Students, faculty, and staff returned to Alto Independent School District campuses for the first day of school on Monday. It was the first time many students returned to their respective campuses since a tornado damaged the high school building on April 13. The theme for the district is ‘Meet the Challenge’, which is appropriate considering much of the high school building is still closed while repairs are completed. Students and teachers are working out of portable buildings during that time. view article arw

Union Hill ISD has canceled classes for Monday, August 19 due to lack of power. view article arw

This week, thousands of students across Central Texas are headed back to school. For some families, it comes with the risk of an allergic reaction to food. Lakeway parents Alison and David DeStefano say they live with that worry every day. Their daughter Sophia was diagnosed with a severe, life-threatening tree nut allergy at 18 months old. Weeks ago, Sophia had an allergic reaction after accidentally eating pasta with pesto sauce and had to go to the hospital. view article arw

North Texas homeowners can no longer take advantage of a “free roof” under a new law that goes into effect Sept. 1.  Under Texas House Bill 2102 approved in the most recent legislative session, roofing contractors who offer to waive a homeowner’s deductible on their property insurance policy could face jail time.   The practice of waived deductibles by roofers became commonplace in North Texas, Zelle law firm attorney Steven Badger said.   “It became an expectation in North Texas that if you had hail damage, the contractor would waive your deductible and you would get a free roof,” Badger said.  view article arw

Athletes within the Lancaster Independent School District took some cutting-edge tests on Tuesday that district officials hope will better shield them from future injuries.  The district is now partnering with Elite X 360, a sports company founded by Shane Scott in Missouri that uses motion-sensing cameras to track and evaluate an athlete's movements.   view article arw

After a six-hour search, authorities found a Paradise man, who was reportedly seen earlier in the afternoon carrying a rifle near the Paradise High School football field, in the walls of the high school gym late Wednesday night. Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said they found the man, Elvin Fox, 59, and a rifle, trapped in the walls near the locker room at 10 p.m. view article arw

A fire broke out at a Pearland elementary school early Thursday morning. It happened at Challenger Elementary School, located at 9434 Hughes Ranch Rd., at around midnight. The Pearland Fire Department says it started with an automatic alarm call. view article arw

We’re just two weeks away until students return back to school. Those in Alto ISD will return to a campus that’s still needs a lot of repairs. Superintendent Kelly West says crews are working long 16-hour days to complete the massive amount of work. “We will probably most likely be starting school with tarps with still on our roofs,” West said. view article arw

ALTO, Texas (KETK) – Three and a half months have gone by since that fateful day in April, where tornadoes ripped through the city and left devastation throughout. Alto Elementary School gym on April 13 shortly after a tornado   Even months later, there is still a reminder of what happened including tarps on roofs, exposed ceilings, portable buildings and the constant sound of construction. view article arw

Insurance Newsletter

August 0608:40 AM

Many districts have discovered their coverage renewed at increased prices and with % deductibles for Wind and Hail damage. Be sure to understand just how much deductible your district is assuming. A district with $100,000,000 in replacement values with a 2% deductible is looking at $2,000,000. In some instances that deductible can be lowered with a “Buy Down” – additional insurance that “buys” the deductible “down” to a lower amount.  view article arw

The La Joya school board on Wednesday rejected a proposal to increase health insurance premiums — and end the free, basic health insurance plan for employees. Trustees rejected a proposal to increase the monthly premium for all employee health insurance plans by $40 per month. view article arw

A construction worker has been killed in an accident involving a crane in northern Bexar County. Investigators say the 40-year-old man was working on a crane when he was pinned down shortly before 10 a.m. at a construction site of a new Comal ISD high school being built on Kinder Parkway near Bulverde Road. view article arw


July 1808:41 AM

Worker’s Compensation  - Hot Commodity With companies and risk pools avoiding the Property market, Worker’s Compensation business has become the big bid getter. We are just not seeing much bidding. Last month I mentioned that a district with less than 3,000 employees had lots of choices for Worker’s Compensation. By the time all bids were in, we had 14 different options from nine different carriers – fixed cost, cost plus, dividend. The lowest cost option was 46% lower than the current coverage.  view article arw

