DUNCAN — At a short public hearing prior to the regular monthly meeting, the Duncan Unified School District governing board voted to accept the final revised budget for Fiscal Year 2019.
Turning to the regular meeting, during his report, Superintendent Eldon Merrell reported that attendance continues to hold steady. The current enrollment of 370 is 21 students higher than the beginning of the year and eight students higher than the total for May of 2018.
Merrell also expressed his frustration with state legislators over the issue of assessment testing. He said that for this type of testing to be truly useful, the same assessment needs to be used for a number of years in order to accumulate data that can help improve a district’s teaching practices. According to Merrell, the state is planning to use as many as three different assessments over the next five years.
“We are going to teach next year just like we did last year, as hard as we can,” he said.
The board accepted the resignations of AJ Rodriguez, Melissa Rodriguez, Anna Contreras, Linda Crotts and Armando Rendon, while approving the hiring of three new teachers: Ronda Adams, who will teach junior high social studies; Ashley Sackett, who will teach fourth grade; and Valerie Smith, who will teach sixth grade.
Julee Lunt was hired as a long-term substitute for high school special education. Although the district received many applications for open positions, none was certified for special education, and Merrell said Lunt has been doing an excellent job. She is currently in the process of obtaining her teaching degree and appropriate certifications.
High school and junior high fee schedules were approved with no changes from last year and, after some discussion on wording in the dress code, the high school handbook was approved. Merrell said nothing had changed except some dates and names.
Fall high school athletic head coaches were approved: Eric Bejarano for football and Sandy French for volleyball. Volunteer head coach for cheer is Brandi Giacoletti, and her assistants will be Taylor Welleford and Heather Richards.
Eldon Merrell, Steven Korzan and Jared Wallace were approved as qualified evaluators for 2019-20; however, Wallace will not do any official evaluations as he is currently completing an administrative internship and needs to be able to sit in on some evaluations.