WFISD Re-Evaluates Mission, Priorities and Strategies
WFISD Re-Evaluates Mission, Priorities and Strategies
District expands, defines “Preparing all students to become lifelong learners” for new 5-year cycle
In this file photo, WFISD board members and community members join in a ribbon-cutting of the District's new Career Education Center on August 8, 2017. This was the culmination of an important goal for the District: to build a facility to provide state-of-the-art and up-to-the-minute career guidance. Now District leaders are formulating new academic goals to move the District forward in new ways.
The state of Texas requires school districts to commit themselves to improvement plans that will move them forward for the next five years.
To comply, WFISD has created its own District Improvement Plan, which Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths presented to board members in a special session October 10, 2017. This one is based on new expectations set forth by the Texas Education Agency specifically for school districts and will be followed up in November with individual campus reports.
The Plan is rooted in the District’s oft-stated mission: Prepare all students to become lifelong learners who are productive, responsible and participating members of society.
The Plan also includes four priority goals handed down by the federal government: Recruit, retain and support teachers and principals; build a foundation of literacy and numeracy; connect high school to career and college; and improve low-performing schools.
“Our job is to take that and come up with performance objectives,” said Mr. Griffiths.
Under the first, the District set a goal to decrease its turnover rate from 14.7 percent to 14.4 percent by 2018. Currently, the District’s turnover rate is below the state rate.
The state changed its accountability standards of four indexes to a set-up that now tracks performance in three domains, focusing on reading and math and particularly end-of-year reading reports in grades 1 and 2.
The District also set performance objectives related to connecting high school to career and college by increasing the number of students who will be college and career ready, who will earn 12 or more college credits in high school, who will take a coherent sequence of courses, who will graduate, and who will achieve Masters Grade Level Standard (previously Advanced Standard) in all subjects.
The District also set goals related to its fourth priority: to improve low-performing schools. The District will increase the numbers of students who attain “Approaches Grade Level Standard” or higher in science, social studies, and writing, and the District set a goal to increase its spending to nurture parental involvement.
Board member Tom Bursey asked how much additional stress these goals were putting on teachers at Improvement Required schools, the schools that did not meet state goals last year.
There is no additional pressure, said Superintendent Mike Kuhrt. “Their school improvement plans are a lot more aggressive,” he said.
Policy FM (LOCAL)
Policy FM (LOCAL) was revised to establish consistency across the District in the way UIL eligibility is handled for transfer students.
Now, all three of WFISD’s high schools will handle transfer students’ UIL eligibility identically, said Debby Patterson, executive director of school administration.
The change: Varsity athlete eligibility will be established after they move to a new school, not at the time they enroll.
A student who has transferred out of his attendance zone campus to attend another high school within the District will be eligible at the first school he attends.
If eligibility has been established at the district of residence, the transfer will result in a loss of varsity eligibility for one year.
If a student moves to another WFISD attendance zone, the student will be ineligible for varsity UIL competition for 15 days, as long as the move was not made for athletic reasons. If the move was made for athletic reasons, it could result in permanent ineligibility, according to the policy.
Local Policy EHBL (LOCAL)
This policy, which set guidelines for a GED test center, is no longer applicable to the District.
Policy Update 108
These policy changes reflect updates to amendments going into effect in the 2017-2018 school year as a result of decisions by the 85th Legislature.
Update 108 addresses topics such as instructional resources and materials, credit by examination with prior instruction, graduation and campus charters.
In a 5-0 vote, board members approved budget amendments to the 2017-2018 budgets as submitted by Tim Sherrod, chief financial officer.
General Operating revenues reflect an increase of $377,995. Expenditures show an increase of $158,630. The total budgeted deficiency of expenditures over revenues is $1.4 million.
The Food Service and Debt Service budgets showed no amendments.
Mr. Sherrod asked board members to consider awarding a Chromebooks purchase to Delcom (for $129,886.50) and the purchase of licenses to CDW Government LLC (for $10,395). Neither company submitted the lowest overall bid for the proposal, but they submitted the lowest bids that accurately met all specifications, said Alicia Woodard, director of purchasing.
The purchase includes 300 Dell Chromebook II 3180 Touch (screen) at $273.90 each and 150 Dell Chromebook II 3189 Touch at $318.11 each. The District is also purchasing 450 Google Chrome OS Management Console Licenses at a cost of $23.10 each.
Since the last board meeting, one teacher and two support workers have retired; two teachers and five support workers have resigned.
The Certified Applicant Pool put forward the names of three new teachers with a total of two years experience.