Brock ISD Receives Clean Audit
Story Courtesy Madelyn Edwards of the Weatherford Democrat
Brock ISD board of trustees approved the 2018-19 independent financial audit during the meeting Monday evening at Brock Elementary School.
The audit received a clean or unmodified opinion from Snow Garrett Williams accounting firm.
“That’s the highest level of assurance that we can give you on these financial statements, so that’s what you want to see on this audit report,” Snow Garrett Williams partner Lindsey Kennimer said.
As of June, BISD’s total assets amounted to about $7.4 million, about $9.9 million for liabilities and about $6.1 million for fund balance, Kennimer said. The total for fund balance is made up of federal and state grants for food service, scholarships, other, capital acquisitions, the retirement of long-term debt and unassigned.
Total revenues in the audit were about $17.39 million and about $20.5 million for expenditures, Kennimer said. Overall, fund balance showed a net decrease of $3.16 million which is coming from the capital projects fund.
“All that is is previous years’ bond proceeds that are continuing to be spent down and then will go completely to zero,” Kennimer said.
In comparison from last year’s report, revenues have increased by about $1 million, mostly because of increases in property tax revenue, Kennimer said. Expenditures increased by about $1.6 million because of payroll increases, bus purchases and expenses from the new elementary campus.
Fund balance deficit totaled about $647,333, which includes $378,000 of receivable revenue from the Texas Education Agency, Kennimer said.
“We’ve always said that really you don’t want to be showing a lot of excess fund balance on here,” Kennimer said. “It looks like you have more money than you really need sitting out there, so we typically like to see it running a little bit of a deficit, so I think you are in really good shape where you are.”
BISD scored favorably on all School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas indicators, Kennimer said.
BISD Chief Financial Officer Mike McSwain said the audit was close to what was anticipated.
“There really weren’t any surprises,” McSwain said. “Opening a new campus had its own set of challenges this past year, but we made it through that.”
Trustees also announced annual board training hours and will canvass the upcoming election on Nov. 15. They also nominated Trustee Cody Lane for the Parker County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
BISD Superintendent Cade Smith also gave a report during the meeting about enrollment and the bond election. Smith is working on an online bond presentation this week and will be available to answer questions next week at the volleyball game versus Peaster and at the Brock Business Communicators meeting.
During the meeting, Trustee John McGuire said he wanted to change his vote to approve the calling of the upcoming bond election. At a previous meeting, he had voted against calling the $21.36 million bond election because it didn’t address the elementary campus.
“After a lot of review and discussion, I believe that the Citizen’s Advisory Committee was very diligent in their work, and I believe in the bond,” McGuire said.
BISD school board meetings are usually held on the second Monday of each month.
Brock Intermediate Starts CLIMB Class
Story Courtesy of the Weatherford Democrat
Brock ISD board of trustees heard about the CLIMB class Brock Intermediate School during their meeting Monday evening in the elementary school cafeteria.
Superintendent Cade Smith said the presentation was a way to show the board how campuses are adhering to the district’s mission, vision and core values and strategic plan.
“Those documents are not just done and put on a shelf somewhere,” Smith said. “We’re actually living those.”
The CLIMB class is new this school year for sixth graders to teach self-reflection, character and cross-curriculum in other content areas, Brock Intermediate School Principal Ingia Saxton said.
“This class I feel like really encompasses the things that we’re doing as an entire campus, just building relationships, establishing those expectations and really looking at service above self and that community partnership piece is huge, and just being able to take that and fit it into a class,” Saxton said. “Not that it’s not being done all over, but this is specific and really ensuring that we’re getting those things to get them prepared as they go into middle school and start that transition.”
CLIMB stands for community service, leadership skills, instructional technology, mastering learning and being the best you, according to teacher Dena Graham’s presentation.
The class is “technology rich” and Graham devoted time to discuss online citizenship with students, she said.
“They’re in the age that they’re getting phones, and they’re getting on social media, and they’re using computers at school, so I really felt it was important to make sure they understood their digital footprint and what that means,” Graham said.
The class also teaches kids how to check their grades, set goals, take and give constructive criticism and get organized using a planner, and they also work on community service projects, Graham said. The class includes tutorials and guest speakers as well.
During Graham’s presentation, some of the students talked about the CLIMB class via a video, and spoke positively about the course.
Some members of the board expressed their support of the class. Board Vice President Bill Cooper said he liked the collaborative elements of the class. Trustee Katarina Lindley said she likes that kids are being taught life skills.
“Having gone through a lot of schooling and seeing my kids having to go through a lot of years of schooling, it’s nice to see them also being taught life skills because sometimes it’s not about things that they can do, because they all can do great things, but they have to organize their lives and do those things and still have fun,” Lindley said.
Brock ISD Partners with The Department of Public Safety
Story courtesy of the Weatherford Democrat
Brock ISD campuses now include office space for Department of Public Safety State Troopers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recommended such a partnership, Student Services Director Jerry Hunkapiller said.
