Welcome to Burnet CISD. Located in the Hill Country, Burnet CISD is spread out over 700 square miles and serves 3,200 students in 6 campuses. Burnet CISD has a rich history of excellence in academics and extracurricular activities, and is committed to CRAFTING the FUTURE. That future is as unique as each of our students. For some that means preparing them for college or a trade school, while others it means preparing them to earn a certification or enter the workforce with demonstrable skills. Our students are excelling inside the classroom and outside the classroom. I am proud to be the superintendent of Burnet CISD and to be a member of this wonderful community. You will find that there is a real sense of care and community within the District. If I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact me.
In order to keep District stakeholders informed, I write a newspaper article on a regular basis and post it on the District's website. You will find the most recent articles below.
To find out more about Keith McBurnett, click HERE.
September 11, 2019
Homecoming Week is next week in Burnet CISD, and that means mums, pep rallies, parades, bonfire and football. It is also a time to welcome back our alumni. I hope that our alumni and community will join us in celebrating Homecoming by attending the Homecoming Parade on Thursday, September 19 at 6:30 p.m. on the square followed by the bonfire at 7:30 p.m. in the field just west of Burnet High School. On Friday, please join us for the pep rally at the BHS gymnasium beginning at 3:00 p.m. Of course you have to wrap up your Homecoming Week by coming out Friday evening and watching the Burnet Bulldogs take on the Manor Titans. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Speaking of alumni, we are preparing to honor the seventh set of inductees to the Burnet CISD Hall of Honor, but we need your help. Nominations are being accepted for the Hall of Honor and can be submitted electronically by going to www.burnetcisd.net
and selecting the Hall of Honor link under the Community tab at the top of the homepage. In February, we will honor four individuals in the following categories: Distinguished Burnet High School Graduate, Distinguished Former Burnet High School Athlete, Distinguished Former School Board Member and Distinguished Former Employee. We are looking for nominations of individuals that have not only brought great honor to themselves, but they have also brought great honor to Burnet CISD.
The student enrollment in Burnet CISD is currently 3,212, which is approximately 20 more students than our enrollment this same time last year. The District’s enrollment has increased by 93 students since fall 2016. At the September 16 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees will receive a detailed report from the District’s demographer that includes 10 year enrollment projections for the District and each campus. Under a moderate growth projection, Burnet CISD could add 354 students over the next 10 years. A high growth scenario could result in 615 new students in the next 10 years.
Utilizing TEA guidelines for student to teacher ratios in grades PK-4, and Burnet CISD guidelines for grade 5, Bertram Elementary has an estimated capacity of 450 students. Based on the demographic report, Bertram Elementary is projected to exceed an enrollment of 450 students by the year 2025. That is why the District is proposing as part of the bond program to add a new classroom building to increase the overall capacity of Bertram Elementary to 700 students. In addition to new classrooms, the District is also proposing to increase the parking lot and drive to accommodate the larger school population, which also means reconfiguring and refinishing the walking track. Finally, so that no student ever has to walk outside to move about the campus, the District is proposing adding hallways that connect all of the classroom buildings. The estimated budget for this work is $9,081,724 million. To find out more about the 2019 Bond, please go to www.burnetcisd.net.
Finally, I am fortunate to currently serve as the president of the Hill Country Community Foundation, and I am a proud Rotarian. The Foundation was originally begun as a Project of the Rotary Club of Burnet. More than 35 years later, the Rotary Club of Burnet is honored to have played a role in planting the seed for a Foundation, that to date, has provided scholarships to 3,656 students in the amount of $5.6 million. Every Burnet CISD graduating senior is eligible for a scholarship ranging from $700 to $4,000 to support any post high school education or training opportunity. Getting back to its roots, the Rotary Club of Burnet is hosting The Rotary Scholarship Night for Kids fundraiser on September 21 at Hidden River Ranch. The event was created to benefit and support the Hill Country Community Foundations’ mission by increasing the funds available for scholarships. If you would like to have a fun evening, and give to a great cause, please consider purchasing a ticket at www.thehccf.org.
