MERCEDES INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Mercedes Independent School District Board of Trustees met in Regular Session on
Tuesday, November 14, 2006.
Mr. Don Vogel, President Mr. Pete Guajardo, Member
Mrs. Elvia Sandoval, Vice President Mr. Ron McVey, Member
Mr. George Cardenas, Secretary Mr. Daniel Salinas, Member
Absent: Mr. Monte Churchill, Member
Present from the District:
Mr. Luis Ramos, Jr., Superintendent Mr. Rafael Leal, CATE Director
Mrs. Gloria Cepeda, Assistant Superintendent Mr. Walter Watson, Federal Programs Director
Mrs. Nancy Sanchez, Chief Financial Officer Mr. Ricardo Atkinson, Principal, MHS
Mrs. Olga Hinds, Assistant Financial Officer Mrs. Gloria Cantu, Principal, MAA
Mrs. Melissa Aguero-Ramirez, Dir. Human Rsrcs Mr. David Rivera, Principal, MJHS
Ms. Lisa Cantu, BIL/ESL Director Mrs. Mary Alice Gonzalez, Principal, JF Kennedy
Mrs. Cynthia Cardenas, Food Service Director Mrs. Cathy Chamberlain, Principal, Taylor
Mrs. Sylvia Carlin, Student Svcs. Coordinator Ms. Perla Guerrero, Principal, Travis
Mr. Juan Gama, Facilities/Maint. Manager Mr. Ignacio Garcia, Principal, MECC
Me. Esequiel Garcia, Sp Ed Director Mr. Michael Salinas, Attorney
Mr. Rene Guajardo, Transportation Director Mrs. Eva Cuadra, Administrative Assistant
Mr. Roland Handy, Technology Director
Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by President Don Vogel. Mr. Daniel Salinas led the Pledge of
Allegiance and Mr. Ron McVey gave the invocation.
Mr. Ramos recognized the Mercedes High School Marching Tiger Band for receiving a Division I Rating at
the Annual Pigskin Marching Band Festival held on October 21, 2006. Present to receive a Certificate of
Achievement were Band Director Guy McKinney, Assistant Band Director, Dale LeMarr, Drum Majors
Isabel Ramirez and Nelda Johnson, Band President Dianeth Rodriguez, Secretary Michelle Cavazos,
Treasurer Christopher Longoria, and Reporter Paul Meza. Mr. Ramos and board members commended
the band students, their parents, and the directors for their hard work and dedication that paid off with
them earning the Division I rating.
Mrs. Sandoval commended Mr. McKinney for his efforts in building up the band program. Mr. Vogel
commended the band directors for giving the Junior High Band members the opportunity to march with
the High School band at the last district football game.
Mr. Ramos reported the attendance figures for the second six-weeks. He noted the District attendance
was up from last year, from 96.69% to 96.73%. He said there were 37 more students with the enrollment
being at 5,100 students. The written report included the breakdown per campus, which had the
attendance at 95.58% for the High School, 97.00% at the Junior High, 97.41% at Taylor Elementary,
97.84% at Travis Elementary, 95.85% at MECC, 97.59 at Hinojosa Elementary, 97.28 at JF Kennedy
Elementary, and 100% at Mercedes Alternative Academy. Mr. Cardenas said the administrators were
doing an excellent job at keeping the attendance up and attributed that to the efforts of the entire staff in
making learning enjoyable for the students. Mr. Ramos said he appreciated the compliment to the
principals and staff at the various campuses because they were working very hard to keep the attendance
up, using incentive programs, competition between campuses, and other things to motivate students to
be at school every day.
No one signed up to speak.
