Viking Nation News
News & Information for the Lago Vista ISD Community
Welcome to 2023-2024 School Year...It's a Great Year to be a Viking!
2023-2024 is off to a great start and we warmly welcome our new families and students to the Viking Nation. In Lago Vista ISD, our mantra is “Excellence in ALL We Do” and we are ready to continue proving it in the 2023-2024 school year!
This newsletter will provide the Lago Vista ISD community with important resources and exciting information about our programs and upcoming events, such as:
- 2023 Region 13 Superintendent of the Year, Darren Webb
- Lago Vista ISD VATRE
- Substitutes Needed!
- Project Vinátta Update
- Annual Veterans Day Program
- Parent & Community Involvement Opportunities
- And much more!
Without a doubt, we believe that our schools are the heart and soul of the our community and we are confident that the Viking Nation is doing great things to keep our community strong. Sit back and be proud of what your schools and community will accomplish together…it's a great year to be a Viking!
2023 Region 13 Superintendent of the Year, Darren Webb
On September 30th, Lago Vista ISD Superintendent, Darren Webb, was honored at the TASA/TASB conference in Dallas for being selected as the 2023 Superintendent of the Year for Region 13. Mr. Webb has served as the leader of Lago Vista ISD for over eight years and is sincerely deserving of this award. His strong leadership skills and vision for the entire Lago Vista ISD community has earned him well-deserved respect and admiration. He has faced numerous challenges head-on, and demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the students, families, staff, and community of Lago Vista ISD.
His servant leadership approach is instrumental in fostering a positive school climate, consistently going above and beyond to meet the needs of the schools and the community, no matter the task at hand. Not often will you find a superintendent who starts his day before sunrise and rolls up his sleeves to drive a bus, plan construction projects, run a bush hog, hold leadership team meetings, walk the halls to say hello, and attend most activities. Mr. Webb doesn't do this because he has to ... he does it because he wants the staff to know that he's an integral part of the teamwork that goes into creating the best learning environment possible for our students and staff.
Under Webb’s leadership, Lago Vista ISD has achieved notable academic milestones and consistent improvement in student performance. A key factor has been the expansion of advanced academic coursework and classes that provide students with a wide range of opportunities to excel. In 2022, Lago Vista ISD students earned a remarkable total of 566 college credits, saving families over $200,000 in higher education tuition fees. Mr. Webb also understands the importance of building multiple college and career pathways. During his tenure as superintendent, the district added five new College & Technical Education (CTE) programs of study and proudly opened a CTE facility addition in 2022 to house the new Health Science/CNA and Culinary Arts programs.
Dr. Rich Elsasser, Executive Director of ESC Region 13, shares, "We firmly believe that Darren Webb’s tireless efforts, exceptional leadership, and unwavering commitment to educational excellence make him the well-deserved recipient of the Regional Superintendent of the Year award. We consider it a privilege to have Webb as a leader in our region and commend his outstanding contributions to the educational community."
"I am honored to be selected for this award," said Mr. Webb. "This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work that our staff members demonstrate every day. I want to thank the Board of Trustees for nominating me, but most importantly for their continued support of our students and staff."
VATRE Election Set for November to Provide Lago Vista ISD Salary Increases & Safety Measures
The Lago Vista ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution calling for a November Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) to generate additional revenue for salary increases and safety and security measures. This resolution follows months of deliberation by the Board of Trustees and the approval of the 2023-2024 budget. The VATRE will take place on November 7, 2023.
A Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) is an election that is required by state law when a school board adopts an M&O tax rate that is greater than the rate set by the State. The Lago Vista ISD Board of Trustees adopted an M&O tax rate of .6992 cents, which is two cents higher than the rate set by the State of Texas. With an I&S tax rate of .32 cents, the total adopted tax rate for 2023-2024 is $1.0192. Voters must approve the two cents on the M&O rate.
Due to the M&O tax rate compression by the State, Lago Vista ISD's total tax rate will decrease from last year with the passage of the VATRE. Lago Vista ISD’s total adopted tax rate for 2023-2024 is $1.0192 (with the VATRE), which is a decrease from the prior year’s tax rate of $1.184. The District’s Chief Financial Officer, Jason Stoner, explains, “If the VATRE is approved by voters, tax rates will go down 16.5 cents per $100 of valuation instead of 18.5 cents. Tax rates will still go down from last year."
In addition to compressed tax rates, Texas will vote to decide if taxpayers will see the homestead exemption increase from $40,000 to $100,000 as a result of the passage of SB 2. Lago Vista ISD taxpayers will also continue to benefit from the additional Board-approved Local Optional Homestead Exemption (LOHE), which provides a 20% exemption off the net appraised value of homesteads.
