During a tense encounter last week, four Katy Independent School District (ISD) officers surrounded parent Bonnie Anderson and her 15-year-old-son to inform her that she was being ejected from the public meeting. In multiple videos posted on social media, an officer informs Anderson that she is being asked to leave because she is not wearing a mask. Her son is also not wearing a mask, and other attendees seen in the video are unmasked. view article arw

VICTORIA, Texas – Two of the candidates running for school board seats received support and donations today from the Victoria Area Association of Realtors. Mandy Lingle, a substitute teacher, and Estella De Los Santos, current board member, each gave brief presentations about their platforms at the organization’s headquarters Wednesday morning. Lingle received a $2,000 donation and De Los Santos received a $1,000 donation. “It feels great and I feel honored to be supported by the realtors,” De Los Santos said. “It really shows that they’ve done their homework and they really want what’s best for the community. view article arw

Forty-one Dallas ISD schools opted to take on the intersession calendar for the next school year. The intersession calendar is one of a couple calendars approved by the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in January to mitigate learning loss. It adds five weeks of classes spread throughout the school year. DISD had been receiving feedback from school faculty and staff and students and their families. view article arw

As the coronavirus pandemic continued to rage last summer, months away from a vaccine, there were many sides to the argument of whether or not schools should reopen for students. Compelling points of views were made and seen at various school board meetings in our area. The concept of returning back to campus became the biggest decision for school boards. However, at the FBISD virtual meeting back on Sept. 2 when that topic was being discussed, the actions of the board were out of the public’s eye despite Superintendent Charles Dupre announcing at the beginning that one of “the hallmarks in Fort Bend ISD is transparency in decision making.” view article arw

As Southlake reacts to the arrests of two Carroll ISD trustees at the center of a fight over diversity and inclusion in schools, some community leaders are planning a virtual panel to discuss the issues. The local chapter of Dignity For All Texas Students is hosting “Moving Beyond the CCAP: Unifying Southlake Through Diversity” on Sunday at 2 p.m. view article arw

When Summer Smith finally got six minutes to speak to the Plano ISD school board, she had waited a month to do it. Her son, SeMarion Humphrey, waited for her on a bench outside. “First I just want to say, why am I sitting out here watching swimmers?” she asked, regarding the district’s agenda item, recognition for the achievements of a PISD school swim team. “You had recognition for swimming. I haven’t talked to nothing but two people in this room. And I know everyone has seen the video of my son.”  By that time, the board knew what to expect. Around 10 people signed up to speak. All of it regarded Smith’s son, a Black former Haggard Middle School student, and the viral videos that she posted in early March of his white classmates forcing him to drink urine and calling him racial slurs at a February slumber party. view article arw

2021 Election: Mesquite ISD Q&A

April 0808:25 AM
 

There are four candidates running for the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees in the May 1 election. Incumbent Elaine Whitlock is facing Devan Minyard in Place 6, and incumbent Kevin Carbo is facing Brandon Murden in Place 7. Early voting will take place April 19-27. Here are the questionnaires the candidates filled out for Star Local Media. view article arw

There are 15 candidates running for Allen City Council and six running for the Allen ISD Board of Trustees in the May 1 general election. Early voting will take place April 19-27. Here are the questionnaires the candidates filled out for Star Local Media. view article arw

LEANDER, Texas — Some Leander ISD teachers are fighting against book-banning in the school district after parent complaints pushed LISD to remove several books from Student Book Club reading lists. Some teachers spoke up at a recent board meeting and said banning books is "blatant censorship." "We are happy to answer any questions and accommodate your requests, but we're professionals and I don't think we deserve to be disparaged or our reputations attacked online," said Stephanie Martin, an LISD teacher. view article arw

Eight of the Clear Creek ISD board candidates running for election in May attended a Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce forum April 6 where they spoke about the issues. Jeffrey Larson and incumbent Page Rander are running for the District 4 position; incumbent Jay Cunningham, Keith Esthay and Christine Parizo are running for District 5; and Jonathan Cottrell, Michael Creedon, Marlene Montesinos and Kevin Oditt are running for at large Position A. Esthay chose not to participate in the forum. District 5 candidates were asked what they consider the best source of information to inform the board about actions to be taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parizo said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has “walked back” recommendations too many times, and their word should not be taken as “gospel.” The best source is local doctors treating those affected by the pandemic because it is information the district can act on and trust, she said. view article arw

SOUTHLAKE, Texas - Two Carroll ISD board members in Southlake were arrested on a charge of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. Carroll ISD Board President Michelle Moore and Vice President Todd Carlton were indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury. They are accused of communicating in a quorum outside of an authorized meeting.  The indictment says the investigation stems from text messages exchanged prior to an August 2020 meeting on the district's diversity plan.    (06) view article arw

Southern Denton County residents will head to the polls this spring to decide a plethora of municipal and school board contests. The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested race to answer a brief questionnaire to help voters make an informed decision at the polls this May. Election Day is Saturday, May 1, with early voting April 19-27. In Argyle ISD, Places 4 and 5 on the Board of Trustees are expiring in May, but only one of those seats is being challenged. Place 5 Trustee Leona McDade is unopposed for reelection, but Place 4 incumbent Ritchie Deffenbaugh’s reelection bid is being challenged by Phyllis Clark. view article arw

