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TEXARKANA, Texas — The Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees approved improvement plans for Westlawn Elementary School and their 2019-202 audit report in a regular meeting Tuesday morning.

An annual targeted improvement plan for Westlawn Elementary was submitted and approved by the board for the 2020-2021 school year as part of the requirements for the Texas Title One Priority Schools grant.

Westlawn Elementary was one of 18 campuses in Texas to receive a TTIPS grant. Funding of $5.2 million was granted to Westlawn beginning in the 2016-17 school year and through 2020-21.

The plan outlines continuous improvement activities aligned with the extension of the grant initiatives.

Auditors from the firm of Thomas & Thomas LLP reported no findings on TISD's accounting procedures and determined that the District continues to maintain sound financial practices.

For the 2019-20 fiscal year, TISD ended with a fund balance of $17.3 million, an increase of $548,485 over the previous year. The fund balance at the end of 2019-20 was 23% of expenditures.

The Board also approved a Committed Fund Balance resolution. From portions of the June 30 General Fund and Child Nutrition Fund, TISD will assign a fund balance of $8 million to construction consisting of future repairs, renovations and betterments of school facilities, in addition to $1 million for Food Service construction consisting of future repairs, renovations and betterments of food service facilities.

The Board also approved an amendment to the 2020-21 TISD Student Handbook regarding fall semester exam exemptions. The amendment will allow all students a fall exam exemption based on meeting set criteria to encourage student engagement with the third six weeks of academic performance, positively affecting their fall semester average.

Acting Superintendent Autumn Thomas said in her updates to the Board that Texas High crossing guard Ron Ferguson, who was hit by a truck in September, visited the central offices Tuesday morning and is on the road to recovery.

Thomas also said two primary items in the upcoming legislative session will be budget details and accountability with COVID testing.

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