If approved by voters, the VATRE will inject approximately $800,000 into the District's operating budget. These funds will be used to provide additional salary increases for staff members and provide funding to increase safety and security measures across the District.
If the additional revenue is not approved, the District will face a projected budget shortfall. This shortfall is the result of multiple variables, including the estimated $10.5 million recapture payment the District has to send to the State of Texas this school year, the discontinuation of federal funding programs, the Texas legislature's decision not to increase the basic allotment amount per student, unfunded state mandates the District will have to allocate funds to meet, and rising operating costs due to inflation. If the VATRE does not pass, the District’s budget shortfall would largely result from planned raises for staff. “If the VATRE does not pass, we will not have the revenue needed to move forward with additional salary increases planned for this year,” said Stoner.
To date, voters in nine other ISDs in central Texas have approved VATRE elections, including Leander ISD, Georgetown ISD, Dripping Springs ISD, Lake Travis ISD, and Eanes ISD.
The Lago Vista ISD VATRE and an election for Place 4 on the Lago Vista ISD Board of Trustees will be on the ballot of a General Election held on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Polling times and locations will soon be available on the District website and/or Travis County elections website.
For more information about Lago Vista ISD’s upcoming VATRE election, please see the presentation from the August 21st Board meeting or visit https://www.lagovistaisd.net/page/board.elections_VATRE
You are also warmly invited to join us at one of the following public meetings in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Lago Vista High School to learn more about the VATRE:
Wednesday, October 11 - 7:00pm (Candidates Night)
Tuesday, October 17 - 6:30pm
Thursday, October 19 - 6:30pm
Monday, October 23 - 6:30pm
Wednesday, November 1 - 6:30pm
The LVISDEF is Hosting Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 28th!
Project Vinátta Celebrates 6 Years of No Place for Hate® Designation
Lago Vista ISD’s started in 2017-2018 with a goal or earning the designation as a No Place for Hate® - a goal we have achieved six years in a row! Our amazing campus sponsors have coordinated student coalitions on each campus in Lago Vista ISD and work with the coalitions to design school-wide activities to create a culture of caring and positivity.
As we kick off year seven of Project Vinátta in Lago Vista ISD, we are excited to see the positive impact our student coalitions will have for our students and schools. Click here for more information on Project Vinátta!
House Bill 3 Information
The Texas legislature passed House Bill 3 (HB 3) during the 88th Regular Legislative Session which requires a minimum of one armed security officer during school hours at District campuses. The new statute states that an armed security officer must be: (1) a school district peace officer (only available if the District has its own police department); (2) a school resource officer; or (3) a commissioned peace officer employed as security personnel. Lago Vista ISD committed to evolving to meet the safety needs of students and staff and is currently exploring how best to comply with new requirements resulting from the passage of HB 3.
The new law allows a school board to claim a good cause exception and identify an alternative standard if lack of funding or availability of personnel makes complying with House Bill 3 impossible. Currently, both are true - there is inadequate funding to fund all of the required positions and there is a shortage of available personnel who qualify to serve as an armed security officer under Section 37.0814(a). As such, the Lago Vista ISD Board of Trustees voted to claim a good cause exception due to a lack of adequate funding and qualified personnel.
As a priority step, the District is currently working with the City of Lago Vista and the Lago Vista Police Department to develop and approve an agreement to provide a school resource officer in the 2023-2024 school year, with the intent of additional SROs added in subsequent years until full compliance with HB 3 is met. The Lago Vista Police Department is also currently providing increased patrols and campus walkthroughs at each campus in the District. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the city and our local law enforcement and their efforts towards ensuring the safety and security of our students, staff, and visitors.
In addition to working to establish a school resource officer program with the City of Lago Vista, the District is also evaluating the other allowable alternatives that satisfy exceptions to the requirements of HB 3. Options under consideration include armed security guardians, employee guardians, and contracting with a security services contractor to provide commissioned security officers as defined by Texas Occupations Code section 1702.322.
To learn more about the safety and security measures in place, please visit our updated Lago Vista ISD Safety Information page.
Bond 2020 Projects Wrapping Up
2022 Bond Projects Continue
Annual Veterans Day Program at Lago Vista High School
As in years past, we will be recognizing our local veterans during this very special ceremony. If you are a local veteran and would like to participate, please contact Sandra Hooton at email@example.com.
Please be sure to arrive early to have you driver license scanned for entry. We look forward to seeing you there!
Report Safety Concerns Using StayALERT
Lago Vista ISD uses StayALERT to help keep our schools safe. StayALERT is a bilingual, confidential website, e-mail, phone and texting avenue for students, teachers, staff, parents and community members to be able to confidentially report unsafe behaviors, suspicious activities, bullying, acts of violence, harassment, and a host of other potential disruptors to school safety.
