Board Notes

Sept. 25 Board Notes

The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, Sept. 25, during a regularly scheduled meeting. This is a recap of the major actions and reports from the meeting. To see every item that was discussed or voted on, click here.

Northwest ISD to begin considering District of Innovation designation
Following approval from trustees, district curriculum officials will begin the process of potentially applying to become a District of Innovation, as designated by the Texas Education Agency.

The authorization from trustees will allow Northwest ISD to research ways for the district to submit a plan to the TEA and potentially exempt itself from certain requirements to best meet the district’s educational goals.

Examples of possible exemptions districts may seek if they are designated a District of Innovation include certain school calendar requirements, certain teaching certification requirements (such as for career and technical educators who have proven relevant work experience), campus decision-making restrictions and certain budgeting requirements.

Some area school districts that have been designated Districts of Innovation include Allen, Arlington, Coppell, Denton, Frisco, Grapevine-Colleyville, Plano and Richardson.

If Northwest ISD moves forward with a plan to become a District of Innovation, it will develop a plan that will be posted online, sent to the TEA commissioner and discussed at public meetings for community input.

The following dates have been set for the potential designation process: a public hearing by the school board on Oct. 25, a series of community meetings for district stakeholders until Nov. 28, a public vote by the District Education Improvement Committee on Nov. 28, a presentation of a plan to trustees on Dec. 11 and a vote on the plan by trustees by Jan. 22.

Class size waiver exceptions approved
Northwest ISD trustees approved a recommendation by administrative services and human resources to waive the class size restriction of 22 students to one teacher for 14 classrooms across the district.

These classrooms are all in the third or fourth grade level and only exceed the 22-to-1 limit by one or two students. The District Education Improvement Committee previously reviewed the recommendation and voted in support of seeking the waiver exceptions. The waiver will allow the district not to split up classes already in progress.

The Texas Education Code sets the K-4 class size limit at 22-to-1 and allows school districts to request waivers for any classes that exceed that limit. Northwest ISD’s board recently set a district policy of a 24-to-1 limit for third and fourth grades, meaning the district will not seek waivers for any classes at these grade levels if they go above the district policy’s limit.

In other action, the board

  • Recognized Wilson Middle School teacher Andrea Driver for recently helping set national standards for accomplished teaching.
  • Recognized the Northwest ISD Council of PTAs for their work in the districtwide Hurricane Harvey evacuee supply effort.
  • Recognized Gateway Church of Southlake for adopting four Northwest ISD schools and serving as a district Partner in Education.
  • Renewed an agreement with Communities in Schools of North Texas to continue providing support to Justin and Seven Hills elementary schools, Chisholm Trail and Pike middle schools, and Northwest High School through funding provided by Title I, Part A.
To view photos of Northwest ISD's board meetings and other district and school events, visit the district Flickr account.