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Trustees approve new principal, plan dual-language program


La Vernia’s new school district superintendent, Dr. Jose Moreno, has given the district’s trustees some good news.

In a budget update he presented to the La Vernia Independent School District (ISD) board during a May 15 special meeting, Moreno said he anticipates a budget surplus for next year of approximately $600,000, based on current staffing and enrollment.

Continuing to address district finances, the trustees approved a change in the district’s fiscal year. Currently the fiscal year begins Sept. 1 and ends Aug. 31. Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year, the district’s fiscal year will begin July 1, aligning the district’s budget with the school year calendar.

“For example, under the current system, LVISD must set aside money from each year’s budget to start the next year with supplies and materials,” said Dr. Cody Miller, board president, after the meeting. “With this change, we will be spending this year’s money on this year’s students. We believe that this will have a positive impact on the way in which each campus is able to use their funds.”

In other matters, the trustees approved adding a bilingual teacher and bilingual assistant for a new pre-kindergarten class.

Moreno asked for these positions to create a new class, which will serve as a starting point for a dual-language program for the district. More details will be provided at a future date about enrollment options.

According to Miller, the plan is to enroll a mix of Spanish-speaking students and English-speaking students with a bilingual teacher who will help both groups learn the other language. Ideally, Miller said, students will stay in this model throughout the elementary school years and will leave elementary school fluently reading, writing, and speaking both Spanish and English.

“We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” Miller said. “Many successful programs have been offered to students throughout San Antonio and other areas for many years. We will build upon their success in creating the program here in La Vernia.”

The trustees also approved the appointment of Kim Martin as the principal of La Vernia High School, replacing Cheryl Barron, who joined the central administration staff after spring break. Martin has been an assistant principal at the high school and recently served as the interim principal.

Barron currently is responsible for human resources, previously handled by Dr. Diane Fischer, the assistant superintendent, and assessment, previously the responsibility of District Math and Science Coordinator Dana Grubb.

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