August 28, 2019
We have had a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 school year, and all credit goes to our outstanding staff and students. As you know, in July our nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic landing on the moon. Even before we had the technology or understanding of how to land on the moon, President Kennedy set forth the challenge and said, “It will not be one man going to the moon…it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.” That’s how I feel about our mission of crafting an inspiring future for students. It takes all of us from teachers to bus drivers, and administrators to custodians to ensure we are living our mission.
Not only does it take our staff, but we couldn’t accomplish many of our goals without the support of our outstanding volunteers. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds. They may be members of a group that has adopted a school; grandparents of children in school; or individuals who want to give back to the community. Volunteers can read to students, tutor in a particular subject area, work in the library, or assist with special events. There is almost no end to the opportunities available to volunteer through the Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) program. The process to volunteer is as simple as completing a background check, and letting us know how you want to help out. A link to the volunteer application can be found at www.burnetcisd.net
under the Community tab.
This past Monday, the Board of Trustees held a Budget and Tax Rate Hearing, and later the same evening during the Regular August Board Meeting, approved the 2019-2020 budget. As part of the budget adoption process, the Board voted to lower the overall tax rate from $1.26 to $1.185 for a decrease of 7.5 cents. This is the fourth year in a row the Board of Trustees has voted to lower the tax rate. The Board of Trustees and administration are committed to having low tax rates while also planning for growth, and maintaining or exceeding the standards of the Texas Education Agency.
As you are aware, the Board called for a November 5 Bond Election for $33.1 million that include projects at every campus that target:
• Student growth accommodation, especially at Bertram Elementary
• Safety and security enhancements
• Efficiency enhancements
• Enhanced classroom learning environments
• Useful life extension of aging facilities and infrastructure
Based on current estimates, even with the passage of the 2019 Bond, voters will still recognize a 7.5 cent tax rate decrease, and no tax increase in 2020. This is because the 19.5 cent I&S tax rate is sufficient to service the 20 year life of this bond, and all other existing debt obligations.
The District is in the process of developing a Burnet CISD 2019 Bond informational website with project information, tax rate information, and frequently asked questions. The website should be up and running within the next couple of weeks, and will be able to be accessed at www.burnetcisd.net.
In addition, the District is developing a schedule of informational meetings for the 2019 Bond. One of the first opportunities to hear more about the 2019 Bond will be at Coffee with the Superintendent on September 17 at 8:00 a.m. at the Parent Resource Center located at 208 East Brier in Burnet. Please join me for additional information.
August 7, 2019
The theme for this school year is Climbing to New Heights: Adventure Awaits, and it is hard to believe that Monday, August 19 the 2019-2020 School Year begins. I have a senior who will be graduating in May 2020, and kindergarten students that begin school this year will graduate in May 2032. Try to wrap your mind around that!
We have been busy planning for the new school year which includes hiring new teachers, wrapping up the budget, and getting the campuses cleaned and ready for students and teachers. In addition, we have tackled some significant projects this summer including painting all of the classrooms at Burnet Middle School, renovating selected campus restrooms, and replacing the cracking and failing asphalt at the walkways at Bulldog Stadium. The Board of Trustees has approved the expansion of the Shady Grove Elementary drive. The project is currently going through permitting, and we hope to break ground within the next two weeks. We are working with our contractor to complete the work in stages so that school operation is not impacted. Once completed, Shady Grove will have two dedicated lanes for car rider pickup, and one dedicated lane to access parking. The number of parking spaces is also being increased significantly.
On August 26 the Board of Trustees will adopt the 2019-2020 tax rate and budget. The Board is pleased to have proposed a 7.5 cent tax rate decrease for the 2019-2020 school year during its regular July meeting, and officially approve the reduced tax rate of $1.185 in a few weeks. This will represent the fourth consecutive year the Board has voted to lower the tax rate. Even with the lower tax rate, the District has been able to provide historic pay raises for staff, add an instructional coach at each campus, and add two additional instructional partners at each campus. These new positions are designed specifically to provide direct support to teachers and classrooms.
