National Merit Scholars Honored at October School Board Meeting

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
Merit Scholarship  award recipients pose together during the recent meeting of the Prosper Independent School District.

Prosper Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting last week and featured an awards ceremony followed by reports of the minutes, enrollment numbers, updates on new buildings, finances, and class size waivers. 

National Merit Commended Scholars were honored.  The group made up of students who tested in the top 3 percent in the nation includes 16 local students who were congratulated by the school board and given a plaque. 

The National Merit Semifinalist Scholars were also honored with six local students scoring in the top 1.25 percent in the nation.

“We are so proud of all of these students,” Superintendent Holly Ferguson.  “You are all an example for the students in Prosper ISD, even the younger children that attend this district.”  

Merit Scholarship  award recipients pose together during the recent meeting of the Prosper Independent School District.

Currently, there are 19,127 students enrolled in Prosper ISD, and this enrollment is an increase of 2,000 students from last year, or an approximate 10 percent increase. 

There is an elementary school being built in the Summit subdivision and another in Auburn Hills.  These are the 13th and 14th elementary schools built for the district.  Currently, there are 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school.  More schools have been scheduled to open as the need arises.  

Senate Bill 1566 is a set of goals that the school board will develop.  This set of goals, passed by the Texas Senate, addresses early childhood literacy and math, as well as goals for high school graduates.   The board subcommittee  is responsible to study and implement plans to increase literacy and math in early elementary.  The goal is to ensure that the children continue to increase their literacy and math skills through third grade and beyond.  The other goal is to increase the college career and military readiness for Prosper ISD graduates.  These goals will be incorporated into the District Improvement Plan.  Subcommittees will continue to update the school board and community about the progress toward these goals.   

Merit Scholarship  award recipients pose together during the recent meeting of the Prosper Independent School District.

Prosper ISD is submitting a waiver to the Texas Education Agency, seeking approval to have more than 22 students in Kindergarten through 4th grade classes.  This ratio is the current requirement, but if a waiver is granted, an increase in the ratio is permitted. According to the Prosper School Board, the district is the fastest growing district in the state of Texas, and this ratio is necessary to accommodate the growth.  Approval to submit the waiver was passed by the board.  

School district financial portfolio was presented, including information about the $203 million portfolio and the diversified investment portfolios.  The general fund and expenditures was also presented, including the revenue by source and the expenses by function.  The budget was approved by the board. 

An annual public hearing about the financial record-keeping and submission followed, as required by the Texas Education Agency.  Prosper ISD scored an A, with a perfect score.  This includes a review of the auditing process, paying debts in a timely manner, and ensuring that the school district is following a business model.  

The next monthly meeting will be Nov. 16 at 7 pm.  The meetings take place at the Central Administration Board Room at 605 E. 7th St. in Prosper.