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 1 of 10
Mrs. Sandoval asked the Chairman for permission to say something. She said she wanted to thank the
JROTC and others that had put together the presentation, during halftime at the football game, honoring
the veterans. She said the students had done an excellent job with the flag detail and the band playing
the songs of all the branches of the armed forces. She said it was very beautiful and moving and was
very much appreciated by all the veterans who had been invited to assemble on the field. Mr. Ramos
commented that the presentation had involved the students, the high school principal, and others. He
added that inviting the veterans who were in attendance supporting the Mission football team to join the
ones from Mercedes showed a lot of class. He said he was touched by the response of the audience as
everyone stood and applauded, showing pride for the veterans and for their country. Mrs. Sandoval said
the response of the community showed the students that patriotism is important. Mr. Cardenas
commended Colonel Elliott and Mr. Jimenez for their work with the JROTC. Mrs. Martha Elliott said she
would pass the word to her husband. She said he really enjoyed working with the students and he was
very pleased with how the presentation had turned out.
138. Discussion and possible action on approval of following bids:
a. Carpentry specialty items/supplies/materials & equipment
Ms. Mary B. (Bernie) Brown explained to the board that two invitations had been sent out and only one
had been returned. She recommended the Board approve keeping both vendors with Borderland
Hardware being the primary vendor (because they returned the bid invitation and offered a 12% discount)
and McCoy’s being the secondary vendor. Mr. McVey asked about Home Depot. Ms. Brown responded
they were listed under general hardware supplies. Mr. McVey asked why there was a $30,000 increase.
Ms. Brown said the 2005-2006 expended amount of $57,727 was correct; however the 2006-2007
budgeted amount of $87,854 was misleading because the same accounting codes are used for other
items as well, such as general hardware supplies.
Motion made by Mr. Salinas and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve. Motion passed unanimously.
b. School groceries and general merchandise/specialty items/materials & equipment
Ms. Brown reported on the invitations sent out and responses received. She recommended all four
vendors - HEB, Sam’s, Grocery Warehouse, and Wal-Mart at Weslaco be approved as primary vendors.
Mr. McVey expressed concern about the increase in the budgeted amount. Ms. Brown said the situation
was similar to the previous item; the account number included other items such as dues, fees, postage,
etc. Mr. Cardenas asked if there was someone responsible for keeping track of how things are bought
and how much is being bought, assuring that expense stays within budget. Ms. Brown said the Business
Office, particularly the Purchasing Department does that. She said she was also going to request reports
from the campuses and departments every three months or so to keep tabs on their purchasing. Mr.
Salinas asked how things would be tracked being they were all on the same code. Ms. Brown said in the
process of approving the purchase orders she is able to do some tracking, particularly in purchases that
exceed certain dollar amount limits and that require for certain procedures to be followed. Mr. Guajardo
expressed the need to encourage the campuses and departments to purchase from local vendors, such
as Grocery Warehouse, because they are offering a discount and they pay taxes to the school district.
Mr. Salinas asked when quotes were required if it was done by central purchasing or did the teachers and
administrators have to do it themselves. Ms. Brown said it was done by both, depending on the items
Motion made by Mr. Salinas and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve. Motion passed unanimously.
c. General hardware supplies/specialty items/materials & equipment
Ms. Brown said 62 invitations had been sent out and not all were returned. She said the advertisement
for these items had paid off because the school district was being offered more discounts than before.
She recommended that those that had returned invitations be approved as primary vendors and those
that did not return the invitations be approved as secondary vendors. Mr. Vogel said he agreed with what
Mr. Guajardo said, to use local vendors as much as possible. Mr. Cardenas referred to one vendor - Best
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 2 of 10
Tire Shop - who had not submitted an invitation, if they were left out. Ms. Brown said their invitation came
in late, but they were being recommended as a secondary vendor.
Motion made by Mr. Guajardo and seconded by Mr. McVey to approve. Motion passed unanimously.
d. Automotive supplies/materials & equipment
Ms. Brown said 26 invitations had been sent out and seven had been submitted. She recommended
those that had submitted invitations be approved as primary vendors and the others as secondary
vendors. Mrs. Sandoval asked about Glass by Juan and Silver Glass not submitting their invitations. Ms.
