September 6, 2019

Posted by Tamra Spence on 9/6/2019

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A Note from Dr. Killian

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! I wanted to take a little time to share several of the things going on in the district along with a peek into planning underway. It’s been a fast-moving last 12 months and we have several things to share.

 First, student enrolment trends have been interesting. Last year, we projected that we would grow close to 800 students by the October 2018 Snapshot date. Snapshot is a date every year in October when the Texas Education Agency has us submit student enrollment numbers for the year. Numbers submitted at that time are used for campus and district report card information and year over year show our demographic trends. For UIL, those numbers are used to classify high schools every two years (ie A, AA, AAA, and so forth). After showing growth the year before, growth stalled in 2018-19 and we only grew 109 students. The impact was that we had increased staffing for the new students more than the students that actually showed up. We were able to adjust our budget and address the funding projections though. Demographic projections for this year still showed growth but were slowed by what transpired last year to a more conservative 233 additional students by the October 2019 Snapshot date. Well, surprise, 735 students have shown up already and we experienced increases and decreases in some surprising places. The past several weeks we have approved more and more teacher positions to address this growth along with having to surplus teachers on campuses where enrollment by grade levels didn’t add up.

Despite what some think, economic considerations were not the main factor in moving staff this year. Funding is fine, the issue is getting a certified teacher to classrooms that only had substitutes or are over-crowded.  With unemployment at sub 4% levels across the state, the job market is very tight for staffing in all sectors. That has lead us to hold people to their contracts in 2019-20 for lateral moves because we can’t find suitable replacements. We want to be able to release staff that have job opportunities they want to explore, but our first duty is to provide certified staff for our kid’s classrooms. An employment contract works to not only protect staff for a year’s employment but also to protect our students.

Speaking of shortages in staffing, in several areas, HR and staff recommended increases and adjustments to help attract and retain staff. A differential for hourly staff who serve in our special needs units was added for the new year. In addition to the record increases in pay, several stipends were adjusted. Stipends for special education teachers in behavior and Life skills units were added. Several stipends for extracurricular, academic, and co-curricular were increased as we reviewed market data for the region. We also took over funding UIL academic stipends at the district level but left the money that was previously used to pay for these stipends in the campus budgets.

Additionally, we have aggressively increased bilingual teacher stipends to the highest in central Texas at $6,500 because that area of certification is a major shortage area for the state. The Human Resources department piloted a hiring pool for bilingual teachers, which was a big success. While we did have 6 Bilingual openings as recently as last week, we identified 6 existing positions that were currently in the district that had a low student to teacher ratios and transferred teachers to classrooms that currently have a substitute or large overcrowding. We don’t like to move teachers at any time, but we needed to get the staffing to the classrooms that needed relief. We are actually fully staffed with certified bilingual teachers in our classrooms!

Finally, we wanted to share that this year’s raises were just the start. We believe we will be in a good position in the spring to give another solid raise, look at more stipends, investigate additional ways to reward staff and look at leading the market in more areas. PfISD appreciates all of you and it is our intent to make you a believer. We hope you have an energy-filled year. Thanks for being part of the Pfamily.

In the best interest of children,

Doug

  Front Porch

HR Front Porch Initiative

The Department of Human Resources is excited to begin our HR campus outreach initiative for the 2019-2020 school year! PfISD Human Resources will visit your campus on your assigned day in your staff lounge. During this time you will have the opportunity to visit with HR about a myriad of HR matters including any benefits, leave, or compensation questions. We are delighted to visit our district campuses and have a conversation on your "front porch." Please mark your calendars to come see us! 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 17:
    Connally HS, Northwest LA

  • Wednesday, Sept. 18:
    Parmer Lane ES, River Oaks ES

  • Thursday, Sept. 19:
    Hendrickson HS, Murchison ES

  • Friday, Sept. 20:
    Park Crest MS, Brookhollow ES

  • Tuesday, Sept. 24:
    Mott ES, Weiss HS

  • Wednesday, Sept. 25:
    Copperfield ES, Westview MS

  • Thursday, Sept. 26:
    Pflugerville MS, Spring Hill ES, Opportunity Center

  • Friday, Sept. 27,
    Pflugerville HS, Timmerman ES, PACE/PD

  

District Updates Local Leave Policy

The local leave policy DEC (LOCAL) was updated for the 2019-2020 school year with the following changes:

Schedule of Limitations (Non-Discretionary Days)
Unless specifically excused by the campus principal based on the effect of the employees’ absence on the educational program,  District operations, the availability of substitutes or as specified by District Regulations, medical certification shall be required for absences of all campus employees occurring under the following circumstances:”

  1. On the day before or after a school holiday;
  2. On the first or last day of a semester;
  3. On the days scheduled for end-of-semester or end-of-year exams;
  4. On days scheduled for state-mandated testing;
  5. On professional or staff development days.

As specified by District regulations allows campus principals to approve 6% of campus total employees’ discretionary leave absence requests. 

If prior approval is not secured for any of the above absences the employee’s pay will be docked at their daily rate the month after the occurrence. Documentation must be received during the current school year.

Elimination of 10 Day Rule

Employees will no longer need to provide documentation for going over 10 days in a year. (Excessive absenteeism guidelines will still apply.)

Excessive Absenteeism

  • Absences in excess of ten days are considered to be excessive absenteeism.
  • Employees under approved Family and Medical Leave, Temporary Disability Leave, assault leave, jury duty, subpoena, bereavement leave, or an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act are not considered when determining excessive absenteeism. Non-contract leave days (vacation days), are not counted when determining excessive absenteeism.

