Conroe ISD trustees approve remote learning plan, 2020-21 tax rate

Conroe ISD's board of trustees met for a regular meeting Sept. 15. (Screenshot via Conroe ISD YouTube)
Conroe ISD's board of trustees met for a regular meeting Sept. 15. (Screenshot via Conroe ISD YouTube)

Conroe ISD's board of trustees met for a regular meeting Sept. 15. (Screenshot via Conroe ISD YouTube)

Conroe ISD's fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate, which represents a 1.42% decrease over the district's current rate, was unanimously approved by the board of trustees during its regular meeting Sept. 15.

The approved rate of $1.2125 per $100 of taxable property valuation consists of $0.9525 per $100 valuation for maintenance and operations and $0.26 per $100 valuation for debt service, as calculated by the Texas Education Agency. The tax rate will support the district's budgeted $576.99 million in general fund spending approved through its FY 2020-21 budget in August.

While the tax rate itself decreased year over year, CISD Chief Financial Officer Darrin Rice previously noted that the district's certified property values increased by more than 5.7% since last year, meaning some homeowners with higher valuations may pay more in taxes this tax year. According to district information, certified values in CISD have increased by an average of 7.14% annually since 2010.

Prior to passing the district's new tax rate, trustees also discussed CISD's asynchronous instructional plan for the 2020-21 school year. The plan is a new requirement mandated by the TEA this year in order for districts to receive a waiver for full funding based on average daily attendance while allowing portions of the student body remain remote, asynchronous learners.

Deputy superintendent Chris Hines said the district opted for its chosen asynchronous model for remote learners to allow for additional flexibility for students and educators. Additional adaptability provided through the asynchronous plan includes options for periods of live, synchronous class when desired in addition to self-paced lessons and preassigned or after-hours work based on student preferences, Hines said.


The plan was developed by a team of more than a dozen district staff members and focuses on four components aimed at meeting the TEA's requirements including the new instructional schedule, design of materials, student progress and implementation.

After presentations by Hines and Jeff Fuller, the district's director of school improvement and leadership transformation, Superintendent Curtis Null also noted the necessity of the temporary plan for the district's finances and operations in supporting the nearly one-third of CISD students enrolled remotely this fall.

“It’s for funding purposes, but really what it is, is it’s to allow us to have online school. Without approving this plan, we would be contacting 20,000 families saying, ‘You now have to return face-to-face whether you want to or not,'" Null said. “They’ve never allowed us to have online education in the past, and there is no mechanism for them to allow us to have it in the future. This is a one-year only proposition.”

After the board approved the asynchronous learning plan, Hines also shared an update on the district's planning for the opening of Hope Elementary School in August 2021 and the rezoning process associated with the new Caney Creek feeder zone campus. Hines said a staff attendance boundary committee had been formed to consider the 950-student elementary school's attendance zones and that community feedback will be solicited throughout the fall before final zoning recommendations are shared with the board in January.
By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 and is a reporter for The Woodlands edition.


MOST RECENT

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

Additionally, a free drive-thru testing site will be set up in Todd Mission on Sept. 19.

Montgomery County will now include antigen cases in its total case counts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County to begin including antigen positive cases in COVID-19 daily reports

Antigen cases will now be included in total case counts. However, a breakdown of antigen versus PCR cases will be available.

Amazon 4-star's in-store offerings include books, games, electronics and home products. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon launches 4-star retail store at The Woodlands Mall

The tech company's physical location is stocked with highly rated products from its digital storefront.

Commercial data: Retail, office and industrial vacancies increase in The Woodlands area in August

See how vacancies and rental rates change from month to month in retail, office and industrial sectors in The Woodlands area.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

The Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
Houston Food Bank: COVID-19 pandemic amplifies already-high food insecurity rates across region

Before COVID-19, the Houston Food Bank distributed about 400,000 pounds of food daily. That number has since increased to about 1 million pounds a day.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Entergy announces system updates, improvements through 2020 following widespread power outages

A total of 136,552 outages were reported in Montgomery County last month after Hurricane Laura affected the overall grid.

Vehicles drive alongside the Tomball Tollway in Harris County. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Newly formed corporation could divert Harris County toll road revenue to non-mobility projects

A new limited government corporation formed by Harris County Sept. 15 could result in surplus revenue from the Harris County Toll Road Authority going to other county needs outside of the realm of transportation and mobility.

Owner and operator Manuel Buchanan is joined by his wife and two daughters when training dogs. (Courtesy K9 PW Training and Boarding)
Learn about K9 PW Training and Boarding, a facility in The Woodlands area that offers coaching, lodging for local dogs

Courses include boarding and training programs lasting between one and four weeks. The business accepts any dogs that are not overly aggressive, and training begins following a free, family-involved evaluation.