Bond Recommendations Made, Board Adopts 2016-17 Calendar
At its February 1 regular meeting, Superintendent Kay Waggoner recapped bond planning efforts progressing through last year involving staff, parents and community groups, concluding with a recommendation that the Board call a bond election on February 15 for $437 million in a single proposition. Major elements of a proposed bond package would include:
- $215.7 million to replace/repair current infrastructure, facilities, program/instructional equipment, technology and safety/security features that has reached or will reach end of useful life by 2021
- $107.2 million for construction and capital measures to accommodate enrollment growth
- $59.9 million for construction of a multipurpose activity center at each of RISD's four high schools
- $19.4 million for additional instructional technology and devices to provide every RISD classroom with comparable technology
- $17.1 million for renovations of every school library to create more flexible learning environments
- $9.9 million for equipment to provide additional Career Technical Education courses and to support JROTC programs at each high school
- $6.5 million in enrichment materials for curriculum and instruction
If approved by voters, a $437 million bond package would increase the debt service tax rate by 8 cents, which equates to a property tax increase of approximately $138.95 ($11.58 a month) for an average residential home in RISD. $20 million of the package would come from utilizing existing debt service fund balance and would not create an additional tax burden.
Approximately $47 million would be placeholder funds to address enrollment growth over the five year cycle, primarily in the Lake Highlands area. Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Jeannie Stone will be creating and leading a community reflector group of stakeholders to study potential options, with construction of additional classrooms at current schools, construction of a new school, and construction of a centralized pre-kindergarten center among possibilities. If you are interested in participating in the reflector group, please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reflector group will work through the spring to arrive at recommendations to the Board for use of the placeholder funds to accommodate enrollment growth in the proposed bond.
Learn more & view the video of the meeting
The Board also discussed and adopted the 2016-2017 Student Academic Calendar. Changes for 2016-17 include:
- A return of Spring Break to the third week of March, consistent with other districts in Region 10.
- Moving to nine week grading periods to better align and support instructional opportunities. This change will be accompanied by the addition of academic progress updates to parents within the grading period.
- A return of Fair Day as a staff holiday.
Lengthened School Days
The calendar is based on a slight lengthening of elementary and junior high school days to take advantage of flexibility provided by a new state requirement that school districts measure instruction provided over the course of a school year in minutes, rather than days. Elementary school days will increase 10 minutes and begin at 7:50 a.m. while junior high days will increase by 15 minutes and begin at 8:15 a.m. The existing high school schedule would remain the same. The change will allow the district to conclude the school year by May 31, barring multiple snow makeup days.
View the 2016-17 Student Academic calendar as adopted
Trustee Election Called
The Board also voted to call an election on May 7 for Places 3, 4 and 5 on the Board. Residents interested in running for school board may pick up a packet of information at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Avenue in Richardson. The deadline to return an application for a place on the ballot is February 19 at 5 p.m.