FISD approves funding for another new elementary and aquatic center

During its regular Nov. 02, 2020 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to recognize National Merit Scholar and African American Scholar, present State Proclamation to Ms. Green, recognize FISD Veterans, consider another new elementary, an 11-lane aquatic training facility with public access,

  • Held a 45-minute workshop to discuss plans for new attendance boundaries.  Plans show many campuses being over capacity in 3-5 years, some go as far as 8 years before problems occur.  Subject to change, of course.
  • U. S. Flag - Secondary Student-of-the-Month, Ethan Eddy, 12th Grade Student at Forney High School, introduced by Dr. Jonathan Campbell, Principal of Forney High School who said Ethan is in JROTC, wants to be AF pilot.  Is diligent about school work, respectful to others, wrote and performed a monologue in Theatre1.  His demeanor suggests great future. 
  • Texas Pledge - Elementary Student-of-the-Month, Nathan Meza, 3rd Grade Student at Claybon Elementary, introduced by Ms. Angela Abrams-Malone, Principal of Claybon Elementary, who said Nathan is always positive, respectful, helps those in need, has perseverance, plays baseball, a little golf.  He always has a smile and great attitude.
  • Approved a donation by the Rowlett Fire Department of face masks.
        Ms. Stacie Brown, Director of Health Services said the donation is 48k ear-loop masks; Texas State provided a truck-load to Rowlett FD.  About $10k street-value.
  • Dr. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services, said the program began in 1955.  About 3% of the highest scores qualify for recognition.
    • National Merit Scholar Awards: Semifinalist: Brigham Pettit; Commended Scholar: Sarah Beth Childress and Lydia Riggs.
    • African American Scholar Award: Jayla Moore.

  • Dr. Judy Webber, Chief of Learner Services, introduced State Rep. Keith Bell who was a FISD board member for 20 years, and founding member of Forney Education Foundation.  Mr. Bell said he's proud of the board and staff during these challenging times.  He said Ms. Green was an educator before being a board member.  He then read a State of Texas proclamation congratulating Ms. Barbara Jo Green for achieving Master Trustee.
  • Held a recess
  • Veteran Recognition -
        Mr. Larry Coker, Director of Communications, said Nov. 11, Veterans Day, celebrates service.  FISD has several veterans - present were John Chase, Ross Jones, Latecia McCline, Melissha Groshans, Mark Dietz, Rogerio Garcia w/ ROTC, Ms. Garcia and an FISD officer.
  • Fall Demographic Report
        Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services introduce Mr. Rocky Gardner who showed impacts of CCOVID-19.  Kaufman County fared better than most, median home prices remain high, inventory is tight.  2q20 Starts are up 15%, closings 12%, inventory 6%.  FISD is #7 in new home ranking report.  3q20 has highest starts ever.  Have 16 actively building subdivisions and 15 future ones.  Multi-Family (MF) about 540 coming, 930 recently built.  MF is losing some people who buy homes.  Expect 1k new students next year. Could have 25k students in 10 years.  Dr. Terry said seeing abnormal growth, many grade levels.  Rocky said grades 7-8 were surprisingly high,.  Growth in K is impressive, many districts are 5-6% low.
  • Master Planning Update Ms. Morisak said a lot of stuff on the ground, introduced Jeff Fisher, who detailed progress on current projects.  Rhodes/Jackson - storm shelter tilt-walls are up.  Griffin - working on walls, steel, slabs.  NFHS animal center - arena is complete, a few weeks left.  FHS welding - putting brick on it.  Admin building mostly complete, waiting for traffic signal poles, may start during Dec.  Smith paving and gate almost done.  NFHS cafe almost done.  Budgets all tracking well.  Ms. Morisak said welding shop will be awesome.  Bond committee was struck by growth at NFHS.  Going to discuss sports, Willet, NFHS expansion.  Ms. Dunfee from Huckabee showed the new campus in Overland - Johnson replacement.  Willet in Gateway Parks will integrate with colors in neighborhood.  FHS will have baseball/softball complex with seating for 1k.  Also have a batting cage.  NFHS expanding athletic area, adding a new field house, batting cage, fields will be turfed.  Ball field bleachers will have shade covers.  Girls and Boys locker spaces will be quite modified.  Mr. Pharris asked about coaching space - Mr. Weaver said when students are present, coaches will be with them.  Offices will be upstairs.  Pres. Pharris expressed concern about that.  Mr. Carroll said he understands the concern, but it's not a long trip from office to lockers.  Mr. Weaver said this prevents lockers being upstairs.  Dr. Terry said bond committee was concerned about disparity on locker space.  This helps prepare for classroom expansion.
        Ms. Morisak said about 70 kids in swim program, went to Rockwall, Pleasant Grove, now in outdoor Mesquite facility.  Last year had 5 make it to state, 2 were finalists.  Fell into a unique opportunity for a small pool (115'x140'), 11 lanes w/ beginners area.  Originally was a $10+ million plan w/ annual maintenance.  Lovejoy ISD had a successful pool. They partnered with a firm FISD is talking to who has offered to run the facility at little or no cost.  The public could have some opportunity to use the pool.  This would be a cash project, not bond related. 
  • District of Innovation Report
        Ms. Morisak said the current plan in Dec. 21.  Orig exempted from 4 items: Teacher Certification, First/Last Instruction Day, Behavior Coordinator, Probationary Contract.  Added 2 others due to COVID: Teacher Duty-Free Lunch, Class Size.  Considering reading academies, min. average grade.  Rule preventing grades below 50 no longer valid, should consider having a minimum.  TEA says committee can approve a new plan, they unanimously approved it.  Dr. Terry said ASAP will resume duty-free lunch. 
  • Monthly Financial Report
        Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer said collections and expense percentages are similar to last year.  Most Debt Service activity in Sep. related to bond refunding, which Saved $7.1 million.  Had $102 million in cash and investments, food service is losing some money, got a waiver to provide free breakfast and lunch to any students, should get federal funds, might be short as much as $900k.  Mr. Andrews asked how communicated about free lunches - video, sent blasts to parents, on website.  Dr. Terry said it's a very big change, slow start was intentional.  Mr. Chase said they had the grab and go program, have to pickup at Blackburn.  Mr. Carroll asked if grants just paid for food - no, get $3.80 subsidy / meal, usually enough to cover staff, depending on participation.  Mr. Andrews asked if all districts get this - no, just who applied.  Not just students that can participate - home-schoolers and kids under 5 are also eligible.
  • Quarterly Investment Report
        Mr. Chase said $103 million on deposit, interest rates not good: 0.18% to 0.65%, yielded income of $102k.
  • 1st Quarter Tax Collection Report
        Mr. Chase collected $545k delinquent, tracking close to last year.  Property values increased over 15%.
  • Board Goals, Early Literacy and CCMR Progress Report
        Ms. Leslie Rader, Director of Elementary Learning said HB 3 requires 60% 3rd grade reading proficiency by 2024.  K, 1, 3 all had new assessment programs.  She detailed yearly target goals for various grades and campuses.
  • Safety Audit Report
        Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services said must have an audit every 3 years.  Worked with Craig Miller Group, did a little secret shopper approach, which worked more than he would like.  Currently have 6 security officers at High School, contracted.  Upgraded all security cameras.  Implemented anonymous alert system, allowed them to get ahead of several problems.  All districts required to have a Threat Assessment Management System, which FISD had already started.  SMART tag ID system has been effective.  Capturing Kids Hearts has had an impact.  Dr. Terry commended staff and improving security on every campus.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Budget Amendment
    • Purchasing Cooperative with Equalis Group

