Los Fresnos News

School Board Meeting Provides Updates

Iris Garcia
Special to LFN

The Los Fresnos school board held its monthly meeting on Monday, the 3rd of October. Distinguished students representing Laureles Elementary and Liberty Memorial Middle School led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Representing Laureles Elementary were students, Carmen Ortiz (5th grade) and Ty Rodriguez (3rd grade), and representing Liberty MS, were students McKenna Keen (6th grade) and Daniel Vasquez (8th grade).

The board president, Mr. Ruben Trevino, the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Salazar, recognized teachers for achieving a higher level of proficiency and modeling life-long learning. The teachers honored this evening exemplify leadership, dedication, and a passion for what they do. Their great accomplishment was recognized publicly by having their respective school principal or representative briefly share a few words about each of them.

Teachers recognized are as follows:
Sandra Uresti (DRE)
Andy Salois (LFHS)
Laura Torres (LFHS)
Jeffery Barker (LMMS)
Bernabe Alejandro (LMMS)
Dorothy Coria (RVE)
Jacqueline Benavides (RVE)
Andrew Jacob Morales (RMS)
Patricia Amador (VE)
Litzy Aleman (VE)

Not present:
Denise Alejandra Elizondo
Christina Ashley Cranic
Maricela Rodriguez
Jasmine Nicole Vasquez
Jose Roberto Reyna
Maria Christina Vargas

Dr. Salazar happily reported that 35% of the Los Fresnos CISD teachers, including those recognized at the meeting, now have advanced degrees! He also thanked the school board for supporting their initiatives. Salazar said, “The Los Fresnos school district pays some of the most competitive stipends for advance degrees and they are now prorating those as teachers move towards completion of their master’s program.”

Next, the board talked about filing of class size waiver for four of the elementary schools— Villareal, Palmer-Laakso, Rancho Verde, and Dora Romero Elementary. The class size ratio for elementary school classrooms, all the way to 4th grade, is 22 students to 1 teacher, and some of the campuses have gone beyond that ratio for different circumstances. Dr. Salazar explained, “it’s not uncommon at this time each year. We bring the waivers as we continue to enroll more students.” He also mentioned that there is a teacher shortage. “In the past couple of years we’ve seen, according to UTRGV, 33% fewer candidates coming into the teacher preparation programs and the administration programs.” He also emphasized why being competitive with salaries has been so important. This ensures that when the district hires a teacher, it is someone of high quality.

Board vice-president, Donald Henderson, asked whether a component of the growth they have seen in enrollment has been due to new home developments. To this, the Superintendent said, “Yes, sir. We’ve seen 18 active subdivisions in the district. Our enrollment has increased. We are above the figure that we used to set our budget. We’re excited about the growth that we are seeing.” Consent agenda item passed unanimously.
They announced the Homecoming Week, which was to include the parade, football game, and dance. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 13th, 2023.