School board approves 2019-2020 calendar

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The first items on any agenda for the Sealy Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting are recognitions and commendations and that’s exactly where the March meeting started.

Ryan Burns was the one being recognized in front of the board and attendees for his powerlifting campaign this year. Each week, he improved his total and qualified for the next step until reaching the top at State.

As only a sophomore, Burns pulled 980 total pounds to finish ninth in his weight class of 132 pounds. He set personal records in each of the three lifts (squat, bench press and deadlift) and walked away having set the bar high for himself.

Accompanying him for the trip to Abilene were coaches Kamm Coker and Shane Mobley, who both shared high remarks of the athlete and closed on the want to get him back to that same competition next year, although Mobley joked about bulking him up to compete in the 220-pound weight class.

Ballot by Mail

One of the top priorities at last week’s meeting of Sealy ISD trustees was an update on any voters who have registered for an application for ballot by mail in a previous year’s election.

CFO Lisa Svoboda noted that, that two years ago, the state passed a law was allowing anyone who applied for a mail-in ballot would continue to get ballots for all future elections. This hasn’t come up for a school board election since the elections of two years ago.

With the upcoming May 4 elections, Svoboda said she wanted to make clear that anyone who applied to vote by mail two years ago will again receive their ballot to be mailed in, and once that is sent in, voters no longer need to go to the voting center to cast a ballot.

The board wants to ensure that citizens understand what they will be sending in at the time they do so and wanted to avoid any confusion possible.

DEPARTMENTAL UPDATES

From there, the meeting rolled along to the meat of the agenda with Food Service Director John Anderson leading things off with an update from what’s been going on in the kitchens.

He cited positive turnouts from Thanksgiving and Christmas cookie making events before mentioning a new award system that he has been able to help out with.

The Roving Chef program allows students who have been nominated for any number of reasons to get in the kitchen and make their own food that they chow down on for lunch that day.

Anderson added that all staff members have a true desire to ensure nobody walks away hungry and jokingly added that they will hunt you down if they know you missed a meal.

Mary Gajewski principal at Sealy Elementary, took the podium to update the board on communication goals centered on parents understanding the essential learning standards in their children’s classrooms.

She said that information has been going out in waves and that she and the rest of her team have been following back up to aim at 85 percent of parents understanding the standards. In the process of finding out how much the parents know, Gajewski sent out surveys asking what the schools have been doing well and overwhelmingly, communication kept coming up.

Casey Killough and Amy Dyer stepped up to provide an update from the social media department and how well each campus is reaching its respective audience.

They pulled up Facebook analytic stats and delved into the kind of posts that were gaining the most traction on the platform. They noted that the Tiger Pride Props that honor faculty members’ contributions draw big engagement as well as any sort of post acknowledging students’ achievements as well.

Killough added that a majority of those student achievements are also included in weekly newsletters that have also proved to elicit further clicks with readers searching for more information.

After that came the consideration and ultimate approval of the calendar for next school year which will start on Aug. 15. The rest of the schedule is fairly run-of-the-mill although the full week of Thanksgiving will be taken off for holiday. There’s a day off set for the day after the county fair and a pair of bad weather days that could turn into an extra holiday if no outstanding weather occurs similar to this year.

But the other option was to start the following week on August 22, but the rest didn’t persuade the board enough to keep students in school an extra week, so the earlier start allows for an earlier release.

Moore wrapped up the rest of the agenda with an update to mission and vision statements and although neither are long drawn-out novels, it did take plenty of deliberating to land on the phrasing they ultimately chose.

The mission statement was updated to say that Sealy ISD is “Committed to high levels of learning for all,” not restricting it to only students as even faculty members can learn something new each day.

To complement that, the vision statement was updated to inquire, “What do you need to do to accomplish that?”

Whether it be extra lessons after school or specific technology that will aid learning, that step will be taken to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn at a high level.

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