During its June 8 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included: 

Board Recognitions

We’re continuing end-of-year celebrations with medalists from the state golf tournament and achievements from our Career & Technical Education programs, including Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); FFA; Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA); Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE); and SkillsUSA.

Superintendent Interviews Recent Graduate on Student Experience with GPA & Class Rank


With school out for the summer, there was no Spotlight on Learning to start the LISD Board meeting this week. Nevertheless, Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., invited recent Leander High School graduate Ava Baldwin to share her student experience with the Board.

Ava bravely talked about the struggles students face in dealing with GPA and class rank. Eligible to be recognized in her class’ Top 10 – once a goal in the early years of her high school career – Ava shared how that target began to take away from her joy of learning and her decision to decline this recognition.

For incoming freshman or anyone still in high school, Ava had this bit of advice:

“Don’t let the system of grading overtake you,” she said. “Try to focus on the learning aspect of school. It’s really difficult, especially if you are in more advanced classes. Try to separate yourself from it. 

“Remember that you are more than a number. A number is never going to define you, even though it feels like you get rewarded for this number. The sacrifice it takes to get there is usually not worth it.”

Board Approves 2024–25 Attendance Zoning for Middle School & High School

Secondary Zoning Flowchart

🎬 9.C.5. Consider Approval of Secondary Schools Attendance Zoning Recommendations

The Board approved Scenario 2 in the 2024–25 Middle School and High School Attendance Rezoning. This rezoning represents the first step in the 10-year Long Range Plan. 

The process began Dec. 8, 2022, when the Board approved the Attendance Zoning for Secondary School Relief Charter. Unlike attendance zonings of the past that often centered on the opening of a new school at the respective level, this rezoning sought to accomplish the following two main objectives:

  • Providing relief to current enrollment numbers for middle school and high school
  • Deferring the timing of future school construction at the middle school and high school levels

“Thank you to everyone who participated and shared feedback as part of this rezoning process over the past six months,” said Board Vice President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D. “Changes to attendance zones can cause real challenges for families, and we, as a Board, always attempt to balance that with the needs of the district as a whole.

“This rezoning does a great job balancing enrollment among our middle schools and high schools, continuing to accommodate future growth in the northern part of our district,” she added.

Administration will confirm final decisions about student transfer exceptions and secondary athletic eligibility in the coming weeks.

Next Steps

  • July 2023: Administration will confirm final decisions about Student Transfer Exceptions and Secondary Athletic Eligibility Guidelines, which are currently in draft form.
  • August 2024: Implementation of new attendance zones for middle school and high school

Updates Throughout Rezoning Process

Discussion Continues on LISD’s Leading Measures for Student Performance

Leading Measures graph

🎬 9.A.1. Discussion of Leading Measures End of Year Data

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. While the May 25 meeting outlined key performance indicators, the information presented Thursday focused on student performance.

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.

The student performance data incorporates NWEA MAP for Math and ISIP for reading, along with College Readiness indicators.

“What’s presented here at the Board meeting is the executive summary version,” Board President Trish Bode said. “However, from a visionary to a granular level, we’re looking at this data in a disaggregated fashion to look at what’s driving the data and determine how we need to respond. This deep dive aligns with our vision to cultivate each student individually.”

Leander HS Masterplan Process & Next Steps

LHS Masterplan Mock-up

🎬 9.C.1. Discussion of Leander High School Masterplan

The Board received an update on the Leander High School Masterplan from representatives of the community group that worked throughout the spring semester.

Through four meetings, this group of nearly 80 members developed findings and recommendations for where to take the LHS Masterplan next.

As presented in the Dec. 8, 2022 Board meeting, Leander HS has gone through a series of add-ons and renovations since opening at its current location in 1984. Now, nearly 40 years later, these changes to the site plan have resulted in a disjointed campus layout.

Examples of recommendations to create a better layout include:

  • Reorienting the front entry to the current back of the campus to bolster the image and identity of the school and to improve traffic flow
  • Redesigning the athletics and performance spaces to create a group of areas that can be sectioned off from the rest of the campus for security purposes
  • Bringing the CTE classrooms – currently in portables on the outskirts of the campus – into the main instructional spaces

“I am really excited about this masterplan,” said Leander HS student Jaya Coats, “because with these new additions, we have the opportunity to make our school stand out and evoke pride.” 

Board Secretary Anna Smith, who was involved with the community group working on the LHS Masterplan, related this process to the work ahead with the district’s Long-Range Plan.

“What I loved about this process is that we worked together as a community – staff, parents and students,” Smith said. “It was an amazing thing, and it gives me hope for what we have planned for our Long-Range Plan.”

Funding for Design of the LHS Masterplan, along with construction of Phase 1, were outlined in the 2023 bond.

Hiring an architect and construction manager to work together to provide the design and cost estimates will form the next steps for the LHS Masterplan. The district anticipates bringing recommendations for the architect and the construction manager at the Aug. 10 Board Meeting.

Process for 2023 Bond Funds Moves Forward

Bond Issuance Timeline

🎬 9.C.2. Consider All Matters Incident and Related to the Issuance and Sale of “Leander Independent School District Unlimited Tax School Building and Refunding Bonds, Series 2023”, Including the Adoption of an Order Authorizing the Issuance of Such Bonds, Establishing Parameters for the Sale and Issuance of Such Bonds and Delegating Certain Matters to Authorized District Officials

🎬 9.C.3. Discussion and Consideration of Approval of All Matters Incident and Related to Declaring Expectation to Reimburse Expenditures with Proceeds of Future Debt Pursuant to the District’s 2023 Bond Election Authorization, Including the Adoption of a Resolution Pertaining Thereto

The Board adopted a delegation order authorizing the issuance and sale of Series 2023 Bonds. Defined within specific parameters, the district can now move forward and plan for an issuance of new Bond money later this summer.

The timing of the sale will be dependent on market conditions and completion of all the necessary documents to perform a sale. Once the sale has been completed, the Board will receive a report of the results.

Important Notes

  • Of the available nearly $830 million in voter-approved bond authorizations – totaling the recent 2023 bond, along with funds leftover from the 2021 and 2017 elections – the district estimates only $300 million will be sold this go-round. 
  • This represents the amount needed to fund the 2023 Building Program.
  • This amount allows the Board to maintain the Interest & Sinking tax rate of $0.33. As promised throughout the spring, this I&S tax rate will not go up as a result of passing the May 2023 Bond.
  • Any bonds issued will be set up to match the life of the asset. Put another way, things like Technology items, which have shorter lifespans, will not be put on a 30-year payment schedule. Instead, those items would be on a shorter 3- to 5-year plan, for example.

“I am excited to see the fruits of the community’s support in the district through the passing of the recent Bond election start to take shape,” Trustee Christine Mauer said. “These approvals allow the district to begin work to improve the safe and innovative learning environments for our students and staff.”

With the Bond issuance projected later in late July or early August, the Board approved a Reimbursement Resolution to allow the district to move forward with near-term Bond-related expenses, utilizing money from the General Fund that will later be reimbursed once the bonds are sold.

LISD Welcomes New Reagan Elementary Principal, New Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

Reagan Elementary Principal Alison Pennington
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Chris Clark

Leander ISD is pleased to welcome Alison Pennington in her new role as principal at Reagan Elementary and Chris Clark as the new assistant superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, after the Board approved the recommendations at Thursday’s Board meeting.