KISD approves new attendance boundaries, staff bonus and Cimarron principal appointment

By George Slaughter, Special to the Katy Times
Posted 10/27/21

Katy school trustees Monday approved boundary modifications for a new elementary school set to open next August.

Elementary school 44 will provide enrollment relief to Bryant Elementary and serve …

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KISD approves new attendance boundaries, staff bonus and Cimarron principal appointment

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Katy school trustees Monday approved boundary modifications for a new elementary school set to open next August.

Elementary school 44 will provide enrollment relief to Bryant Elementary and serve students who are primarily in the Cane Island subdivision.

Feedback from Bryant Elementary families gathered by the district over the summer helped propel the decision to make the modifications.

“We review attendance boundaries on an annual basis to ensure that the district is adequately addressing its rapid growth, as well as student and staff capacity at campuses,” KISD COO Ted Vierling said. “Balancing school enrollment across campuses is essential to ensuring that each of our students has access to safe and engaging learning environments.”

The elementary school boundary modification was one of two approved Monday. The other modification involves Paetow and Morton Ranch high schools. Under this modification, a small number of current eighth-grade students now zoned to Paetow will attend Morton Ranch next fall.

The district projects that the northwest quadrant of the district will see increased growth, with several new housing developments, within the next two to three years.

Trustees approve staff bonus

District employees will receive an additional 1% lump sum payment for their December paychecks.

The payment is in addition to the December 1% lump sum payment that trustees had already approved as part of the district’s compensation plan. Now, all district employees will receive a total of a 2% bonus in December.

This lump sum payment is in addition to the pay increase employees had already received in July.

Brian Schuss, the district’s chief human resources officer, said it’s been a tough year and a half for employees, given the pandemic.

“Our employees are 100% committed to the success of this district,” Schuss said.

Superintendent Dr. Ken Gregorski said the amount per 1% lump sum is approximately $6.2 million.

“It’s not easy to find that in the budget,” Gregorski said.

Greg Schulte, board president, said the district is grateful to its professionals.

“The Board of Trustees approved the lump sum payment to acknowledge and reward the work of all Katy ISD employees during the recent challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including staffing shortages and the need to navigate a variety of safety measures,” Schulte said.

Texas Education Agency recognizes financial excellence

The Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, known as FIRST, has given the district its highest financial rating, an “A – Superior Achievement.”

The TEA developed FIRST to hold school districts accountable for financial resource management. The district has achieved the highest rating each year since 2002.

KISD CFO Christopher J. Smith said the district is proud of its FIRST rating.

“This rating shows that our district is effectively and efficiently utilizing our taxpayer dollars, and demonstrates that Katy ISD is accountable for not only student learning but also for achieving results that meet the needs of the students, families and community that Katy ISD serves,” Smith said.

Cimarron principal appointed

Trustees appointed Lindsey Chase principal at Cimarron Elementary School.

Chase began her career in 2007 in the Huntsville Independent School District, where she served as an intermediate school math teacher.

In 2012, Chase came to the Katy Independent School District, where she taught at Mayde Creek Junior High. Later, she became a classroom technology designer, in which role she oversaw and developed classroom technology at four junior high campuses.

Chase held that role for three years, then became a math instructional coach at Tays Junior High.

Chase was named assistant principal in 2017 of WoodCreek Elementary.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve the Cimarron community in this capacity,” Chase said. “I’m excited to meet the students and thrilled to partner with the parents as I work to ensure their children grow in a challenging, safe, nurturing, and respectful learning environment.”

Chase earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications studies at Texas State University. She earned her master’s degree in education administration at Lamar University.

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