The NBISD Board of Trustees met on November 13, 2023 for a regular meeting. The agenda for this board meeting featured the following:

  • Scorecard Report Regarding Student Success
  • Discussion of Senate Bill 763 School Chaplains
  • Discussion of Approval of Human Sexuality Instructional Materials
  • Discussion of Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the City of New Braunfels for School Resource Officers
  • Discussion of Bid for the Long Creek High School Marching Band Uniforms
  • Board Approves Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended June 30, 2023

The Board and Dr. Arterbury Thank the Community for the Passing of the VATRE

The Board and Dr. Arterbury expressed a heartfelt thank you to the NBISD community at November 13th’s board meeting for their support of the Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE). “The community has cast their ballots and their voice has been heard,” said Dr. Laurelyn Arterbury, Superintendent of NBISD. “Your support of public education in New Braunfels ISD does not go unnoticed.” 

Constituents of NBISD, across both Comal and Guadalupe counties, voted in favor of Prop A in the November 7, 2023 election. Unofficial results show 52% of voters were in favor of the VATRE while 48% voted against it. The additional 3 cents approved by voters will generate roughly $2.5 million in annual revenue for the district. These additional funds will allow NBISD to keep current academic programming in place and will fund previously approved teacher and staff raises which will allow NBISD to continue to recruit and retain highly-qualified staff. “Thank you for entrusting us with your children and for giving us an opportunity to continue to provide a quality education here in New Braunfels ISD,” said Dr. Arterbury.

NBISD understands that without community support the passing of the VATRE would not have been possible. We are so grateful to be a part of a community that supports our school district. NBISD would like to express immense gratitude to our community members for supporting our commitment to providing the best possible education to our students and ensuring they have access to the resources they need to succeed. “We thank you for your support,” Dr. Arterbury said, “and look forward to continuing to partner with everyone in our community.”

Report – Scorecard Update Regarding Student Success

Priority one of the district scorecard outlines guidelines for student success. The three main goals of this priority are to increase the percentage of academic student growth, increase the percentage of students who are college and/or career ready, and develop well-rounded students that are the best versions of themselves.

Goal 1.1

Goal 1.1 of the district scorecard strives to increase academic growth for all students. NBISD uses many data inputs to gather information about student growth over a school year, including MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) data and at the high school level, the Early Warning System.
Schools are currently delving into Fall MAP test data to determine where our students currently stand and what progress still needs to be made. One method of analyzing MAP data is using a quadrant chart with 4 distinct areas of achievement and growth. The goal is for all NBISD students to fall into the High Achievement, High Growth quadrant of the chart. Kara Bock, Chief Academic Officer, was excited to share that our students continue to show progress. “Our students are above the national norm in meeting projected growth as well as eighty percent of our students have made growth from one assessment to the next,” said Bock.

The data in the charts below demonstrates that students show improvement in both academic growth and achievement for both Math and Reading from Winter data of 2022-23 to Fall data of 2023-24.

NBISD uses the Early Warning System as one of the systems to gauge student success at the high school level. The goal is to annually decrease the number of students that are at a high medium risk (based on academics, attendance, and discipline) of not successfully advancing from one grade level to the next from 20.7% to 15.3%.

Our high school campuses have been working on strategies to accomplish this goal. The current Ninth Grade Center that will be transitioning to Long Creek High School next year is practicing targeted advisory periods. 

The goal is that each student will meet with the same advisory teacher all four years of high school, allowing that student to make a strong connection with that staff member. This strategy allows the staff to get to know their group of advisory students well and offer educational guidance to these students year after year. 

New Braunfels High School is using an academic counseling and contract system. Staff is meeting with students to determine areas a student is struggling in and what strategies can be implemented to make improvement. This system creates educational buy-in for students and encourages them to take ownership of their own learning. Bock was glad to say, “Both schools have strong strategies in place to help students who fall in the low and high risk categories.” The chart below shows the trends of the Early Warning System at our High Schools from 2022-2024.

Discussion –  Senate Bill 763 School Chaplains

Senate Bill 763 was passed in the 88th legislative session and this bill allows school districts to employ chaplains or accept chaplains as volunteers to provide support, services, and programs for students as decided by the Board of Trustees. This bill also requires that each Texas School Board take a record vote by March 1, 2024 on whether or not to adopt a policy that would allow chaplains to work in the school district in the above mentioned capacity.

Dr. Arterbury, NBISD Superintendent, brought the topic up for discussion at tonight’s board meeting. It was noted that NBISD does not currently employ or accept chaplains in this capacity. NBISD utilizes certified counselors and follows the NBISD Comprehensive School Counseling and Guidance Plan.

NBISD Comprehensive School Counseling and Guidance Plan offers a comprehensive counseling program to all NBISD students. This program includes professional, certified school counselors, certified Crisis Intervention Counselors, and Communities in Schools Site Coordinators. You can view the entire plan as part of the board presentation here.

