PJC invites GED graduates to celebrate with friends and family

Pyro_PJC_SliderParis Junior College Adult Education and Family Literacy in pleased to announce the upcoming GED graduation on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the PJC Hunt Center.

Everyone who received his or her General Educational Development (GED) within the last year will be honored. The GED Graduation ceremony allows graduates the opportunity to walk across the stage in cap and gown regalia. There is no cost to participate. This year’s graduation speaker will be Mr. Adam Teer, executive director of the nonprofit organization 211 CANHelp in Sulphur Springs.

A reception will take place afterwards to celebrate with friends and family members in attendance. Invitations have been mailed to anyone receiving a GED from the PJC Testing Center. However, if you have not received yours and would like to attend, please call the Adult Education and Family Literacy Office by Tuesday, April 30, to confirm your participation.

For more information or to reserve a place in the graduation line, call 903-782-0424.


North Lamar HS Bands Earn Sweepstakes

Symphonic and Concert Band AwardsThe North Lamar High School Symphonic and Concert Bands brought their best to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Concert and Sight Reading contest on April 16 in Mt. Pleasant.  Both bands earned Superior ratings (1s) from all three judges in concert and all three judges in sight reading.

“The compliments were enormous of both bands performances and behavior throughout the contest,” said Jason R. Smith, NLHS Associate Band Director.  “They have been working for a couple of months for their concert prepared performance. The students first perform selections they have been working on.  Then they walk off stage into another room and are given seven minutes to study a piece they have never seen before.  Rules are they cannot play, sing, count, clap, or make any audible reproduction.”

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) Sweepstakes are earned by combining the band’s marching performance back in October with the Concert and Sight Reading contest in the spring.

“It has been a very successful spring for all aspects of our band program,” said NLHS Band Director Randy Jones.  “We could not be more proud of the work and dedication our students have shown this spring.”

Seniors pictured with their Sweepstake honors also include their first division award for the Symphonic Concert Band at Senior band members representing the North Lamar Symphonic and Concert Bands and showing awards earned during the spring are, beginning front row left, Essence Corpus, Katherine Neuse, Haley Blount, Taylor Reavis, Victoria White, Katelyn Wood, Kathleen Dawson, Jamie Ellis, Emily McIlyar, Jessica French, and Erin Stone.  In back are Kirt Preston, Joseph Beshirs, Bailey Bolton, Ben Drake, Mitchell Lacey, Conner Johnson, Stetson Henderson, Lane Pierce, Chad Kautz, Tori Sullivan, Rebekah Wiley




PJC Marks National Poetry Month on Monday

Pyro_PJC_SliderParis Junior College will celebrate National Poetry Month by showcasing poetry about Texas or poems written by Texans at an event this Monday, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Delta Psi Omega, the honor fraternity for drama students at PJC, is participating in the Texas Poetry Read Out on San Jacinto Day, April 21.

All PJC students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate and community members are also invited to attend or participate.

Participants will be given ten minutes to read selections from their favorite Texas poet, or a poem that is about Texas.  A sign-up sheet is at the reference desk in the library with a deadline to sign up of 10 a.m. on Monday.  Refreshments will be served.

The event will take place in the foyer of Rheudasil Learning Center on the PJC campus.

PISD weighs ‘phone doctor’ program for employees

PISD_04-14-BudgetParis Independent School District could pay $37,000 for a program that would allow employees to call a hotline and talk to a doctor.

“For those of us who have had to go to a high-deductible plan, this is an affordable alternative,” Business Manager Tish Holleman said. “If you use it appropriately, it can save you money.”

The program, offered through an insurance cooperative PISD belongs to, is called MD Live. Rather than make a trip to a doctor out of network or the emergency room after hours, patients or parents could call in for routine problems such as sinus and ear infections.

“If it’s some oddball thing, they’re going to say, ‘Go to the doctor,’” Holleman said.

The district can purchase it for all employees at $5 per person per month at a cost of $37,440, or make it available to individuals for $10 per month.

Trustee Dr. Bert Strom asked her to find out about the program’s credentials and what pediatricians were on call, as a brochure said they were “local.” There are a lot of “suspect” programs out there, he said.

“This is a very popular venue now for medicine, and you’re going to see more of them,” Strom said. “We want to tell our employees this is a good benefit.”

“As an employee with a high-deductible plan, we are in the eighth month, and I am nowhere near meeting my deductible,” High said.

The discussion came as part of Monday’s budget workshops. The numbers are still in flux as the budget is a work in progress.

“We’re still to the good. I’m going through line by line to see what can be tweaked,” Holleman said. “So far, it’s an estimate.”

PISD should get an estimate of tax values by next month’s board meeting. The certified rolls do not come in until July.

Holleman put in a 25-cent raise for hourly employees, such as maintenance and secretaries, to show the impact to the budget. In prior months, the numbers have only included teachers and aides. Next month could see estimates for a pay scale for administrators.

Superintendent Paul Jones asked to see if the budget could support a new school bus, which PISD has not bought in several years. Holleman said that conversation is still ongoing, so to date she has put in numbers for a “previously loved” school bus.

On revenue, the Medicare estimate is up $25,000 to $225,000 in the working budget. This year, PISD figured it would bring in $200,000 for services charged to Medicare that district staff provide to students, but the revenue has exceeded estimates. The district plans to start filing for reimbursement for indirect services, such as administrative costs, which could total $5,000.

2014-2015 Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten Registrations in Progress at North Lamar ISD

North LamarKindergarten and pre-kindergarten registration for students planning to enroll at North Lamar Independent School District for the 2014-2015 school year are now in progress through April 30 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Parents are encouraged to register their child at W. L. Higgins Elementary or Aaron Parker Elementary in order to plan for an adequate number of students.

The only qualification for those entering kindergarten in the fall is that the student must be five years of age on or before September 1, 2014.

Qualifications for pre-kindergarten students include: be four years of age on or before September 1, 2014; unable to speak and comprehend the English language; or from a family whose income qualifies the child to receive free or reduced lunches; or homeless; or the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States who is ordered to active duty by proper authority; or the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was injured or killed while serving on active duty; or the child has ever been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services following an adversary hearing.  Those attending Higgins must have transportation at midday.  Pre-kindergarten will be offered only for children according to the above criteria provided an adequate number of students preregister.

Items needed for both kindergarten and pre-kindergarten registrations include: child’s birth certificate; child’s shot record; child’s Social Security card; verification of residence in NLISD; and custody paper if applicable.  Verification of family income is needed only for pre-kindergarten.

For more information or to inquire about later registration hours, call Higgins Elementary at 903.737.2081, Parker Elementary at 903.732.3066, or North Lamar ISD Administration Building at 903.737.2000.

For Lamar County Head Start registration, call Parker Elementary School or the Head Start Office at 903.737.7469.

Special services are available to eligible children from birth through age 21.  For questions or concerns regarding a child’s abilities, please call ECI at 903.885.6437 or North Lamar ISD at 903.737.2031.