Much was to be honored and enjoyed at the recent BISD meeting as 69 advanced placement scholars (an increase of six from last year) were recognized with their parents. Of the 69 students, 39 received the AP Scholar award. 13 of the AP students earned a more difficult level of AP distinction, students with honors; and 17 scholars reached an even higher level, AP students with distinction. This means that those 17 averaged a score of 3.5 on all AP tests and also scored 3 or higher on five or more exams. BHS outperforms the state and national average by 69 percent. In 2013, 73 percent of BHS students scored 3 or higher on the AP exams.
Of the more that 1.5 million students who took the National Merit Exam, four from Belton, Brody Brogan, John Jennings, Montana Minnis and Megan Nitcher qualified for the semi finals.
The Belton Rotary selected their educator of the quarter, Janette Marquez. She is a 7th year teacher who teaches 5th grade ELAR at Southwest. Temple Rotary also recognized its educator of the month, Margaret Hopson, an educator for 29 years who has spent seven of those teaching in Belton.
Expenditures over $50,000 were discussed briefly as there were only two items on the agenda. The first item considered was the district’s transportation radio system that is 20 years old. Of the 198.6 miles the district travels, there are some communication “dead spots” Consolidated Telecom Services has submitted a bid of $l,118, funded through the general operating budget, to replace the aging equipment.
The second item up for consideration was the elementary computer labs. In June, BISD approved phase one of the computer replacement program and labs were replaced at Pirtle, Sparta and Lakewood. The work is ongoing at other elementary campuses.
The enrollment report indicated that 10,134 students started school on the first day. This is a 16 percent growth over the past five years. Approximately 50 percent of the student body is white; 30 percent Hispanic; 10 percent African American and 3.6 percent multi racial. 48.5 percent are girls with boys making up the remaining 51.5%.
North Belton Middle School and Chisholm Trail Elementary have their foundations completed with duct and metal framing started. Changes in one existing school include the conversion of Tyler to a pre-kindergarten center, which is set to open on Aug. 25, 2014. The middle school attendance foundations were also given some attention as the first meeting was held tonight, with another general information meeting set for Oct. 8 and board approval scheduled for Jan. 20.
The Belton High School Health Science Program was one of the main topics of the evening. 408 students at BHS and New Tech are enrolled in this fast track program. Tonight’s information was specifically aimed at the LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) curriculum. At this time, an LVN is one of the nine top jobs in health care. An LVN can expect to make a beginning salary of $35,000 per year. The Belton program is unique in that it covers all aspects of nursing and is partnered with Scott and White and Seton Hospitals. A Belton trained LVN can expect to become an employable nurse within a year after high school graduation.