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Front Page December 19, 2017  RSS feed

BISD installing computerized screening system for visitors

By Rebecca A. Constabile

The last regularly scheduled meeting of the BISD school board for the year 2017 began just one minute after six on the evening of December 18, 2017. All members were in attendance with the exception of Randy Ayres. High school vice principal Jo Jenkins spoke about a new screening system for visitors to the high school campus. The system is called Raptor. The way it works is simple yet incredibly effective. Once a visitor enters the office on the high school campus, they are asked to provide a photo I.D. Once the I.D. Is presented to a member of administration or staff, it is scanned into the Raptor system. Within thirty to ninety seconds, the system alerts the person at the computer monitor whether or not the person in possession of that I.D. is a registered sex offender. By searching through multiple data bases, other pertinent information can be discovered about the visitor as well. At that point, administration can determine how to proceed. This is a necessary tool to help keep students, as well as administration and staff protected from potentially dangerous people and/or situations. In the near future, the other three BISD campuses will begin utilizing this system as well. One incredible feature of the system is that it allows all campuses to communicate through alerts to help give each other up to the minute information about any individual attempting to enter a BISD campus.

Superintendent Lacy Freeman presented the Texas Academic Performance Report for last year. Buffalo High School earned two distinctions. In order to earn a distinction, a school must place in the top twenty-five percent of state guidelines. Buffalo Junior High earned four distinctions. This made for a combined total of six distinctions, which is four more than the school earned last year. Also shown in the report was the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in our district. While the overall percentage for the state of Texas is fifty-nine percent, BISD shows that sixty-seven percent of our students are economically disadvantaged. Another figure that was brought up in the report shows that BISD’s teachers that are in their first through fifth years of teaching are underpaid by twenty-three percent according to the state average. With that being said, the school’s turnover rate for educators is only just over nine percent at 9.3, while the state average is 16.4 percent. Lastly, the district received a superior rating by the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas for the 2015-2016 school year.

Freeman also chose to recognize the varsity football team. This year’s team was the first team from Buffalo since 1961 to win ten games in one season. They were also the first varsity team from Buffalo to ever win back to back Bi-district championships. Coach Grubbs stated that this year’s team chose a theme at the beginning of the season. The theme was “Making History”. That is exactly what those young men accomplished this year.

Lower Junior High principal Susan Shelton brought a report from her campus. Last week the second through fifth grade students participated in academic UIL. Buffalo took first place in the district. Shelton’s campus has also participated in Hurricane Harvey donation efforts, anti-bullying programs, weekly math missions, and a Constitution Day program.

Other agenda items included a visit from Jeff Beshears with the Leon County Appraisal District. He stated that in January 2018, the appraisal district will begin mapping the district through aerial images. This, along with other information, should allow the district to better determine whether or not there are any more properties from which the district can collect tax dollars. The board voted to keep Smith Lambright as the auditing firm for the school district. The board also voted to sell surplus items from the school in an upcoming closed bid auction.

At seven forty-three, the board went into a closed session where no action was taken. The meeting then resumed. After a unanimous vote, it was decided that the first school board meeting of 2018 will occur on January 22, 2018. After a motion from John Rodell, that was seconded by Jack Helmcamp, the meeting came to a close at just two minutes before eight.

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