Alto tours facilities, views completed projects

by Josie Fox

Alto Independent School District met in regular session on Aug. 27 to discuss fiscal year 2018-19 budgets and tax rates.

Prior to the start of the meeting, Superintendent Kelly West provided board members with a tour of the facilities, showcasing the projects completed over the summer break.

The total tax rate for the 2018-19 school year will be $1.30 per $100 valuation for the district. This breaks down as $1.04 per $100 valuation for the purpose of maintenance and operations and $0.26 per $100 valuation for the purpose of interest on debt service.

Budget approvals included $6,836,724 for maintenance and operations; $351,579 for food service; and $595,350 for debt service for a total budget of $7,783,653 for the school year.

Discussion was held in regards to lawn care bids received for the upcoming school year as the board previously decided to contract out ground maintenance.

A bid from Steve Cox Enterprises was reviewed and unanimously accepted by the board.

The board received and approved the following reports:

-Superintendents Report

-Facilities Report

-Financial Report

-Administrative Report

-High School Principal Report

-Middle School Principal Report

-Elementary Principal Report

-Curriculum Report

-Athletic Report

-Jul. 23 and Aug. 7 meeting minutes

As part of the Administrative reports, the board discussed the accountability rating for the district.

In the Aug. 29 issue of the Cherokeean Herald, it was reported that Alto ISD scored a C (acceptable) with an overall grade of 77 of 100: 72 of 100 in student achievement – 73 of 100 in STAAR testing, 59 of 100 in CCM readiness and 95 of 100 in graduation rate; 79 of 100 in school progress – 79 of 100 in academic growth and 65 of 100 in relative performance; and 73 of 100 in closing the gap – the district met 39 percent, or seven out of 18, grade level performance goals, met 100 percent, or two of two, academic growth/graduation rate goals and 100 percent, one of one, of English language proficiency goals, but scored zero of three student achievement goals. All three of Alto’s campuses met standards.
“We are pleased that all campuses in Alto ISD met standard,” AISD Director of Assessments and Special Programs Paula Low said. “In addition, Alto Middle School received five distinction awards in the areas of reading/language arts, math, social studies, closing the gap, and post-secondary readiness. Our teachers and staff will continue meeting the educational, social, emotional, and physical needs of our diverse students on a daily basis. One letter grade cannot accurately reflect the complex work of our staff and students; they are so much more. For the 2018-19 school year, Alto ISD has targeted areas for improvement and new systems in place. One of our goals is to be rated a “B” district next year, but most of all, we want our students and staff to be energized.”

At the close of the regular session meeting, board president Jeff Duplichain thanked Kenny Birdwell for his many years of service on the school board. The Aug. 27 meeting marked the last meeting Birdwell would attend as a board member.

Board members then adjourned to go into executive closed session. All board members were present.

Alto ISD school board meetings are open to the public and are held in the Alto ISD board room located at 244 CR 2429 in Alto.

The public is encouraged and welcome to attend future meetings.