Board Meeting: April 27, 2021

BOARD NOTES – April 27, 2021

Workshop Items


Covid-19 Update

Dr. Matt Richardson, Denton County Public Health Department provided the Board with the COVID-19 update. This week has started off a little higher on Covid 19 cases and there were 6 reported deaths due to Covid. The outlook is better with a gradual decline than it was two weeks ago. Guidelines for indoors unvaccinated individuals must still wear masks indoors. Dr. Richardson wants to continue encouraging people to get vaccinated so herd immunity can be reached. 


Budget Discussion 2021- 2022

Dr. Scott Niven, Chief Financial Officer and Jennifer Stewart, Director of Budget. Jennifer reviewed the 2021-2022 budget calendar. The challenge this year is revenue estimation. Estimating the tax rate, value growth and tax collections as well as the number of students enrolled in school next year is very challenging. The 2021-2022 budget is using an ADA of 1.5% over current year average. Ms. Stewart will continue to refine the 2021-2022 estimates, property value reports, and tax rates.


Discussion of College and Career Academy at LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex Update

Dr. Gwen Perkins provided an update of the expansion of the College and Career Academy at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex. As previously shared with the trustees, 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 aspirations. 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.

Marcus Bourland, Principal of LaGrone Academy provided a LaGrone Academy student snapshot including:  

  • Seeks personalized learning environment related to student interests  
  • Craves connection not found on a traditional campus  
  • Desires participation in UIL Academics and career-related activities and organizations  
  • Rising junior or senior The LaGrone Academy will not offer options in Athletics/PE or Fine Arts


Discussion of Denton ISD K-8 Virtual Academy

Dr. Lacey Rainey provided information regarding the development of a K-8 Virtual Academy for the 2021-2022 school year and an overview of the current status of the K-8 Virtual Academy. 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. 


Discussion of Denton ISD Utility Management Report- July 2020-December 2020

The Purpose of this Report is to inform the Board of Trustees of utility management processes in all Denton ISD’s facilities from July 2020 – December 2020. This report includes the following:

1) Total consumption and cost comparison. 

2) Analysis by utility type. 

3) Percentage change of energy use.


Brandon Hoke with TDIndustries provided information and the impact of COVID-19 had on utility costs. 2005-2006 was the baseline year when TDIndustries started monitoring the utility performance trends. Costs are significantly lower as well as usage. The numbers may increase when campuses and students are back in buildings. Utilities were down 8.71 % as compared to the same time in 2019. Electricity and Gas rates have increased this year and Gas went up almost 21% because it is a more volatile rate structure. However, gas and electricity consumption were down by 19% from July 2020-December 2020. 

Union Park Elementary has solar panels and saves over an average of $5,248 per month with a total savings of $47,234.00 over the past nine months. The initial cost of the solar panels was $565,257 and the payback will not take long with the amount of energy saved. The power returned to the utility grid will return to the District as income. 

Nette Shultz campus will be using a Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, also known as variable refrigerant volume (VRV) is an HVAC technology which uses refrigerant as the cooling and heating medium. As with minisplit units, the refrigerant in a VRF system is conditioned by a single outdoor condensing unit and circulated within the building to multiple indoor units without the benefit of ductwork. VRF HVAC systems use variable motor speed and variable refrigerant flow to heat and cool, unlike standard units which use a simple on/off operation. VRF systems also allow users to control heating and cooling individually in each room (or zone), and with some units, operate heating and cooling at the same time. The benefit of variable motor speeds is that VRF technology uses far less energy to heat and cool, often saving up to 55% in utility costs. The Operations Department will be using the Nette Shultz campus as a study to see the return on the investment verses the GEO thermal wells used at previous campuses.


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. 


Board Operating Procedures

The Board of Trustees was provided a final draft of their revised Board Operating Procedures that several trustees have been working on over the past month. 




LaGrone ATC Recognitions

This spring Emily Whitis, senior at Braswell High School, won the gold medal in the Texas SkillsUSA District 4 Championship in Barbering. Emily attends the Cosmetology program at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex where she has already completed her Texas Cosmetology Operator exam and is a licensed stylist.

The Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) hosts a skills competition to encourage young, future educators to focus their skills utilizing their creativity. Students are asked to prepare real world projects, in a variety of categories, to demonstrate their preparation skills and readiness to pursue a career in education. Through the pre-education classes at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, our district had 18 students finish first/gold certification at the State competition and six students qualify to compete at the upcoming Nationals Contest. TAFE is a co-curricular statewide non-profit student organization created to allow young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession.


NAMM Recognition 


This year marks the 14th consecutive year Denton ISD has been honored as one of 2021 Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 


To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Denton ISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. 


To mark this occasion, we are honored to feature Emilio Sanchez, lead choir director, at Rodriguez Middle School. Mr. Sanchez has quickly established an award-winning vocal music program in the school’s short history. His enthusiasm for his students, including some non-traditional ways to engage them, stand an example of the caliber of the program our district cultivates and a key reason we are a perpetual winner.