Trustees approve retention pay for Early Childhood staff

Pre-K and Kinder kids stock image

The Longview Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-time employee retention payment plan using Child Care Relief grant funds for staffers at the district's Playing For Keeps Early Childhood Center during their regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 13th.

Full-time employees at the district's Playing For Keeps Early Childhood Center with at least one year of service as of Sept. 1, 2023, will receive stipends ranging from $1,000 to $2,400 based on years of service. Part-time employees will receive half of those amounts.

New full-time Playing For Keeps employees for 2023-24 will get a one-time $500 payment. New part-timers will receive $250. 

Long-term substitutes will also qualify for retention payments from $500 to $1,000 based on years served.

In total, the retention plan will distribute approximately $50,000 to eligible staff across the district, including custodians.

Dr. James Hockenberry, LISD Assistant Superintendent of District Services said the goal is to retain employees who provide an invaluable service at one of our district's most challenging yet essential operations. 

"We are thankful that the grant funds have allowed us to implement this much-needed boost to our staff at Playing For Keeps," he said.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Cattle trailer for FFA

Trustees also unanimously approved the $64,834 purchase of a new livestock trailer for the district's FFA program.

Mr. Gary Krueger, Director of Longview Educates and Prospers (LEAP), said the trailer will provide the needed capacity to safely transport students' cattle and livestock to FFA competitions.

"The 2024 Big Tex 8x32 Cimmaron trailer has an insulated roof and 8-year warranty," he said. "The retail price is $79,796 but the district will pay the school rate of $64,834 from Big Tex of Mount Pleasant."

Mr. Krueger said the FFA Show Team has outgrown the hauling capacity of the current trailer.

"The trailer will allow for the continued growth of the award-winning Lobo FFA program," he said. 

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Investment Strategies, Policy

Later, board members unanimously approved a resolution stating that its annual review of the district’s investment policy and strategies was conducted with no changes. The review found the existing policy and strategies remain compliant with state law and suitable to meet the district’s current investment goals and requirements.

The investment policy covers areas such as authorized investments, selection of brokers, standards of care, prohibited investments, and other procedures. Investment strategies outline tactics for specific district funds like operating, capital projects, debt service, and bond proceeds.

State law requires the annual review to ensure policies and strategies align with legal requirements and the district's investment priorities.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Superintendent's Report

During the Superintendent's Report, Dr. James Wilcox honored special populations staff and self-contained teachers in recognition of National Special Education Day. Hudson PEP Elementary teacher Ms. Elizabeth Rodriguez, principal practicum student from Texas A&M Commerce, also presented to the Board.

The report included a bond review; an update on the Teacher Apprentice Program; the monthly District Services summary; a Charter Partner update; an Office of Innovation update; the Raptor safety data report; an overview of the secondary discipline matrix; System of Great Schools highlights; and a lease agreement between Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center and Longview ISD.

In addition, Dr. Wilcox provided information on the updated DAEP/Dade Center placement procedures based on recent legislative changes and the latest campus data monitoring analysis.

District Donations

Board members unanimously approved the following donations:

  • $3,813 from LHS Swim Booster Club to purchase supplies and equipment; and
  • $1,166 from FFA Activity Fund to cover travel expenses for the FFA National Conference in Indianapolis.

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also: 

  • TABLED a partnership with Wellness Pointe of Longview to convert existing office and storage space at Longview High School into a school-based health clinic. The administration will seek additional options for board consideration at a future meeting.
  •  APPROVED waiving penalty and interest totaling $3,340.02 for 2019-22 taxes for account No. 29047 due to non-receipt of bills, inaccurate owner and legal description information, and recommendation of the Gregg County Tax Assessor-Collector;
  • APPROVED returning property parcel No. 65449 (Gregg County Apprisal District) to adjacent property owner Mr. Tommy Thomas for $2,000 as requested by the City of Longview;
  • AUTHORIZED the superintendent to negotiate a performance contract for the operation of a dual-language school, for board consideration at a later date;
  • APPROVED an out-of-state trip and transportation expenses for the LHS varsity basketball team to attend a tournament in Arkansas;
  • APPROVED the Resolution for Gregg Appraisal District Board of Directors for 2024-25, Official Ballot 2023;
  • APPROVED the Region 11 Technology Resources Education Consortium (TREC) 2023-24 contract;
  • APPROVED the Minutes and Time Use Tracker for the Oct. 16, 2023 regular meeting;
  • ACCEPTED the 2023-24 4th Quarter and Annual Investment Report;
  • ACCEPTED the financial statements as of October 2023; and
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 3.

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 11, 2023.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here.