District receives clean audit report

Photo by David Kapitan
Fifth graders performed the "12 Powerful Words" song at the WPISD Board of Trustees' November meeting. The songs lyrics, which include trace, analyze, infer, evaluate, formulate, describe, support, explain, summarize, compare, contrast and predict, help students relieve test anxiety by giving them a base of what questions are being asked and how to solve problems.

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees covered familiar ground during their second to last meeting of 2018, discussing the district’s dual credit program before tackling annual bookkeeping items including a review of the audit report and review and approval of campus improvement plans.

Business opened with a series of recognitions, including middle school students, the district’s custodial and transportation departments, and staff members district-wide that had hit proficiency milestones in instructional technology.

Those in attendance were presented commendations from department heads and campus principals, as well as from assembled board members.

With no speakers signed up for public comment, district leaders returned to a common talking point in recent months: the dual credit program. Administrators and board members most recently talked about the dual credit program at the October meeting, announcing plans to join into an agreement with Stephen F. Austin for a variety of reasons including personalized services provided and cheaper costs than current partner Trinity Valley Community College.

Assistant superintendent Barbie McMath explained, “They [WPISD students] can get student IDs, they can go to student activities. They would like to do a Lumberjack for a day where they bring our dual credit kids on campus, spend the night in the dorms and participate.”

Board members unanimously approved the agreement with SFA, paving the way for all changes to be implement for the spring semester.

Due to Wills Point’s bi-district round playoff game against Fairfield Nov. 15, the high school shifted its planned information session for parents regarding the dual credit program and dual credit classes to Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in the high school cafetorium. Representatives from TVCC and SFA are each expected to be in attendance.

Business transitioned to the action portion of the agenda following the dual credit report, including an update from Thania Gonzalez of Whitley Penn on the district’s most recent audit report. Gonzalez explained that the audit report found no major red flags or discrepancies, adding that the district could operate for approximately 99 days overall (the state minimum is 30, with the recommended total of at least 90 days’ operating expenses).

Board members unanimously approved the audit report as presented by Gonzalez and Whitely Penn.

The November board meeting wrapped with each campus principal, including Kim White of the primary school, Melanie mullin of the intermediate school, Kim Calvery of the middle school, Casey Cochran of the junior high and Jeff Russell of the high school, outlining their campus improvement plans.

Each plan presented included a series of goals for the year, including items such as improved attendance and maximizing student achievement, as well as the steps each campus was implementing to reach their stated goals.

Board members unanimously approved the plans as presented before moving to executive session to discuss items related to personnel decisions as well as an audit on safety and security devices in the district.

In other business:

-The next WPISD Board of Trustees meeting will be held Dec. 10.

-The district entered into a new 72-month electricity contract with MidAmerican Energy. The contract will save an estimated $36,582 over its lifetime versus current rates.

-The board accepted a donation of $39,000 from the WPISD Education Foundation to go towards campus improvement grants and to help offset costs of the district’s dual credit program.