Resources Advance Mission to Educate Students

Oct 03, 2019

Frisco ISD is developing a Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS) with the help of community members and staff on the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC). Each week through October 2, the District will provide information about each of the seven CBAS pillars. A catalog of these pillars can be found on the CBAS website as they are published. 

CBAS Mission Circle.Fiscal and Operational Systems

The Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS) strives to create an additional layer of accountability to the Frisco ISD community using routine input from stakeholders. FISD strives to ensure fiscal and operational decision making is aligned with community priorities and the District's mission to know every student by name and need.

Within the CBAS committee, the Fiscal and Operational Systems subcommittee shared a strong commitment to students.

“The subcommittee understood that accountability happens on many levels and at the center of it all are the needs of the students,” said Scott Warstler, executive director of operations. “They were interested in digging deeper and ensuring the District is transparent and we are going to do our best to listen to their feedback.”

As the Fiscal and Operational Systems subcommittee searched for relevant sources of evidence, they focused on three key questions:

  • What is the status of the current bond program?

  • What does it cost to be a student in Frisco ISD?

  • How does Frisco ISD’s budget align with its mission, vision and goals?

The Fiscal and Operational Systems subcommittee devised numerous potential data sources for the District to consider in order to demonstrate transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The subcommittee has requested data to answer each question they considered. Evidence samples the subcommittee requested for each question include information on:

What is the status of the current bond program?

  • Continuous project updates and timeline of expected completion

  • Upcoming projects

  • Where did we use money from project savings

  • Return on investment from certain projects

What does it cost to be a student in Frisco ISD?

  • Annual cost per student in various functions (CTEC, athletics, fine arts, etc.)

  • Comparison of costs with comparison districts

  • Breakdown by elementary, middle and high school

How does Frisco ISD’s budget align with its mission, vision and goals?

  • Compare operational costs of elementary, middle and high schools to other districts

  • School capacity and efficiency

  • Chart where revenue is coming from and spent

  • Tax rate information compared to other districts

  • Awards for financial excellence

While subcommittee members laid out a foundation for information they would like to receive, the District has gathered preliminary data from the 2018-19 school year and will expand and update the data provided to the community in 2020 based on recommendations from the CBAS committee. The following is a sample of evidence that will address some of the requested data.

Mission, Vision and Goals
Frisco ISD’s mission, vision and beliefs resonate throughout the District and each classroom. The mission and strategic goals of the District drive larger initiatives that were created with community support. These goals were reinforced in the 2018 bond program with planned new schools, renovations, security updates, academic opportunities, athletic updates and expansions, a fine arts expansion and transportation updates. 

In turn, the District must budget based on the priorities of the community, a key facet of the Community-Based Accountability System.

Budget Priorities.

The two most critical factors influencing the annual budget are projected enrollment growth and available revenue. Enrollment growth drives the number of schools to be opened, the number of staff to be hired, the amount of money to be added to existing programs and the potential need for new programs or supports. Available revenue is influenced by enrollment, property values, tax rates and the will of the Texas Legislature. All the budget recommendations brought forth during the annual budget process must be balanced against available revenue.

To aid in financial transparency, the District published the annual 2019-20 Budget Book which was developed using a combination of the Priorities-Based Budgeting (PBB) process developed in 2016 and Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB). The goal is to create and maintain a balanced and sustainable budget focused on key priorities that align with Frisco ISD’s mission to know every student by name and need.

This publication provides the reader with insight into the District budgeting process, explanations of recommendations and data related to financial goals. The District administration believes that the 2019-20 Budget Book represents a realistic, sustainable plan to address the challenges faced as a public school district. Frisco ISD is committed to approaching every financial decision with a student-centered focus.

The annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report will include some of the information that the community requested, but the audit and certification of financial statements will not be completed until the beginning of November. It will include everything from financial trends and revenue capacity to debt capacity and operating information.

To find more resources regarding Frisco ISD’s commitment to financial transparency, click here.

Bond Program Status

The District is in the process of revising its online presence regarding bond programs with input from the CBAS committee. The goal is to have a regularly updated web presence that tracks the hard work of construction and technology crews who work on projects throughout the school year to enhance the learning environment and opportunities for students.

Projects listed below were funded primarily through the 2018 bond program, passed by voters in November 2018. The remaining projects were funded through the 2014 bond program. 

Of the 2018 bond projects, Frisco ISD was able to move most quickly with planning, design and installation of artificial turf on baseball and softball fields at three high schools, as well as the creation of new parking and paved practice areas for marching band at nine high schools. 

FISD also began the rollout of a higher student to technology ratio a year early, thanks in part to 2018-19 operating funds. The District was able to purchase more new computers and mobile devices to increase students’ access to technology as part of an annual refresh of aging technology. Several libraries and common areas also received new flexible seating, which can be easily configured to meet the needs of the students and teachers.  

Athletic Turf
The turfing project includes replacing grass baseball and softball fields at Frisco, Independence and Reedy high schools with artificial turf, as well as constructing turfed batting cages and pitching tunnels at all high schools. Artificial turf requires less field maintenance than natural grass and prevents rainouts because of its superior drainage.

