Kim Sneed, FBISD Public Information Officer, addressed the Flour Bluff Business Association at its regular monthly meeting held at noon on September 13, 2017, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff. Sneed, who took Lynn Kaylor’s place nearly two years ago, has over a decade of experience in public information. Sneed spent the first part of her career with Corpus Christi ISD. Sneed introduced Tracy Dennis, the new Director of Instruction, who joined the district from Judson ISD before speaking to the group about what has been happening at Flour Bluff ISD.
Sneed said, “Just before Hurricane Harvey came to visit us, the Flour Bluff Board of Trustees adopted the 2017-18 budget of about $52 million, which included a 3% raise for all employees, something a lot of districts have not been able to do. The board, finance department, and superintendent worked hard to make this possible while keeping the effective tax rate a little below last year’s rate.”
Sneed went on to give an accounting of the 2013 Bond projects. “A lot of our bond projects have been completed. We just finished up at the end of the year the Primary and Elementary library, and it is a beautiful facility.” She described the library as a place that houses books and study tables in the main area, while providing separate classroom and meeting spaces for the two campuses.
“The junior high is still experiencing construction on the expansion of the cafeteria. This campus is also in the process of getting an additional gym. The bids were just accepted, and the work will be starting soon,” said Sneed. “Over the summer, the swimmers were able to get into the new natatorium and test the waters. That gave Coach Hutchinson, who is also the natatorium supervisor, an opportunity to learn the facility and learn to use the state-of-the-art equipment. They have been having practice in there. Brian wanted me to let everybody know that the district is working on a plan to allow swim lessons and lap swimming for the public. The first step to that is to make sure we have lifeguards.” Sneed went on to explain that more information regarding public use of the pool would be forthcoming in the next few weeks. She ended the update on bond projects by telling the audience that the bus wash would soon be under construction now that the board has accepted the bids.
“Hurricane Harvey has created some new challenges for the district. The district experienced minimal damage, consisting of a few uprooted trees, some water seeping in, and debris on the grounds, but nothing that would impede our work or operations,” said Sneed. “After taking a drive to Port Aransas, we realized that many kids would be displaced and would need a place to call ‘home.’ We put a plan in place pretty quickly and started school up one week after the original start date. We held a special registration at the high school for these kids. It was awesome, and it was emotional. Many of the Port Aransas folks hadn’t seen each other since before the storm. They were hugging each other and were so overwhelmed by the support from this entire community. To date, we have enrolled close to 250 kids mostly from Port Aransas, but also from Aransas Pass, Rockport, Woodsboro, and Houston.”
Sneed went on to tell of a conversation she had with a close counterpart in Gregory-Portland ISD. “As of today, they have enrolled 1300 kids. They were able to accept all of them because they just opened a new elementary school, and they have a sixth-grade campus – that had been a junior high campus – that they were able to reopen. It has been an entire Coastal Bend area effort to ensure that these kids have some sense of normalcy.” She went on to thank the City of Corpus Christi, AEP, and out-of-state utility companies that helped get the school back on line. Sneed thanked the joint efforts of Walmart and the Corpus Christi Police Department for donating school supplies and other groups who made certain the displaced children had appropriate clothing for school by donating spirit shirts to help them feel like part of the Flour Bluff family.
The Port A ISD faculty and staff have been working hand-in-hand with Flour Bluff to look out for the children from Port Aransas and help them feel more at ease in their new environment. “We really appreciate their efforts,” said Sneed.
Attendees were encouraged to take part in H.O.S.T.S. (Helping Our Students To Succeed). It is a mentor program established in September 2014 to be a partnership of FBISD and dedicated community member serving the needs of our students in grades 3 – 12. For anyone interested in being a mentor, Sneed encouraged those in the audience to contact Dr. Linda Barganski at Central Office. “The volunteers usually meet with the kids once a week for 30 minutes to an hour and just be that positive role model for them.”
“Football season has started! We only have three home games this year, and one of those is Homecoming on Friday, October 13. The Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, October 9, and will travel along Waldron from Compton to Hornet Stadium where we will have the Swarm and the burning of the FB. There will be many activities for the students throughout the week, so look for that,” Sneed informed the group.
“Mr. Schuss and Dr. Alvarado will be in Austin on Friday with intermediate math teacher Jack Marley as he receives recognition as the ESC Region II Teacher of the Year. Because of Harvey, the actual service center announcement and celebration was postponed but will take place on Thursday, September 21, at ESC II downtown,” added Sneed.
Several people in attendance asked about the traffic issues. “We have had a few issues with new bus routes and just getting in sync the first days of school. We’ve also had changes in start and release times that have added to the traffic problems,” replied Sneed. She explained that many of the displaced students must be driven to school, which adds to the traffic problems. “To help alleviate some of this, the displaced students are going to be picked up at Schlitterbahn. We just ask for your patience,” said Sneed. Everyone was encouraged to check out flourbluffschools.net for more information.
More FBBA News and Community Announcements
- Flour Fest is October 28 at Parker Park. Volunteers are needed. Please contact Jonathan Vela, Special Events Coordinator.
- High school Homecoming Mums will be customized by the PTA for the displaced students.
- Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book so that you can receive emails from FBBA.
- Javier Wiley from HEB told the group that the new Hornet football helmets are part of a donation from HEB. Curbside is now open as another shopping option. Shipt is also still available. Visit hebtoyou.com. HEB put in an official request to public affairs for disaster relief in Port A (i.e. mobile showers, mobile kitchens, mobile pharmacies). Wiley handed out $2000 in gift cards to Port A citizens and $1000 to Flour Bluff. Welp thanked HEB for always being the last to close and the first to open when disaster strikes.
- The FBBA is partnering with Nueces County and and organization called DeGoLa (Dewitt, Goliad, and Lavaca Counties), a Resource, Conservation, and Development District, to hold a tire recycling program event in Flour Bluff on Saturday, November 4, 2017, and again in March of 2018.
- Next FBBA General Meeting: October 10, 2017, at noon, at Funtrackers
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.