During its Nov. 10 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included:
- Spotlight on Learning: Cedar Park High School
- Board Recognition: Celebrating Instructional Coaches; School Psychologists; Maintenance workers; and TASCD T.E.A.C.H. Award recipient from Rutledge ES
- Strategic Plan Formative Review: Empowered Student Learning
- Counseling Services Update
- Annual Comprehensive Financial Report approved
- 5 Board Places Decided
Spotlight on Learning: Cedar Park High School
Students from Cedar Park High School’s Broadcast Journalism class showcased the essence of “Empowered Student Learning.” This group of students touted their award-winning CPHS News production while also highlighting a few other outstanding programs on their campus, such as culinary arts, AP Capstone, and the computer science offerings.
The Leander ISD Board of Trustees celebrated the appreciation weeks for the district’s instructional coaches (Oct. 31–Nov. 4), the school psychologists (Nov. 7–11), and the maintenance staff (Nov. 7–11). The Board also recognized Rutledge ES teacher Sara Farag, the recipient of the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (TASCD) T.E.A.C.H. award.
Strategic Plan Formative Review: Empowered Student Learning
Each month, LISD will present a formative review of one goal within the Strategic Plan and the District Improvement Plan. In this meeting, district administrators presented the Empowered Student Learning goal, providing the different system responses used to evaluate the goal and detailing evidence of those systems in action.
The Empowered Student Learning goal contains the following systems responses:
- Deeper Learning, seen in project-based learning and instances of student inquiry
- Student Ownership, where students have a say about what they are learning and how they are learning it.
- Students acquiring attributes of the Graduate Profile, supported by system-wide alignment
To measure and evaluate the success of each goal, a team of district administrators take part in School Improvement Visits to see firsthand and in-person how these systems take shape in practice.
“The needs of the campuses change year to year,” Trustee Christine Mauer said. “I appreciate that the district is looking at this as a case-by-case basis on how to serve the community that is there.”
As they visit schools throughout the district, the concept of alignment has been a major area of focus. Alignment does not equate to each campus doing the same thing to meet a goal; instead, it’s about each campus steering in the same direction for the district to ultimately meet the objectives laid out in the Strategic Plan.
Counseling Services Update
In an annual presentation, the Counseling Services department provided an update to the Board. A central component of this department is the team of counselors present at each school whose job is split into the following areas or domains:
- Appraisal and Advisement
- Referral, Consultation and Collaboration
- Program Management
School counselors carry a host of responsibilities on a daily basis, serving students, as evidenced above, in a wide variety of ways.
“Our comprehensive counseling program includes the counseling for students going to college, the scores they’re going to need, the credits needed, but there’s also this other counseling portion,” Bode said. “I think the challenge is how are we balancing this program, and I think you are doing a tremendous job.”
The Counseling Services department is also home to the Student & Family Support Team (SFST). This team is made up of the following licensed professionals that serve the district as a whole:
- 8 clinical social workers
- 1 master social worker
- 6 professional counselors
- 1 chemical dependency counselor
The SFST team provides individual counseling and school-day therapy to students – with parental consent – while also collaborating with campus staff and responding to crises when they arise.
Annual Comprehensive Financial Report approved
The LISD Board approved the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) at Thursday’s meeting. This report was conducted by Whitley Penn, an outside auditor.
In the report, auditors assigned “Clean Report” ratings, the highest rating level, in the following areas:
- Financial Statements
- Internal Control and Compliance
- Federal Single Audit Report
The report also analyzed the district’s General Fund and Fund Balance, among other areas of focus.
5 Board Places Decided
In the Nov. 8 election, five Board places were decided. Winners of each place are listed below. Full results can be found on the Election Results page.
- Place 1: Trish Bode
- Place 2: Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia
- Place 5: Sade Fashokun
- Place 6: Francesca Romans
- Place 7: Paul Gauthier
These results are unofficial until the Board of Trustees canvasses the final vote totals provided by the counties in a special meeting scheduled for Nov. 18 or Nov. 22. A special meeting Dec. 1 is scheduled to thank outgoing Board members and swear in new Board members.