Chico School Board expected to hire middle school principal

Chico Superintendent Mike Jones is expected Monday night to present the school board with his recommendation for a new middle school principal.

The recommendation comes after choosing between five applicants.

Current principal, Bob Bland, informed Jones earlier in the school year that it would be his last.

After getting this hire behind him, Jones will continue his search for a high school principal.

“I’ll go through the same process,” Jones said. “We’re taking applications for the high school job right now, and I should have a candidate to recommend to the school board for our May meeting.”

Other items on the agenda for Monday’s meeting include routine monthly reports from each school.

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Slaughter resigns, accepts superintendent job

Chico High School Principal Lisa Slaughter resigned from the district last month to accept a superintendent’s job near the Red River.

Superintendent Mike Jones confirmed via email that Slaughter left her post over spring break to accept the job in Sivells Bend ISD, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade district.

“She will be greatly missed by Chico ISD for her leadership and professional contributions to our school district,” he said.

Kenneth Manning was named interim principal while the district reviews applications for Slaughter’s replacement.

Jones said the first round of interviews will be held in mid- to late April and two to three finalists will then be interviewed by the campus improvement team, which includes teachers, staff, parents, business representatives, community members and students.

“I expect to make a hiring recommendation in the May 18 board meeting,” Jones said. “The expected start date would be sometime in June. I have a good application pool of qualified candidates, and we are always seeking a good match for our school and community.”

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Chico middle school teacher contract discontinued

The Chico School Board voted Wednesday to discontinue coach Travis Kott’s probationary contract, stating it was in the best interest of the district.

Kott taught career investigations and coached at Chico Middle School. He will remain with the district through the rest of this school year.

In other action, the board also decided to compensate teachers for the days missed during winter storms. Jones said it would be good for staff morale.

He also said students will make up two missed days on Friday, April 3, and Friday, May 8, which were designated bad weather days.

The district will apply for a waiver from the state for the other days missed.

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Meeting Agenda for Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CHICO SCHOOL BOARD – The Chico School Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Chico Elementary School, room 150. The board will discuss the budget and how to handle teacher compensation. They will also consider a waiver for missed days due to winter storms.

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Chico ISD calls $7 million bond

The Chico School Board called a $7 million bond election at its regular meeting Monday night.

The proposition includes security and lighting upgrades at all campuses, construction of an ag facility and a concession stand/restroom building, site upgrades at all campuses and transportation and technology upgrades.

The move came after almost two-and-a-half years of discussion and only passed by a slim margin, 4-3. Board members Mark Tate, Paul Cantrell, Pancho Redwine and Doug Bowyer voted in favor of it, and G.A. Buckner, Bill Hand and Lori Clark voted against it.

Buckner simply said he wouldn’t support a bond, while Hand said he wouldn’t support one “right now.”

“We’re operating in the red and with oil and gas going down …” he said.

Superintendent Mike Jones reminded the board that interest rates are at a historic low, but if the board disagreed on whether or not to call a bond, one option would be to go ahead and have the election to let the citizens decide.

“Sure enough, with a contraction in the oil patch, that’s something to be concerned about, too,” Jones said. “But one reason to call it is to let the citizens decide if they want it. That’s another consideration.”

The superintendent said it would add 11 pennies to the tax rate. That would mean a tax increase of $110 per year or $9.17 per month on a homestead valued at $100,000.

Homeowners age 65 and over who have applied for and received an exemption would not see an increase in their tax rate, unless they make improvements that increase the value of their home.

“If we vote against it, that’s just saying we’re going to keep depleting our fund balance,” said board member Mark Tate.

Paul Cantrell spoke up and said he had recently visited the ag project center, and “it needs to be dozed down.”

“It’s a shame we put our projects in there,” he said.

Several board members acknowledged that many of these issues have been discussed on multiple occasions, and some indicated that citizens have said they would like to see the various improvements made.

“We’ve hashed it out three or four times,” Cantrell said. “I think as a team of eight we’ve hashed it out, and we’ve come up with a feasible amount to do what we need to do for the kids.”

