• September 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 9/27/2022

    The 2019 Bond is in the final stages as the contractors and building partners work to wrap up and officially close-out the projects that continue to come in under budget. 

    Representatives from Skanksa presented an overall update at the September meeting of the Angleton ISD Board of Trustees. The total costs of the bond projects is still coming in under budget, with around $7 million in savings expected, and projects are being officially closed out with contractors, said Scott Penton, senior project manager for Skanska. 

    “We’re seeing great numbers and still maintaining those costs, and it’s a good testament to this team and being good stewards of the 2019 bond,” Penton said. 

    The AHS softball renovations are officially closed out and completed, and close out has started on Central Elementary’s stage project, the Transportation Center and the CTE Center. Crews are still working on the renovation of the old career and technical classrooms inside the high school, but the project is moving quickly and is currently ahead of schedule. 

    During the meeting, AISD Superintendent Phil Edwards presented the board with the possibility of paving an additional two acres of parking lot for the high school to the north of the ag barn as enrollment trends continue to rise. 

    “We believe as the school grows, we’re going to need to plan for additional parking,” he explained.

    The location would be where the seniors currently hold the bonfire during homecoming festivities, but there is enough district land next to the two acres to continue the tradition a little further away, Edwards said. 

    In action items, the board approved spending $460,000 to furnish all of the first grade classrooms in the district with new tables, desks, chairs and other supplies and approved an agreement with PBK Architects for architectural work on the new Support Services building on Technology Drive.

    Two new hires also were approved at the meeting, one to fill an open Special Education position at the junior high, and the other to approve Christi McCraken as the Director of Community Relations for the district. 

    McCraken will work with local businesses and industry partners, develop and coordinate district events and take over the district’s mentor and volunteering programs. She previously worked in the oil and gas industry with SI Group.

    “We are excited to have Ms. McCraken here, and we think she’ll do an outstanding job,” Edwards said. “As our community grows, we want to continue to have great relationships with all our stakeholders. Mrs. McCracken is very well suited to help us continue to foster these relationships, including through expanding our mentoring program, creating a more robust volunteer program for the district, as well as creating new partnerships with businesses. 

    Comments (-1)
  • August 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 8/17/2022

    Homeowners will see a 3.74 cent drop in their school district tax rate this year after the board approved lowering the tax rate at its August meeting. 

    This is the fourth consecutive year the district has been able to lower the tax rate.

    The new rate, $1.2296, is possible thanks to an influx of new developments as well as increasing property values in the area.

    With the tax rate approved, the board also approved the 2022-2023 budget. The $76.3 million budget includes the district’s pay raises across all positions, which amounted to 4.13 percent raise for teachers, nurses and librarians, and the $1,000 retention bonus that will go to all employees who worked for the district in May 2022 who are still with the district as of September 1, 2022.  

    The board also heard recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committee, which met five times since March to discuss potential building, facility and equipment needs in the district.

    Using the responses from the community survey, along with information provided by the district, the CAC recommended the following projects for the 2022 Bond proposal:

    • safety and security improvements for $18.25 million that would include improving security at district entrances, police equipment and vehicles, and other facility and equipment needs to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff.

    • a new elementary school to accommodate expected growth across the district and provide relief to district elementary schools including Frontier Elementary, which is near full capacity, at a cost $50 million.

    • a new junior high school to accommodate expected growth while bringing the student count at the current junior high down at a cost of $90 million.

    • the purchase of $9.5 million of new furniture for all elementary school campuses for grades 2-5 to provide equity across the district and better support small group, individual and large group learning activities.

    • current elementary and junior high school improvements, including carpet replacement, playground repair and other necessary improvements where needed to address academic and general facility needs for $12 million.

    • demolitions, removals and renovations to outdated buildings and facilities, including demolishing and removing the old transportation bus yard, repairing the Marshall Memorial, renovating the Marshall building, and renovating usable parts of the Old Junior High then demolishing and removing areas that are no longer useful at a cost of $9 million.

    • $7.5 million in contingency funds should needs or added expenses are covered as the projects are completed.  

    All of these projects could be completed at the costs given with the lowered 2022-2023 tax rate of $1.2296. 

    After hearing the recommendations, the board agreed with the committee and officially called for the $196,250,000 bond project to go to voters in the November election.

    Comments (-1)
  • June 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 6/23/2022

    Contractors are working diligently to make sure the new AISD Career and Technology Center is ready by August 1 for teachers to begin setting up their classrooms. 

    During a bond report at the June meeting of the district’s Board of Trustees, a representative from Skanka said the project is expected to be listed as substantially complete as of the first week of July and should be ready for teachers by the first of August. 

    “Equipment has started to be delivered to the site; we expect furniture by July 7; it’s kind of coming in waves,” said Tim Richard, VP/Regional Manager for Skanska. 

