Members of the Houston board of education received updates on several projects on Tuesday.

The board:

•Heard presentations from vendors on upgrading the district’s radio communication system, which includes equipment for buses and portable units utilized by administrators. Representatives from two firms outlined a variety of issues — ranging from equipment to reception to coverage areas. The board did not take any action.

•Heard a presentation from Brent Hall, athletic director, on the possible implementation of a soccer program at the district. He outlined costs associated with uniforms, coaches, equipment and paying for officials. He also asked members to consider locations to play and if opening up the program might reduce headcounts from other sports. The discussions will continue.

•Upon a recommendation from the City of Houston, the school district will use Archer Elgin Surveying & Engineering of Rolla for work needed to move an 8-inch sewer main line from near Tiger Stadium. The relocation is required for major improvements planned with the track. The district will reimburse the city for the engineering fees. City Administrator Scott Avery appeared at the meeting and explained two firms had responded to a website posting.

Dr. Allen Moss, superintendent, reported that a pre-application for a track grant was submitted by grant writer Elaine Campbell and a few minor changes will be included in the final application submittal.

•Heard student liaison Andy Durham report hoop queen activities planned on Feb. 11 and a dance the following day that will offer a $5 catered meal and music by the jazz band.

•Learned that an extra emphasis is underway at the middle school to help students improve on math skills.

•Heard that Simple Grow, a Houston firm, is providing tickets for athletics to attend the Tournament of Champions in Springfield that features elite basketball teams in the country.

•Expressed praise for Hall, who has played a big role in scheduling tournaments at the new Houston High School gym. In addition to the district volleyball tournament, both girls and boys district basketball play is slated there. Next week the first Houston Community Foundation basketball tournament is underway. The various tourneys have brought additional business into the community.

•Heard Moss seek input on the rate of speed that additional vocational education instruction should be added at the Piney River Technical Center, and he said he would be working on the next school calendar with adoption set for February or March.

•Recognized the efforts of the board during Board Appreciation Month.

•Learned that the district is still seeking community volunteers for the annual Citizens for Education academic awards program.

School board news

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