During its March 23 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included:
- Spotlight on Learning: Bagdad ES
- Superintendent Update: Bond Info Resources
- 10-year Long-Range Plan Review
- Hazardous Routes Discussion for 2023–24
- Instructional Materials Selection Process Update
Spotlight on Learning: Bagdad ES
Students from Bagdad Elementary shared how the school’s Dual Language Program has had a positive impact on their learning. Amazing performances from Bagdad’s Filipino Folk and Ballet Folklorico groups then took center stage.
Way to go, Bobcats!
Superintendent Update: Bond Info Resources
Leading off the superintendent’s update to the Board, Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., shared materials available to the Leander ISD community to help make an informed decision ahead of the May 2023 bond election.
Presentations within the community by request, along with a series of Town Halls, begin next week for those looking to take advantage of learning more and ask questions at these in-person and virtual information sessions.
“Our job is to provide factual information to our voters and educate them on what’s on the May 6 ballot,” Gearing said. “We are very happy and willing to come out and share the information that we have, answer questions and be as transparent as we possibly can be.”
- Website: www.leanderisd.org/bond2023
- Informational Flyer
- Request an Informational Presentation
- Town Halls
- Frequently Asked Questions
10-Year Long-Range Plan Review
Trustees reviewed the 10-Year Long-Range Plan (LRP), receiving a presentation that detailed its development and generated discussion on implementation and steps forward.
In response to the failed November 2021 bond election, the Board formed the Long-Range Planning Committee. The committee was tasked with developing a 10-year plan, focused on student learning and anchored in our core beliefs, that take into consideration the following criteria:
- student access to learning experiences that interest them
- facility optimization
- fiscal responsibility
- changes in population over time
As the LRP Committee moved into the spring and began its next phase, its composition expanded from originally being three Board members and a small group of district administrators to now include a larger group of administrators, including campus principals.
At the committee’s next meeting in April, it plans to examine options for ensuring community input is built into the process, along with outlining parameters for any future decisions on the repurposing of a school.
“We have tough decisions ahead of us,” Board President Trish Bode said, “and this Board knows community input will be a vital component in this process as we look at how each element of the 10-year plan could take shape.”
Another LRP Committee update to the Board is scheduled for April 27. A history of the Long-Range Planning Committee and the timeline for the development and implementation of the 10-year plan can be found at www.leanderisd.org/longrangeplan/.
2nd Zoning Scenario Release for Middle Schools & High Schools
The district took the first step in the 10-year Long-Range Plan in January by releasing attendance zoning scenarios, one for high school and one for middle school, to be implemented for the 2024–25 school year. On March 20, after several weeks of receiving community feedback through online participation and community forums, district administrators released a revised scenario for secondary rezoning.
Looking forward, one more community forum – March 27 at Glenn HS – lies ahead on the calendar. The district is scheduled to present a recommendation report to the Board at the May 11 meeting. That report would include scenarios for both middle school and high school, along recommendation of any transfer exceptions applying to specific grade levels as part of the zoning changes’ implementation in August 2024.
Hazardous Routes Discussion for 2023–24
With nearly 900 responses of community feedback, district staff made its presentation to the Board on hazardous routes after completing its yearly evaluation of bus routes. Based on their findings, one neighborhood code – NBCD 3985 in the Maya Vista subdivision – was recommended to have a discontinuance of bus service to Danielson MS and Glenn HS starting in the 2023–24 school year.
Since this neighborhood’s designation as a hazardous route, the addition of a neighboring subdivision established a new walk path to their campus, resulting in new scores when re-evaluated with the rating matrix.
In evaluating routes, Board Secretary Anna Smith asked about when the process allows for evaluations to take place, noting that immediately before and after school could look quite different than in the middle of the day.
“With kids at Danielson MS, I drive that way every single day. And I know how congested that area gets,” Smith said of Neighborhood Code 3985. “However, I understand the challenge it creates for our transportation staff who are out driving routes during these peak traffic times and are stretched thin as it is.”
State law requires school districts to provide bus service to students living more than 2 miles of their assigned schools. In Leander ISD, families living closer than 2 miles are in the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous by a rating matrix. This rating instrument was developed by a community advisory committee and approved by the Board of Trustees to study hazardous route conditions.
The Board will consider these recommendations for approval at a future meeting.
Instructional Materials Selection Process Update
After a months-long process, district staff presented instructional material selections for the 2023–24 school year. LISD teachers have worked hand-in-hand with district administrators throughout the research and selection process. Input and feedback have been gathered from staff, parents, students, and community members through virtual and in-person opportunities.
The Board received recommendations for the purchasing of new instructional materials for the following courses:
- AP Calculus AB & BC
- AP U.S. History
- African-American Studies
- Mexican-American Studies
“I appreciate all of the work you are doing in developing this curriculum,” Board Vice President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D., said of the district’s curriculum staff within the Teaching & Learning department. “And I appreciate you having a different variety of options – online and printed, when needed – available for our students. You have done a great job in bringing in students, staff and feedback from our community through this selection process.”
The Board will consider the recommendations at its April 13 meeting.
Two additional courses – American Sign Language I–IV and Chinese I–IV – are also going through this selection process for 2023–24, but the vendor approval process for these courses had not reached the point to be able to make a recommendation at last night’s meeting. Instructional materials for these courses will be brought before the Board at a future meeting.
Visit the Instructional Materials Selection page to learn more about the process the district goes through each year for a rotating set of courses and subjects.