FISD on the hunt for more new teachers

During its regular Mar. 01, 2021 meeting, the Forney Independent School District Board met to recognize students and staff, considered pay for staff, hiring more teachers and slight zone change.

  • Held a 40-minute workshop for demographer's update and briefing on proposed zone change.
        Demographer Rocky Gardiner spoke about home buyers being "out of trend" - buying when normally wouldn't, many without children, partly due to low interest rates and working from home.  Have seen record number of home starts in FISD, new and existing home sales are up.  Affordable homes are now $300k, up $100k of last 10 years.  Foreclosures are low, but likely to increase when prohibitions lifted.  Currently have 1 year worth of vacant lots in inventory.  He's skeptical about Multi-Family growth continuing, has slowed in DFW area.  Could see 1309 new students next year, could have 20,000 students in 5 years.  Criswell could be over capacity in next school year. 
        Zones: Ms. Morisak said she's not too concerned about Criswell, but is worried about Lewis.
        Proposal is to rezone part of Trinity Crossing subdivision that is split by Atmos gas line, to preemptively avoid problems.  Need to keep room in Criswell in case Crosby gets full.  There was discussion about 10th elementary that would be built near Jackson / Rhodes.  Spradley Farms may provide location for 11th.
        The 10-year forecast should be considered to be good for 2 years, probably for the next 5 years.
  • U. S. Flag - Paola Ibarra, 6th Grade Student at Smith Intermediate School
        Ms. Courtney Rodriguez, Principal of Smith, said Paola won Spanish spelling bee award, is Capturing Kid's Hearts ambassador, leads by example, likes reading and writing, painting and is in band.  Wants to study medicine.
  • Texas Pledge - Rogan Ward, 4th Grade Student at Crosby Elementary School
        Mr. Lloyd Ashcraft, Principal of Crosby, said Rogan demonstrates excellent character, first to welcome new students and offer help, in the G/T program, plays soccer.
  • All-State Musicians
        Mr. Mario Luna, Director of Fine Arts, said have 5 to recognize, after the unusual virtual event this year.  50k students auditioned, puts these students in top 3.7% in the state.
  • TSPRA Star Awards -
        Ms. Kristin Zastoupil, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, said won the Platinum award last year for Forney Family campaign.  This year were a finalist for the bond campaign.  This like school super-bowl, won Gold for 120 year video, three Silvers for newsletters and writing.
  • Forney Family Awards-
        Ms. Zastoupil said this is for helping to maintain and fix buildings during the winter storm.
    • Maintenance/Custodial staff members
    • Aaron Hunt who worked to keep the animals alive in the Animal Science Center during the storm.
    • Gallagher Construction who helped keep things open and did repairs.

  • held a recess
  • Monthly Financial Report
        Mr. John Chase, Chief Financial Officer, said revenue of $29.2 million, normal sizable amount for January, 64% estimated revenue, expenses at 55%; past years were 61% and 56%.  Food service - revenue 28%, expenses 43%, behind where should be, still expect 200k deficit + loss of reimbursement = 500k loss.  Debt Service: $16 mil in tax collection, total is $40 mil - if strip out bond refund, would be 78% revenue, 73% expenses, compared to last year. 
  • College and Career Update
        Ms. Robyn Pearce, Executive Director of Innovation and Information Systems, said expanded partner w/ Dallas college for dual-credit courses, students and public, 586 students taking 1,150 courses.  15 community and staff utilizing the discount, adding summer CTE classes for welding and HVAC.
        expanded ACT, 515 seniors took test for free.  FISD is now a TSI testing site, previously required traveling to Dallas College to test.  Thanks to Forney Education Foundation, all 9th graders may take the TSI test.
        Working with Flippin group for K-12 future ready focus, a vertically-aligned curriculum.  Next year K-4 will have future-ready learning.  5-8 will have a class added.  Entrepreneurship will begin next year, with access to international leaders.
  • Master Planning Update
        Ms. Kim Morisak, Chief of Information, Innovative and Technology Services, introduced Von Gallagher who said lost time due to weather, working extended hours.  Jackson/Rhodes finished from classrooms out.  Griffin: green masonry, had big concrete pour last week, good neighbors there.  Ms Morisak showed site plan which has been approved with streets name innovation and inspiration, with a large roundabout with a drawing for xeriscaped landscaping.  She showed a fly-through of athletic facilities.  Schedules: Jackson/Rhodes open Fall '21.  Willet & Johnson dirt starts moving in April, NFHS athletics should be done in Dec., FHS baseball/softball done about Sept.  Mr. Carroll asked if any concerns about opening - Von said as long as no more ice storms, would like more cushion, but should be ok.  Mr. Carroll asked if doing alternates now; plan to.  Pres. Pharris asked what would finish first: school, or stop light? Ms. Morisak said if hadn't rained, could have poured concrete for light, and were prevented from pouring earlier, should be done soon.
  • Public Comment - none
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • Approve Budget Amendment
    • Inclement Weather Missed School Days Waiver
    • Replacement Cisco Switches
    • Emergency Repairs
    • Classroom Technology Hardware Purchase
    • Statement of Impact Form(s) from Charter School(s) Could Have a Major Financial Impact on Forney ISD
      • Ki Charter Academy

