Athens ISD will soon have all new, state-of-the-art security cameras throughout the district — cameras which are capable, among other things, of utilizing artificial intelligence to track individuals as they move through a building. The camera upgrade received unanimous support from members of the district’s board of trustees during November’s regular meeting.
The purchase, totaling approximately $927,790, will be funded entirely through federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds. Those funds, which are part of the federal government’s COVID relief response, can only be used for qualifying purchases and have a use-it-or-lose expiration date of September 2024.
The cameras come with a 10-year replacement warranty. No schedule has been set yet for installation, but the expectation is that the new cameras will be in place sometime during the spring semester.
District Chief Financial Officer Randy Jones informed trustees that AISD has again achieved a score of 100 with a “Superior Achievement” rating in the annual Financial Integrity report issued by the Texas Education Agency.
Over the past eight years, AISD has scored a 100 four times and no lower than a 98 any other year. Prior to the 2015-2016 year, the method of rating was reported differently. Board member Kelley Lee asked that the meeting’s minutes reflect the board’s pleasure with the achievement.
In other news:
The district underwent a second mandated “unannounced intruder” audit in November, this time at Athens Middle School. The first was performed at Athens High School. The score both times was 100% security compliance, as reported by the on-site state auditor.
Ongoing upgrades to the Athens High School baseball/softball complex should be completed in time for the first softball scrimmage, which is scheduled for Jan. 29. A softball tournament and two baseball tournaments are already slated over February and March.
The board nominated Charlie Tidmore to represent AISD on the Henderson County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
The board nominated David McFarland to be considered among the ballot of nominees to serve on the Van Zandt County Appraisal District Board of Directors. AISD represents 52 votes out of 5000 on that appraisal board.
Board minutes become official after being approved at the following regular board meeting, and are then posted on the AISD website at this link: https://bit.ly/OfficialMins