During its Feb. 23 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included:
- Spotlight on Learning: Cypress ES
- Board Recognition: Counselors & Volunteers
- Approving the submission of a TEA Waiver for missed school days
- Superintendent Report
- Discussing the leading measures update
- Listening to a legislative update
Spotlight on Learning: Cypress ES
A focus on Staff Empowerment at Cypress Elementary is leading to moments of growth and impact for both staff and students. One teacher, Jacob Cumberland, spoke of Cypress University and how it provides him with the opportunity to learn as a teacher.
“It’s something I will always hang onto,” Cumberland said of Cypress University. “But more than anything, it has allowed me to keep the passion alive in this career and makes me want to be an educator every day.”
The Leander ISD Board of Trustees celebrated the appreciation weeks for the district’s counselors (Feb. 6–10) and volunteers (Feb. 13–17). Counseling Services Director Steve Clark offered words of gratitude for this hardworking team of 117 staff members, including school counselors, licensed professional counselors and social workers. To the dedicated volunteers in the district, Assistant Director of Community Relations Shannon Lombardo thanked them for their acts of service day in and out on all of our campuses.
Board Approves Waiver Submission to TEA for Missed Days in February
During the consent agenda, the Board approved the submission of a waiver to the Texas Education Agency for the missed school days at the beginning of February.
In total, classes were canceled for four days during the first week of February. In compliance with TEA and the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook section 126.96.36.199, districts are encouraged to make sure that the adopted calendar includes additional minutes to account for at least two bad weather or other missed school days related to health and safety concerns. For the remaining two days, this waiver to TEA would allow the district to not add make-up days to the 2022–23 academic calendar.
Superintendent Report: Winter Storm Clean-up Continues
Now three weeks removed from the winter storm the first week of February, the clearing of debris continues. Clean-up efforts at 21 campuses in LISD have been completed, and remaining campuses – where limbs have been pulled away to a safe location – will need one more week.
At Leander High School, repairs to the floor of the main gym and the dance hall are underway. These floors were damaged during the prior winter weather event in December. The installation of replacement floor boards started only after a thorough drying to ensure all water was completely extracted.
Leading Measures Update
Building on formative review presentations of past board meetings where district administrators outlined the work happening in each of the five goals laid out in the Strategic Plan, at Thursday’s meeting, Trustees received a leading measures update.
During these quarterly updates, quantitative and qualitative data relating to the district improvement plan and the Superintendent’s Evaluation provides Trustees with a better picture of where LISD is at in a variety of different focus areas.
On the numbers side, while the data reflects the district as a whole, it’s important to note this data’s true value resides at a more granular level.
“We’re going down to the campus level, and then we’re going down to the classroom level and to the kid level to ask ourselves what we have to do to make sure each and every child is performing exactly where they need to be,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing said. “That work is happening, and we’re identifying where the extra resources have to go.”
In the midst of the 88th session of the Texas Legislature, the Board received an update of the bills taking shape with specific attention paid to ones aligned to the Trustees’ adopted Legislative Priorities. Trustees on the Legislative Committee worked on the Legislative Priorities last year and brought them to the full board final consideration well in advance of the 88th Legislative Session.
“By adopting our legislative priorities early, we were able to work with our lawmakers prior to the start of Session,” Board President Trish Bode said. “Now the Board’s attention will turn to both targeted legislative advocacy as well as looking for collaboration with groups to continue advancing the Leander ISD legislative priorities.
“As Trustees in LISD,” Bode added, “we’re working with other trustees in the Central Texas area and across the state to have a unified message around the funding we need to recruit and retain our teachers and staff.”
Several dates were provided where Trustees are invited to participate including Monday, Feb. 27, where Trustees will have the opportunity to participate in PTA Rally Day, joining students and parents at the Texas Capitol to have their collective voices heard. On March 5th they can join trustees from across Central Texas at the Capitol.
Sine Die – the name for the last date of the legislative session – May 29 will mark the end of the legislative session. The governor’s veto period ends June 19.