March 20 Board Notes
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, March 20, 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.
AlphaBest selected as new after-school program for 2017-18
Northwest ISD has selected AlphaBest to serve as its new after-school program provider beginning in the 2017-18 school year, bringing a trusted program that focuses on academics and wellness to district families.
AlphaBest’s after-school program focuses on four categories: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), world languages, fitness and wellness, and fine arts. As with the district’s current after-school program, AlphaBest will provide all Northwest ISD elementary schools with a safe place for children to remain on campuses and learning after the end of regular school hours.
Registration for AlphaBest will begin in the coming weeks, with the district or elementary schools alerting parents via email of enrollment processes for the new program.
AlphaBest was chosen as the district’s after-school program provider after a rigorous proposal process featuring a field of six candidates. The service was chosen for its offerings to Northwest ISD children and their families as well as its highly regarded reputation. AlphaBest currently provides after-school services to several Texas school districts, including Frisco ISD, Lake Dallas ISD and Prosper ISD.
Families with students in the district’s current after-school program, Champions, will see no interruption in their current services. Champions will remain the district’s after-school service provider until July 31; after this time, AlphaBest will begin operating at Northwest ISD schools.
For more information about AlphaBest, visit the after-school service provider’s website at www.alphabest.org.
Trustees, superintendent discuss priority goals
Dr. Ryder Warren, Northwest ISD superintendent, discussed the progress of his 2016-17 priorities with trustees, including how the district will work toward continuing to make progress in these goals. The goals focused on a range of issues, including academic success, working to balance the district’s budget, staff schools and plan for growth.
Regarding academic success, Dr. Warren said the district will work to increase the number of students identified as at or above grade level in primary grades, which is being worked on by emphasizing professional and curriculum development while using performance monitoring tools to meet these goals. Similarly, at higher grade levels, the district is working to increase opportunities, participation and performance in advanced academic programs to improve the overall learning experience of students.
For the budget, the district will analyze expenditure patterns and future revenue estimates to reduce reliance on the district’s fund balance. Staffing will continue to focus on retaining or recruiting employees who promote a climate and culture that align with the district’s core beliefs and vision.
As a fast-growing school district, Northwest ISD constantly monitors growth patterns, and the district long-range planning committee will help aid staff in determining plans for this increase of students. One of the ways the committee has already aided in this process is by submitting its recommendation for a $399 million bond referendum, which trustees approved to go to voters in April and May.
Athletics, network contracts awarded
Trustees approved multiple contracts to begin work on districtwide athletic and network improvements, which will begin soon.
On the athletics side, a contract was awarded to begin work on districtwide improvements that primarily include artificial turf replacement or additions as well as track resurfacing, as outlined in previous Board Notes. A separate contract was awarded to replace the scoreboard at Northwest ISD Stadium.
To improve the district’s network capabilities, trustees approved two contracts: one to increase wireless access points, and the other to obtain network equipment for dark fiber (fiber cable that is laid to prepare for future network expansion, such as to reach future school sites).
Leader in Me report presented
Trustees heard from Prairie View and Seven Hills elementary schools regarding their new Leader in Me program, which works to instill leadership traits in students.
Both Prairie View and Seven Hills recently began implementing the program, which has included professional development for their staffs. The schools each recently hosted site visits for representatives of the program, where students showed their progress in leadership initiatives.
From a student perspective, being part of the Leader in Me program also affects academics. Students are given planners and scoreboards to set goals for their academic progress. These academic initiatives also include leadership training by instilling positive habits.
Going forward, Prairie View and Seven Hills will continue to work through goal-setting objectives, share their progress and strengthen their family/community partnerships.
In other action, the board
- Recognized the Northwest High School boys basketball team for advancing to the 5A UIL Boys Basketball State Tournament. The Texans became state semifinalists for the first time in school history with their historic season.
- Recognized the Northwest ISD communications team for receiving 11 awards at the recent Texas School Public Relations Association conference. These awards represent the top state honor possible for professionals in the school communications industry.
- Recognized the district purchasing team for receiving the Texas Association of School Business Officials Award of Merit for Purchasing. This award, the top in the state, is presented to district teams that demonstrate best practices in the area of purchasing.
- Recognized Beck Elementary student Reagan Dee for the design of the districtwide Go Red T-shirt, which raised funds for the American Heart Association. Reagan’s design was chosen from entries submitted across district elementary schools, and a check for the proceeds from sales of shirts with her design was presented to the American Heart Association.
- Recognized Rae Johnson, Stacey Pryor and Laynie Johnson for serving as UIL staff members for secondary schools. These individuals coordinate UIL activities and events for secondary schools across the district, which takes tremendous preparation.
- Presented a check to schools for proceeds from the district’s annual Reindeer Romp races. These races raised funds for physical education departments at district schools. The check was presented on behalf of Fieldhouse Fitness, which served as a sponsor of the event.
- Decreased the construction contract for the Outdoor Learning Center after an audit was complete and determined funds remained. As a result, the district saved $248,692.
|Lakeview Elementary students led the Pledge of Allegiance.
|Trustees recognized Northwest High School's boys basketball team for making the UIL State Tournament.
|Trustees recognized the communications team for their TSPRA awards.
|Trustees recognized the purchasing team for their TASBO award.
|Trustees recognized Beck's Reagan Dee for her winning heart health artwork.
|Trustees recognized secondary school UIL coordinators.
|A check was presented for Reindeer Romp proceeds.