Return to Headlines

WFISD Board Members Tend to Back-to-School Business

WFISD Board Members Tend to Back-to-School Business

New school year marked by trend of fewer class-size exception waiver requests

 

Only four WFISD classes on three campuses are slightly oversized, requiring a Class-Size Exception Waiver from the state. 

The matter was one of many back-to-school details addressed by board members in the Sept. 10, 2019 board work session.

This year, like last year, only a handful of classrooms slightly exceeded state limits, said Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths in his presentation to board members Tuesday. For these classes, it was more prudent to request a waiver than hire an additional teacher, he said. 

This year’s small number of waiver requests was similar to one year ago. In 2018, just four classes on two campuses required a waiver.

This small number of waivers is a break from the District’s past when, in 2017, WFISD requested waivers for 24 of its classrooms. 

Generally, waivers make sense when general classroom attrition in the first few weeks of the school year often takes care of any overcrowding.

 

Financial Report

In other business, Chief Financial Officer Tim Sherrod presented board members with financial reports as of July 31, 2019. His “Year to Date Revenues and Expenses” report detailed the revenue and functional expenditures for the General Fund, Food Service Fund, and Debt Service Fund for one month of operations.

  • General Fund Revenue was 0.57 percent with expenditures of 6.3 percent of budgeted funds.
  • Food Service Fund Revenue was 0.72 percent with expenditures of 2.59 percent of budgeted funds.
  • Debt Service Fund Revenue was 0.55 percent with expenditures of 19.39 percent of budgeted funds.

Typically, Mr. Sherrod’s reports compare revenues and expenditures with the past year. However, this year’s restructured fiscal year made such comparisons impractical for the next 11 months, he said.

 

Budget Amendments

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved budget amendments to the 2019-2020 budget, as submitted by Mr. Sherrod. General operating revenues and expenditures reflected no change since board members considered the Board-Approved Budget Amendment on August 8. It reflects no increase or decrease to the district’s legally adopted budget, said Mr. Sherrod.

The approval included 22 amendments.

 

Walk-In Maintenance

Mr. Sherrod asked board members to award its walk-in purchases of supplies to a list of 52 vendors. The proposal enables the District to use local vendors for supplies required for minor projects and to purchase them quickly. “This will also allow the District to take advantage of deeper discounts and vendor specials,” said Mr. Sherrod.

His list of 52 vendors for plumbing and electrical supplies included contact names, phone numbers and the percent discount each vendor offered to the school district. 

 

Copy Paper Purchase

Mr. Sherrod brought an RFP for copy paper – a purchase that will cost about $90,000 – to board members, even though it did not meet the $100,000 cut-off for board approval. The reason: When the current order runs out after six to seven months, the District will order more, then exceeding the $100,000, said Mr. Sherrod.

Although Mr. Sherrod proposed buying the copy paper from the second-lowest bidder, board member Bob Payton suggested that in this instance, he would prefer using a local provider even if the cost was slightly higher, and board members agreed.

The second-lowest bidder submitted by Mr. Sherrod was Veritiv Op. Co., a company based in Jacksonville, Florida, which offered a unit price of $26.79 and a total paper price of $90,014.40. However, Sam’s Club, with a Wichita Falls presence, priced its paper at a $27.56 unit price for a total price of $92,601.60 – a difference of $2,587.20.

This is within the 5 percent variance allowed for board members to patronize a local vendor.

 

Elevator and Chairlift Maintenance Services

Board members considered a proposal to award an RFP for elevator and chairlift maintenance and inspection services to Otis Elevator Company, who is the District’s current provider for these services. The company was the lowest of two bidders, offering five-year services for $46,297.

 

Trades Bid

Mr. Sherrod presented board members with a Trades Bid that will enable the District to more quickly use local services required for emergencies and minor projects. The submitted proposals are awarded low and when the number one ranked vendor is unavailable or cannot meet the recommended time frame, the next vendor is used. 

The list included 35 vendors for services ranging from asbestos air monitoring to light truck service to commercial door installation and repair.

 

Local Policy Update 113

Executive Director of School Administration Debby Patterson presented board members with Update 113, which focused primarily on recent amendments to the Administrative Code on the following topics:

  • Board member access to information
  • Retention or employment of district attorneys
  • Superintendent evaluation
  • School property disposal
  • Food and nutrition management
  • Video surveillance of special education classrooms
  • Student investigations and searches

WFISD followed all recommendations by the Texas Association of School Board Policy Service and made no local exceptions, said Ms. Patterson.

 

FFAC (LOCAL) Revision

Ms. Patterson asked board members to approve the revision of FFAC (LOCAL) policy, which clarifies parent instructions on student medications. When medications are brought to school, they should be brought in an original, unopened container. By requiring the original unopened container labeled with an expiration date and number of pills, it frees the school nurse from having to account for any missing pills, said Ms. Patterson.

Essential oils are now considered substances that will not be permitted in school unless they are specifically required by the student’s IEP or 504 plan.

 

FDB LOCAL

Ms. Patterson provided to board members a history of Policy FDB (LOCAL), which tracked WFISD’s years with its Choice Program, Opt Out revisions, transfer policies and attendance zones.

The report included enrollment data along with secondary campus capacity numbers. 

Board members requested the data for planning purposes, she said.

 

Waiver for Remote Instruction

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved a waiver to the Texas Education Agency for remote homebound instruction for one special education student. Without an approved waiver, the remote instruction WFISD delivers through the Texas Virtual School Network is ineligible for state funding. 

 

 Waiver for Dual Credit Instruction

In a 7-0 vote, board members also gave approval to submit a waiver to the Texas Education Agency for Dual Credit instruction for students. The waiver will cover three school years through 2022. It waives the requirement for WFISD to provide the state-required minimum of 75,600 minutes of instruction for dual credit students who attend Midwestern State University, Vernon College and take dual credit classes with Vernon professors at the Career Education Center when college and high school calendars do not coincide.

 

Applicant Pool

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the month’s applicant pool.  According to Human Resources Director Cyndy Kohl, the District still has 19 open positions to fill. 

 

Board Matters: Long Range Planning

Superintendent Mike Kuhrt noted that board members will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. for another in a series of long-range planning meetings. Thursday’s meeting will focus on secondary campuses, he said.