The Bryan school board and district administrators received a detailed assessment about the needs at each campus on Monday as they prepare to take a possible 2020 bond measure to voters.
The facility study, completed by PBK Architects, is the third component of the district’s analysis of what a bond measure might entail, along with a demographic study and a Texas Association of School Boards salary study.
All three are important to planning the district’s budget, Superintendent Christie Whitbeck said Monday. The demographic study projects how many students the district could see in the future. The salary study shows how the district compares to other districts in the state and region. And the facility assessment report includes a detailed analysis of the needs of each campus and cost estimates for the next 10 years.
The report also includes an index of the condition of each campus, which was calculated by dividing the cost needs at each campus by the cost of building a new campus.
“[For] every single school, we’ve got this information,” Whitbeck said, noting the report will help guide the bond steering committee. “We’ll talk about what are the top priorities that we feel need to go into this bond election for 2020.”
Also included in discussions will be options for reducing the number of students at Jane Long and Sam Rayburn intermediate schools and how to accommodate pre-kindergarten classes as approved by the Texas Legislature.
With pre-kindergarten, Whitbeck said, the new legislation does not provide the district the $6,100-per-child funding like for students in kindergarten or other elementary grades, but instead puts the funding into an account that is part of other early childhood money.
The steering committee will begin its work in late July or early August, Whitbeck said, and will review data on a monthly basis to start prioritizing. Seeking community input will be part of the process, she said.
One item brought up by the PBK Architects representatives during Monday’s presentation was the need to replace the district’s transportation building. When money for facility repairs are available, Mike Ghormley with PBK said, the focus goes to classroom buildings rather than the transportation facility.
After the meeting, Whitbeck said, “The schools are the most important because that’s what touches the children every day. Buildings for adults are important, too, but kids are top.”
Consideration of a 2020 bond package comes after voters in the district approved a smaller $12 million bond package in May.
College prep classes
The four board members present unanimously approved an agreement with Blinn College to expand college preparatory math and English/language arts classes to Rudder and Bryan high schools. Both classes were offered at Bryan Collegiate High School during the 2018-2019 school year.
The classes give students the opportunity to become college, career and military ready, as required by the state, and also take on-level college course before leaving high school, Bryan Director of Advanced Academics Christina Richardson said.
“Bonus for us, they’re CCMR ready, but bonus for them, they’re not going to have to pay for a remedial course and then go to on-level,” she said.
As part of the agreement, she said, Blinn College writes the assessments and curriculum, while school district staff members create the lessons and deliver the instruction. The high school teachers will grade the students’ work at the end of the semester. The school district then sends the students’ work to Blinn, where college staff members will review the work and can agree or disagree with the submitted grades.
Richardson said both classes should be open for students to join now.