Besides budget and compensation planning, the major area of focus this summer has been on facility planning. On May 6, the Board of Trustees heard a comprehensive report of needs on each campus/facility, and provided their input about the proposed projects. Over the course of three additional meetings this summer, the Board received cost estimates for each project, and prioritized the projects for consideration. A Facilities Community Advisory Committee (FCAC) comprised of 26 community members met recently for two meetings to review the projects, ask clarifying questions and provide feedback about the projects. On August 12 the Board of Trustees will hear a report on the feedback from the FCAC, and consider approving an order calling for a November 5 bond election. I will be sharing more information with the community about the possible bond election after August 12, but I want to make it clear that a called bond election will still result in a 7.5 cent tax rate decrease.
As the school year begins, let me take this opportunity to remind everyone to slow down in school zones and stop for school buses loading and unloading. Please also be patient the first few days of school as traffic is always heavier at the start of school as everyone is learning the traffic patterns at each campus. The increased traffic and learning curve means that bus routes will likely not run on time the first week of school. To help parents manage information about transportation, the District has a web based program called InfoFinderI that allows parents to look up bus information like the route number, stop times and stop locations for their children. In addition, the District has an app called SafeStop. This app will allow parents to monitor the progress of their child’s bus and will predict an arrival time to a bus stop. Parents can find the link to InfoFinderI and receive information on how to download and utilize the SafeStop app by going to www.burnetcisd.net
> Departments > Transportation.
Mark your calendars for Meet the Bulldogs! I hope you can join us on Thursday, August 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Burnet High School Gym for food and fellowship as the community is introduced to our band, athletes and teams for the fall sports. Team introductions will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Finally, the entire Burnet CISD staff is excited to welcome parents and students back to school. We have spent considerable time talking about communication and the type of environment we want to create for our students. During the school year, it is natural for a parent to have questions or even a concern at their child’s campus. It is important that questions or concerns be dealt with by the person closest to the issue so that they can be resolved in the best and most efficient manner possible. I encourage parents to discuss their questions or concerns through informal conferences with the appropriate teacher, principal or other campus administrator. When concerns are expressed as soon as possible, it allows for early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level. We look forward to working with you to make 2019-2020 a great school year for our students!
June 17, 2019
The Burnet CISD Board of Trustees and Administration are proud to announce as part of the 2019-2020 compensation plan a 7% midpoint general pay increase for teachers and librarians and a 5% midpoint general pay increase for all other staff. The starting salary for a teacher in Burnet CISD will increase from $44,500 to $48,100 for the 2019-2020 school year. The total cost of the 2019-2020 compensation plan is over $1.3 million, and well exceeds the legislative requirement of HB 3 by over $400,000.
“We are thrilled to provide this level of compensation to staff, and these pay raises would not have been possible without the passage of HB 3 and outstanding planning on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Administration,” said Superintendent Keith McBurnett. “Our mission of crafting the future with our students to ensure they are college, career, and military ready is made possible by all of our staff, whether they work in a classroom, a kitchen, or on a bus.”
In addition, the Board has approved increasing the District’s contribution for health insurance to $385 a month and the dental insurance to match the high premium plan. This will allow the District to continue to provide to employee-only free health insurance, free dental insurance, free vision insurance, and free telehealth services. “The Board of Trustees has been committed for years to making sure that when staff receives a pay raise, it is not negated by increasing insurance premiums,” McBurnett said.
In planning for the future, the Administration has shared with the Board its intention to recommend for the 2020-2021 school year a starting teacher salary of $50,000, a 4% midpoint general pay increase for all current teachers and a 2% midpoint general pay increase for all other staff.
“Outstanding compensation is just one of the ways that we can demonstrate to our staff how much they are valued and appreciated,” said McBurnett. “A major focus of the District’s Strategic Plan is to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and staff. We believe offering market-leading compensation and benefits is a key element of that plan.”
In addition to market-leading compensation and benefits for staff, the Board has also approved additional staff positions to increase the level of support provided to classroom teachers. This includes the hiring of an instructional coach at each of our traditional campuses along with the addition of two instructional partners at each campus. The Board has also approved hiring an intervention counselor that can support mental health needs for students in crisis.
