Jan. 10, 2017
Northwest Board Notes: Jan. 9 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, Jan. 9 - during a regularly scheduled meeting. This is a recap of the major actions and reports from the meeting. To see every item that was discussed or voted on, click here.
Dr. Rhett King named principal of Tidwell Middle School
Rhett King
Dr. Rhett King
Northwest ISD trustees approved the hiring of Dr. Rhett King to lead Tidwell Middle School as principal at their Jan. 9 board meeting, bringing more than 21 years of educational experience to the position.

Dr. King comes to Tidwell from the same position at Alvord High School, where he has been principal for the past seven years. He has served in other leadership positions, including principal of Gainesville Middle School and an assistant principal at Northwest High School.

His career in education began as a special education instructor at both the elementary and secondary levels for districts including Grapevine Colleyville, Lewisville and Dallas independent school districts.

Dr. King received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and masters in K-12 leadership from Capella University. He received a bachelor of arts in radio, television and film from the University of North Texas. He is an active volunteer with the Wise County Youth Fair and the All-Wise Academic Scholarship Foundation. Additionally, he has spent time overseas in Costa Rica providing private tutoring and counseling for missionary children.

Dr. King and his wife, Lisa, reside in the Northwest ISD community with their two sons. He will begin his new leadership position at Tidwell Middle School this month and replaces Mrs. Kim Barker, who was named executive director of human resources for Northwest ISD in November.

Resolution passed to purchase land for potential future elementary school
Trustees approved a staff recommendation to enter into a contract to buy about 16 acres of land located along the east of U.S. Highway 287 and south of Hicks Road in northern Fort Worth for $2.49 million.

This site, located in D.R. Horton's Dorado Ranch development, is planned for a future elementary school. The new school will relieve Peterson Elementary, which is located nearby, in what is the district's fastest-growing area.

TAPR report heard, discussing district academic performance
Melissa DeSimone, director of research, assessment and accountability, provided trustees and the public with a report of the district's Texas Academic Progress Report for public discussion, as required by state law.

Northwest ISD continues to outpace the target score provided by the state in academic requirements based on all four performance index scores (student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness). Additionally, all campuses received the "met standards" rating from the state, the best rating possible.

The district also continues to beat the state average in all subjects tested - reading, math, writing, science and social studies - by significant margins, and participation rates in advanced courses drastically exceed the state average. Also notably, the district graduation rate increased from 96.1 percent in 2014 to 96.4 percent in 2015.

Discussed resolution opposing A-F school ratings
Trustees and Dr. Ryder Warren, superintendent, discussed a planned resolution opposing the state's planned change to an A-F rating system for districts and schools, proposing they replace it with a community-based accountability system.

The proposed system would still require districts and schools to meet general state standards yet allow districts to innovate and customize their curriculums to meet the needs and interests of each student and their communities. Additionally, trustees and Dr. Warren's resolution states a new accountability system should reduce the use of high-stakes, standardized tests and instead use multiple methods of assessments to more accurately reflect what students know.

Many area, region and state school districts have already voiced their opposition to the planned A-F rating system, which uses the STAAR exam system for the majority of its ratings.

Trustees honored for School Board Recognition Month
Trustees receive athletic balls presented by student-athletes for being the district's all-star team.
Trustees receive sports balls presented by student-athletes for being the district's "all-star team."

Northwest ISD staff thanked and recognized trustees for their service to kick off the board meeting, showing the district's appreciation for their service. The recognition came as part of School Board Recognition Month.

Trustees serve in unpaid positions on the school board and provide their input and guidance for the school district. With their feedback and votes, Northwest ISD makes decisions and changes to educational and extracurricular matters as well as general district matters.

Northwest ISD's school board is composed of Mark Schluter (president), Judy Copp (vice president), Dr. Anne Davis-Simpson (secretary), Mel Fuller, Devonna Holland, Lillian Rauch and Josh Wright.

In other action, the board
  • Approved the final cost of HVAC replacement at Steele Accelerated High School. The district's contractor recently completed the project under budget, saving Northwest ISD $43,303.
  • Renewed a contract with the city of Roanoke for emergency dispatch services.
  • Heard reports on the district's finances and math and science effectiveness.
Cox Elementary School students led the Pledge of Allegiance
Cox Elementary School students led the Pledge of Allegiance.