News from the San Benito school district

SAN BENITO — The month of April was a busy time for the school district.

Several things happened and didn’t happen.

However, Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega says the district has made significant strides and will continue to do so as time goes by.

Probably the biggest and most shocking news to come out of San Benito CISD is the resignation of its leader, Vega.

Effective June. 9, Vega will cease to be the head of the district. He has taken a job in the private sector and will be moving out of the area.

He will stay on until then to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

“My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of being part of this amazing community,” Vega said. “We will never forget the incredible people of SBCISD and the city. Once a Greyhound, always a Greyhound.”

The process to hire Vega’s replacement has already begun, with McShan Consulting of Harlingen taking charge of the search.

Teachers of the Year

At the beginning of April, the district announced this year’s Campus Teachers of the Year honorees.

The honorees include Jose Tafolla-La Encantada Elementary

Maria Isabel Alvarado-Ed Downs Elementary

Natalia Montez-Fred Booth Elementary

Leslie Ybarra-Joe Callandret Positive Redirection Center

Jo Ann D. Wise-Berta Cabaza Middle School

Lupita Ochoa-Angela Gerusa Leal Elementary

Linda L. Rivas-Dr. Cash Elementary

Janette Dominguez- Judge Oscar De La Fuente Elementary

Stephanie Ramirez-La Paloma Elementary

Maria D. Estrada-Rangerville Elementary

Karla Montes-Dr. Raul Garza Jr. Elementary

Gloria Rodriguez-Landrum Elementary

Marisela Acosta-Frank Roberts Elementary

Carmen Grammer-San Benito Riverside Middle School

Reynaldo Garcia-San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy

Jose Angel Villarreal-Miller Jordan Middle School

Randy Olivan-San Benito High School

Yvonne Q. Nuñez-Sullivan Elementary.

Compensation Plan

Through the month of April, school board members struggled to make a decision regarding the compensation plan.

Recently, board members voted to table the decision on the plan’s acceptance.

Trustees decided to continue holding meetings to further evaluate the issue more closely.

Because the district does not currently meet the going market rate on teacher salaries, the Texas Association of School Boards suggested it would be in the best interest of the district to give 5 percent raises across the board.

If this occurred, San Benito would be level with other districts in the area, enabling the district to compete for and retain top talent.

But, that could cost the district $5.9 million.

Since board members tabled the matter, that led them to table a decision regarding a policy closely related to the compensation plan. The policy is DED Local, which looks at compensation and the number of day’s people are working.

Are people being fairly paid to do the jobs they are asked to do? What are the roles and responsibilities of the job? Is the district competitive in those wages?

Those are the questions that arose at last week’s policy committee meeting.

The results of last year’s efficiency audit found out the district had multiple working calendars.

Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega said that is not efficient and needs to be amended.

In order for the compensation to be equitable, individuals who are working and being compensated need to be moved to the right work schedule.

Despite the lack of movement on this plan, it has been a major subject regularly looked at by school officials.

Vega is confident the board will address the plan in the near future and hopefully make a decision on whether to accept it or not.

Parental Conference

It’s been 12 years since the district has had a parental conference. So, it was especially daunting, in a good way, when more than 600 parents showed up to San Benito High School the morning of April. 22.

There, parents had access to information on education, district initiatives and other bountiful sources of information regarding their children’s education at San Benito CISD.

The hot topic of discussion during the conference was the new summer reading program.

This summer, students will have access to MyOn, an online database with more than 6,000 digital books. Through the website, students can create their own library of books which can be accessed through a tablet, phone or laptop.

The program will also connect the students to the Accelerated Reader. This is a computer reading program which provides books and magazines for children to read and then take quizzes to ensure comprehension.

During the conference, several parents were able to win electronic readers. The devices are equipped with WiFi so kids can download as many books as they want and read them anywhere.