College Station Independent School District

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December 2021 CSISD Board Recap

December 2021 CSISD Board Recap
Posted on 12/14/2021
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Note:  This is an overview of some of the items on the December workshop and meeting agendas. This recap does not include every item on the agenda. 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 meeting will be made available within seven business days of the meeting at csisd.org.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The College Station ISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday, December 14.  The following discussions and actions are of note.

WORKSHOP

The board received a report regarding healthcare options for 2022-2023 and beyond and an enrollment report from Templeton Demographics.  Both of these items were discussed in the regular meeting, where action was taken.  These two items are detailed in the meeting recap below.

PUBLIC HEARING - FIRST Report

Director of Business Services Thad Lasater gave a report during a public hearing regarding the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST).

The purpose of the FIRST rating is to ensure that school districts will be held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and to achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.

A series of indicators are assigned numerical values that add up to 100, which is the maximum score.  CSISD’s weighted sum of points was 96 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Because a material weakness related to lost time and effort documents was discovered in the external independent audit report for 2019-2020, CSISD is not allowed to have a score higher than 79 points, which is considered to be “Meets Standard Achievement.”

In response to this finding, which was reported to the board when discovered in December 2020, CSISD immediately implemented a corrective action plan.

MEETING

Report on Academic Achievement and Class Rank Committee:  Executive Director of Secondary Education Tiffany Parkerson gave a report on the progress of the Academic Achievement and Class Rank Committee.

A previous committee met in the fall of 2020 and recommended changes to policy EIC(local) in regards to advanced courses.  This committee also recommended reviewing the other aspects of the policy, including Grade-Point-Average (GPA) calculation, the weighted grading system, and graduation honors.  As such, the board approved the charter for this committee in September 2021.

The committee began work in September with the understanding that no current high school students would be impacted by any proposed changes and any changes would be implemented with an incoming freshman class.

The committee has reviewed the current board policy EIC (Local), examined this policy in comparison districts, and learned about the implications of GPA and college admissions.

The committee will continue its work through January to make potential recommendations for the board to consider in the spring.

Resolution to discontinue participation in TRS-ActiveCare:  The board approved a resolution declaring the district’s intent to discontinue participation in TRS-ActiveCare.

In the 87th session of the Texas Legislature, the passage of SB 1444 resulted in an expansion of healthcare options for public school districts across the state. Under this new law, districts who are current Teacher Retirement System (TRS) ActiveCare participants are allowed to opt out of participation in the program during future plan years. Districts seeking to opt out for the 2022-23 plan year must notify TRS by December 31, 2021, and the decision is binding for five years.

In accordance with CSISD Board Policy BDB(Local), the Board of Trustees chartered an ad hoc advisory committee to study and make recommendations regarding the needs of the district in August 2021. The purpose of the Employee Healthcare Committee was to evaluate new options resulting from SB 1444 and develop a recommendation to either remain in the TRS-ActiveCare system or seek alternative options to best support the needs of CSISD employees in 2022-23 and beyond.

This committee met three times during early fall to evaluate historical and current information related to TRS-ActiveCare and discuss benefits and concerns around other options for employee healthcare. As a result of this work, the committee recommended the administration continue to evaluate other healthcare options and make a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees regarding the District's next steps with TRS-ActiveCare.

During this exploratory phase of work, administration met with three consultants to evaluate various options related to employee healthcare on the free market. Two separate and independent analyses of CSISD medical and pharmaceutical claims from the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 plan years indicate that CSISD employee premiums exceed claims paid.

Although the timing of this decision as required under statute does not allow for a full evaluation of specific plans and rates available in the free market prior to the next plan year beginning on September 1, 2022, the District has secured alternative plans through TASB Health Plan, which are comparable to existing plans and rates provide by TRS-ActiveCare. Additionally, the District has the option to engage in a full evaluation of options on the free market in spring 2022 before making the final determination regarding which plans best meet the needs of CSISD employees with a focus on affordability, quality, and continuity of care.

Annual enrollment report for policy FC (Local):  Chief Financial Officer Amy Drozd gave a presentation regarding the annual enrollment review, outlined by board policy FC (Local) pertaining to school attendance areas.

The policy states the administration shall annually review facility and enrollment projection data, including current demographic data, and five-year enrollment and school-capacity projections and present the results to the board.  The policy also states the administration should specifically inform the board of any school that has an enrollment below 85% or above 110% of building capacity.  No schools are above 110% of capacity.

Using the updated demographic information from Templeton Demographics, Drozd outlined projected CSISD enrollment growth.

Year:  Enrollment (% Growth)

  • 2021-22:  *14,209 (14,189) (4.0%)
  • 2022-23:  14,593 (2.7%)
  • 2023-24:  14,946 (2.4%)
  • 2024-25:  15,310 (2.4%)
  • 2025-26:  15,579 (1.8%)
  • 2026-27:  15,837 (1.7%)

* Taken from enrollment data in early October 2021.  The enrollment number reported via PEIMS on the annual snapshot date at the end of October was 14,189.

CSISD is projected to have capacity at all grade levels for the next few years.

Upon evaluating the data and enrollment projections at each level, the following observations were presented.

  • Overall, elementary schools have capacity in the next 5 years.
  • At the Intermediate and Middle School levels there is capacity for overall enrollment in the future; however, there are enrollment discrepancies between campuses.
  • Beginning in 23-24, College Station High School exceeds 110% occupancy; however, subsequent enrollment increases are projected to be 63 students over a four-year period. These projections do not reflect the impact of programming changes and a potential enrollment increase at College View HS.

Based on the observations listed above, the following actions will take place over the next year:

  • Monitor Pebble Creek and Southwood Valley Elementaries to determine if adjustments are needed in future years. 
  • Consider offering discretionary transfers from Pecan Trail to Cypress Grove and from Wellborn Middle to College Station Middle beginning in the 2022-23 school year.
  • Begin a long range facility planning process in fall 2022 to address future facility needs across the district.

Annual fiscal financial report:  Rebecca Goldshein, a representative of Weaver & Tidwell, L.L.P. gave a report on the annual financial and compliance audit for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021.

The auditors issued an “unmodified opinion” on the report meaning the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the district in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. In addition there were no material findings in compliance or internal controls. 

The General Fund shows expenses exceed revenue by $1.475 million compared to the original adopted budget of a $2.6 million deficit.  The audited budget shows the district’s fund balance - or savings account - stands at $34.6 million.

Purchases/Bid Approvals:

  • Approved the purchase of 2,000 portable air purification devices and filters for classrooms in the amount of $613,675 from Software Inc., using COVID-19 School Health Support Grant funds and ESSER II funds.

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