Prosper school board approves financial plans, increased instructional material

By Aubrey Turner
Prosper Independent School District Administration Building on July 10.

The Prosper School Board met Dec. 14 at the last school board meeting before the holiday break.

The meeting began with Stephen Phillips, a student at Prosper High school, was recognized for his contributions to the community.  Phillips used a 3d printer to create face shields and other PPE equipment and delivered these to healthcare professionals and facilities.  He was recognized by the Texas State Board of Education for outstanding acts of service and charity.  

Two members of the community spoke in the open forum portion of the meeting.  Pat Cochran spoke about medical freedom of choice regarding children wearing masks at school. 

“I am furious that I am ostracized because I am medically exempt from wearing a mask.”  Lacy Wheeler read a letter written by her daughter Faith Wheeler.  “I would like parents to be able to decide if their children should have to wear masks.” 

Theresa Biggs is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 

“Noone is better able to tell the story about our children in how they are learning than our community,” Biggs said.  “We as a district understand that a child’s education is a continuum.  We use a backward design framework.  We decide the goal, then we determine how we know they have learned the information.  We then build the framework of learning."

All of this aligns with the strategic plan, he continued. 

"We want our students to be able to learn and move their thinking forward, rather than just regurgitate facts," Biggs said.  "We want our students to participate in different learning simulations.  We want our students to speak like scientists, mathematicians, historians, etc.  We want these students to learn to crossover these skills, to blend the learning together to prepare them for their futures.  That is when we know real learning is happening.”  

The board approved the innovative courses and additional instructional materials for the 2021-2022 school year.  During the business portion of the meeting, the board approved the budget and tax report and the 2019-2020 budget audit.  As part of the budget discussion, it was pointed out COVID has impacted the food service budget.  Parents are not purchasing school lunches because of COVID concerns, as well as there are staffing gaps in the food service.  Therefore this budget is not representative of a typical year.  

The board approved a three year contract with the CISCO wireless and wired network access, as well as elementary 13 and 14.  It costs less than the current contract and will work well with current equipment.  The district will apply for federal funding to assist with this cost.  

The board approved the election for place 4 and 7 for the school board for May 1st.  Because of COVID, the last school board election was postponed, but this election is scheduled as normal. 

Doug Witt presented a bond program update. 

“To the extent we continue the issuance of bonds, we have low interest bonds,” Witt said.  “We are using bonds to build the high school.  It is slowly ramping up.  As Prosper grows this will continue.”  The board approved the bond program update.