  • Approved construction bids for Rhodes/Jackson package #3
        Ms. Morisak introduce Jeff Fisher who presented the bids - he said some items were deferred to improve cash flow.  These total $2.6 million, under budget $185k.  Dr. Terry said this opportunity to have 3 turfed fields, will allow rotating students between fields.
  • Approved construction projects and budget of 99.2 million.
        Mr. Chase said the budgets for Willet and Johnson are down from original estimates.  Had planned to issue $106 million in Jan to finish Griffin and Jackson/Rhodes, and start these projects.  Aquatic $5 million will come from general fund, have a $13 million cushion in reserves.  With savings from original campus estimates, athletic expansions may cost net $10 million or less.
        Dr. Terry said savings on other projects have helped fund these projects.  Been a need for training facility for swimmers for a long time, previously would cost over $10 million with annual expenses.  This new approach is a blessing, great to take this out with cash.
  • Approved selecting The C.T. Brannon corporation D/B/A the Brannon Corporation as the prime design professional for a new construction project and authorized the superintendent to negotiate a contract.
        Mr. Chase said this firm has a lot of experience in aquatic facilities.  Mr. Andrews asked about exclusions in the scope - Mr. Chase said those are similar to contracts with Gallagher.  Dr. Terry said the civil will be minimal, same procedure currently used.
  • no closed session
    • Deliberate Regarding Employment of Professional Contract Personnel, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.074
    • Consultation with Attorney, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code § 551.071.

  • Approved professional contract personnel as presented

  • Tuesday, November 17, 6:00 PM - Special Called Board Meeting

    Monday, November 23 - Friday, November 27 - Thanksgiving Break, No School

    Monday, December 7, 6:00 PM - Regular Board Meeting
  • adjourned at 2103.
Monday, 2020, November 2