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition urging authorities to drop charges against the man who was at the wheel of an Athens Independent School District bus when it was struck by a freight train in late January, resulting in the death of a 13-year-old boy. The petition is addressed to the office of the Henderson County District Attorney, Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. view article arw

Three months after tornadoes devastated the area, around-the-clock recovery efforts at Alto ISD are resulting in a safer environment for students returning to campus Aug. 19.  “Although it may not appear visible externally, the work on this recovery effort has been around-the-clock since the night of April 13. As the funding becomes available, more visible progress will begin to be seen,” Alto ISD Superintendent Kelly West said in a statement posted recently on the district's Facebook page.   She noted that immediately after the April 13 storm – in which one of three tornadoes destroyed structures at the elementary and high school campuses – district officials learned that it could take two years for an evaluation process to be completed, a timeline she called “very accurate.” view article arw

A judge has moved the trial of a man accused of making terroristic threats against two local school districts through social media to September. David Alexander Nelson, 20, of Longview faces from two to 10 years in prison if convicted in the October threats on Kilgore and Longview high schools via the messaging app Snapchat. view article arw

Rebuild Texas awarded more than $2.2 million in grants to three Orange County school districts and a northeast Houston non-profit. Vidor ISD received a $1 million grant to help with Harvey recovery on behalf of Region 5. Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD received $500,559 and West Orange Cove CISD  view article arw

A fire hydrant main water line under Columbia High School likely ruptured, rendering one of the school’s buildings unusable for the next school year, officials say. Building B, the one-story building that contains the school’s front entrance, reception, administration and counseling areas, sustained “significant damage,” including a cracked and lifted foundation, according to a news release from Columbia-Brazoria ISD Superintendent Steven Galloway. view article arw

 Four Maryland teenagers sneaked onto their school's property the night before graduation last year and covered it in racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti. The Washington Post described how they got caught in a Tuesday story . It says they covered their faces during the hate crime, but didn't realize their cellphones automatically connected to Glenelg High School's Wi-Fi under their individual student IDs. Seth Taylor, Tyler Curtiss, Joshua Shaffer and Matthew Lipp were soon arrested. view article arw

Perryton Independent School District's football field has been damaged by mishandled fireworks, according to the district. view article arw

Weslaco Independent School District officials approved a measure to spend between $75,000 to $80,000 to make “immediate repairs” following last week’s heavy rainfall during a special board meeting Monday. The June 24 flooding caused “minimal” damage to the district’s facilities and resources compared to last year’s flooding, district officials said. Last year’s thunderstorms had a financial impact of about $14 million. About $6.8 million stemmed from damages to the transportation department, which saw the loss of 89 buses out of a fleet of 91. view article arw

Cleburne firefighters responded to an alarm call at 10:27 p.m. June 20 at Cleburne High School. Upon arrival they discovered that training supplies stacked in a storage room had caught fire. Firefighters described the items as “football type rubber training pads.” The sprinkler system had activated and extinguished the fire before firefighters arrived. Firefighters described the damage as minimal, limited to the rubber pads, though some water damage occurred, according to reports. The water damage, however, was limited to the school’s “inside rubber type football field,” according to reports. view article arw

New Mexico:  The Deming school board has voted to file a lawsuit against a former high school secretary suspected of embezzlement. The Deming Headlight reports the board voted last week to file a civil lawsuit against a former Deming High School secretary accused of misusing funds. view article arw

Grapeland ISD said someone stole several lawnmowers and other equipment from their athletic department. According to Terry Ward, Athletic Director for Grapeland ISD, someone stole a John Deere Gator, Kubota zero turn lawnmower, and a Husqvarna zero turn lawnmower from the football field garage. view article arw

