By JESSIE HORTON
Dublin ISD will move forward with a plan to allow Gay Yarborough to pursue operating a child care program out of the cafeteria building on the old Dublin Junior High School campus. This is a project Dr. Rodney Schneider said he has been working on for some months now.
“Since we made the move to the secondary campus, I’ve been looking into and working with Mrs. Yarborough on this day care project,” Schneider said at the regular board meeting Monday night. “Having child care for our employees is something that I feel will greatly benefit our staff.”
The contract, which was provided to the board at the meeting, states that in exchange for the use of the old cafeteria building, Yarborough will provide child care for some of the district’s employees. There is a 20 student cap on the free enrollment of children into the program, and those children, for the time being, will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.
Currently, Schneider said he believed there were 12-14 children that fall under the requirements for free enrollment. Accepted children will be those of ‘professional, educational staff only,’ Schnieder said. Those teachers, coaches and administrators who deal directly with education.
Yarborough said she currently has several children enrolled in her program whose parents work for the district. She was unsure the exact number of employee children, but said total, she has 62 children from infant to intermediate school students. The estimated total allowed in the suggested building is over 100.
A public hearing was held to allow the public time to voice any concerns or ask any questions they may have regarding the plan. This was the second hearing held by the board on the project, and this time no one spoke. The board had several questions for Schneider and Yarborough though, including how the district would cover the cost of much needed repairs on the building (some will be covered by the district, other costs would be paid by Yarborough), when the program could move into the building and children enrolled (Schneider estimates Feb. 1) and when construction would begin (as soon as possible, Schneider said).
In other business, the board also passed three resolutions recognizing first-team all-state volleyball player Sunny Clark, the 2014 Dublin Lions football team for their playoff achievements and the state winning Dublin FFA Radio team. Other academic, athletic and extracurricular students were also honored for their accomplishments at DISD.
Before adjourning, the board approved two major budget amendments to the 2014-2015 budget. The first was a measure allowing the district to begin replacing the Smart Boards purchased five years ago. According to Schneider, the district’s Smart Boards are beginning to crash and have major problems. He advised the research he’d done indicated Interactive Boards have less parts that will break, are cheaper for the district to purchase new and will be more useful in the classroom situations provided at DISD.
Schneider said he will be able to move figures around from other budgeted items to provide the district with enough funds ($130,000) to cover the cost of replacing all the Smart Boards at the high school. He said with the parts from the boards on that campus, the IT Department will be able to keep the Smart Boards on the other campuses functioning until the next budget year so they can also be replaced.
The other major budget adjustment allows the district to help students who are enrolling in dual-credit classes through Ranger College, Tarleton State University or TSTC (Texas State Technical College) pay for the classes. Schneider said this program would help all students enrolling in these classes cover the cost of tuition. He spoke with other area schools about their similar programs and found only one offers assistance like DISD is considering — Hamilton ISD. He said they have a foundation that also helps, and every student is given almost total assistance to cover cost of books, lab fees and tuition. However,Schneider says at this time it is only feasible for DISD to offer tuition assistance.
The next regular meeting of the Dublin ISD Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 19, in the district’s meeting room at 420 N. Camden.