The Lumberton ISD School Board convened for a regular meeting on Thursday, June 8. The first order of business was to renew the child nutrition handbook for 2017-2018. Katie Baker, the new LISD Director of Nutrition was in attendance and advised the Board that there were not many changes, mostly new prices. She said that they plan to offer online forms for applicants to complete to be considered for free or reduced lunches. There will also be a computer made available for those who do not have other access to a computer. LISD Superintendent John Valastro suggested that the online applications may help more people sign up for the program.
Assistant Superintendent Gerald Chandler submitted the 2017-2018 Student Code of Conduct and mentioned that there were no changes to discuss. The 2017-2018 LISD Student Handbook was also submitted. Chandler stated that since the state is in a legislative year that there will probably be more updates recommended by TASB (Texas Association of School Boards).
Lumberton Intermediate will receive some new technical devices for the next school year. The Board approved the purchase of 90 Chromebooks and three carts for the school. They will be purchased by Dell for a total of $55,637.97. It was noted that Dell has a state contract. The Chromebooks have a three-year warranty and the carts will have a one-year warranty.
The next topic brought about a lengthy discussion. The Board was to vote on the proposed 2017-2018 pay scales with a few changes. Earlier that evening, the Board participated in a budget workshop where some of pay scale changes were discussed. It was proposed that some positions would be moved to a different pay scale group based on the responsibilities of the positions; not the pay scale of the positions. There were also some proposed changes in pay for some auxiliary positions. Board member, Kenny Burkhalter, asked if they were just voting on pay scales or also voting on the positions within those pay scales. After some conversation amongst Board members, Burkhalter said he would not vote on positions.
Valastro reiterated that they were moving some positions based on duties and that salary is not affected by that. Board member Julie Walker wondered if moving the positions to a different scale would affect potential salary. It was confirmed that they were voting to move positions to a different pay grade. Burkhalter said he did not want to vote on that now.
“For planning purposes, we need to vote on scales,” Valastro said. Other members determined that they needed more information before they could vote on all of the changes proposed. It was explained that these are two issues; pay scale and moving positions to a different pay scale.
In order to be able to move ahead with other pay related items, Walker made the motion to accept the proposed pay scales, excluding the portion that was in question. They decided to discuss further in a workshop. Burkhalter was the lone member who did not vote in favor of this action.
Valastro proudly announced that Leanna Stringer, Principal of Lumberton Middle School , was awarded the Region V Principal of the Year by TASSP (Texas Association of Secondary School Principals). Valastro said of Stringer, “She has really changed the culture of that campus.” He stated that Stringer will now go to the next round and he added that she was a semi-finalist in the HEB Excellence in Education awards. Stringer said, “It’s because of my staff.” Paige Wing, Principal at Lumberton Intermediate said that Stringer has been a mentor to her.