Eldorado's Truancy Alternative and Optional Education Program is getting the desired results in its first month.
High School Principal Ryan Hobbs reported to the Eldorado school board Thursday.
"Absences are down 30 percent from the previous year," Hobbs said.
"One of our goals is to increase attendance to over 90 percent."
Hobbs said this time last year about 80 percent of students were making it to school, but there were three days in the last 30 days school attendance was at 95 percent. Thursday 98.9 percent of sophomores attended.
The program is based on community participation. He asks people who see kids out and about who are obviously skipping class to call the school. Hobbs said in the near future the school will produce place mats for restaurants encouraging citizen involvement in getting the kids to school. The goal is to increase the number of graduating students with a side benefit of increasing the amount of state aid to the district since it is based on student attendance.
Schools can use all the state aid they can get right now. Property tax bills have still not been mailed, though Superintendent Gary Siebert said he understands they are to be mailed next week. Because that money has not arrived, the district was unable to make an October payment on a bond. Superintendent said the district has the money, but bond payments are budgeted to be paid from the bond and interest fund that would be replenished with property tax money.
Siebert said the district made the payment even though that action may result in a negative finding during the district audit. Siebert said the alternative of not making the payment would be worse since bond buyers would be less likely to purchase any of the district's future bonds if there is a history of the district not making regular payment.
Siebert said the first installment of the 1 percent sales tax for school facilities has arrived in the amount of $41,860. That was sales taxes paid by consumers in the county since July. He said with that regular money coming in monthly future bond payments should not be an issue.
The board congratulated the Eldorado High School Girls Golf team for placing 5th at the State Golf Tournament and the Eldorado Youth Association Football Team for becoming champions of the Black Diamond Conference.
Board members gave approval for applying for Rural and Low Income Grant in the amount of $21,700 for a cart of iPads for the Middle School.