June 12, 2018
Northwest Board Notes: June 11 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, June 11 - 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.
Trustees approve second package of work on Lance Thompson Elementary site
Trustees approved the second bid package of civil work on the site of Lance Thompson Elementary School in Harvest, which includes all portions of the project associated with the building package as well as some site work.

With the new package, Joeris General Contractors will begin work on the building itself, following the first bid package that trustees approved in their board meeting on May 29. That approval allowed the district to begin the construction process a month earlier than originally planned.
Lance Thompson Elementary is scheduled to open for the start of the 2019-20 school year. To learn more about the school's namesake, click here. To learn more about the school's design, click here.

Dates for public input on budget, tax rate set
Trustees approved June 25 as the public hearing date that allows district taxpayers to comment and/or question the proposed 2018-19 budget. The board has also selected June 25 to consider adoption of the 2018-19 budget. For the tax rate approval process, public input will be accepted at the Aug. 27 board meeting, when trustees will also consider tax rate adoption. State law requires school districts to adopt their budgets before their tax rates.

As part of trustee approval, the district will advertise the public meeting to discuss budget and proposed tax rate adoptions in the Saturday, June 16, issue of the Denton Record-Chronicle. The notice will be based on the total tax rate of $1.49 per $100 of taxable value ($1.04 for maintenance and operation, $0.45 for interest and sinking) for 2018-19. This is the same tax rate as 2017-18.

New Student Code of Conduct discussed
Trustees discussed the proposed 2018-19 Student Code of Conduct, which primarily includes minor updates for clarity and written consistency.

For the attendance exemptions, for example, the Code of Conduct was clarified in two areas: to allow students who are 17 or older to each have up to four days excused absence to pursue enlistment in the armed services or National Guard, and to clarify that parents must write or email for a school to consider an absence. Additionally, unexcused absences were clarified to include family and individual vacations or visits.

Other areas of the Code of Conduct were updated similarly to clarify areas that could potentially be misinterpreted. Additionally, updates were made to information in the document, such as school leadership changes and phone number updates.

Once approved, the updated Student Code of Conduct will be available online, with printed copies available by request.

Report given on elementary, secondary education effectiveness
Curriculum leaders provided trustees with a report about the district's elementary and secondary education effectiveness, explaining some of the tools they use to continuously improve education quality.

At the elementary level, educators continued to focus on the importance of early literacy. They used a variety of tools to help students stay on track in learning and improving their literacy, such as guided reading, small group instruction, student goal-setting, readers' response journals and more.

An example of how elementary teachers and leaders improve education across all subjects is the use of learning teams. In learning teams, schools with similar demographics are able to discuss student learning needs relevant to their population and target areas of focus for the learning cycle. These teams have deep discussions about the effectiveness of curriculum implementation and student outcomes.

At the secondary level, curriculum leaders noted that Advanced Placement participation continues to increase across the district, with the number of AP exams administered again rising significantly (4,780 exams during 2017-18, up from 4,319 in 2016-17 and 3,727 in 2015-16). With the increasing testing, the district's amount of AP Scholars has also increased annually.

Similarly, the amount of industry certifications received by students has dramatically increased, with 2,459 certifications earned this year - up from 1,824 in 2017 and 1,682 in 2016.

Report given on Student Health Advisory Council
The district's Student Health Advisory Council provided trustees with their annual report. The council is composed of 15 community members and six district employees.

Some of the accomplishments highlighted by the council include the Reindeer Romp race (which it provided volunteers for), providing guest speakers about first aid and summer safety and nutrition, supporting elementary and sixth-grade running clubs, participation in the 21-Day Challenge and more. The council is currently preparing new activities for 2018-19, such as providing an introduction to CPR to sixth-graders, looking into mental health programs and character development programs, and more community outreach.

In other action, the board
  • Discussed the district's Long-Range Technology Plan.
  • Heard a report regarding the post-pricing information of school bonds.
The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees
Trustees posed for a photo prior to the start of their second meeting with a new member, Ron Hastings, and an updated leadership group. See member information at this link.