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GISD SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES HOLD MONTHLY MEETING
December 14, 2020
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees approved ending virtual instruction for struggling remote learners during its regular monthly meeting on December 14, 2020.
Board members approved an attestation to the Texas Education Agency in order to return failing students who have been on virtual instruction to on-campus instruction. The action will require these students – who have a class average below 70 in any core subject – to attend school in person beginning with the second semester on January 12, 2021.
“We unfortunately have seen a high percentage rate of failing grades from many of our remote learners,” commented GISD superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn, who explained that the lack of face-to-face instruction has affected their academic success. “These decisions are an effort to provide all GISD students with the best chance for academic success,” Glenn stated, while noting that the district’s Roadmap for Reopening protocols will ensure a safe learning environment for all face-to-face learners. The superintendent also indicated that all students participating in extracurricular activities must return to in-person instruction in January. With some exceptions, the district plans to end virtual instruction at the end of the fifth six weeks grading period in February.
Trustees approved the annual financial audit report for the year ending August 31, 2020. Rick Klein, an accountant and audit supervisor with Snow Garrett Williams CPA, delivered the unqualified opinion – the highest available – regarding the district’s financial condition to the trustees. A copy of the report is available on the school district’s website at www.granburyisd.org/budget.
Board members approved the district technology plan for the 2021-22 school year. The plan outlines five facets important for classroom instruction and district operations: network, devices and device distribution, instruction, professional development, and compliance. Also included are provisions for cybersecurity and training mandates for staff and students. The plan supports the district’s G2025 strategic plan and is based on data collected from Bright Bytes surveys of teachers, students, and parents from every campus. Unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are also represented in the plan. A copy is available on the district website at www.granburyisd.org/technology.
The board approved course catalogs for the 2021-22 school year. Additions include OnRamps dual enrollment math courses available through the University of Texas at Austin as well as new career and technical education courses to align with state curriculum guidelines. New for the upcoming school year is a course sequence for an aviation program, which includes introductory classes in aerospace and aviation as well as unmanned aerial vehicles; advanced courses include aviation ground school, the existing course on aerospace engineering, and a new practicum. Board members also approved an expenditure up to $100,000 for the CTE program to purchase a single-engine plane for instructional purposes; the amount includes the potential purchase price as well as insurance, inspection, maintenance, and other expected costs. The course catalogs are available on the district website at www.granburyisd.org/coursecatalogs.
An overview of facility improvement goals was presented by finance and facilities director Emmett Whitefield. The facilities and maintenance department manages 1.45 million square feet of buildings, 540.41 acres of grounds, and 13 game and practice athletic fields. The department also is charged with safety and security, energy conservation, facility management and scheduling, and construction. Utilities for the district total $1.675 million annually mostly in electric costs and small amounts for natural gas and water.
Whitefield reviewed completion of previous facility projects: electronic marquees at Baccus Elementary School, Brawner Elementary School, and on Pearl Street near the former Administration Building as well as rewrapping the existing marquee at Acton Elementary School; renovation of the former STARS building on Acton School Road for the Little Buccaneers GISD Staff Childcare Center; exterior painting at both Brawner and STEAM Academy at Mambrino; installation of campus security cameras and monitoring system; tile project for the Granbury Middle School band hall; water towers for GHS athletic and practice fields; roof replacement of the James Wann Sports Center; and weight room equipment for the Pirate Pavilion.
Facility goals for the remainder of the school year include: classroom renovation at Brawner to allow for kindergarten and first grade expansion; LED light installation at Pirate Stadium; additional security cameras at elementary campuses; adding campuses to the district’s HVAC automated control system; roof replacement at the district administration building; replacement of sprinkler pip at the agricultural science complex.
Reports to the board included:
- Glenn updated the board on the current COVID-19 situation in the school district. He also announced that TEA has suspended A-F district and campus ratings for the current school year; schools will still administer the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams, but the tests will be used to monitor student progress during the pandemic. Dr. Glenn also stated that “hold harmless” provisions with state funding are set to expire at the end of the first semester.
- The superintendent reviewed a draft list of priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. Trustees will consider the list at a future meeting.
- Dobie Williams, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, reviewed a number of grant opportunities and reimbursements available to the district due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included funding received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) as well as technology devices and hotspots purchased through Operation Connectivity.
- William presented financial statements and cash flow reports for November 2020.
In other business, trustees approved minutes from the last regular meeting and a recent special meeting. The board also approved budget amendments as well as renewal of a bid for guidance, evaluation, and testing materials. Trustees reviewed options to broadcast or livestream future board meetings and will consider proposals at a future meeting.
Donations to the district included: $2,500 from the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for Granbury Marine Corps JROTC operations; and additional $566 from MOAA for JROTC challenge coins.
Trustees next convene for the regular month meeting on Monday, January 11, 2021. Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room in the Administration Building at 217 N. Jones Street.