Katy ISD to pay teachers, staff retention lump sum payment

Contributed Reports
Posted 3/29/23

Katy ISD academic decathlon students take home several wins after two rigorous state competitions in San Antonio and Frisco, Texas.

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Katy ISD to pay teachers, staff retention lump sum payment


Katy school trustees Monday approved a one-time, one percent retention lump sum payment that will be distributed to district employees later this spring. Trustees gave their approval at their March 27 meeting.

“Our employees are Katy ISD’s most valued asset,” Greg Schulte, school board president, said. “They work tirelessly every day to ensure that Katy ISD delivers unparalleled learning to our students.  Katy ISD staff will always be a priority for our board and administration. On behalf of the board, I would like to sincerely thank our thousands of teachers and staff for their dedicated service to our children and families.”

The payments are intended to incentivize staff to commit to returning to Katy ISD employment this coming fall—a move that is reflective of the district’s ongoing efforts to maintain its comparatively low attrition rate as measured against other school districts across the Houston region. The district also sustains teacher salaries above the region’s median and has delivered annual staff raises for the past four years.

The one percent retention lump sum payment will reflect the mid-point of an employee’s pay grade.

Katy ISD to roll out new bus rider tracking system this fall

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) systems will be installed this fall on Katy ISD school buses across the district. The system monitors ridership, including where and when a student is picked up or dropped off by a school bus.

Katy school trustees approved the implementation of this technology at their March 27 meeting.

The ID system will require each student bus rider to have a Katy ISD SMART Tag ID card, which they will use every time they enter and exit their school bus.  Buses will be equipped with a tablet that will read students’ IDs, providing real-time information for bus drivers, school administrators and parents.

“The student ID cards utilize encryption and security protocols to ensure student ridership is accurately tracked and individual information is secure,” Ted Vierling, Katy ISD chief operations officer, said. “The system will provide real-time bus arrival notifications for school parents and our transportation personnel.”

Parents will be able to monitor their child’s ridership and bus route through the SMART Tag Parent Web Portal, a cloud-based platform. The system also automates several reporting functions for transportation department personnel such as state rider count and mileage reports.

Over the last five years, Katy ISD has implemented several new safety platforms on bus routes, including Global Positioning Systems and eight camera security systems. The Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) system is an added layer of security.

The installation will take place over the summer and the system will be deployed on the first day of school in August 2023. The new Smart Tag ID system will replace Katy ISD’s current Edulog Lite App, with Smart Tag taking over the work of bus tracking, while adding the functionality of student ridership.

Katy ISD academic decathlon teams among top contenders in state meet

Katy ISD academic decathlon students take home several wins after two rigorous state competitions in San Antonio and Frisco, Texas.

Seventy-three (73) Katy ISD students, from eight district high schools, qualified for the state tournament. Teams across the state were separated by their regional tournament rankings. The highest-ranking regional teams competed in the San Antonio meet and three other teams headed to the Frisco meet.

Here are the Katy ISD school finishes in the San Antonio meet:

  • Taylor High School, 6th place
  • Paetow High School, 8th place
  • Katy High School, 14th place
  • Tompkins High School, 21st place
  • Cinco Ranch High School, 22nd place
  • Morton Ranch High School, 23rd place
  • Seven Lakes High School, 29th place
  • Jordan High School, 43rd place

Here are the Katy ISD school finishes in the Frisco meet:

  • Morton Ranch High School, 1st place
  • Seven Lakes High School, 5th place
  • Jordan High School, 12th place

“Since the start of the school year, Katy ISD students have worked hard to practice high-level academics challenges in preparation for these state meets,” said Dr. Joan Otten, Director of Katy ISD Gifted & Talented/Advanced Academics Department.  “As part of the competition, students also prepare and deliver a memorized speech, give an impromptu presentation, participate in a sit-down interview and write a 50-minute paper,” added Otten.

The Texas Academic Decathlon Event is the second-largest academic program in the nation, where students have the opportunity to be one of the beneficiaries of $200,000 in scholarships.

Katy ISD, salaries, academic decathlon, bus rider tracking system