The Comanche Board of Education met in a regular session on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.
The board approved various routine consent agenda items, including the minutes of the August board meeting, activity fund reports, 2023-2024 activity fundraisers, and the treasurer’s report. The board also approved the School-Wide Title I Plan, General Fund, Child Nutrition Fund, Co-Op Fund, and Bond Fund encumbrances.
Valerie Hill, from Kerr3 Architectural Firm, presented updated plans to the board for the new construction project.
Finance Director Terry Davidson presented the district financial update. The Estimate of Needs (EON) was not completed by the auditor at the time of the meeting. A special board meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, to approve the EON. He provided a history of the EON document and its purpose. He also shared details concerning how he works with the auditor to determine the overall district financial needs for the upcoming year. Finance Director Terry Davidson reported record-level fund balances in the General Fund, Child Nutrition Fund, and Building Fund. He reminded board members that, three years ago, he had recommended that fund balances be increased as much as possible. This commitment was necessary to prepare for the financial challenges that are sure to present themselves when the stimulus funding is no longer available. Davidson also noted that, during that same time frame, gross production tax revenues have dramatically increased. Those revenues are one hundred percent chargeable against state aid. Increased revenue from those and other chargeable sources, must be held in reserve to account for the state aid reduction.
Superintendent Julie Bills reported that the current student enrollment is 865. Mrs. Bills shared that the district showed a decrease in enrollment last year from the previous year, and this trend continues with a decline of 38 students this year as compared to last. Some of the decline is attributed to the fact that large upper-level classes are graduating and being replaced by smaller classes at the early childhood levels. The district has 20 students, up from 16 last year, taking 9 concurrent (college-level) classes. We have 56 students, up from 40 last year, attending Red River Technology Center (RRTC). Some RRTC students are simultaneously enrolled in concurrent classes. We have 10 internships at the high school and 12 Internships through FAME Academy. Bills reported that class sizes at all sites are at optimal levels.
Bills also reported that based on community input the ACT will be used as the district's testing mechanism. The district earned full accreditation for the upcoming school year with no deficiencies.
Bills reported that the track resurfacing should be completed next week with the restriping. The installation of new elementary playground equipment is slated to begin at the end of September. The finalization of the plans for the safe room/commons area will be submitted to the City of Comanche for building permit approval at the end of the month and the reroofing project at FAME will also start at the end of September.
In other business, the board accepted the resignations of Jennifer Shaver and Beverly Clark. Robin Burdick was hired for a bus driving position, Kimberly Gleghorn for a VR lab support position, and Anita Montgomery as a child nutrition assistant. The board also approved a contract with the Stephens County Sheriff's Department for the placement of a resource officer beginning in October, based on availability.
The board nominated Marty (Hawley) Clark to fill the Area 2 Board Seat position which was vacated in July when Peyton Hale moved to a different area.
The board met on September 20 and unanimously approved the Estimate of Needs and a fundraiser. Marty Clark took the oath of office as a new board member.