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SCHOOL TRUSTEES APPROVE INNOVATIVE DISTRICT DESIGNATION

January 24, 2017
 
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees approved a District of Innovation designation for the school district at its regular monthly meeting on January 23, 2017.
 
Included in the GISD designation is waiving current requirements under state law. Those items are: a campus behavior coordinator; teacher and principal appraisal systems; first day of instruction; class size waivers and notices to parents; teacher certification for dual credit, career and technical education, and hard-to-find courses; teacher probationary contracts; minimum salaries for rehiring retired educators; waiver requirements for English as a Second Language certifications; school day for pre-kindergarten; promotion requirements for fifth and eighth graders; student fitness assessments.
 
The innovation plan is available on the district website at www.granburyisd.org/innovation.
 
The board also approved a resolution regarding the state A-F accountability rating system for Texas public schools.  GISD joins many districts throughout the state arguing for a better method of evaluating districts and campuses than this system recently unveiled by the Texas Education Agency.
 
Trustees adopted changes to local district policies regarding student grade point average and class rank. The changes were recommended by Granbury High School principal Jeremy Ross to provide additional incentive for students to take Advanced Placement, dual credit, and other advanced courses.
 
The changes modify the policy previously adopted by the board in August 2014 to address new state graduation requirements that emphasize endorsements as well as problems with the previous system, which led to over-inflated GPAs and had students choosing courses based on points and dropping extracurricular activities.
 
Beginning with the Class of 2018, the new GPA system awarded a 1.1 multiplier for students who complete sixteen advanced academic classes.  Four-year participation in athletic teams, fine arts organizations, and other extracurricular activities would give students fidelity points – two of which could be used in place of two advanced academic credits.  Currently, students receive the multiplier once they complete eight advanced classes, but they must receive all sixteen to receive the weighted GPA for final class rankings and transcripts.
 
The changes increase the multiplier to 1.25 and allows it to kick in after students earn six advanced academic credits – and applies to current juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.  In addition, a student who cannot mathematically achieve the sixteen credits will revert back to an unweighted GPA.  The current senior class is still under the previous policy in effect when those students entered high school.
 
In personnel, the board approved the appointment of one teacher and reviewed a list of employees who are retiring or resigning.  The board approved an employee request for catastrophic sick leave.  Trustees also completed superintendent Dr. James Largent’s formative evaluation and approved a list of goals for the 2017-18 academic year.
 
Other reports made to the board included:
  • Dr. Largent spoke to trustees about the district’s involvement during the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature.  The superintendent also provided an update on the new administration building.
  • Board president Nancy Alana reported continuing education hours for all board members. Requirements include local orientation for new members as well as training on the state education code, team building, and other assessed needs.
  • Financial statements, cash flow and investment report, and a bond expenditure report for December 2016 were presented to the board by Williams.
Board members approved minutes from the last regular meeting and budget amendments.  The board also approved a meeting schedule for July 2017 through June 2018, adding additional parking at the administration building for an estimated cost of $225,000, and continuing with sale of substandard properties struck in order to return the lots to the tax rolls.
 
Donations reported to the board included $400 to Brawner Intermediate School from the First Christian Church for a mobile planetarium and $648 from the Mambrino PTO for student travel.
 
Trustees will hold its next regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 20.   Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room in the Administration Building at 217 N. Jones Street.
 
 
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