Looking Ahead in Paris ISD

parisisd logoApril 21-30, 2014

Paris High School

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Students who wish to audition for positions in next year’s Colorguard attend daily practices in the Band Hall


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Paris High School

8:00 a.m. – Noon – Saturday School – Students make up for excessive absences


Monday, April 21, 2014

Paris High School

8:35 a.m. – ELA TAKS Retest – For students in grade 12 who have not passed the exit level ELA test


Paris Junior High School

Planner Checks


Crockett Intermediate School

2:45 p.m. – 6th Grade STAAR Pep Rally


Aikin Elementary

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Choir Rehearsal

3:05 – 4:00 p.m. – SLAM Tutorials


Justiss Elementary

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Art Club A


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paris High School

8:35 a.m. – Math TAKS Retest – For students in grade 12 who have not passed the exit level math test


Paris Junior High School

Math STAAR Test – 7th Grade

Social Studies STAAR Test -8th Grade


Crockett Intermediate School

STAAR Math Test – 6th Grade


Aikin Elementary

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Dynamic Drummers

3:05 – 4:00 p.m. – SLAM Tutorials


Justiss Elementary

Math STAAR Test


Lamar County Head Start

11:30 a.m. – Read With Me – “Making Number Sense” workshop to follow


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Paris High School

Balfour Orders – Balfour will be on campus during lunch to deliver cap & gown and other graduation product orders

8:35 a.m. – Science TAKS Retest – For students in grade 12 who have not passed the exit level science test


Paris Junior High School

Reading STAAR Test – 7th Grade

Science STAAR Test -8th Grade

2:00 p.m. – Awesome Bucks Auction


Crockett Intermediate School

STAAR Reading Test – 6th Grade

STAAR Science Test – 5th Grade


Justiss Elementary

Reading STAAR Test

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Family Reading Night – Library


Givens Early Childhood Center

Class Picture Day


Lamar County Head Start

“Riding the Transition Train”  – Getting Ready for Kindergarten Workshop


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paris High School

8:35 a.m. – Social Studies TAKS Retest – For students in grade 12 who have not passed the exit level social studies test


Paris Junior High School

Choice Sheets sent Home – current 7th grade students

Field Trip Scholarship Applications Due


Aikin Elementary

3:05 – 4:05 p.m. – SLAM Tutorials


Lamar County Head Start

5:00 p.m. – F.I.S.H 101 – Last FISH Workshop – “Tying it all



Friday, April 25, 2014

Paris High School

Career Fair – Student receive information on various career and occupational options in this annual event in the auxiliary gym


Paris Junior High School

Character Education Lesson – Personal Character Reduces

Negative Peer Pressure


Crockett Intermediate School

Crockett Band to Sandy Lake


Aikin Elementary

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. – School Store


Justiss Elementary

Field Day

7:30 a.m. – Spirit Sales in Cafeteria

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Chrysler Test Drive!! – come test

drive a car and Justiss will earn money for each test drive


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paris High School

8:00 a.m. – Noon – Saturday School – Students make up for excessive absences


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Paris High School

3:00 p.m. – Spanish National Honor Society Induction – New student members are inducted into the PHS chapter during a ceremony in the cafeteria


Monday, April 28, 2014

Paris Junior High School

Planner Checks

Spring Book Fair – PJH Library

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. – SLAM

6:00 p.m. – Informational session for parents of students who

will be in 7th grade for the 2014-2015 school year. Weger Auditorium at PJH


Justiss Elementary

3:00-4:00 p.m. – Art Club B


Lamar County Head Start

5:30 p.m. – Meet the Principal – Transition Workshop


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paris Junior High School

Choice Sheets Due  for current 7th Grade Students Outdoor Education Cooking

Spring Book Fair – PJH Library

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. – SLAM


Crockett Intermediate School

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – El Dia del Nino


Lamar County Head Start

10:30 a.m. – Read With Me – “Growing Green” workshop to follow


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paris Junior High School

Spring Book Fair – PJH Library

2014-2015 Scheduling – Current 7th Grade students visit computer lab to enter course and elective information in Social Studies


Justiss Elementary

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Family Reading Night – Library

Lamar County Head Start

Noon – Let’s Get Healthy – Fitness and Food Workshop


PHS Project Graduation Flamingo Fundraiser Kicks Off

Flamingo Flock PhotoThe people living in Paris are no strangers to quirky fundraisers.  Friday evening, Paris ISD was visited by a flock of 24 pink flamingos.  The flamingo sighting was all for a good cause, an effort to raise money for Paris High School Project Graduation to help keep kids safe on graduation night.  Project Graduation will be “pinking” yards from now until June 1.

“For a donation of $10, you can ‘pink’ your neighbor with 12 pink darlings and  pass the love along,” said Committee Chairman, Jeanne Kraft.  “Larger flocks of 24 birds for $15, 36 for $20, and a super size flock of 60 for $30 are available,” she added.  “Anti-Flamingo insurance” is available for $10 to ensure no flock lands your way.

You can donate and “pink” your neighbors by calling migration specialists Kelly Cade (903-227-7161) or Gina Nance (903-517-9591) between now and May 31.   For more information, contact Kraft at 903-517-1098.

Residents can also purchase Anti-Flamingo Insurance for a premium of only $10.

The fundraiser kicks off on April 21 and runs through the end of May.

For more information or to donate, contact Jeanne Kraft at 903-517-1098, Kelly Cade at 903-227-7161, or Gina Nance at 903-517-9591.



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.

PISD approves alternative high school

PISD_04-14-THSParis independent School District will begin next year with a new, alternative high school program.

“There is a need,” Superintendent Paul Jones said. “Some kids just don’t fit in a traditional high school environment. There may be more than we realize.”

