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Board Meeting: March 23, 2021
BOARD NOTES – March 23, 2021
Denton County Health Department, Dr. Juan Rodriguez, provided the Board with a COVID update. Denton County Health gave more than 12,500 vaccines today which was a state and maybe a national record. As of today, March 23rd, any adult over the age of 16 can register to receive the COVID vaccine beginning March 29. Denton County has about 8,000 active COVID cases with 62,750 recoveries and a total of 453 deaths. COVID cases have gone down significantly over the past few weeks/months.
Discussion of Natural Disaster Facility Update
Chris Bomberger provided the Board with an insurance update regarding the recent impact of the severe weather that occurred from Sunday, February 14 through Sunday, February 21, 2021. Water remediation process has been completed at the schools affected. A report has been created for on all aspects of remediation work regarding each facility/campus that has been affected by the winter storm. This report will be provided to Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) to assist in working through the insurance. Each campus has been provided a detailed worksheet to document the contents lost which also will be provided to TASB. Example: Sam Houston Elementary had over 5800 lines of lost items. The next steps will be the ordering process to replace the damaged items.
Paul Andress, Executive Director of Operations provided the Board with an update on the campuses that needed repairs. The repairs took place over Spring Break so students could return to the campuses that did not sustain major damages. The campuses that have had major damages have been moved to either other classroom wings or totally different campuses.
Discussion of Budget for 2021- 2022
Jennifer Stewart, Director of Budget provided the Board with an update to the Budget Calendar. Ms. Stewart is hoping that by the April 13th Board meeting she will receive the preliminary property values report to assist in building next year budget. Ms. Stewart also reviewed the TEA ADA Hold Harmless eligibility for the 4th thru the 6th six-weeks period. Average on campus attendance participation rates during sixth 6-weeks must either be:
- 80% or higher or,
- At least as high as the percentage reported from enrolled students coded as on-campus during the October 30 Fall PEIMS Snapshot.
In October, Denton ISD reported and On-Campus enrollment of 21,730 which would be 72.1%. As of February 2021, our face-to-face enrollment is at 74% so the District is on track to qualify for the TEA ADA Hold Harmless. The overall budget outlook currently is at a break-even status.
Discussion of K8 Virtual Academy
Dr. Jeff Russell and Dr. Lacey Rainey, Area Superintendents provided information regarding the development of a K-8 Virtual Academy for the 2021-2022 school year. Dr. Russell also provided the timelines associated with the development of the K-8 Virtual Academy. The K-8 Virtual Academy will provide an option for connected families, currently engaged and successful in Denton ISD, who still have health concerns and prevent students from leaving the district for other options. The Academy will also assist to reconnect with families and students who may have selected homeschool or disengaged with Denton ISD for a different form of instruction. It will also allow teachers to continue to specialize in a virtual modality of instruction. Academic Programs is working with the technology department and the Communications department to streamline the registration process which will open on April 1st.
Discussion of Fred Moore Day School Update
Dr. Scott Niven, Chief Financial Officer and Dr. Lacey Rainey, Area Superintendent provided information regarding the students participating in the Fred Moore Day Nursery School program. Denton ISD is proposing taking over the operation of the program to maintain an opportunity for students to participate on a sliding economic scale of need. Denton ISD will continue providing quality education for low income and at-risk youth in order to lessen the school readiness gap. FMDNS will be supported by the DISD Early Childhood Department. The FMDNS will have a Site Coordinator and two Assistant Site Coordinator. Staffing may change contingent upon enrollment. FMDNS will serve children birth through age 2+, up to age 3, at the Cross Timber location. 3-year-old students who currently attend FMDNS will have the opportunity to attend the Gonzalez School for Young Children or the Ann Windle School for Young Children. 4-year-old students who currently attend FMDNS will have the opportunity to attend any DISD prekindergarten program. Prekindergarten will be offered at 18 elementary campuses and the two early childhood campuses.
The ownership transition is proposed to occur on June 1, 2021. Denton ISD will work to include as many current employees as possible and services will remain as consistent as possible to provide seamless transition for parents. Summer programming will be offered at FMDNS and at the Virginia Gallian Child Development Center for children birth through age 6. The current FMDNS Board of Directors will be invited to join the DISD Early Childhood Advisory Board.
Discussion of Legislative Update
Deron Robinson, General Counsel and Dr. Gwen Perkins, Area Superintendent provided updates and resources to the Board of Trustees regarding the 87th Legislative Session.
4 th Period Attendance Report
Angela Ricks, Director of Student Support Services provided this report to present campus and district ADA percentages for the 4th Reporting Period of the 2020-2021 school year (January 19, 2021 through February 26, 2021) and to compare this data to prior years. There are 23 instructional days in this 4th Reporting Period. Campuses that were significantly damaged during the recent weather events had 18 instructional days in this 4th Reporting Period. The district ADA% for 2020-2021 Reporting Period 4 is 96.97%, this is an increase from last school year when the ADA% was 95.7%.
EP Rayzor had the highest attendance percentage for elementary campuses in Denton ISD at 99.1%. Harpool had the highest attendance percentage for middle school campuses in Denton ISD at 99.69%. Guyer had the highest attendance percentage for high school campuses in Denton ISD at 97.29%.
