FISD expands dual-credit programs

During its regular Oct. 07, 2019 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to announce expanded dual-credit programs, accept donations, recognize students and principals, hear from 4 citizens, receive an audit, approve hiring more staff.

  • Texas Pledge - Elementary Student of the Month, Remington Clark, 4th Grade Student at Henderson Elementary introduced by Ms. Laurie Branch, Principal at Henderson Elementary who said he wants to be a Game Warden, he helps classmates, plays soccer and is an excellent representative of the school.
  • U.S. Flag - Secondary Student of the Month, Jordan Marie Milliorn, 11th Grade Student at North Forney High School introduced by Mr. Michael Jung, Principal at North Forney High School sho said she is ranked academically #1 in her class, member of NHS, Student Council, Fellowship of Student Athletes, a regional champion in UIL competition, and a member of District Champion Girls' Golf Team.   She represents the 3 NFHS pillars of excellence, power and education.   She attended FBI Jr. academy in Albuquerque.
  • Accepted Forney Education Foundation Teacher Grant Donation
    Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services introduced Kate Bell-Keierleber who said last year they broke a record with $48k award, this year, with $20k from the community, they are awarding $90k.
  • Accepted Johnson Elementary PTO donation.
    Johnson PTO would like to donate $11,369.51 from the Boosterthon fundraiser.   Ms. Nancy McElroy, Principal at Johnson Elementary, briefed the board and introduced two PTO members: Kacey Jackson and Tracy Bridges.
  • Recognized Eastfield Health Science Student of the Year Ajani Lockett.
    Ms. Morisak introduced Ms. Robyn Pearce who introduced Dr. Tealer from Eastfield and Ajani.   Dr. Terry said he was very proud of Ajani, who was also Student of the Year in the Dual Credit program.
  • FHS and NFHS Solo/Ensemble - Mr. Mario Luna, Director of Fine Arts said had 29 in State solo/ensemble program.   He introduced students who were preset from choir and band.   UIL said 25k students participate at state level.
  • Principal Recognition Month - Ms. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services said it's National Principals' Month and presented gift-bags to campus principals.
  • 120th Anniversary of Forney Independent School District - Ms. Kristin Zastoupil, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, said have new FISD logo incorporating '120', showed a video of school photos.   A banner will be put in front of building.
  • Public Hearing of the school Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)
        Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer said this annual review is to hold schools accountable, has 15 indicators.   Data is from 2018 audit.   All critical indicators scored passing.   Financial Solvency items: current asset to liability ratio is only item lost points on.   Financial Competency: passed all 3 items.   Got 98 of 100 points.  
        Dr. Terry said 6th year received highest rating, thanks staff and board for managing the $100 million budget.
  • Partnership with Texas Tech University and Eastfield Community College - Ms. Morisak, Ms. Pearce, with Dr. Tealer from Eastfield and Jameshia Granberry from Texas Tech presented the data.   Ms. Pearce said have more students in the 3-year-old Eastfield program, which provides students 2 free admissions.  
        Have gained FAFSA completions.   Dr. Tealer from Eastfield said they are excited, look forward to get more students, like Mr. Lockett.   He introduced other staff from Eastfield that are present.   Ms. Dr. Hicks said had 58% growth in dual-credit students since 2017.   This year they're offering 820+ courses this year, worth almost $1 million.   Through the partnership, this costs students $177, instead of about $1200 at UNT.   Mr. Lockett was one of the first CNA students. They are planning with both high schools.
        Currently have students earning associate degrees.   Will be graduating more Forney students this year.   Will be offering classes to parents and community.   They have a long partnership with Tech.   Ms. Granberry from TX Tech said advisors will be working w/ Eastfield & Texas Tech, to be sure credits will transfer.   Will offer face-to-face classes here, students won't need to travel.   Can take lower level classes at Eastfield, cut cost by half.   Will be able to get bachelors' for $15-18k.   Can get transfer scholarships from Eastfield to Texas Tech, of $4500 - $6500 / year.   Ms. Pearce showed the timeline.   Will have college advisors on campus 1 day / month.   Ms. Morisak said very proud of progress over recent years, this is amazing for students and families.   Mr. Carroll asked what age group can use the plans now; Ms. Granberry said for Tech, any student who has associates' now, current freshmen now will be the first cohort.   Dr. Hicks said some jr. & sr. students can take advantage of Eastfield program.  
        Dr. Terry said this is exciting for students and community; to say bachelor's degrees will be available, see this growing into the future.   With college/career center in the bond program will continue to expand.
  • Forney Education Foundation Update - Kate Keierleber said in 2003 started with $500 scholarships, grown a bit since then, to almost 1,000 scholarships.   For the Eastfield program, will cover 1/2 of college courses.   Awarded $65k in dual-credit scholarships, over $600k in teaching grants, $2 million to graduates.   2019 was best year yet.   Only about 30% students were taking dual-credit scholarships, worked with staff to add CTE & AP.   Added adopt-a-grant, goal was $10k, got $21k.   Morisak said foundation has grown under Kate's leadership.
