School News
BISD School Board hires new police officer
By Sandy Barber
Nov 30, 2023
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Bonham, Texas -- A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Bonham ISD was held on November 27, 2023 at the Bonham ISD Administration Center.  Board President Chance Roberts called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Sean Floyd led the invocation.

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Fourth graders from IW Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance to the US and Texas Flags.  Students included: Kashley Fox, Clayton Swiney, Blake Luttrell, Chloe Sanchez, Azrael Bryant, Brody Yates, Maggie Richards, Josiah Brooks, Julie Vargas, Callaway Lee, Zoe Lee, Adelynn Ransom, Jayden Palmer, Alexander Garcia, Richard Orellana,Tandilynn Pierce-Wheatley, Aiden Golden, Summer Jones, Carter Eacret, Kayden Brannum, Brynli Douglas, Landon Stofford ,August Holderer, Kingston Kinkade, Kurstyn Booker, Cash Dooley, Stela Barnett, Gavin Owens, Peyton Person, Kendall McPherson, Wade Dickson, Maverick Bell, Collin Curington, Archer Williams.

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During Warrior Talk, at least two board members wished the BHS basketball teams well on their seasons. Another praised the district’s employees who helped collect and give away blankets at the recent Spirit of Giving.

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L.H. Rather Junior High Principal Meghan Cryer-Weaver presented Tracey Burris with the Paraprofessional award for the month. Cryer-Weaver commented that Burris is always dependable and is working towards getting her teacher certificate. 

Coach Blake Burnett was honored as the Professional of the month.  Cryer-Weaver described how Coach Burnett cares about all kids and recently prepared goodies for all the cross country and volleyball students.

Cryer-Weaver recognized the Students of the Month for LH Rather: seventh grader Harmony Marria for October and eighth grader Tabitha Richards for November.  She described Marria as the “kindest soul, always giving.” She pointed out that Richards was a new student to Bonham last year who is always inclusive and quick to show new students around and invite them to sit at the lunch table.

Principal Mary Lou Fox presented the Finley Oates Student of the Month award to third grader Emma Springer.  Fox stated that Springer enjoys sports, four wheeling, volleyball and cheer and described her as “strong, kind and compassionate.” 

Principal Kari Fowler honored Kaydence Childers as the Student of the Month for I.W. Evans.  Childers enjoys volleyball.  Her teachers and coaches described her as a “wonderful student, always smiling, helpful, friendly and a leader.”

BHS Principal James Branam honored the BHS Seniors of the Month Kendall Brownfield and Justin McBride. 

Brownfield is an office aide and on the training crew.  Her future plans include attending Grayson College and then Baylor to become a Physical Therapist.

Kendall Brownfield

Brownfield was described as friendly and welcoming.  She described that being Purple Warrior to her meant showing respect, being a team player and helping others. 

McBride participates in football and power lifting.  His future plans are still undecided but could include welding and/or mechanical engineering. 

He described Purple Warriors as doing their best to represent Bonham.

(L-R) Justin McBride and BHS Principal James Branam

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There was no Public Comment.

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Items on the Consent Agenda were approved and included meeting minutes, budget changes and amendments, approval of tax credits, supplements, and delinquent tax collection for October 2023 as well as financial statements and bills payable for October 2023.

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Written Reports to the Board were accepted from the Assistant Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Child Nutrition, Boys Athletic Director, Girls Athletic Director, Bailey Inglish Principal, Finley-Oates Principal, I.W. Evans Principal, L.H. Rather Principal, Bonham High School Principal and Superintendent.

Superintendent Kelly Trompler reported that at the end of October 2023, the enrollment count was 1970 and LH Rather School had the best attendance in October with 95.93%.

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Chief Financial Officer Whitney Farris discussed the TRS Loss Data Review with the board.  She reported that the district is trending downward, which is a good thing.  She recommends the district stay with TRS for now and continue to monitor it.  If the downward trend continues, the district may then decide to go out for a more competitive quote for employee health insurance.

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Trompler briefly discussed the proposed updates to the BISD Guardian Program Administrative Regulations. The board approved all updates as presented.

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Each campus principal took turns reviewing the Cycle I Assessment Data from August-October 2023 for their respective campus.  Each one mentioned that writing is being emphasized and incorporated into all classes.  The initial tests administered this year for each grade are being considered the benchmark level and the goal is to grow at least 10% over the course of the school year.

Bailey Inglish Principal Suzanne Kennedy noted that this year they assessed 185 students, which is significantly more than last year when they assessed 153 students.  She also reported a significant increase in speech referrals this year and wondered if this is a COVID effect as these three-year-olds were born during the early months of the pandemic, when everyone was wearing masks, and the babies could not see mouths and how it should move to make sounds. Kennedy talked about the new curriculum they started last year and how it seems rather effective, based on both test scores and anecdotal reports from this year’s kindergarten teachers.  She reviewed various strategies they are implementing to help current students to grow and improve, including setting individual goals for each student, training teachers and providing four floating classroom assistants.

Fox reviewed the improvements and challenges of each grade at Finley Oates.  She discussed the various training efforts for teachers, as well as the individual goal setting for each student.

Fowler also reviewed the highlights and challenges from the testing results at IW Evans.  She said this year they are starting Tribe Time earlier and it now includes 2 days of reading, 2 days of math and 1 day of science each week. Fowler noted that they have seen a large influx of dyslexia and wondered about a possible COVID impact.

Cryer-Weaver discussed the test results for LH Rather and the efforts to further spur student growth over the coming year.  She talked about teacher training efforts as well as a new reading challenge for students and Tribe Time for additional help.

Branam said growth is the focus at BHS.  He described how Warrior Time and 9th Hour are working to give the students extra instruction time each week.  He talked about how building stamina and battling apathy was important for the students at his campus.

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Board approved revisions to LOCAL Policy EHBAF (Special Education Video/Audio Monitoring).

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After discussion, the board approved giving all their votes to Jason Walker for the Fannin County Appraisal District Election of Board of Directors for Term 1-1-2024 thru 12-31-2025 Ballot/Resolution for Taxing Units.

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Board members received written Information entitled LEGAL Policy Update 122. No discussion.

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Board approved LOCAL Policy revisions from TASB Update 122.

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Board discussed and approved the agreement letter between Bonham Independent School District and O'Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo in the lawsuit regarding the A-F performance ratings for the 2022-2023 school year.

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Board approved a resolution regarding annual review of the investment program.

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Board received a written Information Item: School Board Head Start Self-Assessment Training. No discussion.

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Board received and approved the Fannin County Head Start Annual Report for the FY 2022-2023.

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Board meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m. and the board went into Executive Session, pursuant to Texas Government Code section § 551.074, discussion of personnel matters pertaining to evaluations, duties, terminations, replacements, reassignments, hiring, and additions to the staff.

The board meeting reconvened at 8:44 p.m. Board unanimously approved hiring Gregory Hughes as another BISD Police Officer.  Meeting adjourned again.