Board Notes

June 25 Board Notes

The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, June 11, 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.

2018-19 budget approved
Following public input on the proposed 2018-19 budget and tax rate, trustees approved the proposed budget, with a vote on the tax rate set for the Aug. 27 board meeting.

The approved budget forecasts revenues of $203.27 million and total expenditures of $217.1 million. Notably, this is the district’s first budget to not include ASATR funding from the state since the program was created in 2006 to maintain per-student funding levels. The state recently ceased the program. Additionally, Northwest ISD will make a recapture payment (as part of the Chapter 41 “Robin Hood” school funding plan) to the state – estimated at $4.25 million – to provide money to other school districts because of its revenues.

To make up the difference from the loss in funding, a portion of the district’s fund balance will be used this year. District leaders and trustees will evaluate the budget situation following the school year, looking for areas to further improve financial efficiency. To see the district’s five-year financial forecast, click here.

Because state law requires school districts to approve their budgets before their tax rates, the vote to decide whether to approve the $1.49 rate – the same as the current tax rate – will be held Aug. 27. District taxpayers will be allowed to comment on and/or question the proposed tax rate at that meeting as well.

New Student Code of Conduct approved
Trustees approved the proposed 2018-19 Student Code of Conduct, which primarily includes minor updates for clarity and written consistency.

As mentioned in the previous Board Notes newsletter, the update focuses on clarifying areas that could potentially be misinterpreted as well as updating information, such as school leadership changes and phone number modifications. The process of updating the Student Code of Conduct is conducted annually each summer.

The updated Student Code of Conduct will soon be available online, with printed copies available by request. A document that highlights each change can be seen here.

Long-range technology plan approved
Trustees approved the district’s long-range technology plan, which was formulated by a committee of students, community members, teachers and staff (primarily technology-focused employees).

Northwest ISD began a 1:1 technology plan in 2009, meaning the district began working toward a goal of providing access to a device for each student. The plan began with high school students and now includes all students from third grade to high school. The 2017-18 school year marked the first full year including all these grade levels in the 1:1 plan.

The long-range technology plan coincides with the district’s belief that effective technology integration must happen across the curriculum to deepen and enhance the learning experience. Technology isn’t used as a replacement for other forms of learning, but rather as a method to augment learning – especially as current students will likely be expected to have an understanding of how to use technology in college, a career or other avenues.

As part of the technology plan, classroom technology standards are set to ensure each school and each student has similar access to specific technology. Additionally, it defines district requirements to meet the needs of student and staff technology use. To see the approved technology plan, click here.

In other action, the board

  • Approved Aramark, the district’s food service provider, to create a locally funded breakfast program at the high school level to increase student menu selections with fewer restrictions. This is expected to increase student participation and satisfaction, which occurred when the district transitioned to a locally funded lunch program with more options.
  • Approved a change in the contract to the recent Beck Elementary School addition that lowers the project’s total cost, saving the district $88,964 following an audit of its completion and returning those remaining funds to the district.
  • Recognized the Eaton High School baseball team for winning the 5A state championship earlier this month and Eaton softball team for advancing to the 5A regional semifinals. The teams were still competing when the Board of Trustees Awards were held earlier this year, delaying their board recognition.
  • Recognized Northwest High School’s “THAT Better Team” for advancing to the Destination Imagination Global Finals after placing third at the state meet. This team was also still competing when the Board of Trustees Awards were held earlier this year.
  • Recognized the district’s financial staff for receiving the ASBO Meritorious Budget Award for developing an effective and clear budget presentation.
  • Recognized Fellowship of the Parks for serving as a district supporter through the Partners in Education program.
To view photos of Northwest ISD's board meetings and other district and school events, visit the district Flickr account.