The District will finalize the budget adoption in August, and the Board of Trustees and Administration are pleased to be able to develop a budget with a strong focus on the people within the organization, while also reducing the District’s tax rate. The Administration is forecasting an 8 cent decrease in the overall Burnet CISD tax rate for the 2019-2020 school year.
“Outstanding financial management does not happen by accident. I want to thank our Board of Trustees for the countless hours they have spent in special meetings this spring, and to the Business and Human Resources staff that have worked behind the scenes to bring the compensation and budget plans forward,” said McBurnett. “Our entire staff is extremely talented and hard-working. Together, we are committed to making sure students achieve at the highest level possible while living our vision to craft an inspiring future for each student that embodies spirit, pride, and honor.”
May 15, 2019
The UIL Lone Star Cup is awarded annually to six high schools, one in each of the six UIL classifications (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A), based on their team performance in district and state championships. The winning schools in each classification receive the UIL Lone Star Cup trophy. In Burnet CISD we have established the Lone Star Cup criteria as one of the many ways in which we measure our success. Our expectation of ourselves is to be the very best at everything in which we compete. At the most recent standings for 4A districts, Burnet CISD is just outside the top 25. We still have work to do to crack the top 25 and continue our march up the standings, and the performance of our UIL academic teams this spring are going to help with our standings when UIL releases the next update at the end of May.
One team that is going to add to that point total is the Burnet High School State Championship UIL Academic Spelling and Vocabulary Team. By capturing the gold medal two weeks ago in Austin, the Spelling and Vocabulary Team showed that hard work and focus pays off. Congratulations to Coach Mike Walzel and his team comprised of Cecilia Navarro, Emerie Danson, Kade Schrader, and Mitchell Howard. In addition, I want to congratulate to Kade Schrader for placing 2nd individually and Emerie Danson for placing 5th individually. In addition to the Spelling and Vocabulary Team, at the May 20 Board Meeting, the District will be honoring a whole host of students that competed at state level competitions this spring. That means there will be standing room only at the meeting, and that is a great problem to have when it is because you are honoring so many students!
The District has been working on developing its budget since January and conducted its first budget workshop in March. The next budget workshop is scheduled for June 3. The most challenging aspect of the budget development process at this point is not having a finalized school finance bill approved. Without having a revenue projection from the state, it is challenging to finalize a budget. The other challenge is not knowing how much money we will be required to send back to the state as part of recapture. Under the current law and projections, we expect to send over $3 million back to the state in the 2019-2020 school year. Our hope is that the legislators can wrap up their work on school finance before the session ends on May 27 so that we will have real numbers to work with at our June 3 budget workshop. The good news is that because of strong fiscal planning, if the state did not provide any new money to Burnet CISD, we have the funds available to maintain our current level of staffing and programming, and at a minimum, provide all staff with a 2% midpoint general pay increase for the 2019-2020 school year. With that said, the Texas Legislature must do their job in fixing school finance.
Tomorrow, May 16 at 7:00 p.m., the HCCF will award $390,000 in scholarships to Burnet and Quest High School students. Since 1983 the HCCF has awarded over $5.5 million in scholarships to 3,656 Burnet CISD graduates. That is an incredible investment in our young people, and a commitment that you don’t find in other communities. If you want to see this community’s investment in our future at work, feel free to join us at Burnet High School tomorrow. It is a special evening.
Finally, looking ahead to the end of the school year, I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the following dates:
May 23 Last Day of School; Early Dismissal; Quest High School Graduation, 7:00 p.m. at the BHS Auditorium
May 24 Burnet High School Graduation, 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Field
May 1, 2019
As you know, through the District’s strategic planning process, Burnet CISD formalized its volunteer program this school year and attracted over 600 volunteers. We hope to build on our success next year by attracting more volunteers, earning a greater number of volunteer hours. Another way that we are going to accomplish the goal of building collaborative relationships that actively engages our district, families and communities is through the soon to be launched Burnet CISD Adopt-A-School program.