Users may anonymously report concerns 24-7-365 via the StayALERT website, an e-mail, a phone call to a recorded and monitored line, or via a text message from a cell phone. Photos and video clips pertaining to the StayALERT report may be included. No special app required! Reportable information will be forwarded in a timely manner to a pre-designated school official for review.
To make a report, use one of the methods below:
Call or Text: (206) 406-6485
Want to Get Involved? Check Out the Awesome Opportunities Below!
Whether your kids are just starting kindergarten, are entering the final year of high school, or graduated years ago, there are many good reasons for parents and community members to be involved in our schools. It's a great way to show our kids and community children that you take an interest in their education, and it sends a positive message that you consider school a worthwhile cause.
Want to get involved, but aren't sure how? Here are a few ideas:
- Adopt a Lago Vista ISD Staff Member;
- Join the Lago Vista ISD Education Foundation;
- Support your the Lago Vista Elementary School Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs);
- Volunteer for WatchDOGS at Lago Vista Elementary School or Lago Vista Intermediate School;
- Join the Lago Vista ISD District Educational Improvement Committee (DEIC).
Adopt a Lago Vista ISD Staff Member
To learn more about this group, please visit the Adopt a Lago Vista ISD Teacher Facebook Community Page.
The Lago Vista ISD Education Foundation Needs YOU!
Are you looking for a fun way to contribute your talent to help the students in Lago Vista ISD? The LVISD Education Foundation Needs YOU! We are looking for enthusiastic parents and community members to help us plan our annual fundraiser that is being planned right now!
Remember: All funds raised by the LVISD Education Foundation go DIRECTLY back into our schools through our innovative teaching grants...but we can't do it without your help! If you are interested in joining, please visit https://www.lvisdeftx.com/.
P.S. Don't forget to like the LVISD Education Foundation Facebook page!
Support the Lago Vista Elementary School PTO
The Lago Vista Elementary School PTO supports the educational and social community of our campuses, volunteerism of parents, encouragement of teachers and students, community involvement, and welfare of students and families. All PTO organizations are 100% fundraising and donation driven and all of the money raised goes back to the schools and students. To learn more, please visit the links below:
Lago Visa Elementary School PTO
Volunteer for WatchDOGS
WatchDOGS (Dads Of Great Students) is an innovative educational initiative to promote father
involvement in schools. There are two primary goals of the WatchDOGS program.
1. To provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence
that education is important.
2. To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.
WatchDOGS are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer during
the day at Lago Vista Elementary School and Lago Vista Intermediate School. WatchDOGS may read and work on flash cards with students, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow, and actively engage with students by helping with other assigned activities.
Join the 2024-2025 District Educational Improvement Committee (DEIC)!
The purpose of the District Educational Improvement Committee (DEIC) is to advise the District in establishing and reviewing the District’s educational goals, objectives, and major District-wide classroom instructional programs. The committee serves exclusively in an advisory role. Parent, community, and business representatives are volunteer appointments. All representatives serve staggered two-year terms. Members are not limited as to the number of consecutive terms they may serve on DEIC. The DEIC holds 4-6 meetings each spring, typically on Wednesday or Thursday evenings.
This year, we are looking for two parent representatives, at least one community representative and at least one business representative to serve on DEIC.
Come early, stay late, and wear your BLUE AND GOLD!
One Club, All Sports
Follow LVISD on Social Media!
Keep up to date on the happenings in Lago Vista ISD by liking the Lago Vista ISD Facebook page or by following us on Twitter and Instagram. Connecting to us on social media is a great way to find out about events in the District, as well as to keep up to date on information, such as weather-related delays and school closures.
Come early, stay late, and wear your BLUE AND GOLD!
One Club, All Sports
Follow LVISD on Social Media!
Download the Lago Vista ISD Mobile App
Did you know that Lago Vista ISD has a mobile app? The Lago Vista ISD mobile app will allow all Lago Vista ISD students, staff, and families to receive news and notifications from the District and for the campuses to which they wish to subscribe.
The free Lago Vista ISD mobile app will also allow for quick, one-stop access to:
- Events Calendars
- Social Media Channels
- Ascender StudentPortal
- Ascender ParentPortal
- Email Directories
- And more!
Even better? The Lago Vista ISD mobile app is able to translate news and notifications into over 70 different languages! (Just click on the Settings button, select your language preference...et voila!)
Locate the Lago Vista ISD mobile app from the digital store for your mobile device by clicking the links below or by searching for Lago Vista ISD.
Stay in the Know...Like Us on Facebook!
You can keep up to date with Lago Vista ISD District and campus news by liking our Facebook pages. Look to these page for news and all of the exciting things going on in the Viking Nation!