To the editor:
I would like to start out by thanking the Perry area for the great support in the 2019 city and school elections. It is great to see the turnout and support of our local government.
Starting my seventh year on the Perry School Board, I just wanted to share a few things we have done to show support of our students, teachers and all the exciting programs we have in Perry.
Our teachers received a top-13 percent raise in the state at 3.33 percent total salary and benefits package for the 2019-2020 school year while being able to keep their master contract with eight articles in it.
The Perry school board approved the PEA without question as the sole negotiating agent for the teachers of the district, saving the teachers and the district a great amount of time and energy in the alternative to this process.
Our students are getting a new Industrial Technology area at the beginning of the 2020 school year that will be able to expand on the very successful programs that we have in that area of education.
Another great thing that started in the 2019-2020 school year is the building of a house on the old middle school lots that will be sold. This is a very exciting opportunity for the community as it will strengthen our students and give them skills to leave high school and get into a much-needed workforce of trades.
Our athletics and physical education programs are also growing with the addition of a much needed multi-purpose room that will be used year round for many activities and during the school day as an addition to the strength and conditioning classes.
Our football complex has seen a face lift with building a new concession stand and plaza area, with new home bleachers and press box. We have started a year around strength and conditioning program to make our students stronger, faster and more conditioned.
It is neat to see how this has spread through most grade levels, with the elementary kids getting a chance to go in once a week for a workout program that has just begun in the last few weeks.
Our academics are greater now than ever. We were a top school in Dallas County last school year with all the extraordinary work performed by our teachers and students. We have implemented a standards-based grading system to ensure that no students get left behind in their learning.
There is a Success Room that was implemented in the 2018-2019 school year to provide a place for students who need a different learning environment to continue their studies and excel. That program has proven to be very effective.
Currently, we are working on a remodel of the current middle school. This will be a slow process as we need to keep the building operational during the remodel. This project is still in the very beginning phase of conception, and it will be exciting to see what opportunities will come from this project.
The community has been very supportive of the school. We saw a large turnout for our bond referendum vote last February, with an 89 percent yes vote. It took a large group of people to get that campaign put together and be successful. It is awesome that we can fund this project without taking away from any other programs funding. I would like to thank everyone for that.
I would like to thank the current Perry School Board for all the support and time they have put into all the things we do as board members. I would like to thank our teachers and administrators for the great amount of effort and time they put into educating our youth of Perry.
Without all these people and how they go above and beyond, our school system and community would not be the great place that it is. Thank you to the community of Perry for the support that is given to the school system. It is exciting to see what is coming for the future of our community and district and all the opportunities that we will be given.
Kyle Baxter, Perry School Board President