Google Maps View – PhotoSphere Sharing

Google Maps just added a Views feature that lets Google Plus users submit PhotoSpere images to their Views profile for public browsing. If approved, they may also be integrated into a Views layer on Google Maps.

Check it out at

I’ve also found a particularly interesting trick for what I’ll call Dynamic Viewing of these shared PhotoSpheres if you have an Android device with an eCompass (probably not Fire) and accelerometer (almost everybody). Here are the initial steps, though you are then able to share a more direct link:

Once PhotoSpheres are shared on your Maps View account they are queued for approval to show up in Maps. When that happens there is a link to “View on Google Maps”. When you click that link while on Android, it will ask what app you prefer to open it with. If you choose Google Maps, it will actually open it in the Street View viewer. On Androids with an eCompass the Street View menu has a “Compass” mode that gives what I’m calling the Dynamic View effect. Kindle Fire or iPad can view these as a “panorama” somewhat less dynamically.

After your Photo Sphere is approved for the “View on Google Maps” link, you can copy that for more direct sharing like THIS (click here).

If opening this link on an Android, choose Google Maps so that it will open directly in Street View with access to the “Compass mode” in the menu.

From a Windows browser you can even get an embed code for doing such as this:

View Larger Map

New Facebook Connection for E.H.S. Performing Arts Players & Parents

Students interested in being an active participant in the E.H.S. Performing Arts Players Theater Arts program this year are encouraged to connect to and join the new FACEBOOK group “Behind the Curtain – E.H.S. Players”.  All calendar events, important dates & times will be posted on this group’s page. This page was created to allow students, parents & teacher to become socially connected as a means of communicating about all aspects of any event, play, competition, convention, fundraiser, etc. Just another way E.H.S. connects to our students through social networks! Parents are encouraged to join! Additional information about the group can be viewed at the link above. Get CONNECTED to E.H.S. Theater Arts on Facebook today!! Simply click on the link and click join! Parents should put in the message line “parent of (name of child)” to be verified before connecting. Thanks!! See you soon!

Testing Video Uploads to WordPress

Don’t think this is the first time I’ve announced a user friendly video upload system for our WordPress but I think it’s looking ready to try it out – again. Below is a video that came from my cell phone and was uploaded into the Interactive Video plugin for WordPress where it was processed and presented without any prior preparation or processing by the user (in this case, me).

[kaltura-widget uiconfid=”1727916″ entryid=”0_hwz1rha0″ width=”400″ height=”285″ addpermission=”” editpermission=”” /]

 Please feel free to give this a try, and for that matter, feel free to login with a EustaceISD account and try blogging period. The blog editor has media insert buttons at the top and the key for video is to use the “Interactive Video” selections because the others have a very small file-size limit. The “WebCam” option is not directly operable, though you may still record video from your webcam and upload it like any other video – which is a great option for podcasting, with or without video to go with the sound. Below is a test of the MetaCafe option which I am not yet very familiar with but found simple enough.

[kaltura-widget uiconfid=”1727916″ entryid=”0_55tzn6kl” width=”400″ height=”285″ addpermission=”” editpermission=”” /]

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to arrange a quick tutorial session.

Practice Starts Today

While we may be a few weeks away from the official start of the 2011-2012 school year, many faculty members and students will be starting their school year today. Football, volleyball, cross country and band all start official practice for the 2011-2012 school year today. While I do not have everyone’s practice schedule, I do know the following information:

Cross Country – 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Band – 12:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Volleyball – Workouts in the morning and again in the afternoon

Football – Two workouts in the morning

I will try to get updates to you throughout the week. I hope everyone has a great week.

09-10 FIRST Results

Below is a copy of the preliminary results of our Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) results for the 09-10 school year. I am pleased to report that once again EISD has achieved the rating of “Superior Achievement”. The FIRST system is designed to give school districts and the public an overview of how the district is doing with regards to finances.

As you can see, some of the indicators are yes/no and other indicators are rated on 5 point scale. A perfect score would be a total of 80. For the 09-10 school year EISD received 78 points. You can click on an indicator for more information.

In the coming months, EISD will hold a public hearing to discuss the financial situation of the district. The FIRST results will be a part of that hearing.


Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas

2009-2010 District Status Detail

Name: EUSTACE ISD(107905) Publication Level 1: 6/17/2011 9:03:31 AM
Status: Passed Publication Level 2: None
Rating: Superior Achievement Last Updated: 6/17/2011 9:03:31 AM
Indicators Answered YES: 21 Indicators Answered NO: 1
District Score: 78 Passing Score: 56


# Indicator Description Updated Score
1 Was The Total Fund Balance Less Reserved Fund Balance Greater Than Zero In The General Fund? 4/25/2011 7:50:22 PM Yes
2 Was the Total Unrestricted Net Asset Balance (Net of Accretion of Interest on Capital Appreciation Bonds) In the Governmental Activities Column in the Statement of Net Assets Greater than Zero? (If the District’s 5 Year % Change in Students was 10% more) 4/25/2011 7:50:22 PM Yes
3 Were There No Disclosures In The Annual Financial Report And/Or Other Sources Of Information Concerning Default On Bonded Indebtedness Obligations? 4/25/2011 7:50:23 PM Yes
4 Was The Annual Financial Report Filed Within One Month After November 27th or January 28th Deadline Depending Upon The District’s Fiscal Year End Date (June 30th or August 31st)? 4/29/2011 3:43:55 PM Yes
5 Was There An Unqualified Opinion in Annual Financial Report? 4/25/2011 7:50:23 PM Yes
6 Did The Annual Financial Report Not Disclose Any Instance(s) Of Material Weaknesses In Internal Controls? 4/25/2011 7:50:23 PM Yes
      1 Multiplier Sum
7 Did the Districts Academic Rating Exceed Academically Unacceptable? 4/25/2011 7:50:23 PM 5
8 Was The Three-Year Average Percent Of Total Tax Collections (Including Delinquent) Greater Than 98%? 4/25/2011 7:50:23 PM 5
9 Did The Comparison Of PEIMS Data To Like Information In Annual Financial Report Result In An Aggregate Variance Of Less Than 3 Percent Of Expenditures Per Fund Type (Data Quality Measure)? 5/10/2011 10:02:45 PM 5
10 Were Debt Related Expenditures (Net Of IFA And/Or EDA Allotment) < $350.00 Per Student? (If The District’s Five-Year Percent Change In Students = Or > 7%, Or If Property Taxes Collected Per Penny Of Tax Effort > $200,000 Per Student) 4/25/2011 7:50:24 PM 3
11 Was There No Disclosure In The Annual Audit Report Of Material Noncompliance? 4/25/2011 7:50:24 PM 5
12 Did The District Have Full Accreditation Status In Relation To Financial Management Practices? (e.g. No Conservator Or Monitor Assigned) 4/25/2011 7:50:24 PM 5
13 Was The Aggregate Of Budgeted Expenditures And Other Uses Less Than The Aggregate Of Total Revenues, Other Resources and Fund Balance In General Fund? 4/25/2011 7:50:25 PM 5
14 If The District’s Aggregate Fund Balance In The General Fund And Capital Projects Fund Was Less Than Zero, Were Construction Projects Adequately Financed? (To Avoid Creating Or Adding To The Fund Balance Deficit Situation) 5/10/2011 4:06:27 PM 5
15 Was The Ratio Of Cash And Investments To Deferred Revenues (Excluding Amount Equal To Net Delinquent Taxes Receivable) In The General Fund Greater Than Or Equal To 1:1? (If Deferred Revenues Are Less Than Net Delinquent Taxes Receivable) 4/25/2011 7:50:25 PM 5
16 Was The Administrative Cost Ratio Less Than The Threshold Ratio? 4/25/2011 7:50:25 PM 5
17 Was The Ratio Of Students To Teachers Within the Ranges Shown Below According To District Size? 4/25/2011 7:50:25 PM 5
18 Was The Ratio Of Students To Total Staff Within the Ranges Shown Below According To District Size? 4/25/2011 7:50:26 PM 5
19 Was The Total Fund Balance In The General Fund More Than 50% And Less Than 150% Of Optimum According To The Fund Balance And Cash Flow Calculation Worksheet In The Annual Financial Report? 4/25/2011 7:50:26 PM 5
20 Was The Decrease In Undesignated Unreserved Fund Balance < 20% Over Two Fiscal Years?(If 1.5 Times Optimum Fund Balance < Total Fund Balance In General Fund Or If Total Revenues > Operating Expenditures In The General Fund,Then District Receives 5 Points) 4/25/2011 7:50:26 PM 5
21 Was The Aggregate Total Of Cash And Investments In The General Fund More Than $0? 4/25/2011 7:50:26 PM 5
22 Were Investment Earnings In All Funds (Excluding Debt Service Fund and Capital Projects Fund) More Than $20 Per Student? 4/25/2011 7:50:27 PM 5
      78 Weighted Sum
      1 Multiplier Sum
      78 Score

