By Iuliana Petre
Killeen Daily Herald
John Dye, the Killeen Independent School District's director of school safety, reported on Tuesday evening during a board of trustees meeting that since the 1997-98 school year, KISD has experienced a progressive decrease in criminal cases at the middle school and high school levels.
The downward trend has occurred during a decade when the student population has increased by nearly 10,000.
"This isn't where we want to be, but we're moving in the right direction," Dye said.
Dye's report came as part of the state-mandated public hearing of the Academic Excellence Indicator System Report and the Report on Violent or Criminal Incidents.
These are reports that identify the health of the district using a number of indicators, said Dr. Robert Muller, the district's interim superintendent.
As part of the AEIS report, Dr. Rachel Cervantes, the district's instructional leader for content and engagement, reported that by comparison to school districts across the state, KISD's accountability rating for the 2008 school year is academically acceptable with overall commended performance in reading and English language arts. And KISD's academic treadline continues to go up, with the most drastic improvement seen across the board in the sciences.
"We're making headway and continue to do so," Cervantes said.
In another agenda item, the board revisited the middle school rezoning issue driven by the opening of Patterson Middle School at the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year.
During a board workshop in late October, Jeff Heckathorn, the district's demographer, prepared several maps outlining the attendance zones' changes and several courses of action for redistributing student populations across middle school campuses.
Heckathorn proposed that the district close down one middle school located in the northern part of the district – Fairway Middle School in Killeen or Smith Middle School on post – in order to effectively distribute the student population after Patterson Middle School opens in 2009.
Although board members could not come to a conclusion in October, Muller requested that Heckathorn and the board revisit the issue after Heckathorn further tweaked his plan.
But, despite some adjustments to zone boundaries, neither the board of trustees nor Muller could make a final decision on Tuesday, and Muller asked that the issue be revisited again during the board meeting scheduled for Jan. 13.
Contact Iuliana Petre at email@example.com or (254) 501-7469.