Bowyer made a motion to call the bond election, and Tate gave it a second.

The proposition includes the following:


Elementary school security upgrades include exterior cameras; interior cameras; corridor and classroom door key locks from the inside; electronic card access to exterior doors; front entry door access with speaker, camera and remote release; cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown; and audio communication, speakers to the exterior.

Elementary school lighting upgrades include occupancy sensors and exterior lights. Canopies will also be added to the front sidewalk, gym entrance and rear entrance.

Middle school security upgrades include additional cameras; occupancy sensors; corridor/classroom door locks from inside, cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown; electronic card access; front entry door access with speaker; and audio communication, speakers to the exterior.

There will also be improvements made to the parking lot lighting at the middle school, and the roof and all windowns will be replaced. The HVAC system at the middle school will also be upgraded.

High school security upgrades include additional cameras; cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown, electronic card access to exterior doors; and front entry access with a speaker, camera remote release.

More exterior lighting will also be added at the high school.

The total for security and lighting upgrades is $1,626,885.


This part of the proposition includes a new concession stand/restroom building at the baseball and softball fields, a tensile canopy over the existing bleachers and ramp access from the parking lot to the concession stand.

It also includes the construction of a new ag barn facility, and the land on which it will be built.

The total for the ag facility and concession stand/restroom building is $2,640,573.


The parent pick-up lane will be extended at the elementary school, and site drainage will be added to the south side of the middle school. A pedestrian path will also be built from the middle school to the ballfield grandstands.

At the high school, the softball field will be resurfaced.

The total for site upgrades is $395,519.


“iPad and Chrome notebooks, those technologies will not go away,” Jones said. “We’re looking at how we can continue to pay for those things.”

These items total $2 million.

Voters will have the opportunity to support or reject the bond in the May 9 election. Superintendent Jones said two to three community meetings will be scheduled to explain the bond package and answer questions from voters.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 14, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – The Bridgeport School Board will decide Monday whether or not to create a soccer program. They will also approve the school calendar for 2015-2016 and will discuss stadium renovations and the animal science barn. The meeting is 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR – The Decatur School Board’s open session will take place earlier than normal Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with the closed session at the end of the meeting. The closed session usually takes up the first hour of the meeting. The open meeting agenda items include calling a trustee election and routine items such as monthly recognitions of students and employees, employment of personnel, superintendent communications and financial information. The meeting will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates St. It is open to the public.

CHICO – The Chico School Board will consider calling a bond election at its meeting Monday night. They will also call an election to fill three trustee positions and will hold a public hearing on the 2013-2014 Texas Academic Performance Report. The board will consider accepting donated materials, supplies and labor to construct two batting cages for softball and baseball. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Chico Elementary School, Room 150, 1120 Park Rd. The meeting is open to the public.

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Chico School Board extends Jones’ contract; Cost estimates given for possible bond program

The Chico school board voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Mike Jones by the slimmest of margins Monday.

The action came a year after a similar motion failed on a 5-2 vote. This year, it passed by a 4-3 margin.

Two board members, Pancho Redwine and Doug Bowyer, voted in favor of the extension after voting against it last year.

“I just feel like we put some items on the table last year for Mr. Jones to complete, and we feel like he did an excellent job of working on those issues,” said board member Mark Tate, who seconded the motion by Paul Cantrell to extend Jones’ contract back to three years. “I see no reason we shouldn’t extend his contract.”

The three board members who disagreed were board President Bill Hand, G.A. Buckner and Lori Clark.

Jones’ contract now runs through the 2017-2018 school year. The district traditionally waits until summer budget discussions to take action on salary adjustments.


After two years of studying the district’s needs, the board could decide to call a bond election next month. They’ll have to, if they want the election to take place this spring.

On Monday, the board heard from Tony Apel with WRA Architects of Dallas, who has assisted the school as they review facility needs. He provided the board with the latest cost estimates for projects previously identified as the most pressing needs.

