By RACHEL TUGGLE
DUBLIN (February 23, 2016) – At the monthly DISD school board meeting Monday, the Dublin school board had a full agenda.
The students of the month were recognized as well as students who received post-district honors last semester. The board discussed several changes to the 2016-17 school calendar and approved and extended the contracts of several employees.
Finally, the DISD board selected BWA Architects as the architect/ engineering firm and Gallagher Construction as their CMA as the companies to negotiate with for the bond election.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Dublin school board also witnessed a presentation from the Intermediate Campus Robotics Club who recently competed in a robotics competition. Out of 110 teams, Dublin’s robotics teams placed 15th, 27th and 40th.
“We have a lot of potential and we are going to continue to build even more,” Robotics Club sponsor Stephanie Keith said.
Dublin ISD will undergo some changes in the school calendar next year due to the last Texas legislative session. Instead of requiring 180 school days per year, schools are now required to have students in class for 75,600 minutes per school year.
According to superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider, this will reduce the number of days to around 170. However, teachers are still required to be in school 187 days. Because of these changes, Dublin will have SER – or Student Earned Release – days in May.
Students who complete their classes in good standing may earn this time off while students who need extra help can receive extra instruction for teachers. The last official day of class and graduation is set for May 19.
“This gives us a lot of flexibility,” Schneider said. “Students can earn that time off. This gives teachers the opportunity to work at a more individualized basis with students.”
Additionally, all employee contracts were maintained or extended.
“It is highly unusual to make a recommendation this early, but we are absolutely sure that we have our staff in place that are making a difference in the lives of our kids,” Schneider said. “We’re ready to go forward.”
The school board heard presentations from three different Architect/Engineering firms – WRA Architects, SLA Architects and BWA Architects. Of the three, the board selected to move forward in negotiations with BWA Architects. This firm has worked with Dublin ISD in the past and completed the addition to the high school. Gallagher Construction was also selected as the Construction Manager-Agent company.
“With CMAs you have greater flexibility in choosing your contractors,” Schneider said.
Besides these agenda items, Schneider reported that enrollment is at 1179 students and the district is “on track” in collecting taxes. The school board approved the sale of the lot at 219 Dobkins. Schneider also mentioned looking into replacing 60 percent of DISD’s current energy sources with solar panels, which would be at no cost to the district.
“It would reduce our carbon footprint on our planet,” Schneider said. “I’ll keep looking at it.”