Brown said she did not know; she said they really tried to get the invitations out to everyone plus
advertising to get the word out, but for some reason they did not respond. Mrs. Sandoval wanted to know
what was done in that case - when they needed a glass replaced, not having a local vendor. The other
board members and Ms. Brown pointed out that Silver Glass had submitted their invitation so they would
be the primary vendor, with Glass by Juan being a secondary vendor. Mr. Salinas asked if there was a
difference in percentage of discount from last year. Ms. Brown said there definitely was an increase in
the amount of discount, the advertisement had already paid for itself. Mr. Vogel said that it was important
to double check what a discount was based on because even though there was a bigger discount an item
might be less expensive with a vendor offering no discount or even a smaller discount.
Motion made by Mr. Salinas and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve. Motion passed unanimously.
Curriculum and Instruction
139. Report and discussion on Performance Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS)
Mrs. Gloria Cepeda introduced the directors that work directly with and monitor the programs involved:
Ms. Lisa Cantu - Bilingual, Mr. Rafael Leal - CATE, Mr. Walter Watson - NCLB, and Mr. Esequiel Garcia -
Sp Ed. Mrs. Cepeda explained that PBMAS is a system that was established in 2004-2005; it is state
(TEA) monitoring and intervention activities. She continued that PBMAS was data driven, performance
based; it was a continuous improvement model with emphasis on data integrity and data analysis. It is
meant to increase student progress and program effectiveness. Mrs. Cepeda reviewed the indicators in
each program. She noted that the bolded indicators were the ones that were not met. She explained that
in the Special Education indicators item 17 SPED LEP Representation was not met, however it is a
situation that affects about 30 districts throughout the state because their population is about 99%
Hispanic, so the SPED LEP representation ends up being much higher. The State is saying it shouldn’t
be that way but it is a situation that is demographic in nature. Mr. Ramos explained that up state a
district’s population may be 55% white, 30% Hispanic, and 10-15% black and other ethnic groups so the
SP ED population would include students from the different demographic groups. Here in the Valley
where it is 95-99% Hispanic your SP ED population is going to be mostly Hispanic.
Mrs. Cepeda said this PBMAS information has been received by the District and some of it has been
shared with the principals. She said there is a timeline that will be followed to analyze the data, to share it
with the administrators, staff, and the community, and to submit a continuous improvement plan to the
State. She said tonight’s presentation was mainly to explain to the Board what PBMAS is. She said a
TEA on-site visit is possible so they are preparing now instead of waiting for notification of a visit before
starting the preparation. She said they made a recommendation through Region One that the State
change the PBMAS to every other year to allow the districts time to put a plan in place and then monitor it
before being pressed to work on a plan for the following year.
Mrs. Melissa Aguero-Ramirez, HR Director, shared information on the NCLB (No Child Left Behind)
section. She said the District was not flagged for this and does not have to come up with an improvement
plan, however the District must publicly report the progress the District has made in meeting the highly
qualified teacher requirement. The Federal NCLB target was that all school districts had to be at 100%
as of the last instructional day of the 2005-2006 school year. Mrs. Ramirez shared how the state and
Region One were not at 100%, and Mercedes being at 98.99% with the regular teachers and at 85.71%
with the Sp Ed teachers. She said there were six Sp Ed teachers that were not highly qualified at the
end of 2005-2006. She said as of today there were only two. She said the others were either
reassigned, resigned, or became qualified. She emphasized that the two are very close to meeting the
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requirement and should be able to do so by the end of December or for sure by the end of the school
Mr. Guajardo asked how the teachers could earn the points they are lacking, if it was by attending
trainings. Ms. Ramirez said it could be a combination of attending trainings, passing the appropriate
exam, or acquiring 24 hours of college courses. She said this information will be placed on the website to
meet the requirement of reporting to the public.
Mr. Cardenas asked Mrs. Cepeda where the District was in relation to last year’s indicators. Mrs. Cepeda
said they had met the ones for last year, but the ones on this year’s report are different ones. She said at
this point they have started to analyze the data and will be setting up the committees that will work on the
improvement plans, keeping in mind that it is basically the same population that is reflected in the
different indicators. Mrs. Cepeda said the directors and her staff have all been working very well together
and with the campuses. Mr. Esequiel Garcia, Sp Ed Director, said the standards go up every year, so
even though they do well this year, the next year may not be the same. Mr. Walter Watson, responsible
for NCLB said there were 32 other indicators, three of them deal with the highly qualified teacher
requirement; so having met them is very good, and he said overall all the programs have done very well.
