Claycomb Associates, Architects

At a board meeting on Monday, May 18, the New Braunfels ISD board of trustees voted to approve the adoption of new English Language Arts (ELA) and Advanced Academic instructional materials.  The materials for grades 6-12 students was selected by the Secondary ELA Textbook Adoption Committee, which is comprised of teachers representing each secondary campus in NBISD. view article arw

Lewisville ISD will be faced with several decisions in the coming weeks as it prepares its budget for the 2020-21 school year.  During a work session last week, Superintendent Kevin Rogers updated the Board of Trustees on early projections for the coming year.  Based on preliminary numbers the district is projected to have a deficit of $15 million to $21 million in 2020-21, though Rogers said that number is a conservative estimate, is likely to go down in the weeks ahead and that the district usually erases the deficit by the end of the school year. view article arw

Despite the Liberty Hill ISD Board of Trustees election being postponed to November, the Board moved forward with electing new officers May 18, unanimously supporting Clint Stephenson as the new Board President.  Stephenson previously served as Vice President and is replacing Clay Cole, who will be leaving the board in November after choosing not to file for reelection.  Cole served on the board more than a dozen years and as president for eight. His term – which would have ended this month – has been extended to November with the postponement of the election. view article arw

DALLAS - The 2019-2020 school year is basically over, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But school administrators at Dallas ISD have a lot of tough decisions ahead of them.  A lot of what happened at the school board meeting Thursday was procedural, officially voting on changes because of the pandemic. But as seen with other governing bodies in the pandemic, school board members expressed concerns about giving the superintendent too much power.  Board members discussed allowing Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa to be able to make purchases essentially without looping in all the school board members during this time of emergency. It would be an extension through September 1 of what has already been happening since COVID-19 hit. view article arw

During their first online meeting on Monday, May 18, the Elgin Independent School District board of trustees listened to a presentation summarizing population growth in the district.  Representatives from Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), a research firm that specializes in working with high-growth school districts, presented their findings from a months-long study of Elgin ISD, analyzing population trends in the area and offering suggested plans for the school district to accommodate upcoming growth.  The entire presentation and report from PASA is included in the agenda packet for the May 18 school board meeting, which can be found through the Elgin ISD website at www. elginisd.net/Page/1346. view article arw

HARLINGEN — Across the country, school districts are planning for one of the most challenging school years in modern history as officials monitor the coronavirus and speculate on the strength of its emergence this fall.  In Harlingen, district officials are considering staggering classroom days to help maintain students’ social distancing during the school year that might start earlier than usual.  Meanwhile, San Benito officials are proposing options including a plan in which half of the students receive traditional classroom instruction while others work online from their homes. view article arw

The Board reviewed the waiver of the CPR instructional requirement due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Motion By: Theresa McClatchy Seconded By: Kyle Hinson Motion to Approve the waiver of the CPR instructional requirement due to circumstances related to COVID-19 as presented. Motion Carried: 6-0 view article arw

The end of the year for the class of 2020 didn't go as graduates had planned, but the future is still on course.  "I feel really lucky, actually, to be living in this time," Amber Miranda said. On Friday, Miranda had an online graduation ceremony for Dallas ISD's School for the Talented and Gifted.  "I'm the valedictorian of my class," Miranda said laughing. "I never dreamed I'd be valedictorian." view article arw

As the 2020-21 school year is likely to be disrupted by COVID-19 according to the Texas Education Agency, the Spring ISD board of trustees called a special meeting to further discuss the matter May 28 at 6 p.m.  The TEA released guidelines May 7 for school districts statewide to take into consideration when finalizing their 2020-21 instructional calendars. While each school district has final authority over its own instructional calendar, the guidelines are meant to help minimize anticipated disruptions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

An amendment in the district’s tax abatement agreement for Hecate Energy Ramsey’s solar farm project was approved by the Louise ISD school board in a 5-0 vote last week. Chris Faas was absent, and Jay Heard abstained from the vote and from signing a conflict of interest disclosure.  Due to COVID-19, Hecate asked for a one-year delay in payments to the district. The district will receive an additional $50,000 pilot payment due to the amendment. view article arw

Midland ISD trustees had an opportunity to discuss an optional calendar for the 2020-21 school year during Monday’s board meeting, and the comment elected leaders made most often was that they wanted community input.  Board members called on district staff to collect input from school district families and teachers about the optional plan -- which extends the year in terms of range but adds weeks off, including two in October and additional week for spring break. District officials said it was not “year-round” school but could help deliver better academic results. view article arw

District Judge Fred Biery granted a preliminary injunction that allows all registered voters to apply to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic after finding the state's existing election rules violate the Equal Protection Clause.  A federal judge opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering Tuesday that all state voters, regardless of age, qualify for mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.  Days after a two-hour preliminary injunction hearing in San Antonio, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed with individual Texas voters and the Texas Democratic Party that voters would face irreparable harm if existing age eligibility rules for voting by mail remain in place for elections held while the coronavirus remains in wide circulation. Under his order, which the Texas attorney general said he would immediately appeal, voters under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for mail-in ballots would now be eligible. view article arw

