Each full academic month includes at least one school holiday
KERENS–Kerens ISD trustees voted Monday, Feb. 25 to adopt the 2019-20 school calendar, to approve fees to use district facilities for non-KISD, UIL-sanctioned events and for-profit activities, and to set tuition for certain Pre-K students starting next school year.
The 2019-20 school year begins Wednesday, Aug. 14 and ends Thursday, May 21, with graduation held Friday, May 22. Each regular academic week will consist of five instructional days, Monday through Friday.
School will be closed the entire week of Thanksgiving and for two full weeks during Christmas break. Students return to school Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, after Christmas break. April 2020 includes a four-day holiday covering Good Friday through the Monday after Easter (April 10-13).
The school board also approved an application for district facility use that includes a liability waiver for all non-KISD activities that use campus facilities. The board also set basic facility fees for University Scholastic League (UIL) sanctioned events and established charges covering for-profit activities that use campus buildings. Those changes begin with the 2019-20 school year.
The school cafeteria rents for $200 for two hours and another $100 for each additional hour. The high school gymnasium will rent for $600 for one game, or $1,000 for two games. The football field rents for $1,500. The baseball or softball field cost comes to $250 for one game or $500 for two games. The middle school and elementary gyms each rent for $300 for one game or $500 for two games.
Some costs will be absorbed by the district, including scorekeeping and electricity. For UIL-sanctioned events, such as playoff games, officials will be paid from gate receipts. Those who rent cafeteria space must pay the wages of food-service workers.
KISD trustees also set tuition charges for Pre-K students who are not eligible for non-KISD government funding. Those students, called “non-qualifiers,” will be charged beginning with the 2019-20 school year. The district doesn’t currently charge for such students, but did in the recent past, Superintendent Martin Brumit said.
Children of district employees who attend KISD Pre-K as non-qualifiers will not be charged tuition. KISD residents will be charged $250 per month for non-qualifier Pre-K student tuition, and residents outside KISD will be charged $500 per month for non-qualifier Pre-K student tuition.
A sign-up period for 2019-20 KISD Pre-K students will be held April 22-26 at Kerens Elementary School during its regular hours of operation, said the school’s principal, Shana Owen.
Also during the Feb. 25 school board meeting, trustees voted to pay a sixth installment funding the voter-approved school facility makeover, in the amount of $1,084,320.88, to Berry and Clay Construction.
Before the school board meeting, Stephen Berry, of Berry and Clay, gave trustees a guided tour of construction progress and outlined advancements after the meeting convened. Berry said construction of the fieldhouse-concessions-restroom facility adjacent to the home side of A.G. Godley Stadium was nearing completion. Berry said ceramic tiles in cafetorium restrooms were soon to be installed.
Berry also said the new secondary school’s first-floor safety core “safe rooms” were almost complete, after which the second-floor concrete deck will be poured. There are six safe rooms on each of two floors, said KISD student services director Brad Atkeisson, for a total of 12 safe rooms that are built to withstand extreme weather events.
Also noted during the Feb. 25 school board meeting were Kerens Middle School students who took part in the Future City Competition. Those students researched, designed and built models of future cities during a project-based learning exercise.
Ten teams took part in a competition at Kerens ISD, of which the top four teams advanced to the Dallas-Ft. Worth-area competition at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) earlier this year. At UTA, 400-500 schools took part, including students from private schools and Highland Park ISD, said teacher Jennifer Standlee.
“We literally started with toilet paper rolls and plastic bottles (as materials for the project),” Standlee told the school board. “(The students) put a lot of work into this project and I’m really proud of them.”
In other Feb. 25 board action, trustees approved budget amendments moving $36,744 from payroll to transportation costs, such as bus maintenance. The board also reallocated $8,800 to a fuel account to comply with Texas Education Agency (TEA) accounting regulations.
The budget moves involved no additional spending, said Jim Kendall, Kerens ISD business manager.
Also, Superintendent Brumit told the school board that Feb. 25, a Texas State Senate committee voted to advance a bill giving a $5,000 annual pay raise to every full-time Texas teacher. That raise involves about 350,000 classroom teachers and would be funded by $1.8 billion in state money each year over the next two years..