Two school board members in Carroll ISD have been charged with violating the state's open record law in connection to the work on the district's diversity plan. The plan has drawn complaints from some Southlake residents saying it was too aggressive, offered harsh discipline for violators and shamed white students. view article arw

Denton ISD school board candidates answered questions centered around diversity, board responsibilities and district policy during Tuesday evening’s forum organized by the Denton County NAACP. All four candidates were invited, and three participated in the virtual meeting. They took turns answering questions from local NAACP President Willie Hudspeth. Issues of race Two questions dealt directly with racial diversity among Denton ISD officials. Hudspeth kicked off the forum by asking: “Do you think we have enough minorities in leadership positions?” view article arw

Wylie ISD began a Diversi­ty and Inclusion program this school year, but it is now re­ceiving blowback from some parents. Several people appeared at Wylie ISD’s board meeting on March 22 to criticize the dis­trict’s new Diversity and Inclu­sion program and curriculum issues. One parent complained about COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place in the dis­trict despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order. The speakers used the public forum portion of the meeting to air their grievances. Board members and district officials are restricted from responding to speakers about items not list­ed on the agenda, but can put resident concerns on an upcom­ing agenda. view article arw

Several speakers Wednesday evening had hoped to address Galveston ISD’s board to complain about what they saw as bullying behavior toward virtual teachers and previous allegations against new Superintendent Jerry Gibson. Instead, the board told speakers that if their comments addressed any specific person, policy dictated they would have to speak to the board behind closed doors in an executive session, out of view of people watching from the board meeting or on a livestream. view article arw

Clear Creek Independent School District has a new superintendent, Eric Williams, with a superstar track record. Williams will, I am confident, faithfully execute the vision of the board of trustees. The district's future, and its students, will best be served by trustees who have the pulse and trust of parents who value traditional approaches to schooling. Christine Parizo and Jonathan Cottrell are challenging two sitting district trustees in Jay Cunningham and Jennifer Broddie, respectfully. As a parent of two district students, and a former Galveston Independent School District trustee, I think they're the best choices in their respective races and will get my vote. view article arw

DESOTO – DeSoto ISD and the City of DeSoto spent time Tuesday night discussing a strategic plan called “Be the Future.” The goal was to talk about what the future looks like in DeSoto as “big shifts” are happening according to DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor. view article arw

In a late-night vote March 29, the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees voted to terminate an interlocal agreement regarding the Dripping Springs Town Center project, a collaboration among the school district, the city of Dripping Springs and the Dripping Springs Community Library. “I move that we accept the city of Dripping Springs and the Dripping Springs Community Library’s request to terminate the interlocal agreement regarding the Town Center Project, but I also move that we continue with informal discussions with both parties,” trustee Joanna Day said in a motion following a closed session discussion at the board’s March meeting. view article arw

The Collin County NAACP hosted a public teleconference Wednesday to address concerns about bullying within Plano Independent School District. This comes after a highly contentious case in which allegations of bullying are being investigated by both the district and local police. view article arw

Barbara Burns, president of the Denton ISD school board since 2019, gained one challenger in her reelection bid this year. Burns was first elected to the board in 2012, six years after she retired as a Denton ISD teacher. All places on the Denton school board are at-large, meaning all eligible voters within the district can vote in each race. view article arw

North Lamar ISD will conduct a board of trustees election to fill two at-large positions at North Lamar ISD on Saturday, May 1. The two trustee positions expiring are Jeff Martin and Kristi Trammell. Candidates putting their name in the hat to serve three-year terms on the NLISD School Board will be listed based on the results from the Feb. 22 ballot position drawing. The slate will appear in order as Clint Spencer, Justin Wideman, Jimmy Fendley and Teresa Bussell. view article arw

Only two of the four candidates to file for the Place 2 seat on the Denton ISD school board were still in the race ahead of early voting. Sheryl English and Amy Bundgus are campaigning to secure the seat being vacated by longtime board member Jeanetta Smith, who withdrew her candidacy after filing. The election is May 1. Smith was appointed in 2006 to the seat left vacant by her husband’s death. She was first elected in 2009 and has retained the seat ever since. Her term is set to expire this summer. All places on the Denton school board are at-large, meaning all eligible voters within the district can vote in each race. view article arw

On Thursday, Comal Independent School District trustees will stage their first public meeting since March 9, when they approved giving students and staffers the option of wearing COVID-19 preventive masks at all district facilities. Parents and teachers notified via e-mails that night of the board’s 5-2 vote infuriated some who were upset about the short notice of the decision, which went into effect March 10, the date Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order eliminated the statewide mask mandate. view article arw

1. What motivated you to run for the EPISD Board of Trustees? I have served our community for the past 29 years with the El Paso Police Department. During my years at the police department, I continued to develop my skills, abilities and continued with my education. I retired just under three years ago and dedicated my time to my family as well as volunteering with the Montwood High School Band. view article arw