“Gov. Abbott leads an initiative to put a focus on school safety, one of his recommendations included partnering with local enforcement and hosting them on school campuses,” Hunkapiller said. “Brock ISD followed this recommendation and contacted local DPS State Troopers. Safety of students and staff are our top priority; Brock ISD is grateful to Gov. Abbott and [state] Rep. Phil King [R-Weatherford] for the safety focus and support in this matter.”
Hunkapiller said the troopers add “another layer of security by being visible and present on BISD campuses and in our community” and can assist school resource officers when needed. The troopers started working at district campuses during the second week of school.
For troopers, the partnership has a dual purpose. State Trooper Sgt. Douglas Hart said officers use the office space to complete their reports as opposed to them doing this in their vehicles. The troopers also get to interact with kids and establish positive relationships.
“It allows us to let kids know we’re regular people,” Hart said. “A lot of times young kids are afraid of us because a lot of times they only see us on traffic stops or they see us when we stop their parents for speeding, or there’s been a wreck or something. Going into the schools allows us to visit with them and let them know, ‘Hey, we’re people, too. If you need anything, we’re approachable, come to us, talk to us, and we’re there to help, not just to write tickets.’”
DPS does not assign specific troopers to campuses, but they will rotate at schools during the week depending on who is on duty and needing office space, Hart said. About three to four troopers, at most, will be at different campuses or as few as one to two.
Brock ISD is so far the only district in Parker County that has established this partnership, though DPS is communicating with other schools about the initiative, Hart said. DPS has initiated this partnership in other parts of the state for about a year.
The presence of state troopers may deter people from harming kids or school staff, Hart said. No place is safe, especially in light of mass shootings that have occurred over the years, he said.
“What we’re doing is we’re putting troopers in as many schools as we can that way if someone has bad intentions on their mind, if they pull up to a school and they see our black and white patrol car out there, or they see a trooper walking around, maybe our presence will deter them from doing something bad,” Hart said. “If they do decide to do something, that trooper is already at school, and hopefully he can act quickly and put a stop to whatever bad deeds an individual may be trying to do.”
Troopers will supplement the efforts of SROs, though not take over, Hart said. SROs have specific training to handle incidents involving juveniles and school administration. Troopers may train like SROs in the future, but for now, their job is to maintain peace and order and let school administration handle situations.
King said he is supportive of the partnership.
“I just think it’s great,” King said. “It obviously provides more visible security for each campus. It’s good for the officers because it gives them a place to write reports and eat a lunch and get on the Internet, whatever they need to do, but also it’s just a great opportunity for there to be additional interaction between the students and the local law enforcement.”
Brock ISD Receives Pioneer Award for Planning and Performance
Story courtesy Weatherford Democrat and Madelyn Edwards.
Quality Texas Foundation recognized Brock ISD with the Pioneer Level Award for dedication to strategic planning and performance improvement last week.
Quality Texas Foundation is a nonprofit established in 1994 that aims to help businesses, hospitals, schools, government agencies and nonprofits improve their performance, according to their website.
The Pioneer Level Award is the beginning level that includes a five-page application. Brock ISD was recognized as one of seven recipients of the award this year, including another school district, Foundation Chief Executive Officer Mac McGuire said.
“The Pioneer Level Award is awarded to those that are in the early stages of implementation of process improvement,” BISD Communications Director Natalie Parish said. “We are laying the foundation for our strategy and all district planning in an effort to get better. Brock ISD is delighted and honored to receive this recognition for our early efforts.”
At the Pioneer Level, applicants identify customers, partners, suppliers and workforce, McGuire said. Moving forward in higher level awards, the application includes categories like leadership, strategic planning, student focus, family focus, information management, workforce, operations and results.
McGuire said BISD’s Superintendent Cade Smith has focused on student performance and connecting with the Brock community.
“So, he’s trying to involve everybody and trying to get the students the best possible path forward to graduation and being a successful member of our society,” McGuire said. “By the steps that they are taking and the efforts that they are making, they’re beginning at the Pioneer Level to set themselves apart from other school districts who are not focused on those things.”
Parish said the recognition originated with strategic planning and from a collaborative effort with community, staff and students in deciding the BISD’s vision, mission and core values.
McGuire said organizations that are encouraged to continue applying for awards in the foundation, all the way to the Governor’s Award.
The only Parker County school district to win the Governor’s Award was Weatherford ISD in 2011.
Parish said BISD hopes to continue progressing toward the Governor’s award.
“Our school district is absolutely committed to continuous learning and operational improvements,” Parish said.
McGuire also said Smith has been added to Quality Texas Foundation’s Board of Directors.
“Serving on the board of directors is a unique opportunity allowing me to learn from others and bring back that knowledge for the advancement of our school district,” Smith said. “Brock ISD and the Brock community has an expectation of excellence as stated in our previous mission statements and most recently carried over into our new core values. Our goal is to deliver just that, and this model is a tool to help us deliver.”