Carroll school officials are seeking input on a COVID-19 Response Calendar before voting to consider altering the originally-adopted 2020-2021 school calendar. The proposed modified calendar does not include a change to the start date of August 17, but it does take the long breaks in October and February, as well as one bad weather day in April and makes them COVID-19 exchange days.
The exchange days are like bad weather days; if the district has to close due to COVID-19, the exchange days would become school days as needed. If the district doesn’t need them, they remain school holidays or breaks. The modified calendar also has two weeks of COVID-19 exchange days added in June.
CISD will be accepting comments and questions about the proposed calendar until noon on June 15. Trustees hope to vote on the COVID-19 calendar at their June 15 meeting. A copy of the COVID-19 Response Calendar can be reviewed by clicking on CISD’s DRAFT COVID RESPONSE 2020-2021 Calendar.
The Administration and School Board started discussing options for the 2020-2021 school calendar following prompts from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath for public schools to consider earlier start dates, periodic breaks in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak and intersessions for remediation. School officials discussed the challenges of changing the already-adopted start date as it relates to family vacations/plans, teacher contracts and preparation time for in-person instruction. There were also concerns that CISD would use the COVID-19 exchange weeks/breaks to take vacations or trips.
In visiting with other districts, CISD staff learned that neighboring districts did not intend to adopt a revised calendar, but instead may look at simply adding weeks in June should they be needed.
Dr. Janet McDade, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, reviewed calendars shown as examples by the Commissioner and discussed 2-3 options with the School Board in May. There did not seem to be a strong sentiment among the Board or Administration to change the start date and add long breaks, but there was some interest in considering time in June to make up for COVID-19 closures should it be necessary.
Dr. McDade said TEA has been extremely cooperative and lenient in granting waivers due to COVID-19 and is not requiring districts to alter their calendar. In turn, school officials believe if a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus happens, the district is now in a better position to pivot to online learning. Still, it seems prudent to plan for potential closures by looking at the Board-adopted calendar and making possible revisions.
McDade said the COVID-19 exchange days/weeks in June give local officials greater flexibility to respond to potential outbreaks during the 2020-2021 school year. The district is also proposing adding five minutes to the end of the school day for all elementary, intermediate and middle schools. This gives CISD some additional flexibility when it comes to managing unforeseen closures for either bad weather days or COVID-19.
Elementary schools would end at 3 p.m.; intermediate and middle schools would end at 3:45 p.m., if the COVID-19 Response Calendar is approved by Trustees. Schools are required to provide 75,600 minutes of instruction each year. The instructional minutes for secondary students in CISD already well exceeds the required amount, but school officials believe adding the five minutes at the end of each day for grades PK-8 is a good move to ensure greater flexibility. The additional five minutes per day gives CISD as many as three additional instructional days that would not have to be made up due to a COVID-19 outbreak/closure.
To submit a question or comment about the proposed calendar to CISD by the noon, June 15 deadline, please visit our Let’s Talk COVID-19 Response Calendar link.
The first round of new yellow school buses cannot get here soon enough.
School officials confirmed today that over the next five-years, Carroll ISD will replace all of its current buses using proceeds from the 2017 Bond Program. The first 16 yellow school buses are expected to be on the School Board’s November 13 agenda for consideration.
“We are phasing in the purchase of new buses to replace our aging fleet,” said CISD Transportation Director Ranjan George. “The average age of our fleet is over 10 years. The new buses will be equipped with air conditioning, video surveillance cameras and seat belts. We are looking forward to retiring some of our older buses that have been experiencing ongoing maintenance issues.”
Last fall, school officials presented a plan for bus and maintenance vehicle replacement before a Capital Needs Planning Committee (CNPC) made up of local citizens, parents and staff. The plan phases in annual purchases for regular route buses special education buses, activity buses and maintenance vehicles. The CNPC later recommended that the Carroll School Board call a May 2017 bond election. Voters approved $208 million for capital improvements districtwide. Of that total, $7.5 million was earmarked for transportation needs.