Report only. No action taken
140. - Report and discussion of technology program at Mercedes ISD
Mr. Roland Handy said he wanted to discuss two items before getting into his presentation about the
department - one was the marquee and the other was the planetarium. Regarding the planetarium he
said it took them a few days to resolve the problem but it was up and running again. He said now that it
was fixed they were setting up a service agreement with the company that does this type of work.
Regarding the marquee he said they have had some trouble with it. He said it was broken, although
people see it and it is on, however it is broken because they are not able to get past the date and time
display. He said a company would be coming with a crane the following week to replace a control unit
and 16 modules. Board members asked questions as to the control unit being on the marquee itself and
why the problem had not been addressed prior to school starting. Mr. Handy responded that the control
unit was on what is called the marquee head, thus the need for a crane to access it. As far as when the
problem began to be addressed he said there was the question of who was responsible for it. Mr. Handy
said the technology department kind of took over the responsibility because they had found the software
that belonged to the marquee. Mr. Cardenas pointed out Mr. David Avila, the previous technology
director had been in charge of it. Mr. Handy said that it had actually been a shared responsibility of the
technology director because of his technology skills and the previous superintendent’s secretary, through
whom the requests for announcements flowed through. Mr. Cardenas said there were quite a few
students and groups that needed to be recognized. Mr. Salinas asked if there was a support agreement
for the marquee. Mr. Handy explained there was not but after the repairs were completed and certified
the company would present a proposal for a support agreement for the future. Mr. McVey asked if there
were funds to take care of this expense. Mr. Handy said he had discussed the matter with Mrs. Sanchez
and there were funds available; an open purchase order was in place with the cost to be approximately
Mr. Handy continued with his presentation on the technology department, sharing with the Board and the
audience information on some of the things the department is doing, some of the things they are planning
to do, and some of the challenges that lay before them. He talked about the make up of department
personnel, making note that there are eight people who combined have worked for MISD for 72 years,
one of which, Obeth Ledesma has worked for 35 years, and he only six months. He stated the shared
goals of the department which are: 1) enhance and support district instructional efforts through the use of
technology; 2) enhance and support district administrative efforts through the use of technology; 3)
technology related equipment will be maintained by a skilled team; and 4) improve teamwork, attitude and
accountability within the team.
Mr. Handy reviewed the 2006-2007 initiatives:
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 4 of 10
Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) to ensure data in the district student and finance systems is safe
and secure; data is stored off-site in a secure ISCorp facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; approximate cost
to district was $2,000.
Skyward Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that in the event of a declared disaster will allow for
Skyward data to be accessed via the web; this will allow quick return of services to process payroll and
complete other business functions. To ensure minimal system downtime, a (localized) redundant server
was purchased. The approximate cost to district was $5,500.
Electronic Work Request System that is accessible by every MISD employee with the exception
of the Superintendent; this allows an employee to submit his own work order. This system allows users
and technicians to enter, track, and schedule work requests; it is currently in use by Campus Technology
Coordinators. Approximate cost to district was $2,000.
Mrs. Sandoval asked if the department had enough staff to take care of all the schools. The other board
members teased that this was one question that was not supposed to be asked. Mr. Handy responded
he had it set up to have one technician for every two to three campuses, with the exception of the high
school who has one technician assigned.
Continuing with the Electronic Work Request System it was discussed that this system was a means of
improving the flow of information so work orders are processed and technicians assigned in a timely
manner. Mr. Salinas asked what was the ratio of computers to technicians in the district. Mr. Handy said
that including the administrative computers there were about 425 computers for each of the three
technicians in the department.
