Construction and capital improvement plans from the 2017 bond will continue after the Board approved the borrowing and the construction agreements for several remaining projects during their regular meeting.
Bond Projects Continue
After lengthy discussions, the Board approved the borrowing for the remaining $271.9 million in bond 2017 projects, as well as the construction funding for Tarvin Elementary School, Steiner Ranch Elementary School HVAC replacement, and security upgrades at LEO, Glenn, Rouse, and New Hope high schools.
In addition to the new borrowing, Trustees approved refunding existing debt to find future savings on interest rates and borrowing costs.
District Updates Board on Consideration for Bell Schedule Change
For two years, Leander ISD has been exploring adjustments to school start and end times to extend the school day, to increase academic opportunities for students, and to spread out arrival and drop-off windows.
With adjustments, the district expects to improve its ability to:
- meet state instructional minute requirements;
- meet academic expectations for elementary school students; and
- meet academic expectations for special programs in high school, including career technical education classes and International Baccalaureate programs.
In addition, increasing the spread between school start and end times would relieve issues in transportation, allowing most drivers to manage three routes instead of two. This would improve bus delays and bus staffing issues.
Assistant Superintendent for Student Activities and Support John Graham presented feedback collected from the community in January and February. Parents, students, staff and community members stated the district should consider the end time for high school, address concerns of traffic with high school students ending later, the loss of family time with adding minutes to the school day, and the impacts of change on a parent and staff schedule.
|Current Schedule||January 2020 Proposal*||April 2020 Proposal|
|Elementary||7:45 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.||7:40 a.m. – 3 p.m.||7:40 a.m. – 2:55 p.m.|
|Middle||8:55 a.m. – 4:05 p.m.||8:00 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.||8:10 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.|
|High||8:40 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.||9:00 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.||8:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
*The proposal was included when collecting community feedback.
“Anytime we can look at our system and ask if we are maximizing the instructional time for our students while supporting our staff in the process, in those honest conversations, we can grow and improve,” said LISD Board President Trish Bode. “I am grateful for the time our community and bell schedule committee has dedicated to this discussion. From last night’s overview of what will be brought to the board in our May meeting, I feel up to speed for what, I anticipate, will be a robust discussion.”
The Board will discuss the proposal and consider changes during its May meetings.
Board Hires New Principal for Canyon Ridge Middle School
Vandegrift High School associate principal Wendy Sturdevant will take the reins at Canyon Ridge Middle School as the next Eagle principal. The Board approved the hiring of Sturdevant, who has served VHS for the past three years after a 13-year career as a high school math teacher and assistant principal at Lake Travis High School. Read more about Sturvdevant’s hiring here.