Proposed 2019-20 academic calendar, district improvement plan and more from Lake Travis ISD board of trustees, Nov. 14

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Proposed 2019-20 calendar

The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees discussed the potential 2019-2020 academic calendar Nov. 14.

The proposed calendar option was developed in coordination with the district’s advisory committee on education and campus staff input, district documents said.

“The first day with students is earlier than the fourth Monday in August, and the last day of school with students in May is prior to Memorial Day,” the documents said.

Staff said ending the year in May allows more time for planning summer school and enrollment into college for the summer sessions. Other highlights include grading periods and semesters being more equally distributed, and professional development days are at the beginning, middle and end of the year.

Trustees will vote on accepting the proposed calendar at the Dec. 19 meeting.

Click to enlarge the proposed calendar:

Improvement plans presented

The 2018-19 district and campus improvement plans were presented to the board for review. The improvement plans represented annual goals and performance objectives for the school year and focused on student performance and other core performance functions, Assistant Superintendent Elizabeth Deterra said.

All nine campuses included individual improvement plans, the entirety of which can be viewed here.

Overall district goals included:

Student achievement

  • Performance objective one: Ninety percent of all students will meet the grade-level standard in the state assessment system, STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness), and 50 percent of all students will meet masters grade level standard.
  • Performance objective two: Ninety percent of students will show academic growth in math/reading from the previous year as measured by multiple data sources.

Community investment and support

  • Performance objective one: Increase dissemination and engagement across district communication channels, including the website, social media and the district app.
  • Performance objective two: Continue financial responsibility and transparency while utilizing demographic data to produce high academic achievement while also maintaining cost-effective operations (maintenance, transportation, facilities, purchasing and food service).

Curriculum and instruction

  • Performance objective one: All district and campus leaders as members of the Learning & Teaching Campus Leadership professional learning committee will focus on the implementation of the Learner-Centric Model and design the Learner Profile.
  • Performance objective two: All teachers will participate in interconnected experiences and professional learning that introduce and reinforce the Learner-Centric Model.

School environment

  • Performance objective one: Develop and implement crisis protocol including suicide and threat assessment.
  • Performance objective two: One hundred percent of campus administrators will follow the district student code of conduct, discipline chart, investigation forms and public education information management system coding in order to proactively address discipline concerns.
  • Performance objective three: One hundred percent participation by each campus in lessons and activities that support principles of democracy, including patriotic celebrations.

College and career readiness

  • Performance objective one: Increase by 5 percent the number of students selecting to enroll in rigorous learning experiences including dual-enrollment, dual-credit, Advanced Placement and career technical education pathways leading to industry certification.
  • Performance objective two: Increase student achievement in designated areas of college, career and military readiness (CCMR) in a minimum of four possible indicators to achieve 90 percent in CCMR rate.
  • Performance objective three: Develop and implement a social and emotional learning framework and curriculum to foster college-, career- and life-ready skills.

Highest-quality staff

  • Performance objective one: Continue to recruit and hire high-quality and fully certified faculty and staff.
  • Performance objective two: Increase employee retention rates.

New round of staff join leadership program

The board recognized the district’s third year of participants in the Future Administrators Leadership Academy.

The purpose of the academy is to develop leadership capacity in a way that creates and nurtures leaders by providing quality professional learning experiences facilitated by senior staff in a collaborative and supportive environment, board documents said.

The participants will actively participate with district leaders in a monthly learning series as well as specially designed sessions during a February conference with a focus on individual and organizational growth, the documents said.

The 2018-19 participants are:

  • Joy Crenshaw, Lakeway Elementary School
  • Choi Hicks, West Cypress Hills Elementary School
  • Laura Keogh, Hudson Bend Middle School
  • Michael Lowe, Lake Travis High School
  • Kim Oren, Lake Travis Middle School
  • Sheri Remore, Lake Travis High School

$907,000 to be used for campus network equipment and upgrades

Wireless network equipment upgrades and wireless switching equipment upgrades were purchased for Hudson Bend Middle School, Lake Travis Middle School and Lake Travis High School, board documents said. In addition, wired and wireless network infrastructure equipment was purchased to equip the new Bee Cave Middle School.

The total cost was about $907,000, the documents said. Funding came from the 2018 bond program, which provided funding for the purchase of technology items.

Administration seeks to receive electronic project bids or proposals

The board was asked to consider adopting rules for accepting electronic bids or proposals.

State and district policy permits LTISD to receive bids or proposals for purchasing goods and services electronically if the board adopts rules to ensure identification, security and confidentiality and to ensure the bids or proposals remain unopened until the proper time, board documents said.

The district recently implemented an eBidding system, which is why administration recommended the rules be approved, the documents said.

Assistant Superintendent Johnny Hill said its a more efficient way to operate.

The item was up for discussion only. Action will be requested at the Dec. 19 meeting.

Annual audit presented

The district’s external audit firm, Maxwell, Lock & Ritter LLP, completed its annual audit of LTISD for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ended in August.

Audit Manager Veronica Lomas Day presented an overview of the report to the board.

The final total expenditures from the general fund totaled $121 million.

The district’s total revenues were $186.6 million. Click to enlarge the report’s breakdown of revenue sources:

The report said the district is considered wealthy by state code because its wealth level per student of $890,970 exceeded the state level of $514,000.

The district’s voters approved for the district to equalize its excess wealth by either purchasing attendance credits from the state or purchasing weighted average daily attendance from other school districts, the report said.

The district contracts with the state to equalize its wealth. This recapture payment results in an outflow of local tax dollars to the other school districts and the state. Due to an increase in property taxes collected compared to the prior year as a result of higher property values offset by a decrease in state aid, the district’s recapture amount paid to the state increased to $43.5 million compared to $36.9 million in the prior year, the report said.

This equates to 42.3 percent of each tax dollar raised under maintenance and operations. Debt service taxes are excluded from recapture, the report said, adding the district’s program and general revenues increased by $26.4 million, or 16 percent, due primarily to an increase in taxes collected, which was due to an increase of 9.9 percent in property values.

In April the district sold $143 million in bonds to fund construction and equipping of school buildings and to pay the costs of issuance of the bonds, the report said. Overall bond program expenditures totaled $54.6 million this fiscal year compared to $4.1 million in the prior year. The primary source of revenue for bond payments is from property taxes.

The district is located in what has been one of the fastest-growing regions in the state and the country, the report stated. The top 10 taxpayers make up only 8.2 percent of the district’s overall tax base.

For the 2017 tax year, Galleria Texas LLC was the district’s largest taxpayer at 2.57 percent.

The district set its operating tax rate at $1.06 and its debt service tax rate at $0.3475 for the 2017-18 school year and adopted the same rate for the current year.

Other highlights included:

The district had outstanding general obligation bonds totaling $338.4 million as of Aug. 31, of which $37.3 million in principal and interest payments are due in the coming year.

In December 2017 the district issued $82.9 million in unlimited tax refunding bonds, which resulted in overall debt service savings to the district of about $10.7 million.

In April the district issued $108.7 million in unlimited tax school building bonds and $34.9 million in variable rate unlimited tax school building bonds for the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipment of school facilities.

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Sally Grace Holtgrieve
Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She started working at Community Impact Newspaper in February 2018 as the Lake Travis-Westlake reporter and moved into the role of Georgetown editor in June 2019.
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