Board Highlights - 6-20-2013

RECOGNITIONS

The Board of Trustees recognized the following students, staff and community members for their achievements:

  • Truitt Middle School teacher Christine Allen-Jackson, for receiving the National Heroism Award Medal from the Boy Scouts of America. Allen-Jackson was responsible for saving a stranger’s life;
  • students from Cypress Creek and Cypress Ranch high schools, who achieved state honors in athletics. Cypress Ranch senior Courtney Anderson won the silver medal in the girls’ singles competition of the UIL State Tennis meet, while Cypress Creek senior Daina Harper placed second in the girls’ 400-meter dash event of the UIL State Track and Field meet; and
  • students who placed first in round two at the Cisco NetRiders USA and Canada 2013 High School Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) state competition. The team of Cy-Fair High School junior Joshua Charney and Cypress Ranch High School senior Johnathan Weiser placed first in the statewide Round 2 competition.

The superintendent recognized students and staff members for honors and achievements earned in recent weeks. Congratulations were extended to the following:

  • Matzke Elementary School speech therapist Shannon Paige, for winning the Excellence in Education award at the Goldin Foundation Educators Forum. This award recognizes distinguished educators who make outstanding contributions in their classrooms, schools and communities;
  • Matthew Wells, Cypress Lakes High School science department chair and teacher, for being named vice president of the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) for the 2013-14 school year;
  • the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation, for establishing the David Boatright Memorial Scholarship to honor the legacy of the late David Boatright. Boatright was a custodian for 18 years at Cypress Falls High School and was known for his kindness and selfless acts;
  • the Arnold Middle School men’s choir was selected to perform as one of the honor choirs at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention next February in San Antonio.  This is the highest honor a music performing group can attain in the state;
  • five CFISD elementary schools, Danish, Hairgrove, Holmsley, Matzke and Sheridan, which were recognized by TEA’s Division of Federal and State Education Policy as recipients of the Title I Part A Distinguished Performance Award;
  • the Cypress Ranch Key Club, currently the largest in the world with 710 members, for receiving seven trophies at the Texas-Oklahoma District Convention. Cypress Ranch ranked first in Best Key Club in the Texas-Oklahoma “Top 25 Clubs.” Along with the first-place trophy, they also received the Best Club traveling cup that will remain at their campus until next year’s convention.
  • the Jersey Village High School baseball team, District 17-5A runner-up, for competing for its first regional final playoff. This was the school’s first regional title in school history;
  • two seniors, one from Langham Creek and one from Jersey Village, who were selected to represent CFISD in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game held last weekend; and
  • four senior students who were named 2013 Scholar Athlete Award recipients by the Touchdown Club of Houston. Nine other students were named finalists in their respective sports.

BOND UPDATE

The administration reported on the sale of Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Unlimited Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2013. Ryan O’Hara, representative from BOSC, Inc., updated the Board on its authorization of the issuance of these bonds during the April 2013 Board meeting. During that meeting, the district was anticipated to save $10 million in debt service by refunding portions of the 2002-B series, 2005-A series and 2006 series bonds. The bonds were sold on May 7, resulting in a savings of more than $17 million in debt service. The closing of the transaction was completed on June 5. Stuart Snow, associate superintendent for business and financial services, estimated that CFISD has saved nearly $100 million over the last five years in debt service over the life of the bonds.

The Board approved construction proposals and contracts paid from bond funds to the recommended contractor and authorized the superintendent or designee to execute all necessary documents related to such contract as follows:

  • Package M-2012: Miscellaneous Paving Replacement at the ISC and Cy-Fair High School.

The Board will consider approving the granting of a 0.0143-acre (625-square-foot) tract for a Water Meter Easement to Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 501 located on Greenhouse Road for water services for David Anthony Middle School No. 18.

The Board approved the granting of a 2.953-acre tract for a Landscaping and Pathway Easement to Bridgeland Development, L.P. at Pope Elementary School No. 53 and authorized the Superintendent or designee to negotiate the final terms and execute all related documents.

SUPERINTENDENT’S BRIEFING

A total of 6,791 graduating seniors from the Class of 2013 received high school diplomas at ceremonies held at the Berry Center. The graduation exercises were also broadcast live over Channel 16 and streamed on the district website. Dr. Henry thanked the members of the Board of Trustees and the many district employees who helped organize and assist at the 11 high school graduation ceremonies, and expressed pride in the graduates and wished them success in future endeavors, whether pursuing further education or a career.

