AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – As 2022 attracts to an in depth, MyHighPlains.com is having a look again at what we think about the highest tales of the previous yr, together with vital tales relating to native training, politics, and well being.
Right here’s an outline of a few of the most essential training tales on the Excessive Plains in 2022.
Content material and curriculum in Texas faculty libraries and school rooms
2022 noticed a continuation of 2021 conversations and coverage modifications that had been associated to Texas faculty libraries, classroom supplies, and curriculum. Additional, coverage and day-to-day operation questions for Texas faculties traipsed alongside as communities proceed to battle with shortages of teachers and other staff, and security questions in the wake of the May shooting in Uvalde that led to the deaths of 21 people.
Whereas faculty content material out and in of the classroom has turn out to be a hot-button political subject prior to now few years, 2021 noticed a string of letters, inquiries, and directives from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and different state lawmakers targeted on the concept of “pornographic” materials allegedly being made obtainable to college students.
In April, the Texas Training Company responded to letters from Abbott targeted on content material in public faculty libraries by releasing a model policy for local school boards aimed to deal with “obscene content material.” The model involves guidelines for school boards to make use of to create insurance policies targeted on choosing, reviewing, and providing transparency about library supplies to neighborhood members.
Each the Amarillo and Canyon Impartial College Districts have their native faculty board coverage manuals printed on-line for public viewing, together with particulars on library, classroom, and curriculum insurance policies.
In Could, Canyon ISD published letters to staff and parents and Texas House District 106 Representative Jared Patterson that each refused and responded to a proposed pledge from the lawmaker relating to faculty library content material. The district stated that it refused to signal onto the pledge on account of “many essential phrases” being left undefined. The district famous, for example, that some individuals might think about some books “obscene” the place others don’t, and an absence of readability relating to such key phrases might result in authorized liabilities.
Whereas Texas education-related companies have famous that college library content material, classroom supplies, and curriculum are totally different topics with totally different officers and insurance policies, the previous few years have typically seen the three talked about in the identical breath. On this vein, the native conversations relating to library content material and parental oversight bled into the Amarillo ISD review of its implementation of the Amplify Texas Literacy Program on the majority of the district’s elementary campuses.
In November, dad and mom and educators gathered at an everyday Amarillo ISD board assembly to criticize and reward the curriculum throughout public remark, with opinions starting from saying the curriculum didn’t meet ethical requirements to selling its optimistic affect on each college students and academics.
Altogether, district officers held that the assembly was an instance of internet hosting an open dialogue with dad and mom and having an open ear to totally different views. On the similar time, board members additionally stated that the curriculum is working to foster significant studying with deep conversations and significant considering in school rooms. Additionally they pressured that the board will not be capable of vote on any curriculum-related measures.
Transferring forward, officers famous that the selection of curricula can be made at a campus stage by way of their site-based decision-making groups.
After its construction was included as part of Canyon ISD’s 2018 bond alongside two elementary school campuses, West Plains Excessive College close to Helium Street and Arden Street welcomed its first college students in August 2022. As famous by Canyon ISD Superintendent Darryl Flusche, the varsity was the results of 5 years of planning and development.
Not solely was scholar enter integrated into the varsity’s design, in line with Flusche, however a high precedence was scholar security.
“We’ll have a faculty useful resource officer on employees full time,” stated Flusche, “Our faculties have a safe entrance, we now have cameras in quite a few locations across the constructing in order that we now have the power to establish something of concern that might happen on the cameras, our doorways are locked on the skin areas of all of our facility.”
These faculty safety notes got here as the topic took the highlight in 2022 within the wake of the Uvalde faculty capturing, which led to education officials in Texas creating a set of initiatives for native training companies to finish by the start of September. In any other case, Flusche additionally promoted that West Plains Excessive College would provide a well being and sciences academy, sources for wooden trades, a producing academy, and an ag program.
On Sept. 3, officers with the town of Dalhart’s police division introduced that Yahir Cancino, a member of the Dalhart Junior Varsity soccer workforce, died after he misplaced consciousness throughout a soccer recreation in Dimmitt on Sept. 1.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Cancino was airlifted to an intensive care unit in Lubbock after trainers and first responders had been unable to revive him on the recreation. In an announcement supplied to MyHighPlains.com at the moment, Jeff Byrd, the superintendent for the Dalhart Impartial College District, stated the Area 16 disaster workforce was obtainable for college kids and employees, together with space pastors and counselors.
“Our ideas and prayers proceed to be with Yahir’s household. The Dalhart Neighborhood will proceed to encompass and help them,” Byrd stated on the time.
In response to Cancino’s dying, the Dalhart High School Student Council hosted a candlelight vigil to honor Cancino. Other area school districts, together with Channing, Dimmitt, and Vega, together with the Sunset and Texhoma soccer groups, provided help for Dalhart, encouraging residents to put on purple in help of the neighborhood.
In Lubbock, more support for Cancino was offered, with Cancino’s household and associates conducting an honor stroll across the hospital the place Cancino was airlifted. Hospital nurses additionally rose a flag in his honor after his organs had been donated.
“I noticed nice love and help from different faculty districts, soccer groups coming to help him on the hospital,” Joey Learn, the athletic director and head soccer coach in Dalhart, stated at the moment.
Cancino’s funeral was hosted at Dalhart Memorial Stadium in mid-September, according to previous reports.
After calling a bond election in February, voters in Potter and Randall counties determined that they might not pay for numerous enhancements and new services requested for by the Amarillo Impartial College District.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the 4 propositions on the poll totaled $286 million and included:
- Bond Proposition A: $180 million
- Austin Center College Substitute – $65.7 million;
- Roof Substitute – $40 million;
- Exterior Lighting for Athletic Fields – $3.2 million;
- Advantageous Arts Additions/Renovations – $44 million;
- Excessive Colleges – $37 million;
- Center Colleges – $7 million;
- Elementary/Center College Health club AC – $6.6 million;
- Center College Secured Entrances – $7.5 million;
- Elementary Perimeter Fencing – $2 million;
- Window Substitute at 12 faculties – $6 million;
- Replace know-how community cabling on campuses – $5.6 million.
- Bond Proposition B– $19 million
- Stands alternative and an eight-lane observe at Dick Bivins Stadium – $19 million.
- Bond Proposition C– $38.3 million
- New Natatorium, together with a 50m pool with a diving effectively – $38.3 million.
- Bond Proposition D– $48 million
- Multipurpose observe services for the district’s 4 excessive faculties – $48 million.
Throughout Could’s particular election, the outcomes had been reported as the next:
After Could’s election, Amarillo ISD Superintendent Doug Loomis said he was grateful that voters got here out to vote within the election.
“It’s clear voters felt the burden of a tax enhance outweighed the fundamental wants and enrichment alternatives these propositions would have delivered to AISD faculties and college students,” Loomis stated on the time. “Some tough choices are forward, however as all the time, our District stays dedicated to this neighborhood and doing our greatest to verify our faculties stay sturdy, vibrant locations for college kids to study, develop and attain their full potential.”