LHISD Mid Week Message

Staff Edition

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LHISD Exploring Plans for Next School Year

Panther Nation,

We know that everyone is anxious to know what Liberty Hill ISD's plans are for the reopening and start of school in August. Plans are changing rapidly and we are anxiously awaiting direction from the state of Texas and the TEA on official return to school plans in the fall. In the meantime, LHISD task forces have been working on plans that will line out details of what a return to work and return to school will look like. Part of those plans are being determined by input from staff, parents, and students. We presented survey results to the board at the June board meeting. The results are included in this newsletter below.

There have been rumors circulating about a possible change in the district approved calendar moving to an extended year and even a year-round model. Those rumors are listed below. As of today, the LHISD calendar will remain the same and we are planning to return to school as normal as possible with safety measures in place. We will also plan to be flexible in the event COVID-19 dictates school closures again.

We expect to get more guidance from the TEA commissioner next Tuesday and will update you when we get that information. In the meantime, I encourage each of you to visit the TEA COVID-19 website for all the info you want and need: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/covid/coronavirus-covid-19-support-and-guidance

One thing we have learned is the plans change and change rapidly depending on guidance from the state. We will continue to plan and utilize our task forces daily and are awaiting news to help us in those plans. Our expected date to reveal the final LHISD return to school plans will be in late July or early August. As of now, school will start on the regularly scheduled date of August 20th.

Enjoy your summer!

-Steven Snell, Superintendent

Latest from TEA

On Tuesday, TEA did give us some brief information to help stop the rumor mill. The summary of the superintendents call with the commissioner Tuesday are:

Rumor: TEA is going to force ISDs to adopt an extended year-round intersession calendar.
  • TEA Answer: District calendars will not be mandated nor approved by the state.
  • LHISD comment. We plan to keep the currently adopted calendar and plan for flexibility with mandated closures due to COVID-19.
Rumor. TEA will force the use of PPE
  • TEA answer. TEA will provide recommendations but will not force the use of PPE, but it is recommended. TEA wanted to make sure everyone had a minimal supply if they need it. TEA will issue public school health guidance by next Tuesday.
  • LHISD comment. We plan to take safety precautions to keep everyone safe. We will have and encourage the use of masks and face shields when appropriate. LHISD will also provide hand sanitizer and hand soap for continuous daily use as well as constant disinfecting of the classrooms and common areas.
Rumor. TEA will force a reduction in class sizes and alternating daily schedules.
  • TEA Answer: ISDs will have the flexibility to determine appropriate class sizes.
  • LHISD comment. We will schedule appropriately to keep everyone safe. We are making plans to return as normal in the fall with safety measures in place.
Rumor. TEA will restrict the number of students on a bus.
  • TEA Answer. TEA will send transportation guidance but no restrictions.
  • LHISD comment. We are still exploring options and plans to keep students as safe as possible.

Other TEA News

  • The testing window will be extended for STAAR (online option only).
  • Texas Home Learning 3.0 will be launched soon. It includes statewide optional resources online for ISDs and parents.
  • Remote instruction will count towards state-required minutes.

Staff Raises

At the June board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a 1% raise for all employees. This will be in addition to your step. Most, if not all employees, will see an increase of at least $550. In addition, the board approved another stipend to be paid later in the fall for approximately another 1%. The bottom line is that next year's budget will be extremely tight along with the uncertainty of enrollment numbers. You will also see better premiums for health insurance as well as the additional free mental health counseling benefit. The board and I share the belief that we want to do more for the staff and get salaries much more competitive. This year, the funding is just not there. We are going to take a look over the coming year on where we can get more efficient so that more revenue is available for staff.


2nd Budget Workshop for the 2020-2021 budget year

CFO -Rosanna Guerrero presented the 2020-2021 Budget Workshop. The workshop was excellent and she did a great job presenting all the information available. This was the second budget workshop we have held working towards next year. Here are the highlights:
  • TASB Pay Systems Maintenance Report was presented by Human Resource Director - Bob Mabry. Each year we contract with TASB.
  • Duane Westerman with SAMCO Capital presented the Debt Analysis and Future Bond Capacity.
  • LHISD is projecting a property Value Growth in value of 19.4%
  • LHISD is projecting a tax collection rate of 99%
  • LHISD is projecting lowering M&O taxes based on HB 3
  • LHISD is projecting student enrollment growth of 500
  • Estimated revenue projection/expenditures is $45,631,959
  • LHISD expects to present a balanced budget to the board in August 2020.

