New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 14, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAY May 14, 2003
IS pages in'2 sections
■HHP* MMM in pages in 2 secHerald-Zeitung
Vol. 152, No. 154
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County .since 1852
CISD mum on closed sessionTurf to be revisited
The Comal Independent School District will not loan the athletic booster dubs at Smithson Valley and Canyon high schools $241 .OOO each to help pay for artificial turf at the schools’ football fields.
Superintendent James Grunert and CISD Communications Director Kart Hutchison said Tuesday the district is working with banks to help the dubs get funding for their shares of the $1 milton project.
District 6 Trustee Charles Burt said the artificial turf issue would be revisited May 22. Newly elected District 7 trustee Bill Swint said he asked Trustee John Bertlesen to put the turf issue on the agenda.
By Sean Bowlin
What went on behind closed doors Friday night during an evaluation of Superintendent James Grunert’s performance is nobody’s business, school board trustees said Tuesday.
Three trustees refused to divulge specifics about the five-and-one-half hour-long meeting, claiming school personnel issues discussed in closed session can’t be shared with the public.
But the two newly elected trustees said the board owes
their constituents some basic explanations about issues that have generated widespread public concern.
Trustee Charles Burt., District 6, said lawyers routinely advise trustees to keep silent about -what txanspires in closed sessions.
“Anything that’s in closed session, we’re not supposed to talk about,” he said.
Trustee Deraid La Rue, District 5, said that school board trustees know better than to talk about what happens in closed session.
“If you read up on anything about school board ethics, closed session is closed session,” he said.
And his constituents “arc* not obliged” to know what goes on behind closed doors, La Rue said.
“There’s a lot of t hings t hat I would like to explain about the closed sessions. But we cannot discuss those things, and it’s that simple. I’d like to say a lot of things, if it was something I could ethically do. I’d be glad to tell everything that went on there,” he said.
NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series. Coming Thursday: How other city departments are grappling with prospective budget cuts.
NB budget ax falls sharpest on library, parks and rec.
By Dylan Jimenez
New Braunfels city departments are struggling to maintain public services after recent staff cuts.
Council decided last _
month to cut 28 positions, saving more than $800,000. Officials knew the cuts would mean a decreased level of service to u growing city population. They also knew city staff already was hurting for extra help.
But a week after the eliminations went into effect, department heads still are in the process of adjusting their human resources to maintain the highest level of service possible.
Two of the departments hardest hit were the library and parks.
The parks department lost two temporary laborers for the summer season, one full-time labor position, two park ranger positions and a recreation aide.
“We’re a pretty lean staff as it is,” parks director Iris Neffendorf said. “We get hit hard no matter who is lost. We are facing peak season with less staff, and we already were short prior to all of this, based on visitation and demand.”
The New Braunfels Public library lost 18 percent of its staff — 128 man-hours a week.
The library was already understaffed, director Louise Foster said, when it lost six positions including one library secretary, four library aides and one library circulation position.
Tile aide positions alone translates to 64 hours of shelving a week — a task that will have to be shared between the other staff members.
“You’re always hit hard no matter who you lose because the staff people that areContact Them
Let CISD Trustees know what you think about their handling of Friday’s closed session to review Superintendent James Grunert's performance:
Dora Gonzales, District I
Home: 830-620-0957 Business: 830-643-6109 Home Fax: 830-620-0957 d-gonzales G satx. rr.com
Dan Krueger, District 2
Home: 830-629-5338 Business: 210-656-9100 Business Fax: 210-656-5818 dan.kruegerGhobartcorp.com
Nick Nichols, District 3
Home: 830-907-7929 Home Fax: 830-907-7930 nicknGgvtc.com
John BERTELSEN, District 4
Home Fax: 830-899-7530 jbertGgvtc.com
Deralo LaRue, District S
Home: 830-885-7051 Business: 210-691-2815 Business Fax: 210:641-0857 mlarueGgvtc.com
Charles Burt, District G
Home: 830-980-3576 Business: 210-494-0353 Business Fax; 210-490-7728 cburtGwireweb.net
Randall Paweijek, District 7
Home: 210-651-9461 Business: 210-655-1031 Rpawelek G bartlett.cocke.com
James Grunert Office: 210-221-2000 jim.grunertGcomalisd.org
Finances ‘DARE' police to cut school drug prevention program
New Braunfels Police Officer Justin Broussard says he will miss his position as DARE officer when the position is eliminated because of police department budget cuts. In the New Braunfels Independent School District, the DARE progrm is targeted to fifth-graders like Erick Gutiarrez (left) and Danny Oldani.
By Ron Maloney
A achool-basud program that uhuh police officers to teach drug and violence prevention programs is the latest victim of the city’s financial woes.
Next week’s DARK —- Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program — graduations in the New Braunfels Independent School District might lie the last ones for a while.
Police Chief Russell Johnson has informed school district officials that his department is closing down the program.
The decision is one of several belt-tightening measures the police department will employ to make ends meet as the city works to reduce spending and balance its budget.
DARK, now in its 21st year, is
RELATED STORY: Other PD budget woes/7 A
used in more than 80 percent of the school districts in the United States and in 54 countries around the world.
The local program started in 1900.
DARK officers teach children how to resist peer pressure to join gangs or use drugs.
In the NBISD, the DAUK curriculum targets fifth-graders at Carl Schurz and Seek* elementary and Memorial Intermediate School.
“We regret that the DARK program will not continue in the NBISD next year,” said Superintendent Hon See DARE/7A
8 iii ii
Quilts weave lessons together
Reading, geometry among subjets third-graders learn
By Sean Bowlin
Some Frazier Elementary School students are learning that quilts do more than keep you warm.
In making quilts, they’re learning about geometry — shapes, patterns and arrays.
In reading about them in txx>ks provident by teacher Elizabeth Adams, they’re learning how to follow a story and the meaning of new words.
Nancy Ament of the New Braunfels Quilt Guild got the idea for the project from tho San Antonio Quilt Guild. Then, she got in touch with Adams.
Adams got her students to read 1km>ks on quilt ing. Students cur-rently are in the process of making five quilts.
“Last year was the first year the students made quilts, and we had five. So this year
we’ll have IO; so that’s wonderful,” Ament said.
Much like the threads that are woven together into fabric for a quilt, Adams interlaced the quilting projects with the other lessons shes teaching.
“I’m trying to pull quilts that go with our novels that will help the children’s reading comprehension and get into not just the lower elements (grades) but move over to Canyon Intermediate — fourth, fifth and sixth grade,” Adams said.
In what is, quite literally, a hands-on math lesson, Adams said by touching the quilt, students can realize what geometric patterns art*.
“It gives them real life experiences. And that’s going to make them successful,” Adams said.
Her students agreed it helped t hem succeed in reading; Pedro Villa
DAVID INGRAM/Herakl Zoitung
(Above) Frazier Elementary third grade teacher Elizabeth Adams discusses how their quilt ties in with the story they are reading from one of many quilting books in her class. Besides helping reading comprehension, Adams says quilting helps with math lessons. (Right) Adams shows Brooke McDonald and Lorenzo Aguirre how the pattern in their quilting book matches up with the real one in their classroom.