Board members present were: James E. Olivarez, Moises Iglesias, Patty Bazaldua,? Oscar Martinez, Raymond R. Longoria, Dr. Sonia M. Treviño.

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees was held among the several committee meetings.? During the special meeting, board members unanimously approved a proclamation?supporting the LZ:RGV-Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. The day-long event will be held on April 9, 2011 at the McAllen Convention Center.? A representative of the American Legion was on hand to formally accept the proclamation after it was approved.

The curriculum committee meeting began with discussions from a request to poll elementary school parents about their feelings on using standardized dress for the elementary grades. Committee members had many questions and concerns about using standardized dress at the elementary level. ?Administration will move forward with the poll and present the findings to the board after the survey is complete.

The Special Education Department will present its ambassadors for autism and child find awareness at the regular board meeting of April 13, 2011.

Committee members were presented with a pared-down summer school program. If approved at the regular board meeting, the summer program will be held at two elementary schools, one junior high school and one high school.

Administration is requesting approval to send students to participate in the UTPA migrant university summer experience.? This residential college experience also provides for high school credit and work experience. The cost of $5,055 per student would be paid using federal migrant funds.

Board members will be asked to approve the SHEAC annual report and wellness policy report. This information was provided to the board last month and now needs approval.

Administration is proposing an update to the district logo and requested permission from the committee to poll district employees on the three final options. Results will be reviewed by the board members in making a final decision.

The finance committee meeting consisted primarily of a review of items that will be brought to the board for approval at their next regular meeting. However, this meeting began with a discussion of several items tied to the development of next year’s budget.

Committee members were told that it is possible to pass along differing dollar amounts to different classifications of employees for health care benefits. Board members had asked if it would be possible to have employees share in the cost of the basic health care coverage with paraprofessionals and hourly employees contributing $40 a month and professional employees contributing $93 a month. This could be done to help reduce the budget in light of the funding cuts coming from the state.

Committee members also asked for more information regarding travel costs associated with some athletic travel and stipends paid for extra duties.

Committee members reviewed a proposal for central office summer hours. A ten-hour/fourday work week is being proposed once again this year.

Committee members were unhappy with an increase in fees associated with a new contract for audit services. Board members had approved renewing these services with Reyna Garza, PLCC. The unexpected fee increase prompted several committee members to ask administration to look into the possibility of opening up the audit services for bids.

A renewal of the district’s contract with the Hidalgo County Tax Office for tax collections will maintain current pricing at $68,265.

Several purchases over $50,000 are being brought forward for board approval. A web-based emergency management system will help the district meet government requirements. Initial cost for the system is $132,000, which would be paid for with funds from the Safe Schools/Healthy Students federal grant. Three software purchases would provide teachers with much needed bilingual curriculum materials. The Destinos Lectura software purchase price is $151,065. The ScholarMind PIPO software price tag is $60,900. The Scientists instructional kits purchase price is $179,820. Funding for these purchases would come from state bilingual and federal sources. The Special Education equipment and supplies, and the glass supplies and repair bids will be considered by the board at the meeting of April 13.

Committee members reviewed changes to several local board policies that are needed to primarily reflect changes in district personnel. Administration is requesting board approval to declare miscellaneous items as surplus and to proceed with disposing of the items through the district’s first use of an on-line auction. Cash donations total $5,243. Non-cash donations total $1,974. Tax related collections reported for the month of February total $2,387,077.?The facilities committee meeting began with an update on canopy additions planned for Escobar/Rios Elementary School. Officials said they hoped to begin construction in early May.

During a report on the Alton Elementary School renovations project, construction officials were warned about several procedural items and expressed concern over completion timelines. Project officials did indicate they were working on a recovery schedule. An allowance expenditure totaling about $5,500 will be brought forward for board consideration for the Alton project.

Officials for the Leal Elementary School renovations project said they hoped to finish the second phase of the project before the end of April and begin the final phase. Final completion of the Leal project is planned for the end of July.

Officials are ready to move forward with several procedural items to bring the Mims Elementary kitchen expansion and renovation project to a close. At O’Grady Elementary, they were set to begin using their newly completed kitchen and cafeteria areas April 7. Final details and closeout procedures will be done in the coming few weeks.

Officials working on the new building at Veterans Memorial High School said work progress had picked up and the contractor has expanded the crews, work day, and work week. Their goal is to continue to make up lost time to finish by their deadline. The final item on the facilities committee meeting was just an update to clarify the warranty period for the new scoreboard at Tom Landry Stadium.