The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees continued discussions about establishing a tenth elementary during a Monday workshop ahead of the regular monthly meeting.

Templeton Demographics previously informed the district that the latest student-population forecast shows a new elementary school should be constructed by 2023.

At the Monday workshop trustees were informed that every campus currently within the district has a set beautification plan and that parents may see some changes in the automated attendance call system in the future.

Despite North Grove opens in 2020, WISD is projected to be at 93.5 functional capacity for all nine elementary campuses, which is approximately 300 empty seats.

Waxahachie ISD interim superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain noted the 2017 Long Range Planning Committee recommended a ninth elementary school be constructed immediately and the 10th on an as-need basis.

The board book read that Ryan Kahlden, WISD Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, spoke with Doug Whitt, Waxahachie ISD financial planner, who stated that the district would be able to sell $27 million in bonds with no tax rate increase in three to four years to fund a 10th elementary school.

CAMPUS BEAUTIFICATION

Jacob Perry, WISD Director of Facilities and Operations, structured and reorganized the maintenance schedule to ensure all facilities are safe, clean and accessible. The plan touches on parking lots, flooring, paint, playgrounds and HVAC.

Perry noted the “campus beautification” fund that could be allotted to different campuses annually.

“It has become pull and grab from,” Perry said. "This plan will help us say, 'Hey, this year it is for Shackelford.' So over Christmas, we did the first phase of painting for Shackelford. Shackelford needs a new PA system, and a PA system could come out of that.”

ATTENDANCE

Shelle Blaylock, WISD Assistant Superintendent of Leadership and Academics, presented an informative overview of the automated attendance system that communicates daily at 6 p.m. to inform parents of the periods of the day their child was absent.

Blaylock informed the board that “there are inconsistencies with the calls” and software conflicts that are recording incorrect information.

Cain suggested changing the times that parents are notified for secondary and elementary campuses so parents with younger children would be communicated with first.

INSTRUCTION

The instructional materials allotment, appropriated from the state every biennium, requires districts to purchase educational materials and technology. The 2019 proclamation will be dedicated to English and Spanish language arts, handwriting, spelling, as well as, English Learners language arts and personal financial literacy.

Last year the allotment focused on Career Technical Education, other languages, English and outbreak reasoning for about $450,000.

The approval for these materials will be voted on next month.

PROJECT UPDATE

Mikeal Craig, Waxahachie ISD Support Services Coordinator, serves as the project manager of the North Grove Elementary and Ron Appleton Agriscience Facility projects and provided an update.

“They are doing a fantastic job, and they are moving dirt,” said Craig while he panned through a slide show that displayed the Agriscience progress.

The community celebrated the groundbreaking on March 22 on the Waxahachie High School campus. Realistically the facility should be completed within 11-12 months.

The North Grove Elementary project is moving along with road construction to the northwest of the site, and in less than two weeks, Craig should have final numbers for construction. The estimated completion date is June 2020.

RENTER'S POLICY UPDATE

Perry has spent the past few months revising the renter's policy agreement from 2009. Perry stated that historically the district has prohibited renting out competition gyms and will continue to do so, except for George W. Solis Gym.

Community theater programs and recreational sports groups have requested to use WISD facilities. Perry said nonprofits should be allowed to use facilities for little or no cost for hosting programs. Perry would like a memorandum of understanding for these events.

- - - - - - 

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450