JISD Board Members were recently out at the new high school on Evans Road to see the progress and it seems to be changing significantly by the day. The project’s first phase is now at 70 percent completion and board members have been pleased with what they have been seeing. A lot of the inside construction is at full throttle with painting and installation of HVAC systems going on.
With the school at this point in the construction process, the survey of the community that asked for name suggestions has been completed. Almost 400 name suggestions were submitted for consideration. The district wants to thank everyone for their input on the process. The names will be presented to the school board for consideration in the coming weeks. From there, Principal Christina Clark will work with the school's students and parents on the mascot. In the meantime, the dust will continue to fly out there as construction hums along and we see the district's newest school take shape.
The Judson ISD School Board approved a total $228.8 million dollar budget on June 23, 2015. The budget that was passed by the JISD Board includes a general 3% pay raise for professional educators and administrators. In addition, a modest increase in the district’s contribution to employee insurance plans was included to help pay for the current benefits. Also figured into this budget is the pay raise of at least $1,600 for teachers, nurses and librarians as a part of their annual step. Bus drivers will also now be starting at $13.75 an hour. With this budget, the starting salary of teachers in the Judson ISD with no experience will be $50,150. This budget will take effect for the upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year which starts in July.
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We wanted to recognize a member of the media. The Texas Association of School Boards or TASB recognizes media representatives across the state for fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools. Media from print, broadcast and online are honored by local school districts for their quality and honest work. This evening Judson ISD wants to award the 2015 TASB Media Honor Roll Award to Jeff Flinn of the Northeast Herald.
The Lady Rockets won the State Girls Track Championship for the second year in a row and the JISD Board wanted to honor Head Girls Track Coach Renee Gerbich, coaches Wrenee Danaher, Jesseca Baggot, and Nia Torru. Team member Zantori Dickerson was also on hand.
Superintendent Dr. Carl A. Montoya wanted to present a special award to acknowledge the incredible body of work that Associate Superintendent Nancy Robinson has contributed to the JISD. She is a Judson High School graduate, member of the Judson ISD Hall of Honor and has served in many capacities within the district. She has been a big reason why academic scores having been seeing a noticeable and steady rise over the last several years. She is retiring at the end of the 2014-15 school year and the district wanted to recognize what she's done during her service here.
Judson ISD's new high school on Evans Road continues to draw a lot of interest as the campus takes shape on the north end of the district. Board members and administrators recently took a tour of the new school to see how progress was coming along. At more than halfway finished, most of the school's main structures are closed in from the elements, but there is still a lot of external work to do and internal work on utilities is really cranking up as well. The principal for the school will be named very soon...in the coming days and after that the community will be solicited for name suggestions, much like the district's newest school, Copperfield, was handled which opened last August.
Many parents and students are already asking about how boundary lines will be handled with this new school and the answer is...for now they will stay the same. Kitty Hawk Middle School will be the direct feeder to the new high school. Kitty Hawk 8th graders ('14-'15 year) that will be 9th graders for the 2015-16 school year will go to Judson High School next year, but after that year, they will be given the option to stay at Judson or move to the new high school. Kitty Hawk 7th graders during the '14-'15 school year that will be 8th graders in the 2015-16 will be the first group to go directly to the new high school.
The new high school is expected to open in August 2016. As you may remember when the 2013 bond was proposed to voters (one elementary and one high school), the new high school was presented as a campus that was to open to only 1,600 students. An ensuing bond in the near future, if passed, would add another academic wing and equity in athletic fields to raise enrollment to around 2,400 students. This phasing in of the new high school was proposed and passed by voters as a way to quickly relieve some overcrowding issues at Judson High School without raising the tax rate to property owners in the district. More updates as the progress continues!!
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With the results of the May 9th election, the Judson ISD School Board has two new members and one returning member...they were recently sworn in. Incoming Board Member Renee Paschall took her oath of office from Converse Mayor Al Suarez, while Dr. Melinda Salinas took her seat on the board after Precinct 4 Judge Rogelio Lopez administered her oath. Returning Board Member Steve Salyer was also sworn in by Judge Lopez. After the brief installation ceremonies, the board elected leadership. Mr. Salyer retained his position as Board President, Mr. Flores also stayed on as Board Vice President and Ms. Paschall was elected as Board Secretary. Congratulations.