July 2021
Board Approves New Strategic Plan
The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved a vision, goals and strategic plan at its regular meeting Monday that will help guide the fast-growth school district.

The process to develop the strategic plan began in February and included input from over 350 community members. Following three Community Summits and gathering information from community input tools, a steering team of students, staff, parents and community representatives identified areas to focus on in support of district goals.

The five focus areas identified in the plan are: Engaging All Voices (a close-knit community is maintained through strong partnerships and engaging all voices in two-way communication); Future-Forward Facilities (the district’s facilities are community investments that support innovation, exceptional learning, academic skills and Journey of a Graduate competencies); Exceptional Learning (mastery of knowledge and Journey of a Graduate competencies are valued over grades and testing); Each and Every Student (inclusion and equitable opportunities for each and every student to pursue the future they want is valued); and Social and Emotional Support (staff are prepared to support the whole child, both socially and emotionally). 

Planning teams of students, staff, parents and community representatives met in April and May to develop goals, strategies and action items surrounding each focus area.

Also out of the strategic planning process emerged the district’s new vision statement — Empower each and every learner to pursue their dreams and enrich their communities.
Student Showcase -
Lake Belton High School Cheerleaders
Members of the Lake Belton High School varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams performed before the start of the meeting.

The performing varsity members included Audrey Hartfiel, Avelina Bentancourt, Brooklyn Cory, Delaney Jensen, Emma Fertig, Gabriella Davila, Haileigh Dodd, Katy Briggs, Kayson Tanner, Kenzie Goldman, Landyn Johnson, Lauren Stefek, Natalee Hoover Waltman, Presslie Vargas Leon, Shelby Chaney, Taylor Jonas, Taylor Love, Haylee Thomas (varsity co-captain), Ryley Ellis (varsity co-captain), and Zakayia Fredrick (Blaze).

The performing junior varsity members included Alexandrea Del Bosque, Alexia Moffenbier, Aubrey Lee, Carmen Horton-Vazquez, Christina Walker, Emily Jones, Hayden Presley, Holly Wilson, Jameela Cordero, Janessa Lobo, Logan Carroll, Lorissa Hubbard, Madisyn McKenzie, and Makaylyn Atkinson. 
Board Approves Plan for How to Spend ESSER III Funds

At the July Board meeting, trustees approved a plan for how to spend Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds the district will apply for in July. Belton ISD’s total allocation is $11,117,008. 

Jennifer Land, chief financial officer for the district, said that the largest amount of funds will go toward specialized instructional spaces, followed by instructional programs and educational materials, staffing for learning acceleration, mental health support, professional learning and communication enhancements to support students, staff and families.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the funds must be used to respond to the pandemic and address learning loss as a result of COVID-19 for costs incurred between March 2020 and September 2024. Belton ISD solicited feedback on how to use the funds through a public hearing on June 21 and a stakeholder survey. 
Board Recognition - Belton FFA
The Board recognized several members of Belton FFA who earned their Lonestar FFA Degree, the highest degree earned in Texas FFA. To earn this recognition, students must complete extensive requirements that demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to FFA. This year, Belton FFA ranks fifth largest in the state of Texas.

Recipients include BHS seniors Anna Cate Cox and Sarah Mikeska and 2021 graduates Jordan Martinson, Harleigh Siegeler, Madison Jones, Rawan Tarabeh and Rachel Mahan. Brad Hobbs is their sponsor.
Project Apple Tree Preparing for 2021-2022 School Year

Each year Project Apple Tree supports hundreds of students in Belton ISD by providing qualified families school supplies at the beginning of the new school year.

Jeannette Kelley, a former school board member and elementary school principal in Belton ISD, started Project Apple Tree 21 years ago with the goal of ensuring that all students, no matter their economic circumstances, have a great first day of school. Helping Hands Ministry and a strong team of volunteers are continuing this important community effort to support our students and families.

Project Apple Tree is currently underway and you can sponsor a student's school supplies, backpack and shoes or become a volunteer through their website at helpinghandsbelton.org
Special Recognition -
Suzanne M. McDonald
The Board recognized immediate past president Suzanne M. McDonald for her leadership and service as Board president from August 2018-May 2021. Trustees thanked Ms. McDonald for her leadership and quiet dignity during the challenging of hiring a new superintendent and leading during a global pandemic.
Cloud Construction Co. Selected for Construction At-Risk Services as District Seeks New Elementary Design

Also at Monday’s meeting, the Board approved hiring Cloud Construction Co., Inc. for construction at-risk services. These services include a construction manager in the design process of a new elementary design for Belton ISD schools and estimation of construction costs. The most recent elementary prototype was completed in 2006, prior to the construction of Tarver Elementary.

With enrollment projections showing a growth of 360 elementary students each year and about 3,000 students by 2025, Belton ISD is planning to discuss strategies to address fast-growth within the community over the next six months.
Board Committee Reports

Policy: The policy committee did not meet this month.

Facilities: The facilities committee did not meet this month.
Superintendent's Report

  • Dr. Smith thanked the administrative team and said he is humbled by the amount of work happening across the district.
  • He reported the district has made great progress toward the 2020-2021 district goals. Goal 1 is complete. Goals 2 is not yet complete but progress is being made. This district has met one of four performance targets that have been reported. They're waiting to hear results from two additional areas. Dr. Smith expects Goal 3 to be met in early fall. Work toward Goal 4, which is somewhat "squishy" in quantifying, is underway and progress toward Goal 5 is being made with the facilities assessment and departments such as Athletics and Fine Arts creating replacement cycles. Overall, Dr. Smith said the intention is to keep the Board and community informed of progress along the way, of where the district is finding success and where there's more work to do.
  • The district recently held a listening session with parents of special needs students in the district. Dr. Smith described the meeting as heartwarming, challenging and inspiring. He is proud of the work that's been done for these students and says there's more great work to be done.
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the month ending June 30, 2021
  • Gifts, grants and bequests
  • Budget Amendment #10 for 2021-2022
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (Growing Places Therapy Services PLLC, College Board and E.L. Achieve)
  • Supply, equipment and service bids (RFP for Special Education Contracted and Consulting Services)

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.