Expanding programming, student opportunities in Leander ISD

Expanding programming, student opportunities in Leander ISD
Posted on 10/03/2018


I have worked in and visited many great public schools in my more than 30 years of education. However, I have never been a part of a district that offers the kinds of opportunities for students that we do in Leander ISD. Career and Technical Education, fine arts, dual credit courses, athletics, entrepreneurship… the list of programming options in LISD schools goes on and on. And there is more to come.

In both of our live Facebook Q&As this school year (check the LISD Facebook page if you would like to watch them), we addressed community interest in various program expansions. For example, some in our community would like to see the district start an orchestra program. Others would like to see the district build a natatorium or expand middle school athletics and STEM programs.

The Board of Trustees has directed LISD administration to work with the community to look at new and exciting programs, and we have a community-led Program Advisory Committee that is examining ways to expand academic and extracurricular programs to offer an even more enriching educational experience to our students. The PAC will study the costs, challenges and benefits of new programs (or the expansion of existing programs) and present a prioritized list to the board next spring.

There are many great ideas out there, and we would love to be able to do all of them. In the end, we only have so many funds available to us, so the PAC will have to answer several questions in assessing all the possibilities:

How many students will benefit?

What are the costs to start a program and maintain it?

What are the staffing consideration and the space requirements

How would it be implemented and in what time frame?

How do we implement a program equitably in a diverse district that spans roughly 200 square miles?

These are difficult questions to answer, and I am so thankful that our staff and community members are taking on this challenge. We look forward to working together to expand innovative and exciting programs so that all students have a place to thrive and a place to belong.