The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees has approved a 2% district-wide pay increase for the 2020-2021 school year. This new increase will cost RRISD $8.6 million and is a part of the 2020-2021 budget. The budget is expected to be presented for adoption in June. “What makes Round Rock ISD one of the best school districts in the region and state is the dedicated educators and staff that work tirelessly to provide our students with the best education and services possible,” Superintendent Steve Flores, Ph.D. said. view article arw

WHITEHOUSE, Texas (KETK) – The Whitehouse ISD Board of Trustees approved Monday a policy that will allow authorized personnel to carry concealed weapons on campus.  The board said it approved The Guardian Plan in the belief that “everyone has the right to a safe and caring environment.”  Only employees approved by the board will be authorized to participate in the program Those employees will be required to complete 80 hours of training, 56 prior to carrying and concealing an approved firearm. Each participant will be required to pass a physical and psychological exam. view article arw

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday gave the go-ahead for in-person summer school, but many district leaders who are weighing options to restart in the fall are expected to hold off.  Texas public schools can launch summer classes as early as June 1, as long as they follow social distancing and health protocols laid out by the Department of State Health Services. The task would require daily temperature checks, keeping students’ desks 6 feet apart and limiting enclosed classrooms to 11, including the teacher.  Abbott’s announcement Monday comes as part of the governor’s second phase of reopening the state after the coronavirus pandemic led to widespread closures. But ever since schools were shuttered in mid-March, educators have grappled with a plan for reopening.   (19) view article arw

WIMBERLY, Texas - The Wimberly ISD board of trustees will be hosting a special online meeting Wednesday night that will include an open session to hear arguments regarding the use of an altered district LGBTQ pride logo.  The meeting will be streamed online on YouTube on May 20 at 6 p.m. Members of the public can submit public comments online to the school board before 5 p.m. CST. view article arw

The WOCCISD Board of Trustees reorganized roles during the May 18 meeting. Linda Platt-Bryant will assume the role of President for the board and newly appointed Secretary will be Tricia Stroud. The Vice President position remains Mr. Roderick Robertson. Click the title to read more.  The WOCCISD Board of Trustees reorganized roles during the May 18 meeting. Linda Platt-Bryant will assume the role of President for the board and newly appointed Secretary will be Tricia Stroud. The Vice President position remains Mr. Roderick Robertson. view article arw

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The Bryan ISD Board of Trustees finalized the sale of the Travis Education Support Center during the school board meeting Monday night. It's also the district's former Administration Building.  The building sale to College Station-based company "Computers, Electronics, Office, ETC. LTD" was approved at a May 4 board workshop.  The school board also approved roofing projects for Neal Elementary and the SFA Middle School library.  Kimberly Giesenschlag was also unanimously approved as principal of Stephen F. Austin Middle School at Monday’s meeting. view article arw

Midland ISD trustees unanimously voted Monday night to not provide the district’s superintendent authority to seek Texas Education Agency waivers without the board’s approval.  Board members said there was confusion over the way the district rolled out this agenda item, which would have granted “authority to the superintendent to pursue any necessary waivers without board action in an effort to maintain efficient district operations.”  Riddick said published reports--  or at least a report headline -- helped exacerbate the confusion. view article arw

Clear Creek ISD will begin work in earnest to implement its 2020-2025 District Strategic Plan after the Board of Trustees approved the plan during its regular meeting May 18.  The strategic plan helps CCISD navigate safety issues, personalize education and increase student performance, Superintendent Greg Smith said. The plan was initially brought to the board in March, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the vote. No changes have been made to the plan since then because the pandemic did not affect the district’s aspirations, said Steven Ebell, CCISD’s deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction.  “We may change the how, but we are not changing the aspirations and what the expectations are,” Ebell said at the May 18 meeting. view article arw

The Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees approved the transition plan to move Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start classes for three and four year-olds from the Drane Learning Center to Carroll Elementary. The purpose for the move is to align with the Board’s core values to provide every child the greatest opportunity to learn and to maintain a safe and secure environment.  Since Carroll Elementary’s renovation in 2017, there is additional space for approximately 350 students from Drane. Combined with current Carroll enrollment, the campus would be home to approximately 700 students for a Pre-K through fourth grade campus. In making this transition, the pre-kinder dual language class will move to the Sam Houston Elementary Dual Language campus. view article arw

North Lamar ISD trustees received a preliminary budget estimate of $21.2 million for the coming year at a Monday night meeting, but trustees will not consider a property tax rate until August.  “Having a June 30 fiscal year end is very tricky when it comes to the budget,” finance director Melissa Darrow said in email correspondence after the meeting, explaining the district adopts a budget toward the end of June but approves a tax rate at an August board meeting.  “The administrative staff is working diligently to have a balanced budget for our board of trustees to adopt at a special meeting sometime at the end of June,” Darrow said. view article arw

Spring Hill ISD trustees could approve purchasing laptops at their Monday meeting.  The board also could OK some state waivers and approve buying view article arw

