Spring ISD approves salary increases, makes facility changes

Spring ISD approved the purchase of a new central office building at the June 9 meeting. District staff will begin moving into the building, One Park Centre, in July. Spring ISD approved the purchase of a new central office building at the June 9 meeting. District staff will begin moving into the building, One Park Centre, in July.[/caption]

The Spring ISD board of trustees approved pay increases at the June 9 board meeting for the 2015-16 school year for teachers, crossing guards and bus drivers to provide competitive salaries to help attract and retain employees.

First-year teachers will receive a $51,500 salary, a $3,000 increase from last year, while current teachers will receive a proportional $3,260 bump in salary, or a 6 percent raise, district officials said. Bus drivers will see their hourly wage increase by $1.25 to $15.05 per hour while crossing guards can expect a $2 hike to $12 per hour.

“Our staff —especially our teachers, bus drivers and crossing guards— interact with our students every single day,” SISD Superintendent Rodney Watson said. “The work these staff members do is important, and I want to ensure that they are compensated at a level that is appropriate.”

The board has also approved several campus and district facility changes in recent months.

A fast-growing pre-kindergarten population has pushed SISD to uncouple Clark Primary School from Clark Intermediate School, two schools that had previously operated under the same administration. The two campuses have more than 1,700 combined students, which is too many for one principal to manage, SISD Chief Academic Officer Lupita Hinojosa said.

“The Pre-K population is exploding,” Hinojosa said.

Clark Primary School serves students from Pre-K through second grade while the intermediate campus across the street has third- to fifth-grade students. Under the new measure, the two campuses will now have separate attendance, discipline and accountability from the state as well as its own principal.
“The work these staff members do is important, and I want to ensure that they are compensated at a level that is appropriate.”
- Rodney Watson, Spring ISD superintendent

“One of the things in working with the academic officer is making sure there are communications of expectation of staff administration and staff so we understand what we needed from each grade level,” Watson said. “And making sure that each grade level is meeting expectations and setting a transition timeline for both schools so parents, teachers and administrators can understand the transition as well.”

The board voted to separate the two schools at the June 9 meeting. Additionally, the district approved two facility upgrades during closed-door sessions in March. SISD will renovate and repurpose its current Support Services Center to house its in-house Disciplinary Alternative Education Program.

Consulting firm Camelot Education was contracted to oversee the program, which works with 250 middle and high school students.

SISD also approved the purchase of a new central office building—called One Park Centre—at 14450 T.C. Jester Blvd. After outgrowing Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center, the district has been using portable buildings, and many departments are unable to be housed together, district officials said.

The district purchased the building for $35 per square foot. District officials said the building will require minimal renovations, and staff would begin making the move in July with the entire move staggered throughout the summer.
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