[View Streaming Video ]
The superintendent recognized a group of staff members for honors and achievements earned in recent weeks. Congratulations were extended to the following:
- Cypress Creek physics and math teacher Maikel Garcia, who was selected to participate in an international physics initiative with the University of Houston and Rice University, sponsored by Fermilab. Garcia and two students, senior Zaki Mughal and junior T.J. Sarkar competed in three research activities and will have their works published this fall;
- Houston-based Mustang Engineering, which developed its Founders’ Legacy program to give back to the community, adopting Watkins Middle School and presenting a $10,000 donation. The donation was then matched with another $10,000 from one of the founders, Felix Covington. In addition to the financial donation, Mustang employees will be involved with Watkins through volunteer efforts on campus;
- CFISD stackers from Sampson and Hamilton elementary schools and Goodson Middle School, who were featured on ESPN’s Aug. 17 on-air coverage of the World Sport Stacking Association’s World Championships. “On air” team members included Connor Byrd, Trevor Van Atta, Zachary Thornton and Lauren Hymel from Sampson; Josiah McWhorter from Hamilton; and Kaelea Butterfield, Collin Marshall and Ben Skipworth from Goodson;
- Goodson Middle School students Benjamin Lin and Nikoli Cartegena, who won awards at the National SIGMA Math competitions out of a pool of 27,155 sixth-grade students. Both are now seventh-grade students at Goodson;
- Max Brown , now a senior at Langham Creek High School, who was selected to attend the Welch Summer Chemistry Scholar Program at UT-Austin for five weeks. His research paper on the Biosynthesis of nucleotide-sugars in Methanococcus maripaludis has been published in the Welch Program’s report; and
- Students and staff members from Walker Elementary School; staff members from Student Services; the Berry Center; the food service department; the transportation department; the communication department; and the administrative team who all contributed when Walker Elementary underwent extreme water damage as a result of a sprinkler malfunction. While the entire school was relocated for two days, the other 94,000 district students resumed regular school day activities, parents were able to maintain their work schedules and Walker students were able to continue with their academic studies.
A design development presentation was made by SHW Group, Inc. to the Board for the final design of Smith Middle School (No. 16), which will be located on the 130-acre multi-campus site at Fry Road and Cypress North Houston, with an opening date of August 2009.
The administration reported on the progress of the design of Bleyl Middle School additions and renovations, a project funded by the 2004 Bond Referendum.
The Board approved the schedule of events for approximately $45 million in District Unlimited Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2007.
TAX LEVY ORDINANCES
The Board adopted two tax levy ordinances and resolutions to support the 2007-2008 Budget, the 2007 Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Tax rate and the 2007 Interest and Sinking (I&S) Tax rate. The 2007 M&O Tax rate was set at $1.024, while the I&S Tax rate was set at $0.30, producing a total tax rate of $1.324 per $100 property valuation—a drop of $0.33 from last year.
As of Sept. 4, 2007, the district’s student enrollment was 96,138. This figure represents a growth of 4,603 students when compared to last year’s post-Labor Day enrollment figures.
The Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce will host a general membership luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 16, where the superintendent will present the “State of the District” to business and community members. The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Raveneaux Country Club. Those interested in attending can contact the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce at 281-955-1100.
All CFISD 10 th-grade students will take the PSAT on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The test is approximately 2 ½ hours. The benefits of this test for students are that it provides: practice for the SAT; evaluation of skill levels in reading, writing and math reasoning; information about level of college-readiness; identifies potential to succeed in advanced courses; and compares the individual’s readiness for college-level work to that of his/her peers. Benefits for teachers, campuses and district are as follows: identifies common threads of strengths and weaknesses in student performance that may affect curricular decisions; gives information about how students are performing compared to other campuses, districts, the state and the nation; improves SAT scores; and increases the number of National Merit semifinalists.
