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Principals give positive report on start of school

by Dolores Hamilton
Iowa Park school trustees heard positive reports Thursday from campus principals regarding the start of school and activities on their respective campuses.
Leah Russell, principal at Iowa Park High School, said they had a good start for the new school year and student count is now 541. She said the students had raised $750 to help the kids in the campus she came here from that was affected by the recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. The IPHS Student Council and PALS are going to adopt them as part of their service project this year.
Principal Darla Biddy told of the progress in the robotics program and technology at W.F. George Middle School, and the fun students are having with special days such as “dress up” day. She said they had gained 26 new students, bringing the total to 414 on her campus.
Bradford Elementary Principal Brandi Swenson told trustees that the start of school had been good on her campus, and the roofing project underway is going smoothly. She said with the help of Jodi Schlaud they had gotten lego robotics, and the students are working on that Monday through Thursday.
James Kennedy, principal at Kidwell Elementary, said they had had a great start, and added nine new students this week. He said his campus, along with the Bradford campus are going to adopt a campus in the flooded are near Houston and work to meet their needs over the course of the year.
Superintendent Steve Moody said that 276 school districts in Texas, with over a million students, were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Kennedy later called the Leader office and said he had been notified that the needs at the campus they were considering weren’t as great as expected, so they are looking at other school districts that were affected by the flooding.
In a discussion on facility needs Moody said he has been talking with the principals about assessment of campus needs, and eventually the trustees will need to select a team of people from the community to look at the needs.
“We’ve been looking at this for several years and back when we did the last bond in 2012 there was discussion about the possibility of looking at another bond in 2019-2020, somewhere in that time frame,” Moody said. “The next part of our facility needs is to address the issues at middle school, whether we look at building a new campus or being able to renovate middle school as it stands.”
The board members talked about possibly hiring an architectural firm to come in and do a facility study. “We’re growing little by little every year which is a great thing offering more courses at the high school and junior high,” said Board President Jeff Rhoades. “I think it’s time to start looking at this.”
In other business the board approved the list of fundraisers and field trips for the 2017-18 school year, and conducted the final reading of TASB Policy Update 108.
Trustees also approved the disposal of surplus inventory, and the items will be auctioned off on-line.
In his report, Moody said that enrollment is up to 1838. “Our numbers are good and I can see it creeping up the next few years to the 1900 mark.”
Ray Schultz explained the safety/security staff training program and showed a video featuring protocols to use during an active shooting event.