Board approves new Bus Tracking system

Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $37,827 contract with Zonar Systems of Austin for a student tracking applications on LISD school buses, during their July 19th regular meeting.

Board OKs new school bus tracking system

Mon Jul 19, 2021

The Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $37,827 contract with Zonar Systems of Austin for a student tracking application on LISD school buses, during their July 19th regular meeting.

LISD will be utilizing Zonar’s Z Pass application on a variety of platforms to help families keep track of their students once they are on the school bus.

“This allows parents to receive text notifications whenever their child taps the reader getting on or off of the bus,” said Dr. Wayne Guidry, Assistant Superintendent of Finance. "Text notifications will include the time and location of pickup or drop-off."

Dr. Guidry said LISD families also can log in from a desktop computer or tablet to get notifications. The computer application displays a map of the physical location of the pickup or drop-off. The system will communicate any bus changes, delays, or even engine breakdowns.

"It's just part of our ongoing effort to improve student safety, district transparency, and give our families peace of mind that their students are arriving to and from school in a timely manner," he said.

For more information please visit the Zonar website at or call the LISD Transportation department at 903-381-2200.  

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

LHS Ag Barn renovations 

07192021-board-meet-1Board members also approved taking action on the Energy Savings Performance Contract with Schneider Electric for Phase 1B to design and renovate the LHS Agriculture Barn at a total cost of $1,077,095.

Mr. Dennis Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative & Pupil Services, said improvements include upgrades and renovations, as well as extending the roof of the facility.

"With the recent and ongoing growth of our FFA program, our barn is unable to house all of the animals," he said.

The proposal was procured through the district's membership with The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), a national purchasing cooperative that offers access to competitively procured purchasing contracts to its membership.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Tax Notes 'Called'

Wayne-Guidry-headshot-2021Board members also approved a resolution calling the District's Unlimited Maintenance Tax Notes (Series 2020) for redemption prior to maturity.

Dr. Guidry explained that last October the district issued a "Maintenance Tax Note" in order to purchase new school buses.

"The strategy in issuing a tax note was that LISD could earn more money in Certificate of Deposit (CD) interest than we would pay out in interest with the notes," he said. "Currently we are experiencing historical lows in interest rates, and what has changed is the interest we are receiving in our CDs."

07192021-board-meet-2As a result, Dr. Guidry said, the LISD Business believes it is prudent to recall the Series 2020 tax note principal balance of $1,433,000.

"This will relieve future budgets of an estimated $450,000 annually and reduce the amount of interest paid towards these notes," he said.

Purchase will be covered out of the district's fund balance, Dr. Guidry said.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Trustees named 'Board of the Year'

Region VII Education Service Center has selected the Longview ISD Board of Trustees as the 2021 Regional School Board of the Year in the large school category.

Longview ISD's board will serve as the regional representative in this year’s Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board Awards Program.

The association’s School Board Awards Committee will meet in August to select up to five of the nominated boards to be recognized as Honor Boards, and the overall winner will be announced Sept. 25.

Read the full story here.


Community Relations honored

NSPRA-AwardsLISD's Community Relations department earned four National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) awards during the 2021 NSPRA conference in New Orleans.

The district received honors for the Lobo Live radio show, the COVID-19 feeding infographic, and the "I Have A Dream" video. In addition, The Longview Voice received a Merit Award in the Print Newsletter category.

An interesting twist to this honor is the fact that Longview ISD only submitted four entries, which means that everything the Community Relations department submitted for consideration received an award. LISD went four-for-four at the national level! 

Dr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services, said he is extremely proud of the communications team "and their commitment to quality and excellence in everything we do."

 "These awards highlight the importance of telling the story of our district in ways that connect with our community," he said. "As an added bonus, it is really encouraging to receive this kind of honor from one's peers in public relations and mass communication."

Please click here to download the Community Relations department's monthly report.

JMQ furniture purchase

Later, the board approved up to $250,000 of grant funds for miscellaneous classroom furniture and technology at the Johnston-McQueen Elementary campus.

Johnston-McQueen Elementary is seeking to purchase furniture to renovate classrooms and learning environments on the campus, including the library, classrooms, life skills room, and Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) classrooms.

Dr. James Coleman, LISD Chief Innovation Officer said, in order to meet the goals and objectives of the charter grants, "there are some furniture and equipment purchases that the campuses wish to provide collaborative and theme-based options for students."

"Each learning environment will receive updated furniture that offers greater mobility within the learning environment," he said. "The furniture upgrade also creates a greater opportunity to design learning environments around the CCC (Culture Conscious Campus) model."

Board policy requires the approval of LISD trustees when making purchases above $25,000.

Please click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also:

  • APPROVED setting a meeting and public hearing for 12 p.m. Aug. 25 to discuss, consider, and possibly approve the proposed 2021-22 budget and tax rate.

  • APPROVED a resolution to Seek Requests for Proposals (RFP's) for expanding digital signage using grant funds. The district Community Relations department is looking to expand digital marquee signs to Longview High, Foster Middle, Bramlette, and Hudson PEP elementary schools.

  • APPROVED expenditures of up to $100,000 for the purchase of Graphing Calculators for Longview High School students using MSAP Grant Funds.

  • APPROVED the $29,630 purchase of new freezers and shelving for the LHS Meat Lab. The current freezers are no longer operational and need to be replaced.

  • APPROVED Board Policy Update 117 containing recommended changes to local policies on topics including: Purchasing and Acquisitions, Facilities Construction, Compensation and Benefits; and Leave and Absences.

  • APPROVED insurance coverage for School Professional Legal Liability, General Liability, Fleet, Property, Crime, Boiler & Machinery, as proposed by the TASB Risk Management Fund for 2021-22;

  • APPROVED donations of $350 from C&F Oilfield Maintenance and $200 from the Law Office of Goudarzi & Young to help with uniform fees for the Longview High School Majorettes;

  • RECEIVED the district-wide Safety Report, COVID-19 Update, and LISD Facilities Update from Mr. Dennis Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative & Pupil Services;

  • RECEIVED an update on the district's Office of Innovation and the status of current federal grant funding applications from Dr. James Coleman, LISD Chief Innovation Officer;

  • RECEIVED the Community Relations and Human Resources departmental reports from Dr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services;

  • ENDORSED Region VII Candidate Mr. Tony Raymond of Sabine ISD to fill a current position on the TASB Board of Directors;

  • APPROVED a resolution extending Depository Contract for Funds of Longview ISD with Southside Bank;

  • APPROVED the Time Use Tracker and official Minutes for the June 14th Regular Meeting;

  • RECEIVED a report on the district's Financial Statement as of June 2021;

  • APPROVED the 2020-21 Third Quarter Investment Report;

  • APPROVED an amendment Board Policy DK (Local); and

  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 13.

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 9th, 2021.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here