Frisco ISD board approves adding superintendent authority during COVID-19, offers updates

The board convened via video conference April 1. (Courtesy Frisco ISD)
The board convened via video conference April 1. (Courtesy Frisco ISD)

The board convened via video conference April 1. (Courtesy Frisco ISD)

Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip now has added authority to make decisions during the COVID-19 emergency following a unanimous vote by the board of trustees at an April 1 video conference meeting.

The board also approved postponing its May election for two board seats to November.

These approvals followed status updates by district departments regarding instruction, campus operations and seniors.

Superintendent authority

FISD schools and offices remain closed through May 4 following an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott.


To prepare the district to respond to national, state and local emergency declarations related to coronavirus, Superintendent Waldrip can now make the following delegations, according to FISD documents:

  • Act in place of the board and make all decisions regarding the payment of employees during an emergency closure;

  • Make decisions regarding compensation of exempt and nonexempt employees during emergency closure;

  • Alter FISD’s 2019-20 school calendar by changing or adding instructional hours and work or schools days as needed by emergency closure or related concerns;

  • Create guidelines and make determinations for absences, leave time, leave days and compensation of any employee who is quarantined as a result of coronavirus;

  • Seek necessary and available waivers from the Texas Education Agency; and

  • Submit other waivers with guidance from national, state or local authorities.


Testing and dual credit

As FISD enters its third week of digital instruction, Chief Academic Officer Wes Cunningham said the district is working with the College Board to respond as to where SAT and Advanced Placement exams stand for students.

“We’re still waiting on additional information from them coming in the next few days,” he said during the meeting.

FISD is also in talks with administrators across the district and state to respond to the changes in the Texas Student Success Initiative, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness and End-of-Course assessments, Cunningham said.

The district is working with Collin College and the University of North Texas to get all dual credit programs online for students, Cunningham said.

So far, FISD has expanded dual credit with Collin College to be entirely online, he said.

“We’re working with UNT to continue our North Texas Now! program,” Cunningham said.

Campus projects and cleanings

During closures, district operations have had a “great opportunity” to move forward with projects already underway and begin others earlier, FISD Executive Director of Operations Scott Warstler said.

Construction for Emerson High School, FISD’s 11th high school, is going forward as planned, he said.

“If you drive by, you now see it going vertical,” Warstler said at the meeting.

Elementary playground resurfacing is also ongoing, Warstler said. So far, 29 elementary campuses have been completed, five are under construction and seven have not started, he said.

Twenty-year refresh projects for Anderson and Christie elementary schools, which normally occur in the summer, have started early with students being out, Warstler said. Construction began March 23 on both schools' gymnasiums, he said.

All FISD facilities were disinfected and given a deep cleaning after the parent of a Tadlock Elementary School student tested positive for coronavirus in early March, Executive Director of Support Services Clarence Williams said.

“While we were out for spring break, all of our campuses were disinfected at least twice,” he said at the meeting, "with some of our campuses going through it three times.”

Updates for FISD seniors

Plans are in the works to address graduation and related activities for FISD seniors, Chief Student Services Officer Erin Miller said.

“Obviously, the big thing on our mind is graduation and thinking through what that could be,” Miller said at the meeting.

The district is looking into a new process to deliver caps and gowns to seniors, she said, as well as to provide community service hours for seniors looking to get community service cords.

“It’s a lot of collaboration and thinking through, ‘What if?’” Miller said.
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


MOST RECENT

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Centennial in Frisco is part of a large health system that announced a series of layoffs and furloughs last week. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White)
North Texas hospitals, hit by revenue losses, lobby for Medicaid program expansion

A group of North Texas hospitals plans to promote expanding Medicaid ahead of next year’s session of the Texas Legislature as the state’s health system deals with substantial revenue losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.

Collin County Health Care Services reported the death of an 89-year-old Frisco man with COVID-19 and underlying health conditions. (Community Impact staff)
Collin County officials confirm COVID-19-related death of 89-year-old Frisco man

This is the second confirmed death of a Frisco resident with COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

Frisco City Council approved a resolution June 2 to provide federal funding for housing grants to seven agencies for their outreach and work during the coronavirus pandemic in Frisco, Celina and Prosper. (Screenshot courtesy city of Frisco)
Frisco to distribute $6.7M in CARES Act funding to Collin County agencies to give to residents

Frisco is overseeing the distribution of $6.7 million in federal funding for housing and living assistance for Collin County residents from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Plano-based Cinemark announced it would begin a phased reopening of its movie theaters June 19. (Courtesy Cinemark)
Plano-based Cinemark to begin phased reopening of theaters June 19

Cinemark has announced a “multiphased” reopening of its movie theaters that will begin June 19, three months after the Plano-based company closed all its locations nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Registration is now open for a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic to be held in Frisco on June 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco opens preregistration for free drive-thru COVID-19 testing on June 4

The free testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the “Red” parking lot of Toyota Stadium. Preregistration is required.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center has not yet set a date for when it will reopen to the public. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sci-Tech Discovery Center planning online, in-person summer programming

Sci-Tech Discovery Center has not yet set a date to reopen its museum to the general public and will instead focus on outreach programs.

Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay

Operations began in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio beginning May 25.

Jungle Joe’s offered indoor play areas for children and a health-conscious menu for adults. (Courtesy Jungle Joe's)
Kid-friendly cafe Jungle Joe's closes Frisco location

The kid-friendly cafe offered a play area for children along with a health-conscious menu for both parents and children.

The fourth floor of the Frisco Public Library will be reopened to the public June 4. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco Public Library to reopen at 25% capacity on June 4

The public computers and Wi-Fi will be available, but only the first and fourth floors of the library will be open to the public based on guidance issued by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney and Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland sat among other city leaders at a June 1 town hall meeting. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
TOWN HALL RECAP: City leaders update COVID-19 testing efforts, reopening plans

The Frisco mayor and fire chief updated residents on COVID-19 and the city's reopening plan.

Oun said he perfected his fried chicken recipe over a six-month period. (Courtesy Mother Clucker)
ROUNDUP: Read about local businesses in the DFW area

Read Community Impact Newspaper's latest business coverage from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.