FISD considers extended leave, superintendent contract

During its regular Jan. 11, 2021 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to recognize Holiday Card winner, accept PTO $, consider front-line worker resolution, extended leave policy, superintendent contract.

  • Held a 50-minute workshop to discuss preliminary plans to expand Dual-Language, Gifted/Talented, Fine Arts programs beyond the current grades PK-8, and to possibly have an orchestra, theater and strings programs.  These programs could be centralized at some campuses, and in future could be housed at College / Career center.  Some programs may be housed at current campuses with little or no renovations to classrooms.  There would likely only be one orchestral program.
        Fine Arts students must be proficient in Math and English, as those classed get compressed to allow Arts every day, instead of the usual 1 day per week.
        Plan to have more entry points into specialized programs. May have students in programs, or assigned to cohorts according to students needs.
        The board expressed interest in expanding the programs to all grades, debated housing some programs entirely at one campus.  Dr. Terry said staff would do more examining of other districts programs and revisit this plan in the future.
  • U. S. Flag - Melanie Rodriguez-Martinez, Graduate of Forney Learning Academy
        Dr. Pam Luttrull, Principal of Forney Learning Academy, said Melanie has 'never had a bad day', has a great work ethic, pursues her goals, makes everyone smile.
  • Texas Pledge - Phoenix Tumey, 3rd Grade Student at Henderson Elementary School
        Ms. Laurie Branch, Principal of Henderson Elementary, said Phoenix likes books, his teacher said he never met a stranger, wants to make everyone proud, his spirit is contagious.
  • Accepted Forney High School PTO donation to Forney High School for Student and Staff Appreciation/Recognition
        Ms. Kristin Zastoupil, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications said the donation was from the FHS PTO for $13,084.
  • Holiday Card Overall Winner
        Ms. Zastoupil introduced Jane Salgado after showing the contest winners video.
  • school board recognition month
        Ms. Zastoupil said students and staff want to express appreciation; each board member received a gift basket from a campus.
  • held a short recess
  • Monthly Financial Report
        Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer said 29% revenue, 41% expended, expected values this time of year, compares to last year.  Food service fund - revenue 14%, 29% expended.  First month offered free breakfast and lunch, doubled previous federal reimbursements.  Don't get federal revenue until later, will get accruals later.  Last month thought could be $900k short, now expect about $200k short.  Coupled w/ loss of a $300k reimbursement, total impact could be $500k.  Might be able to offer two entree options on lunch cart.  Debt service - no expenditures, revenue a bit behind compared to last year - got a payment in Dec that will appear in next report.  Will have interest payment in Feb that will draw down balance.
  • Board Self-Evaluation
        Mr. Greg Pharris, School Board President, thanked the board for their time serving and taking classes.  Dr. Terry said definitely appreciate the board, best in the state of TX, been amazing over last 7 years.
  • Forney Focus Update
        Dr. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services, said done quite a lot despite COVID, and showed a lengthy video narrated by students.  Students setup a help desk system, have processed 20k tickets so far.  Provide bilingual online videos and tips for parents and students.  Rolled out 1,000 staff chromebooks.  Provided backpacks and Christmas presents for students? Dual credit fees covered for Forney students.  Students can take google IT certification training at no cost, good for up to 12 hours of credit.  Region X recommends Forney Synergy Program to other districts.  First ever red ribbon week program.  Counseling for all k-12 students.  Food service providing all meals in classroom, due to COVID-19.  District still growing, Human services is expanding.  FISD started their own police dept, and a threat-assessment program.  180k grant.  Smart tag system for bus transport.  Diverse and Inclusive Community Unified Committee formed.  Adopted CDC guidelines for COVID safety, doing contact tracing.  City Bank Stadium got new turf and track.  Music programs have been expanded, also piano, dance and theater at Blackburn.  GTT implemented new programs for G/T students.  Students helped setup virtual programs.  Implemented contact-less PE at FLA.
        President Pharris said it's hard to keep up with all they have accomplished, they've done a good job despite pandemic.
  • Public Comment - none
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Budget Amendment - documents show this is to accept 58k from FEF grant, 6500 for bilingual teacher stipends, add $700k to construction budget for the aquatic center (total budget is $5 million).  This would increase the general fund deficit to $6.2 million. "Most of the deficit is due to projects started in the prior fiscal year, but they were not completed until the current year."
    • CV Local as a Final Reading
    • Auditor Contract
    • Purchasing Cooperative - adding Tarrant County Coop Purchasing Program.
    • Construction Bids:
      • connecting Atmos gas line to meter at Jackson/Rhodes at $156,775
      • Playground equipment at Griffin Elementary at $152,763.

  • Approved the front-line workers resolution
        Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services, said staff has a profound impact on students and families.  During pandemic, teachers were heroic in meeting students needs.  Staff worked with TASB and TASA, need to send resolution to Gov. Abbot to let him know staff should be moved up in vaccination levels.  Dr. Terry said want to help them move up in line, other districts are in favor.
  • Approved the COVID leave extension resolution.
        Mr. Geer said said Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired Dec 31, expect COVID illnesses to continue.  To help staff isolate and protect district health, should extend these leave benefits to benefit the district.  This will extend the time may utilize the 80 hours of emergency leave.  Mr. Carroll asked if this covers any COVID related issue - Mr. Geer said it covered about 6 options, includes caring for someone COVID positive.  Dr. Terry said want to take care of our family, recommend approval.
  • Held a 75-minute executive session re:
  • Employment of Professional Contract Personnel, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.074
  • Consultation with Attorney, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code § 551.071
  • the Superintendent's Summative Evaluation and Contract, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.074, Personnel Matters

  • Approved the employment of professional contract personnel as presented.
  • Re: the superintendent's summative evaluation and extension or modification of superintendent term contract -
        Approved extending contract 1 year and authorized negotiation, and the summative evaluation, as discussed in executive session.
  • announcements
    Monday, January 18, 2021 - Martin Luther King Day, No School
    Thursday, January 21, 2021 - Team of Eight Training
    Monday, February 8, 2021 @ 6:00 PM - Regular School Board Meeting
  • Adjourned at 2112
  • meeting_date: 
    Monday, 2021, January 11