The PISD school board unanimously approved the non-traditional Travis High School at Monday’s regular meeting.

The school will be located in the old Travis campus at 3270 Graham St., which is now home to Paris Alternative School for Success, the disciplinary alternative education program. An old agricultural building behind the main building will be renovated for DAEP with Travis High School taking over the old eighth-grade campus. PASS is moving because they did not want to put the alternative high school there and then have to move it to the main campus as it grew.

“Our goal is to operate with both schools with existing staff,” Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Robert High said. “We’re looking at creative scheduling, and we’re asking staff to get additional certifications.”

Travis High School will use a combination of teacher-taught and computer-based classes. PASS Director Joan Moore said electives are the most likely candidates for computer course. Core classes would be better served with a live teacher, especially when it comes to state testing.

Because the program is designed for students who have jobs, families and other obligations, classes will run 8 a.m. to noon, although students could spend extra time working on classwork or preparing for the STAAR test.

“That is definitely going to be teacher-taught, and we are definitely going to spend a lot of time on it,” Moore said.

When the DAEP program started 20 years ago, each student had a mentor to work with, she said. That is an idea she wants to see resurrected for Travis High School.

“The staff at DAEP is very excited about the possibilities we see,” she said. “With Travis High School, perhaps DAEP will start getting smaller and smaller. That’s our hope.”

They’re ready to go. Staff has begun drawing up plans, talking about renovations and technology needs to make it work.

As long as space is available, Travis High School will be available to students from throughout Lamar County, but classes will not be open to just anyone. Students must fill out a questionnaire and write an essay as part of the application. Moore will interview individual students and their parents, along with a more in-depth questionnaire.

Students will be required to sign a dress code contract and an attendance contract. More than three unexcused absences will end up in truancy court. Discipline problems also won’t be tolerated, Moore said. A student can go from Travis to DAEP once. A second trip would result in expulsion.

A student will not be eligible to go from the disciplinary side to the alternative high school. The student will have to return to his home campus and “prove himself” before applying to Travis.

“It’s for high school, but we don’t want to start with true freshmen,” Moore said. “We’re looking at kids who are more like ‘freshmores,’ but we’re going to start with juniors and seniors.”

Students may even have the option of returning to their home schools for graduation if they get caught up.

The concept has proven successful in other areas, Jones said. Moore and other PISD staff went to visit New Horizons in Greenville recently. Greenville’s program has been in place for eight years and has 120 students. The program in Texarkana ISD has more than 100 students. Board President George Fisher asked what might happen if the numbers at Travis High School ballooned.

“Honestly, Mr. Fisher, we’re going to put it in God’s hands and take it as it comes,” she said.

As THS grows, Moore said the district may need to look at providing day care for students who have children. Greenville’s New Horizons has such a program in place.

Officials looked at a variety of names before settling on THS, many involving the word “options” or “choice” – even Wildcat Academy.

“What it’s going to say is Travis High School, high school of choice,” Jones said. “Everybody is familiar with the Travis campus, the Travis name.”

PISD eyes program that would offer free breakfast, lunch to all students

PISD_Sign2The Paris Independent School District is weighing a federal program that would mean free breakfast and lunch for all students.

“We could say to every kid who comes to PISD, ‘Your meal is free, breakfast and lunch,’” Business Manager Tish Holleman said. “For our kids, that’s huge. We’ve got a lot of students on the bubble.”

In its last session, the Texas Legislature passed a law requiring every campus with 80 percent of its students in free and reduced lunch to offer free breakfast to all students. That would apply to Givens, Head Start, Justiss and the alternative school.

“If we can just get them to show up and eat the free food, that’ll be a great way to start the day,” Holleman said.

One problem is that if the district limited it to those four, it could cause confusion for students who transfer between campuses, she said. But it would be very expensive to do that at all campuses.

As an alternative, PISD may want to consider taking advantage of the United States Department of Agriculture community eligibility provision, she said. The program would make breakfast and lunch free for all students.

If a district has 40 percent or more of its population automatically qualifying for free and reduced lunch – such as migrant, homeless or Head Start students – it may qualify for the program. At 60.3 percent, PISD meets that requirement. Because of its numbers, 96.46 percent would be considered free lunches, and only 3.54 percent paid.

Federal funds cannot subsidize the paid lunches. If it does, the district can wind up having to repay some of the money. A la carte purchases from the snack bar can be used to offset that difference, since they are not covered in the program.

Participating in the federal program would eliminate the current application process, which Holleman said is a problem. Many decline to fill it out, or fill it out wrong or turn it in too late.

The program is new to Texas, Superintendent Paul Jones said. The district has until June 30 to decide whether or not it wants to participate. It is a five-year program, but the district could opt out after the first year if it did not work out as hoped.

If PISD stays with its current system, meals could cost 10 cents more next year.

Food is a big part of the federal funds for PISD, including $1.25 million in the national school lunch program, $500,000 for breakfast, $115,000 in USDA donated commodities, $40,000 for the summer feeding program and $24,510 for a fresh fruit and vegetable program at Justiss Elementary School.

PISD_04-14In other business:

  • The board moved next month’s meeting to May 12 at Paris high School.
  • Bob Williams with The Prudential presented seventh grader Sahil Prakash with the Prudential Spirit of Community Service Award for his Project BIKE (Preventing Bike Injuries Keeping Everyone Safe) program, which was an award-winning Future Problem Solvers community service project. Prakash was the youngest entrant. Williams said he has been with the program 10 years, and Prakash was the youngest winner he’d ever seen. Most are 16 or 17 years old.
  • Board members congratulated Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Robert High on his birthday and 50th wedding anniversary. “My wife’s not happy,” High said.