WFISD Will Offer Pre-Kindergarten Services to District Employees' Children
WFISD Will Offer Pre-Kindergarten Services to District Employees’ Children
Perk is considered an innovative way to recruit and retain high-quality teachers
Dr. Travis Armstrong, Wichita Falls ISD’s director of early learning, believes he has found a way to make working for WFISD even more appealing to high-quality educators – and board members cast a unanimous vote Monday, agreeing with him.
Dr. Armstrong proposed a plan to offer pre-K services to District employees’ children. This strategy has already worked for him in a previous district. In one year, he estimated he hired five high-quality teachers because he could offer them the chance to bring their child to school, where they would receive pre-K services.
The 7-0 vote to adopt the plan was the main item of business in the May 21, 2018 board meeting.
Dr. Armstrong had previously polled WFISD staff to gauge the interest of District employees in a tuition-based pre-K program. About 40 to 50 children would join in the program, according to the poll, if it were offered.
Many school districts do not offer pre-K services for employees, so the offering is considered innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, said Dr. Armstrong. As far as he knew, Round Rock, Graham and Olney ISDs were among the few school districts offering some form of pre-K services to employee children.
In the past year, WFISD opened one pre-K class at Fowler Elementary and another at Southern Hills Elementary. According to the enrollment numbers that have already come in through Pre-K Round-up, Dr. Armstrong believed that employee children could be plugged into either program.
“I think we could definitely make that work,” he said.
Local daycare and pre-K programs cost about $450 to $600 monthly, “so our plan (estimated at about $250 per month) would be a cost-savings,” he said. A cost for the program has not yet been determined, he said, but it would be “reasonable but competitive.”
If a child met state qualifications for pre-K services, his spot in a pre-K classroom would be free. Students who are part of military families, in foster care, or qualify for free or reduced lunches meet state requirements and would therefore receive the pre-K services free. Otherwise, the educator would agree to pay tuition for his or her child. Currently, WFISD receives $2,570 per qualifying pre-K student per school year in state funding. Although WFISD offers a full-day program, the state funding is only for half-a-day of services.
In Monday’s board meeting, WFISD board members recognized 97 students who achieved state-level performance in academics and sports. Superintendent Mike Kuhrt congratulated students for such robust achievement. The following students were honored, along with their coaches:
Wichita Falls High School Boys Soccer, TASCO Academic All-State, under the direction of Head Boys Soccer Coach Patrick McCauley:
- Jorge Guillen
- Alfredo Pacheco
Wichita Falls High School Girls Soccer, TGCA Academic All-State (94 average for all four years), under the direction of Head Girls Soccer Coach Rob Woodard:
- Emma Antill, Ashland Hansen, Tagan Hansen, Alyssa Hollis, Alyssa Mullins, Madilynn Pinson, Chloe Rodriguez, Janae Sanchez, Nazhula Straight
Wichita Falls High School Girls Soccer, TASCO Academic All-State (90 average for all four years)
- Emma Antill, Ashland Hansen, Tagan Hansen, Alyssa Hollis, Ariana Magana, Alyssa Mullins, Madilynn Pinson, Chloe Rodriguez, Janae Sanchez, Nazhula Straight
- TASCO Honorable Mention All-State: Janae Sanchez
Rider High School Boys Soccer, TASCO Academic All-State under the direction of Head Boys Soccer Coach Dustin Holly
- Blake Beasley, Spencer Bristo, Conor Gonzales, Tyler Hughes, Zack Majewski, Jacob Obney, Justin Parmeter, Jordan Pirtle, Adrian Salcedo
Rider High School Boys Soccer TASCO All-State – 2nd Team
- Blake Beasley, Spencer Bristo, Zack Majewski
Rider High School Girls Soccer, under the direction of Head Girls Soccer Coach Carl Wiersema
- All-State: Emma Baley, 1st Team; Keely Ayala, 2nd Team; Maddi Kyle, 2nd Team; Jordan McLarty, 2nd Team
- Academic All-State: Keeley Ayala, Emma Baley, Kaylee Bilyeu, Carly Kowalick, Jordan McLarty, Carlee Vassar
- Region I State All-Star Team: Keeley Ayala
Rider High School Baseball, under the direction of Head Baseball Coach Jeremy Crouch
- Academic All-State: Grayson Coates, Preston Lacy, Charlie McBride, Landon Parks, Rayce Radtke, Dylan Wegmann, Logan Wissinger
Rider High School Softball, under the direction of Head Softball Coach Linda Graves
- TGCA Academic All-State: Savannah Dickson, Bayleigh Holley, Taylor McCoy, Madeline Naylor, Carli Ward
Rider High School Boys Golf Team, under the direction of Head Golf Coach Dakota Robbins
- State Qualifiers: Robert Borgman, Clark Dunkelberg, Lane Garcia, Bryce Gunkel, Collin Page
Hirschi High School Tennis under the direction of Head Tennis Coach Lee Gregg
- Academic All-State: Delilah Dominguez, Joseph Mayfield, Ahad Mohamed
Hirschi High School Track under the direction of track coaches Shane Adair and Steven Law
- State Qualifier for the 100 Meter Dash: Breonna Campbell, 5th place overall (coached by Track Coach Tommy Nash)
- Academic All-State: Ezekiel Holmes, 2nd Team; Gerrick McKinney 2nd Team; Xavier Wilson, Honorable Mention