    Renovations to the high school’s classrooms that formerly held the CTE classes are also underway and are expected to be done by Spring semester, he said. 

    With the building complete by the start of school, the transportation department has been working with high school administrators to decide the best routes for the buses, Superintendent Phil Edwards explained to the board. The decision has been made to keep the current location for bus drop off and pick up just outside of the auditorium. Communication with maps and parking information will be sent out to parents and students at the start of school to make sure everyone is on the same page, he said. 

    During the meeting, the board approved the hiring for several positions, including a new aquatic coordinator and swim coach and counselors at the high school, junior high and Rancho Isabella Elementary. 

    Edwards also explained that the compensation plan approved by the board will be getting some changes as administrators look to adjust bus driver pay to be more competitive with other local districts. 

    The board also heard reports from Director of Elementary Education Vicki Harmon on the early childhood program across the district and from Sheri Sides with N2 Learning about the district’s strategic plan.

    Harmon explained that current performance indicators are showing growth for students in pre-k and kindergarten, solidifying the need to reach students as early as possible to make sure any learning gaps can be addressed quickly.  

    “We’re exploring different options for identifying our students who may need intervention as early as we can,” Harmon said. 

    With only minor tweaks left, Sheri Sides said the district’s strategic plan is complete. Angleton ISD now has a more defined mission, vision, goals, beliefs and action plan that was crafted with the help of administrators, staff, students and community members to move AISD forward, Sides said. 

    “We had about 100 school personnel and community members,” Sides said. “The teams were half school and half community, and the action teams were the same.” 

    With the collaborative effort, the plan will serve as a road map for decision making across the district in the coming years. The pillars for the district’s objectives and strategies include teaching and learning; human capital; safety and security; facilities’ and communications/community involvement. 

    “I am very happy with the work done by all involved in the strategic planning process; it was a true collaboration from several members of our AISD stakeholder groups,” AISD Superintendent Phil Edwards said. “Startegic planning is an intensive but very important process for a school district, and the board and I felt that it was vital to have our students, parents and community involved, in addition to some of our AISD employees, to provide well-rounded input that will guide us for the next several years.”

    Having the plan in place moving forward will be important to gauging the district’s successes over the next few years, said Board Member Kimi Hunter, who was part of the committee and curriculum team meetings. 

    “I think it is wonderful,” she said. “I was with the curriculum, and we learned a lot through the whole thing. I can’t wait to start getting the updates and see how we’re doing.”

    More details from the district’s strategic plan: 

    Mission: Our mission is to educate and prepare each student academically and socially through supportive relationships to maintain our thriving community.

    Vision: Angleton ISD – Achieving Excellence Because We’re Wildcats 

    In AISD we Believe:

    - All students can learn
    - The learning environment must be positive, genuine, caring and safe for students and staff to reach their potential
    - In clearly defined goals that set high expectations for student success
    - In the value of parents and families as involved decision-makers
    - In viable curriculum and future-oriented programs
    - In developing and retaining staff who positively affect student achievement.
    - Actively engaging the community results in development of our children

    Comments (-1)
  • May 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 5/24/2022

    With approval from the Board of Trustees on Monday, Angleton ISD employees will get a salary increase for the 2022-2023 school year – a minimum 4 percent raise for teachers and a 4 percent of midpoint raise for all other employees.

    The new compensation plan was approved at a special Board meeting on May 23.

    “We are excited to provide these necessary salary increases to our staff members,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said. “When added with the retention bonus already approved by the board, our staff will receive an average of 5.4 percent increase over last year.” 

    The board approved a $1,000 retention bonus in March for all employees who were AISD employees on May 16, 2022, and are still AISD employees on September 1, 2022. That bonus will be paid on September 15, 2022.  

    Altogether, the raises and bonus will add $2.8 million to the district’s operating costs.

    The board also approved several new hires at the regular May 16 meeting. 

    The board approved the hire of Patrick Monaghan as the new Special Education Director for the district. Monaghan is currently the assistant director of special education at Fort Bend ISD and has more than 15 years of experience in teaching.

    Current Westside Assistant Principal Stephanie Gay was approved as the new head principal at Rancho Isabella Elementary. She will take over for Chris Kocurek, who is retiring this month. Gay served as the assistant principal for Rancho Isabella for two years before transferring to Westside Elementary this year.

    Northside 5th grade teacher Kelsey Payne will be the new assistant principal at Westside Elementary. 

    Matthew Morkin, also from Fort Bend ISD, will be an assistant principal at Angleton High School. 

    While some of these new hires will be filling current vacancies, others will be additional personnel for the campuses.

    In all, the district has budgeted for 50 new positions across the district for the upcoming school year, including campus special education teachers, instructional and behavioral coaches, a licensed specialist in school psychology and an intern, and other needed teaching positions across the district.

