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Thorndale ISD approves changes to 2020-21 calendar

The Thorndale Independent School District Board of Trustees approved changes to the school calendar for the coming school year among other things at its meeting June 8.

TISD Superintendent Adam Ivy spoke about the possibility of amending the 2020-21 school calendar. 

He informed the board that the Commissioner of Education was pushing for schools to move to a year round schedule.  

Ivy stated that, while there could be some benefits to a year round schedule it would take a substantial amount of planning and community input to make that type of change.  

He stated that the proposed calendar amendment would move the start date from Aug. 12 to Aug. 10 and would extend the school year until May 28. It would also create a week off during October and February that could serve as bad weather/COVID makeup days along with two weeks at the beginning of June that could also serve as makeup days if needed. 

Ivy explained that this proposed calendar would give the district an early start to the year to help prevent summer learning loss and provide flexibility in case of another school closure.  

The board voted 6-0 to approve the amended calendar.

The board started the meeting by hearing administrative reports.  

High School Principal Jennifer Parnham started by talking about hosting an incoming freshman orientation sometime this summer since the students did not have that opportunity in May like they normally would have. 

There was one comment by a board member to recommend that students taking high school credit courses in eighth grade be reminded that those credits can affect grade point average in high school.  

Middle School Principal Scott Frei talked about the modified summer school program along with the plan for summer enrichment resources that would be sent to parents in the next few weeks.  

Elementary Principal Michael Young also talked about his plan to send out enrichment materials to parents to help maintain the skills they have learned and avoid a summer decline in those skills. 

Ivy then spoke about the recent graduation ceremony.  

He stated that graduation was a labor of love and he believed that it turned out amazing.  

Ivy stated that he had nothing but positive feedback, even from people that did not like the plan to start with. 

“I have to give a huge thank you to our high school team that made this all happen,” he said. “Mrs. Parnham and Mrs. Dickerson worked together to pull off something great.  Many others also pitched in to help and it could not have happened without all of these people.”

Those he thanked included: Class Sponsors- Kelly Kuhl, Larissa Ensor, Lauren Woten, Lacey Bouldin; Allen Leschber and his team for setting up the stage and chairs; Deby Leschber and Lindsay Franklin for making sure the technology worked; Rebecca Peel and Lori Ivy for being our ticket takers; Thorndale Volunteer Fire Department for helping with traffic control and leading the parade; Chief Mark Birchard and the Thorndale Police Department for making sure that everything was safe for our students and family members; Danny Hernandez for providing us with sound; and David for providing play by play on Facebook live.

Ivy also discussed the upcoming school year and the plans that the leadership team will be working on in the coming weeks. He added that the progress would be able to move forward once the commissioner of education released details about what would be allowed and what would not. Ivy concluded by informing board members about an upcoming online training opportunity. 

Ivy presented the board with the student transfer list for 2020-21. There were questions about how many students transfer out versus transfer in. Business Manager Rebecca Peel stated that she would find that information and get it to the board. 

The next item on the agenda was the discussion and possible approval of the new third grade reading and math goals along with the High School College, Career and Military Readiness goals that are mandated by House Bill 3.  

Ivy talked about how these goals are designed to set yearly standards that lead up to a five year goal that is set by the state.  He introduced Angel Raines who has been working to help develop these goals with the campus principals.

Raines talked about the specific data included in the goals along with the fact that they would likely need to be rewritten or at least extended because there would be no data to include for 2019-20 due the cancelation of the STAAR test.  

The board approved the goals by a vote of 6-0. 

Ivy informed the board that elementary teacher, Desiree Reese, had resigned her position and would be moving to Mumford in the fall.  He stated that Kristy Shoemake would be filling that position and that the district had also hired Brian Fair to replace Allen Leschber as the maintenance and transportation director. Leschber has decided to retire and will be missed.

Peel conducted a brief budget workshop.  

She talked to the board about the uncertainty of the upcoming budget cycle, including the fact that tax rates are being compressed again and the possibility that the board may need to vote to reallocate 4 or 5 cents on the tax rate that is being compressed. There were questions about how the vote would work and Peel said that she would get the information and send it to the board.  

Since there were no budget amendments the board set the July meeting for July 13 at 6:30 p.m.



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