The board meeting Monday for one of the nonprofits managing Longview ISD campuses featured a presentation from Hudson PEP Elementary School.

Principal Sue Wilson presented to the Texas Council for International Studies (TCIS) board about the campus, saying the International Baccalaureate program will be good for the campus because it connects it to world problems.

For example, Wilson said students studied a need for clean water in Africa. The students researched the project more and are now selling socks to raise money for a water well in Uganda.

“Before it was only a unit, a lesson, a book,” she said. “Now, we feel like we are connecting to people around the world. We are working toward a wonderful goal.”

TCIS operates six Longview ISD schools — Hudson PEP, Ned E. Williams Elementary School, South Ward Elementary School, Foster Middle School, Judson STEAM Academy and Longview High School — under Senate Bill 1882. The legislation gives financial incentive to public school districts that allow organizations to run their campuses as charter schools.

District liaison to the board and Longview High School Dean of Instruction Linda Buie said she hopes in the future all the campuses will have some type of service project that connects them.

CEO Margaret Davis also gave an update on the partnership with Longview ISD.

Davis said the six schools have exceeded enrollment projections by 100 students.

“Our six schools received five charter startup grants from TEA; they range from $450,000 to $850,000, that is on top of the additional 1882 money,” she said. “By rule, it must be spent by March.”

Some of it was used to add Smart Board, interactive white boards, to Hudson PEP, she said.

Davis also updated the board on the local advisory council. The council is made up of parent representatives on TCIS campuses. She said the first meeting was “so much fun” when each principal came and presented on their campuses.

“Because of the size of the community and the dynamics there, we thought it would be fun for a local council,” she said. “The purpose is for the principals and the presentations to highlight the fidelity of the implementation of IB.”

However, the meetings are supposed to allow for public comment, which is specifically stated in the contract. The first meeting did not and the agenda for the next council meeting Thursday also does not list an opportunity for public comment.

Kristen is the News-Journal's education reporter. A Longview native, she got a journalism degree and a graduate certificate at Texas Tech University. She covers a variety of issues, including school finance, board meetings and happenings at local schools.