Trustees consider 27 new Katy ISD positions, and other takeaways from the Monday, Oct. 17 board meeting

Oct. 17 Katy ISD board of trustees meeting The Katy ISD board of trustees discussed numerous agenda items during its Oct. 17 work study meeting.[/caption]

The Katy ISD board of trustees held its October work study meeting on Monday, Oct. 17.

Throughout the roughly 75-minute session, the group discussed numerous agenda items, most of which were to be considered for future board approval. Ten of 11 discussion and action items were moved to the consent agenda for next Monday’s regular board meeting, with the outlier requiring further deliberation. All seven board members as well as Superintendent Lance Hindt were in attendance.

Here are the key takeaways from the meeting.

1. A District of Innovation public hearing is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 18. 


The board announced that it will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 6 p.m. on exploring a District of Innovation designation for KISD.

State law required that the public hearing be held within 30 days of the board passing a resolution to pursue the designation, which it did at the Sept. 26 meeting. If the board decides to continue the DOI designation process after the public hearing, a committee must be formed to guide the planning aspect.

Board President Rebecca Fox said she is looking forward to receiving community feedback at Tuesday's public hearing.

"It'll give us an opportunity to demonstrate what it is and what it isn't, and then we'll hear from [the public]," she said. "We're hoping that people will come and tell us what they want."

2. District residents identified TEKS standards, local control and voucher programs as top legislative priorities in 2017. 


Andrea Grooms, KISD's chief officer for communications, governmental relations and administrative support, presented the board with a report from the district's Legislative Priorities Feedback Survey. The survey—available online between Sept. 20 and Oct. 2—was intended to gauge the community's sentiments regarding KISD's priorities heading into the next state legislative session, which begins in January.

According to the results presented by Grooms, the survey received over 3,500 responses. Top areas of concern included Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills—or TEKS—standards, local control and voucher programs.

Henry Dibrell, the board's sergeant-at-arms and the chair of the district's Legislative Priorities Advisory Committee, said he was not surprised by the survey results. In addition to convening several times in the coming months, the committee will host a town hall meeting Wednesday, Oct. 26 to allow community members to provide even more input, he said. District officials said the committee is expected to recommend official KISD legislative priorities to the board by the end of November.

"We'll present [the survey results] to the committee on Wednesday night and see what they think, and then open up the opportunity for our community to come and talk about it and see where everybody's at," Dibrell said.

3. Board members will further deliberate the creation of 25 positions in special education and ESL. They also approved two new major administrative positions. 


The board discussed but did not move to its Oct. 24 consent agenda the approval of 25 positions for English as a Second Language and special education programs. The item will require further deliberation among trustees at next Monday's meeting.

According to Chris Smith, KISD's chief financial officer, adding the teacher and support staff positions would not have a negative effect on the district's budget because the additional revenue KISD would receive from expanding ESL and special education programs would offset the costs associated with new personnel.

The board did move to next Monday's consent agenda the approval of two new positions at Hindt's recommendation: Deputy Superintendent and General Counsel.

Hindt said the Deputy Superintendent would serve as the chief administrator in his absence and work as the head liaison between several different campuses and departments, and the General Counsel would provide the district with an instrumental resource in the field of law. The positions are necessities for a district as large as KISD, he said.

"I think that it'll actually save the district money in the long term because it's going to be a realignment of duties within the district," Hindt said.

4. District performance objectives are headed for approval. 


The board agreed to the future approval of the official District and Campus Performance Objectives. The objectives—which encompass the entire district but are also broken down by individual campuses and students—emphasize year-over-year student improvement on assessments. District officials said KISD's objectives are based on standards that exceed state recommendations.

5. The budget will be amended by $1 million. 


The board also agreed to the future approval of more than $1 million in budget amendments. Included in the amendments is roughly $135,500 that would go toward the initial phase of the installation of cameras in special education classrooms.

State law mandates that cameras must be installed in special education classrooms at parental request, and KISD officials said the $135,500 would cover the number of requests to-date. The board also moved to next week's consent agenda several updates to its Board Policy Manual, one of which ensures the district complies with the special education classroom camera mandate.


MOST RECENT

According to the county, Fort Bend is the No. 1 per capita fully-vaccinated county jurisdiction in the state with 51.54% of residents recorded. (Courtesy UH College of Nursing)
Fort Bend leads Texas in vaccination efforts according to state data, county says

According to the county, Fort Bend is the No. 1 per capita fully-vaccinated county jurisdiction in the state with 51.54% of residents recorded.

Imperio Wine & Spirits sells a variety of liquor, beer, wine and spirits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Imperio Wine & Spirits opens in Katy; Montgomery Chick-fil-A to open dining room and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

The Social Pub and Grill's menu features burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and bar food. (Courtesy The Social Pub and Grill)
The Social Pub and Grill to open location in Fulshear

The Social Pub and Grill will open its second location at the end of the summer at Cross Creek Commons in Fulshear.

Imperio Wine & Spirits sells a variety of liquor, beer, wine and spirits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Imperio Wine & Spirits now open in Katy

Imperio Wine & Spirits, a family-owned and operated liquor store, opened March 30 at 25824 Clay Road, Ste. D, Katy.

See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year

While some school districts in the Greater Houston area are doing away with face mask requirements and virtual schooling completely, others are pivoting to continue offering online learning options for students and plan to require face masks.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Hwy. 36A has not been approved as a project, so the route of the road has not been decided. However, this map shows the study area for the road. (Courtesy Highway 36A Coalition)
TxDOT, advocacy group look at feasibility of Hwy. 36A corridor through Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller counties

The Highway 36A Coalition is hoping to get the road placed on HGAC's 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.

Katy ISD Partners in Education has launched the first ever Food for Families-School's Out campaign. (Courtesy Katy ISD Partners in Education)
Katy ISD’s Partners in Education expands Food for Families program to include summer break

Katy ISD’s Partners in Education is asking the community to help support families in need of extra help this summer by supporting the Food for Families program.

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to last April with 9,105 units sold versus 6,175 a year earlier. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
HAR: Houston-area home sales in April up 47% compared to last year

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to April 2020.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications will open May 17 for small businesses seeking monetary relief through Fort Bend County's small business emergency grant program because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy Pexels)
New funding available soon for small businesses hit by COVID-19 in Fort Bend County

Small businesses in Fort Bend County that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can soon apply for up to $25,000 in relief due to new funding made available by the county.