- Wichita Falls ISD
- Community Insider Spring/Summer 2018
Here's a round-up of WFISD’s latest headlines
Engage 2 Learn Partners with WFISD
WFISD is partnering with Engage2Learn, a company that specializes in facilitating communication between educators and their communities. The partnership will launch an extensive project of community meetings, goal setting, strategy formation and facility discussion. All efforts will be aimed at refocusing WFISD’s efforts to serve students in the next decade and provide them with the skills they need.
Chartwells Links Up with Local Growers
Chartwells has completed its first year as the District’s food service provider. The company has linked up with local growers like Moraths, Blaze Star Urban Farms and Steve Young to provide healthy options in school cafeterias. Chartwells has also introduced unique promotions, catering services, and a food truck. Records show cafeteria use by children is trending up at all grade levels.
Teacher Hiring Schedule Unchanged
The Hiring Teacher Salary Schedule, which brings on a first-year teacher at $43,200, will remain the same as last year. This is not the District’s teacher salary schedule that determines teacher wages or pay increases but a special 20-step hiring schedule used specifically by the WFISD Human Resources Department at its hiring events. WFISD plans to hire about 100 teachers this spring.
Thousands of Chromebooks Purchased for 1:1 Initiative
The recent purchase and leasing of 4,500 Chromebooks will allow WFISD to fully implement its one-to-one initiative throughout secondary schools. This brings the District’s current count of devices up to 6,900.
Pay Hikes for Bus Monitors, Drivers
Bus monitors and bus drivers received pay hikes as part of the Durham School Service contract. Bus monitors’ starting wage will increase from $9 per hour to $9.50 per hour. Bus drivers’ starting wage will increase from $11.40 per hour to $14 per hour.
District Adopts AP Capstone Program
The District has adopted the AP Capstone Program that will go into effect at Rider High School and Wichita Falls High School. The program features challenging, innovative courses. Specifically, the two high schools will offer courses titled “AP Seminar” to honors students in grades 10 and 11 and “AP Research” to honors students the following year in grades 11 and 12.
Transportation Changes for Transfer Students
Board members updated Policy FDB (Local) to require a student to provide his own transportation when he chooses a campus outside his attendance zone. The policy’s two exceptions: If students attend WFISD’s International Baccalaureate magnet program at either Kirby Middle School or Hirschi High School, they may continue to receive free busing. Also, a family must now present any appeal in a written petition.
New Buses Feature Air Conditioning, Seat Belts
WFISD purchased two student route buses and six student activity buses. All buses include air conditioning and (state-required) three-point seat belts.
District Students Place in 32 UIL Contests
The annual UIL meet for WFISD at the elementary level singled out 126 elementary student winners for places 1 through 6 in intense competition in 15 contests. At the middle school level, 68 students won No. 1 through No. 6 places in 17 contest areas.
Accelerated Instruction Now Delivered at Beginning of School Year
Board members approved a three-year waiver to the Texas Education Agency that will allow WFISD to offer accelerated instruction at the beginning of the school year instead of after the third administration of the 5th and 8th grade STAAR Reading and Math tests.
This year, the first administration of the STAAR tests was April 10, with results coming on April 30. The second administration is the week of May 14, with results coming in on May 25. The third administration is on June 17, with results coming in on July 17.
Changes Made to 2018-2019 WFISD School Calendar
WFISD board members approved a waiver that allowed the District to reduce its instructional days in the 2018-2019 school year to include four days of staff development for educators.
The 2018-2019 WFISD School Calendar eliminates several of the current year’s early release days, which created inconveniences for parents. The new calendar features 172 student instruction days and four staff development days from August 16, 2018 through May 23, 2019. There are five more staff development days from August 9 through August 15, 2018. The school start date is Thursday, August 16. The last day of school is Friday, May 24. Graduation is May 25. Students will have a Thanksgiving break from Nov. 19-23 and a Christmas break from Dec. 24, 2018 – January 4, 2019.
Graduation Plans Won’t Be Disrupted By State’s Delay
Board members unanimously voted to allow students who face ambiguity about their graduation plans to participate in commencement activities and ceremonies, even if they have not yet passed all state and local graduation requirements. While the situation is far from ideal, it deals with the real situation faced by many students and their families because the state schedules late-in-the-year tests and does not report pass-or-fail news until one day before graduation. This is the second year that WFISD passed a waiver like this one, allowing students to participate in commencement without passing all five EOC tests.
Enrollment Caps Raised at Barwise, McNiel
Board members raised the recommended enrollment at two schools, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Barwise Middle School’s operating enrollment was raised from 1,170 to 1,200; its maximum enrollment was raised from 1,195 to 1,225. McNiel Middle School’s operating enrollment was raised from 1,170 to 1,275; its maximum enrollment was raised from 1,195 to 1,300.