Mr. McVey asked about employees having a network drive to save files they are working on when power
goes down. Mr. Handy said with Mrs. Sanchez’ help they had purchased a UPS for every computer in
the administration building; they have been received and will be set up in the next few days. He said they
had also purchased an appliance called a snap server - a network back-up device with personal folders
so every user at Central Office will be able to back up whatever they like; it will pop up as a separate
Mr. Salinas asked what was the UPS time on the system and network here at Central Office. Mr. Handy
said it was 45 minutes to an hour, which is sufficient time for someone to shut down the systems
correctly. District wide implementation will be within 30 days.
Mr. Handy continued with the 2006-2007 initiatives:
Skyward Employee Access which allows MISD employees to view pay history, profile, tax
information, absence balance and direct deposit information; each employee will be given a user name
and password. This program was paid but had not been implemented.
Skyward Student and Family Access which allows students and parents/guardians to view
student academic and profile data. Options will include viewing of grades, absences, missing
assignments, tardies, discipline, and teacher notices. District-wide implementation projected for January,
PEIMS Reporting - Since April 2006, focus has been on improving PEIMS data accuracy, since it
impacts funding. Potential error reports are generated and distributed to campuses for corrections.
PEIMS reporting will continue to be an area of continual training and focus.
Telecommunications - the District recently requested $100,000 in telecom reimbursements via E-
Rate for the previous year. Because of the high economically disadvantaged population E-Rate provides
90% discount on phone service, long distance, internet services, cabling related work in new schools, etc.
The department is transitioning from T1 circuits (1.54 mbps) to CSME (Customized Switched Metro
Ethernet) (100 mbps) which will have a 60 fold increase in speed. They are also working on the
upcoming transition to code-mandatory long distance access in 2007.
District Web Presence - The switch to SchoolWires is complete. Eight training sessions have
been held, with many more coming. The community is now able to “subscribe” to pages; when a page is
updated the subscriber will receive an e-mail alert. Teachers will be able to edit and maintain classroom
website. Approximate cost (after E-Rate) to District is $2,000 per year.
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 5 of 10
Instructional Initiatives - Department replaced outdated Theater Arts video editing computers;
replaced entire outdated MJHS computer lab; provided 20 digital microscopes for science classrooms;
supported Riverdeep 3 & 4, Learning.com, NovaNet and A+ instructional learning systems; provided
funds for Campus Technology Coordinators to enroll in Master Technology Teacher program; assessed
teacher technology related needs via the Texas STaR Chart; provided $9,200 in additional funds to
libraries; starting in January 2007 will provide after school technology related training sessions.
Mr. Salinas commented on the Texas STaR Chart which is a state initiative that surveys the status and
needs of the districts in relation to technology. He said last year the teachers were not required to
respond and he noted that many districts did not have their teachers respond. He commended Mercedes
for having made the effort to get teachers, not just administrators to respond. Mr. Handy said this year
the goal is to have 100% of the teachers to respond to Texas STaR Chart; this year the teachers are
required to respond because this is tied to E-Rate monies.
Mrs. Sandoval commented that teachers needed help to understand the importance of responding plus
help in knowing the status of the district in regards to technology.
Mr. Handy reported on policies that have been updated: purchasing standards have been created for
PCs, printers, and peripherals; all technology related purchases are to be reviewed and approved by the
Technology department; district fund coding procedures have been modified to better track technology
related expenditures; and the drafting of District Electronic Communications Security and Data Privacy
Mr. Handy said $578,000 has been requested from E-Rate for the 2006-2007 year; $303,000 earmarked
for new 6 grade campus. He said funding for new Alternative Campus is expected in next 10-14 days.
The estimated discounts for next year are $285,000.
Mr. Handy reported on the electronic board book which is in progress of being implemented. The intent
of this project is to deliver Board Books or packets electronically via e-mail or a USB flash drive. Each
Board member will be provided with a notebook computer preconfigured with web, e-mail and TASB
Online Policy access. The intent is to facilitate communications between the Board and administration.
Board agendas and approved minutes are already on the web as requested by the Board.
Regarding network infrastructure Mr. Handy said the current (primary) Internet access is 20 mbps via
Region One. A secondary satellite-based internet access is projected for July 2007. Monitoring software
provides reports used to minimize downtime.