This bill does not define “chaplain,” so the state will not require any type of certification for chaplains employed or volunteering under this law. Because of this Dr. Arterbury recommends NBISD continue to use our current processes and follow the NBISD Comprehensive School Counseling and Guidance Plan so our students have the opportunity to receive counseling services from certified professionals in the field.

There are a number of ways that folks can volunteer within NBISD. Volunteering, mentoring, Parent Teacher Association and Watch Dogs Dad Groups are all available to NBISD community members. To find out more about specific volunteer possibilities, please click here.

Discussion – Approval of Human Sexuality Instructional Materials

In April of 2022 the NBISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution convening the local School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to make a recommendation on the adoption of a new human sexuality curriculum for grades 6-8. The curriculum the district has been using is now out of date.

The SHAC committee reviewed five instructional programs and used a rubric to evaluate the curriculum based on correlation and alignment, content, and differentiation and enrichment. By law, instructional materials must teach abstinence as the only method of birth control that is 100% effective. The committee determined the program Living Well Aware: My Choices, My Life, A Guide to Adolescent Wellness scored the highest on the rubric. With this information, the committee unanimously decided to take this curriculum forward to the Board.

Before doing so, the SHAC held two public meetings where the community and parents reviewed the proposed curriculum for themselves. The community had the opportunity to ask questions, view the curriculum online and speak with the author Dr. Sulak via Zoom. The curriculum was well received by those in attendance. This curriculum, if adopted, will be delivered to students in grades 6-9 whose parents “opt-in” to the instruction.

Living Well Aware: My Choices, My Life. A Guide to Adolescent Wellness Living WELL Aware: My Choices, My Life – Welcome Video

“As a parent of two middle school daughters myself, I was excited to see that this curriculum fills a need for sexual education in the district,” said Laura Prewitt.”

Discussion – Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the City of New Braunfels for School Resource Officers

House Bill 3 went in effect in September 2023, prioritizing school safety and requiring an armed officer at each campus. NBISD has worked diligently to partner with the New Braunfels Police Department, the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office and Comal County Constables to provide armed security, as mandated by House Bill 3. 

NBPD assigned a 7th School Resource Officer (SRO) during the week of October 30, and three additional SRO positions have been posted recently.

Police presence can be seen throughout the day at NBISD campuses, according to Araceli De La Cruz, NBISD Executive Director of Student Services. Officers check doors and monitor the exterior and interior of school buildings.

NBISD is grateful for the strong partnership that we have with NBPD and the City of New Braunfels.

Discussion – Bid for the Long Creek High School Marching Band Uniforms

With Long Creek HS opening in the Fall of 2024, the fine arts department has been working on ensuring that the campus has marching uniforms to begin the 2024 marching season and for football games when the Dragons take the field. 

Band directors in the district, along with district administration, have worked on the design since August. “We’re working on designing a versatile uniform for Dragon band members that includes a game day uniform as well as alternate pieces of the uniform that can be interchanged and worn for competitions and other events,” said Dr. Marty Lenard, NBISD Director of Fine Arts. 

These uniforms have become much easier to take care of over the years and can be washed on campus rather than taken to a dry cleaner, Lenard said. The uniforms also are a much lighter fabric for games that are held in 100-degree temperatures. Life expectancy of the band uniforms is 8 to 10 years, he said.

 A completed design is expected to be finalized and on display for the December board meeting.

Board Approves Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended June 30, 2023

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires the District to obtain an annual financial audit that includes all fund types and account groups that NBISD is responsible for. The audit must be performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The Board of Trustees is required to certify to the TEA that the annual financial report was reviewed and approved.

Through the government audit standards NBISD received what is called an unmodified or clean opinion, from its auditors.  This is the highest level of assurance that auditors can provide on a school district’s financial statements. 

In 2022, auditors noted two areas of material weakness during their review.  These were for the timeliness of bank reconciliations and one instance where the district overdrew funds from a federal program.  A corrective action plan was put in place to correct these two findings.  This year, auditors noted significant improvement in bank reconciliations and moved this notation from material weakness to significant deficiency status.  This indicates that while the district made significant progress, it still needs to remain vigilant and continue improvement of its bank reconciliation process.    

In 2022, auditors also noted a material weakness in federal programs when the district overdrew funds in one program.  This year, auditors noted that this finding was corrected and removed this finding from their 2023 report. 

Finally, auditors noted in the 2023 audit that the capital assets ending balance as of June 30, 2022 was understated.  While this finding was not material, auditors  wanted to note this in the audit report this year. 

NBISD has a corrective action plan in place to remedy all findings that have been identified in this year’s audit.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

The next regular board meeting will be held on December 11th 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.