MIDLOTHIAN — A Monday session of the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees saw three significant agenda items passed and one recognition bestowed upon the district as a whole.

During the regular session held Monday, April 17, the MISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved three additional sports to be offered at Midlothian Heritage and Midlothian High Schools and Frank Seale and Walnut Grove Middle Schools, fees associated with the 1:1 M*Powered Initiative, and the plan associated with becoming a District of Innovation.

Just before the passing of the consent agenda from the previous session of the trustees, the board, along with MISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter and Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jim Norris, was recognized after receiving the Transparency Stars Award in Traditional Finance and Debt Obligations from the Texas Comptroller.

According to an MISD press release, Transparency Stars recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to critical financial data.

“By providing meaningful financial data in addition to visual tools and analysis of its revenues and expenditures, Midlothian Independent School District has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by my office’s Transparency Stars program,” stated Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in the MISD release. “I am pleased to award Midlothian ISD a star for its accomplishments.”

Launched in March 2016, the program conducted by the comptroller's office recognizes "cities, counties and school districts making important strides to greater government transparency." Those entities can apply for the stars in traditional finances, contracts and procurement, economic development, public pensions, and debt obligations.

Originally passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, the District of Innovation allows school districts "flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates," states the MISD press release. "In creating the innovation plan for Midlothian ISD, a committee was established to assist with the plan's creation," the MISD release states. "The committee consisted of teachers, principals, administrators, and community members. A total of 27 people were invited to participate, and the final committee totaled 18 members."

The trustees unanimously approved the plan.

The initial 1:1 M*Powered Initiative, which will supply iPad Airs to students PreK-5th grade and MacBook Airs to grades 6-12, was originally passed during the MISD Board of Trustees meeting held Nov. 14, 2016. On Monday, the board approved the fees associated with the initiative.

"A non-refundable device usage fee must be paid before the device can be issued to the student," states an MISD press release. "The fee has been set as low as feasible and will be used to assist the district in covering costs not just associated with the device, but also repairs, peripherals, software, personnel, professional development and other facets to ensure this program is both successful and sustainable for MISD students."

For elementary students, the usage costs will be $40 per school year, with those receiving reduced lunch required to pay $20 and those with free lunches expected to pay $10. Secondary students are required to pay $80 for the district-issued MacBook Airs, with reduced lunch students required to pay $40 and free lunch students $20.

The board also unanimously approved to add boys and girls swimming teams to Midlothian Heritage and Midlothian High Schools for the 2017-18 school year, as well as soccer and wrestling teams to Frank Seale and Walnut Grove Middle Schools.

Matt Sanders was also appointed as the MISD Board of Trustees' representative on the board of the Midlothian Education Foundation.