Open & Closed Campuses to Transfers
Angela Ricks, Director of Student Support Services provided a summary of Denton ISD’s functional capacity and projected enrollment data for the 2021-2022 school year and to compare this data to prior years. This report will also identify current Denton ISD campuses that are open or closed to intra-district and inter-district transfers. The objective is to routinely analyze and monitor Denton ISD’s functional capacity, projected enrollment data, staffing ratios, programming needs and other critical factors that may arise, and allow this data to guide the process for intra-district and inter-district transfers. The current designed capacity number is 740 for elementary schools, 1000 for middle schools, 2100 for DHS and RHS, 2400 for BHS and 2800 for GHS. According to board policy, an elementary building shall be closed to transfers when campus enrollment reaches 85% of the calculated maximum capacity. A secondary building shall be closed to transfers when campus enrollment reaches 90% of the calculated maximum capacity.
Based on the projected numbers, the following elementary schools will be open for transfers: Adkins, Alexander, Blanton, Borman, Evers, Ginnings, Hawk, Houston, McNair, Nelson, Providence, EP Rayzor, Rivera WS Ryan, Stephens, and Wilson. The following elementary schools will be closed for transfers: Bell, Cross Oaks, Hodge, Paloma Creek, Pecan Creek, N Rayzor, Savannah and Union Park.
The following middle schools will be open for transfers: Calhoun, Crownover, Harpool, McMath and Myers. The following middle schools will be closed for transfers: Navo, Rodriguez and Strickland. When compared to last school year, Crownover, Harpool and Myers were closed campuses, and in 2021-2022 they will be open campuses.
All of the high schools will be closed for transfers, this status has not changed when compared to last school year. The LaGrone Academy will be accepting transfer applications for students who desire to attend this campus full-time beginning August 2021. Currently, only 11th and 12th grade Denton ISD students will be considered for a transfer to this new campus.
Special Education Compliance Report
Debbie Roybal, Executive Director for Special Education provided the Board of Trustees with a summary of the Special Education Compliance Audit. Beginning 2019-2020 the Texas Education Agency initiated a new monitoring system known as Differentiated Monitoring and Support. The DMS system consists of cyclical reviews and targeted reviews. A cyclical review determines compliance with federal and state laws and assists the District in resolving specific issues of concern that impact services and outcomes for students with disabilities. District special education programs will participate in a cyclical review every six years. Components of the comprehensive compliance audit include: 1) review of District policies, 2) review of the Department of Special Education Operating Procedures, 3) Comprehensive Desk Audit, 4) Student Eligibility Folders, 5) Stakeholder Survey, 6) Self-Assessment, and 7) Strategic Support Plan.
On January 29, 2021, the District received the Department of Special Education Compliance Audit Report from the Texas Education Agency. Non-compliance was identified in the areas of State Assessment and Timelines for FIEs; therefore, requiring a Correction Action Plan. The District must correct any non-compliance as soon as possible. The first noncompliance identified was specific to IPIs (Intensive Program of Instruction) as required in TEC 28.0213. A school district shall offer an intensive program of instruction to students who: (1) do not perform satisfactorily on a state assessment; or is not likely to graduate before the 5th year following 9th grade enrollment. Specifically, for Denton ISD, 3 of the 24 students with disabilities files lacked an Intensive Program of Instruction (IPI) for student that did not perform satisfactorily on the State Assessment. Consequently, the Department must review policies and procedures, including the operating guidelines on this procedure; provide training to the appropriate staff (general and special educators, diagnosticians, and campus administration); convene ARD meetings for the 3 students; and develop processes that allow for self-monitoring this area of non-compliance.
A second area of non-compliance was identified; however, this was corrected in August 2021. The non-compliance was 1 of the 24 student files showed that the FIE (full individual evaluation) was not completed within 45 days of the date the Campus/District received written consent. The required actions for this area are the same as noted above.
The District contact in the TEA Department of Review and Support commented that considering the size of the District, the compliance audit was impressive. She praised the current processes and procedures in the Department. Finally, she stated that the student folders were well organized and “clean”. She asked that I thank the staff and support staff for their diligence and commitment to serving students with disabilities. We have been informed that non-compliance with the IPI (Intensive Program of Instruction) is a state-wide issue and concern; therefore, an Education Service Center will create a state training to be shared with Districts.
Each year, districts across the state of Texas may submit artwork made by Pre-Kindergarten through 12th-grade student artists to be considered for exhibition in the Youth Art Month State Capitol Artwork Exhibit in Austin. This year’s version of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) Youth Art Month State Capitol Exhibition 2021 features a display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in the Lower Rotunda of the Texas State Capitol Building running from March 10-28. Two art students from Denton ISD had artwork selected for this prestigious exhibit. Eleventh Grader Kyndall Knotts from Guyer High School and fifth grader Abigail Ventrca from Stephens Elementary each had their original work included in the prestigious show. The process was done virtually this year due to the pandemic as all pre-K through 12 submissions were submitted online. The pair of winners were part of the 100 pieces of artwork selected for the display.
The Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) recently recognized Denton ISD Purchasing Director, Dianna Casper, as one of eight RISE Award winners in the state of Texas. The RISE Award is given to rising stars in school finance and operations and is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The goal of the RISE Award is to bring to light those individuals who are on the rise in the school business community and distinguishes them as a future leader in the profession. TASBO honored Mrs. Casper and the winning recipients virtually at the TASBO Engage Conference Awards Luncheon in February. Mrs. Casper is a graduate of Penn State University and has been the director of purchasing in Denton ISD since joining the district in 2018.
Elle Tong, seventh grader at Crownover Middle School, earned her Eagle Scout this year as a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop #219 Girls in the Frontier Trails District of the Longhorn Council. The 12-year-old worked under the approval of campus administration to build benches to accent the campus’ tennis courts, learning and leading a team of her peers and adults through the process. To highlight her work with our school and during Women’s History Month, we are proud to feature her spirit of serving others in this month’s Board Spotlight.