At its Jan. 27 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2022-23 academic calendar, discussed staffing and budgeting projections for the rest of the school year and reviewed the district’s long-awaited Strategic Plan.
2022-23 Academic Calendar is set
Trustees approved the 2022–23 calendar draft, bringing to a close an extensive, community-focused process. The big changes for the new calendar include the removal of the Wednesday early release days, which turned into extra full days of non-instructional / professional development days, and a later start to the school year.
Key features of the calendar include:
- First day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 (one week later than 2021-22)
- Last day of school is Friday, May 26, 2023 (before Memorial Day)
- Two dedicated teacher workdays incorporated into the schedule before school starts
- Continuous Improvement Conference: Oct. 10-11
- Student early release days for teacher work time: Dec. 16, May 26
- Staff development days during the school year will balance new learning with teacher planning and collaboration time: Sept. 26, Nov. 8, Jan. 2, Feb. 20, March 20, April 10
“Many voices participated in this academic calendar process thanks to the district looking for additional ways to meaningfully engage all #1 LISD stakeholders,” Board President Trish Bode said. “The goal when adopting the calendar is to be responsive and balance our obligations to teachers, students, and parents.”
Based on feedback from the Board at its Jan. 13 meeting, leadership created an additional professional development day in April 2023. We also submitted a draft of a potential 2023-24 calendar that mirrors next school year’s at the request of Trustees.
The calendar adoption process included a community survey and community listening sessions in November and early December.
Months-long collaborative process culminates in LISD’s long-term Strategic Plan
After months of thoughtful visioning and collaboration with hundreds of stakeholders, district leadership unveiled LISD’s five-year Strategic Plan. The plan will help guide the district on its journey of continuous improvement and to realize our vision of cultivating each student individually to produce the most sought-after creators of our future world.
In the fall of 2021, we engaged stakeholders in a deliberate, collaborative process grounded in the district’s core beliefs, vision, mission, and graduate profile. The result is a Strategic Plan that illustrates the most important aspirations for our students into a clear plan that reflects our diverse community.
“We challenged our staff and stakeholders to come up with big ideas and, just as importantly, a plan to implement them,” said Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. “I’m proud of the hard work that went into accomplishing those goals on behalf of our students.”
Trustees review budget projections, staff positions for 2021-22 fiscal year
The pandemic and the federal financial relief efforts continue to impact our budget more than halfway through the fiscal year.
Using actual numbers from the first part of the year to estimate revenues and expenditures through the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year, we are projected to end the fiscal year with a deficit. While we’re spending less than we budgeted, our revenues are projected to be less due to a significant decrease in student average daily attendance (ADA). There is hope that the state will implement another type of “hold harmless” funding for 2021-22 similar to what it provided in the 2020-21 school year. This would provide funding above for students not enrolled or students attending school less frequently due to the pandemic. Without hold harmless funding, the district could face an estimated loss of $14.8 million in state aid.
To keep Trustees up to speed, our Finance staff reviewed a comprehensive list of all positions that have been added since the 2021-22 budget was adopted last June, many of which are funded with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds. As additional grants are received or applied for, funding sources may be modified to make the most efficient use of our general fund dollars. While these changes do not require Board approval, it’s important to be transparent about what positions are funded from which source, as it could continue to shift through the end of the fiscal year.
District seeks community input as part of instructional resources adoption process
This spring, we will consider and select new instructional resources for six courses:
- K-12 Health and PE,
- Sixth-grade Social Studies,
- AP Environmental Science,
- Marketing, and
- Nutrition and Dietetics.
Trustees reviewed an update on the instructional material adoption process as the effort shifts towards gathering community input. We plan to bring a recommendation to the Board for approval in March.
Members of our community have opportunities to provide feedback on these resources from Jan. 18 – Feb. 18 through in-person viewing at Central Office and Cedar Park High School, or by viewing the materials virtually on the district website. We will host three Q&A Zoom meetings on Feb. 1 with district curriculum experts that allow community members to explore the options, ask questions and provide feedback. Click this link to sign up for one of these Zoom meetings.