Mr. Salinas noted that the current internet access is at 20 mbps and asked what the current utilization
was. Mr. Handy said it fluctuated between 10-18, but usually it was 10-12. He said spikes usually occur
in the morning, noon, after school and around midnight when backups go out to ISCorp. Mr. Handy and
Mr. Salinas agreed there was sufficient capacity to make it until the implementation of the secondary
access in 2007.
Mr. Handy said the District currently had 1,145 computers for a 4.5 to 1 student to computer ratio. He
said there were doing some studies and analysis to determine what kind of replacement cycle to
implement. On a five-year plan 20% of the inventory (230 computers) would have to be replaced. On a
six-year plan it would be 190 computers. Discussion continued on pros and cons of leasing or buying,
getting the computers for the new campuses, considering a four-year plan instead of a five or six-year
plan, and the purchase of warranties.
Mr. Handy concluded that the technology department was always looking to provide the best for the
students by purchasing new PCs when possible, by upgrading RAM on student and office PCs to prolong
unit life, and by looking for opportunities to modernize inventory via grants, partnerships, refurbished
Report only. No action taken.
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 6 of 10
141. - Construction Reports and possible discussion
a. Alternative Academy
b. HS Kitchen
c. New Middle School
d. New HS Gym
e. Roofing Update
Mr. Hector Garcia reported on the work done at the Alternative Academy for the month of October 2006.
He said a punch list had been given to the contractor and that substantial completion forms would be
submitted to the District by the end of the month. He said in the afternoon a matter had come up from the
City’s fire marshal that needed to be addressed, although the administration had worked with the City to
resolve the matter of a fire loop and had essentially come to an agreement. Mr. Garcia said the fire
marshal is asking for a check valve, taking into the consideration the future growth of the school. He said
the City has come out and conducted the above ceiling and occupancy reviews. He said there were
some warranty and maintenance type meetings being planned with the maintenance department - the AC
manufacturer and others will come in to demonstrate the AC operation and important warranty
Mr. McVey asked about the scheduled move-in date and if furniture had been ordered. The response
was that move in was scheduled for the second semester and that the purchase of some new furniture
was going to be done this school year and the rest would come next year. In the meantime good quality
furniture that is in storage would be used. Mr. McVey said in the past new furniture was always bought
when a new school was opened and that he felt it was important for it to continue in order to be fair to all
the campuses. Mr. Ramos commented that it was good to do this, but if the school board members could
see all the classrooms at Graham that are full of good usable furniture that is just sitting there, they would
see that it is a means of saving money for the school district. Mr. Ramos continued that the
administration had allocated some of that furniture to the curriculum center and special education
department. He said the effort was going to be made to get as much new furniture for the Alternative
Academy as possible, but he was looking at it from a budget and an efficiency standpoint and also to
clear some of those classrooms that are being used for storage.
Mr. McVey said Mr. Maldonado, the fire marshal, had gone by his home and had taken him to the areas
that had been of concern. Mr. McVey said the fire marshal, because of his work, saw things in a worse-
case scenario situation. He said he appreciated the fire marshal’s concern because in the end he was
merely looking out for the best interests of the kids and the school district.
Mr. Vogel said he was curious about the delay. He said he could not understand why new things are
being brought up, why they were not brought up at the start of the project.
Mr. Salinas brought up that initially Mr. Eduardo Infante, former Assistant Superintendent, had met with
the fire marshal and the District had committed to putting in another fire hydrant in the future, with monies
perhaps from the 6 grade campus project, but then this was pulled back, because of funding issues. Mr.
Salinas added he had not been present at the meeting but had received the information secondhand. Mr.
Salinas said the fire marshal, in respect to protecting the children of the District, had to look at what could
be done in lieu of an additional hydrant. Mr. Salinas asked Mr. Ramos if this was a fair summation. Mr.
