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Hays Free Press
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July 3, 2013     Hays Free Press
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July 3, 2013
 

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?, Hays Free Press. July 3, 2013 as ree |re CASA Court-Appointed Special Advocates need volunteers. - Page 1C Page 3B COURTESY PHOTO Hays artist made it to Carnegie Hall STAFF REPORT Hays High School senior Austin Dennis and his family recently re- turned from New York City, where they traveled to take part in the an- nual Scholastic Awards National Cel- ebration and Ceremony. Dennis was awarded a Silver Medal at the event for his self portrait en- titled "4 Weeks Later." Dennis and his family got the opportunity to travel to New York, a first for all of them, and attend the annual awards ceremony in Carnegie Hall. The program fea- tured Sarah Jessica Parker as keynote speaker. The venue, according to Dennis' art teacher, Marnie Hart, was filled with students from all over the nation who were receiving awards for their work. "It was a very impressive and life- changing event," Hart said. According to online sources, the Scholastic Awards were established to ensure that literary and artistic tal- ent were recognized in schools and communities across the country. The competition, with participants from both Hays and Lehman High schools, are the longest-running, most presti- gious competition and largest source of scholarships for creative teenag- ers in the country. It is administered by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Preliminary budget looks favoraL,le for more teachers, pay raises for Hays CISD BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com Two bills in the 83 rd Texas legislature, Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1025, were cause for a positive budget outlook for Hays CISD, according to Deputy Super- intendent Carter Scherff, who projects $2.3 million in initial revenue increases in the upcoming school year. At the regular June meeting, Scherff told the Board of Trustees the prelimi- nary budgeted revenues for 2013-2014 are $121,412,135. The 2012-2013 school year budget was $118.2 million. "We ended up having a good session in the legislature," Scherff said during his presentation to the board. "Even better news is everything I read today and vetoes the governor used, even though they did affect a couple of the bills that affect us monetarily, did not have any impact on school districts." The biggest change in the projec- tions from May to June was salary in- creases. Starting teachers at Hays CISD will make $40,388, up from $39,875. "That will put us halfway to the trend line," Scherff said, referring to the dis- trict's goal of raising teacher compen- sation. In May, Esperanza Orosco, a former Hays CISD teacher and then president of the Hays Educators Association, told the board Hays was at the bottom of the teacher salary comparison list com- pared to San Marcos ($41,400), Del Val- le ($42,500) and Pflugerville ($41,000) and several other Central Texas school districts. The projected salary increase for Hays CISD teachers, nurses and librar- ians is between 1.5-4.2%, depends on the number of years of employment. Teachers do not receive merit pay. Scherff said the projected pay in- crease for all other employees is 1.5 percent. "I'm very pleased to present this kind of a budget; last time I presented this (in May), there were no salary increases in there," he said. The projected enrollment figure Scherff used for estimated expendi- tures was 17,200. He used a projected enrollment of 17,150 to develop the es- timated revenues. He reminded the board that the dis- trict also has to pay an additional $27 a month per employee for an increase in health care insurance premiums. Hays CISD pays about $3,900 per employee per year for healthcare insurance. The estimated tax rate for the 2013- 2014 school year is $1.4613. The school board will approve the rate at its August meeting. Approval is subject to budget discussions and public hearings in Au- gust. The rate, with no change since the FY 2007-2008 budget, calls for a Main- tenance and Operations (M&O) rate of $1.04, and a Bonded Indebtedness (I&S) rate of $.4213, for the total rate of $1.4613 per $100 valuation. Changes around the district as a re- sult of the higher revenues, according to documents presented to the board, include 31 new teacher positions, two special education teacher spots, and several additional staffpositions. A new School Resource Officer, an employee of the Hays County Sheriff's Office, will split time between Dahlstrom Middle School and the Impact Center. The dis- trict pays a portion of SRO salaries. The district will also add a new in- tegrated pest manager position with an annual compensation of between $50,000 and $55,000, including ben- efits. Scherff said Hays CISD will also realign several other positions in the maintenance group. Board member Merideth Keller asked Scherff about hiring an addi- tional assistant principal at Dahlstrom Middle School. He told her that school's enrollment falls short of staffing re- quirements - off the top of his head he thought the threshold was 890 or 900. Dahlstrom is projected to have 840 stu- dents this coming year. Keller pointed out that Wallace and Barton middle schools each have two assistant principals and both of their enrollment numbers were below the threshold, at 860 and 786, respectively. Scherff said he made a mistake in the enrollment projections for those cam- puses during last year's budget session. Wallace is expected to have 854 stu- dents this year. "Dalhstrom Middle School will be very close to those numbers," Keller said. "I'm concerned about the number of students per teacher and the equip- ment. I think it's important we support that