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Few Exception Waivers Needed This Year

Few Exception Waivers Needed This Year

New hiring strategy reduces large class sizes

 

At the beginning of the school year, it’s not unusual for elementary class sizes to swell beyond the state’s limit of 22 students per teacher.

In years past, as many as 20 classes in the District bulged with students in the early weeks, prompting the need for the District to apply for class-size exception waivers from the state. Last year, 23 classes at seven campuses recorded a head count of more than 22 – also prompting the need for exception waivers.

But this year, administrators got out ahead of the situation and hired more teachers in the early grades so that when Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths stood before board members at the regularly scheduled board meeting Sept. 17, he needed to ask only for Class-size Exception Waivers for two campuses.

Only three classes at Zundy Elementary and one at Jefferson Elementary remained slightly above – by just one or two students -- the 22-student limit.

Students frequently move in or out of the District, which eventually normalizes most classes to 22 students or under. But in the meantime, the class waivers will keep all WFISD classrooms in compliance with state regulations.

Many studies show small class sizes improve learning. Board members approved the waivers in a 7-0 vote.

 

Public Comment

Retired Midwestern State University professor Emerson Capps addressed board members to introduce them to Texans for Public Education, a non-partisan organization that supports public education. It rates political candidates as friendly, unfriendly or neutral to public education, he said.

 

Presentations

Board members honored Dr. Cody Blair, Principal of Rider High School for being selected to represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as a Region 9 Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Board members also honored Mrs. Stephanie Robles, Assistant Principal of Barwise Middle School, for being selected to represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as a Region 9 Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year.

Both will go on to compete for their respective state titles.

 

Consent Agenda

In a 7-0 vote, board members passed the Consent Agenda, which approved:

  • Resale bids of property located at 1407 N. Rosewood Rear
  • Financial reports as of July 31, 2018
  • Acceptance of the 2018 Certified Tax Roll and the Estimate of the Collection Rate for the current year
  • RFP #18-39 Medicaid Collection Services
  • 2018-2019 Targeted Improvement Plans
  • Minutes

 

Financial Services

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the RFP #18-41 Supplemental Trades Bid with one correction pertaining to Porcelain Floor Covering Work. The District will give first preference to Breegle of Wichita Falls for any porcelain floor covering work that it needs, though Breegle’s rates are slightly higher than the No. 2 preference, R.L. Environmental of Dallas.

Breegle has a long history of service to Wichita Falls ISD and, as a local company, will not ask for any extenuating costs, such as travel, if the District employed them on any job.

The District has used R.L. Environmental in the past, but mainly for asbestos work, said Purchasing Director Alicia Woodard.