The Georgetown school board may convene a citizens advisory committee in the coming year as preparations for a potential future bond election near.
During a Nov. 16 meeting, the board received information and a timeline for the formation of a CAC, which is the first step in a bond election, GISD Superintendent Fred Brent said. This does not, however, mean one will be called, he added.
The purpose of a CAC is to evaluate existing district facilities, enrollment projections and other data and provide facility and equipment recommendations to the board, Brent said. The CAC is made up of community members who represent the diverse and multifaceted interests of the district and will be aided by district staff, he said.
“This is not to say that we are automatically calling a bond,” Brent said. “I want to encourage everyone to understand that this is the board's way and the district's way of saying committee members tell us where you think we are and what we should do in terms of meeting the needs of the district for long-term growth.”
The formation of the committee is pending board approval, an item that will likely appear on the December agenda. Once formed, the committee will spend several months looking at district facilities and enrollment data and make recommendations to the board on future needs. It will then make a recommendation by Aug. 16 on whether the district should call a bond and what should be on that bond, officials said.
After a recommendation is made, the board must also vote to either accept, decline or amend the recommendations before it can appear on a ballot.
Brent said current student projections show the possible need for a third area high school in 2027. In order to achieve this, construction would have to start in 2024, and plans would need to start being drawn up in 2021, he said.
He added the district is currently on track to hold a bond election every three years with a voter-approved $160.6 million bond package passing in 2015 and a $150.5 million bond package passing in 2018.
Projects that came from the 2018 bond include the construction of the two new elementary schools of Wolf Ranch and Williams, as well as new school buses and technology and athletic and safety upgrades.
“As a district, we'll be studying our existing facilities, reviewing the projects that we've done, looking at our facilities assessment, comparing recommendations and taking considerations of needs,” Brent said.
In other business:
- New GISD board member Stephanie Blanck and returning member Melanie Dunham were sworn in to their positions. The board also voted to select Scott Stribling as board president, Andy Webb as vice president and Dunham as secretary.
- Scott Tipton was named the new chief financial officer of Georgetown ISD following board approval on Nov. 16. Tipton previously served as CFO of Pecos Barstow Toyah ISD located in West Texas. He replaces Pam Sanchez, who served as GISD CFO since June 2017.
- GISD is looking to add nine courses at the middle and high school levels for the 2021-22 school year, said Terri Conrad, GISD chief strategists for learning and design. The new courses include one middle school course with math 6/7, which is a compacted course to prepare students for eighth grade algebra, Conrad said. At the high school level, new courses include Mexican American studies, African American studies, agricultural structure design and fabrication, engineering design and presentation II and comprehensive wellness, among others.