The estimated completion date for Independence High School is the first week in October. The softball turf at Reedy and Frisco high schools is complete and the baseball fields will be finished in a matter of weeks.

The soil stabilization process, which keeps the soil from expanding and contracting, was a time-consuming part of the installation process. 

FISD also replaced the turf at Memorial Stadium, ensuring the District-owned facility continues to provide a safe surface for students to practice and compete.

Parking Expansion/Marching Fields
The District is wrapping up the addition of new paved areas at nine campuses.

The new pavement will be used exclusively for marching band practice, which will allow existing parking lots to be used for parking. Paved areas are preferred for marching, as mud, heat and insects can present challenges when maintaining grass areas for band practice.

The marching band concrete is fenced off to maintain the stability of the concrete which was poured for the purpose of marching, not parking vehicles.

All schools other than Centennial and Memorial are finished, and as soon as marching lines and field dots are painted on the marching surface, they will be ready to go. 

A paving section was removed at Centennial HS for a geothermal line repair that was damaged during construction. The paved marching field is now scheduled to be complete on October 7. 

The Memorial High School marching field has been paved with the striping, irrigation and landscape remaining. Completion is expected by mid-October.

The Liberty marching field is complete with the new parking lot ready for concrete placement. The new parking lot on the north side of the fieldhouse should be ready by the end of October.

The marching band at Frisco High School already practices on pavement because parking was added at FHS when the new auditorium opened on campus in 2013.

New Technology and Flexible Seating
This summer, a total of 14 campuses received new classroom and campus instructional technology and several more received new TVs, phones or network and wireless updates. Others received new library furniture or the library was remodeled. In addition, several elementary campuses received new flexible seating in pod areas, giving teachers and students increased options and greater choice in how to use the space. See a full list.  

At the campuses receiving new computers and mobile devices, students will have increased access to technology through devices in the classroom, mobile carts and computer labs. The higher ratio will be the standard in Frisco ISD moving forward. 

School Renovations
Several buildings received new paint, carpet, roofing or heating and cooling replacements/upgrades as part of the District’s regular maintenance program. This includes Staley Middle School, which had lighting retrofitted. 

Resurfacing also took place at a handful of athletic tracks and tennis courts. 

A second phase of significant renovations are nearly complete at Rogers Elementary, Frisco ISD’s oldest elementary school. The campus, which opened in 1987, received a number of cosmetic updates in the summer of 2019, as well as architectural changes over the past two years. The District also replaced worn and dated classroom furniture with flexible seating to accommodate active learning and various instructional styles.

Centennial High School, which has the District’s oldest fine arts auditorium, received a new sound system, LED lighting, stage curtains and rigging. The auditorium is scheduled for completion at the end of October.

Other Projects
Work has started on high school #11. The campus, which is being built near Stacy Road and Collin McKinney Parkway in west McKinney, is expected to open to students in 2021. 

FISD is also upgrading public address (PA) systems at select elementary, middle and high school campuses across the District. Work will continue through March of 2020. 

Work has begun on elementary school playgrounds and will extend throughout the school year. Wood chips will be replaced with a synthetic material, which is accessible and safer for all students. The resurfacing projects will close each playground for approximately two weeks during installation. Work will be completed by May 2020.

What’s Next for Fiscal and Operational Systems? 

The Fiscal and Operational Systems teams work year around for the benefits of students and staff. There are a number of items to look for in the new year, including:

  • Construction will begin in the summer of 2019 for high school #12. The District is currently in the planning phase with all departments. The campus is anticipated to open in 2022.

  • The District is currently in the planning stage for the natatorium practice facility. Athletics is finalizing the scope of the project. The natatorium is projected to open in the fall of 2021.

  • FISD is planning with architects for the 25 year upgrades of Christie and Anderson elementary schools. These are projects that will start at the beginning of summer 2020. Curtsinger and Smith will follow in the summer of 2021.

  • The District has initiated conversations with an architectural firm to discuss the possibilities for an expansion of the Career and Technical Education Center to open fall of 2023. This project is in the very early stages of planning.

  • Frisco ISD has spent the last nine months engaged in discussions with potential partners for the fine arts facility. This facility will give K-12 students cutting edge and unique opportunities in the visual and performing arts.    

  • An updated bond website is in development. The goal is to create a place for the community to view projects from the 2018 bond program, their progress, total cost under/over budget and revenue generating opportunities.

Thank you to the Fiscal and Operational Systems Committee which strive to provide the community with evidence that everyone can find value in and learn from. With their continued efforts, the District will continue to be accountable to the taxpayer.

Community: Richard Beaver, Michael Bitsche, Skip Middleton, Dick Peasley, Ron Pigman, Meredith Smith, Darren Stevens, Ted Su

Faculty: Robert Dahl, Megan DeWolfe, Jenny Gonzales, Holly Mason, Jonathon Pegues, Valerie Rodrigues, Kimberly Smith, Keesha Stacy, Krisi Stokan, Scott Warstler, Terri West, Katy Wood

District staff and community members are encouraged to use and follow #CantTestThat on various social media platforms to follow how students in Frisco ISD are taught more than what they are tested on each spring.

Click here to learn more about the background behind the Frisco ISD CBAS initiative or go to the official CBAS website where you can find information on each of the individual pillars.

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