The needs are grouped into four different packages. Package A includes security and lighting upgrades at all campuses. That includes cameras and electronic card readers, among other items. The package also includes a total roof replacement and HVAC unit replacement at the middle school. The total estimate for projects in Package A is $1.6 million.

Package B includes a new ag barn facility, new concession stand/restroom facility at the baseball and softball fields and a canopy structure over the existing grandstands at the ballfields. Total cost of Package B is $2.6 million.

Package C includes site upgrades at all campuses including an extended pick-up lane at the elementary, a pedestrian path to school at the middle school and increased parking at the high school. Total cost of this package is $395,520.

Package D includes transportation and technology upgrades. More detailed information was not available by press deadline.

Doug Whitt with Southwest Securities, the district’s financial advisor, presented the board with an analysis of how a possible bond program would affect the district’s tax rate. If the school called a bond election for $7 million, for instance, the estimated increase on the debt service portion of the district’s tax rate would increase approximately 11 cents. Each $1 million increase in the bond package, would equate to a 1.25-cent increase in the tax rate, based on conservative estimates, he explained.

With an 11-cent increase, the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would expect to see an annual tax increase of $110, or $9.17 per month.

The school board is expected to consider calling a bond election at next month’s meeting.

In other business, the board:

  • recognized students for honors earned during the fall semester;
  • learned the district is saving $275,000 using the services of Education Service Center 11 this year;
  • approved TASB policy updates;
  • voted to continue a resolution supporting the Clean Fleet Policy R14-10; and
  • accepted a $20,000 donation from Noel and LeAnn Ruddick for the Ryan Ruddick Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, January 17, 2015

BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL BOARD – The Bridgeport School Board will discuss the start-up costs of a new soccer program at the high school at Monday night’s meeting. The agenda also includes reviewing price quotes for electronic signs on all four campuses, nominations for Wise County Appraisal District board of directors, a review of the district’s Energy Conservation Policy and a discussion about the construction of a new agriculture science barn at the high school. The meeting is 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street.

CHICO SCHOOL BOARD – The Chico School Board will perform the annual superintendent evaluation and take action on his contract at Monday’s meeting. The agenda also includes a facilities review committee update, a report on the annual cost savings from ESC Region 11, nominations for Wise County Appraisal District board of directors, a monetary donation from Noel and LeAnn Ruddick for the Ryan Ruddick Memorial Scholarship Fund and other regular monthly business. The meeting is 7 p.m. in the Chico Elementary School Cafetorium, 1120 Park Road.

PARADISE CITY COUNCIL – The Paradise City Council will consider whether or not to waive the Paradise Historical Society’s water deposit. The Council will hear reports from the Paradise Economic Development Corp., as well as the Planning and Zoning Commisiion, Water Department and Building Department. The council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

PARADISE SCHOOL BOARD – The board will meet and hold a hearing at 6 p.m., where assistant Superintendant Patti Seckman will present reports on Texas Academic Performance Report, PEIMS Financial Standard Report, Campus Performance Objectives, Violent or Criminal Incidents Report and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Report. Following the hearing the board will have a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. where the board will discuss a budget ammendment and a district policy update.

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Chico school board ponders need for new ag facility

The Chico school board continued its discussion of facility needs this week in anticipation of a possible bond election next spring.

One item that keeps coming up is a new ag facility. Superintendent Mike Jones explained why the board is looking at replacing the current facility, located across town from the school.

“To get there, students have to drive across railroad tracks and Texas 101,” he said. “According to the state, that makes it a hazardous route. We’d like to find a place closer to the school and construct an ag facility to meet the needs going forward.”

At a workshop following Monday’s meeting, the board also discussed other items that have been identified by the facilities committee as priority items – such as increasing security across the district.

Jones said the district’s financial advisor will be at next month’s meeting to discuss how a possible bond package’s cost would affect the tax rate and impact property owners in the district. The board is expected to decide in February whether to call a bond election. The end of February is the deadline to put an issue on the ballot for May.

One of those facility needs is roof repair to the middle school, and the board received some good news on that item.

The district reached a settlement agreement with a former insurance company regarding hail damage the building sustained during a storm in 2011. The district should receive $318,000 to help pay for the roof replacement.

