Board looks at possible 2020-21 school year scenarios
Northwest ISD’s curriculum leaders presented board members with a glimpse of possible 2020-21 school year scenarios as educational institutions across the world adjust to the ongoing pandemic.

Because school districts are awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency and state government, Northwest ISD is considering possible options and recommendations from the TEA. These options include:

  • Regular start
  • Social-distancing start (50 percent occupancy at schools at one time)
  • Semi-normal start (where 5 to 20 percent of students and staff need to stay home)
  • Hybrid start (where 20 to 50 percent of students and staff need to stay home)
  • False start (another closure occurs after school begins)
  • No start (a closure takes place when school is scheduled to begin)

In all scenarios, teachers and curriculum staff will adjust the curriculum to refresh learning that is taking place during the current emergency remote learning. Intervention plans will be created for students who face significant gaps in learning this material. Also in all plans, health and safety protocols will be implemented.

Dr. Ryder Warren, superintendent of schools, and Dr. Michael Griffin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, plan to go over the potential scenarios during the Facebook Live scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.

Berkshire chosen as name of next elementary school
Trustees approved the name Berkshire Elementary School for the district’s 20th elementary campus, which is slated to open in the 2021-22 school year.

Berkshire is the name of the master-planned community where the new elementary school will exist, near U.S. Highway 287. Though the school will reside in the under-development community, its boundaries are expected to extend into the surrounding areas.

Anthony Fontana named next principal of Chisholm Trail Middle School
Trustees unanimously approved Anthony Fontana as the next principal of Chisholm Trail Middle School, effective at the conclusion of the current school year.

Mr. Fontana brings a wealth of leadership experience in North Texas to the role, having served as principal of Lewisville High School’s Ben Harmon campus for freshmen and sophomores since 2015. Prior to his current position, he served as an assistant principal in Lewisville ISD for 13 years.

“I am eager to join the Chisholm Trail Bulldog community and get to know all of our students, staff and families,” Mr. Fontana said. “I want to create the best middle school experience for our students, and Bulldog pride will shine in and out of the classroom because that is who we are and what we do!”

In addition to his educational administration experience, Mr. Fontana served as a teacher and coach in Lewisville ISD. He has been a Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year in his district and has served on numerous councils and committees. He has led several campus and district professional development sessions and believes in providing staff with the necessary resources to promote student learning and achievement at the highest level.

Mr. Fontana earned his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas and his bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Lutheran University. His wife, Amanda, is the education and coaching teacher at Eaton High School.

Lesley Weaver named executive director of communications
Trustees approved a familiar face to lead the Northwest ISD communications department, as Lesley Weaver will become the district’s executive director of communications. 

Mrs. Weaver, who was the district’s director of communications from 2007 to 2013, brings more than 20 years of experience in public relations and education to her new role. As the district’s executive director of communications, Mrs. Weaver will be responsible for district-level communication services, including print and electronic communications, media relations, community relations, district partnerships and special events.

In addition to her previous work in Northwest ISD, Mrs. Weaver held a similar cabinet-level communications position in Irving ISD, worked as a teacher and coach in Keller ISD, and has experience in higher education and corporate client communications.

“Northwest ISD is my home, and I am extremely honored to serve the school district that has served my children so well,” Mrs. Weaver said. “I’m thrilled to join a team of leaders and educators who are committed to children and who value open communication with the community. My goal is to maintain the excellence already established and to find ways to strengthen relationships between schools and the families they serve.”

Mrs. Weaver earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations from Temple University and her master’s degree in school administration from Lamar University. She and her husband, Tim, have been married 22 years, have two children and have lived in the school district since 2008. Her son, Matthew, graduated from Eaton High School in 2019 and her daughter, Danielle, will be a freshman at Eaton this fall.

Budget workshop looks at financial forecast
Trustees held a workshop as the 2020-21 budget process continues, taking a look at challenges stemming from the state’s House Bill 3 that overhauled school finance.

Because of further state-mandated tax rate compression and a cap on growth in taxation, Northwest ISD will receive significantly less funding than if the state kept the current tax rate. Additionally, Northwest ISD will contribute a sizable and increased recapture payment (commonly referred to as a “Robin Hood” payment) to the state to distribute to other school districts.

Northwest ISD will continue its budget process for the 2020-21 school year at coming board meetings. To see a presentation from Monday’s meeting, click here

Compensation plan for 2020-21 approved
As the district continues to plan its 2020-21 budget, trustees approved the staff compensation plan for the fiscal year.

With the approval, teachers and staff will receive a 1 percent midpoint raise. Additionally, guest educator pay will similarly increase.

The guest-educator pay raise will increase the per daily rate by $5 for an instructional aide guest educator and $10 for other guest educators (including guest educators serving as special education aides, non-degreed teachers, degreed teachers and certified teachers).

Reports, discussions addressed by board
District leadership presented the following subjects to the board as a report or discussion:

  • April Finance and Investment and 2020 Bond Sale
  • Facilities, Planning and Construction
  • Academic Recovery – Part Two

To view reports or discussion presentations from board meetings, click here.

In other action, the board
  • Renewed the district’s Communities in Schools of North Texas partnership agreement.
  • Approved an affiliation agreement with Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance.
  • Renewed a professional service agreement with Texas Health Physicians Group for the district’s Employee Health & Wellness Center.