FISD holds FIRST hearing, gets FEF $

During its regular Oct. 01, 2018 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met and in summary:

  • Held a Master Planning Workshop
  • Pres. Pharris introduced Rev. Christopher Allen from First United Methodist Church and listed many ways FUMC has helped Forney: for 30 years has hosted pancake breakfast for teachers on first day of school, Youth Group had a uniform drive, since 2011 have provided over a million immunizations for children.
  • U.S. Flag - Secondary Student of the Month, Thomas Howard, Senior at North Forney High School, introduced by: Ms. Brandi Hosack, Principal of North Forney High School. He is NHS president, goalkeeper for soccer, on tennis team, youth mentor at church, Eagle Scout and a pianist.
  • Texas Pledge - Elementary Student of the Month, Aubrey Lynn Childers, 5th grade at Claybon Elementary, introduced by: Ms. Kristie Crabtree, Principal at Claybon Elementary
  • Donation by the Forney Education Foundation of $48,500 for Teacher Grants
        Ms. Kate Keierleber, Executive Director of Forney Education Foundation said the district faculty and staff raised over 46k this year. They are in middle of Founders Drive, hope to raise $100k in 6 weeks, will have a casino night. She then presented the check, brings total to 490K over 10 years.
  • Principal Appreciation Month - Mr. Greg Pharris, Board President, read a proclamation from TX Governor Abbot proclaiming October as Principals Month.
       Ms. Webber introduced the principals present to accept gifts.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Held Public Hearings -

    • The School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)
          Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer, presented a slide show. There are critical indicators that automatically result in an 'F', FISD passed all those. FISD passed all 6 solvency indicators. For 3 financial competency, FISD received maximum scores. Overall score is 98.

  • Monthly Financial Report: Mr. Chase said income and expense percentages close to last year. Did have large bond payments, another will be in Feb.
  • Summary of Finance Update: Mr. Chase presented the near-final summary, which drives what FISD receives in state aid. The FISD was underpaid by 1.9m, which is not included in the audit. Last year had a 900k underpayment.
  • Limited English Proficient Student Enrollment Report: Ms. Judith Webber, Chief Learning Officer said this year total is 907, went from 31 to 26 languages. 1/8 of enrollees are LEP students.
  • Forney Focus and District Improvement Plan Update: Ms. Judy Webber and Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services showed the 6 Forney Values they listed. They have focused on Safety, using District Committees, staff met w/ SRO's, will be seeking a Security Consulting Firms, staff has been trained on common vocabulary for incidents, new fire panels at many buildings, all campuses have access control, normal route busses all have security cameras. She listed maintenance work being done.
        The values stress relationships first, #forneyFamily. They have instituted Thankful Thursdays. Excellence - they use Measure of Academic Progress in K-8 to predict ACT & SAT performance. Community Engagement with parent, community, business? Voices - everyones' matters. Synergy program is expanding, other districts have seen this program and started their own. They are working with Forney City, Police and Fire. Social Media Marketing: #forneyconnects and #forneyfamily. They will contact folks who have post issues online.
       Ms. Webber then spoke about Learning - the future ready students have created 350 days of curriculum. Also have career and military programs. Individualization - creating growth opportunities for all, using brain-based practices. They have partnered with SMU. Perseverance - FISD has financial stability now, tax rate is low compared to many surrounding districts. Collaboration - they want partnerships w/ community. They are working w/ Friends of Public Schools to approach state legislators.
       Mr. Regan asked about the security consulting firm RFP - Mr. Geer said it would be an A-Z assessment, very comprehensive, could have quarterly reports for the board.
  • Demographer Update: Mr. Chase introduced Mr. Templeton who said the DFW economy is one of strongest in nation, job growth at 2.9%, unemployment rate (when at 4% or less) is effectively fully employed. Huge increase in housing, 46% of area sales are for new homes, very high. Listed at #8 on DFW new home ranking report. Large increase in housing starts compared to last year. 10 subdivisions account for 94% of growth, majority of it N. of 80. Windmill Farms / Smith has about 3,560 future lots. Six elementary zones have more than 100 homes per year. 3,000 lots are in development, in next 4 months. Growing a little faster on N. side. Multi-Family students account for 2%, most districts have 10%. Across the state, there is a slowdown in Kindergarden due to reduced birth rate. Should expect 5 year enrollment growth of 3,140 students.
       Dr. Terry said growth is coming on faster than expected, they can work with it. Mr. Carroll asked what lag the data has - Mr. Templeton said the projections are updated throughout the year, FISD is in rare state where elementary growth is stronger due to more affordable homes.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Hazardous Bus Routes
    • Budget Amendment
    • Request for Maximum Class Size Waiver Exemption
    • Approval of Prevailing Wage Rates
    • Final Reading Update 111

  • Approved Annual Financial Audit - Mr Chase introduced Mr. Tonn He said the audit went well, staff does a good job. The district was required to adopt a new accounting standard this year. FISD received an unmodified opinion, which is the highest level. Total assets are 261m, liabilities are 382m, being a fast growth district contributes to the -113m. This is the first year entities are required to report Other Post Employment Benefits, which reduced the ending position by 26m. pay as you go plan.
       FISD appraised value increased by $482m, tax collections increased by $7.4m. District is close to 50% local funding level vs state funding. Internal controls - they found no issues, state and federal compliance was fine. He said it was a very positive audit.
  • Adopted School Priority Month Resolution: Dr. Justin Terry, Superintendent said this was encouraged by Friends of TX Public Schools to foster engagement, acknowledge valued partnerships with all elected officials, to exhibit shared responsibility for public education. This will allow them to partner with Friends of TX Public Schools.
  • Held a 41-minute executive session re:

    • Deliberate regarding employment of professional contract personnel
    • Conduct quarterly evaluation of Superintendent

  • Approved employment of professional contract personnel as presented.
  • Adjourned at 2137.
Monday, 2018, October 1