  • District of Innovation Report - Ms. Morisak said 3rd year, committee recommends no changes to plans.   Mr. Carroll asked if recent legislation changed anything - no, but many districts have joined, they might make it easier to become one.
  • Monthly Financial Report - Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer said revenue recognized in prior year makes it look short.   Revenue and expenses in line w/ last year.
  • Summary of Finance Update - Mr. Chase said get this from TEA about 3 x / year; state paid FISD on average 9,945 students - had 10,604, so earned more than got paid.   Current vs. prior tax values: could have lost $5.8 million in state funding.   Did receive $6.6 mill underpayment
  • Limited English Proficient Student Enrollment Report - Ms. Judith Webber, Chief Learning Officer said have 31 languages, ratio is holding steady.
  • Public Comment
  • Shelley Knight has a son at NFHS, she wants board to reconsider facial hair policy.   She showed a picture of her son in Eagle Scout uniform.   She said he loves the way he looks w/ long hair and trimmed beard.   Limits on hair and beard have not been enforced until this year.   They were told son could not be in yearbook if didn't meet dress code.   He has been taken out of class to check hair; teachers have told him to put in a ponytail, which is not allowed.   She read her proposal for a new policy.   She doesn't understand how boys hair is distracting, but not girls.   Why are students' beards not allowed, but teachers' are? Society and Industry allows long hair on men.   She works at a company w/ 385 people with a similar dress code.  
  • Katrina Burkhalter: Has lived here 4 years, moved because of ISD, has special needs daughter.   She's Proud of the FISD, new programs.   She used a lockdown technique at her work, and built social contracts.   She knows they are doing things about bullying, it's in the news.   Her daughter should be safe in school.   Stories are heartbreaking; they are doing a lot of safety programs for academics, inclusion, acceptance - do more to build social contracts student-to-student.   October is National bullying prevention month, should create events to focus on this.   They spent a lot of money on technology to provide anonymous reporting, but some parents don't know about it, should have classes for parents.
  • Mr. Pete Rosenberg said he has observed a situation for quite some time; he's an advocate of passing the bond issue.   He's concerned about how to spend it.   He was a Marine in Vietnam, Ft Worth Fire Dept 25 years, one of first paramedics, started Coppell medic program.   He has a lot of experience in safety. He has observed schools, especially at Brown where an ambulance tried to come in.   Terrible parking design.   On rainy days, drives are blocked.   He suggested making one of the drives a one-way path.   There are also problems at NFHS, with cars parking on the road - adding no-parking signs would help with safety.   Teachers have to go out in the rain to direct traffic, unacceptable.   Same thing at Criswell.   Should be a way to make it safer when pickup kids.   He suggested FISD hire retired military who could help in the school and with traffic.   He thanked the board for excellent principal at NFHS.
  • Ms. Julia Johnson is to represent the Vote Yes.   8500 new kids in 10 years, Prosper approved 1.2 billion.   Really need to add schools.   Can't have kids in portables, can't secure them.   There is no tax increase, rate went down.   Safety renovations will be done in all schools.   The career and technology school will be for both HS.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Minutes of September 5, 2019 Regular Meeting
    • Hazardous Bus Routes
    • Budget Amendment
    • Request for Maximum Class Size Waiver Exemption
    • Approval of Prevailing Wage Rates
    • Approve the Purchase of Smart Tag

  • Approved Annual Financial Audit
        Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer introduced Mr. Dan Tonn who said the report went well, audit started in May, four agents worked here, they use experienced people.   Did receive unmodified report, the highest level.   Assets of $309 Million; liabilities $438 million.   Net $109 million negative, improvement of $3.8 mill.   General fund is in very good position.   2011-12 had significant issues; started building up in 2013.   Decrease slightly this year due to building construction.   Internal controls and Federal compliance: they had no findings.
        Dr. Terry said it's awesome to have nothing to share.
  • Approved recommended (10) additional 2019-2020 Full Time positions.
        Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services said board approved hiring 112; actual attendance is 11, increase of 847, so 92 more than estimated.   They recommend 10 personnel.   about $440k, covered by additional state aid from increased enrollment.

  • Approved ratification of employment of professional contract personnel as presented in closed session.
  • Approved employment of professional contract personnel as presented in closed session.
  • Tuesday, October 8 @ 6:00 PM, NFHS Homecoming Parade
    Friday, October 11 @ 7:30 PM, NFHS Homecoming Game
    Monday, October 14 - October 18, Fall Break, District Closed
    Monday, November 11 @ 6:00 PM, Regular Board Meeting

  • Adjourned at 2056
Monday, 2019, October 7