Ramos responded the first part was a fair summation but added he did not know about the check valve
until today. He said had been working with the city manager trying to have the City agree to issue the
permit to occupy the building with the District committing to adding the additional fire hydrant at a later
date. Mr. Ramos said the check valve was something new, coming from the fire marshal; he said his
discussions had been with the city manager. Mr. Salinas was concerned that the District had committed
before to take care of this matter and then pulled back and that it was again committing to a specific time
period. Mr. Ramos said he had not committed to a period of one or two years but saying it would be at a
later date. Discussion continued with the architect; he will be meeting with the contractor and will get
more information on the check valve.
Mr. Garcia reported on the High School Kitchen renovation. He said the contractor had been there for
two weeks and the demolition was well in progress. He said they are having weekly jobsite meetings
every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 7 of 10
Concerning the middle school Mr. Garcia reported the contract documents were out to general and sub
contractors. He said thus far two general contractors and several sub contractors had picked up
documents. He said the deadline for competitive sealed proposals was Thursday, November 30 at 4:00
Mr. Garcia reported on the High School PE gymnasium. He said he had met with Coach Gilbert Leal and
a floor plan had been agreed on. He said material selections are being reviewed and he will be meeting
with the roofing and engineering consultants to review structural and MEP systems.
Concerning the H. S. agriculture barn Mr. Garcia said he had reviewed programming requirements and
schematic layout with the administration. He will have a structural engineer out to the site to assess the
structure and to see what needs to be done to repair and strengthen it.
Mr. Juan Gama gave an update on the different campuses that are in need of roof repairs and information
on applicable warranties. He shared with the Board the correspondence and field notes related to JF
Kennedy, Travis and Hinojosa Elementaries. He had pictures of some of the roofs and the repairs being
done. The board members asked about the recent heavy rains and the extent of the water leaks that had
been reported and about damages to interior walls and ceiling tiles. The board members asked who was
to take care of the interior damage. Mr. Gama said maintenance had not replaced any of those because
they were in the process of documenting all the damages to report to the general contractor; and even
though the roofing contractor was aware of the interior damages he had not done anything to repair them.
Mr. Gama said he would continue to work on this until this issue is taken care of.
Mr. Gama reported that the roof at Hinojosa which is still under warranty had developed blisters; the
roofing contractor (C & M Roofing) inspected the roof and got very concerned with the problem. Mr.
Gama said he has reported the matter to the manufacturer and he is waiting to hear from them. The
board members advised Mr. Gama to take video pictures in addition to still shots so the manufacturer can
be aware of the extent of the problem.
Mr. Vogel said it was unfortunate to have these problems with the roofs but it has caused the District to
make a complete evaluation of its facilities and to move towards having a regularly scheduled preventive
maintenance program to assure compliance with various warranty specifications.
The board members continued to discuss other problems caused by the recent rains and the need for
principals to report to Mr. Gama as quickly as possible. One of the problems involved ground water
filtering through the walls into the building at MECC. Mr. Gama said the water ponds in a particular area,
so to correct the problem the maintenance department made a trough to direct the water away from the
building. Mr. Ramos commended Mr. Gama for the great report, for being on top of things, inspecting the
roofs, and staying with the contractors making sure repairs got done.
Mr. Cardenas asked Mr. Ignacio Garcia, MECC Principal, if he was still having problems with ground
water. Mr. Garcia said it had not rained yet, however there had been some leaks in parts of the building.
He said the situation was improving but it still was not satisfactory.
Report only. No action taken.
142. - Discussion and possible action on Construction Project Expenses
a. JDS Construction
Mr. Ramos recommended the Board approve payment for the work done.
Motion made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Salinas to approve payment of $ 259,825.00 to JDS
Construction for work completed through October 31, 2006 at the Mercedes Alternative Academy
campus. Motion passed unanimously.
143. - Discussion and possible action on approval of bid for purchase of kitchen equipment for Alternative
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Ms. Brown reviewed the bids submitted and recommended awarding the bid to the low bidder, Kitchen
Resources, Harlingen, Texas. Motion made by Mr. McVey and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve bid
of $156,462.48 submitted by Kitchen Resources L.P. of Harlingen, Texas. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. McVey pulled items 146, 148, and 150.
