Athletic programs and coaches were recognized for outstanding performances, as well as national and state awards by the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees on Monday evening. A second-grade teacher was also recognized for her recent national award.
Being the last school board meeting of the 2017, several updates were given on M*Power, construction and bonds.
Leslie Garakani, MISD chief technology officer, discussed the past successes and current challenges on the M*Powered program. He talked about the success of the security systems, stating there hasn’t been any reported student-to-student email communication containing vulgar language.
It will scan every email sent and received between students for inappropriate or vulgar language, and it will also scan for attachments that include skin tones. She also explained that JPEG and GIF images are already blocked.
It also can scan for phrases, such as those that include words related to suicide.
“We have seen increases in student engagement, collaboration and individualized learning," Garakani said. "We’ve seen more digital content created by students now than ever before. The teacher adoption and integration has been fantastic.”
Trustee Andrea Walton suggested to not make public to students the process of Gaggle since students are intuitive and could work around it. She also had Garakani clarify that if an email was flagged with Gaggle, a human with the company would see it, then call the designated administrative person to address the situation.
Principal Stacey Germany introduced Lauren Benner, a second-grade teacher at McClatchy Elementary, for her innovative strategies of incorporating technology with reading and writing. District Administration magazine recently awarded Benner for her use of literature circles.
“Lauren does a wonderful job in her classroom. I think this award is so fitting for her because she integrates technology seamlessly into her classroom with our young kiddos of second grade,” Germany said.
Steve Keasler, director of athletics for MISD, recognized athletic programs and individuals for their success. Midlothian Heritage High School volleyball finished with a season record of 33-4 and a district record of 10-2. They were also bi-district champions, area champions, regional quarterfinalists and regional semi-finalists.
The Heritage football team was recognized for their record of 12-1, and for being crowned district champions, bi-district champions, area champions, and regional finalists. The Jaguars also tied the Midlothian ISD record for best football record.
The Heritage tennis team was recognized for being district champions, area champions, regional finalists and finishing the season ranked fifth in the state in 4A.
Heritage cross county team members Rachel Allen, Renee Elliott, and Ethen Agreda were recognized for outstanding seasons.
The Midlothian High School tennis team was recognized after a season record of 18-9. The Panthers finished the year as undefeated district champions for the third-straight year), and also as bi-district champions, area champions, and a regional qualifier.
Midlothian High School volleyball coach Teresa Dunn was recognized after she received a national award from the American Volleyball Association. Out of 200 nominations, Dunn was selected as one of the 30 who is 30 years old or younger.
Sam Wrinkle, the tennis coach at Midlothian High, was awarded the Ike Groce Award by the Texas Tennis Association. The award is given to a coach who has a clear vision of team and program.
Midlothian High soccer coach Austin Guest was recognized for his induction into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Hall of Honor in November.
No public comments were given at Monday’s board meeting.
In other business:
• Judy Walling discussed the consideration of amending the District of Innovation Plan and the start date for school possibly changing the start date for the 2018-2019 school year.
• Jim Norris informed the board on the schedule of replacing the turf at the MHS and MISD multipurpose stadium and the resurfacing of the MHS track.
• BOK, Inc. presented a financial update to the board, discussing the process of selling bonds in 2018 that will primarily fund the third middle school and athletic complex at MHS.
• The board received the third quarter demographic report for 2017, with updates on the residential developments that potentially bring in more students. The demographic report was unanimously approved.
• Kaylnn Day requested to hire an additional special education and bilingual staff member in the district. The board unanimously approved it.
• The board heard a request to issue complete updating on cabling system at five campuses and partially at two campuses. Public address and bell clock upgrades throughout the district, video surveillance systems and card readers that are access controlled were also addressed. The board passed this unanimously to seek a bid for the project.
• The board unanimously voted to amend Pogue’s contract (CMAR contract) to include the MHS field house playing fields. This is part of the 2016 bond project.
• Updates of the renovation of J.R. Irvin, the construction of the new middle school and renovations on existing campuses were brought up. Trustee Walton suggested talking with local residents about the metal rendering on the exterior of J.R. Irvin Elementary.
• An updated graphic plan for the MHS field complex was shown, displaying the artificial turf, circulation parking and buildings that are in conjunction with the complex.
• Norris asked the board to consider an addendum to the HKS, Inc. contract relating to the 2016 bond project. The board unanimously approved.
The meeting was adjourned for closed session at 7:41 p.m.