The mission of the Burnet CISD Adopt-A-School program is to create school and community partnerships that positively impact student achievement. Adopt-A-School is a partnership between our school district and our community, whereby businesses, churches, or other organizations agree to provide volunteers and/or goods, donations, and/or discounts to individual schools or to support all schools within the District. The degree of participation by the Adopters is as varied as the Adopters themselves. Some organizations are able to organize more volunteers or donate more items, but every organization can make a commitment to a school.
In turn, Adopters will be recognized by an invitation to an appreciation reception in April, being listed on the District's web site and receiving a sign to be displayed at their business or organization.
If your business or organization would like to adopt a school in Burnet CISD, it is as easy as completing a short survey letting us know of your interest. The survey link can be found on the homepage of the BCISD webpage.
Once a business or organization has expressed interest in adopting a school via the survey, then a campus representative will reach out to the business or organization. During this meeting, it will be determined if the adopter is a fit for the campus, and the business or organization will be asked to complete an application to formalize the relationship.
Finally, I want to wrap up by sharing six words with you- Your Generosity. Our Community. Their Future. These six words capture the mission of the Hill Country Community Foundation (HCCF). The HCCF is a non-profit organization committed to the support of civic, health and educational programs that enrich the lives of citizens in Burnet. The HCCF invests in students and the community by offering a scholarship to EVERY student graduating from Burnet High School or Quest High School that is pursuing post high school education or training.
You can see the Foundation at work on May 16 at 7:00 p.m., as the HCCF will award over $300,000 in scholarships to Burnet and Quest High School students. Since 1983 the HCCF has awarded $5.2 million in scholarships to Burnet graduates. That is an incredible investment in our young people, and a commitment that you don’t find in other communities- big or small. If you want to see this community’s investment in our future at work, feel free to join us at Burnet High School on May 16- It is a special evening.
April 17, 2019
Two weeks ago the Rotary Club of Burnet gave away $21,000 in community grants to local non-profit organizations and service organizations. As a member of Rotary, I am very proud of its community grants, and it is another reason that you can add to my list of why I love living and working in Burnet. This community gives back to its citizens and there are hundreds of volunteers across the community working to serve people in need. I see examples every day in which these nonprofits are supporting the students and families of Burnet CISD. Kudos to Rotary for helping out these organizations and a big thank you to the local non-profits and service organizations that exemplify the Rotary motto of, “Service Above Self.”
Another group of people who truly exemplify “Service Above Self” are the Burnet CISD Volunteers of the Year. Our VIPs or Volunteers In Public Schools make a difference by giving back to Burnet CISD. Please help me congratulate these outstanding volunteers:
Burnet High School Volunteer of the Year - Gloria Flores
Quest High School- Michael Barnard
Burnet Middle School- Craig Lindholm
Bertram Elementary- Afton Floyd
Shady Grove Elementary- Vicinta Stafford
RJ Richey Elementary-Kristina Bailey
Parent Resource Center- Nancy Cranfill
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children. Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development. Burnet CISD is committed to creating a safe environment for students, and we are lucky in Burnet County to have the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center (HCCAC) as a resource to help in preventing child abuse and supporting families that have been victimized by child abuse. To learn more about the HCCAC please go to www.hccac.org.
Finally, please join me in welcoming Rachel Jones and her family to Burnet CISD. Rachel is the District’s new Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and her first official day was this past Monday. She is hitting the ground running by meeting with campus staffs to hear from them directly what support they need from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction to help all students be successful.
As a reminder, Rachel’s hire is just one part of a reorganization plan to provide greater direct support to campuses and teachers. The District has hired an Elementary Curriculum Coordinator to support elementary campuses and a Secondary Curriculum Coordinator to support secondary campuses, especially in the areas of curriculum revision, instructional resource adoption, professional development and formative assessments. To provide direct support to classroom teachers on a daily basis, the District is in the process of hiring an Elementary Instructional Coach and a Secondary Instructional Coach. This newly configured Department of Curriculum and Instruction is designed to support campus staff in continuing to improve teaching and learning and the District’s achievement as measured by the state accountability system. The Curriculum and Instruction Department should be finalized by May in order for the team to begin planning together this summer for the 2019-2020 school year.