Lewisville ISD's Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting last night. Although there was only one action item in addition to the consent agenda, trustees did have several information and discussion items.
Several campuses, including Lewisville's Killough 9th and 10th grade campus, were noted for their selection as 2012 Texas Honors Circle Campuses.
Numerous Flower Mound residents living on property near the plot of land at Peters Colony and Old Settlers voiced objections to the district placing sports fields there. Residents worried about noise from sporting events, and light pollution from field lights. Another resident worried about privacy, since her bedroom and bathroom back up to the property. Several residents asked for a privacy fence to be built. Residents accused the district of failing to notify them or seek their input.
Trustees heard an update on the district's Strategic Design process, and the district's participation in the Texas High Performing Schools Coalition. The THPSC had its first meeting with Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams recently to discuss its purpose, and the roles and responsibilities of the participants. Superintendent Dr. Steve Waddell is on a steering committee developing an organizational structure for the group. By December 1st, the group must present the state with a list of waivers needed for various state mandates in order to transform education. The next meeting of the group is November 27th.
LISD Staff recently held a work session on accountability for strategic design. On November 26th, 250 staff members, including all principals and teacher leaders will meet again.
The next Strategic Design Team meeting is a full day on November 28th.
Several school districts, including LISD are working with several local universities to discuss the creation of a new doctoral program for educators. The universities involved are the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and Dallas Baptist University. It was also noted that Southern Methodist University has expressed an interest in the new vision for education. It was noted that State Senator Florence Shapiro nominated the Public Education Visioning Institute for Texan of the Year.
A new policy on student transfers within the district was presented. The policy will make it easier for students to transfer from one campus to another that is not their regular attendance zone. It also will allow district employees living outside the district to have their children attend LISD schools. (State funding will follow those children, so it doesn't cost the district anything). There are also changes to eligibility for extracurricular activities after transferring from one high school to another. Currently kids must stay out of certain activities for a calendar year after a move, as a way of preventing students transferring for athletic reasons. A committee will be established to evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.
An academic calendar for next school year was presented. The favored option has the first day of school on August 26th, with the last day being either June 5th or 6th, depending on whether a bad weather makeup day is needed. The district will still seek input before finalizing it.
A policy was presented to allow the board to work unanimously to name a facility after a retired educator who has reached the age of 80, or who has passed away.
A spending plan for the remaining 2008 bond funds was given. It was mentioned that Griffin Middle School would be rebuilt at a cost of $43 million. Camey Elementary will be rebuilt at a cost of $21.5 million. $40 million will be spent on technology upgrades such as wireless infrastructure improvements in all the campuses, and $55.3 million would go towards prioritized campus renovations elsewhere.
There was brief discussion of the hiring of a firm called K12 Insight to help the district understand public sentiment about education and the district's efforts. If approved in December, the district would begin using their services in January.
Once again, for the third time, the district will be offering targeted resignation incentives to teachers with at least 15 years of experience. The district will pay out separation bonuses of 15% of salary for teachers to commit to resign by a deadline. The district hopes to shed about 200 more employees this year, paying out about $2 million in bonuses, but saving possibly $12 - 13 million per year in salary costs. The cuts are necessary because the Texas Legislature reduced education funding to districts in the last biennium, and districts are limited in the amount of money they can raise locally for operations.
Due to a misunderstanding in a policy passed by the board in 2011, certain full-year employees with more than 15 years of experience, who used to annually earn 15 days of vacation had been reduced to just 10 days. The policy was intended to limit vacation day carryover that was being used by some employees to collect additional pay at retirement, and was costing the district a lot of money. Trustee Brenda Latham wanted to fix the vacation day policy and limit employees to carrying over no more than 5 days of vacation from one year to the next, accumulating no more than 20 days at any time.
Board President Carol Kyer was nominated by the board for a seat on the Texas Association of School Boards' Board of Directors. LISD is one of the largest districts in the state, but currently has no representative on the board.
Trustees congratulated the Marcus High School Band for their 1st place win at the state competition. This win is their 4th in a row. Hebron High School took 2nd place in that competition.
Adjourned at 8:57 p.m.