School Matters

February 2022

Welcome to School Matters, your official source for award-winning news coverage from the Lake Travis Independent School District Office of Communications & Community Relations. Questions or concerns regarding any of the content in this publication should be addressed to info@ltisdschools.org.

Lake Travis High School Annex café suspends food service operations due to staffing shortage

Due to staffing shortages, effective Monday, February 14, 2022, our Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) Department has suspended breakfast and lunch service at the Lake Travis High School Annex café until further notice. However, because the Annex café has not served hot food for several weeks and most students are already eating in the main café at Lake Travis High School, we do not expect this will cause a significant disruption. The café at the main campus will continue to offer a full selection of menu items and be available to all students in 9-12 grade.


Students at the LTHS Annex may use the café at the main campus during their designated lunch period. Additional seating is being provided to accommodate students. Furthermore, beginning Tuesday, February 22, seniors will be afforded the opportunity to leave for off-campus lunch which should free up space in our café. LTHS interim principal Debbie Garinger will share more information with seniors this week.


We recognize and understand some students at the LTHS Annex may find it difficult to access the LTHS main campus café in a timely manner. For students who choose to bring their own lunch, the LTHS Annex café will remain open and seating will be available during designated lunch periods. High school administrators and staff will continue to monitor all lunch periods at both the Annex and main campus cafés.


Please note, we will continue to advertise and recruit candidates to join our FANS team in an effort to resume full operations at the LTHS Annex café. We regret any inconvenience the suspension of meal service may cause and appreciate your patience and understanding. No other Lake Travis school cafeterias are affected at this time.

District to observe staff development/student holiday Feb. 17, 18, 21

As a reminder, there will be no school on Thursday, February 17, Friday, February 18 and Monday, February 21 for staff development. Classes will resume Tuesday, February 22.


Be sure to stay up to date with major districtwide events listed in our 2021-2022 Instructional Calendar.

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February is Black History Month

Lake Travis ISD proudly recognizes Black History Month. The banner depicted here—created by 3rd grade students at Lakeway Elementary School—will be on display throughout February. Find out how your child's campus is celebrating Black History Month by visiting our school websites, newsletters, and/or social media.

2021-2022 Demographic Update now available

Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) recently completed a Demographic Study for Lake Travis ISD, and an overview was presented to the school board during its regular meeting in January.


According to PASA, the Demographic Study includes an analysis of current student locations, potential growth based on new housing, trends in student relocation patterns throughout Lake Travis ISD, and economic factors relevant to the greater district area.


District officials may use the findings to plan for and address continued growth in student enrollment. New school facilities and other capital improvements would require voter approval through a bond referendum.


The complete update can be accessed on the LTISD website.

Travis County approves lower speed limits for RHE, BCMS; school board oks marquees

On February 1, the Travis County Commissioners Court held a public hearing on speed limit considerations for Rough Hollow Elementary and Bee Cave Middle schools. Currently, neither site has as designated “school zone.” However, at the request of Lake Travis ISD officials, general consensus was reached to approve establishing a school zone with reduced speed limits and accompanying flashing lights. Commissioners approved the item on February 8.


“Lake Travis ISD has tried repeatedly to get school zones established at both schools and has been asked to get speed zone studies done for each school,” said Robert Winovitch, Lake Travis ISD Director of Facilities and Construction. “We have been provided with copies of both studies that were completed by Alliance Transportation Group, and these studies support Lake Travis ISD’s request to approve school zones and speed reductions for a limited time period each day.”


“Safety is the most important thing that we do,” RHE principal Angela Frankhouser told the court. “There is definitely a need for lower speed limits and flashing signs, especially when children are arriving and leaving school.”


Additionally, last month, Lake Travis ISD trustees selected American Constructors as the general contractor for the installation of digital marquee signs at Rough Hollow Elementary and Bee Cave Middle schools. The cost of both marquees is $110, 882 which is available in the District's 2018 bond program. Work is expected to begin later this spring.

National School Counseling Week

Lake Travis ISD celebrates National School Counseling Week

From helping students cope with personal issues to assisting with college admissions and financial aid applications, our school counselors make unique and lasting contributions that shape the future of education. To create awareness of their impact, LTISD joined the American School Counselors Association to celebrate National School Counseling Week February 7-11, 2022.


"With the theme 'School Counseling: Better Together,' National School Counseling Week highlights the essential role of our school counselors in helping students achieve success and plan for a career," said Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools Paul Norton. "These certified, experienced educators help students set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. And perhaps most importantly, our school counselors work with fellow teachers, staff and parents to support an environment where students can successfully manage the challenges of today’s world, often providing crisis counseling and other critical services during these unprecedented and fragile times."


The following elementary and secondary school counselors provide services to approximately 11,345 students across our district:


  • Bee Cave Elementary School - Courtney Trimmer
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - Susan Endendyk (interim)
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Laura Reed
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Michelle Monahan
  • Rough Hollow Elementary School - Karen Wager
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - Ariana Barrera Freshour
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Sheila White
  • Bee Cave Middle School - JoAnna Janecek and Dana Page
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - JoAnn Bryan, Sarah Figg and Surita Scholla
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Sandy Casares and Heather Woehl
  • Lake Travis High School - Dustin Boren, Elizabeth Clark, Lisa Colley, Tara Edmondson, Jill Mancino, Kathleen O'Rourke, Bel Portillo, Emily Slape, and Katy Staggs
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Lake Travis High School band, choir students earn all-state honors

The musical talents of four Lake Travis High School students have earned each of them a place on the 2022 All State Band and Choir as determined by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).


According to TMEA, All State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Approximately 1,875 students were selected through a process that began in the fall of 2021 with over 70,000 students from around the state vying for the honor to perform in one of 18 ensembles.