Trustees Seth Brown and Dr. Kent Rogers were sworn in at the regular meeting of the Corsicana Independent School District's Board of Trustees, Monday, May 11. The elections of both Brown and Rogers were previously certified after neither of the incumbents were challenged. Brown, who represents Place 1 on the Board, was first elected in 2019 to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Charles Biltz.  Rogers will continue to represent Place 2. He was elected to his second term as a CISD Trustee in 2014, first serving from 1992 to 2010. view article arw

The Angleton ISD Board of Trustees is expected to discuss teacher and staff recognition in addition to regular business when they meet in person at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Administration Building, 1900 N. Downing St.  Recognitions to be discussed are Campus Teachers of the Year, Rookie Teacher of the Year and the Support Staff Employee of the Year, according to the meeting agenda.  Regular business will include discussion of new hires; repayment of choir trip costs; participation in the Texas Schools Health Benefits Program for alternate group health medical coverage; and the Resolution for Schools and Libraries Universal Services for the next school year, as well as filing applications for funding for the 2020-21 year, the agenda states. Superintendent Phil Edwards will give a bond update, according to the agenda.  view article arw

Columbia-Brazoria ISD agreed on a tax break that will bring the district about $300,000 annually starting in 2023, officials announced.  The Board of Trustees approved a Chapter 313 agreement with TX Gulf Solar 1 at their meeting Tuesday evening.  A Chapter 313 agreement limits the value of a property development, in this case a solar farm, so the developers can have tax savings, said Kathy Mathias of Moak, Casey & Associates, who is consulting the district for this agreement. In exchange, the company agrees to pay the district in two different ways, she said.  In the revenue protection agreement, parties calculate how much the company would pay in maintenance and operation property taxes without the value limitation agreement, Mathias said. Without the agreement, the district would have gotten a little more than $296,000 in property taxes, so the company “holds the district harmless,” or makes up for that difference, Mathias said. (Paywalled)  view article arw

More options and lower premium costs were the reasoning behind the Magnolia ISD school board’s decision to join an interlocal agreement for health benefits services in a meeting May 11. Erich Morris, assistant superintendent of operations for MISD, said in a video recording at the meeting that he anticipates substantial savings for employees through the program. view article arw

General elections are next scheduled in Texas for May 2, 2020. Whether any elections take place on that date remains to be seen. For Texas school districts, there are issues concerning whether they should conduct elections at that time or postpone until November. While that question has been our primary consideration, there is also a related and additional question: How do we inspire voter turnout, now and going forward? School districts, educators and administrators have an interest in getting out the vote and in encouraging student voting. Below we will consider issues related to making determinations about conducting or postponing elections, how those decisions may affect voter turnout, and methods to increase turnout going forward from these strange days.

Katy ISD continued to experience upheaval Monday as Ashley Vann suddenly announced she was stepping down as board president and two new board members were sworn in, just a few weeks after Lance Hindt, the district's controversial superintendent, announced he would retire next January. When the school board returned from closed session Monday night, Vann acknowledged how proud she was to serve the school district during Hurricane Harvey and of watching the community come together, but then her tone shifted. view article arw

Trustees with Port Neches-Groves Independent School District are looking at ways to sweeten the pot for custodians. Trustees will hold a called meeting at noon Tuesday at the administration building, 620 Ave. C, in Port Neches where they will consider increasing the hourly starting pay rate for custodians from $8.51 per hour to $9.50 per hour. They will also consider offering additional summer work days to encourage current and future custodians a broader annual salary, which could assist in alleviating the custodian vacancy issues, according to information from the district. view article arw

Eagle Pass ISD administration and employees are pushing for voter participation as the Tax Ratification Election comes closer. At the Chamber of Commerce Community Breakfast on Wednesday, May 24, C.C. Winn High School Principal Jesus Diaz-Wever, Eagle Pass Junior High Vice Principal Yolanda Ramon, and Deputy Superintendent for Business and Finance Ismael Mijares stressed the importance of the election. “Saturday will be the chance for everyone in Eagle Pass to do something for these students,” said Ramon. “Our students deserve it. This is for them, we ask you to please remember that when you’re voting.” view article arw

The Frisco ISD School Board heard a summary of the proposed 2017-18 budget during its meeting on Monday. No action was taken. More than 50 budget recommendations were outlined in April to trim spending and generate additional revenue to address funding challenges. The recommendations were the result of months of work by employees, trustees, parents and citizens who shared ideas and input on possible solutions. Monday’s presentation included discussion of the remaining budget timeline, as well as a look at proposed budgets for both the maintenance and operations (M&O) fund, which pays for day-to-day expenses such as staff salaries, as well as the interest and sinking (I&S) fund, which pays off debt from issuing bonds to build new schools and fund other projects. view article arw

Here are six takeaways from the Round Rock ISD board of trustees voting Thursday to approve the RRISD District of Innovation plan: view article arw

The Frisco Independent School District meets Monday to work on some of the problems associated with being one of Texas’ fastest growing areas. The board will be voting on a proposal to help balance its budget by delaying the openings of four new schools. view article arw

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. The proposed 13-cent tax hike would have given the district $100 million to fund early childhood education and early college high school programs. The district also wanted to expand a program that pays extra money to top teachers who take jobs in some of the district’s toughest schools. view article arw