LISD Board Briefs: October 3, 2019

LISD Board Briefs: October 3, 2019
Posted on 10/04/2019
Board Briefs

Board Briefs
Superintendent outlines next steps for district planning

New Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. discussed a tiered vision for district planning during his initial year, charging the board and administration to:

  • create a solid budget process that aligns resources to effect student experience;
  • develop a long-range facility plan to guide decisions for the next 10 years on zoning, construction, and building utilization; 
  • review all local policies in the board’s policy manual; and
  • launch a community-based accountability system to include a comprehensive review of academic, whole-child, operational programs and other possible areas identified by the community. 

“I have made it to every school and site in the district, and I have had the privilege to meet some really great people and fantastic kids,” Gearing said. “During these visits and conversations, I have had an opportunity to determine what are the critical issues facing the district and how we do this work. What became very clear to me is that all of these things are connected to each other.”

“I have made it to every school and site in the district, and I have had the privilege to meet some really great people and fantastic kids,” Gearing said. “During these visits and conversations, I have had an opportunity to determine what are the critical issues facing the district and how we do this work. What became very clear to me is that all of these things are connected to each other.”


Gearing asked the Board to focus discussion around the student experience and heroic educators. The district will begin working with its community to determine core values to align decisions for supporting student learning. The Board will continue discussing these objectives in future meetings.

Special education and special programs team complete presentation series

The special education and special programs teams finished a five-part series of presentations about programs for serving various learners receiving an intervention, 504 or special education services.


In my heart, I truly believe we are doing good things,” Trustee Jim MacKay said. “ We have a talented and educated special education program. We also have a room full of parents that are screaming for inclusion. I'm just trying to get my head around the disconnect between what we think we're doing, what some of the community think we are not doing and how do we bring this together. At the end of the day, it's about including all of our students and setting each and every student up for success.


Staff is collaborating with a Building the Bridge group, comprised of parents and community partners to help develop programming for children in special education. The district is working towards a symposium to engage the community, discuss shortcomings and work to find solutions.


Review all five presentations: 

Programming, Optimal Education Spaces Factor into School Size Discussion 

Trustees continued the discussion on the ideal school size. Several factors impact school sizes, such as programming in middle and high schools and the optimal size for non-classroom spaces. As LISD continues to support rapid growth in portions of the district, there will also need to be continued discussion on building utilization, based on the utilization of schools ranging from 54% to 105% at elementary schools.

Board Approves Hire for CFO

Leander ISD picked an experienced school finance expert Elaine Cogburn for its top business role, leading the budget, finance, payroll, and purchasing teams.


Trustees approved the hiring of Cogburn as the new chief financial officer during the Oct. 3 Board of Trustees meeting. She will be joining Leander ISD starting Nov. 4, replacing former CFO Lucas Janda, who joined a privately owned financial firm in July 2019.