Note: This is an overview of some of the items on the December board workshop and meeting agendas. This recap does not include every item on the agendas. Official meeting minutes will be made available on www.csisd.org following approval at the January board meeting. A video and audio recording of the workshop and meeting will be made available within seven days of the meeting at csisd.org.
2016-17 School Calendar Development Discussion: At its October workshop, the CSISD Board of Trustees developed a list of parameters for the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) to consider when developing options for the 2016-17 school calendar. The parameters are:
- School will not start prior to the fourth Friday in August.
- The fall semester will end prior to the winter break.
- Graduation will be no later than the last Friday in May.
In addition to the parameters, DEIC considered House Bill 2610, which allows for more flexibility in calendar development by changing the way Texas districts count instructional time from days to minutes.
A consensus among the DEIC was to add 10 minutes to the elementary school day to allow for 173 days of instruction as opposed to the current 177 days.
In addition, DEIC has recommended elementary schools and intermediate schools move from six six-week grading periods to four nine-week grading periods. Middle and high schools would still have six six-week grading periods.
The board reviewed two calendar options from the DEIC at tonight’s meeting and approved both options to go before the community for feedback. A survey, which will allow for a vote and open-ended comments, will be available to the community at csisd.org. The survey will go live before the start of the winter break and voting and feedback will be accepted through Friday, January 8.
Following the survey, the DEIC will use the community’s feedback to help recommend a calendar to the board, which will ultimately approve the 2016-17 calendar in the spring.
New High School Courses for 2016-17: The board approved four new high school courses for the 2016-17 school year. The courses were recommended for approval through a process involving the Campus School Improvement Planning Teams and the District Educational Improvement Council.
The new courses include:
- Engineering Applications (CSHS) - This course emphasise solving problems, moving from well-defined toward open-ended, with real-world application.
- Advanced Animal Science (AMCHS) - Students will learn about careers in the field of animal science, classes and grades of livestock, animal genetics and heredity, animal anatomy and physiology, animal nutrition, and animal diseases and parasites.
- Advanced Plant & Soil Science (CSHS) - Investigations, lab practices and field experience will be used to develop an understanding of current plant and soil science. This course is designed to prepare students for careers in food and fiber industries.
- AP Psychology (AMCHS and CSHS) - The course will cover the systematic study of behavior and mental processes of humans and other animals. A student who scores well on the AP test may place out of three college credit hours.
Approval of Financial Plan for Bond Sales: The board approved a financial plan presented by the district’s financial advisor Victor Quiroga of Frost Bank. The board also delegated the pricing authority to the board president and/or the superintendent.
CSISD voters approved the sale of $135.9 million in bonds in the November election with 72.46 percent of the vote.
CSISD will sell half - or $67.95 million - of the bonds in early 2016 and the other half in early 2017 to help mitigate the tax impact to voters. While the exact tax rate increase is dependent on the interest rate and taxable property values, the total rate increase for the sale of all $135.9 million is expected to be between six and 10 cents per $100 of valuation.
The bonds will be offered for competitive bid to determine the lowest fixed interest rate over the 25-year life of the bond issue. On February 10, the district will lock-in the lowest rate and will close on the bond sales on February 25.
Receive report regarding the Annual Finance and Compliance Audit: Shelby Lackey, a representative of Hereford, Lynch, Sellers & Kirkham, Certified Public Accountants, gave a report on the annual finance and compliance audit for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2015.
The compliance audit did not disclose any instances of material weaknesses of internal controls over financial reporting and compliance for local, state, or federal funds.
In addition, the final financial audit showed the district had a final general fund balance of $325,768 for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The district budgeted for a deficit balance of $3,030,729. The two primary factors contributing to reversing the deficit were higher than projected enrollment growth and spending less than budgeted in non-personnel line items.
- Approved the Request for Competitive, Sealed Proposal for shade structure at Cypress Grove Intermediate School to Aggieland Construction for the amount of $81,510.00 to be paid from 2013 bond fund savings.