2019-20 district calendar approved
Trustees approved the 2019-20 Northwest ISD calendar, adopting a slightly modified version of the community-favorite “Option A” as next year’s calendar.
The new calendar features an Aug. 20 start date for students and May 22 end date. This was the most popular calendar in the community poll, receiving about 42 percent of the vote (followed by Option B at about 36 percent and Option C at about 22 percent). The only modifications to the calendar are for staff-related days, including new teacher training dates before school starts and flex-day requirements (changing the requirement for a flex day to include parent-teacher conferences). These will have no changes to student attendance days from the original Option A.
Amy Howell named principal of Lance Thompson Elementary School
Amy Howell, current principal of Schluter Elementary School, will serve as the inaugural principal of Lance Thompson Elementary School following approval from trustees.
Mrs. Howell has led Schluter as its principal since 2013; prior to her time there, she served as an assistant principal at Chisholm Trail Middle School. She was a top educator in Northwest ISD, having been named the Exemplar Educator of Pike Middle School and a district Teacher of the Year finalist during the 2011-12 school year. She has served the students of Northwest ISD since 2004, having begun her time in the district as an English teacher and coach. She is also a product of Northwest ISD schools herself, having graduated from Northwest High School.
A new principal of Schluter will be named at a future board meeting. Mrs. Howell will continue to lead the school until the end of the current school year.
Lance Thompson Elementary is scheduled to open at the start of the 2019-20 school year in August and is located in the Harvest/Northlake area. The two-story campus features the district’s new prototype elementary school design and is funded from the 2017 bond package. Information on the school’s attendance boundaries will be available in the coming months.
Contractors approved for construction at Eaton, Tidwell, Wilson
Work will begin later this year on the additions to Eaton High School and renovations of Tidwell and Wilson middle schools, as Buford-Thompson was approved as the construction manager for these projects.
Buford-Thompson will expand Eaton High School to a 3,200-student capacity facility, and it will also create fine arts additions at Tidwell and Wilson middle schools. All of these projects are currently in the planning phase and were approved by voters as part of the district’s 2017 bond package.
Demographic report shows strong growth
Representatives from Templeton Demographics, the district’s contracted demographer that monitors population trends, provided trustees with an update regarding its work.
Northwest ISD is expected to see strong growth for years to come, with roughly 2,500 new home closings annually for the next three to five years. Templeton expects Northwest ISD to serve nearly 31,000 students in five years (2023-24), a five-year growth of about 6,800 students.
The top annual closings by development include Oak Creek Trails (in the Hatfield Elementary zone, at 222), Sendera Ranch (in Thompson, at 183), Harvest (in Justin, at 158), Hawthorne Meadows (in Curtis, at 143), Harmon Ranch (in Curtis, at 121), Berkshire (in Curtis, at 118), Dorado Ranch (in Schluter, at 104), Willow Ridge Estates (in Schluter, at 96) and Fairway Ranch (in Cox, at 93).
Construction update provided
The district’s facilities team provided trustees with an update regarding the status of active or planned projects. Highlights include:
- The district aquatic center is finalizing the design process
- The Northwest High School fieldhouse for baseball and softball is in the design phase, as are the school’s CTE and fine arts renovations
- Eaton High School’s expansions, Tidwell Middle School, and Wilson Middle School projects are all in the programming and design phase
- Chisholm, Medlin and Pike fine arts renovations and additions are in the programming and design phase
- Construction is continuing on the following projects: Box Agricultural Science Center expansion and renovation; Lance Thompson Elementary School; Byron Nelson High School expansion (academic wing, fieldhouse and renovations); Sendera Ranch, J.C. Thompson elementary schools additions and renovations; districtwide safety and security upgrades
In other action, the board
- Was recognized for its service to the school district. January is School Board Recognition Month, and the district recognized each of its trustees for their decision-making and guidance.
- Received gifts from Justin Elementary School’s art club and district horticulture students (from Byron Nelson, Eaton and Northwest) for School Board Recognition Month in recognition of their service.
- Watched a performance by Pike Middle School’s choir.
- Recognized Connie Thompson, computer technician, for winning the GEM Award for excellence customer service.
- Received a $80,357 check from CoServ for the district’s involvement with the electrical cooperative, and joined the Northwest ISD Education Foundation as it received a $25,000 check from CoServ for student scholarships and teacher grants.
- Recognized Fathom Realty’s Jacob Wurman and the Saratoga Homeowners Association for serving as an Adopt-A-School sponsors of Granger Elementary School.
- Recognized Bumbershoot Barbecue for serving as an Adopt-A-School sponsor of Sendera Ranch Elementary School.
- Extended the contract of Dr. Ryder Warren, district superintendent.
- Approved the purchase of replacement turf at Northwest ISD Stadium following vandalism of the current turf. Additionally, trustees approved a purchase request for four tractor groomers that will maintain athletic fields across the district (one for each high school, and a “floater” that will visit middle schools and NISD Stadium).