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Board Meeting: April 13, 2021
BOARD NOTES – April 13, 2021
Covid-19 cases have stalled, and Denton County Health has not seen the downturn in cases as they would like to see. 150 cases reported with 3 deaths. Denton County has now given their 300,000th vaccine. States in the Northeast and Northwest are now seeing a third surge of the Covid-19 virus. The B117/UK variant seems to infect younger populations and it is important for individuals to continue wearing masks. Currently there are 28,000 individuals on the waitlist (un-invited) as of today. Denton County is hoping to receive additional vaccines this week.
Discussion of TASB Property, School Liability, Privacy & Information Security & Automobile Insurance Renewal
Chris Bomberger, Executive Director of Risk Management provided an outline of the steps taken to reach the conclusion for renewing insurance on Property Coverage, School Liability (Professional, General and Employee Benefit) Automobile Liability, Automobile Physical Damage, Privacy & Information Security and Violent Acts Coverage for Denton ISD effective July 1, 2021.
The property market for Texas school districts has increasingly hardened over the past couple of years due to the severity and frequency of weather events in North Texas and across the United States. Multiple hail storms have occurred in the past few years in Texas with single occurrence losses exceeding $50 million for multiple nearby districts. Additionally, heightening the impact on property rates in North Texas for the upcoming year is the severity of damage resulting from wind events in 2019 and 2020. The reduction in property insurance carriers willing to write North Texas school districts, along with major adjustments to their catastrophic models for the remaining carriers, has significantly increased the financial burden to districts with the combination of both higher rates and higher deductibles. DISD suffered significant damage during the recent winter storm. While it may take months to determine the complete financial scope, we anticipate the claim may exceed $15 million.
Discussion of Additional Days School Year (ADSY)
Susannah O’Bara, Area Superintendent updated the Board regarding the possibilities of a future ADSY calendar to support student learning. HB 3 provides ½ day funding for up to 30 additional school days, beyond 180 minimum days on approved calendar. The ADSY guidelines are as follows:
- available in grades PK-5
- must have 180 instructional days in the approved calendar
- Staff development waivers do not count towards 180 days
- ½ day funding available for additional 30 days up to 210 total days
- ADSY calendar may be applicable at only identified schools
O’Bara stated a Sub-committee is going to be formed on how to support teacher’s well-being and the early learning gaps as well as a cost analysis of the ADSY calendar. ADSY calendar option was added by TEA prior to COVID.
Budget Discussion 2021- 2022
Dr. Scott Niven, Chief Financial Officer addressed the Board and was hoping to provide the Board with the first round of appraised values from Denton County and was notified they would not be available until April 30th . Dr. Niven discussed how Average Daily Attendance (ADA) was going to affect the budget. The ADA for the current 20-21 school year shows that our trend line depicts an increase in student attendance. Dr. Niven is using a 1.5% ADA growth and a 5 % appraised value growth for budgeting purposes. Dr. Niven also provided the Board with different scenarios if these percentages change and how it affects the budgeting process for the 21- 22 school year.
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.
Announcement of Board Continuing Education Hours
The Board of Trustees must annually announce the name of each board member who has completed the required continuing education, who has exceeded the required hours, and who is deficit in the required continuing education. The State Board of Education required continuing education is divided into three Tiers.
Barbara Burns, Board President announced that all members of the Board of Trustees Jim Alexander, Barbara Burns, Doug Chadwick, Mia Price, Patsy Sosa-Sanchez, Jeanetta Smith, and Charles Stafford have exceeded the required hours of training in continuing education this year.
The National Association for Bilingual Education recently named Taiyo Kobayashi-Hare, a fifth grader from Pecan Creek Elementary School, as their National Elementary Student of the Year. Taiyo will be honored as their national winner at their hybrid conference hosted in Houston on April 28-29, Taiyo submitted an essay, written in Spanish, explaining his feelings on becoming trilingual and the importance of embracing his family’s heritage and culture. His first language is Japanese, his second language is English, and he is currently learning Spanish.