In other business the board:

  • split 3-3 on a vote to change a local policy to have the board hire at-will employees rather than the superintendent. G.A. Buckner, Bill Hand and Lori Clark voted to change the policy, and Doug Bowyer, Paul Cantrell and Mark Tate voted to keep policy the same. Pancho Redwine was not in attendance.
  • received a “clean” annual audit report for the district.

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Chico School Board to weigh bond options

The Chico school board will soon determine how to address the most pressing needs of the district.

The board held a work session with WRA Architects of Dallas Sept. 15 following its regular board meeting to continue discussions on the most urgent facility needs in the district.

For nearly two years, the board has been studying those needs. In addition to input from the architects, the board has relied on a facilities use committee. Each board member appointed two people to that committee.

A report was given to the board in January and February of this year, and since that time, the board has continued to prioritize the needs of the district.

“Probably at the next meeting, they’ll look at what it will cost based on their priorities, what size bond might be required, and look at what the impact might be on a homeowner of a typical home,” Superintendent Mike Jones said. “Then they’ll make a determination if they feel it is necessary or the way to go. It’s been something they’ve taken seriously and studying quite a while. I think they’ve really done their homework and tried to elicit as much input from the community through that committee to really take a critical eye and look at things and give them some recommendations.”

Jones said the highest priority needs deal with upgrades in security districtwide. The oldest school in the district, the middle school, also has several high priority needs, such as a new roof and new HVAC units.

The district is also taking a serious look at relocating and building a new agriculture facility.

During the regular meeting prior to the work session, the board:

  • heard a presentation from Wise County Sheriff’s Officer Paige Dobyns about the proposed Dads for Dragons program at Chico Elementary School. The program would encourage dads to volunteer as helpers at the school and be positive role models for kids.
  • designated 4-H activities as extracurricular school events and Wise County Extension agents as adjunct staff members.
  • reviewed district goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

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Council Previews for Saturday, September 13, 2014

BUDGET, AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS GET CITY’S FOCUS - The Bridgeport City Council will adopt its 2014-2015 tax rate of $0.5875 per $100 valuation at its meeting Tuesday, 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at 900 Thompson Street. The council will also discuss a uniform rental agreement with G&K Services and consider an agreement with TxDOT’s aviation division for improvements and repairs to the Bridgeport Municipal Airport.

DUGOUTS, AG BARNS ON AGENDA - The Bridgeport ISD will meet 7:30 p.m. Monday night at 2107 15th Street. At the meeting, the board is expected to discuss baseball dugouts, agricultural science barns and electronic message boards for each campus.

CRIME LAB, RESIGNATION ON COMMISSIONERS’ AGENDA – Wise County Commissioners face a lengthy agenda when they meet at 9 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the courthouse in Decatur, among them a request from Sheriff David Walker to acquire a building to be used as a future crime lab, and a “notification letter” received from Election Administrator Lanny Noble “for his resignation.” Other agenda items include bids on property sold in the recent “struck off property” auction, a final plat for Montecito Estates, cleaning out county road right-of-way to improve public safety and a discussion of conditions that might call for renewing the county’s burn ban. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD MEETS MONDAY – Decatur ISD administrators will provide the school board with their district and campus improvement plans at Monday’s meeting. The consent agenda includes the usual monthly items as well as approval of out-of-state travel for the National FFA Convention. The superintendent’s communications include a report on resignations/new hires, principals’ reports, directors’ reports, enrollment report, the high school ag project center and bond election. The meeting will take place at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates with a closed session at 6 p.m. followed by the open session at 7.

CHICO SCHOOL BOARD MEETS MONDAY – The Chico School Board will consider the Dads for Dragons program at Chico Elementary School at Monday’s meeting. In addition to the routine monthly items, the board will consider the sale of real estate, designation of 4-H activities as extracurricular school events and Extension agents as adjunct staff members, and district goals for the 2014-2015 school year. A work session with WRA Architects will take place following the board meeting in the elementary library. The regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Room 150 of Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road.

