Kaufman school board members heard reports on the bilingual/English as a second language programs and the food service program at Monday’s board meeting.
Sherry Kerr, director of the language program, said it now has 690 students, which is up 83 students since last year and is 17.42 percent of the student population in the district.
Of those, 159 are in the bilingual program and the rest in ESL.
For the past 18 years Kaufman has sought an exception from the state because it cannot find enough bilingual teachers, Kerr said. She said every district in the area faces the same challenge, and Kaufman has a better teacher ratio than other nearby districts.
She noted that Spanish is the only language that requires specified teachers, but if any grade were to have at least 20 students speaking another non-English language, the district would have to provide a teacher.
She said that 14.6 percent of the students have been here for five or more years and still read at a beginning or intermediate level, which she said is a high number.
The program was recently evaluated by the Texas Education Agency. Kerr said the evaluators were complimentary of the program.
The food service program was also the subject of a recent audit. Director Kennan Dealy said the extensive audit is scheduled every three years, and the inspectors were extremely complimentary.
He introduced members of the food service staff and noted that the program is being used as a model training program.