Frenship ISD board OKs $15.9M for new school

A guaranteed maximum price of $15.9 million for a new elementary school was approved by the Frenship school board at its meeting Monday night.

Derek Cobb told the Frenship Independent School District Board of Trustees that the maximum price would pay for a 116,000-square-foot building with a gym.

“That keeps us within the budget,” Cobb said.

The new elementary school will be built at the intersection of Itasca Street and Milwaukee Avenue.

The board also approved a one-year contract extension with Durham Transportation with a 2.54 percent increase.

Board members heard two effectiveness reports from Frenship staff members.

Farley Reeves, principal at Reese Education Center, gave an effectiveness report about the school. He said only 11 percent of the contacts with students at Reese are related to disciplinary issues. Other contacts at the school are for advisory or interventional purposes.

Reeves said the largest number of disciplinary cases last year was from the seventh-grade class, a trend that also bore out statewide. He also said that of the disciplinary cases sent to Reese, only 30 percent were state-mandated placements, while the rest were discretionary. Some of those cases were for behaviors as innocuous as continued cell phone use at school, he said, expressing gratitude that discipline in Frenship is not a bigger problem.

“We only had 4 percent of our students receive more than one placement,” Reeves said.

Superintendent David Vroonland interjected, saying that the number of days per placement is also down.

Of the 76 students graduating from Reese in the past year, 72 met the recommended requirements for students intent on going on to college, rather than the lower minimum for graduation.

Reeves said Reese staffers are “continuously working to prepare a college-ready student.”

Tom SoRelle, band director at Frenship High School, gave an effectiveness report on the performing arts in Frenship. He said 100 percent of the band and choir students graduated this year.

Students at Frenship are allowed to take part in more activities than some high schools, SoRelle said, noting that 181 of the music students are involved in more than one performing group, 87 percent are in art classes and 116 are also student athletes. About 42 percent of the FHS students are involved in at least one performing group.

The 2012 seniors in performing arts programs earned almost $600,000, SoRelle said.

The Board of Trustees took no action on either effectiveness report.

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