Bond Update from the Superintendent - October 15

Posted by Melinda Brasher on 10/15/2018

This time of year, I am reminded of the many opportunities Georgetown ISD students have to be challenged and grow through activities both in and out of the classroom that are offered at their schools. As parents, we get to watch our children learn self-determination, dedication, and teamwork through rigorous coursework, athletic events, fine arts performances, and other school-based programs. These activities play an important role in helping prepare students for life after high school, whether it’s college, trade school, the armed services or the workforce.  It is through these programs that we fulfill our responsibility to prepare students for their future.

This month, we are taking another focused step toward college-readiness by providing students with the valuable experience of taking college entrance exams, the PSAT and SAT, at no cost to the students during the school day. All GISD students in grades 8-11 have the opportunity to take the PSAT and SAT at our campuses in October. By offering these for free tests to any student who wants to take them, we are removing two major barriers: exam fees and transportation to testing locations. We believe it’s beneficial to make the PSAT and SAT available to all students because early and frequent exposure to these tests can boost a student’s performance. These tests are an indicator of college readiness, are used by most colleges and universities for admissions purposes and can even open doors to scholarship opportunities. I’m proud to say that students in Georgetown ISD are outperforming their peers on these tests, beating the State average by 6%.

GISD students also have the opportunity to learn how to express their voice through the democratic process. Voter registration drives were held this week and last on high school campuses, encouraging students to register to vote.

We have big political decisions ahead of us this fall, including the GISD bond proposal. The two bond propositions will be presented on the November 6 ballot as follows:

Proposition A

The issuance of $150,500,000 of bonds by Georgetown Independent School District for the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipment of school buildings, the purchase of school sites and school buses and levying the tax in payment thereof.

Proposition B

The issuance of $15,500,000 of bonds by Georgetown Independent School District for the acquisition, construction and equipment of a District swim center and levying the tax in payment thereof.

For both propositions, constituents will have the choice to vote either For or Against.

Components of Proposition A will address three major projects related to campus safety and security, which are ongoing priorities for GISD. In the last bond in 2015, we worked to secure all campus entrances. Now, we want to take those measures a step further and incorporate specialized cards (also called proximity cards) and access controls to give students and staff access to assigned areas of a campus. These enhancements would allow administrators to receive notifications via an app if a campus door is not secured and then secure it with the click of a button. This means a  campus lockdown could occur within seconds using this technology.

Proposition A would provide new campus radios for all campuses that would link administrators directly to emergency services personnel. These radios will aid communication with the Georgetown Police Department, who will have access to our security cameras for monitoring and responding to emergencies.

Proposition A would also address enclosing and securing the walkway between GHS and the Annex, which is currently open, preventing its access to visitors.

I am committed to keeping you informed about the bond election.

Thank you, and have a great week!

GISD Superintendent