By Rebecca Hertz

The Cove Herald

A new student handbook and district code of conduct to "promote consistency and streamline the process" was approved at the Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday evening. The cost of printing will be paid with budgeted funds.

Superintendent Rose Cameron said that most yearly changes in the handbooks are required by various statutes.

There are, however, changes to the attendance policy. For the 2009-10 school year, there will be 176 days of class, instead of 180 days because of four Texas Education Agency-approved staff development days.

The law requires students to attend 90 percent of the time that the class is offered, according to TEA. With fewer days of class, the allowed absences or tardies will be reduced from eight to five.

High school students will have fewer days they can miss because their 90-minute classes meet every other day.

Most other policies remain unchanged, including the district dress code, which Cameron said will be strictly enforced this year.

Some additional revisions may be required after the legislative briefing book is distributed in mid-July to assure compliance.

In other business, a motion was approved to increase Manual Trades Pay Scale within the district. As of July 24, the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour from the current rate of $6.44 per hour. Although the current minimum salary for Pay Grade 1 CISD employees is $7.35 per hour, in order to remain competitive in the market the administration has recommended a 40-cent increase to the pay scale resulting in a $7.75 per hour starting salary. The total estimated cost to the district is $288,443.

Trustees also approved an agreement renewal between CCISD and Central Texas College to provide students with dual-credit courses that require specialized equipment or instructors.

Courses include Automotive Technician, Culinary Arts and Aerospace Aviation. The total cost for the program of $75,718.64 is paid from Career Technical Education funds.

"It is less expensive than purchasing specialized equipment and this benefits the kids directly," Cameron said.

The board also approved an addendum to the Educational Service Center, Region XII 2009-2010 Cooperative and SSA services contract to revise the timeline for implementation of the new CScope curriculum.

The district will move forward with English Language Arts and phase in other subjects next year. The cost of $37,616 will come from budgeted funds.

Cameron was recognized as the Region 12 Superintendent of the Year. She has served as

superintendent in the district for three years. She will now compete for the Texas Association of School Board's Superintendent of the Year Award. Winners will be announced at the TASA/TASB convention on Oct. 3.

Board member Lynn Wessels will represent CCISD as an official delegate at the Houston convention. Board member Mike Wilburn is the designated alternate delegate.

Contact Rebecca Hertz at or (254) 501-7475.

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