Communication and Information Items

  • Mr. Snell gave updates from the Task Force Committees on the COVID-19 surveys - Student/Parent/Staff/Community Relations
  • The Liberty Hill ISD Police Department received 4 heavy ballistic vests with ceramic plates donated by the Dept. of Public Safety.
  • Communication Dept. - Liberty Hill ISD Brand Guidelines & Logos
  • School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)
  • Asst. Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks presented the Literacy, Numeracy, and College, Career, Military Readiness Goals that is required by House Bill 3.
  • Casey Sledge presented a construction update and accounting report.

Consent Items:

  • Certified that LHISD instructional materials cover all elements of the TEKS required curriculum, other than physical education, in each grade as required in the TEC.
  • MOU for LHISD Education Foundation
  • Child Nutrition Services: Meal prices for 2020-2021
  • Adopted House Bill 3 required Literacy, Numeracy, and College, Career, Military Readiness Goals

Action Items: The Board of Trustees approved the following:

  • Approved the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the High School additions & renovation as part of the 2018 Bond Program. Construction will begin immediately.
  • Approved the 2020-2021 compensation package presented by the Human Resource Dept.
  • Approved the purchase of additional staff laptops due to COVID-19 as presented by the Technology Dept.
  • Approved the use the 2018 Bond funds to reimburse the General Fund for the purchase of Santa Rita

Curriculum Department Restructure

Monday night, the board approved the restructuring of the curriculum department. Currently, the curriculum organizational chart has:

  • Assistant Superintendent (Dr. Hicks)
  • Director of Student Services (sped, 504, Dyslexia - Mrs. DelaHousaye)
  • Director of Federal Programs and Textbooks (Open)
  • Assessment Coordinator and ESL (Mrs. Tijerina)
  • CTE Coordinator (Mrs. Riggins)
  • Curriculum Coordinator (Mrs. Bortz)
  • Secondary Instructional Coach (open)
  • Elementary Instructional Coach (open)

Under the new Structure. We will add a Director of Curriculum who will assume the CTE coordinator responsibilities. The two district instructional coach positions will transition to curriculum coordinator positions. The department structure will look as follows:

  • Assistant Superintendent (Dr. Hicks)
  • Director of Student Services (sped, 504, Dyslexia - Mrs. DelaHousaye)
  • Director of Federal Programs and ESL (Mrs. Tijerina)
  • Assessment Coordinator and Textbooks (Mrs. Riggins)
  • Director of Curriculum and CTE (Open)
  • Coordinator of Secondary Curriculum (Mrs. Bortz)
  • Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum (open)
This new structure creates a better flow of knowledge and resources. It also saves the district money with the combining of the CTE and Curriculum Director. The overall goal is to better support teachers in their work and their needs.

Results from Student Survey on Return to School

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Results from Parent Survey on Return to School

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Results from Staff Survey on Return to School

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High School Schematic Drawings

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Happy birthday to our mid June Employees!

June 18

  • Todd Greenberg, Intermediate
  • Kristine Wyatt, Liberty Hill High School
June 19

  • Marie Layne, LH Jr. High
  • Desirae Wilson, Bill Burden Elementary
June 20
  • Sarah Beauchamp, LH Jr. High
  • Glenda Smith, Liberty Hill High School
June 21
  • Elisha Gutierrez, Bill Burden Elementary
  • Kenneth Kluver, Bill Burden Elementary
June 22
  • Sara Robertson, LH Intermediate
  • Luz Maria Sarinana, LH Jr. High
  • Melissa Underwood, LH Intermediate
June 23
  • Lindy Hunter, Transportation
  • Kyle Vineyard, LH Jr. HIgh

Disney Parks Birthday Song

Welcome our new Panthers!!

Liberty Hill Elementary

  • Ann Corney, Special Education Teacher
  • Jennifer Jones, Special Education Teacher
Bill Burden Elementary

  • Holly Duckworth, Special Education Teacher
  • Pax Figioli, Teacher
  • Katrina Tomlin, Dyslexia Therapist
Rancho Sienna Elementary

  • Racheal James, Special Education Teacher
Santa Rita Elementary

  • Carrera Crockett, ESL Teacher
  • Michelle Dozier, Teacher
  • Jessica Greenberg, Interventionist
  • Pete Mehok, Special Education Teacher
  • Megan Silas, Teacher
LH Intermediate

  • Jennifer Cobb, Special Education Teacher
  • Kenneth Huff, Teacher
  • Laura Meritt-Degutis, Performing Arts Teacher
LH Jr. High

  • Robert Ballard, Science Teacher
Liberty Hill High School

  • Lauren Beale, Science Teacher

  • Rebecca Adams, ARD/504 Facilitator
  • Heather Mazza, ARD/504 Facilitator
  • Karen Taff, Diagnostician

FOLLOW OUR FACEBOOK @libertyhill.isd AND TWITTER @lhisdcomms

Steven Snell

Superintendent of Liberty Hill ISD

Liberty Hill ISD. Building Champions in Academics, Character, and Community