The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees adopted a tax rate, heard a presentation on Early College High School and approved the hiring of additional assistant principal positions at the district’s action schools during its regular meeting Thursday night.
Click here to review the entire agenda. Click here to view the meeting video.
Westwood High School senior Chris Ayoub won first place in the Information Technology Services contest at the 2015 national SkillsUSA competition. The event took place in June in Louisville, Ky, where Ayoub represented the state of Texas. His SkillsUSA teacher is Vicky Tarver and his principal is Laurelyn Arterbury.
Congratulations to McNeil High School student Matt Romere for earning the Texas FFA Lonestar Degree, the highest degree of membership the State FFA Association can award, at the organization’s annual convention this summer. Courtney Acosta is principal.
Stony Point High School freshman Jessica Oskam was selected to have her artwork hung in the governor’s office for a year. First Lady Cecilla Abbott selected Oskam’s art along with 11 other students. Anthony Watson is her principal.
Congratulations to Penny Smeltzer, Westwood High School statistics teacher for being named a Texas finalist for the “2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.” Laurelyn Arterbury is principal.
McNeil High School Agriculture Science teacher, Larry Vinklarek, recently received the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas 30 Year Tenure Award. Tenure awards are awarded in five-year increments to agricultural science teachers who have dedicated themselves to teaching and supporting agricultural science. Courtney Acosta is principal.
Blackland Prairie Elementary School, and it’s PTA have been recognized as a ‘School of Excellence’ by the National PTA. The award is based on the school schools leadership and commitment to partnering to support student success and continuous school improvements. Sue Hildebrand, is the principal.
Round Rock ISD Council of PTA’s and President Kelly Moreno have a special presentation where she presented Round Rock ISD with a check for $3.2 million, equaling the PTA’s contribution to schools through volunteer hours last school year. The Council is also celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this school year. Board President Charles “Chad” Chadwell presented the group with special award in honor of the anniversary.
FIRST Public Hearing
Round Rock ISD Chief Financial Officer Randy Staats presented the annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas report. The FIRST system was developed in 1999 by the Texas Education Agency as a way to bring accountability for financial management practices and to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide maximum instructional resources.
RRISD earned all 30 possible points in the system, earning a pass standard for 2013-2014, the best possible score. View the entire report by clicking here.
Bond Oversight Committee/Construction Report
Director of Construction Tim Strucley and Bond Oversight Committee member Monica Gillespey presented an update on construction items and the bond oversight committee. Gillespey reviewed the project summary from construction’s summer work involving bond funding. Click here to view that report, given to the Board at the August meeting.
Strucley shared an update on the Round Rock High School Master Plan Phase 3B that will allow the school to continue using its existing marching band practice pad and allow the district to save money by not building a new, second pad. The new wing for RRHS will be on the Northside of the 1100 building.
Action Schools Update
Executive Director for Educational Support John Yonker presented a report on the 10 ACTION schools in RRISD and how the district is supporting their needs. ACTION is an acronym for Accelerated, Collaborative, Targeted, Innovative, Organizational, and Network. The schools include: Anderson Mill, Berkman, Bluebonnet, Callison, Robertson, Union Hill, Voigt, C.D. Fulkes, Hernandez and Stony Point.
Yonker, who supervises the principals at the ACTION schools, spoke about his team’s alignment to Strategic Plan Specific Result Statement 3.2: Identify and address the disparities that exist in academic achievement. Click here to view his entire presentation.
Strategic Plan Update
Interim Executive Director for Community and Governmental Relations Corey Ryan presented an update to the district’s Strategic Plan efforts. He presented an overview of the process, which was adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 2015. The process resulted in eight goals and 52 specific result statements, with 17 phased for year one completion. The Strategic Plan is a guideline for new projects, schools and initiatives the will result in specific action items for completion over the next five to 10 years.
So far, the district has completed some milestones in its Phase One, including the implementation of NextGen Digital Classrooms phase 2, expansion of the Laptops @Home program, the redesign of all campus websites, online enrollment, launch of an externship program, hiring of a marketing coordinator and the launch of the strategic social media program.
The next steps for Strategic Plan include site visits of schools of choice across Texas in late September and early October. The Board will host a Strategic Plan Board Workshop on October 8 at the administration building where it will discuss possible schools of choice for consideration.
Process for Naming Elementary School #34
Senior Chief of Schools and Innovation Dr. Daniel Presley presented the next steps for selecting the name for Elementary School #34.
The district is currently accepting applications for names until October 2. The Board will look to approve a name by the December regular meeting. More information on the process can be found in Board Policy CW (Local).
Strategic Plan: Early College High School (ECHS) Application Update
Director for Advanced Academic Services Michelle Swain and Executive Director of Secondary Education Becky Donald presented an overview of the Early College High School application and implementation process.
ECHS are innovative high schools that allow students who are least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and 60 college credit hours at no cost. The financial commitment for a district is $100 per student per college course, or about $2,000 per student to attend a partner high education facility. Students start in ninth grade attending a traditional school setting with a college prep course. As sophomores, they begin a mix of high school and dual credit courses at the college. By their junior and senior year, they are taking most or all of their courses at the partner college or university.
The application to TEA is due in October/November and the notification of selection would be January/February. The school district would look to implement a cohort of freshman and sophomores in the fall, if the board approves further action.
Action Items for Consideration by Consent
- The Board adopted the resolution for Extension Agents of Travis/Williamson Counties as adjunct faculty for 4-H members’ extracurricular participation.
- The Board adopted the resolution of designating Texas Education Human Resources Day on October 14.
- The Board approved the class size waiver application for two schools exceeding the 22:1 student-teacher ratio. Brushy Creek Elementary School second grade required an increase by one student in to of six classrooms. Spicewood Elementary School first grade also required an increase by one student in 2 of its six classrooms. The overall ratio in both instances expands to 1:22.33.
- The Board approved the T-TESS appraisers as presented by administration. T-TESS is the Texas Teacher Evaluation Support System.
- The Board approved Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores as the representative to the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
- The Board adopted a $0.2925 tax rate for the 2015-2016 school year. The tax rate covers debt services. The Maintenance and Operations rate of $1.04 equals a total rate of $1.3325, a total rate decrease of $0.005 per $100 valuation compared to 2014-2015, about 1.68 percent reduction. Due to increased appraisal values, the $1.3325 rate effectively equals a 4.27 percent increase in total taxes. The Property Tax Code requires RRISD to share that although the tax rate is less, total taxes will increase.
- The Board adopted the tax roll resolution in alignment with its tax rate approval. The total tax roll will equal $359.6 million. Click here to review the RRISD 2015-16 budget information.
- The Board approved the competitive sealed proposal from Lee Lewis Construction, Inc., as general contractor for Round Rock High School phase 3B addition. The project, which will include an additional wing on the Northside of the school’s 1100 building on Deep Wood Drive, will cost $8.3 million with a $624,750 contingency for a total $8.9 million contract.
- The Board approved the hiring of seven new assistant principals to support the ACTION schools, equaling $524,448 as a budget amendment. The new principals will serve at Anderson Mill, Berkman, Robertson, Bluebonnet, Voigt, Union Hill and C.D. Fulkes. The other ACTION schools currently have an additional assistant principal position serving their campus.
- The Board approved the additions to the School Health Advisory Council.