Summer school started earlier this month, with approximately 7,600 students enrolled—including 3,800 elementary and 3,800 secondary students. In addition, enrollment in the Extended School Year summer program is more than 460 students.

The CFISD Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships Leadership Conference was held at the Berry Center June 12-14. Approximately 1,275 administrators participated in the conference, including leaders from 62 districts across Texas. The conference also featured an international participant from Costa Rica. The opening speaker was Dave Carroll, an international speaker on customer service in the age of social media. Keynote speakers included international and national experts in education, and authors such as Dr. Williard Daggett, Dr. Adam Saenz, Dr. Donna Beegle, Annette Breaux, Dr. Rita Pierson, Dr. Eric Cupp and Leslie Milder. The conference offered 79 different sessions on 21st-century learning, rigor, relevance and relationship building. Additionally, on June 11, 900 CFISD teachers, as well as teachers from other districts, attended the annual RRR Teachers Conference. Dr. Henry thanked CFISD’s “Best Practices” sponsors:  Cy-Fair Educational Foundation, Achieve3000, Adobe, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Holt McDougal, iStation, Edmentum, ExploreLearning, Scholastic, Teachscape, Pearson Learning and The Waymire Group. Dr. Henry also thanked Dr. Linda Macias and the curriculum/instruction and school administration team for running a well-organized, content-rich conference.
The Facilities Planning and Construction and the Maintenance and Operations departments are currently managing renovation projects at 36 campuses and 10 support facilities while overseeing completion of warranty items for 15 projects at 29 campuses.  The Facilities Planning and Construction department is also overseeing the start of construction for David Anthony Middle School (No. 18), which will open in August 2014 in Towne Lake adjacent to Rennell Elementary School, and the completion of Pope Elementary School (No. 53), which will open in August 2013 in Bridgeland. In addition, these departments will relocate a total of 16 portable buildings throughout the district.
The Seamless Summer Option Program, provided by the Food Service Department, will provide nutritious meals at no charge to children age 18 and younger.  Meals will be served at 18 campuses scheduled throughout the summer. 

A special-called meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on June 27 at 6 p.m. in the Board room of the Instructional Support Center to discuss final budget amendments.

AGENDA ITEMS

In other action, the Board approved:

  • awarding bids and contracts and authorizing purchase orders as recommended in the posted agenda item;
  • a request for a Texas Education Agency expedited waiver to modify the timeline for accelerated instruction;
  • a request for a Texas Education Agency general waiver to modify the schedule of classes at Jersey Village High School and Cypress Creek High School;
  • the District Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture textbook recommendation for 2013-2014;
  • the attached list of students for Off-Campus Physical Education, Category I, for the school years 2013-2014 (spring) through 2015-2016;
  • a list of qualified financial institutions and brokers/dealers that are authorized to engage in investment transactions with the district;
  • the tax refunds of $500 or greater for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD;
  • a resolution for the commitment of the district’s fund balance;
  • the 2013 Harris County Protective Services inter-local agreement with Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults (HCPSA) to provide community youth services for students and families in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District;
  • the district’s investment policy and investment strategy, the investment officers of the district and the independent sources of instruction relating to investment responsibilities for the investment officers of the district;
  • adopting the 2013-2014 district goals;
  • entering into an inter-local contract with the Harris County Department of Education for access to its learning management system;
  • on first reading additions, deletions or revisions to district policies:
    • DFF (LOCAL) Termination of Employment: Reduction in Force (Delete)
    • DFFA (LOCAL) Reduction in Force: Financial Exigency (Add)
    • DFFB (LOCAL) Reduction in Force: Program Change (Add); and
  • the amended contract of employment for the superintendent as presented by the general counsel in closed session.

JUNE 27 SPECIAL-CALLED MEETING

PUBLIC HEARING
The Board held a public hearing on the adoption of the 2013-2014 Budget.

