Aug. 23, 2016
Northwest Board Notes: Aug. 22 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, Aug. 22 - 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.
Tax rate approved, set equal to prior year's rate
Trustees heard a review of the 2016-17 budget, adopted at its June 27 meeting, and approved a combined tax rate of $1.4525 per $100 of property value, the same rate as the 2015-16 budget.

The combined rate includes maintenance and operations (which is set at $1.04 and funds normal operating costs across the district) as well as interest and sinking fund (which is set at $0.4125 and is used to pay off the debt accumulated by building new schools and other bond costs). 

Northwest ISD's budget begins each year on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year.

New construction progressing
As part of the facilities, planning and construction monthly report, an update was provided to trustees about the district's new Outdoor Learning Center and other structures.

Planning remains for the upcoming Middle School No. 6, which will be located near Eaton High School and Schluter Elementary School. This campus will be built with bonds issued as part of the 2012 Bond Package, which also included Eaton. Next to its site, additions to Schluter are progressing and will add additional classroom space as well as renovations including two courtyards, a new play area and a revamped gym.

Smaller renovations took place elsewhere, with Hughes and Nance elementary schools receiving new carpet and Steele Accelerated High School receiving a roof replacement and new HVAC units for air conditioning.

Finally, the Outdoor Learning Center will open during the 2016-17 school year and is almost complete. This facility will provide Northwest ISD students with one of the premier learning opportunities in the state, where they can see a wide variety of species and agriculture in different ecosystems on nearly 200 acres. A dedication will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, and will be preceded by an open house from 5-7 p.m.

Outdoor Learning Center construction

Outdoor Learning Center construction

Outdoor Learning Center construction

Outdoor Learning Center construction
Northwest ISD's new Outdoor Learning Center.

Campus Improvement Plans approved
Trustees approved each school's Campus Improvement Plan, which are 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.

To see every campus' CIP, click here.

Kim Caley appointed assistance superintendent for administrative services
Dr. Kim Caley was officially named the district's assistant superintendent for administrative services, promoting her from the same role she was holding on an interim basis.

In her role, Dr. Caley oversees all human resource functions, employee benefits and risk management. Prior to holding this role on an interim basis, Dr. Caley was the executive director of HR. She has worked in Northwest ISD since 1999, rising from a campus instructional teacher to become an assistant principal and eventually becoming a principal. She was named executive director of HR in 2013.

District reaffirms commitment to PTA
Trustees signed a resolution reaffirming their commitment to strong PTA partnerships, saying they want the community to remain highly committed in NISD schools.

As proposed in the resolution, trustees declared September as "Membership Month in PTA" for the district, encouraging support of school PTAs and encouraging those interested to become members in their schools' PTAs. 

The Northwest ISD Council of PTAs was established in 1988 and includes 17 elementary PTAs, five middle school PTAs and four high school PTSAs. The groups have served as strong cornerstones for community relationships with schools.

In other action, the board
  • Recognized new and returning business partners who are supporting the district as part of Partners in Education: Benchmark Hospitality, Durham School Services, Galderma (new), Shears of Steele Salon (new) and United Way of Denton County.
  • Officially transitioned from the PDAS system to the T-TESS system for teacher appraisals in accordance with state law and administrative regulations.
  • Named a concussion oversight team for athletics as required by the Texas Education Code. The team consists of two athletic trainers from each of the district's comprehensive high schools as well as Dr. Jason Wander (concussion specialist), Dr. Eric Stehly (North Texas Orthopedics) and Dr. Kerry Donegon (North Texas Orthopedics).
  • Approved agreements to renew on-site child care program services as well as the Denton County JJAEP and Tarrant County JJAEP for alternative education placement.
Galderma honored as a new PIE partner at the Aug. 22, 2016, board meeting
Galderma is honored for being a new district partner.
Shears of Steele Salon honored as a new PIE partner at the Aug. 22, 2016, board meeting
Shears of Steele Salon is honored for being a new district partner.
United Way of Denton County honored as a new PIE partner at the Aug. 22, 2016, board meeting
The United Way of Denton County is recognized for being a district partner.