Weatherford ISD receives 'Superior Rating' for Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas
Weatherford ISD Board members were pleased to hear that the District has restored its “Superior Rating” based on the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) guidelines.
Tracy Ray, WISD Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations, told Board members at Thursday’s regular meeting that the District received a perfect score of 70 based on 20 indicators used in the rating system process.
“Our ‘Superior Rating’ was not just achieved by the WISD Business Department alone,” Ray said. “Other factors that were associated with the scoring included tax collection, student-to-staff ratio, and maintaining an adequate fund balance.”
Ray also said the business office continues to do an outstanding job when it comes to compliance issues.
“We are very successful at providing a clean audit, we have strong internal controls, and we do not have material weaknesses or disclosure issues,” she added.
According to the Texas Education Agency, the purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.
Also, the system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.
In other action, Tison Middle School Principal Elizabeth Ward presented a campus report about the great things happening on her campus.
“This year, our focus has been on ‘Crossing the Line’ and doing things different,” Ward said. “Also, we are concentrating on meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for this school year – even though the state continues to increase its standards.”
Slides were shown of Tison students and teachers practicing the Fundamental Five – which consists of Framing the Lesson; Working in the Power Zone; Frequent, Small-Group, Purposeful Talk (FSGPT); Recognize and Reinforce; and Writing Critically.
“Our students write in every classroom,” Ward said, “even in mathematics, P.E., and choir.”
Ward also said every staff member at Tison adopts a student within the campus, and this has led to a large increase in parent-student conference attendances.
“We just completed our parent conferences on Oct. 8, Ward said, “and 422 conferences were scheduled (representing 81 percent of the 524 students) which is a phenomenal percentage.”
Dr. Chip Evans followed with a Work System Review about the WISD Community Education Department.
“Community Education has had a connection to our school and our community for over 40 years now,” Dr. Evans said. “We continue to practice our three ‘Rs’: Relationships (long-standing relationships with the community), Resources (public support), and Revenue (Adult Ed, Extended Care, Summer Camps, and Leagues).”
Over the past year, the WISD Community Education Department had about 2,500 students through 12,000 registrations.
Dr. Evans briefly discussed some of the success from the newer programs such as Virtual Campus, Driver Education, Conversational Spanish, Meditation Workshop, and an increased emphasis on youth-oriented activities (archery, horse camps, volleyball camps, basketball camps, etc.).
“We also had a record number of 75 GED certificates obtained along with a record number of contact hours,” Dr. Evans said. “In addition, our department received a Platinum Recognition for Program Management and Performance.”
Another feather in the Community Education Department’s cap is its strong Kids Unite after-school and summer programs.
“Our summer program, for example, is the best program for the dollar,” Dr. Evans said.
Rocky Gardiner, Vice President Manager of Research for Templeton Demographics, presented demographic studies of the Weatherford ISD area including current enrollment data, projected enrollment forecasts through 2023, and other information about the housing market in the area.
“The District’s enrollment peaked at 244 students during the 2008-09 school year,” Gardiner said. “This year’s enrollment increase is around 84 students, but that’s about par compared to other school districts we’ve worked with.”
Gardiner said his 10-year projected data forecasts an enrollment increase of 87-102 students per year through 2023.
“Based on this data, Weatherford ISD should surpass 8,000 students by 2016…and then go over 9,000 students by 2023,” Gardiner said.
Gardiner said he calls Weatherford a “Destination District,” meaning people want to move into the area. Then, he added, they want to stay in the area.
Other agenda items approved at Thursday’s meeting:
- Consent items (tax report, comparisons of revenues and expenditures to budget, investment report, cash balance report, general budget amendments #2, School Health Advisory Council, Attendance Committee)
- 2012-13 District, Division/Department, and Campus Improvement Plans
- Investment officers for 2012-13
- TEA waiver
Other non-agenda items discussed at Thursday’s meeting included:
- TASB Policy Services Update 95 (First Reading)
- Leading Indicator Process (LIP) Report for September 2012
Retirements – Susan Miller, Program Specialist (Special Programs) and Candace Reynolds, P.E. Teacher (Seguin Elementary)
New Hire – Trace Craft, Assistant Principal (Tison Middle School)
National Merit/College Board Scholars
Eight students from Weatherford High School have earned the Commended Scholar recognition because of the scores they received when they took the Preliminary Scholarship Aptitude Test (PSAT) as juniors.
These students include Jessica Allen, Kason Bakouris, Rebecca Harlow, Michael Hulsey, Robert Johnson, Rachel Masters, Karley Robertson, and Kyle Wiggs.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation identifies students who qualify for their program using a selection index that includes students’ scores in critical reading, math, and writing.
More than 1.5 million juniors took the PSAT last fall. Of those, only 34,000 students nationwide have been named Commended Scholars.
Weatherford High School’s students earned scores that are among the top 2 percent of all students tested in Texas, and they are now eligible to receive special scholarships from businesses and corporations.
Weatherford ISD Principals
Weatherford ISD principals and assistant principals were recognized for dedicating to provide quality education for students of all ages and to serve in vital roles that support and develop students’ lifelong love of learning.
In support of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals and their state affiliates, Texas Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed October 2012 as “Principals Month” in Texas.
Austin Elementary – Jenny Morris, Amy Crippen
Crockett Elementary – Jessica Robert, Mark Cook
Curtis Elementary – Racheal Rife, Lorie Bratcher
Ikard Elementary – Linda Starnes, Christy Burton
Martin Elementary – Lori Box, Jennifer Gillard
Seguin Elementary – Andy Pool, Carrie Harrison
Wright Elementary – Joy Bailey, Barbara Pitt
Hall Middle School – Debbie Braudaway, Don Rossander, Scott Roy
Tison Middle School – Elizabeth Ward, Trace Craft, Lisa Edmunds
Ninth Grade Center – Kristy Dowd, Holley Prescott, Bodie Stark
Weatherford High School – Lynn Pool, Tammy Addison, Todd Jones, R. J. Rodrigue, Donna Schoonover
The next regular scheduled Board meeting will be Nov. 8 beginning at 7 p.m. in the District Services Building Boardroom.