Grand Jury returns 20 indictments Sept. 20

Meeting in regular session Monday, October 13, the board of trustees of the Hawkins Independent School District held preliminary discussions regarding pending needs of the district in anticipation of a possible bond issue to finance the repairs, replacements and improvements identified. The board also held a public hearing concerning a policy governing the use of the school district's electronic network by students.
Board members reviewed a preliminary listing of improvements needed by the district as prepared by the administration at the request of the board. Ten such items were presented at the meeting, some with preliminary cost estimates, and one supported by a brief presentation by Mike Henderson, the district's technology director. Henderson's discussion dealt with the need for a new upgraded telephone system and new computer switches. Other items were: roof replacements, repaving the track, refurnishing the auditorium (no replacements since 1976), new lighting for the football field, resurfacing tennis courts, routine replacement of air-conditioning units, new school busses (seat-belt-equipped), repaving of roads and parking lots, roof and carpet replacement at administration building.
Board members plan to seek more detailed information regarding each area of need by establishing a committee of citizens to assess them.
Current school finance schemes make bond-funding of major replacement and maintenance expenditures be financed by long-term debt through the Interest and Sinking Fund as opposed to the pay-as-go, year-to-year Maintenance & Operating budget.
Use of cell phones, computers and other electronic items by students are an emerging issue for all school districts. Hawkins ISD has updated and refined an "acceptable use" policy for the HISD Wide Area Network that has been in place for several years. That policy was the subject of a public hearing at the meeting. No members of the public attended the meeting and no public comments were submitted on the issue.
Growth in student population continues as Exxon-project families move into the district. At the end of the first six-weeks, the high school had 198 students, the middle school had 167 and the elementary had 377 students. Cumulative attendance stood at 97.42 percent.
In other action, the board:- approved an agreement with the tax Wood County Collector/Assessor for services to the district at a cost of $40,952; - approved TASB policy update 88 concerning electronic communication and date mangement; employee standards of conduct and academic achievement of students; - set regular monthly meeting in January for Monday, January 10; The next regular meeting of the Hawkins ISD board is scheduled for Monday, November 1 at 7 p.m. A special meeting of the board may be held with 72-hour advance public notice.