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FYI: Round Rock ISD expanding safety, security department

Austin American-Statesman - 11/13/2019

School district expanding safety and security department

The Round Rock school district is creating a new leadership position focusing on student mental health and expanding its safety and security office following recommendations from a citizen-led task force.

The expansion includes promoting Jeffrey Yarbrough to executive director of security and safety. Yarbrough, whom the district hired in April as director of safety and security, is responsible for overseeing campus and event security.

Yarbrough also acts as a liaison with the Round Rock Police Department, Williamson County sheriff's office and the Austin Community College Police Department, which all provide school resource officers to the district through an interlocal agreement.

District staff said the director of behavioral health will work to improve student academic achievement and well-being by providing mental health services, and will oversee programs for students who are in crisis or considered at risk due to depression, grief, suicidal ideation, anger, inadequate social skills, disruptive behavior or family problems. The position reports directly to Yarbrough.

The district is conducting a candidacy search for the new director position, staff said.

The expanded scope of the security office comes after a citizen-led security and safety task force provided a report to the school board in September. Following a year of investigating security and safety options for the district, task force members told the board that addressing prevention and behavioral health issues must be part of a long-term safety strategy.

--Staff report

School district keeps AAA bond rating

Following the latest bond rating upgrade in October, the Round Rock school district announced it has kept its AAA bond rating from both Moody's and Fitch credit rating agencies.

According to Moody's, the AAA rating reflects the district's local economy and tax base, which continues to grow rapidly, well-managed financial operations, substantial financial reserves, good resident wealth and income profile and a growing enrollment base.

The rating incorporates the district's low pension burden and above-average debt profile that remains manageable and reflects the district's ongoing rapid growth.

The direct benefit of the AAA bond rating is the lowering of the interest rate obtained when bonds are sold in the market. A lower interest rate reduces interest payments and provides relief to taxpayers by reducing the overall debt burden.

The district has maintained its AAA bond rating from both Moody's and Fitch since 2015.

--Staff report

School district graduation ticket forms available

Round Rock school district families needing more than the allotted graduation tickets for the May 2020 ceremonies may submit an online request for additional graduation tickets.

The form will be available to complete through Nov. 22. The submission of the form does not guarantee additional tickets.

If all ticket requests are able to be filled by the deadline of Nov. 22, families will be notified. If the campus has a shortfall, all requests will be subject to a random selection process. All families will be notified by Dec. 6 if their request for extra tickets is approved or denied. If tickets are still available after working through this process, campuses will communicate how they will be distributed to graduates still needing more.

Children ages 2 and younger will be admitted without a ticket but must be seated on a lap.

For information or forms: bit.ly/2qPrNdA.

--Staff report

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