Anna ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the opening of the Early Childhood Center beginning with the 2013-14 school year at its monthly meeting on March 21. The vote was a move to help alleviate the serious overcrowding at J.K Bryant and Sue E. Rattan Elementary Schools.
The pre-K and kindergarten campus, the new home for some 260 kindergartners, will be in the main building of the old middle school. The building will be renovated and will include new equipment at a cost of $225,000, which was also approved by the board.
A little history: at the Dec. 17, 2012 school board meeting, Superintendent Larry Johnson discussed with the board the Intermediate Campus Committee Recommendation Report. The report, focusing on the best use of the old middle school facilities to alleviate overcrowding in the elementary schools, presented two options: bringing fifth and sixth graders into an intermediate school or creating a pre-K and kindergarten campus.
It was pointed out that an intermediate school would present a "logistical nightmare" for teachers, coaches, band personnel and others. Ultimately, it was agreed that a pre-K and kindergarten campus would be the most logical and beneficial move. At the end of that discussion, Johnson said to the board "Give us the go ahead and we will start looking at costs and will come to you with the specifics."
At Tuesday’s meeting, Johnson said "We cannot wait another year for this move."
In other board news, Tribune staff writers Ken Gaidziunas and Marcus Elliott were nominated for the TASB Media Honor Roll.
The May 11 election was cancelled by the board since all three incumbents — Brent Hendricks, Duane Hayes and Shelli Conway — ran unopposed.
Sue Akins, Curriculum and Instructional Services Executive Director, reported on STAAR Summary Scores for grades 3-8. She said "In many cases we are at or above state levels with some areas needing work." AISD Board President Ty Chapman and Assistant Superintendent Thomas O’Neal recognized Teachers of the Month for March: Chris Burk from the high school, Sharla Berry from the middle school, Heather Bailey from Bryant Elementary and Mindi Vandagriff from Rattan Elementary. Vandagriff was also named Teacher of the Month by radio station KLAK.
The district’s long-standing Caught in the Act tradition recognizes district personnel who are doing something "above and beyond the call of duty." Honored for March were Pam Miller from Anna High School, Shawntae McDowell from Anna Middle School, Anita Bickenbach from Bryant Elementary and Helen Lee from Rattan Elementary.