Board Notes: June 13, 2023

Presentations and Recognitions

Denton ISD’s Board of School Trustees recognized several groups and individuals at Tuesday night’s meeting, including Ryan High School students Emily Stanley, Amoren Newton and Josiah Taylor. Trustees also recognized the Guyer High School Theatre Department.

Emily has been named a finalist in the nationwide Congressional High School Art Competition. This juried contest is open to all public, private and home-schooled students residing and or attending school in the 26th Congressional District of Texas. 

Amoren was named the Best Performer at the Class 5A UIL state One Act Play competition. Amoren’s role in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” earned him the prestigious honor.

Josiah won the 5A State Championship in the 100-meter dash. Josiah completed the race, which was held at the University of Texas at Austin, in 10.39 seconds.

Guyer High School Theatre won Broadway Dallas’ most outstanding musical award for its production of Anastasia at the 12th annual Broadway Dallas Theater Awards. Guyer also won awards for Outstanding Music Direction and Outstanding Lead Performer. No other theatre program or production scored as many points in as many major categories. 

 

Denton ISD Honors Longtime Trustee Dr. Jim Alexander 

Denton ISD’s Board of School Trustees celebrated the service of Dr. Jim Alexander at a board meeting on Tuesday night, which marked the end of his 30-year tenure as a trustee.

Since being elected in 1993, Dr. Alexander has served as Board President twice and Board Secretary twice. Dr. Alexander won 10 consecutive elections over the past three decades. He did not seek reelection in May. 

Additionally, Denton ISD also installed a new trustee – Lori Tays – who is replacing the outgoing Dr. Jim Alexander. The district also swore in Dr. Patricia Sosa-Sanchez, who won her reelection bid last month. 

 

Budget, Compensation for 2023-2024 Fiscal Year Approved

Denton ISD’s Board of School Trustees adopted and approved the district’s 2023-2024 fiscal year budget at a meeting on Tuesday night. 

The district’s 2023-2024 budget consists of $333 million in total general operating fund expenditures and $315 million in total general operating fund revenues. 

The budget incorporates a three percent raise for all employee groups, except for administrative professionals, who will receive a two percent raise. Unlike in previous years, however, these raises are based on employees’ current salaries, rather than the midpoint. This pay increase positively affects 2,500 of our experienced teachers and librarians.

 

Benefits Change for 2023-2024

On May 25, Denton ISD was informed that TSHBP’s reinsurance carrier has declined to continue coverage for Denton ISD and 51 additional school districts. Their decision to severe the relationship was based on utilization data for the 10 months of service provided and the cost of the policy to reinsure. Employees who currently have the policy remain insured until Aug. 31 or an alternative solution is reached.

Trustees approved a Board Resolution authorizing the Superintendent to proceed with securing coverage based on information received over the next few weeks. Granting Dr. Wilson the limited authority to negotiate, may give the district an advantage when organizations present cost-effective, viable solutions that could be time sensitive. It may accelerate our timeline and help alleviate any undue stress or worry this short-term inconvenience may cause for our staff. 

School District employees (existing and new) habitually complete their benefits package each summer and we are still within the normal window as far as our enrollment period is concerned.

Chris Bomberger, executive director of child nutrition, risk management and benefits, continues to receive information and proposals from other providers including Baylor Scott & White; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; Cigna Health Services; Texas Health Resources and United Healthcare Services. 

Denton ISD will provide access to health care coverage for all employees and more information will be available in the next few weeks.

 

Leadership 2023-2024

Dr. Jeremy Thompson, superintendent of Ponder ISD, will serve as the Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations. He joins the district following the retirement of Dr. Scott Niven at the end of the summer.

Following the closure of the K-8 Virtual Academy, Caleb Leath has been named the principal of Ginnings Elementary. Dr. Claudia Calvo-Montes will lead Gonzalez School for Young Children following the retirement of Felicia Spraberry.

 

Bond Sale for 2023 Capital Improvement Plan

The 2023 Bond Program will be implemented without an I&S tax rate increase, as approved by voters on May 6, 2023 The Series 2023 Bonds will initially be structured with annual principal payments over the next 30 years (i.e. final maturity of August 2053). However, Denton ISD will have the flexibility to prepay the bonds before scheduled maturity, without penalty.

Projects funded from the 2023 Bond Program will be financed over their useful lives for example technology, devices, buses and furniture, fixture and equipment (FFE) will be financed in shorter-term debt to match their shorter life expectancy.

Through aggressive debt management practices, Denton ISD has refinanced debt and reduced the cost of voter-approved bonds providing taxpayers with more than $311.2 million of direct savings since year 2005. 

 

Other Items of Note - Discussed/Approved

Intruder Detection Audit Report Summary

Student & Parent Handbook for 2023-2024

Student Code of Conduct for 2023-2024

Chromebook/Device Refresh Purchase for 2022-2023