Board Meeting: March 2, 2021

BOARD NOTES – March 2, 2021

Workshop Items


Covid-19 Update

Dr. Richardson with Denton County Health Department stated Denton County had 13 deaths as of today. Denton County Health Department still recommends individuals to continue to wear masks and social distancing. Denton County TMS Hub received 27,000+ vaccines this week. Denton County is providing the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine


Discussion of Natural Disaster Facility Update

Chris Bomberger, Exec. Director of Risk Management and Paul Andress, Exec. Director of Operations provided the Board with an outline of the impact of the severe weather that occurred from Sunday, February 14 through Sunday, February 21, 2021. Chris and Paul provided current and future operational and fiscal implications of the damage done and repair needed along with the following: 


  • A summary of our property coverage and deductible with TASB
  • Collaboration in place with mitigation teams and TASB adjusters 
  • Steps taken and processes currently in place to mitigate, repair, evaluate and document damages
  • The probable cause and extent of damage to each campus impacted
  • Review projected timelines 


Discussion of Budget for 2021- 2022

Dr. Scott Niven, Chief Financial Officer reviewed Denton ISD’s Debt Service and Bond overview. As of March 2, 2021, the District’s outstanding bond portfolio is 88.6 % fixed rate, 6.5% variable rate and 4.9 synthetic structure. May 5, 2018 the District had a bond election of $750,500,000. The first portion of 2018 bonds issued were $442,430,000 with a true interest rate of 3.94%. August 2020 the District issued the remaining 2018 bonds in the amount of $308,070,000 with a true interest rate of 1.93%. In 2020 the District also refunded bonds of $269,445,000 with a true interest cost of 2.11% saving taxpayers $67,124,217. Depending on the District’s appraised value projections that will determine how much early payoff of debt the District can pay down.


Discussion of College & Career Academy at LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex

Dr. Mike Mattingly, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Gwen Perkins, Area Superintendent and Marcus Bourland, ATC Principal provided an overview of the expansion of our Career and Technical Education programs with the creation of the College and Career Academy at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex. The College and Career Academy will allow our students who have identified their college/career path by their junior year to attend the academy full-time in an effort to focus intently and intentionally on their post-secondary. Establishing a College and Career Academy provides a school of choice option for juniors and seniors who are focused on post-secondary readiness in a setting which allows students to pursue a college/career pathway with a strong academic core designed to support their aspirations.


Discussion of Dual Language Program Expansion

Teresa Luna-Taylor provided information regarding the expansion of the dual language program in the Braswell High School (BHS) Zone for the 2021-2022 school year. Mrs. Taylor provided an overview of the BHS zone current enrollment numbers who qualify to participate in a dual language program. She discussed the next steps with timelines associated with the expansion of the dual language program in the BHS zone and provided information on future dual language expansion in the GHS zone & secondary campuses. The expansion of the dual language program in the BHS zone will allow Spanish-speaking emergent bilingual students to receive the recommended language services closer to their homes. Parents will have easier access to enroll their child in the LPAC recommended dual language program instead of accepting the ESL services currently offered at their zone campus. These DL students greatly benefit as studies show they outperform non-DL peers in two important ways: English learners reached English proficiency at higher rates and DL students performed as well as or better than their peers in the core content areas. More importantly, students maintain their native language while adding another language, and they develop pride in their own culture while developing an understanding of others. The rigorous academic curriculum in two languages prepares students to be successful in a college bound, globalized future.


Discussion of TASB Policy Update 116

TASB Policy Update 116 focuses on updating and reorganizing policies throughout the Board Policy Manual. Specifically, CQB grants the Superintendent the authority to determine and verify the District’s cybersecurity training program. In the DC series of the policy manual, employee appeals are addressed. FFAC has been revised on the subject of medical treatment and medication provided to students. GKA simply clarifies the measure of time for filing complaints when appealing an ejection or exclusion from school premises decision. 