    “We are always assessing our student and staff ratios and looking for areas that more staff members are needed in,” Edwards said. “We’ve also budgeted for potential positions that may arise with expected growth, but we know there may be some adjustments made throughout the year.” 

    Comments (-1)
  • April 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 5/18/2022

    More than a dozen teaching and instructional coaching positions were filled at the April Angleton ISD Board of Trustees meeting. 

    Among the new hires were four new teachers at Angleton High School, including an additional engineering teacher and math teacher, two teachers at Angleton Junior High, two teachers each for Westside Elementary and Southside Elementary, and a new teacher at Central Elementary. The board also approved six new instructional coaches and three behavior coaches that will be housed around the district.

    Through the FCC’s E-Rate federal funding program, which provides a discount for schools on telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections, the board approved the purchase of more than $30,000 in technology items. Without the E-rate program, the items would have cost around $150,000.

    The board also approved entering into three Chapter 313 agreements with companies looking to invest and build in the Angleton ISD service area. 

    An appraised value limitation is an agreement in which a taxpayer, in this case the developing business, agrees to build or install property and create jobs in exchange for a 10-year limit on the taxable property value for school district’s maintenance and operations taxes. The agreement also requires the company to hire any permanent operations and maintenance positions at 110% the average local wage.

    These agreements act as an incentive for companies to invest in an area, and that investment allows the school district to offset tax costs that would normally fall on local taxpayers.

    One of the projects approved was Rock N Roll Solar, a 150 megawatt solar field and 150 megawatt battery energy storage system located on Highway 288 south of FM 1462. Construction on the field is projected to begin in 2023 with a completion date expected in 2025. 

    The total investment is expected to be approximately $360 million. The Chapter 313 agreement will limit the taxable value to $30 million for 10 years, after which the projects will be taxed to the full valuation of the land.

    Luke Phillips, a representative from KE Andrews, the tax consultants representing Rock N Roll Solar, told the board the company expects the project will provide 275 local construction jobs while being completed and 2 permanent operator jobs paid at 110% of the local wage once finished.  

    Brazoria Solar I and II will be two solar plants located just north of 2004 and east of 523. The project will include developing 2,500 acres into a solar power plant that will generate a total of 400 megawatts. The first phase, Brazoria Solar I, is expected to take about 18 months to complete, and the second phase, Brazoria Solar II, which is a smaller project, is expected to finish a year after that. 

    The total investment is expected to be approximately $400 million. The Chapter 313 agreement will limit the taxable value to $30 million for 10 years, after which the projects will be taxed to the full valuation of the land.

    Representatives from the Brazoria Solar projects’ parent company Core Solar gave details on the project at the meeting. Project Execution Vice President Randy Jenks said that once the solar panels are set, the land beneath and around the panels will either be replanted with native seeds or allowed to grow back naturally. He expects the project to have a 40-year presence in the area, after which all of the panels will be removed and the land will be returned to whatever condition it was in before the project. 

    He also explained that the company is excited to partner with Angleton ISD’s engineering programs to bring classes out to the site to learn about the solar plant as well as the jobs the plants create. 

    “We’re going to do what we can to show what technology can do. We want to engage with students who have an interest in mechanical engineering,” Jenks said. 

    Comments (-1)
  • March 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 4/6/2022

    In a quick, unanimous vote, the Angleton ISD Board of Trustees passed a recommendation to pay all AISD employees a $1000 retention bonus on September 15, 2022, at its March board meeting.

    The requirements for the retention bonus are: anyone who is an AISD employee on May 16, 2022, who is still an AISD employee on September 1, 2022, will receive the $1000 retention bonus on September 15, 2022.  

    “I want to commend and thank our board for taking this proactive step to help retain and celebrate our employees,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said.

    The board also approved a Pre-K tuition rate for district employees interested in enrolling their children in the AISD Pre-K program. The rate, which is the lowest the state allows, will allow AISD employees to enroll their four-year-olds in the AISD Pre-K program, which currently is only able to accept students on an income-based requirement due to funding restrictions from TEA. 

    “It is a great deal for our staff,” Edwards said. 

    During the recognition portion of the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Adam Stephens surprised and introduced the three AISD employees selected for iTeach scholarships - Justin Fowler, from CATS Academy; Regina Duffey, from Angleton High School; and Kyle Binderup, from Rancho Isabella Elementary. 

    The iTeach program awards scholarships to pay for teacher certifications for current district employees who have a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship pays for all of the course work and the certification testing. 

    “In addition to the scholarship, these three are also guaranteed a job with the district after they’ve been certified,” Stephens said. “We’re really excited to see them join our staff as certified teachers.”

    The board also approved the hires of a new Speech Language Pathologist, two teachers/coaches for AHS, and a Dyslexia teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.