The following students from Lake Travis High School have been selected as All State musicians:


  • Sam Bangert – sophomore (band)
  • Marco Cornel – senior (band)
  • Jake Fagan – sophomore (band)
  • Ashley Schneider – senior (choir)


Students performed with other Texas All-State musicians Saturday, February 12 at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio as part of the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention. Richard Hicks and Adam Poynor direct the Lake Travis High School band and choir programs, respectively.

District saves millions in interest, creates bonds capacity with early debt payoff

During its regular meeting in January, Lake Travis ISD financial advisor R. Dustin Traylor with RBC Capital Markets informed trustees it will complete the redemption of approximately $21.7 million in outstanding callable obligations from the district's 2012 and 2018 school bonds. By aggressively paying down the district’s debt service requirements, LTISD is able to save interest and also building capacity for future bond programs. With this payoff, the district will have early retired approximately $87.9 million and refinanced $256.6 million since 2013, saving LTISD taxpayers approximately $97.3 million of interest over the life of the outstanding bonds.


(Editor's Note: This is similar to a property owner making additional principal payments on their home mortgage in order to pay the debt off early.)

LTHS student-athletes sign letters of intent

On February 2, Lake Travis High School student-athletes across multiple programs signed letters of intent to play at the collegiate level. View photos of the signings on the Lake Travis ISD Facebook 2021-2022 Athletic Signings photo album.

Girls soccer

Peyton Ferrell - US Air Force Academy

Andy Holder - Lubbock Christian University

Mia Merritt - University of North Texas

Peyton Urban - University of Arkansas Little Rock

Tennis

Neha Dania - University of Rochester

Adrianna Peradoza - University of California San Diego

Football

Chernet Estes - University of Colorado

Derrick Johnson - South Dakota State

Max Linhoff - Monmouth University

Jaden Nguyen - Cisco Junior College

Isaac Norris - Texas State University

Lake Travis ISD seeks stakeholder feedback

Lake Travis ISD applied to receive Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The intent and purpose of the funding is to sustain the safe operation of schools and address student learning needs as a result of COVID-19.


In August 2021, the District sought input from stakeholders in our community to assist us with prioritizing ESSER funding and developing our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. As a part of ongoing ESSER provisions, the District is required to review and revise, as applicable, its plan every six months—including receiving stakeholder input.


In an effort to obtain parent and community feedback, we have developed a survey linked below. Please take a moment to share your input and opinions. Responses are due by Wednesday, February 16, 2022 and will be reviewed and taken into consideration as the District updates its plan. Your participation and feedback are valued and appreciated.

LTEF accepting applications for senior scholarships

The Lake Travis Education Foundation is currently accepting scholarship applications from Lake Travis High School seniors. The application process is completely virtual.


There are numerous scholarships available to LTHS graduating seniors, including the LTEF Scholarship which is awarded each year to students who embody, in spirit and deeds, the exemplary culture of LTISD.


To apply, please visit the Scholarships page on the LTEF website.

Lake Travis High School named State Finalist for the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award

The Texas High School Coaches Association recently named Lake Travis High School as a State Finalist for the 2021-2022 National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Award. The award is the first nationwide recognition honoring individual high school football teams for excellence in the classroom with a 3.0 or above grade point average. A total of 30 state high school associations from across the country participated in the program.


“Academic success is as important as athletic success, as it can take student-athletes to the next step in their lives and on the path to becoming successful citizens," said Joe Martin, Executive Director of the Texas High School Coaches Association. "This is a team-oriented award that promotes team-building traits, and we are proud to have 84 schools qualify as Texas state finalists.”


State Champions and a National Finalist were announced by the National Football Foundation on February 2.

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Join Superintendent Norton for Friday Facebook Live Feb. 25

Join LTISD Superintendent of Schools Paul Norton for a real-time campus visit at 10:00 am, Friday, February 25 from Rough Hollow Elementary School. Mr. Norton will share a few district updates while providing a live look at the school day from the home of the Rattlers. Watch on the Lake Travis ISD Facebook Page.
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Austin Symphony Orchestra, Lake Travis High School musicians to perform together

Members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and students with Lake Travis High School will come together at “A Night with the Austin Symphony Orchestra.” Maestro Peter Bay will conduct the performance with participation by Anna Macias, Director for the Lake Travis High School Orchestra and Richard Hicks, Director for the Lake Travis High School Band. The special concert, brought to you by the City of Lakeway Arts Committee, will take place at 7:00 pm, Saturday, March 26 at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center. Visit www.lakeway-tx.gov for more information and details about the musical selections for the evening.


Tickets are on sale now at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center, or online at www.ltisdschools.org/finearts. Ticket prices range from $15 to $50 each.

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Interested in a corporate partnership with LTISD?

Contact our Development & Corporate Relations Department to learn how your organization can partner with Lake Travis ISD and support our schools while increasing exposure for your business.

LTEF shares "Save the Date" for annual Gala

The Lake Travis Education Foundation encourages you to mark your calendars for its annual Gala: An Evening at the Races. The fundraising event will be held April 23, 2022 at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.


For more information, visit www.LTEducationFoundation.org.

Keeping Connected

Download the LTISD Keeping Connected PDF to learn about the various ways to receive District and campus-level news, emergency notification, and other information.


Stay in the know on the go with our District mobile app for iOS and Android. Follow LTISD on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn about Peachjar, the innovative flyer management system that sends District- and school-approved digital flyers directly to parents via email.

Lake Travis Independent School District

The Lake Travis Independent School District is a 6A district located about 25 minutes west of Austin, Texas. Established in 1981, Lake Travis ISD is a fast growth district comprised of 11 campuses serving more than 11,300 students. Lake Travis ISD is the area's largest employer supporting more than 1,400 staff districtwide.