The Board of Trustees reviewed special education services, staffing options at the new transportation facility and attendance zoning scenarios for the 2020–21 school year at its May 16 meeting. In addition, Trustees approved the resignation timeline of Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D.
Trustees approve superintendent’s exit plan
Leander ISD Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D., will stay on with the district through July 31 before leaving to become deputy executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
“I want to thank you for the last three years, it’s been absolutely incredible,” Troxell said. “This is a truly phenomenal place to be, and it’s a place that is cherished in my heart. With sincere and heartfelt gratitude, thank you for the last three years and I look forward to helping with the transition (to a new superintendent) in the next couple of months.”
“We appreciate you recognizing the challenges that come with changing leaders,” Board President Aaron Johnson said. “We appreciate the leadership you provided to the district and look forward to opportunities to express that appreciation.”
Trustees hope to have the new superintendent in place before the start of the new school year. LISD expects to follow a process and timeline similar to the 2016 selection process:
- collect community feedback;
- synthesize feedback to create an ideal candidate profile;
- interview candidates and select a finalist; and
- welcome a new superintendent.
Leander ISD will update the Superintendent webpage throughout the process and share updates on social media. Community feedback is expected to be solicited via focus groups and a community survey.
LISD offers multiple special education services to help students succeed
Leander ISD has multiple programs, supports and services to help students receiving special education. The continuum of services helps a wide range of students, with the focus on keeping each child in as much of a mainstream educational environment as possible. This objective of ensuring curriculum access focuses on:
- inclusive environments,
- academic supports,
- placement options and
- supplementary services.
The department has three focus areas for improvement: communication, building a sense of community, and training. Current communication efforts include:
- family and community input opportunities;
- learning opportunities;
- support groups;
- trainings resources; and
- social events.
“Partnering and growing relationships with our families are what builds trust,” Board Secretary Trish Bode said. “Special education is a field that needs innovation and a breath of fresh air in some ways. I appreciate the district reaching out to PTAs in this effort.”
Other ways the Special Education department is working to strengthen communication with families are:
- family outreach,
- new partnerships,
- distribution of information,
- focus groups and
- training on communication strategies.
“We want every single student to be successful, and success is defined differently for every child,” said Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D. “We want all kids to have every available option open, and one of the most critical ways we can make that happen is having our kids in as mainstream an educational setting as possible.”
Trustees zero in on zoning scenario for 2020–21, work to address small cohorts
As they continue to work toward a districtwide attendance zoning plan for the opening of Danielson Middle School in 2020–21, Trustees discussed possible tweaks to the Scenario E map and feeder patterns.
“Scenario E reflects our communities preferences of aligning feeder patterns and keeping communities together,” Trustee Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said. “While this is a strong option, it’s important we hear specifically from certain neighborhoods before settling on a final plan.”
The board looked at student cohorts of 10 percent or less from elementary to middle, and suggested leaving Neighborhood Code 4770 in its 2018–19 attendance zone. Neighborhood Codes 2200 and 1625 will be contacted and surveyed to ascertain preferences for their feeder pattern.
“Rezoning is never an easy process,” said Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D. “I can’t thank our community enough for being so engaged in these discussions and letting us know how we can tweak and improve our plans.”
The zoning process will be on the agenda for the Board’s June 6 meeting. Questions and concerns can be submitted through Let’s Talk. For more information about the Leander ISD attendance zone adjustment process, visit www.leanderisd.org/msaz.
District approves staffing for new north transportation center, Larkspur ES
Trustees approved more than $600,000 to staff positions at the new north transportation center across from Glenn High School. The release of these positions at this time will allow staff to be recruited, hired, trained and in place for the beginning of next school year.
“The new transportation center is going have a tremendous impact on helping the district more efficiently bus our students,” Board President Aaron Johnson said. “With a district that spans more than 200 square miles, that really adds up.”
The proposed 2019/20 food service budget includes requests for four new positions in Child Nutrition Services (CNS). These positions are to provide sufficient staff for Larkspur Elementary School at an approximate cost of $82,849. Staffing ratios for the food service program are based on meals served. These positions will be fully funded by the food service budget, and therefore, do not impact the general fund budget.