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Board Meeting: February 9, 2021
BOARD NOTES – February 9, 2021
Dr. Matt Richardson provided the Board with an update in the Covid vaccine process and the Denton County Hub vaccine site at Texas Motor Speedway.
Discussion of Employee Benefits 403(b), IRS 457 Accounts and Property Insurance
Chris Bomberger, Exec. Director of Risk Management provided the Board of Trustees with information on changes within the employee benefits offerings. The proposed change from National Plan Administrator (NPA) to National Benefit Services (NBS) as a third-party administration of 403(b) accounts and the additional offering of IRS 457 accounts. Chris also outlined the spring calendar events for Property Insurance Request for Proposals.
The District has contracted with NPA to provide third party administrator services for the 403(b) plans since 1998 and the proposal is to offer employees a digital platform through an existing partner NBS. NBS, who currently offers Denton ISD employees Medical Flexible Spending and Dependent Care accounts, offers online features and training opportunities that are currently not available. The ease of utilizing the NBS online portal allows employees the opportunity to make changes, take out loans and manage their long-term financial plans with ease. NBS currently offers services to 600+ school districts within Texas and partners with Teacher’s Pension for the training of educators without pressure on product selection. Teacher’s Pension supports districts in creating an environment that advocates for a dignified retirement for all district employees through the delivery of no-cost "Retirement Education", so each employee can make informed decisions regarding their retirement.
Denton ISD has partnered with TASB for property insurance since 2001. In 2018 TASB began limiting the coverage available on DISD’s locations with single ply roofs. The base rate for property insurance coverage has risen by almost 14% per year for the past two consecutive years. For 17-18, the rate increase was 25%. Those rate increases, along with the additional coverage needed on single ply roofs, necessitated the need to look at the property insurance marketplace for potential cost savings.
Discussion of Budget for 2021- 2022
Dr. Scott Niven, Chief Financial Officer and Jennifer Stewart, Director of Budgeting reviewed the various data used in preparing the next school year’s budget. Jennifer reviewed the timeline of expected information leading up to June 22, 2021 Board meeting when the budget is adopted. Dr. Niven and Ms. Stewart also reviewed the summary of Fund Balance, Covid related expenses, comparisons of certified property values and the tax rates along with enrollment projections.
Discussion of Legislative Updates for the 87th Legislative Session
Deron Robinson, General Counsel and Dr. Gwen Perkins, Area Superintendent provided updates and resources to the Board of Trustees regarding the 87th Legislative Session.
Discussion of K8 Virtual Academy
Dr. Lacey Rainey, Area Superintendent provided the Board of Trustees with information regarding the development of a K-8 Virtual Academy for the 2021+-2022 school year. The K-8 Virtual Academy will allow Denton ISD to provide an exemplary virtual education to students who wish to remain or engage in that modality. K-8 teachers will be able to focus on and specialize in one modality. Currently we have 2520 Elementary Connected Learning students and 1750 Middle School Connected Learning students. The purpose of developing an on-line academy is to:
- Provide an option for connected families, currently engaged and successful in the Denton ISD, who still have health concerns and prevent students from leaving the district for other options.
- Reconnect with families and students who may have selected homeschool or disengaged with Denton ISD for a different form of instruction.
- Allow teachers to continue to specialize in a virtual modality of instruction.
Human Resources, the Business Office, and Academic Programs are discussing target numbers for students and staffing needs. Human Resources is developing a profile and teacher interest process for prospective Virtual Academy teachers and Human Resources is developing a profile for K-8 Virtual Principal and will post the position for internal candidates. Communications will establish marketing and pertinent community information and a principal for the K-8 Virtual Academy will be named.
3rd Period Attendance Report
Angela Ricks, Director of Student Support Services, provided the Board a report with campus and district ADA percentages for the 3rd Reporting Period of the 2020-2021 school year (November 16, 2020 through January 15, 2021) and to compare this data to prior years. This report will also identify current truancy prevention measures being used on Denton ISD campuses to increase student attendance. There are 30 instructional days in this 3rd Reporting Period. The district ADA % for 2020-2021 Reporting Period 3 is 96.72%, this is an increase from last school year when the ADA % was 95.47%.
According to the data currently in eSchoolPlus, EP Rayzor had the highest ADA percentage for elementary campuses in Denton ISD at 98.93%. Harpool had the highest ADA percentage for middle school campuses in Denton ISD at 99.57%. Braswell had the highest ADA percentage for high school campuses in Denton ISD at 97.39%. Sparks, an alternative campus, had an ADA percentage of 97.65%.
Consider Approval of Employee Benefits 403(b)/457 National Benefit Services (NBS).
Motion by Doug Chadwick and seconded by Patsy Sosa-Sanchez To approve the existing contract with National Plan Administrators be terminated per the previsions of the contract. It is further recommended that Denton ISD contract with National Benefits Services (NBS) as the Third-Party Administrator overseeing the 403b accounts as well as implement 457 IRS sanctioned, taxadvantaged employee retirement plans on behalf of the employees of Denton ISD. This recommendation also includes a financial education component provided by Teacher’s Pension in conjunction with NBS. The motion passed unanimously of Board members present and voting.
Consider Approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price for Sandbrock Ranch Elementary School. Motion by Mia Price and seconded by Patsy Sosa-Sanchez To approve of the Guaranteed Maximum Price of $27,555,555.00 submitted by Balfour Beatty for the construction of the Elementary #25, plus additional owner costs of $988,553.50 for a total construction cost of $28,544,108.50. This project will be funded from the 2018 Bond Authorization. The motion passed unanimously of Board members present and voting.
The Board of Trustees recognized the Ryan High School Football team and coaches on their State Championship win.
- On Friday, Jan. 15, the Ryan High Football team earned the school’s third state championship, winning the 2020 5A Division I title game against Cedar Park High School. The win capped a perfect season, finishing with a perfect 15-0 record. School history was made during the Texas University Interscholastic League’s 100th Celebration, as this is the third state title for the program. The Ryan High program includes 98 players on varsity and junior varsity, 14 trainers/student trainers and is supported by 31 coaches, including high school, middle school, and scouting support. Ten student athletes were recognized as Academic All-State students. Six team members signed national letters of intent on Feb. 3 to play at the college level.
- Dave Henigan, varsity head football coach of the Ryan High School, has been named the 2020 Tom Landry Coach of the Year. Given annually since 1991, Coach Henigan is the 31st recipient of the prestigious award. Senior quarterback Seth Henigan, who graduated early and is playing football at The University of Memphis, won the game’s Offensive MVP award. Senior defensive back Ty Marsh, a University of Hawaii commit, garnered Defensive MVP honors.