Committee Wraps Up Discussion of High School Model

Dec 15, 2017

An advisory committee made up of Frisco ISD parents and community members offered their thoughts regarding the capacity and configuration of FISD high schools in materials shared with the Board of Trustees this week.

Deputy Superintendent for Business Services Dr. Todd Fouche presented a summary of the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee this fall during Monday’s regular School Board meeting.

During committee meetings, members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the current model for high schools, as well as the costs associated with that model compared to other configurations.

FISD currently has nine high schools that enroll approximately 2,100 students in grades 9-12. The District’s 10th high school, Memorial, opens in fall 2018 and was also built to accommodate 2,100 students in grades 9-12. Estimates show that the cost for operating more smaller schools is not significantly more than the cost of operating fewer larger schools, about three to five percent more.

The committee was asked to consider the current model, along with three other options Frisco ISD could implement in the next 10 years, and write position papers supporting their preferred option.

Of the 35 Long-Range Planning Committee members who expressed an opinion, 32 members supported continuing the current model of smaller high schools serving students in grades 9-12.

Frisco ISD’s internal Faculty Council, made up entirely of staff members, also examined the issue this fall. Of the 56 employees who expressed an opinion, 54 wanted to keep the small high school model.

Top reasons for supporting this model included:

  • Student engagement and connectivity
  • Academic and extracurricular opportunities
  • Student health and well-being (whole child)
  • District reputation/community expectations
  • Consistency and uniformity in educational experience across the District
  • Small graduating classes/less pressure on GPA and class rank
  • Better model for “name and need”

Read the individual position papers here.

The administration and Board of Trustees will use this feedback, along with results from a community survey, to aid in planning the District’s next high school, which is expected to be needed in 2021 or 2022 based on current enrollment projections.

This coming spring, the Long-Range Planning Committee will turn its attention to providing feedback to FISD administration in the following areas:

  • COMMUNICATIONS: This committee will develop recommendations related to the District's overall community outreach and communications plans.

  • CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION: This committee will develop recommendations for a portrait of a graduate and provide input that assists in the creation of a district definition of student achievement.

  • FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY: This committee will develop recommendations for the presentation and communication of financial information.

  • INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY & LIBRARY SERVICES: This committee will develop recommendations for future-ready schools, including our annual technology integration survey, maker spaces and technology equipment standards.

  • RECRUITMENT & RETENTION: This committee will develop recommendations for the recruitment and retention of highly-qualified staff.

  • WHOLE CHILD: This committee will develop recommendations to support the mental health and safety of students and staff.

The entire committee will also meet in March 2018 to make recommendations regarding budget planning.

Learn more about the Long-Range Planning Committee.

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