- State Qualifiers: 1st Place 4 x 100 – Nate Downing, Javen Banks, Daimarqua Foster, Gerrick McKinney
- State Qualifiers: 1st Place 4 x 200 – Nate Downing, Javen Banks, Daimarqua Foster, Gerrick McKinney
- State Qualifiers: 1st Place 200 Meter: Gerrick McKinney
- State Qualifiers: 2nd Place Long Jump: Javen Banks
TAME State STEM Competition:
- Kirby Middle School: Ann James, 6th Grade Math (3rd Place), under the direction of instructor Gwenna Gallenberger
- McNiel Middle School: Christopher Echols, 7th Grade Science (5th Place); Emily Spurgers, Engineering Design Challenge (1st Place); Sai Chada, 6th Grade Math (1st Place); 6th Grade Science (5th Place), under the direction of instructor Amber Houck
- Hirschi High School: Anthony Shuey, 9th grade Math (2nd Place); Williams Nzeh-Biko, Judges’ Choice for Innovative Switcher in the Engineering Design Challenge, under the direction of instructor Jeff Davis
- Rider High School: Collin Hebner, Engineering Design Challenge (6th Place), under the instruction of Joshua Nielsen and Brian Bass
- Wichita Falls High School: Daniel Portillo, Texas Board of Professional Engineers Innovation Award in the Engineering Design Challenge, under the instruction of Dorene Baker
State Music Qualifiers from Rider High School
- State Music Qualifiers: Rider High School seniors: Band: Suraiya Alam, Greyson Esquibel, Luke Featherston, Sydney Fosnaugh, Allyson Hoang, Reece Holden, Corbin Leonard, Jordan McLarty, Madison O’Neal, Kevin Pillow, Tayton Rose, Matthew Spears, Caleigh Studer, Dylan Wegman
- State Music Qualifiers in Orchestra: Aspen Fisher, Sydney Fosnaugh, Luke Schroeder, under the direction of Band/orchestra instructor Loy Studer
- State Music Qualifiers in Choir: Blake Beasley, Joshua Dehoyos, Aspen Fisher, Andrew Fry, under the instruction of Choir Instructor Melanie Coons
State Music Qualifiers from Hirschi High School, all seniors:
- Choir: Jordyn Howard, under the instruction of Mineasa Nesbit
- Band: Mason DeJesus, under the instruction of Shirley Johnston and Randy Smith
Texas Music Scholars: To qualify, a student must be a viable member of the school’s parent musical organization all year; maintain all cumulative coursework an overall “A” average; maintain academic eligibility all year; participate in all scheduled events of the parent organization; attend as an audience member two director-approved concert events of high school, collegiate or professional level during a school year; have auditioned, been selected and participated as required in a TMEA or ATSSB organization (a band, orchestra or choir); perform a UIL prescribed Music List Class 1 solo for a competition or public performance; consistently exhibit exemplary behavior
- From Hirschi High School: Alexis Nicolas, under the instruction of Desmond Juarez
- Rider High School: Marissa Smith, Caleigh Studer, Zayana Uddin, Aaron Wheat, under the instruction of Loy Studer
2018 WFISD Art Purchase Awards
- From Hirschi High School: Venus Shirazy, Natalia Hernandez (under the direction of instructor Tommy Evans)
- From Rider High School: R’yn Ashlock, Kayla Le (under the direction of Nancy Gail Kizis)
- From Wichita Falls High School: Patrick Heidy, Samantha Coulter (under the direction of instructors Chris Mayfield and Carol Rose)
Best Communities for Music Education
District Music Teachers were honored for receiving the Best Communities for Music Education distinction, which is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
Qualifying for this distinction required Fine Arts Director Kelly Strenski to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. This award recognizes that WFISD leads the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Region 9 Assistant Principal of the Year
Lori Apple was honored for being named the Texas Elementary Principal & Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Region 9 Assistant Principal of the Year. She was chosen from the top 20 administrators in the region for her service at Burgess Elementary. She has also served as assistant principal at Fowler Elementary. Mrs. Apple currently serves as interim principal at Haynes Northwest Academy. She has 14 years of education experience with WFISD. She will be recognized at the TEPSA awards reception in Austin on June 13.
Burgess Elementary Achieves Marzano’s Level 2 Distinction
Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths honored Burgess Elementary staff members for achieving Level 2 Certification in the Marzano High Reliability Schools program. Level 2 Certification signifies that the school has created an instructional framework that develops and maintains effective instruction in every classroom. This impacts all student learning on the campus.
In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the Consent Agenda, which included:
- Financial reports as of March 31, 2018
- RFP #18-16 Property Insurance
- CSP #18-17 Security Initiative Phase III
- Band Uniforms
- Policy Update 110
- Resolution Related to Alternative Graduation Requirements – Senate Bill 463
Human Resources Report
In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the Applicant Pool, hiring 12 new teachers with a combined 54 years of education experience. They also approved the contract changes for two teachers.