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Board Members Revisit Policy on Staff Children Transfers

Board Members Revisit Policy on Staff Children Transfers

Hardships always considered in transfer decisions, says official

 

 

Surprise for Elizabeth Yeager

WFISD School Board President Elizabeth Yeager (holding plaque) was surprised in Monday night's board meeting when Christy Nash (holding flowers), Wichita Falls High School principal, announced that Ms. Yeager was selected to receive the Yellow Rose of Texas Award. The prestigious honor presented by the governors of Texas is bestowed on women who have faithfully served their community. Ms. Nash is a Yellow Rose herself.

 

WFISD board members took a second look Monday, Sept. 16, at a policy they overwhelmingly supported when they passed it in a 7-0 vote two years ago.

The policy, FDB (LOCAL), gave WFISD educators the privilege of having their children attend a school that was at or near their work assignment – a perk of employment.

It was a way to thank educators for their hard work and make their daily lives a little easier, eliminating lengthy errands to pick up children at other schools.

Executive Director of School Administration Debby Patterson studied how the policy has been used during the past two years and presented her research to board members in Monday’s regularly scheduled board meeting.

Since the 2015-2016 school year when there were 661 elementary-approved transfers, staff children have consistently accounted for about 4 percent of elementary transfers, she said. That was a much smaller impact than Ms. Patterson said she had expected.

While the majority of transfers are approved for on-campus staff members to have their children attend the campus where they teach, this policy was broadened to include the children of maintenance workers, speech therapist’s children, senior staff members’ children, and more.

At the same time, WFISD was reining in the transfer policy for community members, starting with kindergarten and moving up one grade level each year, to create true attendance zones and discourage the hundreds of transfers that were requested each year.

However, hardships continued to be considered for community members who requested transfers, and many were granted for just such reasons, said Ms. Patterson.

Studying the results, board members concluded that accommodating staff members’ children in this policy was not creating a numbers burden nor were employees taking inordinate advantage of the opportunity. 

Board member Elizabeth Yeager stressed that the policy was purposely broadened. The benefit, which costs the district nothing, was designed to make employees’ lives easier and was a board-initiated change.

“FDB has board fingerprints all over it,” said board member Dale Harvey. “We did it as a perk for district employees. That helps them with their children.”

Board member Bob Payton said the policy, as it was broadened, may have made it overly liberal but he could not see an excessively high number of educators using it. “I don’t know where to draw the line,” he said. 

 

Presentations

  • Doug Albus, Hirschi High School Principal, was honored for being named the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Region 9 Principal of the Year. He has been a principal at Hirschi for five years. 
  • Jennifer Spurgers, Career Education Center assistant principal, was honored for being named the Texas Association of Secondary School Assistant Principal of the Year. She has been an assistant principal for four years.
  • Chartwells K12 Director Farai Sithole was recognized as his team was awarded the 2019 Be-A-Star National Account of the Year. Be-A-Star is a Chartwells program that recognizes associates and teams for business excellence. 
  • Cunningham Elementary, led by Principal Donna Martin, was recognized for achieving Level 1 in the Marzano High Reliability Schools program.
  • Board President Elizabeth Yeager was presented with the Yellow Rose of Texas Award by fellow Yellow Rose recipient Christy Nash, principal at Wichita Falls High School. The honor is conferred by the governors of Texas to recognize exceptional Texas women who have served their communities. 

 

Class Size Exception Waiver

In a 6-0 vote, board members approved Class Size Exception Waivers for four WFISD classrooms on three campuses: Cunningham, Franklin and Scotland Park Elementary Schools. 

The waivers, presented by Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths, were far fewer than in past years – which drew praise from board members.

Also, each waiver was requested because the four classes had exceeded the state-required 22-student limit by only one student each – a remarkable feat in planning and execution of staff member assignments.

 

Copy Paper Purchase

In a 6-0 vote, board members approved buying the District’s copy paper from Sam’s Club of Wichita Falls for $27.56 per unit and a total price of $92,601.60. Though Sam’s Club was not the low bidder, board members used their discretion to purchase from a local business that has been friendly and accommodating to WFISD schools instead of patronizing the qualified low bidder from Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Human Resources

In a 6-0 vote, board members adopted the proposed applicant pool. With their vote, they hired three new teachers with a combined three years of experience and one diagnostician who will be headquartered at the Education Center. They also approved one contract change.

Human Resources Director Cyndy Kohl, who presented the applicant pool, said she is still working to hire 20 teachers.

 

Consent Agenda

In a 6-0 vote, board members passed the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • Financial reports as of July 31, 2019
  • RFP #20-11 for Walk-In Maintenance
  • RFP #20-14 for Elevator and Chairlift Maintenance Services
  • RFP #20-15 for Trades Bid
  • TASB Recommended Local Policy Update 113
  • Local Policy Revision FFAC (LOCAL)
  • Minutes from Sept. 10, 2019, August 8, 2019, August 13, 2019, and August 19, 2019