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Chico School Board approves lower tax rate

The Chico school board Monday approved a 2014-2015 tax rate more than 3 cents below the current rate.

The new rate is $1.22359 per $100 valuation – $1.04 for maintenance and operations and $0.18359 for debt payment. The current year’s rate is $1.2581.

The board also adopted a general fund budget of $7,418,955 for the 2014-2015 school year. While that is $170,170 less than the current year’s amended budget, it still represents a deficit of $130,963.

The budget was built with a conservative estimate of student population growth, an important number that affects the wealth per pupil calculation used to determine how much money the district must send to the state.

“Some of that depends on recapture to the state,” Superintendent Mike Jones said. “It’s all built on student counts. We based our projection on relatively flat student growth. We tried to be conservative.

“If we open with more students than we’ve estimated, we send less money back to the state. We’re cautiously optimistic we can hold that or improve that estimate.”

In other business, the board made official some changes in a couple of policies that affect participation in graduation ceremonies, after agreeing to the changes at last month’s meeting.

Beginning with the class of 2018, the school will not issue a certificate of completion to students who fail to pass all their state exams and all of the required coursework at Chico High School. Those students would also not be able to participate in graduation ceremonies.

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Chico school board set to approve budget, tax rate Monday

The Chico school board will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget and tax rate at Monday’s meeting.

Following the public hearing, the board is expected to approve the items.

A total tax rate of $1.22359 per $100 valuation is proposed, which includes a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.04 and debt service tax rate of $0.18359. That represents a decrease of just over three cents from last year’s rate.

Other agenda items include approval of the school vendor list, fund balance designations, policy changes, teacher appraisal calendar, designation of teacher appraisers, a student leadership course and a review of campus schedules in addition to routine items.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is at 6:30 p.m. in Room 150 at Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road.

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Elementary meal prices increasing 50 percent

Students and staff will be paying more for meals this fall at Chico ISD.

On Thursday, the Chico school board voted to raise meal prices for breakfast and lunch.

The price increase was needed to bring meal costs closer to the rate of reimbursement, Superintendent Mike Jones explained. The National School Lunch program provides free or reduced-price lunches for students who meet certain income eligibility requirements. Schools are reimbursed for the cost of providing these meals to students.

Current reimbursement rates for breakfast is $1.58, and for lunch it is $2.95, Jones said. Last year’s student meal prices at Chico ISD were $1 for breakfast at all campuses, $2 for elementary lunch and $2.75 for middle school and high school lunch.

Jones recommended an all-campus breakfast increase to $1.30 and elementary lunch increase to $2.50.

“We need to go up on our breakfast prices,” Jones said. “I know we normally try to go up incrementally – 10 cents, 15 cents – but we’re so far behind, I’d recommend we go up to $1.30 for all three campuses for breakfast.”

Jones added that he understood that increases in both breakfast and lunch could create a bit of a financial burden for some.

“I’d like to get to $2.50 at the elementary this year, but that’s an 80-cent increase for someone who has an elementary kid who eats breakfast and lunch,” he said. “Some folks can afford it, and some folks it’s going to be a hit in their pocketbook.”

Board members suggested the prices should be set even higher.

“If they stop at the donut shop or the Chico Mart, it’s going to cost more than that,” board President Bill Hand said. ” … I think breakfast ought to be $1.50, and lunch prices ought to be $3.”

By setting those prices above the rate of reimbursement, Jones said it would keep the school district from having to dip into its own funds so much to make up the cost of providing meals. He pointed out that the numbers have been “artificially low” after several years with no price increase.

After a brief discussion, the board voted 5-0 to set student meal prices at $1.50 for breakfast and $3 for lunch at all campuses. Meal prices for staff were set at $2 for breakfast and $3.50 for lunch. Board members Paul Cantrell and Donald Joe Clark were not in attendance.

In other meal-related business, the board approved spending $15,645 for a steamer for the middle school kitchen. The board also made a related $25,000 budget amendment to cover the cost and installation of the steamer and other cafeteria upgrades related to the new meal program beginning this fall. At last month’s meeting, the board approved a contract with Walker Quality Services to provide cafeteria management services for the 2014-2015 school year. The service is expected to provide higher quality meals and more food choices for students.

