Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees Update: Highlights from meeting of November 13, 2023

Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees Update: Highlights from meeting of November 13, 2023

Rockwall, TX (November 14, 2023) – NOTE: Board meeting summaries highlight different agenda items. Board meeting videos are available for viewing within 24-hours of the meeting at

Superintendent’s Report
During the Superintendent’s Report of upcoming events and accolades, Dr. Villarreal mentioned a recent JROTC site visit by an official representing the Marines, who visited both Rockwall High School and Rockwall-Heath High Schools to review facility spaces. The District awaits a site visit report and next steps in the JROTC program application process.

Dr. Villarreal also mentioned the current 4th Special Legislative Session in Austin. Dr. Villarreal reiterated Rockwall ISD’s legislative priorities that support consistency in academic accountability, financial accountability, and transparency to the state, taxpayers, or local communities for any entity receiving taxpayer funds for educational purposes. The District will continue to monitor the proceedings in Austin and voice Rockwall ISD’s legislative priorities.

2024-2025 Academic Planning Guide Substantial Changes Update
District leadership presented information about the 2024-2025 Academic Planning Guide. The Academic Planning Guide (APG) aims to assist students as they plan their academic future. Counselors assist students and parents with selection of courses for graduation utilizing the APG.

Annual Comprehensive Financial Report Approved
The Board of Trustees approved the annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. A representative from the auditing firm presented the report. Audit results included an unmodified opinion issued on the financial statements – the highest level of assurance – and no material weaknesses in internal controls.

Charge for 2024 Facilities Bond Committee Approved
At their October 16th monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees discussed developing a charge for the 2024 Facilities Bond Committee. The Board discussed adding to the charge the need for the committee to also understand potential funding opportunities through a voter approved tax ratification election that could provide additional revenue to address growth, teacher retention and recruitment, and safety.

As a result of that discussion, the following charge was approved by the Board of Trustees for the 2024 Facilities Bond Committee:
The community-based 2024 Rockwall ISD Facilities Bond Committee is charged by the Board of Trustees to:
   • Keep students the center of all recommendations,
   • Continue to maximize all resources by prioritizing needs and enhancing district operations,
   • Understand potential funding opportunities in the form of a voter approved tax ratification election in order to address growth, teacher retention and recruitment, and safety, and
   • Provide final recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding proposed bond projects.

Approval of a One-Time Incentive Payment for Employees
As approved in the 2023-2024 budget and the employee compensation plan, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution for a one-time incentive payment as presented by Superintendent Dr. John Villarreal. The proposed one-time retention incentive payment will be in the amount of $1,500.00 to each current full-time, permanent employee whose employment began on or before December 1, 2023, and who has not tendered their intent to resign from Rockwall ISD on or before December 1, 2023. The anticipated pay date for employees is the week of December 4. The projected budgetary impact to the District’s general operation fund for this one-time retention incentive payment is projected to be approximately $3,150,000.00.

Draft 2024-2025 School Calendar
District leadership presented a draft of the 2024-2025 school calendar to the Board of Trustees for consideration. Pending Board feedback, a final draft will be made available online in December for employee and public feedback.

Intruder Detection Audit Report
The Intruder Detection Audit process, implemented during the 2022-2023 school year, is to detect vulnerable access points and identify possible areas of improvement in security procedures at school campuses. This includes evaluating the security of campuses based on a variety of physical and procedural criteria. Districts are tasked to inform the Texas Education Agency of the Intruder Detection Audit Report. Per TEA and in open session, the District is providing notice of the Intruder Detection Audit Report held in executive session. Rockwall ISD is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff.

Approval to Authorize Armed Security Officers to Possess Firearms on District Property
House Bill 3, passed during the 88th Legislature require the Board of Trustees to ensure that at least one armed security officer is present during regular school hours at each campus. To comply, the District hired four former law enforcement officers to serve as armed security officers at Rockwall ISD campuses in addition to current School Resource Officers. The Board approved the
authorization of the armed security officers (ASO’s) to possess firearms on district property.

Per District policy CKE (LOCAL), the Board of Trustees shall authorize armed security officers to possess firearms in schools, at Board meetings, and at school-sponsored or school-related events on District property. Each specifically authorized security officer shall be approved by action of the Board and the Superintendent shall issue written authorization to each approved officer. Armed security officers (ASO’s) employed as school security personnel have successfully completed the required evaluations and trainings to possess firearms on District property.

Submitted press release