By Constancio Martinez, Jr.
Special to the PRESS
The PI-ISD school board held their regular board meeting this past Tuesday, December 17. First presentation was of the three winners from the 2019 Christmas Card Design Contest. The winners were as follows: Garriga Elementary student Dayami Ortega; Derry Elementary student Allison Solorio and Port Isabel Junior High student Mason Reyes.
The next presentation was a change to the Junior High Master schedule. The school will be going from an 8-period day to a 9-period day. The electives added for the second semester are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), GT STEM, Study Hall (tutoring), Applied Band, Dyslexia Lab, Art, Band (Beginner, Honor, Symphonic, Concert, Violin), PE, Pre-Athletics, Spanish, Conference/Planning (time), and OLD (Oral Language Development).
Band students will get extra help during the day instead of missing out on morning and/or afternoon athletics. Study Hall will be used for students that need help in their classes. The tutoring will be led by two Math teachers, a Science teacher, an ELA and Spanish teacher. The start and end times for students will now be 7:45 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. Breakfast will be served from 7:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. in their first classroom. The students will get their new schedules when they return from break January 8th. Students will be allowed to change their schedules if they are not satisfied with their schedule.
The next item up for discussion was the recommendation of approval of the contract between the law firm of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP and the PI-ISD for the years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2018 PVS, and 2019 PVS. Law firm partner, John Guevara, gave a breakdown of what the contract will involve with an emphasis on Property Value Studies. They will conduct an audit on appeals to the Appraisal District that resulted in reduced property values. The company will challenge the property values judicially of those properties that they deemed contestable and beneficial to the district. Mr. Guevara said, “When you have a pocket of those kind of challenges effectively, they can add up to a million dollars or more.” They will also look into properties with mineral production, pipelines, and SpaceX among others. Resolution was passed.
Also, of note was the United Way of Southern Cameron County President & CEO, Traci Wickett, stopping by to deliver over 350 books to be distributed to the Garriga and Derry Elementary schools.