Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Education

November 15, 2013

MWISD scores near perfect FIRST

By LIBBY CLUETT | Mineral Wells Index

Sporting Ram-pride red T-shirts at Tuesday’s Mineral Wells ISD school board meeting, the Travis News Team led the pledges to the American and Texas flags, followed by an apparently precocious presentation on their roles as TNT members.

Before launching into decision making and discussion at each MWISD board meeting, trustees, staff and those in the audience are reminded – by a team of students from each campus – why everyone has gathered. Each meeting spotlights a campus, during which students recite the pledges and share an aspect of the school.

The TNT is led by Travis teachers Patti Newsom, Gayla Quinn and Peggy Worthy. TNT students Chase Jordan, Courtney Jones, Shelby Bossaller, Emilio Infante Hernandez, Mackenzie Lawhon, Taylor Gary, Laura Campos, Luke Bullock, Jashawn McKinney and Zaniya Pruitt entertained as they informed the board of how they broadcast the news to Travis Elementary students. Members Celeste Santibanez and Karime Betancourt were not at the meeting.

Perhaps the biggest district news of the night – aside from the 839-to-622 bond passage, which trustees canvassed in a separate meeting Wednesday – came from Chief Financial Officer Paul Hearn who presented the Texas Education Agency’s 2011-12 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST.

Hearn reported that MWISD not only earned the top rating of Superior Achievement, but the district missed a perfect score by one point, with 69 of a possible 70 points. Superior achievement is awarded for districts with FIRST scores of 64 and higher.

The district lost one point because the indicator for debt-related expenditures per student was $350, explained Hearn.

“Our debt-related expenditures per student were $572.05, which is an improvement over the prior year,” he said.

The School FIRST is intended to ensure that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources, according to the TEA.

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