  • Approved the resolution to pay employees in the event of school closure due to inclement weather
        Mr. Chase said district was closed 15-19th and most had to stay home.  Board would have to approve them to be paid, help with morale and turnover.  Dr. Terry said this is similar to action taken last year, when school closed, he thanked the board for taking care of staff.
  • Heard update 116 as a first reading, added to next meeting consent agenda.
        Mr. Rick Geer, Chief of Human Services introduced items CQG, moves responsibility.  DCD and DCE for policy regarding employee complaint procedure.  FFAC (medical treatment) removes some details, aligns with Tx state health guidelines.  GKA about visitors filing complaints about removal from district property.  Mr. Carroll asked about DGBA- if it was similar to student procedure - yes, same format.
  • Approved granting hiring authority to the superintendent through September 13, 2021.
        Mr. Geer said this is similar to what did last year, important to keep them from losing employees, will bring contracts to board for approval. 
  • Approved additional 2021-2022 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions
        Mr. Chase said projecting 1309 new students next year, last estimate was just over 1,000.  Will need additional staff: 12 teachers, 1 assistant principal, 2 aides.  Mr. Johnson asked if this will keep student/staff ratio same - Mr. Chase said this will bring it close.  Dr. Terry said 3 new campuses bring some inefficiency.  Mr. Chase said state says 7.7 is normal, this will be 7.8, well within state standards.  Dr. Terry said have focused FTEs on campus need, nothing for administration.  Mr. Carroll said could have more than the 1309 projected - yes.  Mr. Andrews asked about budget - Mr. Chase said should get 1.5 million additional (for new students), cost about 900k, should be ahead $500k.  Feel good about budget right now.
  • Approved preemptive rezoning changes for new unoccupied subdivisions or phases
        Ms. Morisak said there are no students living the projected change area, this would move future students from Lewis to Crosby.  Dr. Terry this will help them stay ahead of changes.
  • Held a 33-minute executive session re:
    • Deliberation Regarding Employment of Professional Contract Personnel, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.074
    • Deliberation Regarding Re-Employment of Professional Contract Personnel, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.074, Personnel Matters
    • Consultation with Attorney, Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §551.071
    • Deliberation Regarding Potential Sale of Real Property Owned by Forney ISD to the State of Texas, Pursuant to Tex. Code §551.072, Real Property

  • Approved the employment of professional contract personnel     as presented.
  • Approved re-employment of professional contract personnel     as discussed in closed session.
  • Approved a resolution regarding sale of Forney ISD real property near North Forney High School, described as 2.506 acres out of the Heirs of Samuel Smith Survey, Abstract no. 450, Kaufman County, Texas, to the state of Texas, acting by and through the Texas Department of Transportation (the "state") contingent on approval of the Forney ISD counteroffer as presented.
  • Adjourned at 2049
Monday, 2021, March 1