Consideration and Approval of an Order Calling a Bond Election for 2024

The New Braunfels ISD Board of Trustees has called a bond election for $313,000,000. Election day will be May 4, 2024.

There will be no tax rate increase for constituents if the bond is approved.

The bond election is based on the recommendations of the Bond Planning Committee and district administration. The Bond Planning Committee formed in 2023 with nearly 80 community members, business owners, parents and non-parents. The committee met five times between September 20 and November 15 before presenting their recommendations to the board in December.

The May 2024 proposed bond package for NBISD includes student safety and security projects at every campus, including intruder-resistant glass and new exterior and interior security layers. It also includes exterior gates, fire alarm systems, renovations at existing school and district buildings in areas of rapid growth, maintenance projects such as roof repairs, heat recovery units, and new shade structures for playgrounds, upgraded facilities and equipment for fine arts education.

On the ballot, it is required by law to be split into propositions. NBISD will have three propositions on the ballot this May: Proposition A – Facilities, Proposition B – Stadiums, and Proposition C – Technology.

The final recommendation to call the May 2024 bond was 6-0.

Proposition A

Proposed projects for this proposition are estimated to cost $267,500,000. Among items proposed in Prop A are phase 2 of the New Braunfels High School replacement project. It also includes agricultural science facility upgrades; school safety and security projects at every campus; playground equipment and sun shades; fine arts and band equipment; major maintenance projects; and bus replacements.

Prior to voting to call the bond, trustees posed questions about what would happen to New Braunfels ISD and more specifically to New Braunfels High School if Proposition A was not approved by voters in May.

NBISD Chief Financial Officer Paul McLarty said the thought is that the board would have to try to pass the bond again in May 2025 to finish the NBHS project.

NBHS Principal Greg Hughes said that there would be some complications with classroom space, extracurriculars and parking.

The NBHS phase 2 project goes back to 10 years of planning in NBISD from spanning multiple administrations.

The intent was to build Long Creek High School and then to essentially renovate and almost rebuild New Braunfels High School. NBISD Superintendent Dr. Laurelyn Arterbury said that it will cause some issues if phase 2 of NBHS isn’t approved.

“Could we survive? Absolutely, we will educate every child that comes in our door every single day to the highest level we can,”she said. “It will definitely be inconvenient, it will cause some constraints. I think the safety one is definitely a concern for me when we’re asking voters to approve making our campuses more safe, to leave one partially built and have students transfer back and forth is definitely a concern on top of everything else.”

Proposition B

Long Creek High School is set to open this fall, and NBISD has proposed a stadium that will be used daily by many different student groups including athletics, fine arts and other student organizations. There also will be some funds to make small upgrades to the press box at Unicorn Stadium. These projects are estimated to cost $42.500,000.

Questions about a central stadium versus each campus having its own stadium was a main topic of discussion for the bond planning committee. Not having a stadium at LCHS would cause schedule changes and transportation costs. For example, football games could have to be moved to anywhere from Wednesday to Saturday to accommodate both high schools.

“A high school stadium is not just a football stadium, it’s the hub of a school and it’s the hub of a community,” said Richard Mendoza, NBISD athletic director.

He also mentioned that it’s important to understand that a stadium is used by fine arts, science classes and other student organizations every day. It is also important to note that Unicorn Stadium will have to undergo many changes if Proposition B is not approved.

“I think it’s important that we understand that we’d have to rebrand Unicorn Stadium, and it would be something to the effect of NBISD Stadium, and that will impact a storied tradition and identity at NBHS,” Mendoza said. “But at the same time, it would be a missed opportunity to really support a new identity at LCHS.”

Proposition C

Proposition C consists of student iPad refresh, staff hardware refresh and network hardware refresh. The proposed projects are expected to cost $3,000,000.

Tax Rate

There are two components to the district tax rate: the maintenance and operations side helps pay for day-to-day expenses and compensation. The other portion is called the interest and sinking funds. Based on NBISD’s calculations, no tax rate increase would result from the three bond propositions, if approved by voters.

Voting Information

The voter registration deadline will be April 4, 2024 for the May bond election. Early voting will start on April 22, 2024 and election day is scheduled for May 4, 2024. To cast a ballot in the NBISD bond election, voters are required to reside within the district’s boundaries. To see if you are registered to vote, please visit: votetexas.gov.

More Information

For more information, please visit the 2024 Bond website and follow NBISD social media pages. For questions, please reach out to info@nbisd.org.

