The Board of Trustees funded the revamping of the district’s route bus fleet to include air conditioning through 2017 bond money and a TCEQ grant, changed policy for provided student low-cost meals, and reviewed the work of a citizens’ committee studying expansion of academic and extracurricular programs, including magnet schools and orchestra.

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A/C to be added to general education route bus fleet by Summer 2019 through bond, grant funding

All 126 route buses for general education students will have air conditioning by Summer 2019, after the Board of Trustees approved an $8.1 million plan to expedite the purchase of 50 new buses and the retrofit of 60 existing buses. The Board funded the initiative through 2017 bond money, approved by voters, to cover 66 new buses – 16 bond-funded replacement buses the district recently ordered and 50 new bond-funded replacement buses to be ordered – and retrofit 60 current buses. Leander ISD has $622,000 remaining from a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) grant to replace diesel buses with propane buses and additional 2007 bond funds; as a result, LISD will fund the program without dipping into its fund balance.

Board reviews Program Advisory Committee priorities

During the 2017–18 school year, Leander ISD established the Program Advisory Committee. This committee gathers input and develops priority recommendations from representative stakeholders regarding program expansions, additions and desired educational options.

The Board received an update on the Program Advisory Committee process for the 2018–19 school year, including the following programs for further consideration: expand middle school STEM electives; implement International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme; integrate CTE programming into elementary; research dual language program expansion for middle school and high school; research magnet schools; research orchestra program for middle school and high school; expand competitions for middle school cheerleading and/or dance; expand high school athletics – swim, tennis (assistant coaches); expand middle school athletics (develop additional teams); implement UIL A+ Academics Programs or other competition activities.

Low-cost meals change spurs policy update

Families will get more communication and more leniency when exceeding the charge limit on negative school meal accounts. The Board approved a policy update to the low-cost meal adjustment for students and families using the program when students run out of money in their Meal Time accounts. The policy changes include earlier correspondence with families when a balance gets low and an action plan for negative balances based on the number of meals as opposed to a dollar amount.

No student ever goes without a meal in a Leander ISD school. Schools work to have students needing an alternative lunch go through a similar process as students paying for lunch. These policy changes will go into effect in November 2018.