FISD hires more teachers to match growth

During its regular Apr. 01, 2019 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met and in summary: discussed budget, recognized students, heard about advertising programs, approved network purchases.

  • Held a one-hour budget workshop: Mr. Chase said the district income is 52% property taxes, 47% state aid, 1% federal for medicaid reimbursements. Taking out large capital outlays, the expenses show the normal 80% for payroll. Have had budget surpluses for 4 years. This year will not, due to capital outlay and will be underpaid by state, until September (after the end of fiscal year).
        For student-to-staff ratios, FISD is more efficient than state averages. Operating reserve is at 2 months, would be preferred 3 months if state underpayment came earlier. On enrollment: predicting 5.2% year-over-year growth for several years. In 5 years, could have 15,000 students.
        Ms. Webber noted increases in special needs students, special education (which TEA tried to cap at 8.5% while national average is 13%, FISD currently has 12% [1,300 students]), dyslexic students (which the district has to test for), all of which require more personnel. Mr. Geer said had 31 class (size) waivers, they had to shuttle kids around to maintain 22:1 ratio. They will be requesting personnel earlier to avoid those situations.
        Mr. Chase discussed state-level discussions about teacher raises, which likely won't be approved until May. FISD may need to raise salaries to be competitive with area schools. Capital Improvement needs: City Bank Stadium turf & track, $1 million; board-room upgrades; backup generator; band tractor/trailer; building safety and maintenance items for about $650k. Ms. Green asked about plans to replace Johnson - Mr. Chase said would be great to replace that 60-year old building, but are constrained by tax rate and difficulty with growth.
  • Sylas Smith Pre-K Student-of-the-Month at Forney Learning Academy introduced by Ms. Kim David, Director of Early Childhood.
  • U.S. Flag - Secondary Student-of-the-Month Jaxson Rose, 11th Grade Student at Forney Learning Academy introduced by Ms. Stacy Joseph, Director of Virtual Learning and Media Services.
  • Texas Flag - Elementary Student-of-the-Month Brooke Hackenjos, 5th Grade Student at Criswell Elementary School introduced by Ms. Rachel Bonner, Principal at Criswell Elementary.
  • Texas Art Education Association Visual Arts Scholastic Event State Qualifier
        Ms. Webber - said of 1738 entries, 128 selected for area - these were the Forney students chosen:
    • Forney High School - Chloe Apurado, Mandras Lopez, Tiffany Turner
    • North Forney High School - Brooke McLemee

  • Academic All-State Basketball: Mr. Neal Weaver, Director of Athletics said it's important to recognize state-level performance. For this award, students must have an 'A' average in all classes.
  • Forney High School Boys Basketball - Corby Filice - THSCA Academic All-State Honorable Mention
    TABC Academic All-State - Forney High School Girls Basketball - Madeline Milby - THSCA Academic All-State Honorable Mention
  • Powerlift State Qualifiers: Forney High School - Sadie Hewitt - 220 lbs. Class State Champion - Mr. Weaver said she is a repeat state champion.
  • HTEDance National Grand Champion - Ms. Webber said the team was top scoring of the year, this is 3rd consecutive year, then introduced the Forney High School Highsteppers
  • Ms. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services presented 2019 Best Communities for Music Education Award for Forney ISD - ???
  • Public Comment - none
  • Monthly Financial Report - Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer said tax payments tapering off, had a big land purchase - revenue at 74%, same as last year, expenses 67%, 4% higher due to land. Debt service- big semi-annual interest payment; have spent 100% of budget, in line w/ last year.
  • Forney Focus Update - Ms. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services presented a video on activities and people involved. 891 students enrolled in dual credit at Eastfield. An Anonymous Alert system has been implemented to report threats to people or property.
  • Master Planning Update - Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services introduced Mr. Gallagher for updates - Smith and Rhea going well, elevators almost done, plumbing done, flooring and painting soon. Johnson: plumbing issues in kitchen.
        Ms. Morisak introduced the demographer who said currently have 1148 home starts in FISD, 20,000 future lots. Q4 starts were down a little, but closings were up. Expect 755 new students next year. 15,000 students by 2024; 18,535 by 2028. Some developments are not included as they don't have development agreements yet.
  • Marketing and Advertising Report - Ms. Morisak introduced Ms. Kate Bell-Keierleber who said plan to roll out program next Monday, offering discounts for 5-year contracts. Expect to generate $700k over 5 years. For physical signage, will require 3-year contracts. Their app will launch in Aug. Will have advertising on buses, have considered liability issues. City bank scoreboard - will allow commercials, which can be made by FISD synergy students, also game sponsors for football, soccer, track and other events. All of the prices are annual.
  • Announce School Board Compliance/Non-Compliance of Continuing Education Hours - Mr. Greg Pharris, School Board President stated all members have completed or exceeded requirements.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Budget Amendment
    • Allotment and TEKS Certification, 2019-20
    • Caelen Communications Purchase
    • Statement of Impact Form(s) from Charter School(s) Could Have a Major Financial Impact on Forney ISD
      • Uplift Education - Submitting an Amendment Request to Expand its Geographic Boundary
      • Cityscape School, Inc - Proposing to Add Two Additional Locations in the Dallas/Garland Area

  • Approved 10 year contract with People's Communication to provide wide area network (WAN) connection service
        Mr. Chase said current WAN is fiber, leased from Peoples Comm. Federal Government reimburses part of the cost, so they are required to put out bids. 10 year contract is $684k, essentially the same as now. Mr. Andrews asked if 10 year contracts are standard - Mr. Chase said the other bids were $1.7 and $2 million because new fiber would have to be laid. He does not believe there is an early termination. Ms. Morisak said they are the only provider with a fiber ring in Forney. Mr. Regan asked if this contract was immune to rate increases - Mr. Chase said the monthly cost is set (at $5,704), might have to upgrade equipment.
  • Approved contract for switches and wireless access points for Rhea and Smith Elementary
        Mr. Chase this is also e-rateable, so will get reimbursed 50%. They only use Cisco equip, contract is for $157k. Mr. Carroll asked if this was to bring 2 campuses to one-to-one; yes.
  • Approved additional 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions
        Mr. Chase said new 19 teacher + 1 professional asst. Dr. Terry said will evaluate needs quarterly.
  • Approved allowing Superintendent to negotiate construction services at Johnson Elementary
        Mr. Chase said need flexibility to get building repaired, if over 100k will request extra funds in next budget.
  • Held a 62-minute executive session re:
    • Consultation with Attorney
    • Ratification of Employment of Professional Contract Personnel
    • Re-Employment of Professional Contract Personnel

  • Approved ratification of employment of professional contract personnel.
  • Approved re-employment of professional contract personnel as presented.
  • Took no action re: superintendent's quarterly evaluation as discussed in Closed Session
  • Adjourned at 2112
Monday, 2019, April 1