Parents speak, ask DISD board to tighten up drug policies

Two parents addressed the Devine ISD school board during citizen communication last Tuesday night March 25 asking DISD to tighten up their drug policies and take a good look at our schools, Mr. Hank Seay, III and John J. Schnautz.
“I have kids in school here, having moved to Devine four years ago. I called all schools in the Medina County area to inquire about their drug policies and problems. I am feeling bad, like we are not good parents, because of the environment in our schools”, said Hank Seay, III.
” We should have a zero tolerance in place. I know it costs money, but we have to find a solution and change the drug policy to zero tolerance. What we have is not working. Guns are dangerous, but heroin is just as dangerous. This needs addressing in a big way. In the Marines I learned that positive output is a product of positive leadership. Maybe we need to change leadership all the way up. I breed German Shephards and would volunteer to them to be used as drug dogs. I hope and pray you take it serious. This is a critical time right now,” said Mr. Seay.
Next up during citizen communication was John J. Schnautz. “I’ve worked 20 years as an At-Risk Teacher. I have 2 kids here and 2 in Navarro schools. From what I have seen from studies done by detention centers, there needs to be some separation. For example, for every 10 Meth cases sent to expensive rehabs, there is a 8.5 let down statistic. You shouldn’t put them back in with the other kids. They need to stay separated. Maybe we need a larger DEAP, it will take more money but a better education , maybe a higher tax rate if needed,” said Schnautz.
” I believe Devine is behind the curve and we need to get ahead, take drastic measures. It’s been done same way for so long here. Open your eyes, talk to others, see what they are doing. Teachers need the back up of the administration, so kids will have respect. …Tighten up on drug policies and take out words like ‘may’ and ‘shall’. People may then think twice. Get parent involvement.”
“Y’all are hiring outside firms to do your research, save some taxpayer dollars and involve your community, form committees. We had huge growth happening in Navarro, and I was on a committee in Navarro that meet for 6 months, 3 hours a night. Every Principal and Board member contributed with ideas as well as the community members and teachers. Look and open your minds to address concerns. Save the education Devine ISD is known for, you are on the verge of losing support from a community which has always been 110% behind it,” said Schautz.
Mr Seay asked to speak again and added, “There is a lot of nepotism here, it effects outcome….”
The board began the meeting at 6:30 p.m. with roll call, the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer and then went immediately went into execution session to consult with their lawyer.
$13.9 Million Bond Election
Upon convening at 6:50 p.m. they listened to the two parents during citizen communication.
At 7:12 the KNRG Bond Project Presentation was made by KNRG Architects. They did a quick run though of a power point showing a few new changes to the proposed construction, which took less than 10 minutes with a couple questions from the board.
Some of the new proposed changes included a parking lot and loop in Phase 2 of the construction at the elementary as well as expanding the bleachers to seat 200 instead of 150 in the proposed gym.
At the intermediate it was explained that there could be two windows, a pass thru and a transit window to check in drop off lunches etc. Also, the entry way vestibule going to the gym would be on the inside hallway so the kids wouldn’t have to go outside. It would also keep after hours gym traffic from access to the school. This entry way would replace the current area being used for storage in the gym.
Middle school – improve turn radius off of FM road onto Arabian Way and add a right turn lane for exiting. Drainage improvement outside the new locker rooms.
DSAC -Build a screen wall outside the cafeteria glass wall so people won’t be able to see in, as a security measure.
High School- restructure the old bus loop to include a new entrance for buses designed to go through the current grass area and around the new small parent parking lot in the front of the new admin offices and exiting the current way. Also add an entrance to the side parking lot that is right beside the softball field next to the bathrooms. Add a canopy to the outside of current walk up to make look more welcoming and direct people to new admin offices. Build new weight room, relocate current weights there.
Tennis Courts- move to current sports complex between the old courts and baseball field where mesquite trees are. Parking can be added on that side too where trees are at some point.
Board questions: “How many gym seats?”, asked Trustee Robert Morales. Answer: 200. “We are moving the tennis courts next to the existing ones?”, Answer was “Yes, next to the current ones”. “How much parking would we have over there in the future?” Answer was “40 spots maybe”.
At 7:27 p.m. administrative reports were heard.
7:30 p.m. consent agenda.
Then the board voted to hire Way Services to study and estimate potential energy savings within the district, a 60 day process.
7:36 p.m. Valerie Dykstra gave a presentation and they approved Shared Services Arrangement Agreement with Northside Regional Day School and SA ISD Regional Day School. They provide services for the hearing impaired, including sign language if we were to ever have a student that needs that.
Budget workshops dates were set for May 20, June 3 and June 10.
Budget workshops set
7:42 Board went into closed session and reconvened two hours later at 9:53 p.m.
New hires
Hired were: Joanna Heath, Delilah Castillo, and Marisol Rangel-Garcia as recommended by Superintendent. Teaching assignments : For the 2019-20 school year, Heath will be LSSP Intern, the other two Castillo and Rangel-Garcia will be high school science teachers.
Administrator contracts approved were: Steve Anderson, Brenda Gardner, LeeAnn Runnels, Mandy Cross, Derrick Byrd, Kandi Darnell, Dawn Schneider, Daryl Wendel, Jeff Miller, Valerie Dykstra, Jodie Ann Dzierzanowski, Blain Martin, and Lysandra Saldana.
2019 Superintendent’s Goals and Evaluation Instrument was approved.
Public Town Hall Meeting on April 4 about Bond Election Information
An informational meeting about the Bond Election will be hosted by DISD on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the DSAC for constituents and stakeholders of Devine ISD.
An overview of the facilities improvement plan will be discussed. As well as an explanation of the bond proposition and the possible effects on the district and the community.
Public is invited and encouraged to get fully informed.