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Chico School Board to discuss budget, cafeteria items

The start of school is less than a month away, but Chico school board still has some business to take care of before kids and teachers head back to the classroom.

Much of that business will be addressed at a special meeting Thursday.

Several items on the agenda deal with routine, annual issues such as reviewing student, employee and extracurricular handbooks and approving the student code of conduct.

Other items deal with a recently-approved cafeteria management service – changing meal prices and the purchase of a middle school kitchen steamer.

It’s also budget time, and the agenda includes a discussion of the 2014-2015 draft budget, consideration of tax rates and setting a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rates.

The school board will also consider employee compensation policies and schedules and consider a policy change involving class ranking.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in Room 150 at Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road. It is open to the public.

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Chico School Board considers food service options

Add Chico to the list of area schools that may look at changing their food service.

Monday, Chico Superintendent Mike Jones presented school board members with information on contracting with an outside company to oversee cafeteria operations. Jones said he visited with the Era and Collinsville school districts who have recently taken that route, to see how it was working out.

“I was at Era during a lunch time, and the kids were quiet and chowing down,” he said. “It’s unusual. Usually you’re riding herd on kids. They were full. The parents were giving them great praise. They said their kids weren’t coming home starving.”

Calling it a “win-win,” Jones said the companies could offer healthy, high-quality options that would appeal to students. He said other schools that have brought in an outside company went from running a deficit in their food service operations to breaking even or making a profit.

The school would be able to utilize the company’s resources and experience while still using its own cafeteria workers, he added.

The item was for discussion purposes only at Monday’s meeting, but Jones said he intends to bring it back to the board in June for possible action.

Boyd and Paradise have also recently looked into contracting with an outside company for food service.

In other business, the board:

  • re-elected Bill Hand as board president and Doug Bowyer as secretary and named Paul Cantrell vice president;
  • approved the purchase of a 2015 Chevrolet pickup from James Wood Motors in Decatur;
  • approved a low-attendance waiver request to the Texas Education Agency for two days in December when school was held, but buses did not run due to icy conditions – resulting in about one-third of the students missing those two days; and
  • approved a staff development waiver request for three days used for staff development rather than instruction.

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Chico school board seeks pricing on facility projects

A month after hearing a report that identified facility needs of the school district, Chico ISD school board members Monday began taking a closer look at those areas.

Tony Apel with WRA Architects of Dallas, who gave the report at last month’s meeting, was on hand again to go through the list of high- and medium-priority needs as identified by the facilities review committee. The idea was to have board members identify which of those items needed further study, including price estimates.

Overall, the board asked for pricing estimates on most of the items on the list, which includes:

  • Elementary – cafeteria theatrical lighting and stage curtain, site drainage on the north and south sides, extended parent pick-up lane, numerous security items, covered sidewalks for pick-up and drop-off, occupancy sensors for the classrooms, audio communication to the exterior and more exterior lighting
  • Middle school – replacement of HVAC units, window replacement, roof replacement, numerous security items, locker room light upgrades, better parking lot lighting, site drainage on south side, sidewalks and audio communication to exterior
  • High school – new ag barn facility, numerous security items, softball field resurfacing, more exterior lighting, additional front parking area and new concessions and restroom at the baseball/softball facility
  • District – security cameras at sporting areas, paving parking lot at football field and water capture for irrigation at football field

Apel said he would work on preliminary pricing and planning and report back to the board. None of the projects have been approved yet.

In other business from Monday’s special meeting, the board approved a resolution to pay employees for missed instructional days due to bad weather and approved a shared services arrangement with Bluebonnet Co-op for students with visual impairments.

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Chico school board doesn’t extend Jones’ contract; Committee report identifies facility needs

Mike Jones is still superintendent at Chico ISD. But the majority of school trustees made it clear Monday that they have issues with his leadership.

What those issues are, they didn’t say publicly.

