By Curtis Rippee, MISD Board of Trustees President
TownSquareBuzz.com is proud to present the first installment of McKinney ISD Board of Trustees monthly report. Our goal is to provide more information to our community on the local education system, as well as provide a more open and interactive forum for the board and its citizens to interact.
Welcome to the first McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Monthly Board Report. The purpose of this report is to provide the community with insight into our monthly meetings and the topics the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees may be 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 Jan. 15 and regular Board Meeting on Jan. 22. During the Work Study, the Board heard presentations from Fine Arts, Athletics, and the Transportation Department. In addition, new and existing School Resource Officers (McKinney Police officers who maintain a presence at the various MISD campuses) were introduced to the Board. School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are present on a full-time basis at each of the three high schools and five middle schools. These same officers make frequent visits to the elementary campuses as well.
Roy Renzenbrink, McKinney ISD Director of Fine Arts, delivered a presentation on the Fine Arts department, which includes band, choir, orchestra, visual arts, theater and dance. The Board learned that 9,406 of our 12,644 secondary students, or 74 percent, participate in our Fine Arts programs. The program has had significant success at the local, district, and state levels with several groups recently receiving national recognition. At UIL, 46 of the 58 band, choir and orchestra groups received the highest rating while 113 middle school students and 91 high school students were selected to All Region. In addition, it’s noteworthy that students in the McKinney ISD Fine Arts program have an average GPA of 2.9 compared to 2.6 for students not involved in these programs.
Shawn Pratt, McKinney ISD Athletic Director, led the presentation on Athletics. McKinney ISD offers 14 different sports across middle and high schools. Currently, four out of every 10 middle school students participate in at least one athletic program, and one out of every three high school students. During the 2011-2012 school year, 36 of the campus athletic teams advanced to the State Playoffs in their respective sports, and individual students in the programs were awarded a total of 101 college scholarships. Like the Fine Arts program, students who participate in Athletics have a GPA of 2.9 compared to a 2.6 GPA for students not involved in the Athletics program. Additionally, 349 students were named Academic All-District and 119 were named to the Academic All-State list.
Pete Chancellor of Durham School Services delivered an update on student transportation. The Board learned that the District currently has 129 Home-to-School bus routes serving 10,772 students daily.
Agenda or discussion items included review and approval of the 2013-2014 District Calendar, a resolution to suspend a provision requiring the End-of-Course (or STAAR) exams to count as 15 percent of a student’s grade for the 2012-13 school year, and review and approval of maximum class size waivers for two elementary classes.
The Board discussed the proposed 2013-14 district calendar, but tabled the item to receive additional feedback from curriculum staff, principals and teachers. A minor change to the end of the third nine-week period was recommended and a revised calendar will be presented at the February board meeting.
The 15 percent End-of-Course (STAAR) requirement had been established based on a state mandate in November 2011. In November 2012, the Texas Education Agency deferred the mandate for the 2012-13 school year. The Board supported this resolution in order to defer the mandate for the current school year.
The Board also reviewed and approved a recommendation to waive the maximum class size for two individual elementary classes. Waivers are required if the number of students in an individual Kindergarten through 4th grade class exceeds a 22:1 student teacher ratio. In this case, two additional McKinney ISD classes now have 23 students due to students moving into the district or a number of students returning to McKinney ISD from a local charter school.
The Board will conduct its Work Study meeting on Monday, Feb. 18 and its Regular meeting on Feb. 26. The Work Study meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday of the month but were changed this month due to scheduling conflicts.
MISD Board of Trustees
Curtis Rippee – President
Kathi Livezey – Vice President
Maria McKinzie – Secretary