Parents speak on protecting Pinkerton, Mathew inducted as Place 7 trustee


Kayla Nguyen

Coppell resident Jason Moore addresses the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees in support of Pinkerton Elementary School. The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday hosted 36 forum speakers as well as the induction of trustee Jobby Mathew for Place 7.

Anushree De, Staff Writer

“My son is part of the Mosos group. That’s M-O-S-O-S. Mosos!,” Pinkerton Elementary School parent Jigna Vaghela said during the open forum. “The purpose of the Mosos is to make sure everyone is being fair and kind. They showcase their leadership qualities, and they even have a succession plan in case someone is out sick.”

Vaghela took a breath before continuing.

“He lives between two homes, so changes to his social environment are at the forefront of my mind,” Vaghela said. “Unlike anyone else, I actually benefited from Pinkerton closing. Less time commuting, less gas. But, it’s not about me. It’s not about you guys either. It’s about my son. It’s about Kian. It’s about Frankie. And all the Mosos.”

At Monday’s Coppell ISD Board of Trustees  meeting, 36 Pinkerton parents and students like Vaghela lined up to talk about Pinkerton Elementary, concerned that Pinkerton Elementary was at risk of being reconstructed. On Nov. 1’s bond meeting, the bond committee addressed Pinkerton as a “82-year-old, small, [building that] has significant condition needs and does not have appropriate, modern learning spaces such as collaboration spaces, large art and music rooms or spaces for specialized instructional support services” with a potential solution to “renovate or repurpose the school with significant condition and educational adequacy needs”.

According to Pinkerton parent Julie Waters, there was ambiguity surrounding the district’s plan for Pinkerton Elementary.

“It took a lot of digging to find that information,” Waters said. “We talked to different bond steering committees. People reached out to the school board. We just kept asking and asking and asking. And really not getting any clarification until the Nov. 1 meeting.”

Waters predicted that references to Pinkerton Elementary during previous bond meetings suggested the school might be repurposed or closed down.

“Then they released the slides from that bond steering committee,” Waters said. “If you look clearly throughout, Pinkerton is being targeted. It talks about Pinkerton on various slides, the problems with Pinkerton. It doesn’t take much to read between the lines and know that when it says repurpose or close the school, more than likely they’re talking about Pinkerton.”

The open forum lasted from 6:21 p.m. to 7:26 p.m. with an adjustment to speaker times to accommodate all 36 speakers. 

“I think the support that has come from Pinkerton is amazing,” Waters said. “All of these parents here are clearly passionate about saving their children’s school. We hope that the district is hearing our feedback. We hope it’s effective.”

Newly appointed Place 7 trustee Jobby Mathew was inducted into his role at the board meeting. Mathew was selected by the Board from a pool of 13 other applicants. 

“Thank you very much,” Mathew said. “Thank you to the board. I would say a special thank you to my wife [Santhi Mathew], my kids, my parents and in-laws, because without their love and support, I wouldn’t be as involved in the community as I am. We had always heard of Coppell ISD and how great it was, and that’s why we intentionally moved here. I discovered the love of this school district, what it can do, and what it means for this community.”

The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees inducted Jobby Mathew as Place 7 trustee on Monday. The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday hosted 36 forum speakers as well as the induction of trustee Jobby Mathew for Place 7. (Kayla Nguyen)

Place 4 Trustee Dr. Neenah Biswas dissented the decision.

“They only had two days to select the new trustee,” Dr. Biswas said. “I don’t think it’s a fair process.” 

On a 6-1 decision, the Board moved to an open forum.

Dr. Patricia Dawson, director of ESL and bilingual programs, reported updates on current and emerging bilingual programs for English as a second language or bilingual learners. 

“We currently have 55 languages other than English based on parent self identification at enrollment time,” Dr. Dawson said.  “Twenty-six percent have a primary language other than English.”

Bob Templeton of Zonda Education presented the bi-annual demographer’s report, which highlights current economic conditions and its effect on schooling. Templeton emphasized the growing pattern of a decreasing kindergarten class in CISD.

“Now that has a confusing problem going forward,” Templeton said. “That’s always the first number that we always look at with all of our clients because if you’re short 100 kids this year in kindergarten that could lead to next year’s first class being less and you get the picture. It sets the tone for an overall change.”

Templeton also noted that though the kindergarten class entry is decreasing, cohort growth in first grade and onwards has increased.

“We saw very strong cohort growth in first, second, third and fourth grade,” Tenpleton said. “We had some of the highest growth grade levels in elementaries than we’ve seen in the last five years. So, we may be seeing an emerging pattern.”

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