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School board receives annual academic report

Cove Leader-Press
The Copperas Cove Independent School District board of trustees held a public hearing to share the district’s annual Texas Academic Performance Report, with their regular monthly meeting following at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Administration Building on W. Ave D. 
The TAPR, presented by Deputy Superintendent Katie Ryan and Sheri Welch, director of assessment and accountability, pertained to the 2015-2016 school year as well as the 2014-2015 school year. 
For the PEIMS Financial Standard Reports for 2-14-2015, CCISD received a “pass” and “Superior Achievement” FIRST rating. Regarding District Accreditation Status, CCISD is accredited, which is the highest status possible, according to Welch. For the District Accountability Rating, CCISD received “Met Standard.” For Special Education Determination Status, CCISD was rated as “Meets Requirements”, which is the best, according to Welch. 
For the STARR testing percent at phase-in, CCISD scored at the Satisfactory Standard or Above for Reading grades 3-8, Math grades 3-8, Writing grades 4th and 7th, Social Studies grade 8 and Science grades 5th and 8th. 
For the STARR/End of Course testing percent at phase-in, CCISD scored at the Satisfactory Standard or Above for English I and II, Algebra I, Biology and U. S. History. In Algebra I, CCISD fell below the state average of 78 percent, with 76 percent. 
The attendance rate for the 2014-2015 school year was 95.7 percent for the state and 95.5 percent for the district, however, all elementary and junior high campuses performed higher than the state level, Ryan said. 
The annual dropout rate, which was for the 2014-2015 school year, covered 7th and 8th grade as well as grades 9-12. For grades 7 and 8, the state had a 0.3 percent dropout rate, compared to both the Region 12 and CCISD rates, which were 0.2 percent. The high school dropout rate across the state was 2.1 percent, while the rate in CCISD was 1.4 percent. The rate for Region 12 was higher than both CCISD and the state at 2.9 percent, Ryan said. 
The graduation rate for the class of 2015 in the state of Texas was 89 percent, compared to 91.7 percent in CCISD. The percentage for Class of 2015 College Ready Graduates in English/Language Arts was 42 percent across the state and 45 percent in the district. The percentage for the Class of 2015 College Ready Graduates in Math was 38 percent across the state and 32 percent in the district. The category of Post Secondary Performance showed how students who graduated in 2014 and entered public or independent higher education institutes in Texas in 2015 are performing. Of the 501 CCISD Class of 2014 graduates, 260 were shown to have enrolled in either a four-year public university, two-year public college or independent colleges and universities, Welch said. 
Districts are also required by Texas law to publish an annual report on violent and criminal incidents, Ryan said. Events range from murder attempts to sexual assault to felony controlled substance to criminally negligent manslaughter. The district had six incidences of assault of a nonemployee. If there were between one and five incidents, the number was not published due to FERPA. There were between one and five incidents of aggravated assault of a nonemployee; aggravated assault against an employee; and of a felony of a controlled substance. 
After the public hearing, the regular monthly meeting began with the call to order, pledge and invocation before citizens could voice concerns in Open Forum. Heather Derosier was the only speaker and asked for the school board to do something about the policy regarding children with head lice, stating that her neighbor’s children have gone to school and come home with lice six times, while her own child has gone to Mae Stevens and also come home with lice three times. 
The over-the-counter medicines did not work and they had to rely on prescription strength medicines, which are very expensive at $359 per bottle, Derosier said. She asked that a policy or rule be implemented so even if one child has lice, a note goes home to the parents, rather than waiting until it is considered an “outbreak”. 
Because the topic was not on the agenda, board members could not make comments on Derosier’s specific complaint but said they would forward it along to the appropriate person. 
The meeting continued with all CCISD board members being recognized for a change as part of the statewide School Board Recognition Month. Coryell County Judge John Firth spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, recognizing the CCISD school board with a proclamation. Copperas Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood also issued a proclamation recognizing each board member. Board members each received a bouquet of 10 100 Grand candy bars from members of the Copperas Cove chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators to say “Thanks a million.” They also received personalized gift baskets from students at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary. 
The theme was All-Star and the front of the conference room had been decorated appropriately with athletic jerseys representing every sport as well as helmets, balls, bats, weights, pom poms and trophies. 
CCISD Athletic Director Jack Welch spoke to the board before they were presented with replicas of their letter jackets that they would later be fitted for. 
“To have all star teams, you have to have all-star leaders,” Welch said. He added that the board was the greatest in the state, not just in Central Texas. 
Jackets were presented by athletes from all different sports in CCISD: swimming, girls track, baseball, girls golf, wrestling, boys golf, boys track, football, volleyball, tennis and soccer. 
The board was also treated to a special joint performance of cheers by both the S.C. Lee Junior High and Copperas Cove Junior High cheerleaders and their mascots before they enjoyed a performance to the song “Hall of Fame” by 6th grade theater students from CCJHS. Finally, the board members were recognized by staff from Williams Ledger Elementary. 
The board approved the purchase of two technology carts with 30 computers in each cart, for $37,190. The two carts and 60 computers will be paid for using a grant from Army Youth Programs in Your Neighborhood and used for the Bulldawg U program. 
The board also approved a list of investment brokers and received an annual review of the district’s investment policy. They also approved the selection of Lott, Vernon & Company, P.C. to continue being the independent audit firm for the fiscal year 2017-2018 audit. Lott, Vernon & Company, P.C. has prepared the District’s annual fiscal audits for more than 25 years, according to the agenda packet. 
The board also approved the acceptance of a $10,000 award from the Central Texas Workforce Board to go towards early childhood development. 
The board approved a class size waiver for the 22:1 maximum class size for one kindergarten class at Clements Parsons Elementary School that has a student enrollment higher than 22 as of this month. 
CCISD superintendent Joe Burns asked the board to adopt a resolution opposing the recently introduced A-F Accountability Rating System put forth by the Texas Legislature and to encourage the state to adopt a community based accountability system that allows school districts to design their own internal system of assessments and accountability. 
Under the A-F system, CCISD cannot earn the highest ratings, as they have previously done, because those ratings are not given unless 99 percent of the entire student population masters the exam, Burns said. 
“We’re a little frustrated with the system in that it does not accurately nor does it fairly represent the efforts of our staff, does not accurately or fairly represent the efforts of our students and it unfairly classifies our students and our staff with a letter grade that no one can tell you how they come up with it,” Burns said. 
The board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution and joined more than 200 other school districts in the state that had approved a resolution opposing the A-F rating. Burns estimated that soon, more than half of the state’s school districts would be opposing the rating system. 

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