“It takes about four to six months from start to finish to order, build and receive delivery of a new school bus,” said Scott Wrehe, Assistant Superintendent for Finance. “The first of two activity buses were approved for purchase at the October 16 School Board meeting, and we plan to bring regular route quotes to the meeting for Board consideration in November.”
A total of 18 buses will be purchased in the first year of the five-year program, including 11 77-passenger buses, two large activity buses for extracurricular program extended trips. three special needs buses and two 47-passenger buses. The plan endorsed by the CNPC includes 15 additional buses annually in years two through four and 11 buses in year five. School officials confirm that at the conclusion of the five-year cycle, the district has a plan to replace buses every 10 years using bond funds. This will ensure that all of the buses won’t need to be retired at the same time going forward.
More than 3,500 students are registered riders in Carroll ISD, that’s up slightly from previous years. Riders pay a fee to ride to and from school and receive a pass. The district currently operates 40 regular routes and seven special needs routes. In addition, more than 1,500 extracurricular trips for athletic, academic and fine arts competitions and field trips are made during the school year, as well as daily shuttle bus routes between Carroll Sr. High and Carroll High Schools.
At least one of the 77-passenger buses slated for consideration November 13 will include an integrated three-point seatbelt system with star seats to provide additional padding and security for preschool field trips. The rest of the buses purchased will include the three-point seatbelt system now required by law.
Although voters approved the bond program in May, school officials had to conduct a bond sale and decide the specifications for the buses, which included waiting to find out if Texas lawmakers would mandate seat belts on buses beginning in September 2017. The legislation passed. and CISD began its work to utilize the state bidding and purchasing cooperative – Buy Board – to purchase the buses. Trustees will take action Nov. 13 and CISD staff hope to have the first of the new buses operational on routes by late spring.
The new legislation requires seat belts on all newly purchased buses after September 1, 2017. School officials say they will assign the new buses with seat belts to routes for the youngest riders and continue to phase in the new buses for secondary students over the life of the bond. Any vehicle with seat belts must be used by the students and school officials say this will require a change for drivers and riders, alike.
After an extensive study of gas, diesel and propane buses, transportation officials are recommending the purchase of gas buses. They require less maintenance and are more efficient than diesel buses for short routes like those used in the 21-square-mile district. Propane buses only get about three miles to the gallon and finding propane on field trips would likely prove difficult for drivers, according to George.
“The diesel activity buses we are purchasing will be for our longer extracurricular trips,” George explained. “These are built to the safety specifications of school buses but look more like a charter bus inside. They do not have restrooms but they will help us avoid some charter bus rental costs for groups like cross country, tennis, band, football, and swimming.”
School officials estimate that the district could have saved $45,000 last year alone if the activity buses had been available. The buses will help transfer operational costs subject to Robin Hood recapture to the debt service budget. That was one of the goals of the CNPC – avoiding operational costs that cost taxpayers the Chapter 41 premium by utilizing bond funds instead.
Information about the Carroll ISD 2017 Bond Program is available on CarrollBudget.com
Carroll ISD School Board Trustee Michelle Moore recently received two distinguished honors.
Moore, who joined the CISD Board in 2015, has earned the designation of Master Trustee through the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). This is the highest designation recognized by TASB.
“Leadership TASB was a unique opportunity to learn and grow as a Trustee,” Moore said. “The program allowed me to build relationships with school board members from around the state and gain insight on the challenges and opportunities facing public schools in Texas. I believe this experience will make me a better Trustee for CISD.”
Leadership TASB is a unique board development program designed to take experienced board members to a new level of service and leadership by exposing them to a variety of issues, people, activities, and locations during a year-long program. The program is composed of multiple training sessions held among a cohort group of 28 to 36 participants. Class members are selected for demonstrated leadership in their local district and communities, and for their representation of the diversity of Texas school districts.
Selected by TASB, the group participated in a yearlong education leadership study program. These trustees represent school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 1,000 to 159,000, and reflect a similar range of property wealth.
Moore also received recognition from her hometown.
