AISD trustess give tour of distressed facility to illustrate need for school bond passage

ABILENE, Texas - Woodson Early Childhood Center is one of the Abilene Independent School District campuses that would close if the $87 million bond passes in November.

The trustees gave a tour of the campus to a slim crowd on Monday evening at their monthly school board meeting. The tour was a part of the school district's push to get the word out to the community in hopes they'll support the school bond.

Director of the Early Childhood Program Jenny Putnam led the tour of Woodson. It's on of the district's oldest facilities. If the bond passes, the children served at Woodson would be moved to a new facility.

During the tour, Putnam was making the case to the few in the community who attended why this school bond should be passed.

"The teachers don't ever quit," Putnam said. "They never quit. They work hard to make sure that children's needs are filled."

"The greatest gains academically can be made in the early years and so it's really important that we put our money where the best growth can happen and that is when the kids are really young," Executive Director of Federal Programs Cheryl Cunningham said.

Woodson was built in the 1930's and serves pre-school age children. It has air-conditioning problems, separating floors, leaking ceilings and the list goes on.

Monday's meeting was the first of several meetings that district leaders will hold at schools to show the community the facilities the AISD is hoping to fix.

The next agenda review meeting with happen on October 7 at Johnson Elementary School.

Meetings will be held October 14 at Mann Middle School. Then another agenda review meeting on November 4 at Bowie Elementary school. All meetings start at 5:30pm.

In addition, there will be four public informational meetings prior to the bond election:

Sept. 12, Jane Long Elementary School cafeteria, 6pm
Sept. 17, Bowie Elementary School cafeteria, 7pm
Sept. 18, Bonham Elementary School, 6pm
Sept. 24, Johnston Elementary School cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.

The school board also approved changes to their Head Start program that will allow 80 kids who couldn't be served in the program to get teaching in pre-kindergarten.

The board approved a Texas Education Waiver for over the limit class sizes. About 50 classrooms had one or two students over the 22 student limit.

The new Associate Superintendent of Curriculum gave a comprehensive review of the accountability ratings that came out last month.

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