All three Needville School Board incumbents have drawn opponents for the May 1 General Election. Jimmie Kocian, who serves as Position 3 trustee, is being challenged by Chase Raska. Kocian is a contractor and owner of a remodeling business, and Raska is a construction manager. Position 4 Trustee Glenn Vecera will face Mayra Bontemps in the election. view article arw

The Rusk ISD school board elected to allow parents of students in junior high and high school to exempt their children from wearing masks for the remainder of the school year. The decision was made during the March 15 meeting and it was noted that parents would have to sign an exemption form with an understanding of the consequences attached to the exemption. Excusing a child from wearing a mask will void a student’s access to virtual instruction in the event the student is required to quarantine due to close contact tracing or should they contract COVID-19 and expose other staff or students while on campus. Days missed, due to contraction of or exposure to COVID-19, will be counted as absences and normal RISD attendance procedures will be applied. view article arw

Amid Southlake Carroll ISD’s continued reckoning with inclusivity, which last week saw parents and advocates calling for the Department of Justice to get involved, two seats are up for grabs on the district’s board of trustees in the May 1 election. The dispute that candidates are campaigning during involves Carroll ISD’s controversial plan to promote cultural competency, which is tied up in court after a judge issued a temporary restraining order late last year. The plan is currently set to go to mediation as part of the lawsuit that has tied it up in court. view article arw

HOUSTON – The board of the Houston Independent School District has approved more than $12 million in CARES Act reimbursement funding. The money will cover the expenses related to COVID-19, reimbursing numerous costs, such as technology, supplies and distance-learning materials required during the pandemic. The board also approved allowing K-12 virtual students to take the STAAR test on campus, while students who are attending in-person classes and are not scheduled to take the STAAR test move to remote learning. This decision will help increase social distancing while students take the exam, according to a release. view article arw

The news comes after the Texas Education Agency said school boards can determine their own face mask policy last week. TEA recommended for school boards to keep the mandate, but did not enforce it."I'm pretty shocked," parent Matthew Niemann told MySA.com. "Other districts surrounding us all have decided to intelligently finish out the year with the mask mandate ... The TEA recommended it so it's like they are going against the grain here." view article arw

Mar. 13—Henderson ISD is beginning the process of filling a vacancy on the board created by the recent resignation of District 5 Trustee Adam Duey, according to a press release from district spokesman David Chenault. The board is planning to appoint a member of the community to serve the remaining year left of Duey's current term. Duey stepped down upon recently moving to a new home located outside of District 5. Chairman Drew Butler formally acknowledged the resignation during Tuesday's board meeting, thanking Duey for his service and dedication to local students. view article arw

Five months ago, Mikhail Gray, Army recruiter and mother of one Killeen ISD student, spoke to the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees about the board’s failure to respond to her emailed concerns. Gray said that when she emailed all seven of the school board members, regarding racial inequities in the district, she received only one reply, from Board Secretary Brett Williams. Gray was later reprimanded by her Army leadership and barred from contacting KISD employees because of her public comments. Read more here: https://bit.ly/30Bkl4z. Other individuals have made similar comments during public forum about the school board’s lack of response to residents’ emails, leading some to ask if the KISD board members are being as transparent as they could be. School board members are elected by residents of the school district to serve three-year terms, but once elected, some residents have found KISD board members lack the accessibility to keep the lines of communication open. view article arw

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) When Fran Ruben decided to become a candidate for the Cedar Hill Independent School District in 1993, she wasn’t thinking about the progress and history associated with it. “I didn’t see it as anything other than a citizen serving my community,” Ruben said.  Ruben was a member of the Community Advisory Board, Community Development Board, Cedar Hill Library Committee, Campus Improvement Committee Economic Development and Best Southwest Scholar Board. So running for the school board seemed like the logical next step; she was elected in 1993 and served until 2002.  Now semi-retired in her East Texas hometown of Elysian Fields, Ruben has had time to reflect upon her accomplishments, from a historical perspective and acknowledges how her leadership helped open doors for women and African Americans in the years to follow. view article arw

Mesquite ISD officials say being a District of Innovation (DOI) for the last five years has been beneficial to students and staff. Monday the Board of Trustees voted to continue the program, and it added one more exemption to the districts DOI plan that could provide healthcare cost savings. MISD has been a District of Innovation since 2017. The program, which became available for school districts in Texas after the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015, allows independent school districts to have many of the same flexibilities that charter schools have. view article arw

Classes in Richardson ISD will begin on a Tuesday for both the first and second semesters of the 2021-22 school year. Trustees approved the new calendar during their March 8 meeting. It will include 79 instructional days during the first semester and 95 during the second. Classes will begin Aug. 17, 2021 and end on Friday, May 27, 2022. Winter break will run from Dec. 20-31, followed by a staff work day Jan. 3. Students will return Jan. 4. RISD’s 2022 spring break will be from March 14-18, with students returning to classes the following Monday. Plano ISD scheduled its spring break for March 7-14. view article arw