She was named the 2017 Volunteer of the Year by the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. Moore served the community in multiple roles — Co-Coach with Odyssey of the Mind program in CISD, NCL Southlake Fashion Show Sponsorship Co-Chair, Eubanks Intermediate School and Carroll Elementary PTO fundraiser, member of the Carroll Education Foundation Advisory Committee, Southlake Association for Gifted and Talented Grant Chairperson and member of the CISD School Board.
“I’m honored to have been selected Volunteer of the Year for doing what I love — helping our schools and kids succeed and flourish,” said Moore, who serves as secretary on the CISD Board. “I am blessed to be part of a community that is so generous with its time and treasure.”
Eubanks Intermediate School will soon begin the process of hiring a new principal for the 2017-2018 school year.
Deana Steeber was approved Monday, June 12 as the new Argyle ISD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Steeber served the Eubanks Intermediate campus since 2013.
Carroll ISD’s process of hiring a new principal will include creating an interview and screening committee comprised of central office administrators, campus teachers and EIS parents.
Assistant Principal Mary Stockton lead the campus until a replacement has been hired. An interview and screening committee will be formed and comprised of a balance between central office administrators, campus teachers and EIS parents.
Carroll school officials say the $208 million bond proposition on the May 6 ballot includes a proposed band and choir building that has a “domino effect” on other programs.
The project was recommended by a 40-member committee made up of representatives from every Carroll ISD school attendance zone. A smaller subcommittee studied extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities such as athletic fields, gyms, Dragon Stadium, Aquatics Center, visual arts, band, choir and theatre. Their work included tours of existing Carroll ISD facilities, as well as tours of neighboring school districts.
The proposed $24 million performing arts facility would include band and choir halls, classroom space, offices, storage space, practice rooms and a 700-seat auditorium for band and choir performances. School officials say that multiple programs have been sharing one auditorium at Carroll Senior High School since the facility opened. The auditorium was constructed in 1992 when CSHS was a Class 3A high school. Over the past 25 years more students and more programs began utilizing the auditorium space, which includes 999 seats, an orchestra pit and a black box theatre.
Carroll students are now performing against other Class 6A high schools, and members of the Capital Needs Planning Committee believe that the construction of the proposed band/music building will free up space for programs like theatre, journalism/broadcast studio, language labs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Currently, there are 315 students involved in 11 band classes and 175 students in six choirs. The proposed facility under consideration to house these programs would be built on the Carroll Senior High School site, just west of the art building facing FM 1709. Currently, band students travel to Carroll High School for practices and learning marching routines. Band students practice marching on the concrete north student parking lot. The CNPC recommended the bond include a band and choir hall at CSHS so the band program could be housed at the 11/12 campus.
The proposed project list also calls for turf to be installed on the field just west of the indoor workout facility so that members of the Dragon marching band can practice routines on the campus of CSHS on a turf football field, moving off the concrete parking lot area at CHS. Turf for other fields has been proposed to help with safety of athletes and to save maintenance and watering costs associated with real grass. Members of the CNPC said they made recommendations that would shift maintenance and operating costs to debt service costs because expenditures using debt service funds are not subject to Robin Hood recapture.
Citizens on the CNPC proposed a smaller, more intimate auditorium for band and choir performances so that it could also be utilized by APEX, Southlake Community Band and other groups. Although students would have priority when scheduling the facility, CNPC members said there is the potential for facility rental income to support the district’s maintenance and operations budget, which is currently operating at a deficit.
Construction of the proposed band/choir facility would allow the current CSHS auditorium to be renovated and repurposed for expanded theatre arts offerings and facilities. The existing band hall would be renovated into a larger black box theatre, the jazz room would become a dedicated classroom, and the scene shop would be expanded to allow for set construction and design. The renovated area would also give theatre more storage for their productions. Currently, there is only one dressing room and male/female actors must take turns using the dressing room. The renovation project on the May ballot would include offices, a green room and dressing rooms for both male and female actors.
