During its Feb. 25 Leander ISD Board of Trustees meeting, the Board:
- Granted the superintendent the authority to continue wages for employees due to the emergency closure of schools Feb. 11–23
- Approved a zoning plan ahead of the opening of the next two elementary schools
- Considered the district pursuing expanding early childhood education to include 3-year-olds
- Recognized the outstanding efforts of LISD students, teachers and staff
- Reviewed a Teaching and Learning team presentation on the updated Graduate Profile
Note: The Board of Trustees also met on Feb. 22 for a regular meeting. Due to the recent snow and ice storms, we rescheduled this month’s first meeting, compounding two meetings into one week.
Board approves pay for LISD teachers, staff for missed time in aftermath of winter weather
Trustees approved a resolution continuing full pay for teachers and staff who were unable to perform their usual duties during the winter weather crisis (Feb. 11–23). The decision authorizes Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., to pay eligible employees for the lost time that would have been accrued had the district not needed to close schools for the emergency.
“Watching and listening to the struggles of our families during the winter weather crisis was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching,” Trustee Christine Mauer said. “We know our teachers and support staff can’t be there for kids unless they feel safe and secure in their own lives. I’m proud of the efforts our district made to support our LISD family so we can be there for our kids.”
Trustees approve attendance zoning scenarios for Tarvin ES, ES 29
The elementary attendance zone in the 2021–22 school year is set as LISD prepares to open Tarvin Elementary School in Leander. After a four-month review and community engagement process, Trustees approved the staff recommendation for elementary school attendance zoning scenario 28B and 29B.
Scenario 28B focuses on the zoning charter priorities to minimize change and keeps students zoned to a school in closer proximity to their neighborhood. It decreases enrollment at Parkside and Pleasant Hill elementary schools. Akin Elementary School will not see enrollment relief until the opening of Elementary School 30, expected in the 2023 or 2024 school year near the Ranch at Brushy Creek neighborhood.
“It is thrilling to be so close to opening the district’s 28th elementary school, and that’s due in large part to our amazing community lending its voice during the process,” Board President Trish Bode said. “We anticipate these conversations about new campuses to continue and we understand the trepidation that comes with attending a new school. I am thankful for the partnership with our #1LISD family that allows us to provide outstanding learning opportunities at each and every campus in our fast-growing district.”
Scenario 29B provides relief for Larkspur and Plain elementary schools with the opening of Elementary School 29 near the Bryson subdivision in Leander. The school will open in either 2022 or 2023.
District pursues expanding early childhood education to include 3-year-olds
We know early childhood education can minimize opportunity and learning gaps for students. Now the district is exploring offering a school option even earlier, expanding to 3-year-olds who qualify based on various criteria.
Our Early Childhood Education team shared a proposal for reshuffling our early childhood communities, which create opportunities for staff collaboration, efficient resource allocations, and building utilization. Executive Director of State and Federal Programs Kendra Winans also shared a plan to offer half-day school for 3-year-olds meeting household income, language, or other requirements, aligning with our PreK qualifications.
The Board will discuss this option further in a future meeting, as well as a possible tuition-based PreK program for families who don’t qualify for the free program.
Congratulations to our state and national award-winning high school programs
The Board recognized the following programs and students for their state or national awards:
- TMEA All-State High School Band and Choir Students,
- 5A State Football Runner-up – Cedar Park HS, and
- National Cheerleading Association Virtual Competition Champions – Rouse HS.
Teaching and Learning team presents updated Graduate Profile
What knowledge and skills do we want our high school graduates to take with them into the world beyond Leander ISD? We engaged over 900 students, staff, and parents in the discussion about our Graduate Profile, taking the conversation to our Board of Trustees during the meeting as we tweaked this guiding document.
The current draft, which has not been finalized, states:
LISD Learners are empowered to be:
- Critical & Creative Thinkers who find and solve problems with curiosity, flexibility, and innovation.
- Skilled Communicators & Collaborators who actively listen and express ideas with respect and empathy while owning their individual roles toward a shared outcome.
- Compassionate Community Contributors who value diverse perspectives and share their unique gifts with the world.
- Adaptable & Reflective Individuals who confidently embrace their strengths and challenges while pursuing their interests and passions.