Aug. 8, 2016
Northwest Board Notes: Aug. 8 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, Aug. 8 - during a regularly scheduled meeting. This is a recap of the major actions and reports from the meeting. To see every item that was discussed or approved, click here.
District continuing rapid growth pace
Trustees heard from demographer Templeton Demographics and Tim McClure, district architect and planner, about the district's current population-focused trends.

According to its data, Templeton ranked NISD fifth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in terms of annual new-home development ending in the second quarter of 2016, behind Frisco ISD, Denton ISD, Prosper ISD and Lewisville ISD. With 25,357 projected future NISD new homes, however, only Prosper ISD is projected to have more new-home sustained rapid growth at 28,370 projected new homes. Only one other school district in the top 20 new home rankings has more than 20,000 projected new homes for the future - Midlothian ISD at 20,692.

Northwest ISD expects to begin the 2016-17 school year with more than 22,000 students, and Templeton expects the district to add about 6,200 more students over the next five years. Templeton expects NISD's 2020-2021 enrollment to be 27,194 students, and its 2025-26 enrollment to be 33,702 students.

Bond refunding lowers taxpayer contributions
Northwest ISD directly saved more than $14 million for taxpayers thanks to lowering the interest cost on its bonds by refunding its 2010 and 2011 bonds, which were set at a higher interest rate than bonds issued in 2016.

The savings adds to the NISD financial team's efforts to save taxpayer money by refunding earlier bonds that were set at higher interest rates. Over the past 18 months, the district has saved taxpayers nearly $76.9 million by refunding its earlier bonds.

Academics teams tout student success
District academic leaders provided trustees with an overview of student success during the 2015-16 school year, including significant strides in an already-strong advanced academic programs.

For the second consecutive year, more than 50 percent of AP exams from NISD students showed a mastery - a score of 3, 4 or 5 - in their respective areas. A total of 422 AP Scholar honors were received by NISD students, a significant increase from the 2014-15 total of 310. Similarly, enrollment in advanced academic programs - including AP, dual credit, and AVID - has increased districtwide.

At the elementary level, NISD students continued to outperform their state peers in reading, writing, math and science tests, both at the regular and advanced level.

Extracurricular activities also saw tremendous success, with overall student involvement continuing its upward trend and several notable fine arts and athletic successes. In fine arts, 26 students qualified for a state competition and 12 were selected to all-state ensembles; Eaton and Byron Nelson high schools also sent teams to the finals in the first UIL state cheer competition. Athletically, NISD accounted for two state champions (a female wrestler and female shot putter), and 27 student-athletes were sent to state events.

Campus Improvement Plans presented
Dr. Rob Thornell, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, presented trustees with an overview of each school's Campus Improvement Plan, which is created annually by each school to find ways to improve student performance.

CIPs are developed by a campus leadership team - made up of school teachers, staff and community members - based on information and statistics from the then-current year. Using that information, the team finds ways to improve student performance in all populations, including populations based on gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and inclusion in special programs. Each campus also identified a specific area to focus on based on the team's assessment.

Trustees are anticipated to approve CIPs at their next regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 22.

Hazardous bus routes approved
Though district-provided busing is available for all students who live more than two miles from their schools, many hazardous routes exist within the two-mile limit that necessitates busing be provided to certain areas. NISD officials have identified 24 such areas, which will receive busing and are less than two miles from their zoned schools.

To see the full list of hazardous-route busing areas, click here.

In other action, the board
  • Recognized the Communications Department for receiving awards from the National School Public Relations Association for the district's "I Love NISD" social media campaign and the "On the Grow" video series.
  • Recognized new business partners who are supporting the district as part of Partners in Education: Hillwood, Business Essentials and Radiant Dental Care.
  • Approved agreements with four local police departments (Fort Worth, Justin, Trophy Club and Wise County) to continue providing school resource officers for the safety and security of students.

Communications staff receive recognition for their NSPRA awards.
Radiant Dental Care is recognized for being a district partner.
Hillwood is recognized for being a district partner.