July 2, 2019
Dear CISD Families,
I hope you all are having a relaxing and rewarding summer. Most importantly I hope you are able to enjoy some valuable time with your families and friends. Don't worry, the summer is not over yet; however, we want to keep you engaged with what's happening in CISD. Our staff has been busy working this summer to ensure that the 2019-2020 school year is our best year yet!
In addition to hiring new staff, preparing to open a new campus and participating in professional learning, we have been hard at work developing the budget for the upcoming school year. I want to take this opportunity to provide a brief update on the recently completed legislative session and how this impacts our budget for 2019-2020. We at CISD appreciate how members of the 86th Legislature worked together to pass House Bill 3, which does increase our funding while also providing property tax relief. We are thankful to our elected officials for their hard work on HB 3 and for making our children's education a high priority. The state increased its contribution to school funding from about 36% to 45%, and it also reduced our recapture payment by 47%. Though CISD is receiving an increase in funding, the district is using most of the additional funding for salary increases for teachers and staff. We value great teaching and will be going beyond what is mandated by HB 3 in support of our wonderful teachers.
In addition, it is important to note that there are several details and guidelines to be shared from the Texas Education Agency on HB 3 and how school districts must adhere to this law. I encourage you to stay informed and engaged about this process as we plan our budget for the next school year. We have had two Board Workshops on the topic so far, with two others scheduled for July 15 and August 5. We have also discussed our 2019-2020 budget at our monthly board meetings. These board meetings and workshops are all broadcast live on our website and are available for later viewing. You also can find more information at www.coppellisd.com/budget.
In addition to teacher and staff compensation, We will be offering full-day pre-kindergarten in the fall to eligible students, which also is part of HB 3. Having a strong early intervention program for our most needy children is a critical piece of establishing a strong educational foundation. We are excited to be offering pre-kindergarten for eligible students and refer you to our website for additional information, www.coppellisd.com/prek.
I have enjoyed following many of our families online this summer and it has been rewarding to read everyone's "redefining success" stories. We believe that success can be measure in different ways and value the impact our students are having beyond classroom grades. I have seen so many of our students doing exceptional things this summer in areas such as fine arts, community service, athletics and many other areas where they demonstrate their passions. The efforts of our students is outstanding and it gets me excited for everyone to come back to school. Be on the lookout for important "Back-to School" information that will be shared soon to best help you prepare for the year ahead. I encourage you to visit www.coppellisd.com/backtoschool to help with these planning efforts. The 2019-20 school year marks CISD's 60th Anniversary as a school district and we have some exciting things planned as we celebrate this accomplishment. I look forward to seeing everyone in August as we start another exceptional year in Coppell ISD!
Until then, enjoy the rest of summer!
Annual Device Fee for Middle and High School Students
Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, all middle school, CHS9 and Coppell High School parents or guardians will pay a $25 non-refundable annual device fee for their child’s school-issued iPads. New Tech High @ Coppell parents or guardians will pay a $40 non-refundable annual device fee for their child’s school-issued MacBooks. This fee applies to 6-12th grade students, because all of these learners take their devices home for homework and school projects. This fee will help with covering issues that learners and families have had in the past with broken devices, lag time for fixes and lost cords or chargers, and also help with our overall sustainability of devices in the district. Details about the fee and what it covers are available at www.coppellisd.com/devicefee. As you receive your online enrollment email you will be directed to this link to pay the fee for your child for 2019-2020. You also can visit www.schoolpay.com to pay the annual Device Fee electronically.
Update on 2019-20 Budget & Upcoming Budget Board Workshops
Two Board Workshops have been held so far as part of the planning and drafting of the CISD 2019-20 Budget. Video of these workshops can be found at www.coppellisd.com/page/167. In addition, the CISD Board of Trustees approved employee compensation for 2019-20 at its June 24 meeting. Details about the compensation approved and other action taken by the Board at the June 24 meeting can be found at www.copppellisd.com/boardbriefs. Two additional Budget Board Workshops are set for July 15 and Aug. 5, both at 6 p.m. For more information about the proposed 2019-20 budget, including details on the Budget Workshops, visit www.coppellisd.com/budget. CISD will hold its Budget and Proposed Tax Rate Hearing on Monday, Aug. 26, at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Board of Trustees meeting at 7:00 p.m.
CISD will begin offering full-time Pre-Kindergarten to all eligible students for the upcoming 2019-20 school year. In addition, four-year-olds in our Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities or PPCD program may also be eligible for a full-time program instead of half a day. The length of the education day for learners enrolled in the PPCD program will be determined by their ARD committee. Please visit www.coppellisd.com/prek to register for testing and for more information about CISD’s Pre-K program. For those families who already have been tested and informed they qualify for the CISD Pre-K program for the 2019-20 school year, this change means that your child will attend Pre-K during the regular elementary school hours from 7:40 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. at their assigned campus when school begins on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
CISD spells champion “R-O-H-A-N.” Rohan Raja, a rising eighth grader at CMS West, made history as one of eight co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Three hours into the final round of competition May 30, it was announced that everyone who spelled correctly their 12th word of the night would share the championship, marking the first time in the spelling bee’s 94-year history that more than two contestants won. As was said during the event, the organizers were “throwing the dictionary at the contestants,” and Rohan was one of the contestants who showed the dictionary “who was boss.” It was just after midnight when Rohan correctly spelled “odylic” the last word of the night. Odylic is an adjective and is defined as of or relating to odyl, which means “a force or natural power formerly held by some to reside in certain individuals and things and to underlie hypnotism and magnetism and some other phenomena.” As a winner of the Spelling Bee, Rohan received $50,000 in cash, a Scripps trophy, reference books and trips to New York City and Hollywood to appear on talk shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Live with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. He also will serve as the Grand Marshall of the City of Irving’s 4th of July Parade! Rohan was CISD’s co-spelling champion for 2019 and also tied for 2nd in the Dallas Regional Bee before heading to the national competition. Congratulations Rohan, we are #CISDProud of you!