Intermittent Family Medical Leave (FML) for care of newborn, adoption or foster placement

  • The District “shall not permit” intermittent FML for the care of newborn, adoption or foster placement.
  • Employees that qualify for FML must take their days in one continuous block of time up to 12 weeks.
  • Employees out for a serious medical condition for themselves or a family member may still take intermittent FML.


Separation of Local and State Leave

Local Sick Leave

  • Local sick leave may only be used for an employee or an immediate family member’s illness
  • Employees may not use local sick days for personal reasons

State Sick Leave

  • Non-Discretionary or Unplanned leave – to be used for sick, bereavement, family emergency)

State Personal Leave

  • Discretionary or planned leave – personal leave
  • Requires supervisor approval at least one week in advance via the appropriate planned leave approval form (two forms) and must indicate in AESOP notes that approval was obtained.
  • Maximum 3 consecutive workdays

 

Less than Annual Appraisals

The PfISD Board of Trustees approved DNA Local in August, which creates a "less than annual appraisal" option for teachers. Please view the attachments to learn more about this new option for our highly-qualified teachers. For those interested in the less than annual appraisal option, please review the eligibility criteria and submit the attached form to your principal no later than September 13th.

Teacher Procedures | TTESS Deferment Form

 

Get your Employee T-shirts and PfISD Straws!

If you have not picked up your 2019 district t-shirt “We Are Family” and would still like one, email Suzi Meyer with your size and campus. Shirts are still available in Medium, Large and X-Large. Starting Oct. 1 we will begin selling them to the general public for $5.

Be on the lookout for straws at your campus! The Community Relations department has purchased metal PfISD straws, complete with cleaning brushes, for all PfISD employees in an effort to show our appreciation for staff, and help our environment! Straws will be delivered to campuses soon.

 

Support our PfISD students

Don't forget you can show your PfISD employee badge and gain free entry into any Home Fine Arts production and athletic event. Support our PfISD students and view some great entertainment! Badges only work at events and activities in PfISD facilities and regular-season games (no playoff games). 

  

Spring Hill ES awarded Foundation Grant!

Congratulations to Spring Hill ES, which received a $10,000 grant from the Pflugerville Education Foundation during Convocation for their Reading Shark program! This is an annual Campus Grant given every Convocation. 

SHES pic

  

Help us share the great stories on Social Media!

We’re excited to let you know about a new and easier way for you to submit photos and videos to the Community Relations Staff to use on social media.

A new email account has been established to help streamline the process of submitting content. If you have photos, videos or other content ideas you think deserve to be on your campus or the district’s social media accounts, you can now email them to SocialMedia@pfisd.net

This will help us collect more content from teachers, administrators and staff members in the trenches doing the great work to make this district so successful.

How do I submit content?

Email your photos or videos to SocialMedia@pfisd.net and include a short description of what is happening (who, what, when, where, why) and you MUST include the names of students who appear in the photos/videos. ** This is important so the Community Relations staff can check parental permissions before posting the content.** 

We prefer that you send in no more than 4 photos at a time.

Don’t know what to submit? Here are a few ideas:

  • Students interacting/working together for a learning activity
  • Students having fun learning (kids smiling is the best content of all!)
  • Students helping each other
  • Students being helpful in the classroom
  • Teachers being supportive
  • If it supports our mission, vision and core beliefs, send it our way.
  • 100 Social Media Ideas

 

New Employee discount for EDP childcare in 2019-20

As part of the 2019-20 budgeting process, Pflugerville ISD has implemented a discounted tuition rate for full-time employees. Employes will now pay $50 per child, per month for afterschool care. Previously, employees paid a rate of $140 per child, per month for afterschool care. Contact the EDP Office for registration information.

 

Did you know header  

Did you know we are on social media? Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram! Access us easily by clicking the icons at the top of our district website.

 

 

Board Bytes

In the August Board Meeting, the Board adopted the 2019-20 Budget and approved a tax rate of $1.45 for the upcoming year. Click here for the Budget Presentation.

To view the entire Board Meeting video, visit the district's YouTube page.

 

celebrations

Click here to submit an item in the "celebrations" or "thoughts and prayers" section of our newsletter.

 

My Road My Future Campaign

A group of students from Pflugerville High School will be recognized by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for their work on a public service announcement contest this spring. The District and PfISD Police partnered with Travis Co. ESD #2 for the My Road My Future campaign to promote safe driving among teens. The group from PHS made a video emphasizing the dangers of texting while driving with an artistic twist and won the contest.

The TDLR administers the Driver Education and Safety Program, and representatives from the organization contacted the District last week to praise the students for their work and invite them to be honored at this month’s Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee meeting on Sept. 25.

The students who participated in making the winning video were: Jacob Claxton, Michael Hornsby, Mac Bain, Lily Bitner, Alex Vo and Ava Carrasco. Their teacher David Robb and administrators from PHS will join them at the meeting when the students are honored.

To learn more about the My Road My Future campaign and the see the winning video click HERE.
 

 

coming soon

  • SHAC Meeting: Sept. 10
  • Board Regular Meeting: Sept. 26
  • Pflugerville Education Foundation Golf Tournament: Oct. 3

 

 

Perk of the Month

Wings 'N More Austin
1200 W. Howard Lane, Austin
Website:  http://www.wingsnmore-austin.com
Contact:  Darrel Oribello (darrel@wingsnmore-austin.com) 512-989-6673
Wings 'N More Austin is offering a free appetizer to all Pflugerville ISD employees on Monday nights. 

 

To view more perks, visit The Pfair.