Board meeting dominated by three topics: enrollment, strategic design and budget


Srihari Yechangunja

On Monday, Coppell ISD held a board meeting covering topics including 2021-22 enrollment projections and budget process, Strategic Design and parents proposing the removal of the mask mandate. The Sidekick’s Meer Mahfuz goes into detail about these and more in the meeting.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

Monday night’s Coppell ISD board meeting was centered around updates on Strategic Design, the 2021-2022 Budget Process and Enrollment Projections/Demographic’s Report, as well as renewed calls by Coppell parents pushing for a removal of the district-wide mask mandate.  

The Strategic Design Update given by executive director for communications and community engagement Angela Brown and Coppell Middle School West assistant principal Josh Howard. The pillars of Strategic Design are incentives and motivation, connections, fun, recognition and Social/Emotional Learning. 

A campus/department strategy for now is to implement an SEL afternoon for staff, the strategy for next year would be to develop a Buddy Class Program and Peer Mentorship Program and the strategies for the future are to create district-wide clubs for staff and develop a Campus Day of Service. Some vertically aligned and division strategies were to host a CISD Carnival, have a community pep rally for all of Coppell and enhance the transition of fifth graders to middle school.

In the open forum, three parents raised concerns of the continued mask mandate and all three proposed that the board vote on removing the mask mandate and implementing a mask choice policy.  Parent Janet Green was the first of three parents to state her disappointment with mandating kids to wear masks during recess because of the importance of exercising and fresh air. Parents Kellie Fishpaw and Annick Davis echoed this message in their discussion period.  

“When I heard that kids were still required to wear masks, especially during recess, I was quite horrified because I think back to childhood where one of my kids who suffers from depression, which his counselor [said] fresh outdoor exercise was the number one cure for, not medicine,” Green said. “Recess was extremely important to him during elementary school and he could not go all day wearing this piece of cloth.”

The 2021-2022 Budget Process given by the chief financial officer Diana Sircar highlighted multiple potential expenditure and revenue opportunities. From legislation in the 87th session, there was a reduction in Fast Growth Allotment which would cause a potential $2.7 million loss in revenue. 

For expenditure opportunities, $500,000 would be dedicated to campus/department budgets and COVID-19 related expenditures each while staff and transportational effects could add in more costs. For revenue opportunities, the expansion of open enrollment programs, virtual courses and a rebate program for virtual vendor payments would bring in revenue. The projected year end revenue is $2.6 million and projected expenditures is $1.8 million with the total estimated year end variance to budget as of March 2021 is $4.4 million. 

The discussion and report items for Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt was opened by Bob Templeton of Templeton Demographics in the biannual enrollment projections. Templeton first began by highlighting drastic changes in the enrollment projections and attributing them to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment for the state of Texas dropped by 122,350, with a major factor in the decline being parents’ decisions to remove their children from pre-K and kindergarten courses because of the pandemic. 

The report went more in-depth with the discrepancy between increases in total population and district households but a sluggish increase in population under 13 years of age. The total district population estimate for 2021 is 49,665, which is an 11.1% increase since the 2010 census district population and the 2021 district households increased 10.7% (from 16,048 in 2010 to 17,760 in 2021) but there was a 5.4% drop in the total district population under the age of 13 (from 14,647 in 2010 to 13,850 in 2021). Templeton explained this difference is because families moving to Coppell are not starter families, but rather older families moving with older children because the average new house price ($558,211 in 2020) is one of the highest in the Metroplex, rivaled only by Southlake Carroll ISD. 

The board recognized the TASB Student Video Contest Winners from Coppell Middle School East, the cross examination and public forum debate state champions as well as Spring Great Employees Matter in their awards segment. 

Follow Meer (@meer_mahfuz) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.