Introducing New CISD Administrators
The CISD Board of Trustees approved Angela Brown as the district’s new Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement and Evan Whitfield as the new Director of Science during the June 24 meeting. Angela Brown comes to CISD after almost 20 years with Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, where she most recently served as its Chief Communications Officer. Evan Whitfield has served as a Physics and Chemistry teacher at Coppell High School since 2014, and most recently as the Physics Team lead for CHS. Both began their positions with the district July 1.
Austin and New Tech Selected as Schools Transforming Learning
Austin Elementary and New Tech High @ Coppell recently were selected as 2019 “Schools Transforming Learning” by the Principals’ Institute. Barbara S. Austin Principal Lorie Squalls and Vice Principal Rhonda Pickrell, New Tech Principal Steffany Batik and Superintendent Brad Hunt were recognized for this distinction during the Principals’ Institute Summer Conference held June 6 in Houston. Each year, the Principals’ Institute designates campuses as “Schools Transforming Learning” for their innovative and transformative approach in providing an engaging learning environment for all students.
East Students Share iPad Books with School in Sudan
Coppell Middle School East 7th graders have combined their passion for helping deliver clean water with the power of technology to create books on donated iPads to students in Sudan as part of a student-driven learning project. Each year, Jodie Deinhammer, a science teacher at CMS East has her students choose one of the United Nations Sustainable Goals to focus on for the year. For the past two years, students have chosen to focus on clean water and sanitation. After reading the book, “A Long Walk to Water,” Deinhammer’s students, along with students from fellow science teacher Sarah Grover’s classes, worked to raise money for clean water in the Sudan via Water is Basic.
“After raising money to repair six wells in the Sudan, we decided we wanted to do more,” Deinhammer said. “We were able to obtain six donated iPads with cases and chargers for each of the schools where we repaired the wells. Now, not only are we providing clean water to 12,000 people, we are helping in the education programs at their schools.”
CMS East students wrote books covering concepts and topics they learned throughout the school year. They also recorded quick video introductions and welcome messages for the schools receiving the devices. These books were published and loaded onto the iPads, which arrived at the school in Sudan on May 23.
“None of this would be possible without the iPad,” Deinhammer said. “Our students were able to record and share learning materials with the students in Sudan via these devices. We also expect the Sudan students to record and share information with us as well. This will be an ongoing relationship, allowing us to share and learn from each other using the power of technology.”
To learn more about this project and see videos, visit https://www.bulbapp.com/u/ipads-for-sudan.
Community Partner of the Year: Coppell Taekwondo Academy
CISD recently recognized Coppell Taekwondo Academy as the district’s 2018-19 Community Partner of the Year. Coppell Taekwondo Academy, which is owned by CHS Alumni Kevin and Amanda Nevels, was honored for its ongoing and continued support of the district, which includes sponsoring several school PTOs, service at the district and school level, serving on district committees, supporting the CISD Our Story magazine, Amanda Nevels serving as a mentor and “shark” for the INCubatoredu@CHS business entrepreneurship class and more. For information on how to partner with CISD, visit www.coppellisd.com/chipin.
Coppell ISD is excited to welcome our students back-to-school on Wednesday, August 14!. Parents and guardians of returning students will receive an email this week to complete the mandatory online PowerSchool Registration. This is the time to ensure your contact information, including email addresses, is correct. Be sure to visit www.coppellisd.com/backtoschool for back-to-school information, including details on schedule pick-up dates for the high schools and middle schools, as well as elementary school meet the teacher night and more.
School Lunch Accounts Balance Information
Any balance remaining on a student’s lunch account from the 2018-19 school year will be carried over to the next school year. The balance will follow the student to the school that he or she will be attending in 2019-20. For those not returning to the district, visit www.coppellisd.com/childnutrition for a form to donate unused lunch balances to cover those CISD students with negative balances in their lunch accounts.
- July 15 - Budget Board Workshop - 6:00 p.m.
- July 22 - Regular Board Meeting - 7:00 p.m.
- August 5 - Board Workshop on Budget - 6:00 p.m.
- August 12 - Elementary Meet the Teacher Night
- August 14 - First Day of School
Start your day the healthy way – by walking or biking! Trade in traffic for a safe, outdoor route to school along one of our beautiful trails. With more than 14 miles of trails, there are plenty of ways to stay active in Coppell. Check out the interactive map at coppelltx.gov/routestoschool!
At Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, we provide comprehensive healthcare services to help you and your family get better. And because we care about building a healthier community, we’re renovating our hospital to fit your needs as they grow. Learn more at BSWHealth.com/Irving.
Interested in learning more about pursuing a degree from GCU? You are invited to find out about your opportunities to earn your next degree and learn more from our enrollment representatives. Learn More!