Devine ISD hired two teachers at this past week’s meeting, and also accepted some exciting grants.
Renee Frieda moved and seconded by Chris Davis to approve hiring Kaelyn Campsey and Merritt Gensen as recommended by the Superintendent. Both will work on the Intermediate Campus.
Renee Frieda also moved and was seconded by Keri James to authorize the superintendent to hire professional staff for the 2023-24 school year between April 18, 2023 and August 21, 2023 as presented.
Carl Brown moved and seconded by Henry Moreno to Approve Devine Education Foundation Grants as presented.
This includes two micro-grants–one is for $594.44 for art class to make Cultural Heritage Skateboards and the 2nd is for $1,042 to fund a field trip to HR Farms to study plants.
There are also two innovative teaching grants totaling $8,754.88 which will be funded next school year. These grants have not been announced to the recipients yet, and will remain a surprise until the end of year ceremony.
Devine ISD bond elections divided into 2 propositions
DISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to call for a $33.2 million bond election for Saturday, May 6, 2023.
The decision was made at a called meeting, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
“It was after much thought and discussion that we decided that this is the best route for the district. Facilities Committee members looked at and considered many things before they made their presentation to the board detailing what they thought were our most important areas, especially those concerning the increase of safety and security,” DISD Board President Mrs. Nancy Pepper said.
Calling for a bond election comes after several months of Facilities Committee meetings to determine the district facility priorities.
“We formed this committee in the fall. We reached out to both our staff and the community so that everyone could have input,” Superintendent Dr. Todd Grandjean said.
Two propositions will be on the ballot. All projects are recommended with the priority given to improving the safety and security of DISD campuses and students.
Proposition A recommends projects at all four campuses and the special education building.
High school projects encompass measures to increase security, which include moving the DHS office downstairs and remodeling the current space into classrooms. Also on the list are a new band hall, and converting the existing band hall into a black-box theater. (A black-box theater is a simple space, typically a square room with black walls and a flat floor that will be used as a classroom for theater classes.)
Recommended projects at the middle school are an expansion of the boys and girls locker rooms, expanding the library, and a repurposing/remodeling of the cafeteria.
At the intermediate school, a secure vestibule (entrance) is recommended to increase safety and security.
Ciavarra Elementary recommended improvements include closing in all outdoor corridors, a new building that will include office space with a secure vestibule, early childhood center, including PreK and special education classrooms, a gym and dining area, and improvements to the drop-off and pick-up areas. The new facility will bring the youngest children much closer to the central campus.
A total of $2.5 million of the bond is allocated to renovating/expanding or building a new special education building. The current space at the facility is too small to accommodate the current number of staff members, meeting rooms, etc.
“After results of the bond election, we will determine the most cost-effective way to proceed with the special ed building,” Dr. Grandjean said.
Bond election regulations require recreation facilities to be separate propositions; therefore, Proposition B recommends the addition of four new tennis courts, doubling what is in existence currently.
“We are planning to have discussions with all aspects of the community, citizens, clubs–everyone. We will do these in-person and also on a virtual platform,” Dr. Grandjean said.
The current interest and sinking tax rate will not increase on the first $11.665 million of the bond.
After that there will be a $0.1807 per $100 valuation tax rate increase to the interest and sinking rate. (Interest and sinking is the budget that pays for debt that has been incurred by prior bond sales. The maintenance and operating side includes all the day-to-day running of the district. Bonds can be sold for facilities, purchase of buses, technology.)
That increase will bring the total DISD tax rate to $1.2753 per $100 valuation pending maintenance and operation tax rate compression at the end of the current legislative session.
The following table assumes the Local Homestead Exemption of $40,000.
Home Value Less Homestead Exemption Daily Increase Monthly Increase Yearly Increase
$100,000 $60,000 $0.30 $9.04 $108.45
$150,000 $110,000 $0.54 $16.57 $198.82
$200,000 $160,000 $0.79 $24.10 $289.19
$250,000 $210,000 $1.04 $31.63 $379.56