Albritton said the school has changed its approach on grade reporting to parents by trying to separate academic from non-acadmic information. He said the district is also trying to furnish parents with more information on how teachers rate students on such aspects as homework, assignments, teamwork, citizenship, etc.
Parents who sign up for a notification system can receive e-mail or a text message when their child’s rating changes, he noted. Parents can inform the school when and how they want to be notified, he pointed out.
Numerical grades for subjects are posted, which should ensure “a little more timely work” by teachers who are “less apt to keep their grades in the grade book,” Albritton said.
“Make sure only parents can do this (look up a child’s information),” warned Board President Todd Tefteller. Albritton showed how certain information on the student must be typed into a computer before the parent can access the information.
Parents need only go to the school’s website to sign up.
Albritton said only 162 parents in the 2,400-student district have signed up to use the online information, “so we’re way short.” He said the school will start encouraging its use.
In other business Monday night, the board approved purchasing a 24-month, $2 million certificate of deposit from First National Bank of Gilmer at 1.05 percent interest.
When Tefteller said experts predict interest rates will rise, Albritton said the district would suffer no penalties or fees for withdrawing the CD, and school Business Mgr. Beverly Grimes said the school would only lose some of the interest it had drawn on it by withdrawing.
When Tefteller asked if it would be “catastrophic” to withdraw the certificate, Albritton and Mrs. Grimes said no.
In other business Monday, trustees approved:
• A May 17 one-day trip for the Bruce Junior High band to a Hot Springs, Ark., amusement park.
• Final “reading” of a Texas Association of School Boards policy update on reducing the district’s work force.
• Election judges and officials for the May 12 school board election, as well as separate joint election agreements with Upshur County and the City of Gilmer. Albritton said the city and county will run the election, and the school now has little control over who election judges will be.
• The $11,262 purchase of a “combi oven” for the intermediate school from Kirby, one of two bidders.
• One bid on a property foreclosed for delinquent taxes, while rejecting bids on two other such properties.
• An interlocal agreement with the county to help the district with road services.
• Several “consent agenda” items ranging from budget amendments and transfer students to the quarterly investment report.
The board also presented the GISD “PRIDE” award to the high school sonar car-building team and its teacher, Criss Bartley; and to Whitney Haschke, an oboe player who received the rare honor of making the All-State Band as a freshman.
The board also presented an “Extra Mile Club” shirt to citizen Lena Childress, who voluntarily washed, sized, and hung 222 coats in the elementary school’s “lost and found” department for parents’ inspection.
Albritton said Mrs. Childress even wrote him a note to thank him for letting her do the project, and that she “does not want to be here” to receive recognition for her work. But she was, and he said this was the first person other than a school employee to receive the “Extra Mile Club” shirt.
Mrs. Childress also had baked a cake for the board members to have Monday night.
The board also held a closed session on personnel matters and professional contracts, but Albritton’s secretary, Judy Moore, said Tuesday trustees took no action on any such matters after re-opening the meeting.
(As detailed elsewhere in today’s edition, trustees also approved the $175,000 purchase of a new artificial field turf for Buckeye Stadium.)