FISD lists goals, challenges for next school year

In News by Reporter News

Friendswood ISD began the budget process for the 2015-16 school year Monday night with an initial presentation on future needs and challenges.

Based on Monday’s presentation, the superintendent’s priorities for next year’s budget include revising the teacher salary schedule to be competitive with other districts, returning Bales Intermediate to an independent campus and continuing a technology initiative that includes a $718,000 purchase of ChromeBooks for teachers not teaching math and science.

Challenges listed in Monday’s presentation include health insurance premiums, a growing enrollment on the west side of the district, capital and technology expenditures.

A proposed new salary schedule is expected bot be brought before the board in May, with a preliminary proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year to be presented in June. Public hearings and approvals of the budget will be held in August.

Beginning Sept. 1, FISD will offer health benefits to employees who work more than 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month, including substitute teachers.

The move is required by the Affordable Health Care Act. FISD recently polled neighboring districts and found that the majority are offering health insurance to all substitutes, including Clear Creek, Pearland, Deer Park, LaPorte and Texas City ISDs.

Trustees on Monday approved the hiring of Karla Mendoza as math teacher at Friendswood High. Mendoza received a Master’s of Education degree from the University of Houston.

As part of its consent agenda, the board on Monday:

– Renewed its legal services retainer agreement with law firm Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green, and Trevino, P.C., for “various legal issues that arise.”

– Approved 2-year contract renewals for administrators including the deputy superintendent, assistant superintendents, executive director of testing and accountability, director of career and technical education, principals and assistant principals.

– Accepted $13,500 in gifts and donations to the district, the majority of which were contributed by Friendswood Mustang Booster clubs.

The district presented its “Making A Difference” awards to Shawn Wyble and Pam Demarco of Westwood Bales.

Wyble is described as “the ultimate team player” who helped coordinate the integration of technology into the classroom as an extension of learning. He works on the campus level to bring new communication ideas to parents, promoting the school and creating a positive learning environment.

Demarco is described as a “miracle worker” with one of the hardest jobs on campus, who builds relationships with some of the school’s toughest students and helps fill their day with learning experiences. She is also known for her “dance parties” before school, keeping spirits high for both students and staff.

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