During its Sept. 7 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included: 

Spotlight on Learning: Leaders In Technology

In a twist on the Spotlight on Learning segment, instead of featuring a campus, the district presented an LISD program – Leaders in Technology – where students are empowered to learn customer service skills and receive hands-on device repair experiences. 

As highlighted by the presenters, in more than one instance, current employees in our Instruction Technology Services department started as techies while enrolled in an LISD secondary school.

Changes to State Accountability Framework

State Accountability Framework: Evaluating performance will be different this year

🎬 7.A.1. State Accountability Framework Preview 2022-2023

The state accountability system framework, which provides A-F letter grades/ratings for the district and each campus, includes new indicators for 2023. In preparation for the release of the actual ratings later this month, the Assessment and Accountability team provided an update on the changes and possible impacts to our system.

While the three overarching domains – 1) Student Achievement, 2) School Progress, and 3) Closing the Gaps – remained the same, certain individual target scores within the domains were increased and in other instances, methods for calculating or evaluating certain targets changed.

It’s important to note that because of differing methodologies, the 2022 ratings and the 2023 ratings cannot be compared side-by-side. It’s also possible for a campus with an “A” rating in 2022 to improve in 2023 and yet still receive a “B” rating under the new system.

“Every district and campus in Texas is subject to this new framework, so it’s important to understand how these changes will impact LISD. However, we believe we’re accountable not just to the state, but to our community,” said Board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D. “And that’s why we applaud all of the work over the past few years that has gone into developing the Community-Based Accountability System – a measure of excellence that goes beyond test-based accountability.”

The district will release its Community-Based Accountability Report Sept. 26. Later in the month, TEA will publicly release the State Accountability Ratings through TXschools.gov. These two reports will be shared in additional detail at the Oct. 5 Board meeting.

LISD Council of PTAs’ State of the Council Report

LISD PTA: By the Numbers

🎬 7.C.1. LISD Council of PTA’s State of the Council 2023 Report

At Thursday’s meeting, the Leander ISD Council of PTA president provided the State of the Council Annual Report for 2023.

Established in 1991 with only six campuses, the council has grown to represent 44 campuses throughout the district and more than 11,000 members. Collectively among PTA board members, they contributed 67,000 volunteer hours last year.

“The efforts and countless hours this organization contributes daily to our students, parents and schools are immeasurable,” said Board Vice President Anna Smith, who served in various roles within the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) before her time as a Trustee. 

Smith also gave a special shoutout to Deer Creek Elementary for receiving the Voice for Every Child Award, recognizing their efforts to recruit a member for every student enrolled.

In 2022–23, the council’s efforts focused around Advocacy, highlighted by trips to the Texas Capitol for PTA Rally Day; Arts in Education, including recognition at the state level as part of the Reflections program; and the Clothes Closet, serving more than 4,000 students and 1,700 families this past school year.

Looking ahead, the council will seek to continue to build connections and grow awareness of the program.

Trustees Approve ‘Good Cause’ Exception for HB3 Compliance

🎬 5.C. Consider Approval of Resolution Claiming a Good Cause Exception to House Bill 3

The passing of House Bill 3 in the recently concluded legislative session requires school districts to place an armed security officer at each campus, among other requirements. Citing a lack of funding and available personnel, Trustees approved a resolution to claim a “good cause” exception, allowing the district time to implement an “alternative standard” to meet the requirements of the bill.

This resolution represents the first step in the “alternative standard” process. More information and additional votes will come back before the Board of Trustees as district administration further researches available options regarding marshals and an in-house police department.

For additional information, refer to the “HB3” section of the Aug. 24 edition of Board Briefs.

Naming Charter Approved for New Elementary School; Form to Open Sept. 15

🎬 5.D. Consider Approval of School and Other Facilities Naming Charter

Trustees approved a charter for the naming of Elementary School #30, scheduled to open in August 2024. Previous presentations included the possibility of naming other facilities in addition to ES30. At this time, the district will only move forward with the naming of ES30.

As detailed in the approved school naming charter, next steps involve forming a committee of residents, including students, in the anticipated attendance zone for ES30. This committee will then act in an advisory role to the Board, reviewing submissions from the entire Leander ISD community. The submission form will open from Sept. 15–29.

For additional information, refer to the “School Naming” section of the Aug. 24 edition of Board Briefs.

Decorated Educational Leader Becomes Next #1LISD Chief of Schools

Chief of Schools hiring announcement Matthew Guttierrez

Leander ISD welcomes Seguin ISD Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez, Ed.D., as the district’s Chief of Schools. The LISD Board of Trustees approved the decision Thursday during its Board meeting. In this role, Dr. Gutierrez will strengthen the student learning experience by providing collaboration and oversight to the area superintendent team as they coach campus principals and ensure safe learning environments by leading the student services team.