Renovations at the auditorium call for seating, lighting, sound and acoustic treatments specifically designed for theatrical productions. The renovation to the auditorium, school officials say, would be recommended regardless if the proposed band/choir facility is built. In addition, the space freed up by moving band and choir out of this area would allow for a journalism/broadcast studio to move into the renovated space.
Back at Carroll High School (9/10 campus), the band area could be renovated to make room for the STEM program to move off the third floor and down to a facility specifically designed to provide the ventilation and space necessary for students involved in hands-on STEM activities. Relocation of the STEM program frees up classroom space on the third floor of CHS. There are currently 12 foreign language teachers at CHS utilizing the same lab. Under the proposed domino project, the ratio of teachers to language labs would be 4:1 districtwide.
The May bond election also includes uniforms, equipment, instruments, furniture and technology for the district’s art, theater, choir and band programs, to include middle school band and choir programs. Renovations to Dragon Stadium and the CISD Aquatics Center – both 16-year-old facilities – are also outlined in the bond proposal.
Voters will begin casting their ballots on the $208 million bond proposal Monday. To learn more about the projects recommended by the CNPC and include din the May ballot proposal, visit CarrollBudget.com.
The start of the 2016-2017 school year is Monday, Aug. 22.
One big part of the back-to-school process is school supplies. The school supply lists for the Carroll ISD campuses are now available and the Southlake Women’s Club is currently conducting its annual supply sale. The deadline for online orders is July 31. All proceeds go directly back to the participating schools.
The custom-packed supplies will either be delivered or picked up by Aug. 17 or Aug. 18 from 4-8 p.m. at Carroll High School. Click here to order online.
The following are the Back-to-School supply lists for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.
Note: Carroll Senior High School and Carroll High School do not post supply lists. Students will get supply requirements from their individual teachers on the first day of school.
This year’s class included 630 Dragons who walked across the stage Friday night under amazing rain-free skies. Family and friends filled Dragon Stadium’s home side, which seats more than 7,000.
Before commencement began, a new tradition was started this year. The seniors loaded school buses at Carroll Senior High School and received a police escort to Dragon Stadium along Southlake Blvd. The students gathered in the auditorium and watched senior videos before leaving.
During the ceremony, Valedictorian Wongyeong Seong and Salutatorian Nikhil Ravi delivered speeches and spoke of traditions and friendships. Following graduation, the students attended Project Graduation, an overnight event held at Main Event in Grapevine.
Highlights from this year’s class…
*$23.3 Million in scholarships
*56,000 Community service hours
*5 Consecutive AP Honor Roll Awards
*49 Athletic Scholarships
*27 Fine Arts Scholarships
Carroll Senior High School has announced the Green Jackets for the 2016-2017 School Years. These students were chosen from a highly competitive group of over 200 eligible students.
The student ambassadors are comprised of sixteen juniors who have a 95.0 average or better and who the faculty believe to be exceptional leaders.
Eight boys and girls with the most votes from the esteemed CSHS faculty receive the honor of becoming the new representatives. The Green Jackets are known for being an honorable group that serves in many capacities. According to Carroll Senior High tradition, they sport a green blazer, and usher at graduation, musical and theatrical events, sports events, as well as volunteering for civic events.
The Southlake Police department was notified Friday, January 8th, about an incident involving school children that occurred the previous day. Officers responded to the 100 block of Belmont Place Circle to gather information from a Southlake parent.
The parent reported that a man in a car approached several school children near the cul-de-sac as they exited their school bus Thursday afternoon around 3:00 p.m. The children told the parent that the man said something about “My Little Pony” toys. One child began to walk towards the vehicle but was quickly stopped by her brother.
The children began to walk in the opposite direction when the male reportedly said, “You better watch out” and then drove away.
The driver is described as an older, thin male with white hair and a beard. The vehicle is described as a blue passenger car or SUV, possibly a Ford.
Southlake Police Officers continue to monitor the area. Residents are urged to call police if this suspicious man and vehicle are seen in our community. They can call *911 or the non-emergency number (817) 743-4522.