The Commerce Journal

February 22, 2013

Loss of Covidien reflected in Commerce ISD enrollment

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Commerce Independent School District is beginning to feel the loss of Covidien.

Enrollment was down 16 from last month, and Commerce Independent School District Superintendent Blake Cooper said much of that came from parents moving to find other jobs in other cities.

“Enrollment is not very good at all,” he said. “Folks are starting to leave from Covidien.”

A loss of 16 students means an approximate loss of $72,000 in revenue for the school district.

On a brighter note, future Commerce high school students will have a chance to graduate from Commerce with 38 college credit hours to go toward any college of their choice.

“Between A&M-Commerce and Paris Junior College, we’ll have 38 college hours for our kids when they graduate,” Cooper said, adding that Dan Jones, president of A&M-Commerce, and Pam Anglin, president of PJC, were instrumental in working with the district. “PJC has offered to do dual credit science classes for our kids.”

Along those lines, in cooperation with PJC, Commerce high school will begin to offer certificate courses in welding and electrical work next year.

Cooper said the classes will be taught in the morning before school for students, and in the evening for any adults wishing to get their certificates.

Students enrolled would need to purchase their own equipment for the course, which Cooper estimated to be around $200.

The board unanimously voted to suspend the EIA(Local), requiring that 15 percent of a student’s grade is based on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for the 2012-2013 school year.

“This is the perfect example of how a good idea of accountability turned sour so quickly,” WIllie Blow, president of the Commerce School Board of Trustees, said.

The next board meeting will be held on March 21.