campus." She told Scherff there are too many children in the school's science classes. The district average student:teacher ratio is 26:1, but at Dahlstrom, Keller said some teachers have 33 students. "We have some challenges at that campus," she said. Superintendent Mike McKie, who has been on the job about a month, said the district will monitor those stu- dent-teacher ratios. Scherff said the next thing he is watching is House Bill 14 in the special session, which, if passed, would funnel all fuel tax revenue to its originally des- ignated intent- road infrastructure im- provements and maintenance. He told trustees that the permanent school program receives about $800 million a biennium from fuel taxes. Board member Shawn Bosar asked Scherff to conduct an evaluation of sal- aries at Hays CISD compared to other districts. Scherff said he agreed that the dis- trict needs a comprehensive study of the entire compensation system. He told trustees he recommends conduct- ing a Texas Association of School Board (TASB) salary study, which would be implemented in the 2014-2015 school The Hays CISD Board of Trustees authorized the following expenses at its regular June meeting: $250,000 for potential procurement of technology equipment, including iPods, iPads, accessories and other equipment district wide, to Apple Computers. The money will come from the General Operating Grant and federal funds and is expected to be an annual expenditure. $201,280 for asphalt repairs DMS, HHS, KES, LHS, TG Elem to Ram- ming Paving Company; this is a one- year option renewal from 2012 bid award and will be done over summer. The funds come from the Capital Project Funds. $60,000 for graphing calculators from D&H Distributing. The funds come from the General Operating Budget and Instructional Materials Allotment. $111,114 to the College Board for the May 2013 AP examinations. The fee is $81 per exam, though that amount is lower for free and reduced lunch students. The funds come from the General Operating Budget. The examination fees by high school are: Hays High, 1,099 exams, $75,477 Lehman High, 668 exams, $35,277 Live Oak Academy, 8 exams, $360 year. In response to her question about the cost of the study, Scherff told board member Holly Smith-Raymond the funds for the study would not need to be added to the budget. "If the cost is what I expect it to be, we can probably find it within exist- ing funds in next year's budget. It's not something we need to specifically add," he said. Formal board budget discussions 11 take place later this summer. The board will vote to adopt the budget at the August regular meeting, which takes place August 29 at Hays High School. SCHOOL BRIEFS Online regi00on for returning students is open Beginning July 1, Hays CISD opened its online registration link for returning students. This system eliminates the time consuming effort of filling out multiple pages of various forms. Once signed into the system, parents will be able to view their child(ren)'s information, add ad- ditional contacts for emergency and add emergency information relating to health conditions and allergies. Parents will be able to electronically sign the forms needed for student confidential- ity (FERPA), student handbook and other necessary back-to- school forms. While this process 11 not eliminate all paperwork, it will definitely quicken the registration process for parents. Online registration for return- ing students 11 be open July 1 - August 30, 2013. All parents that pre-register online 11 receive a 'FASTPASS' to proceed through the paperwork tables at the campuses on the back-to-school day/night Visit www..hayscisd. net / StudentRegistration and click on the Online Registration link to register remming students. Hays ClSD hours of operation During the summer, HCISD and its campuses continue to operate, but with a slightly dif- ferent schedule. All campuses are open Monday through Thursday from at least 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Central Office is open Monday through Thurs- day from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Middle and elementary school front offices are closed from July 1-12. High school from offices are closed from July 1-5. Summer school continues through the first two weeks of July. Back-to-School information August 26 is the first day of school for the 2013-2014 year. To download and print the Hays CISD 2013-2014 academic calendar, visit www.hayscisd. net and click on the "parents and students" tab, then select Academic Calendars. Schedule pick-up and meet the teacher dates: High School - August 15- 16 are schedule pick-up days for high school students. Middle School - Au- gust 20 (noon - 6:30 p.m.) is the schedule pick-up day for middle school students. Elementary School - August 22 at 6:30 p.m. is meet-the-teacher night for elementary students. Register your kids for Pre-K Pre-K registration for the Hays CISD 2013-14 school year will be held at Simon Middle School on Tuesday, July 23 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., onWednesday, July 24 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and on Thursday, July 25 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more informa- tion, email Martha Mendez- Trelles at trellesm@hayscisd.net. Meal prices increased With the recent reauthoriza- tion ofthe national school lunch and breakfast programs to com- ply with the 2010 Healthy, Hunger - Free Kids Act, Hays CISD school officials recommended rais- ing the price oflunch $.10 for elementary and secondary meals. The school board unanimously approved the increase, which takes effect at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. COMPOT IRWERK$-- ADWARE SPYWARE MALWARE VIRUSES On-Site Removal (requires broadband internet access) Norton Internet Security and Anti-Virus 2010  Mfr. 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