By DEBRA WINGER
Special to the PRESS
The Point Isabel School District Board of Education met Nov. 20 at the PIISD Administration Building and approved Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Dearborn National for medical and life insurance for district employees and a representative from the insurance company, stated that the policies met all federal requirements under Obama-Care health insurance regulations.
BC/BS decreased the current premiums for Independent Stop loss and Aggregate Stop loss insurance and reduced the fixed cost for the BC/BS administration services resulting in a net decrease in the fixed cost for Port Isabel. During the week of Nov. 26-30, a mandatory 100 percent enrollment of district employees was conducted.
Due to state budget cuts, there were no wage increases but a $1,000 one-time stipend will be given to teachers, administrators and professional employees in January 2013 and a $500 stipend to clerical and paraprofessional employees who serve extra duty at campuses.
The PI ISD gave iPads to senior class students, and Selena Tinajero, a student, explained how the iPad helped her keep track of planning, her daily calendar and quizzes and allows her access into Safari for her college online class; to access the online homework on Blackboard, chapter contents, lecture notes, class schedule, access to e-mail her teachers along with the ability to type her assignments and take more effective notes. The Ever-note program allows her to take pictures of notes and study guides and the iTunes application allows her to download educational content from many colleges and gives her ability to plug-in and graph equations, record lectures, and take notes at the same time. She can also utilize flashcards, test practice and use the Dictionary application; and through appliedtext.org, she can send out her college admission applications to schools that use the same forms.
In the transportation department, the district is looking for a software program to be used to keep track of kids getting on and off buses in order to locate kids’ whereabouts that ride the PI ISD school-buses. PI ISD conducts random drug tests for its drivers and holds bus-driver trainings twice a year. In 2011-12, 76,000 miles were made transporting students. After a transportation audit revealed minor record discrepancies, the district quickly corrected all transportation records and is in complete compliance at this time. PI ISD again revealed an attitude of quality care for its students on route to school, in school or on route home.
The UTB Learning Center is in need of repairs and equipment upgrades. Due to the small budget, bids are not required and Gignac and Associates were approved to begin estimates and negotiate with the district in order to provide renovation resulting in the facility which would provide an ample lecture hall and staff development center at the complex upon completion of the remodeling of the UTB Learning Center in 2013.
PI ISD School Board members include Merced Cantu III, Cecilia Castillo, Bertha L. Zamora, Olga Vega-Carter, Jennifer Pinkerton (Bd. President) and Rene Valdez Secretary and Joseph M. Furcron is the Associate secretary with Dr. Lisa Garcia, superintendent of schools presiding.
Read this story in the Dec. 13 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.