During its April 11 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included: 

Spotlight on Learning: Pleasant Hill ES

Pleasant Hill Elementary’s Safety Patrol shined during the Spotlight on Learning. As part of this program, student leaders serve in different roles – everything from a car rider patrol monitor to a front door manager – all helping to ensure a safe and innovative learning environment for their fellow Huskies.

Board Recognitions

Special thanks to Cypress Elementary School students Camryn and Aya for helping celebrate stand-out individuals and accomplishments around #1LISD.

The Board recognized the following:

  • Cedar Park High School Girls Basketball UIL State Semifinalists
  • American Bandmasters Association Inductees
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE) Achievement: ProStart
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE) Achievement: Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE)
  • National Library Week, April 8–12

Strategic Plan Formative Review: Empowered Staff

Empowered Staff slide: We are not in Kansas anymore

🎬 7.A.1. Empowered Staff Formative Review

Each month, LISD will present a formative review of one goal within the Strategic Plan and the District Improvement Plan. In this meeting, district administrators presented the Empowered Staff goal, to attract, grow and retain a collaborative community of first-rate employees who are empowered to meet the needs of each and every student.

Outside trends in recent years – such as fewer university students seeking a degree in education and a widespread deficit of educators – have posed unique challenges and led the district to explore creative ways to achieve recruitment and retention goals.

“We have a national teacher shortage,” said Board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D. “Being able to look at this data and see that we’re succeeding in this area is a testimony to our HR department, our campus and district leaders, and also to Leander ISD itself. As a community of educators, of parents, of students, this is something special, because we’re able to do this in spite of everything else that’s happening in the nation and our state.”

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Hazardous Routes Discussion for 2024–25

Community Feedback Assessment

🎬 7.C.2. Discussion of 2024-2025 Hazardous Routes

With more than 750 responses of community feedback, district staff made its presentation to the Board on hazardous routes after completing its yearly evaluation of bus routes. 

This year, a particular focus was given to neighborhood codes impacted by construction along walking routes and by the rezoning taking effect next year. The neighborhood codes listed in the presentation included those rezoned from Henry Middle School and Vista Ridge High School to Cedar Park Middle School and Cedar Park High School, along with a couple of elementary neighborhood codes attending Hisle Elementary, LISD’s new school opening in the fall.

“On paper, this is such a better process than the one that existed just a handful of years ago – from the policy to the standardized matrix,” Trustee Trish Bode said. “But it goes beyond that – improvements to the culture are having an impact through our Transportation department’s intentionality and focus on building relationships.”

State law requires school districts to provide bus service to students living more than 2 miles of their assigned schools. In Leander ISD, families living closer than 2 miles are in the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous by a rating matrix. This rating instrument was developed by a community advisory committee and approved by the Board of Trustees to study hazardous route conditions.

The Board will consider these recommendations for approval at a future meeting.

Also at the April 11 meeting, Transportation leaders shared an overview of the department and efforts taken to continuously improve.

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Instructional Materials for 2024–25 Approved

Overview of Adoption Costs

🎬 7.C.4. Consider Adoption of 2024-2025 Instructional Materials

The Board approved the recommendations for the purchasing of new instructional materials for the following courses:

  • Career & Technology Education
    • Technology Applications (6-8)
    • Principles of Education and Training
    • Instructional Practices
    • Human Growth and Development
    • Medical Terminology
    • Medical Microbiology
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Health Science Theory
    • Forensic Science
    • Computer Science I
    • AP Computer Science
    • Cybersecurity Capstone
    • Fundamentals of Computer Science
    • Foundations of Cybersecurity
  • Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Economics
    • AP European History
    • AP Government
    • AP Psychology
  • Science (all grades & courses)
    • K-5 Science
    • 6-8 Scien
    • All HS Courses
      (including Astronomy, an approved new course, and AP Chemistry)

Looking back to 2021, the Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment (IMTA) that the district receives from the state has not been funded at anticipated levels based on historical data. In addition, the Texas Legislature did not provide any additional funding for public schools – apart from funds directed specifically to safety and security – during the 88th Legislative Session and subsequent Special Sessions despite having access to an unprecedented surplus.

In this particular adoption, science kits that support the type of hands-on student learning expected in the new state standards became a primary cause of exceeding the available funds through IMTA. Later in the meeting, the Board approved a budget amendment to cover the difference.

This materials adoption came after a months-long process that involved LISD teachers working hand-in-hand with district administrators throughout the research and selection process. Input and feedback was then gathered from staff, parents, students, and community members through virtual and in-person opportunities earlier this spring.

“I attended the committee meetings both this year and last year, and the amount of work that went into the selection of these materials – especially for science – was immense,” Trustee Francesca Romans said. “Our curriculum teams went above and beyond to make sure that people understood what was happening with these new materials.”

Visit the Instructional Materials Selection page to learn more about the process the district goes through each year for a rotating set of courses and subjects.

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Food Service Management Company Contract Renewed with Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE)

Students eating breakfast

🎬 7.C.3. Consider Approval of Food Service Management Company (FSMC) Contract Renewal

The Board approved the district’s recommendation to renew the contract for Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE) as its food service provider. At the Jan. 18 meeting, SFE shared ways they are focusing on improving the student experience and empowering staff.

Looking ahead, meal prices will remain the same for the next school year. Details about locations and the summer meals program are in the works and will be communicated to families soon.

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Bond 2023: Project Funds Released For Cedar Park HS Modernization

Bond 2023

🎬 5.B. Consider Approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price #2 for Cedar Park High School Modernization

Trustees approved the second Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract for the Cedar Park High School modernization project, allowing for the release of Bond funds already allocated for this project as part of the May 2023 bond.

This GMP will go toward the construction phase of this modernization project. Construction work on this project is anticipated to begin this summer.

GMP #2

  • Cedar Park HS: $30,608,491 (for a total GMP of $41,527,036)

Modernization of an existing facility involves the replacement of major building sub-systems including but not limited to roofing, elevators, air conditioning, lighting, electrical, plumbing, fire protection systems, built-in specialties, interior finishes, and furniture that is at the end of the expected service life.

As a resource to the #1LISD community to learn more about these projects and track their progress, the district has created a Bond & Construction Projects page. Specific project pages include an overall scope of the project, the status of the project, a timeline, information about contractors and vendors, and more.

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