Frisco Town Council members and town staffers took a field trip down the road on Tuesday for a work session with leaders from another public entity.
The town representatives met with members of the Summit School District to get an update on Frisco Elementary School.
They also listened to a school district presentation and learned about Amendment 66, a statewide ballot measure that will transform public education funding.
“We try to get together at least once a year with both the school board and the town council, and that creates a dialogue with what’s going on with Frisco Elementary, as well as the school district as a whole,” said Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson on Tuesday evening. “Our elementary school is very important to the community and we love to see its success. It looks like they are on a great path forward.”
In her presentation, Frisco Elementary School principal Renea Hill outlined the latest happenings at the school, and school leaders’ goals for young community members attending the institution.
“Our real hope for our kids is that they become critical thinkers and that they can attack problems and attempt solutions,” Hill said. “We want them to be those go-getters when they grow up and be leaders — and hopefully in the town of Frisco.”
Margaret Carlson, president of the board of education, said school district members have been working to increase outreach with members of the community as a whole.
“We’ve always had internal communication with parents and teachers and staff, but we felt it was important to get out not only in years that we were asking for something on the ballot — for funding — but on an ongoing basis,” Carlson said.
A recent community survey suggested the school district is on the right track. Sixty-seven percent of respondents gave the school district a grade A or B, school district representatives said.
School district representatives talked about budget constraints and ways they’ve dealt with them in the past — including Frisco Elementary’s development of the project-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum (STEM) in response to dropping enrollment numbers. Today, they said, the school is on a better track.
Mark Rydberg, director of business services for the school district, explained what Amendment 66 would mean for the school district if voters approve it in the November election. The initiative has the potential to bring about $2.6 million dollars into the school district, he told town representatives.
Summit School District Superintendent Heidi Pace told the Frisco council she was first attracted to the district because of its commitment to students.
“I’ve never seen a school district’s mission statement that would make such a bold statement as, ‘We would do whatever it takes for the academic and character success for students,’” she said.
“I’ve found, now that I’m in the beginning of my third year (with the school district) that this is absolutely true,” Pace continued. “If we find something we really need to do to make things better for students, this school board, along with our teachers, our administrators, our parents and community absolutely will help us find a way to do that.”