Board Notes

Jan. 22 Board Notes

The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, Jan. 22, 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.


Calendar options for 2018-19 discussed, public input now accepted
Trustees looked at two options for the 2018-19 Northwest ISD academic calendar, with one calendar adding 5 minutes to each instructional day to take two additional days off (including Good Friday becoming a holiday for students and staff).

Both options are similar, with Calendar No. 1 starting school on Monday, Aug. 27, and Calendar No. 2 starting school on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Both calendar options end school on May 31, 2019. No. 1 features 173 school days, while No. 2 features 171 school days, thanks to the additional 5 instructional minutes for each day. In the Calendar No. 2 option, school start times would remain unchanged but ending times would all be pushed back 5 minutes for a regular school day.

In both calendars, winter break lasts from Dec. 24 to Jan. 7, 2019, for students, and spring break takes place March 11-15. Thanksgiving break in both calendars is the full holiday week, Nov. 19-23, for students.

The first day for teachers (Aug. 16) and last day for teachers (June 1, 2019) are the same on both calendars, and both calendars feature six early-release days.

Community members are invited to vote for the option they prefer at www.nisdtx.org/calendarvote for the next two weeks. After the two-week voting period, the school board will vote to approve a final calendar.

Trustees recognized for School Board Recognition Month
Northwest ISD recognized its trustees for their work as unpaid stewards of the district during the board meeting. January is School Board Recognition Month, when school districts across the nation thank their trustees for steering their interests.

Northwest ISD’s school board is composed of Mark Schluter, president (place 2); Judy Copp, vice president (place 4); Dr. Anne Davis-Simpson, secretary (place 3); Dr. Lillian Rauch (place 6); Steve Sprowls (place 5); and Josh Wright (place 1).

As a token of the district’s appreciation, each trustee was presented with a custom school board jacket as tribute to his or her service. Additionally, students from Northwest High School performed a brief portion of their musical, “Hello, Dolly!”

Proposals being accepted for student transportation services
Northwest ISD is now accepting proposals for a student transportation service provider, with the submissions now being evaluated. A recommendation for a transportation service provider will be presented at the Feb. 12 school board meeting.

The district advertised the request for proposals on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, and proposals were accepted until Jan. 16. An initial evaluation was conducted Jan. 19, and presentations and interviews from respondents will take place Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.

Northwest ISD received responses from Apple Bus Company, Durham School Services, First Student, Reliant Transportation, Student Transportation of America, and GoldStar Transit.

Superintendent’s contract renewed
Trustees unanimously voted to approve the renewing the contract of Dr. Ryder Warren, district superintendent, for an additional two years on top of his current contract.

The contract extension keeps Dr. Warren in his position through the 2021-22 school year. Dr. Warren joined Northwest ISD in 2016, with the 2017-18 school year marking his second with the district. He came to the district from Midland ISD, where he was also superintendent.

Construction contractor approved for Byron Nelson expansion
Byron Nelson High School will soon begin the process of adding an expansion, as approved by voters in the 2017 bond package, and trustees approved Northstar Builders Group as the construction contractor to build the extension.

Northstar was approved through a construction manager at risk delivery process, with the committee determining Northstar provided the best overall value among the six vendors that submitted their services. Requests for qualifications were accepted beginning Dec. 20. Northstar received the highest overall score of the six companies that submitted proposals. Evaluations of each company took into account experience, proposed team, reputation and other qualifications.

As approved in the 2017 bond package, Byron Nelson’s expansion will increase the school to a 3,200-student capacity. The school currently has about 2,600 students. In a future expansion, Eaton High School will also receive an addition to bring its capacity to 3,200 students.

Facilities provides update on new buildings, expansions and renovations
Northwest ISD’s facilities team provided an overview of the work currently taking place in our fast-growth school district, including building new schools (Curtis Elementary School and Adams Middle School), expanding existing facilities (Beck and Hughes elementary schools, Byron Nelson High School) and completing renovations (athletic facilities across the district).

For new facilities, work on Curtis and Adams continues as planned. The external structure of Adams Middle School is largely complete at this point, with crews primarily working on the interior of the school. At Curtis Elementary, crews are working on foundation as they prepare to begin building the school structure itself.

Work on additional classrooms at Beck was recently completed, with teachers already moved into their new spaces. These classrooms meet the space of the current student population. A Hughes’ addition has begun construction, which will expand the school to an 850-student population. For other additions and renovations, work on all athletic improvements across the district are now complete – including practice field replacements, turfing of baseball and softball fields, and track resurfacings.

In terms of planning, the facilities team is currently working on Hatfield and Prairie View partial roofing and HVAC work, agricultural barn addition and renovations, natatorium site visits and programming research, Byron Nelson’s addition, and a new prototype elementary design.

Byron Nelson students and staff recently took part in an activity with architects from Perkins + Will and Glenn Partners, the firms designing the addition, to provide their feedback. The addition to the school will be located on the east side of the campus and primarily core academics classrooms, collaboration areas, forensic science labs and architectural and engineering labs. Existing classrooms in these areas will be renovated for different purposes. Other campus changes will also take place, such as reconfiguring and expanding parking as well as adding a fieldhouse for outdoor sports.

In other action, the board

  • Recognized Virtual Angel Tree volunteers for their work sorting and distributing gifts from the Northwest ISD community to students in need.
  • Recognized new business partners for the district’s Partners in Education program, which provide schools with resources to help students.
SEE BOARD MEETING PHOTOS
To view photos of Northwest ISD's board meetings and other district and school events, visit the district Flickr account.