New student information system under consideration and more from Leander ISD’s board meeting Nov. 29

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Leander ISD’s board of trustees heard presentations on a potential new student information system, the upcoming calendar-development process and other items during a meeting Nov. 29.

Elected board members sworn into office

New trustees Elexis Grimes and Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia were sworn into office along with incumbents Aaron Johnson and Trish Bode.

A reception was held prior to the meeting for outgoing trustees Don Hisle and Will Streit.

New student information system considered

LISD’s current student information system, Internet-Based Computer Cooperative Software, stores information on student demographics, attendance, health, schedules, grades, behavior and assessments, according to LISD documents. The district is in need of a more modern system with improved functionality for staff, teachers, students and parents, according to the documents.

After reviewing proposals from vendors, LISD staff recommended trustees approve a new program—eSchoolPLUS by PowerSchool Group LLC—to be used in the 2019-20 academic year.

“We are obviously a fast-growing school district, and we know that those projection numbers … are only growing, and so we need a system that can actually keep up with that pace and have the innovation and functionality that a growing school district will need,” said Brenda Cruz, director of assessment/accountability and student information systems for LISD. “We have not seen that with our current system.”

Other highlights of the recommended system include mobile applications for parents and students, an intuitive interface and state reporting abilities, according to district documents.

The board is scheduled to consider action on the new system at its next meeting.

Classes added to course catalog for 2019-20 school year

Trustees voted to add new Latin, mathematics, social studies and parenting classes to the course catalog for the 2019-20 academic year.

Calendar-development process outlined

Each year the board of trustees must adopt an academic calendar that meets certain criteria set by Texas Education Code.

At the meeting LISD Chief Academic Officer Matt Bentz presented a timeline for the creation of the 2019-20 academic calendar, culminating in the board’s adoption of a calendar Jan. 24.

LISD administrative staff recommended the board vote to start school in mid-August and end it in late May, retaining regular holiday breaks, according to district documents.

Some board members expressed interest in looking at possible academic calendars for the upcoming two years.

“You would adopt one-year calendar, the other years would be [unapproved]because you’d have to take into consideration changes to STAAR testing calendars and other items,” Superintendent Dan Troxell said, “But you could put it out there to say, ‘This is our intention [for the following year’s calendar].’ … I think it’d be really great to put it out there saying here’s an example of what the second year could look like.”

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Abby Bora
Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.
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