What a mess. Rey Garcia had walked into the Wilson Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen yesterday and knew he had a job to do. About two to three inches of water remained from the frantic rains that had hurled themselves onto the Harlingen area earlier this week. “We’ve been sweeping it out with push brooms and squeegees to push out the water,” said Garcia, director of the Wilson Unit. view article arw

Tyler Independent School District is alerting local businesses of a scheme where scammers are imposing as a district employee in order to solicit donations for John Tyler High School athletic uniforms. "We had three phone calls from three different business owners, Hispanic business owners here in Tyler," President and CEO of Tyler's Hispanic Business Alliance, Nancy Rangel, said. Rangel says the calls began on Wednesday and continued into Thursday of last week.  view article arw

The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) is the second Texas public school district ( See Texas School District Challenges TRS ActiveCare Plan Mandates) to challenge TRS ActiveCare by offering district employees a choice between the state sponsored program and a commercial health plan alternative. Once in, TRS ActiveCare prohibits member districts from ever leaving the program. Member districts are also prohibited from offering employees a choice between a commercial  health care plan and the state plan. view article arw

LAKE WORTH, Texas, June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lake Worth Independent School District has taken the initiative to implement Crisis Prevention Institute's (CPI) Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program across their entire school district. Although the district has been using this training program since 2009, they have recently made the decision to train all 350 staff members across their six district campuses. The initiative began on March 26, 2019 when staff members from each campus completed CPI's Instructor Certification Program. view article arw

June 18th Insurance Newsletter

June 2008:30 AM

Property Insurance Sky Rockets for Non-Coastal Schools We are just now seeing some September 1 renewals and they are devastating. Last month we stated that the insurance market for schools currently is upside down because of worldwide losses and particularly hurricane, tornado, hail and flood losses across the entire state of Texas. These losses have triggered insurance companies and risk pools to institute severe underwriting restrictions, causing several districts to bid their insurance this year. view article arw

While the school district’s students are enjoying their summer break, employees with Alto Independent School District will be busy preparing newly-delivered portable buildings to serve as high school classrooms before the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The portable buildings are necessary in the wake of the tornado that damaged Alto’s high school campus on April 13. view article arw

It will be a few days before life is back to normal in North Texas after Sunday’s destructive storm. About 187,000 customers were still without electricity Monday evening and some could be left in the dark for a few more days.  Commutes on Tuesday may be longer than usual because hundreds of traffic signals were still out across Dallas.  That’s because the vast majority of the city’s traffic signals are woefully old and don’t have battery backups.  As of late Monday afternoon, 410 traffic signals were not working, making them the highest priority for repairs. Another 84 were flashing red and needed to be reset. Six were knocked down, according to the city. Dallas workers were getting an assist from Arlington employees on Monday and personnel from Garland planned to lend a hand Tuesday. view article arw

 A longtime Ballinger ISD employee is accused of embezzling more than $200,000 from the school district. Janna Beth Halfmann, 63, was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft and six counts of credit or debit card abuse. She was released from the Runnels County Jail after posting a $17,500 bond. Superintendent Jeff Butts suspended Halfmann on Sept. 11. She was fired Sept. 27. view article arw

The police officer who stole $16,000 from the La Joya ISD Campus Crime Stoppers program will not spend a single day in prison. A judge sentenced former La Joya school district police Officer Carlos Javier Garcia, 58, of Brownsville to four years probation during a brief hearing Monday morning. view article arw

The driver of a school bus that was struck by a train, killing a 13-year-old boy, has been indicted on injury to a child and manslaughter charges. John Franklin Stevens was at the wheel of the Athens Independent School District bus struck by a Union Pacific freight train at an Athens crossing on Jan. 25.  view article arw

The insurance market for schools currently is upside down because of worldwide losses and particularly hurricane, hail and flood losses across the entire state of Texas. These losses have triggered insurance companies and risk pools to institute severe underwriting restrictions, ….Read “School Insurance Newsletter” - Robert V. Reim Company, Insurance Consulting and Bid Management view article arw