The school board met in closed session for an hour at the end of their regular meeting for the annual superintendent evaluation. When they returned to open session, Paul Cantrell made a motion to extend Jones’ contract another year, and the motion was seconded by Mark Tate.

They were the only two to vote for the extension, as Bill Hand, Doug Bowyer, G.A. Buckner, Donald Joe Clark and Pancho Redwine voted against it.

There were no other comments about Jones’ performance, and the meeting adjourned immediately after the vote.

Following the meeting, board president Hand declined to comment on the vote.

Jones’ contract, which is now two years rather than three, runs through the 2015-2016 school year. The district traditionally waits until summer budget discussions to take any possible action on salary adjustments.


The school board also heard an update from the facilities review committee, which has identified areas of need for the district.

Tony Apel with WRA Architects of Dallas explained that members of the committee, as well as architects, had looked at all of the district’s facilities and had scored each one on factors such as educational adequacy, safety and health, accessibility, efficiency, flexibility and appearance.

Committee members also looked at specific features of each campus and judged each on a needs/priority rating of high, medium or low.

“We found that a lot of the items that dealt with security, student safety – those types of things were ranked very high among all the committee members,” Apel said.

Specific measures identified as high priority included security cameras at the high school; classroom doors that lock from the inside, an emergency door lockdown and electronic card access for exterior doors at the middle school and high school; perimeter fencing of interior areas districtwide; and security cameras at sporting areas.

Other high priority needs by campus included the following:

Elementary school – none

Middle school – Replace HVAC units, replace all windows, repair leaking windows, replace roof/repair roof leaks and hot meal service from middle school kitchen

High school – update/relocate ag barn facility, occupancy sensors for classroom lighting

District – limit pedestrian access to bus area south of the middle school

The presentation also included a list of “medium” priority items for each campus and the district.

Apel said looking at 10 years of enrollment, growth was fairly flat, so student growth was not a major consideration in terms of facility needs at this time.

The next step in the process is for the board to review the report and come up with their own list of high priority items. That will be the topic of discussion at a workshop next month. Once the high priority areas are identified, architects can begin making plans and creating cost estimates.

In other business the board:

  • accepted a bid of $37,200 from Burtnett Air Conditioning and Heating of Springtown to replace two rooftop HVAC units at the middle school. The motion passed by a 4-3 vote with Hand, Buckner and Clark voting against it.
  • agreed to accept bids for lawnmowers and school vehicles.
  • accepted a $20,000 donation from Noel and LeeAnn Ruddick for the Ryan Ruddick Memorial Scholarship fund.
  • recognized students for honors earned during the fall semester.

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Facilities review, superintendent contract on Chico School Board agenda

The Chico School Board Monday will hear a report on the needs in the school district.

The report will be in the form of an update from the Facilities Review Committee. The group has been working to identify program needs, possible renovations or additions to facilities, functional needs or deficiencies, security or safety concerns and possible deferred maintenance projects for capital improvements.

Tony Apel with WRA Architects of Dallas will present the progress update, including a needs/priority list by school that the committee has put together.

The board will also perform the annual review of Superintendent Mike Jones and possibly take action on his contract.

In other business, the board will consider advertising for proposals for new HVAC rooftop units at the middle school gym, riding lawnmowers and school vehicles; accept a donation from Noel and LeeAnn Ruddick for the Ryan Ruddick Memorial Scholarship Fund; recognize students for honors and activities from the fall semester; and hear monthly principal reports.

The meeting is 6:30 p.m. in the Chico Elementary School Cafetorium located at 1120 Park Rd.

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Board’s full plate includes food item

The Chico school board faces a full agenda for its Monday meeting.

Agenda items include approving campus attendance committees, voting for Wise County Appraisal District board of directors, approving district and campus improvement plans, a Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) policy update, the district technology plan and the middle school cafeteria food service.

They will also review bids for lawn mowing service and consider hiring a half-time teacher position. The agenda also includes the regular district and campus principal reports, including a facilities review committee update.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in Room 150 at Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road. It is open to the public.

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