By Curtis Rippee, MISD Board of Trustees President
Welcome to the latest installment of the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Monthly Board Report on TownSquareBuzz.com. The purpose of this report is to provide the community with insight into the monthly meetings and topics the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees are addressing. We hope you will find this helpful in your understanding of what is happening within our great school district.
The Board conducted its Work Study on February 18 and regular Board Meeting on February 26. During the Work Study, the Board heard presentations on student population demographics, student-led energy saving initiatives at Evans Middle School, developments in Instructional Technology, the professional development of the District’s Administrators, and an update on the District’s Information Technology infrastructure.
Dr. Harner, the District’s demographer, presented the latest developments in the current and future student populations of McKinney ISD. Dr. Harner’s projected student population totals assumed lower growth rates than in the past with a couple of scenarios showing decreasing total student populations in the future. Dr. Harner acknowledged the lower growth rates were due, in large part, to the impact of economic factors on the overall population growth of McKinney and a better economic outlook will most likely result in higher growth in the future. This demographic update was a routine and scheduled update therefore, no decisions were made related to future school site planning or attendance zones.
Students from Evans Middle School impressed the board with their presentation and recent award. The students entered the EMS Lexus Eco Challenge and won. For the contest, the students submitted a video focused on the Watt Watchers Program and Half-Watt Wednesdays, student led initiatives to reduce energy usage at Evans. Because of their award, they now have an opportunity to enter a new video in hopes of winning a $30,000 grand prize. If successful, the prize money would fund Pavegen Energy Tiles in the hallways of Evans. Pavegen Energy Tiles are floor tiles that store energy produced by students walking on them. The stored energy can then be used to light hallways. The Board voted to approve the student led energy initiatives and to encourage every campus within MISD to start their own energy conservation programs.
Lara Lindsey delivered a presentation on Instructional Technology, which focused primarily on the development of the traditional “library” into what is now referred to as a “learning commons.” Technology and the proliferation of electronic media has turned what used to be a quiet library full of paper books and card catalogs into socially connected, student centered, and dynamic work spaces with multiple digital and paper resources. The new learning environments provide what today’s student demands in terms of freedom, customization, collaboration, speed, and innovation. The Board also learned that Melanie Burford of McGowen Elementary was named “Library Specialist of the Year” and Joli Barker of Slaughter Elementary was named “Classroom Teacher of the Year” for the State of Texas by the Texas Computer Educators Association (“TCEA”).
Joe Miniscalco addressed the Board regarding the professional development of MISD’s campus administrators. A key element to a successful school district is excellent campus leaders and their continued development. MISD has 85 campus administrators, with an average experience of 7.3 years as an administrator, and with the most senior administrator having 26 years of experience as a campus leader. Mr. Miniscalco also shared with the Board some of the vast learning resources available to the District’s leaders as well as the efforts and structure to develop future administrators.
Allen McDaniel, Chief Information Officer, presented an update on MISD’s Strategic Technology Plan. Mr. McDaniel updated the Board on the vast resources used on a daily basis within the District. Currently, there 31 phone systems, 58 miles of fiber optics, 207 servers, 750 printers, 765 Smartboards, 800 projectors, 1,700 teacher laptops, 2.000 iPads, 3,500 iTouchs and 13,000 computers within MISD. Managing this number of devices and level of technology is a significant undertaking. Mr. McDaniel also informed the Board, that the District rates very high on the Texas STaR Chart, which is a program developed by the CEO Forum in 1997 to evaluate the use of technology in school districts.
Agenda items included discussion and approval of the 2013-2014 District Calendar, approval of repairs to the light poles at the McKinney North High School football field, as well as the review and approval of the annual employment contract of Dr. J.D. Kennedy, Superintendent.
The Board will conduct its Work Study meeting on Monday, March 19 and its Regular meeting on March 26. The Work Study meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month and the Regular Board meetings held on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
MISD Board of Trustees
Curtis Rippee – President
Kathi Livezey – Vice President
Maria McKinzie – Secretary