In addition to these local changes, Update 116 includes several other legal policies affected by legislation from the 86th Legislative Session that were not included in Update 115 and incorporates numerous changes from the revised Administrative Code rules that impose changes effective with the 2020-2021 school year.


Report Items


Denton ISD 4th Quarter Growth Report

Rocky Gardner, Templeton Demographics presented the 4th Quarter Growth Report which covers through December 2020. Since 2010, the average new home price in Denton ISD has increased by $106,603, or 50%. The average existing home price within the district has increased by 75%, or roughly $133,186 since 2010. Denton ISD had more home starts and closing than any district in North Texas. Developments on the 380 corridor closed 60% of all the lots in Denton ISD.  


Bond Progress Report

Kathy Lawson, Co-Chair of the Bond Progress Committee presented the Board with an overview of the Bond Progress Committee meeting from the February 10, 2021 virtual meeting.


Construction Report

The Board was provided a report of all of the current construction projects.



  • Denton Independent School District’s Rodriguez Middle School Counseling Department was recently named as recipients of the CREST Award, which annually recognizes the top counseling staff in the state, by the Texas School Counselor Association. This marks the seventh consecutive year that at least one Denton ISD campus has received a CREST Award. The Rodriguez Middle School counseling staff consists of lead Counselor Stephani Mohon, counselor Michael Rooney, and Jennifer Cheek, student assistance counselor. CREST (Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas) is a program focusing on ten areas where school counselors have the greatest impact on the achievements, career aspirations, personal gains, and social aspects of students’ lives. The program helps counselors evaluate their current counseling guidelines and techniques, while also promoting their services to students and parents.


  • Pecan Creek Elementary counselor, Shannon Wickstrom, was recently awarded The Rhosine Fleming Award as Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Texas School Counselor Association (TSCA). Ms. Wickstrom, along with eight other award winners in the state of Texas, was recognized virtually at the annual TSCA Professional School Counselor Conference in February. An educator since 2002, Wickstrom joined the Denton ISD family in 2015 as a member of the Pecan Creek Elementary staff. During her time with the district, Wickstrom has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to her staff mates, colleagues, and her community. She embodies the aspects of her role as the Professional School Counselor at Pecan Creek Elementary both professionally and personally.


  • Seven Denton ISD musicians have been honored as the recipients of AllState honors for the 2020-2021 school year by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). TMEA is an organization of more than 12,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. This year, students did not perform live in front of other competitors or the judges due to the pandemic. Instead, students had to record and submit their auditions online for each of the three rounds: Region, Area, and State. Auditions were judged and scored by a panel of judges. To prepare for the online competition, students had to take private lessons virtually rather than in person with their private lesson teachers. Those earning the recognition, made the most of the challenges this year. However, an unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic is that students making TMEA All-State and AllRegion, unfortunately, will not have the opportunity to perform in a concert with those groups as is the custom in years past. 


  • The Denton ISD students named to the highest musical honor in Texas:


Denton High Jazz Ensemble 

Matthew Garcia, All-State Jazz Ensemble, Tenor Saxophone 

Jesse Woolery, Lab Band Director Emilio Mesa, Denton ISD Saxophone Private Instructor


Guyer High Choir 

Aiden Daniels, All-State Tenor/Bass Choir, Tenor 

Luke Knittle, All-State Mixed Choir, Bass Jasmine Labelle, All-State Treble Choir, Alto Katherine Engle, Director Tyler Fox, Assistant Director


Guyer High Orchestra 

Christian Luevano, All-State Symphony Orchestra, String Bass 

Michelle Hanlon, Director Jeremy Atkins, Assistant Director


Ryan High Band 

Alex Howell, 5A All-State Band, Percussionist 

Dr. Akira Robles, Percussion Director 

Gabriel Williams, 5A All-State Band, Bass Trombonist 

Mary Brown, Director Juan Nunez, Assistant Director