GERONIMO — After this school year, German classes at Navarro will be a thing of the past.
During the regular school board meeting, trustees voted on four motions that would eventually end the program, said Superintendent Dee Carter
“The board took action last night to enact a program change, which involves dissolving the German class,” she said. “The motions are all part of a process that is call reduction in force due to a program change. That was the recommendation that I felt I needed to make for financial reasons and the board agrees that we just cannot quite support that program at this time.”
Recently the district has seen a decreasing interest in the classes, Carter said.
“We have had for a number of years declining enrollment in our German I classes and with our limited financial resources. We had not offered German I this year with the idea of needing to phase it out because of the declining enrollment,” she said.
There are hopes that the program can be brought back, Carter said.
“We all regret that the demand for German has declined because we really value maintaining the German heritage, but right now this seems to be the best financial decision,” she said. “We are hoping sometime in the future that there will be revived interest in foreign languages in addition to Spanish, but that will be down the road.”
Also during the meeting the board voted unanimously to renovate the practice field.
In recent meetings the board began discussing updating both the football field and practice fields, Carter said.
“Both of these outside areas are not in good condition,” she said.
Initially, Carter approached the board about the football field.
“My first thought was ‘let’s get this football field done and do it with grass,’ because that is all I was thinking we could even think about doing,” she said. “It would cost at least $250,000. But as we got proposals on doing that, it became real clear that we were going to spend that much money on grass on that field and we would still be limited in using it.”
Because of the limitations grass could place on the field, the board started looking into another option, Carter said.
“The conversation began to turn because we would have such a limited outdoor area that maybe if we have as healthy of a fund balance come in this year, as we did at the end of last year, that perhaps we could research the idea of putting artificial tuff on the football field in order to allow all of us at all grade levels and the community and the staff and the band at all grade levels to use that field without concern for beating it down,” she said. “We have kind of deferred the football field for right now.”
On Monday night, trustees heard a presentation by Mike Pender of Sports Field Solutions on renovating the practice football field.
“We need a sturdy grass out there, an irrigation system that will cover the entire area which the current one doesn’t and we need a lot of new soil brought in so that the grass can flourish out there,” Carter said. “And what the board decided to do last evening was to renovate the practice field — which is used for many activities including football practice, intermediate physical education, junior high P.E. and athletics, activities and all of the community activities as well.”
Work could start as early as next week, Carter said.
The company is part of the Buy Board. The renovation will cost $139,995 and will be paid by funds from the designated fund balance.
The students who are taking the STAAR tests and End of Course exams will be happy to know that the board passed a resolution waiving the 15 percent policy.
Districts were required to use the grades from the exams as 15 percent of the student’s final grade.
But with this being the inaugural year, districts have been given the option to suspend the policy for the 2011-2012 school year.
The board also took action on adopting a the proposed calendar for the 2012-2013 school year, with one alteration.
Trustees asked that the April 29 staff trade day/student holiday be switched with the May 27 bad weather makeup day.
If accepted by the superintendents advisory council, the makeup day will be April 29 and the staff trade day will be May 27.
Another difference that was proposed by the committee is Christmas break.
Christmas break will begin with early release on Dec. 21 and will end with students coming back on Jan. 7.