Sept. 13, 2016
Northwest Board Notes: Sept. 12 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, Sept. 12 - 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.
Naming, construction bid processes for Middle School No. 6 begin
A rendering of the planned design for Middle School No. 6.

The board heard updates from district staff regarding the planning status of Middle School No. 6, which is currently anticipated to open in 2018 near Eaton High School.

Emily Conklin, director of communications, provided an overview about the name submission process for the new school. According to the district's policy, elementary and middle schools must be named in accordance with one of the following categories:
  1. After a person who has served the district or community, especially in service to children
  2. After a person who has made a significant contribution to society and/or education
  3. After a local residential or geographic area
  4. After a district property donor or his or her family member
Any individual who fits one of the descriptions above must not be living at the time of the naming process. Naming submissions from the public will be accepted from Monday, Sept. 19, to Monday, Oct. 17. The selection committee will present a recommendation for the final name on Monday, Nov. 14, which the board will vote to approve or deny on Monday, Dec. 12.

Additionally, the board heard from Tim McClure, district architect and planner, about the construction process for the school. Trustees approved the district's plan to begin receiving bids for the project, which will use a competitive sealed process. With this process, construction firms will submit bids with their costs as well as the backgrounds of their teams so the district can select the bid it feels provides the best combination of cost-effectiveness and expertise.

Summer learning programs discussed
Suzie McNeese, Ed. D., director of student services, provided the board with an overview of summer learning programs offered to students following the 2015-16 academic year.

Summer learning opportunities were available across a wide spectrum of areas, including elementary and secondary academics as well as athletics, fine arts and technology programs. Summer athletic programs impacted 2,217 students, followed by elementary academics with 1,133 students, secondary academics with 408 students, technology with 340 students, and fine arts with 392 students.

A performance of "The Jungle Book Jr." at summer theater camp.

These programs included credit recovery and original credit earning as well as learning and extracurricular camps. Students engaged in a varied range of opportunities, from sports camps to Raspberry Pi and Lego Robotics coding to dance classes. Community collaborations also represented a large part of summer opportunities, with community support providing the resources needed for programs (such as student volunteers, Champions Day Care and more).

More than 250 Northwest ISD teachers took part in summer programs to ensure students were provided with top-tier instruction.

Trustees updated on state educational law changes
As part of a new law passed in the Texas Legislature, certain special education classrooms require school districts install and operate video and audio equipment for recording.

Because of this new law, the district must adopt local policy to govern the use of these recordings. The Texas Association of School Boards provided trustees with a recommendation of a local policy that they can adopt, revise or repeal for the district's uses. The policy recommendation provides language to prohibit the use of recording in bathrooms as well as similar issues to protect both students and teacher privacy. Another notable aspect of the policy includes a requirement that the district post signs indicating if a classroom has audio and video surveillance installed.

The NISD board may take action on the adoption of TASB's policy recommendation at their next regular board meeting on Monday, Sept. 26.

In other action, the board
  • Recognized new and returning business partners who are supporting the district as part of Partners in Education: Bridgestone (new), Champions Rotary Club, Metroport Rotary Club, Roanoke Dental Group and Orthodontics, and Roanoke Lions Club. These partners were essential in organizing the Back-to-School Fair, providing free services and support for students in need.
  • Recognized CBS 11's Jeff Jamison for receiving the TASB Media Honor Roll Award.
  • Recognized Monica Lemke and Brittany Harper for receiving the Region XI Elementary Teacher of the Year Award and Region XI Secondary Essay Award, respectively.
  • Recognized CyLynn Braswell for receiving an Honorary American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization.
  • Recognized Lola Hudgins, a Durham Transportation bus driver, with the district's first Kids Come First Award for her role in quickly and safely evacuating children from her bus after it was struck by a car.
  • Renewed agreements with Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties to continue partnerships for 4-H programs.
Bridgestone is honored for being a new district partner.
Roanoke Dental Group and Orthodontics is honored for being a district partner.
Bus driver Lola Hudgins is honored with the Kids Come First Award.