The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees had its first look at the interior design of North Grove Elementary during the Monday night workshop.

Corgan vice-president David Safir estimated a good manufacturing practice price would be presented at the April board meeting. At that time, the board will decide on a groundbreaking ceremony date.

A presentation showcased a rendering of the exterior of the main entrance that closely resembled the front of Waxahachie High School. A floor plan displayed all play areas would be fenced off with interior and exterior security cameras.

Rebekah Broadfoot, the project's architect, explained the committee comprised of WISD staff wanted to establish a comforting and welcoming environment with warm tones with natural textures and geometric patterns. Pops of color are seen in the ceiling tile with fun, white wavy textured hallways that are balanced with wood.

“It’s a pretty warm pallet with some wood tones in there and the pops of color that shouldn’t be too trendy where it can last over time and is neutral,” Broadfoot explained.

A new feature is the activity pods that are built in the hallways for kindergarten through third-grade, as well as on the second level for fourth through fifth-grade.

Whiteboard space with flat panels for students to interact with each other would be installed in all classrooms as well.

The board also conversed about hiring a new project manager for the North Grove Elementary and Agriscience facilities. After the discussion, Shelle Blaylock, WISD Assistant Superintendent of Leadership and Academics, explained financial literacy is implemented through math and social study courses.

Jacob Perry, WISD Director of Facilities and Operations, received data from an engineer who conducted a traffic study around Wilemon STEAM Academy. That individual recommended pavement markings that exist on the crosswalk on Second Street be touched up. Additionally, four 20-mile-per-hour reduced speed flashing signals for a school zone will be installed at the intersections of Ross and Harbin, Ross and Bryson, Bryson and Marvin and Second and Harbin.

The discussion then turned to vaping among students, which trustee Melissa Starnater thinks has become an epidemic and thought it essential to discuss the matter as a board.

Lee Auvenshine, WISD Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and Legal Services, expressed some vaping devices do contain THC oil, which is a felony and is an expellable offense.

The board also briefly discussed an update on the agriscience facility, the 2017 safety and security audit and the Texas Association of School Boards Legislative Conference.

The workshop is routinely held before the regular session and highlights potential action to be taken by the board at future meetings. It is also a time for the board to speak freely and discuss matters related to the district and its students. There is no action from the workshop.

REGULAR SESSION

The trustees followed the workshop by meeting for the regular monthly meeting.

The board was promptly debriefed on an employee-only survey that covered 13 categories across the district. The board was also updated on future growth that suggests the establishment of a 10th elementary campus. The soon-to-be-constructed Northgrove Elementary will be the ninth in Waxahachie ISD.

In January, 880 WISD employees (67 percent) took the survey that included questions ranging from job satisfaction, district communication and campus environment.

Janelle Guillory, assistant director of HR Services with TASB, presented the final report from the employee survey. In each category, she recounted the highest and lowest rated questions.

Guillory stated the report reflected 99 percent of surveyors like the work, while 89 percent would recommend their campus or department.

The largest gap was in the curriculum and instruction category with 94 percent of teachers agreeing they are held to high standards, while 59 percent believe teachers of special populations get adequate resources.

“This is common to see a lower percent on that item on the 'special populations' question," Guillory explained. "Like pay, this could be impacted by communication or resources provided across a number of areas. So it’s important to look at as a district since you know the programs and initiatives the best.”

A total of 133 surveyors left comments at the conclusion of the survey where 60 accolades were gathered and predominately indicated WISD is an excellent place to work. Out of the 82 complaints, the consensus was that student discipline is unfair. A total of 31 suggestions were provided that predominately pertained to technology advancements.

GROWING DEMOGRAPHICS

Rocky Gardiner with Templeton Demographics presented a demographic forecast for 2019-20. It was projected WISD would enroll 10,000 students by 2021.

It was reported the total home sales within Waxahachie ISD have increased by approximately 75 percent over the past eight years, also noting the number of new-home sales has tripled since 2010.

Data displayed showed that, in 2018, a new home within WISD cost about $318,743 and existing homes averaged a listing price around $241,729. Furthermore, the price of a new home in WISD has doubled since 2010, while existing homes have increased by 66.2 percent.

Information gathered reflected the district has more than 900 lots available to build on, with more than 19,500 planned future lots.

“That’s where Lonesome Dove is with 1,100 lots," Gardiner noted. "So we’ve got 1,100 lots under development and that’s where the next round of growth will come from.”

“From these numbers, you’re telling us that we are going to need another elementary school by 2023?,” asked Board President Dusty Autrey.

Gardiner responded, “If you want to keep your campuses at an 85 percent capacity, I would target 2023.”

Texas Association of School Boards employee opinion survey

Working conditions

Feel secure in employment — 93 percent

Workload is appropriate for position — 78 percent

Compensation and benefits

Leave time is adequate — 90 percent

Receive help with benefits questions — 90 percent

Pay is fair for the work — 55 percent

Relationship with supervisor

Allowed to make decisions within scope of authority — 88 percent

Supervisor clearly explains district decisions — 83 percent

District communications

District shares important news and events — 91 percent

Have way to express concerns to leaders — 72 percent

District leadership

Trust leader to act in student best interests — 84 percent

Believe leaders value employees of WISD — 81 percent

Relationship with the board of trustees

Board of trustee committed to creating conditions for student success — 87 percent

Board of trustees visible, approachable, and positive ambassadors — 83 percent

Campus environment

Principal treats them with respect — 92 percent

Principal effective in leading toward goals — 84 percent

Curriculum and instruction

Teachers held to high standards — 94 percent

Believe teachers of special populations get adequate resources —59 percent

Student discipline

Receive assistance with disciplinary issues — 81 percent

Code of conduct enforced consistently and fairly — 71 percent

*Information gathered by TASB

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450