Determination Of Rating

A. Did The District Answer ‘No‘ To Indicators 1, 2, 3 Or 4? OR Did The District Answer ‘No‘ To Both 5 and 6? If So, The District’s Rating Is Substandard Achievement.
B. Determine Rating By Applicable Range For summation of the indicator scores (Indicators 7-22)
Superior Achievement 72-80 and Yes to indicator 7
Above Standard Achievement 64-71 or >= 72 and No to indicator 7
Standard Achievement 56-63
Substandard Achievement <56 or No to one default indicator

Indicator 17 & 18 Ratios

Indicator 17 Ranges for Ratios   Indicator 18 Ranges for Ratios
District Size – Number of Students Between Low High District Size – Number of Students Between Low High
< 500 7 22 < 500 5 14
500-999 10 22 500-999 5.8 14
1000-4999 11.5 22 1000-4999 6.3 14
5000-9999 13 22 5000-9999 6.8 14
=> 10000 13.5 22 => 10000 7.0 14

Board Meeting

Last night, the EISD Board of Trustees met in regular session. The meeting started at 7:00 PM and was held in the HS library. Action items included:

  • Approved minutes of previous meeting.
  • Approved the financial reports for June as presented.
  • Approved the Student Code of Conduct for the 11-12 school and reviewed the Student Handbook for the 11-12 school year.
  • Approved Policy Update 90.
  • Approved a proposed tax rate of $1.2763. The tax rate has an M & O component of $1.04 and an I & S rate of $.2363.
  • Approved the memorandum of understanding between EISD and TCU for a college adviser for the 11-12 school year.
  • Approved the sale of propery as presented.
  • Accepted the resignation of Phillip Smith.
  • Employed Zach Underwood as a teacher/coach at the HS for the 11-12 school year.
  • Adjourned



Board Meeting Tonight

Tonight, the EISD Board of Trustees will meet in regular session starting at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the HS library. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Below is a summary of the agenda items:


  • Financial Reports
  • 2011 Local Education Agency Determinations
  • 09-10 Dropout Data
  • Van Zandt County Appraisal District Operating Budget – 2012
  • Preliminary FIRST Rating
  • Attendance Comparison
  • Renewal Costs for Liability, Property, and Vehicle Insurance for 2011-2012
  • School Health Advisory Committee Annual Report


Possible Action Items

  • Review District Finance Data for Upcoming Years
  • Consider Baseball/Softball Renovations
  • Consider Code of Conduct for 2011-2012 and Review Student Handbook for 2011-2012.
  • Policy Update 90
  • Proposed Tax Rate for 2011-2012
  • Memorandum of Understanding Between EISD and Texas Christian University for College Adviser for 2011-2012 School Year.
  • Consider Sale of Property
  • Review Employee Handbook
  • Closed Meeting – Personnel and Staffing & Student Transfers
  • Consider Action on Closed Meeting Items
  • Adjourn


UIL Update

I closed my last post by talking about how soon we would be starting practice sessions for  football, volleyball, cross country, and band. One of the sessions that I attended at the Summer Conference focused on UIL issues. The conference was conducted by Dr. Mark Cousins. Below is a summary of the session:

