The CISD Board of Trustees approved a modification to the drug testing program at CMS and CHS at last night's regular board meeting. To lessen instructional disruption, the first of the four quarterly tests will be reduced from all extracurricular students to a smaller random sampling of students. You can view the updated policy here.
iWatchTexas School Safety is an invaluable resource for reporting (and ensuring law enforcement in partnership with school systems quickly and effectively responds to) suspicious activity in schools and communities. iWatchTexas is the entry point for reports to enter the Texas Suspicious Activity Reporting Network (TxSARNet), a single, statewide reporting system that ensures tips from different parts of the community are integrated in order to link critical data. iWatchTexas includes functionality that permits district police and other campus security personnel to directly access submitted reports related to their campus/district.
Tips can be reported anonymously via the iWatch School Safety website, the free iOS and Android mobile apps, or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports are confidential.
Commerce ISD broke ground on the new Commerce Middle School at a district-wide ceremony on Monday, August 8th.
Excitement is building in Commerce ISD and so is the district! CISD broke ground on the brand-new middle school this past Monday, August 8th. This celebratory event was commemorated with a ceremony for students, staff, families, and community members.
“I’m very proud to stand before you this morning. I’m proud of our community, I’m proud of our parents, I’m proud of our staff, and proud of our students” said Superintendent Charlie Alderman to kick off the groundbreaking. “What we are officially starting today could not come to pass without the support and dedication of all of these different groups.”
Scheduled to open in the fall of 2024, the new Commerce Middle School is a state-of-the-art facility designed exclusively for CISD. Claycomb Associates, Architects worked with campus and district administration, as well as CMS teachers, to address academic, athletic, career tech, and fine arts needs. The result is a one-of-kind school that showcases Commerce’s commitment to educational excellence.
CMS is relocating to Sregit Drive and will be located beside our current high school. The new secondary campus, which is being built by Jackson Construction, will be equipped with the latest classroom technology, robotics lab, and share many amenities with the high school including the ag shop and multipurpose facility.
Eight Tiger students who will one day learn in the new CMS, as well as the district’s Board of Trustees, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. The Roaring Tiger Band also provided a lot of school spirit with the fight song as the CMS teachers ran through a “CMS 2024” banner.
To close his part of the ceremony, Superintendent Alderman mentioned his roots in Commerce and the support of the Commerce community in the bond process. “Having grown up in Commerce, I am so honored to be a part of this. There are not many tangible times where you can see the support for the students and faculty of a school district. I am so happy that our staff and students can see how much their community supports them and believes in the work that they’re doing.”
Commerce ISD Superintendent Charlie Alderman says a 15-member school safety committee has been appointed to respond to a required state safety audit and and to make recommendations for additional safety improvements. Listen for more:
Back to School and Back to Normal in the Cafeteria
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue for the 2022-2023 school year. As a result, Commerce ISD must return to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility. Families are encouraged to complete the Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals, which will be included in the online registration for returning students and in a paper version during districtwide registration for new students. The application can be reviewed at: https://www.commerceisd.org/departments/food-nutrition
The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and may assist in the determination of eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application needs to be completed per household. Schools will notify the household of the child’s eligibility. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers school nutrition programs in Texas and offers an eligibility calculator at www.SquareMeals.org/ProgramEligibility.
Decisions regarding payment for school meals are made at the national-government level, not by the school nutrition team or TDA. The dedicated staff at Commerce ISD is looking forward to serving healthy, balanced meals to students in the new school year. These meals, whether paid, free, or reduced-price, offer a good source of nutrition for children.
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:
- Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels
- Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
- Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application (will be completed online for returning students) and return it to any school office or the Central Administration Building. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:
- Names of all household members
- Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
- Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number”
- Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
Commerce ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Commerce ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should, can contact Jacqueline Finch, Dining Services Secretary, at 903-366-0909.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Jacqueline Finch, Dining Services Secretary, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Jacqueline Finch, Dining Services Secretary, 3315 Washington St.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.
In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.