Feb. 11, 2020

TO:             Northwest ISD Parents, Caregivers, and Staff

FROM:       Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools

SUBJECT:  Superintendent’s Update


I hope everyone is off to a great week. We have a lot going on in the district right now, so I want to invite you to join me for my next Facebook Live discussion this Thursday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m. My plan is to have a short “mid-year” update for you, but the bulk of my discussion will be to introduce the newly approved bond proposal that will be on the ballots May 2, 2020. 
 
Regarding the bond election, let me first say a huge “thank you” to the members of our Long-Range Planning Committee and our Northwest ISD Board of Trustees. The NISD School Board unanimously called a bond election for May 2, following the committee’s recommendation that was developed over five months of work and research. Developing a plan for our fast-growth school district to accommodate an additional 5,500 students over the next four to five years is no easy task, and I applaud the commitment, effort, and attention to detail of the committee and our board.
 
To accommodate our rapidly growing student population - without increasing the current tax rate - the $986.6 million bond proposal would fund four new schools, three replacement schools, campus expansions, and safety and technology updates.
 
Over the coming months, we will be working to provide you with more information about what is included in the bond proposal, and that will begin during Thursday’s Facebook Live presentation. In the meantime, you can click here to read the press release about the board calling the bond election, click here to read more about the Long-Range Planning Committee’s process and recommendation, or click here to read about all of the board’s work Monday night.
 
Our goal is always transparency for our parents, community members, and tax payers, so I hope you will be able to take the time to study this proposal. As we always do with our Facebook Live presentations, we will do our best to answer any other questions you have regarding our students, our schools, and the district.  

Thank you!

Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools
Northwest Independent School District

Feb. 10 Northwest ISD Board Notes
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, Feb. 10, 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 call bond election to address enrollment growth
Northwest ISD trustees unanimously called a May bond election following the recommendation of the Long-Range Planning Committee, giving voters the opportunity to decide a package designed primarily to address student enrollment growth at schools.

The total amount of the capital bond referendum is $986.6 million. New campuses funded in the bond would include three elementary schools and a middle school. Hatfield Elementary School would be repurposed, while Seven Hills Elementary School and Pike Middle School would be replaced with new buildings on their existing sites. Additionally, Northwest High School would receive an expansion and an extensive renovation under the proposal. Nance Elementary School would also receive an expansion. Because of new state requirements, the total bond package will be spread across four ballot propositions. If approved, the bond referendum would have no increase to the current district tax rate because of growth in both residential and retail development within the district. 

If passed, most bond funds – about 75 percent – would be used to address Northwest ISD’s rapidly growing student population. Northwest ISD annually welcomes more than 1,000 new students in its 234 square miles, which spans three counties and 14 municipalities. Projects included in the bond referendum are expected to accommodate enrollment projections for the next four to five years.

Voters will have from April 20 to 28 to cast ballots during early voting, or they can cast ballots on Election Day, Saturday, May 2. The last day to register to vote in time to participate in this election is April 2. 

For more information about the bond election, click here. A bond website, listing all projects proposed in the referendum, will launch in the coming days at www.nisdtxbond.org.

Election for expiring trustee terms called
Trustees also called their spring election for the school board, as three terms on the board will soon expire.

Places 5, 6 and 7 on the Northwest ISD Board of Trustees are up for election. As with the bond election, early voting will take place April 20 to 28, and Election Day is on May 2. Additional information about the election can be found on this page.

The following candidates, listed alphabetically next to the board seats they are running for, have filed for the election at this time:

  • Place 5: Steve Sprowls
  • Place 6: Lillian Rauch, Jennifer Zazula
  • Place 7: Ron Hastings

Those interested in running have until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, to submit an application.

Budget parameters for 2020-21 school year approved
To keep pace with updated state laws affecting public education finances, trustees approved the district’s recommended budget parameters for the 2020-21 school year.

Setting the parameters is one of the first major steps in the budgeting process. Following budget preparations, multiple reviews take place before a school district budget is adopted. The tax rate adoption process will take place in August because of required calculations from central appraisal districts.
As part of the budget parameters, the student-to-teacher ratio for the current school year will remain in place for the 2020-21 school year.

Some factors affecting budget parameters include the state’s continued tax rate compression, new property values, new pre-kindergarten requirements and more. To see the full presentation regarding budget parameters, click here.

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

  • Literacy in NISD and implications of House Bill 3
  • Instruction materials for 2020-21
  • Policy updates from curriculum audit

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

In other action, the board
  • Recognized the United Way – and its branches in Denton, Wise and Tarrant counties – for support of families in need across the district and region. Northwest ISD staff members provided roughly $17,000 in donations to the organization this year.
  • Recognized Tiffany Mahaffey, the district’s Volunteer of the Month, for her support of Curtis Elementary School.
  • Recognized sponsors of the Reindeer Romp, organized and operated by Fieldhouse Fitness to raise funds for school P.E. programs: Moritz Kia Alliance, Texas Health Alliance and Pogue Construction.
  • Recognized Adams Middle School for receiving the American Heart Association’s National Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Recognized State Farm insurance agent Chasidy Murphy for her support of Beck Elementary School and Byron Nelson High School through the Adopt-A-School program.
  • Reviewed the district’s beliefs, vision, mission and strategic goals as part of an annual process.
Meeting Photos
Sendera Ranch students lead the pledge.
Students from Sendera Ranch Elementary School led the pledges.
Trustees recognize Gary Henderson of United Way.
Trustees recognized United Way and its branches representing Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties for their support of families in need.
Trustees recognized the volunteer of the month Tiffany Mahaffey
Trustees recognized the district's volunteer of the month, Tiffany Mahaffey, for her support of students at Curtis Elementary School.
Trustees recognize Reindeer Romp sponsors
Trustees recognized the organizer and sponsors of the Reindeer Romp benefiting school P.E. programs: Fieldhouse Fitness, Moritz Kia of Alliance, Texas Health Alliance and Pogue Construction.
Trustees recognized Adams Middle School for its heart health excellence
Trustees recognized Adams Middle School for receiving the American Heart Association's National Rookie of the Year Award.
Trustees recognized State Farm agent Chasidy Murphy for her support of district schools
Trustees recognized State Farm agent Chasidy Murphy for her support of Beck Elementary School and Byron Nelson High School through the Adopt-A-School program.