  • Rule Changes
    • Football – allow scrimmages after six days of contact, rather than seven
    • Baseball & Softball – allow three games to be substituted in place of a tournament
    • Band – allowing for a brief band director’s study period for the sight-reading contest.
  • Officials
    • Litigation with the sports officials organization continues
    • Possibility of 2011-12 school year being conducted under 09-10 rules for officials
  • Reclassification and Realignment
    • Reclassification and realignment will take place this year. Numbers submitted in October and announcements made in February.
    • This will be the first year that information is submitted electronically.
    • All districts will have their information stored in a database that will be accessible by the public.
    • Districts will have the opportunity to review information that was submitted.
    • The split division will likely continue in 2A.
    • 1A-3A will continue with 3 teams to the playoffs.
    • The realignment process will start at the 5A level. There can only be 245 teams in 5A. Once this is established other divisions will done.
  • Legislature
    • Appears that steroid testing will continue for another 2 years.
    • Concussions – any student even suspected of a concussion like injury will not be allowed to participate until cleared.
    • Applies to every UIL activity.
    • All football helmets will have to be individually inventoried so that districts can keep track of age and reconditioning.
    • UIL is working on an implementation guide for the new concussion guidelines.




School Finance – Impact on 2011-2012 Budget

As discussed in my previous post, EISD will lose about $580,000 in state aid for the 2011-2012 school year. As the 2011-2012 budget is prepared, we are using the student numbers at the end of the 10-11 school year to make our estimates. Under our previous state funding laws, EISD would receive about $5,044,000 in state funding for the 11-12 school year (again, this would be using the student numbers at the end of the 10-11 school year). Using these same numbers under the current funding laws, EISD will receive about $4,456,000 in state funding. This is a difference of $588,000.

We are estimating that EISD will serve approximately the same number of students during the 11-12 school year, but we will receive approximately $580,000 less in state funding to serve these students. It needs to be noted that school districts across Texas will receive additional federal funds from the Jobs Grant funding. EISD will receive about $266,000 from the Jobs Grant for the 11-12 school year. This will reduce the funding cuts to $314,000 for the 11-12 school year. It also needs to be noted that the Jobs Grant is only available for the 11-12 school year. We will not receive these funds in 12-13.

How is EISD going to make up for the funds cut by the state? Below is a summary list of the actions that EISD will take to make up for the funding cuts:

  • Reduction in staff by not replacing all personnel that leave or retire.
  • Reduction in benefits offered to employees.
  • Reduction in the local stipend for teachers.
  • No raises for auxiliary or administrative staff.
  • Elimination of certain programs (such as Spring Board Math, Reasoning Mind Math).
  • Decrease in supplies in all departments and at all campuses.
  • Drastic decrease in the amount of money budgeted for substitutes.
  • Decrease in central administration costs.


At this time, by utilizing the reductions listed above, it appears that no further reduction in personnel will be necessary. However, as is always the case, much will depend on student enrollment for 11-12. If we have fewer students in 11-12, we will earn less state aid. We can absorb the loss of a few students: we cannot absorb the loss of a significant number of students and still keep the same budget. In my next post, we will be looking at ways that school districts can maximize the amount of funding that they receive from the state.




Board Meeting Tonight

The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will be held in the HS library and will start at 7:00 PM. Everyone is encouraged to attend Items on the agenda include:

  • Reorganize Board Officers
  • Approve Minutes of Previous Meetings
  • Hear and Consider Financial Reports
  • Hear the Following Reports:
    • Preliminary TAKS Scores
    • 11-12 Perkins Planning Amounts
    • PaySchools Report
    • Summer Hours
    • Summer Meal Program
    • Sale of Property at Indian Harbor
    • DEIC Committee Report
  • Consider Policy Update 90 – First Reading
  • Consider 3 Year Waiver Request for Teacher Data Portal
  • Consider Approval of TEA Innovative Course “College Transition”
  • Consider Proposals for Student Accident Insurance
  • Consider Updating Pre-K Program Guidelines and Tuition
  • Consider Additions to the Advocacy Agenda
  • Update on Budget
  • Review District Investment Policy
  • Consider Renovations to Softball and Baseball Fields
  • Update on Attendance
  • Closed Meeting
    • Accept Resignations
    • Employ Personnel
    • Student Transfers
  • Consider Action on Closed Session Items
  • Adjourn