During its Dec. 14 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included:
- Spotlight on Learning: Running Brushy MS
- Board Recognitions
- Review of Elementary School Zoning Recommendation
- Budget Outlook for 2024–25 Fiscal Year
- Progress on Bond 2023 Projects
- Hiring Announcements: Grandview Hills ES, Plain ES and Whitestone ES principals
Spotlight on Learning: Running Brushy MS
During the Spotlight on Learning, students and teachers from Running Brushy Middle School shared the awesomeness of its Inquiry Academy! Through this initiative, learners are empowered to have a voice, equipped with tools to develop and own their learning to eventually make a difference in our community.
Way to go, Cougars!
Special thanks to the Rouse HS announcements duo of John and Pierce for helping celebrate stand-out individuals and accomplishments around #1LISD.
The Board recognized the following:
- College Board AP Large District of the Year
- School Resource Officer (SRO) Recognition Week
- CareerSafe’s National Safety Educator of the Year
- Meritorious Budget Award
Review of Elementary School Zoning Recommendation
As part of the 10-year Long-Range Plan for Leander ISD, Elementary School #30 is scheduled to open in August 2024 to address the growth in the northern part of the district. At Thursday’s meeting, the Board received the recommended zoning scenario.
The process began Oct. 5, 2023, when the Board reviewed the charter that was developed by the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC). After three rounds of community feedback and six community forums, the scenario was shared with the LRPC to evaluate to what degree the scenario met the parameters established in the charter.
The recommended scenario – Scenario 3 – helps to balance enrollment for the northern elementary schools for an extended period of time until the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School #31 and Elementary School #33 are built.
Note: Elementary School #32 is still scheduled to open in August 2027 as shown in the Long-Range Plan. This particular rezoning effort has focused on schools in the northern portion of the district, which is why ES32 was not listed in the charts.
“Rezoning students is one of the toughest decisions we face as Trustees because we know the impact this has on students and their family,” Board Vice President Anna Smith said. “There are many parameters to be balanced in putting a scenario together, and in this area of rapid growth, we’re focused on creating as much stability for families as possible.”
In the proposed Scenario 3, the following schools contain one or more impacted neighborhood code being rezoned to another school or having a neighborhood code rezoned to their school:
The elementary school zoning scenario will come back before the Board for approval at a future meeting. LISD administration will confirm final decisions about student transfer exceptions following the Board’s approval of zoning.
- Dec. 8, 2023: District Develops and Presents New Elementary Attendance Zoning Recommendation
- Nov. 28, 2023: LISD Releases 3rd Scenario in Elementary Attendance Zoning
- Nov. 10, 2023: Community Feedback Guides the Release of a 2nd Scenario for Elementary Attendance Rezoning
- Oct. 27, 2023: LISD Elementary School Attendance Zoning Underway, Community Forums Scheduled
- Oct. 5, 2023: Attendance Zoning Process Set to Begin for Elementary School #30
Budget Outlook for 2024–25 Fiscal Year
As LISD administration began work in preparing the 2024–25 fiscal year budget, Trustees received a presentation with budget pre-assumptions and an economic outlook.
LISD utilizes a planning calendar to provide a timeline for preparing the budget. The calendar shows important dates to be met in adopting the budget, adopting the tax rate, and to help ensure any legal date requirements are met.
“Recent accolades awarded to our Financial Services department reflect the district’s sound management of taxpayer funds,” said Board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D, referencing the Meritorious Budget Award and the Superior School FIRST Rating. “Starting now in looking at next year’s budget allows for clarity in the process and for Trustees and the community to follow along as the budget takes shape throughout the spring.”
Final approval of the budget assumptions will occur at a future meeting. The 2024–25 budget is scheduled for adoption on June 27, 2024.
Bond 2023: Early Childhood Center Construction Manager Approved; Funds Released for RBMS, VRHS Modernizations’ Construction Phase
🎬 7.E. Consider Approval of Construction Manager at Risk Selection for the Early Childhood Center
🎬 7.F. Consider Approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price #2 for Running Brushy Middle School Modernization
🎬 7.G. Consider Approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price #2 for Vista Ridge High School Modernization
Work continues on Bond 2023 projects.
In October, the Board approved the Bond Oversight Committee’s recommendation to build an Early Childhood Center on land LISD owns off of Halsey Drive in northern Leander and to consider other early childhood programs during the design phase. This project, aimed at relieving schools in the northern part of the district, uses $60 million of Bond 2023 repurposing funds. At Thursday’s meeting, the Board approved the construction manager – American Constructors.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, Trustees approved a second round of Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contracts for two of the campus modernizations projects, allowing for the release of Bond funds already allocated for these projects.
These GMPs will go toward the construction phase of these modernization projects. Construction work on these projects is anticipated to begin in Summer 2024.
- Running Brushy MS: $20,393,889 (for a total GMP of $24,700,00)
- Vista Ridge HS: $40,448,887 (for a total GMP of $49,502,875)
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.
- Oct. 26, 2023: Board Approves Bond Oversight Committee’s recommendation of Early Childhood Center
- Oct. 26, 2023: Bond 2023: Project Funds Released Toward Campus Modernizations
- Oct. 5, 2023: Vendor Selection Process for Bond 2023’s Artificial Turf Projects Moves Forward
- Aug. 24, 2023: Architects, Construction Managers Approved for Slate of 2023 Bond Projects
- May 11, 2023: 2023 Building Program Moves Forward Following Successful Bond
LISD Welcomes New Elementary School Principals at Grandview Hills, Plain & Whitestone
Leander ISD is pleased to welcome three new principals – Alexandra Peoples at Grandview Hills Elementary School; Emily Ulatoski at Plain Elementary School; and Michelle Jackson at Whitestone Elementary School – after the Board approved the recommendations at Thursday’s Board meeting.