Tyler ISD board of trustees expected to name 2 new schools at meeting

Published on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 22:27 - Written by Emily Guevara, eguevara@tylerpaper.com

After taking some time to review nominations, the Tyler ISD board of trustees is expected to name two new schools during a meeting today.

The board tabled the issue earlier this month citing a need to go over the submitted nominations and gather as much information as possible.

Board members planned to provide their input to the administration, which would then make a recommendation to the board. The board must approve the naming of all district facilities.

The district received 33 suggestions for names, 21 for the middle school being built on Three Lakes Parkway and 12 for the career and technical education center off of Earl Campbell Parkway.

It’s district policy that in naming, renaming or changing the name of any school building or district facility, it be named after a person who has served TISD or the community; a local, state or national heroic figure; or a local, state or national geographic area.

A namesake must have made a significant contribution to society and/or education and the name should give prestige and status to the school, according to district policy.

These are the first schools to be added to the district since Jack Elementary opened in 2007.

In other business, the board is scheduled to vote on the $26,500 purchase of the Instant Alert Network, a new security measure.

This iPhone and Android app is designed to provide instant notification to assigned agencies and staff and reduce response time in the event of emergencies such as intruders, severe weather, fire, air or ground contamination or medical concerns, according to district information.

The program is designed to work with smart phones and would have “hot buttons” the district would program for certain situations.

So, if a teacher saw a suspicious person walking on campus, he or she could press the hot button for suspicious person, and it would immediately send a text to or call the correct personnel who could then respond as needed.

Other potential hot buttons could be coded for a fire, need for medical attention, police presence, a weather concern or emergency lockdown.

“It’s a very inexpensive way to push that contact out real quickly,” said Ken Vaughn, TISD’s chief student and support services officer.

He said if the board approves the purchase, which would be funded from the district’s security budget, it would launch next school year.

Vaughn said district officials would evaluate the program to see if it does what they want it to. The district’s agreement would be for one year and Vaughn said this is just one of several plans to improve campus security.

The board also is expected to vote on the resignation of Nancy Swanson, the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, and the hiring of a district director of guidance and counseling.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Jack L. Davidson Conference Center in the Jim Plyler Instructional Complex, 807 W. Glenwood Blvd.

A reception for outgoing District 4 board member Shirley Jordan is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the boardroom.