Cedar Hill ISD Board Reviews First Weeks of School Year

The Cedar Hill ISD Board of Trustees consists of seven members elected to serve, without compensation, for overlapping terms of three years each. Operating within the legal parameters of the state and federal constitutions, statutes, courts and administrative agencies, the board is charged with the responsibility of providing the finest educational program possible for the students in the district. School trustees make all final decisions regarding school district priorities, policies, personnel, textbooks, expenditures and growth management. Trustees adopt a budget which is necessary to maintain and operate the schools, levy taxes to support the budget and submit bond issues to the citizens of the district to finance construction projects. The board employs and evaluates the superintendent. Photo courtesy of Cedar Hill ISD.

CHISD Meeting Recap 9/21

The School Board at Cedar Hill ISD reviewed the progress made the first few weeks of this school year and looked forward to the future in their meeting the evening of September 21.

Neil Bolton began the meeting by providing technology and school supply updates: Device support, phone number hotline, and website. On August 29, the district delivered 2054 Chromebooks to campuses for families. More are being delivered as they arrive and are needed. Principals are identifying families still needing them. Backpacks were also delivered on August 29, and 650 families received their supplies.

He continued relating since Sept 1, 990 emails have been sent, 1070 helpdesk tickets. 29% were resolved immediately 44% became help desk tickets. There are still 154 emails and tickets remaining to be resolved.

In order to make things better for staff regarding childcare, they were allowed to make applications to bring their children to school with them as long as safety protocols would be observed. They received 104 applications and 103 were approved.

TEA has agreed to extend the fully virtual model through October 31. Waiver must include a health model and have a plan in place. There are no plans to continue the fully virtual model at this time. There has been no problem in terms of scholars wearing masks thus far into the school year.

Mr. Grant addressed the Board on actual attendance thus far this school year. The trend of students attending school during the first week of school shows attendance has declined in the first week from 7556 last year to 7298 this year. “Our goal now is to find the students not engaged in learning.” As of September 21 there are 951 students who are classified as no shows. There are some issues in ensuring that all students are being counted. If student is not signed in by 6 pm, the parents will be called and urged to insure the student signs in before midnight. After this, district personnel will begin visiting homes regarding students who have not been signing in.

Campus officials will be asked to create a team to go to the homes after October 1 if students are not signing in. Then, the team, along with a police officer, will be visiting homes of students not attending.

Two Learning Plans

There are two learning plans: the traditional and the on-campus. 25% projected they would be on campus and 75% virtual learning. If you chose flex learning you will be allowed to continue that way until October 19th. Parents will now be allowed to select a new learning plan which will continue until December 5th. Forms that can be used to select this are being sent out today (Sept 21). Any family that does not commit will be put back in traditional learning plan.

Dr. Cherron Ukpaka related that after Schoology 2.0. Grading was discussed and how to set it up. Pages and assignments were constructed all the way up through 12th grade. Everyone has been sent a report on how they did through 1.0 and 2.0. If they get stuck there are screen shots to help guide them. There were a total of 26,451 sessions based on logging in.

Around 600 parents visited the first Schoology report site on August 31 and the next day there were 620 who visited. Parents can still go back to view their Schoology guides.

The District Motto, Vision and Mission Statement, CHISD Board Constraints, Quarterly Progress Tracker, the Monitoring Calendar and Board constraints and Superintendent constraints were read and agreed to.

Campus Spotlights Feature Permenter & Lake Ridge Elementary

Campus spotlights were presented on Permenter Middle School and Lake Ridge Elementary.

The Permenter Principal related how proud the school is especially of two teachers, one science teacher who extracted the plasma from a strawberry for students and a history teacher who brings history to life for students.

Lake Ridge motto is the “Race to Excellence has no finish line.” The goal on campus is to have families involved and engaged with the school. Lake Ridge Elementary is in the Top 25% in comparative academic growth.

The Cedar Hill ISD Mission, Vision and Motto

Discussed during the meeting and emailed to residents after the meeting was the following message by Superintendent Hudson:
“The mission of Cedar Hill ISD is to develop resilient scholars who excel academically and are empowered to serve. Our scholars will work hard in the classroom and challenge themselves with rigorous coursework. They will also understand that gaining knowledge and skills are only beneficial if they have the heart to use them to serve those around them.

The Cedar Hill ISD vision is Unlocking every Longhorn’s potential. Each and every one of our scholars has a significant amount of potential, and it is our role as educators and support staff to help them find and channel it towards a successful pathway.

Our Motto is Educate. Empower. Inspire. We are educating our scholars, but beyond that we are helping them as they make important decisions that will shape the rest of their lives.

We chose the mission, vision and motto because of their formidable strength and power, but we understand that they must be supported by our specific student outcome goals, which are:

Goal #1 – Increase the percentage of scholars graduating College, Career & Military Ready

Goal #2 – Increase the percentage of 3rd grade (all students) scholars reading at or above grade level

Goal #3 – Increase the percentage of Algebra 1 scholars scoring Meets or Above

Goal #4 – Increase the percentage of scholars participating in extra-curricular or co-curricular activities”

The Tax Rate Wil Go Down

This year the proposed tax rate for next year is once again decreasing, just as it has the last couple years. Gilberto Prado presented the tax budget to the board. In maintenance and operations taxes, CHISD is fourth lowest out of 22 districts in the area. The 2020-2021 total tax rate will be $1.2833, with a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate of $.9473 and $.3360 for Interest and Sinking (I&S).

For those who might wonder why the taxes on their home have still been increasing even though the rate is decreasing it is because the values of their property has increased.

The trustees all voted in favor of the tax rate for 20-21 year, 7-0.