Waxahachie ISD board members approved campus rezoning plans for the elementary and junior high levels during their meeting Monday night.

As recommended by the administration, board members approved option No. 16 for the elementaries and option No. 8 for the junior high campuses.

“A lot of work went into this. We’ve listened during the forums; we’ve made adjustments,” superintendent Tom Collins said. “We’ve tried to put out the most equitable and fair plans we could.”

The rezoning plans are in coordination with previously approved campus reconfigurations effective for the 2011-2012 school year that will see the kindergartens moved to their home campuses, which will serve through the fifth grade. Clift Middle School is being renovated as an elementary, joining Dunaway, Felty, Northside, Shackelford and Wedgeworth as elementary campuses. Marvin Elementary will serve as a pre-kindergarten campus. Finley Seventh Grade Center and Howard Eighth Grade Center will serve sixth- through eighth-grades each. The elementary rezoning will allow those campuses to serve as feeders to the two junior highs.

Detailed information is available on the district’s website www.wisd.org.

The district also designated up to $11 million out of fund balance toward the renovations, with the first $2 million to come from old bond money. Expectations are that the work will come in at a lesser cost than the amount being set aside.

In other business, Tom Lueck of Huckabee and Associates, the district’s architectural firm, provided updates on the stadium work and other projects as approved under the last bond program.

The contractors have made up the days lost to bad weather earlier this year, with the projects on schedule, he said.

Waiver for bad weather days

The board approved a waiver application for three of the five days (Feb. 1-4 and Feb. 9) lost to inclement weather earlier this year.

Two of the days lost to the bad weather will be made up on the previously scheduled bad weather days: May 2 and May 23.

“We’re confident we’ll get it,” deputy superintendent David Truitt said. “We know (other) districts have gotten it.”

Budget

Assistant superintendent of finance Teresa Thomas updated the board on budget matters, reporting it’s still not known as to what state Legislature’s final budget will be.

In addition to the pending cuts, there remains a possibility the state’s August payment may be split, with part of it sent in August and the remainder in September. The district also won’t see its “settle-up” money for student growth in the 2010-2011 school year until later in the fall.

WISD has about $26 million in its fund balance. With the designation of $11 million toward the campus reconfigurations, that leaves about $15 million, representing about three months’ worth of expenses and the state’s recommended amount to maintain.

“We’re in uncharted waters,” said board member Max Simpson, noting the financial uncertainties facing public education. “We need to continue to strive to watch what we do.”

Dr. Joe Langley, board president, praised the administration, in particular, Thomas, for having the district in the good financial shape it’s in at this time. He noted media reports that a number of districts were meeting Monday night to announce plans for layoffs in light of the expected state cuts in funding for public education.

“It’s a sinking boat for those districts without a fund balance,” Simpson said.

Board approvals

Board members approved several other agenda items before them, including:

• selling surplus district inventory at auction

• nominations for the Texas Association of School Board’s Media Honor Roll (Neal White and JoAnn Livingston of the Daily Light and Ken Roberts of KBEC 1390)

• out of town travel for four WISD Destination Imagination teams to compete at state

The board also received reports on a new curriculum-related program, the 2011-2012 calendar and the move to end-of-course testing, which starts next year.

Contact JoAnn at joann@wninews.com or 469-517-1452.