Here are some takeaways from the MISD meeting Sept. 19:
1. Approved a waiver application to submit a schedule on state testing days
The MISD board members reapproved a waiver allowing a modified school schedule on state testing dates. The waiver allows students who are not participating in state testing—such as the PSAT, AP English I, AP English II and advanced U.S. history—to not attend school on the testing dates.
Sonja Lopez, MISD assistant superintendent of human resources, said the waiver is viable for three years, so board members will not have to approve the testing day schedule again for another three years. The board approved the testing day schedule to be Oct. 11, April 10, April 12 and May 10.
2. Student enrollment increased in the district
As of Sept. 15, Lopez reported that MISD has 8,741 students enrolled in the district. MISD’s in-district enrollment numbers have increased by approximately 4 percent since the 2016-17 academic year. Moreover, the district’s open enrollment numbers show an over 5 percent growth. Enrollment numbers will be calculated for the final time in late October.
3. Lake Creek High School intended to be a ninth- through eleventh-grade campus
Superintendent Beau Rees announced that the district intends to make the new Lake Creek High School—which is scheduled to open August 2018—a ninth- through eleventh-grade campus. Students who live in the Lake Creek High School attendance zone can apply for intra-district transfer if they wish to attend Montgomery High School instead of Lake Creek High School, Rees said.
Additionally, the district could potentially receive state funding for students who will attend Lake Creek High School, as well as students who attend Keenan Elementary School and Oak Hills Junior High School, Rees said.
Property-wealthy districts like MISD are typically not eligible for state funding; however, the Texas Education Agency recently approved property-wealthy districts for the New Instructional Facilities Allotment program, Rees said. This means that MISD is eligible to apply to receive $1,000 per student at a new school to offset costs of the facility.
4. Board approves change of scope to Lincoln Elementary School renovations
In April, MISD announced that the scheduled August 2017 opening of Lincoln Elementary School—previously Montgomery Intermediate School—would be postponed due to a Chapter 41 recapture payment of an estimated $3.5 million. During Tuesday’s board meeting, an agenda item asked for board approval for a change of scope for the school’s renovations.
Chief Operating Officer Bobby Morris said additional project renovations can exceed no more than $786,236 with the board approving the agenda item. Additional renovations include adding casework like cabinetries and drawers, installing new library furnishings, cleaning and treatment of hard air ducts, and replacing flexible air ducts. Morris said funds for the project extension come from the 2015 bond referendum and unused funds from other district projects.
"We have tried to make it a board priority throughout the process and planning that we make sure our schools are equitable,” Rees said. “This will be money well-spent, and we will be very appreciative in the long run."