Alice ISD school board approves program at last week's Tuesday night meeting

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Alice ISD Trustees approved a resolution to allow the Campus Crime Stoppers program at Alice High School. Board members hope the program will "work as a deterrent …through the development of intelligence information which leads to the apprehension of persons involved in criminal activity," according to the resolution approved Tuesday night.

AISD has taken several steps in the last two months to bring about greater security measures for students on campus.

In September, the COPS in School Program from the Jim Wells County Sheriff Department was initiated at Alice High School.

In its first month, 47 students received citations and 11 arrests were made. The program started this month at William Adams Middle School.

Also, at the start of the school year, board members approved allowing the presence of the JWC Juvenile Probation Department on both campuses to work with students both on probation and as a preventative measure for certain youths who are considered borderline through the "Why Try" program at WAMS.

Also on the agenda, AISD Personnel Director Javier Cavazos announced that AISD is currently at 100 percent when it comes to the use of Highly Qualified Teachers district wide in compliance with the Texas Education Agency standards and No Child Left Behind Act. The district has had HQT in the core academic subject areas every year since the 2005-2006 school year.

To be considered HQ teachers, according to NCLB, teachers must possess a bachelor's degree, hold full state certification or licensure and demonstrate competency in their teaching area. Under NCLB, core academic subjects include English, Science, Arts, History, Civics/Government, Reading and Language Arts, Math, Geography, Foreign Language and Economics.

The state target, Cavazos said, has been 100 percent since 2005-2006. Prior to that year, AISD exceeded state expectations, with 98 percent of their teachers considered HQ in both 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The state target in 2003 was 80 percent and 90 percent in 2004.

Board members also received an update on the new William Adams Middle School project from architects LaMarr Womack and Johnny White. According to his report dated Oct. 9, the project is currently on schedule; however, the contractor has recorded 16 lost workdays because of adverse weather and rain. Those days have not been submitted yet for review, Womack said. Drilled pier work stopped on Tuesday because of rain accumulation, White said. Areas A and B on site have completed piers and pier caps. Area C should be completed by Friday.

Formwork is currently underway, and the first slab pour, approximately 12,672 square feet, will take place on Tuesday at 3 a.m. White said it was important to pour at that time, when it's cooler, before the heat of the day. Residents in the area should expect truck and construction activity early Tuesday morning in connection to pouring the first slab. The pour schedule calls for 12 pours to take place between Tuesday and March 4, barring any delays.

AISD Assistant Superintendent of Business Dr. Melonae Day said $2.2 million has been expended so far on the project. The expected total for the WAMS project is $16.8 million.