Board Notes: April 11, 2023

Presentations and Recognitions

Denton ISD’s Board of School Trustees recognized the LaGrone Academy’s cosmetology program at Tuesday night’s meeting. 

First, trustees recognized LaGrone’s cosmetology program as a whole. 

A school program rarely enters two dozen students in a state-wide contest and has all entries either win or place in the top three. The LaGrone cosmetology program made that history recently. What started as a class for students who may have just believed this to be a hobby is now translating into a very engaging career path for many.

Because of their outstanding instructors and talented students, trustees wanted to celebrate their success as an entire program. 

Lastly, trustees recognized the 24 LaGrone Academy students who placed at the SkillsUSA state cosmetology competition. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

The SkillsUSA competition promotes leadership and trade excellence in a competitive situation and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate basic skills of their field. The competitions begin at the local level with contests in classrooms nationwide, followed by district, state, national and even the WorldSkills events.

In addition to showcasing their skills in their field, students frequently make job contacts and have a chance of recognition. District, state and national winners receive gold, silver and bronze medallions, scholarships, tools and other awards.

Of the 24 Denton ISD students who placed, 22 finished first. Every student who competed in the job exhibition brought either a photo panel of their work or presented their work via a mannequin or other medium. Each student also brought a binder that corresponded with their project. Students who competed in esthetics competed on-site with a client, providing make-up and facials.


Workshop Items

Discussion of Denton ISD Virtual Academy 

Denton ISD Virtual Academy Principal Caleb Leath provided an overview of current enrollment in the Virtual Academy, as well as information for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. Mr. Leath explained how the school operates, including school schedules, subjects and electives offered. In addition, students are able to engage in clubs to participate in. Mr. Leath went on to explain that the Virtual Academy is unique in that it is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, giving teachers the opportunity to connect with students. All grade levels have seen an increase in their reading on grade level percentage year-to-date versus when the school year began. Based on parent/guardian feedback, 88.5% indicated they were very satisfied with their educational experience at the Virtual Academy. 

Discussion of 2023-2024 Budget 

Denton ISD Executive Director of Budget Jennifer Stewart gave an update on the basic allotment increase scenarios, local tax collections/state funding, average daily attendance and a legislative update. Ms. Stewart noted that Denton ISD has lowered the total tax rate $0.195 cents since 2017-2018, lowering the M&O tax rate from 1.06 down to 0.8646, currently. Lastly, Ms. Stewart highlighted some of the bills the district is monitoring during the 88th Legislative Session, including HB1, HB2, SB3 and SB4. SB3, if approved, would increase the homestead exemption to $70,000. 

Legislative Updates for the 88th Legislative Session 

Denton ISD General Counsel Deron Robinson gave an update on the 88th Legislative Session. Mr. Robinson discussed as of April 7, 98 education bills have passed out of committee and 14 education bills have passed out of the originating chamber. Thirty-three education bills are scheduled for a hearing the week of April 10. Bills the district is watching include House Bill 1, which includes $17 billion for property tax relief. HB1 passed the house to the senate on a 136 to 10 vote on April 6. House Bill 100 would establish a minimum salary schedule for classroom teachers and other specific school employees. HB100 was heard in a public hearing on April 4. Other bills Denton ISD is watching include House Bill 3, House Bill 5, Senate Bill 8, Senate Bill 9, and Senate Bill 3. 


Report Items

Announcement of Board Continuing Education Hours 

Since 1996, the State Board of Education (SBOE) rule has required the board president to make a public announcement each year of the names of those board members who have completed the required continuing education, who has exceeded the required hours of continuing education, and who is deficient in meeting the required continuing education as of the anniversary of the date of each board member's election or appointment to the board. In June 2018, the Legislature amended the provisions to require that during the last regular meeting of the board of trustees before an election of trustees, the minutes reflect whether each board member has fulfilled their training requirements as of the date of the meeting.

Denton ISD Board President Mia Price announced each Denton ISD trustee has exceeded the State Board of Education requirement for the minimum number of hours required annually.