serve about 1300 meals a day to our students and staff in about a 3 hour period.

·         I am thankful for a technology department that spends countless hours maintaining and improving our network and equipment.

·         I am thankful that we have instructional aides that will do whatever it takes to help our teachers and to help our students.

·         I am thankful for great central administration employees. Laurie Boerner, Debbie Myers, Joyce Hodge, Debra Meyners, Kara Weaver, and Carol Warren are all true professionals.

·         I am thankful for our administration: Janice Beasley, Stan Sowers, Karyn Mullen, Robert Reeve, Dianne Shaffer, Marcy Warren, Dale Burke, and Shelby Adams.

·         I am thankful for great cheerleader sponsors and for having the best cheerleaders in this area.

·         I am thankful for a great band and great band directors.

·         I am thankful for our new Technology Integration Specialists.

·         I am thankful for the parents, grandparents, and other friends and relatives that devote so much time and energy to our children’s lives.

·         I am thankful for coaches that believe our athletes can be successful, have high expectations for our athletes, and provide our athletes with the teaching, training, and motivation to be successful.

·         I am thankful to the teachers for believing in our students and for their tireless efforts in providing our students with a world-class education.

·         I am thankful to our school board for their time and commitment in providing leadership and direction for our district: Diane Russ, Thomas Frazier, Sara McAtee, Mike Smith, Cotton Walker, James Cox, and Gary Walsh.

·         I am thankful for being associated with the greatest students in the state of Texas.

·         I am thankful for being blessed with a great family.

·         I am thankful that my daughters have the opportunity to attend school in EISD.

 I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Next Month's Board Meeting and Revised GPA Rules

by Coy Holcombe.  

There was a called board meeting this morning. The only agenda item was changing the date of the December regular board meeting. The Board voted to change the date of the regular board meeting from December 16 to December 18.

Also, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has released revised rules on the calculation of uniform grade point averages. The Coordinating Board was charged by the legislature with developing a uniform GPA formula for all schools in Texas. The goal of the uniform GPA formula is to have the GPA of all high school student calculate in same manner. This is supposed to ensure that colleges and universities all know that students across the state have their GPA calculated in exactly the same manner.

Below is an explanation of the new rules written by the Texas Association of School Boards:

On November 17, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) released revised rules establishing a uniform methodology for calculating the grade point average (GPA) of all students in Texas public high schools. The rules will apply beginning with the freshmen high school class of 2009-10. 

According to the latest version of the proposed rules:

  • The GPA will be calculated on a 4-point scale, with certain courses getting additional weight on a 4.5- or 5-point scale;
  • Courses for which a student earns a final grade lower than 70 (and thus will not earn course credit) and courses for local credit will not be factored into the GPA calculation;
  • The following courses will count towards the uniform GPA:
    • Course, including electives, listed in 19 TAC 74.63 (b) (1)-(6) and (8)-(11), 
    • all Advanced Placement (AP)  and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, 
    • career and technology (CTE) courses aligned with a university course of study (as determined by the CTE Advisory Committee), and 
    • dual credit courses, including career oriented courses listed in the community college course manual.
  • Out-of-state academic courses in the categories above will be included in the GPA calculation if credit is awarded that counts towards the Recommended or Distinguished High School Program;
  • The following courses will receive additional weight (above a 4.0) in the GPA calculation:
    • AP, IB and dual credit courses will all receive an additional weight of 1.0;
    • Pre-A, Honors and Pre-IB courses will receive an additional weight of 0.5 if begun prior to May 1, 2013.If begun on or after that date, Pre-AP and Honors courses will be expected to meet Laying the Foundation, or comparable standards, and Pre-IB courses will be expected to be part of an approved IB program. Continued weighting for Pre-AP, Honors and Pre-IB courses will be reviewed by the GPA Advisory Committee. 
  • The chart for converting numerical grades to grade points on the three scales also includes provisions for converting letter grades to grade points;
  • THECB will establish a 15-member GPA Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from public and higher education and the workforce to oversee implementation of the GPA standards, monitor courses counted in the GPA calculation, and ensure institutional compliance with THECB rules for dual credit courses; and
  • Colleges and universities offering dual credit courses will be required to monitor the rigor of those courses.

Public comments will be accepted for 30 days after the rules are published in the Texas Register. Comments may be submitted to Natalie Coffey, Senior Program Director, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711.

Comments may be submitted via email at natalie.coffey@thecb.state.tx.us. The following link will take you to the complete text of the proposed rules: http://www.tasb.org/issues/legislative/reports/documents/gparules_1108.pdf

I encourage everyone to read the complete text of these rules and to offer your comments to THECB. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.


AEIS Updated

by Coy Holcombe.  

On our homepage, www.eustaceisd.net, the latest Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report has been added. The AEIS report contains a vast amount of information about our district. Some of the information in our AEIS report includes: TAKS passing rates, drop-out rates, staffing information, enrollment information, attendance rates, college readiness information, tax rate information, and budget information. The results from EISD are compared with the state and with other schools in Region 7.

There are three different reports published on our website: the district report, the campus reports, and the comparable improvement report. The comparable improvement reports compare our campuses to other similar campuses. These comparisons are not necessarily based on size but on percentages (for example, percentage of economically disadvantaged students).

In January, the EISD Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing to discuss the 07-08 AEIS report. This public hearing will occur immediately before the regular board meeting in January. All interested parties are invited to attend this public hearing.

To access the AEIS reports, go to our homepage, scroll down until you come to the area labeled "District Information". The latest AEIS report is at the top, left side of this area. If you have any questions concerning our AEIS reports, please contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.