The Ninth Annual Salute to the Stars Gala will be held at the Berry Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, at 7 p.m. The event will honor our district’s Spotlight Teachers. Salute to the Stars is hosted by the Cypress-Fairbanks Educational Foundation and the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District to recognize teachers of excellence from each of the district’s schools. The community’s sponsorship and support of the gala allows the Educational Foundation to provide grants for teacher training and instructional initiatives as well as scholarships for our students.
Two new elementary schools and one new middle school opened last month and will hold dedications for with Bob and Bobbie Warner and Patti Becker McFee elementary schools on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007. The program for Warner Elementary School, located at 19545 Cypress-North Houston, will begin at 1 p.m. The dedication of McFee Elementary School will begin at 4 p.m. at 19315 Plantation Cove Lane. The new middle school, George E. Hopper Jr. Middle School, will be dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. The school is located at 7811 Fry Road.
The changes in election law as a result of HB1 during the 79 th Legislative Session require a school district to conduct trustee elections jointly with a county in the November general election or a local municipality for a May election. Legislators indicated these changes were intended to increase voter turnout and to provide a common polling site that would reduce the cost of an election. In December 2006, the CFISD Board voted to move school board elections to November. Since then, the district received an Attorney General ruling and a written opinion from the Secretary of State dated July 2, 2007, indicating that school districts should not hold general trustee elections in November 2007 and to move them to November 2008. Additionally, school board trustee terms must be extended to four-year terms to match the county election cycle. Dr. Anthony asked the Board to approve a transition plan by the end of December. This plan will determine the district’s intentions for future trustee elections.
Author Juan Felipe Herrera will be honored for receiving the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award for his book Downtown Boy on Oct. 18 at the Berry Center. District administrators and community members are invited to join us for a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award was established in 1995 by Texas State University to honor and encourage authors, illustrators and publishers of books that authentically reflect the lives of Mexican American children and young adults in the United States. This is the first time the event will be held jointly with CFISD, and it is the district’s hope that parents, teachers and librarians will become aware of this distinguished literature and share it with the children.
In other action, the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Board of Trustees approved:
- bids and contracts to the recommended vendors;
- tax refunds of $500 or greater for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and/or Harris County Education District;
- authorization for the following persons to act as the superintendent’s designee for submitting requests to the Texas Education Agency for access to web applications through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment site from Oct. 1, 2007 through Oct. 1, 2008: associate superintendent for technology and school services; director of information services; coordinator for secondary instructional technology; PEIMS coordinator; associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction; director of compliance and programs and services; senior director of planning, research and evaluation; director of testing; senior director of campus involvement and research; director of human resource systems; director of student services; treasurer; director of financial services; assistant director of finance; assistant director of financial reporting; accountant II; director of career and technology; director of special education; and grant coordinator;
- authorization for the superintendent to serve as the district’s agent to receive service of process in eminent domain proceedings initiated by Harris County when the school district has an interest in the proceeding as a taxing entity;
- on second reading, additions, deletions or revisions to district policy, EHBB (LOCAL), SPECIAL PROGRAMS: GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS;
- the 20-foot Access Easement with Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 5 for Black Elementary School (No. 43);
- the 0.0092-acre Water Meter Easement with Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 5 for permanent water service to Black Elementary School (No. 43);
- the process for establishing attendance boundaries;
- on first reading, additions, deletions or revisions to district policies: DBA (LOCAL) EMPLOYMENT REQUREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS: Credentials and Records; DEAA (LOCAL) COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Incentives and Stipends; FFAD (LOCAL) HEALTH REQUIREMENTS AND SERVICES: Communicable Diseases; FNCA (LOCAL) STUDENT CONDUCT: Dress Code;
- an Interlocal Governmental Agreement between Prestonwood Forest Utility District, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and the Hancock Elementary PTO for the construction of a sensory garden at Hancock Elementary School; and
- authorization for the superintendent or designee to negotiate and sign a lease agreement with Second Baptist Church for the use of the Berry Center.