    As work continues on the new CTE Center, the board approved the purchase of welding and other miscellaneous equipment. It also approved the purchase of lawnmowers and maintenance vehicles to replace old, damaged equipment that no longer works.

    Comments (-1)
  • February 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 3/1/2022

    At the February board meeting, the AISD Board of Trustees approved the 2022-2023 Academic Calendar. 

    Calendar options were reviewed by administrators from both the campus and district levels as well as by the teacher advisory group and the district advisory committee to determine the best calendar option for the upcoming school year, Superintendent Phil Edwards said. 

    The calendar chosen is very similar to the current year’s calendar, Edwards said. A few of the notable changes include starting the school year with three inservice days in August to allow the district’s new teachers to get more time to learn the basics before starting and a shift to once-a-quarter teacher planning days. 

    “Kids will not come to school those days,” Edwards said. “Teachers will have that for planning what they need to do in the classroom.

    These planning days came as a direct result of teachers asking for more time without students to properly plan and adjust lessons for student needs. 

    A link to the 2022-2023 Academic Calendar has been added to the Quick Links section on the AISD homepage.

    Even with the new days off, there are enough minutes planned in the calendar for eight contingency days that could be used for things like hurricanes, snow, or COVID-19 closures, Edwards said.

    The board also approved the purchase of online tutoring hours through FEV Tutoring, a program that provides one-on-one, live online tutoring for students. Currently, the district uses FEV Tutoring for individual intervention for students who need help in a particular subject area, including students in remediation, those working to pass the STAAR exam after failing, and those working on the TSI exam, Assistant Superintendent Adam Stephens said. 

    “Those groups are getting two to three hours a week of really targeted, intense intervention at their own pace,” he said.

    With the purchase, two secondary schools will be able to expand on how many students have access to tutoring and the number of hours available to them. 

    Edwards also explained that the district will be putting together a committee to begin the initial stages of creating a comprehensive strategic plan as well as a committee to assess potential needs in a future bond project.

    Edwards reported the district expects to save about $46,000 on the Central Elementary stage project from the 2019 Bond. More could be added to the savings as the contractor, Drymalla, completes the finishing touches, he said. 

    “They did a great job,” Edwards said. “We are excited to close out this part of the bond project.” 

    Comments (-1)
  • January 2022

    Posted by Brittany Blanchard on 1/24/2022

    The AISD Board of Trustees gave the green light to two new programs aiming to increase teacher recruitment and retention around the district at the January 18 board meeting. 

    The first, a grant partnership with iTeach Texas, will pay three current employees who already have a bachelor’s degree $5,000 each to get their teaching certifications. By accepting the grant, the employees will be making a commitment to teach in Angleton ISD for three years after they complete their certification. 

    “This will cover the cost of the certification and get them into the classroom,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said. 

    The second program is a partnership with the University of Houston-Clear Lake that will help cover two years worth of tuition for aspiring teachers who choose to teach in Angleton ISD after graduation. 

    “If they are a junior at UHCL next year, and are willing to make a commitment to work for three years at AISD, the grant will pay $9,000 per year for their junior and senior years,” Edwards said. “This is a wonderful opportunity and a great way to help us recruit teachers to come to our district.” 

    For current teachers, the board passed a resolution for a new Reading Academy Stipend. 

    The Texas Education Agency’s new mandates for all teachers in grades kindergarten through third grade to complete Reading Academy training has added to the time teachers are asked to work outside of the classroom. Understanding this, the board approved a $500 stipend for those who complete the training.

    “It’s a lot, a lot outside of their normal teaching,” board member Justin Journeay said after the item was passed unanimously. “I know some teachers who have gone through it, and this is a good thing, a really good thing.” 

    Currently, there are 84 teachers completing the training who would receive the stipend in September 2022, and it would be offered to any new teachers who complete the training and then stay through the start of the next school year. 

    “It’s a 10-month program, and teachers who go through this training spend a lot of their outside time working on it,” Edwards said. “It’s a very intensive training. This would be $500 for teachers who complete this training and return to us next year.” 

    The board also approved the hiring of six teachers and the opening of five new maintenance/grounds crew positions. With the district’s number of facilities growing, the maintenance department needs extra employees to handle the load, Edwards said. The current plan is to fill three immediately and then assess hiring the next two in the future, he said. 

    Edwards also provided an update on Covid-19 testing in AISD during the communication portion of the meeting. Currently the district is out of tests, but a shipment is expected soon. In the meantime, district administrators are working with UTMB to get AISD staff members tested if needed. 

    He also provided an update on funding projections for the new scoreboard at Wildcat Stadium, which will be paid for entirely by sponsorships without taxpayer money for the district. 

    “We are making good progress,” he said. “We should be able to finalize whether it will be ready for next season by February.” 


    Comments (-1)