2013-2014 BUDGET
The Board adopted the 2013-2014 budget in the amount of $776,682,534, prior to the state-mandated July 1 deadline. The budget includes local tax revenues of $344,300,078, state revenues of $381,957,456 and miscellaneous/federal revenues of $50,425,000. The proposed tax rate for 2013-2014 of $1.45 – comprised of a $1.04 Maintenance & Operations Tax rate and $0.41 Interest & Sinking Tax rate – is identical to that of 2012-2013.

The plan of the 2013-2014 budget is to provide for:

  • a starting teacher salary of $48,000;
  • a 3.5-percent-of-midpoint salary increase to hourly and paraprofessional employees;
  • a 3.0-percent-of-midpoint salary increase to all other employees;
  • additional Cypress-Fairbanks Police Department police officers and vehicles;
  • additional math and science curriculum coaches;
  • additional technology analysts and specialists;
  • a differentiated staffing model based on the number of students eligible for free and reduced meals;
  • additional instructional specialists at elementary schools;
  • teachers for ELA two conference periods;
  • one additional counselor at each high school;
  • secondary school late buses;
  • an increase in the stipends for life skills aides;
  • an increase in the stipends for secondary athletic coaches;
  • the opening of Pope Elementary School;
  • needed capital outlay purchases;
  • enrollment and miscellaneous increases;
  • increases in insurance (property/auto/student accident); and
  • funding for FF&E replacement schedule.

ELECTION ORDER

The Board approved an Election Order calling for an election on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, for Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Trustees, positions No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7.

The joint election will be held with Harris County. As per the election schedule approved by the Department of Justice, Trustees in position Nos. 5, 6 and 7 will serve four-year terms.

The returns of the election will be made to the Board in accordance with state law, in which trustees will be elected by plurality. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each respective position will be declared the winner entitled to serve as trustee. As prescribed by law, the Board of Trustees may declare an unopposed candidate winner and cancel the election for that position.

Letters of intention are to be filed either with the secretary of the Board, Tom Jackson, or in the Superintendent’s Office, 10300 Jones Road, Room 410, no earlier than 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, and no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.

Early voting for the election will be held Oct. 21 – Nov. 1. Early ballot applications and early ballot mail votes may be sent to the Harris County Clerk’s Office, Attn. Stan Stanart, P.O. Box 1148, Houston, Texas, 77251-1148. Applications for ballot by mail must be received no later than the close of business on Oct. 29, 2013.

RESIDENCE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

The Board approved a resolution to continue the residence homestead exemptions for individuals residing in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District for tax year 2013.

CFISD is among a select group of Houston-area school districts that offer a 20-percent Local Optional Homestead Exemption to all resident homeowners. Coupled with a state-mandated $15,000 homestead exemption, CFISD residents pay less per year than residents of most neighboring districts on homes of the same value.

The district also offers local exemptions of $15,000 apiece for both property owners who are age 65 or older or disabled. These residents qualify for an additional $10,000 state-mandated exemption.

CFISD property owners will continue to benefit from the following homestead exemptions for the 2013 tax year:

Exemption

Value

State Mandated (all homesteads)

$15,000

State Mandated (age 65 and older)

$10,000

State Mandated (disabled)

$10,000

Local Option (age 65 and older)

$15,000

Local Option (disabled)

$15,000

Local Option Percentage (all homesteads)

20 percent

AGENDA ITEMS

In other action, the Board approved:

  • the adoption of the Scott & White Wellness & Sexual Health Program curriculum for the seventh- and eighth-grade human reproductive unit for implementation in the 2013-2014 academic year;
  • the rezoning of the area of Holbrook that includes, but is not limited to, Fawndale Apartments, Lafayette Apartments and Villa Anita Apartments from Holbrook to Bane, and the rezoning of the area that includes, but is not limited to, Westbranch and Westway Courtyard from Bane to Kirk. The rezoned areas would become effective at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year;
  • on second reading additions, deletions or revisions to district policies:
    • DFF (LOCAL) Termination of Employment: Reduction in Force (Delete)
    • DFFA (LOCAL) Reduction in Force: Financial Exigency (Add)
    • DFFB (LOCAL) Reduction in Force: Program Change (Add);
  • the budget amendments for the period of April 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013;
  • tax refunds of $500 or greater for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD;
  • Board members to serve as delegate and alternate delegate to the 2013 Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) annual delegate assembly

ADDENDUM
The Board approved the amended contract of employment for the superintendent as presented by the general counsel in closed session.

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