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Katy ISD Bond Committee Hones-in on Specific Topics and Projects

(KATY ISD) - During their third meeting together, the Katy ISD Community Bond Advisory Committee continued to vet campus and facility projects, this time utilizing much of their time closely examining topics they identified as needing more information about in order to make an informed decision about a future schools bond. The committee selected topics included ballot language, the district’s financial capacity and future tax rate, campus renovations, and instructional technology — including a one-to-one districtwide student to device standard the group is considering.

Technology in the classroom was one of the focal points during the meeting, as campus principals, teachers and students delivered presentations on the benefits of a one-to-one student-device ratio. The one-to-one approach ensures learners have access to district content, resources, software and online testing resources while in class, and at home.

“When our school received Title I funds, campus leaders incorporated a 1:1 classroom device access for all students and we immediately noticed a positive impact,” said Myriam Morales, Special Education Team Leader at McRoberts Elementary. “The transition was seamless from planned paper to online classroom activities, lessons and assessments. The loss of instructional time also decreased substantially.”

McRoberts Elementary and West Memorial Junior High are two of several Katy ISD campuses to incorporate a campus-based 1:1 student to device initiative through grant or Title I state funds.

“My Chromebook is essential for learning,” said Maria Paludo, an eighth-grade student at West Memorial Junior High. “Having that Chromebook makes things easier for me because it has the required calculator and all the programs I need for my homework assignments,” added Paludo. Her friend, Hannah Aguilar, also an eighth grader at WMJH stated, “My Chromebook is like a folder that I need every day for school. I remember to always put it in my backpack. The best part of my Chromebook is that it allows me to access my assignments wherever I go.”

Safety and security improvements were also discussed by the committee. Security fencing, systems management, replacement of vestibule slider doors, security camera upgrades among other items continue to be high priorities. The Texas Education Agency’s proposed minimum standards for school safety are expected to become law soon. Bond funds would allow Katy ISD to continue to meet and exceed TEA’s standards.

Katy ISD’s Chief Financial Officer also provided guidance on value growth and financial capacity. The group continued to emphasize their goal to avoid a bottom line that would trigger any type of increase in the school district tax rate.

At the conclusion of their meeting, committee members participated in a mock line-item vote to begin to hone in on proposed projects having the least and greatest support among the group. The committee is expected to take a final vote on proposed projects at their fourth and last meeting together on Tuesday, April 18.


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