Consideration of Approval of the 2024-25 New Braunfels ISD School Calendar

The District Education Improvement Council (DEIC) recommended the 2024-25 school calendar option 1. Option 1 includes Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2024 as the first day of the 2024-25 school year.

Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Feb. 7, and March 24 will be professional learning/waiver days, meaning although they are professional development days, these days will also count as instructional minutes since they are classified as waiver days from the Texas Education Agency .

Spring break corresponds with Comal ISD, March 17-21. The last day of school will be May 22, 2025.

Public Hearing of Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)

A public hearing was held to present required information that included:

1. 2022-23 TAPR (For the district and each campus)

The Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) pull together a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas every year. Performance is shown disaggregated by student groups, including ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The reports also provide extensive information on school and district staff, programs, and student demographics. Detailed information can be found in the reports posted on the district website.

The issuance of district and campus ratings for the 2023 school year are pending judicial rulings.

2. PEIMS financial standard report (2021-22 financial audit report)

NBISD received a 100 district score in the FIRST rating with a status of passed and an A rating (superior).

The report shows revenues, expenditures, disbursements, tax rate and fund balance at the district level. It also provides revenues, expenditures and disbursements at the campus level.

3. 2022-23 district accreditation status

NBISD received an accreditation status of accredited.

4. Campus performance objectives

Throughout the school year the campuses and district conduct performative assessment three times per year and document progress in the district and campus improvement plans.

5. Report on violent or criminal incidents on campuses

Through PEIMS there are certain codes that are considered violent or criminal incidents. Based on 2022-23 school year information, NBISD did not have any incidents that fell under those codes.

6. Student performance in post-secondary institutions

2021-22 graduation information has not been released.

7. Progress towards House Bill 3 goals

House Bill 3 amended the Texas Education Code to include plans that target early literacy and math proficiency and college, career, and military readiness (CCMR). School boards were required to set goals for student growth on 3rd grade reading and math STAAR and CCMR readiness. Goals and performance related to the goals are found in the district and campus improvement plans on the NBISD website.

The board set a one-year target for CCMR in 2018-19 and has adjusted the target each year. A target for early literacy and math was set in 2020 with a target of 90% by 2025.

This past year the district has worked to improve processes and procedures to make sure students have a plan in place to help reach some component of CCMR set by the state. Based on that work, we will see a dramatic increase in the number of students meeting CCMR in the class of 2023 compared to the class of 2022. (Data reported has a year lag.)

Based on legislation passed in 2019, new test item types were incorporated into all STAAR exams with a multiple choice cap of no more than 75% of the questions as multiple choice. After the redesign, we saw a dip in 3rd grade Meets performance in reading and math compared to 2022.

“This is an area we are focusing on and will continue to focus on,” said Kara Bock, NBISD chief academic officer.

Through this, the district is providing teachers with resources that will help guide them throughout the year. In addition, teachers can use data from the MAP Growth assessment given three times a year to identify areas where the student needs to focus to show growth from one year to the next.

“It’s refreshing to see some of the resources we have used to improve,” said NBISD President Eric Bergquist.

8. 2022-23 TAPR glossary

This is published by the TEA to provide an understanding for the educational language used in the document. It also will be available in Spanish. Both can be found at nbisd.org.

Report of District Scorecard – Priority Three: Strong Partnerships

Priority three of the district scorecard is to have strong partnerships in the community. Goal 3.1 of the scorecard is to annually increase the percentage of highly engaged and satisfied students, parents and community members.

NBISD Chief Academic Officer Kara Bock highlighted the Gateway Transitional Program and partnership that they have in place. NBISD and Gateway in collaboration with the Rock Haus Foundation recently opened a newly-renovated campus for these students so they can continue to develop independent living skills needed for the future.

The Gateway Program was initiated in NBISD in 2019-20. The transitional program previously was part of the Comal ISD Bridges Program.

At Gateway, the interns work on communications, adaptability and everyday skills in a home environment. Their new facility provides them with a space to clean, cook, and learn how to live on their own. In addition, they also have made partnerships where Gateway interns develop job and employability skills. Gateway partners include H-E-B, Southwest Food Excellence (SFE), Services For Education (SSC), NBISD floral design, Rock Haus, the Smartt Team and Sweet Bites.

Several of our past Gateway Transitional Program interns are now gainfully employed with SFE and SSC.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

The next regular board meeting will be held on March 4th at 6:00 pm. If you would like to make a public comment at an upcoming board meeting please fill out the request form.

Learn more about the New Braunfels ISD Board of Trustees on our website where you can find recordings and agendas from past board meetings.