Motion made by Mr. Guajardo and seconded by Mr. Salinas to approve all the items under the Consent
Agenda except Items 146, 148, and 150. Motion passed unanimously.
144. Approved Minutes for the following meetings:
a. Special Meeting held Tuesday, September 26, 2006
b. Regular Board Meeting held Tuesday, October 10, 2006
c. Special Board Workshop held Saturday, October 21, 2006
d. Special Board Meeting held Tuesday, October 24, 2006
145. Approved recommended policy changes
a. EIF (Local) [Second Reading]
147. Approved Tax Collections for September 2006
149. Approved Mrs. Melissa Aguero-Ramirez, HR Director, as the individual designated to sign
Personnel Service Records
151. Approved Requests for Use of Facilities/Equipment
152. Approved Student Out-of-Valley Trip Requests
146. Discussion and possible action on approval of Check Payments for October 2006
Mr. McVey said he had a question about payments to the school physician for athletic physicals. He said
he wanted to double-check with the auditor because with the documentation he was given for 2005-06
the amount had been $20,355. Mr. McVey wanted to know whether the amount was within the $10,000 to
$25,000 range that required advertising for quotes. Mrs. Sanchez responded this rule did not apply to
professional services such as doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.
Motion made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Salinas to approve Check Payments for October
2006. Motion passed unanimously. The following abstentions were noted:
Mr. Pete Guajardo check no(s) 108485,108789
Mr. Ron McVey check no(s) 108618,
Mr. Daniel Salinas check no(s) 108531, 108820
Mrs. Elvia Sandoval check no(s) 108823
Mr. Don Vogel check no(s) 108447, 108646, 108669
148. Discussion and possible action on Revenue and Expenditure Report for October 2006
Mr. McVey said he had a question on Fund 61; it was at 5% while all the others were much higher. Mrs.
Sanchez said those were the actual expenditures thus far. Mr. McVey asked if this was common. She
said she would have to check into it. She said $47, 290 was allocated to the fund and it was distributed
among the campuses. Mr. McVey suggested this be looked into. Mr. Walter Watson, Federal Programs
Director, asked to speak. He said the funds will be used in November and December; that normally the
first couple of months the funds are not used.
Motion made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Salinas to approve item 148. Motion passed
150. Discussion and possible action on approval of class size requirement improvement plan
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 9 of 10
Mr. McVey asked what class size requirement improvement plan was. Mrs. Cepeda explained they had
been monitoring the 1 through 4 grade classrooms for the 22 to 1 ratio and in the past three weeks two
campuses - Taylor Elementary and Ruben Hinojosa - have had unanticipated growth. She said they have
had classrooms with 1 or 2 students above the required ratio, and many of the classrooms there and at
the other campuses are at the 22 to 1 ratio. She said in discussion with the principals it was decided to
submit for the waiver because a school district has 30 days to submit for a waiver after it is observed that
the 22 to 1 ratio is not being met. She continued that a waiver was being considered for submittal at this
time to allow time to advertise for two additional teachers.
Motion made by Mr. Salinas and seconded by Mr. Cardenas to approve class size requirement
improvement plan. Motion passed unanimously.
President Vogel announced that the Board would go into Executive Session and read the posted notice
for the Executive Session, agenda Items A, B, and C.
The Board went to Executive Session at 9:04 pm.
The Board returned to Open Session at 10:20 pm.
153. Discussion and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Mr. Ramos recommended the Board approve Item A - personnel recommendations, as discussed in
Executive Session. Motion made by Mr. Cardenas and seconded by Mr. Salinas to approve. Motion
No action was taken on Items B or C.
Information: Special Board meeting on November 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Alternative Academy campus.
The Board will do a walk-through followed by a special meeting. Football game is on Friday. Athletic
Boosters tailgate group having rib-eye dinner. Band boosters are having a bar-b-que on Sunday.
Meeting adjourned at 10:23 pm.
George Cardenas, Secretary Don Vogel, President
Minutes, 11/14/06 - Page 10 of 10