Trustees approved a new graduate profile, a new district equity policy and adopted a lower property tax rate for the third consecutive year.

Review the agenda here. Watch the meeting here.  

Board adopts lower property tax rate for third straight year  

For the third consecutive year, Trustees decreased the property tax rate, though area homeowners will still see a tax increase due to rising property values.   

The Board approved an overall property tax rate of $1.3370 for the 2021 tax year. The rate reflects a decrease of over eight cents from the 2020 tax rate of $1.4184. That includes $0.8720 for the maintenance and operations (M&O) fund and $0.4650 for the interest and sinking (I&S) fund.  

“Trustees dedicated hours of discussion to deciding the best way to maximize our community’s investment in our schools before adopting the tax rate.” Board President Trish Bode said. “We believe this rate serves that purpose while maintaining our district’s strong financial footing ahead of a bond election in November.”

Trustees adopt district equity policy, approve updated language related to materials option and teaching of controversial issues  

Trustees approved language for Board policy updates related to instructional materials adoption and the teaching of controversial issues in the curriculum. The policy update specifies that:

  • Resources containing sensitive content or addressing sensitive issues, including but not limited to sexuality, violence, or profanity shall be subject to careful scrutiny and review. 
  • Parents/guardians shall be provided notice of possible reading selections in the district English Language Arts classes for grades 6-12 including, titles, summaries, and identification of potentially sensitive topics or themes.

The Board policy subcommittee has been working with district staff and consulting with legal counsel for months on language addressing these topics. 

The Board also adopted a new district equity policy (AEA) that aims to empower our district leaders to reduce inequities and formally communicate to our community the desire to make LISD an inclusive place for all students.

The policy subcommittee met several times with the district’s Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee in drafting the language, which aims to provide guidance, establish a framework, and direct action to affect change in LISD. The policy codifies the position of Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and leadership will lean on the person in that role to provide updates, communication and insights on policy improvements.

PTA, district’s education foundation reports show robust community engagement in LISD

The Leander Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) hit a new milestone in 2020–21, raising over half a million dollars to support and impact the district during a global pandemic. The entire $512,548 went to help our students, staff and families as our community comes together during unprecedented times.

“We believe in a future where the needs of all Leander ISD students and staff are met,” LEEF Executive Director Kristin Huguley said. “We’re excited for the upcoming school year and we will continue to be responsive to the needs of our community.”

LISD’s Council of PTAs also made a huge impact on all 44 of our campuses this past year.  PTA’s vision of every child having a voice has come true for so many in LISD thanks to the efforts and countless hours this organization contributes daily to our students, staff and families. 2020–21 milestones include:

  • Expanded LISD Clothes Closet  
  • Partnered with Special Programs for Parent Education Nights
  • Adopted resolution in support of the Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Advocated for equity, inclusion through district policy and state law

Thank you to these incredible organizations and the many volunteers that support them for the immeasurable impact they have on our community.

New Graduate Profile sets expectations for LISD grads, guides purpose for district  

After months of discussions, feedback and refinement with families, students, teachers and school staff, the Board adopted an updated Leander ISD Graduate Profile.   

The Leander ISD Graduate Profile is a visual representation of the essential skills and habits of mind that define learning experiences at our schools.  It serves as the student embodiment of the district’s vision, mission, and core beliefs and as a promise to the students and parents about what they can expect from their educational experience. 

Trustees and the administration have been working together for several months to establish guiding documents, including a Mission Statement, Core Beliefs and a Vision Statement, setting the stage for a Strategic Plan. With an aligned framework for setting the direction for the district, we can identify and plan the specific goals and strategies to shape our district. 

In the coming months, Trustees and district leaders will again engage stakeholders to better understand the hopes and dreams they have for their students and their education. In addition to community conversations to explore these topics, district leadership will kick off the development process by establishing a strategic planning steering committee and planning teams.