The campus of Kilgore High School is getting a major makeover this summer. New programs will come along with new safety features and remodeling.
At the monthly KISD board meeting Monday, board members and school staff members discussed several new programs and features coming to the high school.
One of the first items on the agenda was the discussion of an Optional Flexible School Day Program. The Texas Education Agency websites states this program “allows districts to provide flexible hours and days of attendance for students who meet at least one of the requirements of the Texas Education Code §29.0822(a). The goal of the program is to improve graduation rates for students who are in danger of dropping out of school, have dropped out, or are behind in core subject courses.”
The district is considering introducing the program as part of its Gateway program. Superintendent Cara Cooke said the application for the program does not require board approval but does require a public hearing.
At recent board meetings, the topic of campus safety has been a central issue. At Monday’s meeting, Assistant Superintendent Richard Nash discussed the results of a recent KHS safety audit and some of the summer projects underway at the campus to increase security.
“This spring we had a safety audit,” Nash said. “It was conducted by Curtis Clay and Associates. Curtis Clay was a director at the Texas School Safety Center. This year the committee decided it would be more beneficial to have an outside set of eyes to come in and look at things that we may not see.”
Nash described how the outside inspection team commended the administration on their emergency operations plan. However, he mentioned there were still improvements to be made, especially regarding unsecured entrances at the high school campus.
“We’ve looked into a locking system with badges in and out. This year they already started looking at what doors we can actually permanently shut and still keep up with the fire code,” Nash said.
Revard Pfeffer, chief financial officer for KISD, detailed some of the summer projects throughout the district.
Pfeffer said security cameras at KISD campuses were repaired over spring break and several have been added as planned. He added the district was still taking bids on a new document management system and bus rails should be completed within the next month at the primary campus to prevent students from stepping into bus lanes.
Pfeffer said the administration is still looking into a plan to build fencing around some or all of the high school campus to increase safety and restrict access to the campus. Additionally, the Spanish tile on the roof of the high school is being replaced for the first time in decades.
“It looks like when we’re complete with that, you won’t know the difference between what’s been there for 90 years and what’s brand new,” he said.
Even though it may not seem like there is much activity at the high school this summer, Pfeffer explained technicians were hard at work inside the building replacing 86 air conditioning units.
In two weeks, at the end of June, KISD will receive and install their new copier fleet and the old copiers will be sold at auction on the district website during July.
Pfeffer said other projects are currently being considered for action, including replacement lighting for the high school auditorium, remodeling the girls’ soccer locker room, a conversion of the racquetball court into a new boardroom facility and a new location or facility for storage of district items. He also mentioned the board is looking into long-term items, including repairs or upgrades of the high school track and R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
The board also approved School Wide Universal Breakfasts, which will allow all KISD students to receive a free breakfast meal at any campus upon request.