Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Board Briefs - Aug. 27, 2018


Executive Session

Trustees met in executive (closed) session to consider personnel matters and real property and to consult with the board attorney. No action was taken upon return to open session.

Pledge of Allegiance

The Spring Branch ISD Navy JROTC presented colors for the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by Trustee Chris Vierra.

Recognition of #IAMSBISD

Dr. Muri (left) with #IAMSBISD recipients Neomi Leon-Garcia, Maureen Ucles and Sara Saied. On the right are Board President Josef Klam and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kristin Craft.

Chief Academic Officer Kristin Craft presented Susan Saied, now-retired but previously the math curriculum lead; Maureen Ucles, a multi-level classroom teacher at Woodview Elementary; and Noemi Leon-Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher at Westwood Elementary, for Board recognition of #IAMSBISD awards that were presented just prior to the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Saied led a team of new math coaches from four district elementary schools that met over the spring semester to support one another and “grow in math leadership,” said Craft. Saied also worked with staff at Woodview Elementary to create extra learning time for fifth-graders.

Craft said that she approached Leon-Garcia and Ucles early last school year to brainstorm ideas for supporting fourth-grade writing.  Together with principal Jessica Tejada of Edgewood Elementary, the team laid out job-embedded learning for fourth-grade language arts teachers new to role. The coaching was delivered through sessions on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. “We built a very strong cohort of teachers who focused on the right things,” Craft said.

The #IAMSBISD recognition is awarded by the superintendent and senior staff to individuals or groups who personify one or more of the district’s core values of Every Child, Collaborative Spirit, Collective Greatness, Limited Curiosity and Moral Compass. Craft recognized Saied, Ucles and Leon-Garcia for their Collaborative Spirit in working with other educators on real-time solutions to academic challenges.

Commendation of SBISD Trustees by State Board of Education (SBOE)

Dr. Muri (left), Trustees Minda Caesar, Chris Vierra, Pam Goodson and Josef Klam; SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich, and Trustees Karen Peck, Chris Gonzalez and Carter Breed.

Trustees were recognized by Donna Bahorich, SBOE chair. Bahorich commended the Board for completing continuing education hours as a “Team of Eight” – seven Trustees and the superintendent. She said that school boards work better as a team, and that the imagination and innovation of SBISD Trustees “takes focus and training.” A resident of the Memorial villages, Bahorich said she takes special pride when recognizing her home district.

Recognition of Navy JROTC

Board President Josef Klam (left) with cadets from SBISD’s Navy JROTC unit and Cdr. Jerry Coufal and Dr. Muri.

Trustees recognized SBISD Navy JROTC and its recent designation as a Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors, one of only 11 in Texas and the 13th consecutive year the unit has earned the distinction. Cdr. Jerry Coufal said that earning the distinction involves teams from the unit taking a standardized test. SBISD’s had four five-person teams in the competition, each comprising at least a freshman, a sophomore, a junior and a senior. Coufal noted that especially the freshmen had to quickly be brought up to speed.
School Zone story 8-7-18

Recognition of Educational Results Partnership Honor Roll Schools

Board President Josef Klam (left) with Ellen Green, principal, Memorial Middle; Liz Goodman, principal, Wilchester Elementary; Nancy Harn, principal, Rummel Creek Elementary; Pam Pennington, principal, Frostwood Elementary; Lynne Barry, director, SBAI; Chief Academic Officer Kristin Craft and Dr. Muri.

Trustees recognized Frostwood, Rummel Creek and Wilchester elementaries, Memorial Middle School and Spring Branch Academic Institute (SBAI) for earning Honor Roll distinction from the Educational Results Partnership (ERP). Chief Academic Officer Kristin Craft said that ERP uses data science to help improve student outcomes and career readiness across the country, and through its Honor Roll recognizes public schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student achievement, improvement in achievement over time and reduction in achievement gaps – similar to the work in SBISD.

Adoption of Policy

Trustees approved on third reading a batch of board policy updates from TASB (Texas Association of School Boards). Policy Liaison Karen Peck said the updates were recommended to match board policy with current law. She also said that the updates were posted on the Board’s policy website and received no public comment.
TASB Policy Update 109

Approval of Chapter 41 Contract Option 3

Trustees unanimously approved, albeit unwillingly, Chapter 41 Contract Option 3. Trustees expressed frustration that a local school board has to elect to pay recapture – Robin Hood – to the state of Texas, the other option being “removal” of property from the district’s tax rolls to another district’s tax rolls. In other words, said Trustee Minda Caesar, the local board is left with no option at all. Chief Financial Officer Karen Wilson gave a brief history of SBISD and Robin Hood, starting with the local election in October of 2003 where the district opted to send its recapture directly to another school district. Over time the Legislature changed the law and removed that option, instead requiring recapture be paid directly to the state. She said that no one in 2003 foresaw how much recapture would grow over the years. SBISD will send $88 million in recapture to the state this year – some 24 percent of general fund revenue.

Trustee Chris Vierra said, for the record, that she has “high expectations” for our local legislators to fix the public school finance system in Texas during the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature. “I will be watching closely,” she said, adding that she hopes the SBISD community will be too.
Agreement for the Purchase of Attendance Credits

Consent Agenda

Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, with Trustee Chris Gonzalez abstaining from 7(c) because she’s been a paid consultant for Emerge, one of the awardees. The consent agenda is a collection of routine items that are considered as a whole. A Trustee has the privilege of removing an item for separate consideration. No items were removed during this vote.
Consent Agenda (7)

Opening of School

Senior Staff presented a “by the numbers” look at the first full week of school this year, which opened on Thursday, Aug. 16. Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri noted that not only does it take the district’s 4,600 employees to get ready for a new school year but that it also “takes a village.” He noted the local groups and non-profits that helped SBISD students through clothing vouchers, health fairs, donation of school supplies and more. 
Opening of School Presentation

2017 Bond Program Update

Trustees heard an update on the 2017 Bond program. Approved by 80 percent of vote in November 2017, the $898.4 million bond is the seventh largest in Texas school bond history and among other things continues the work of the 2007 bond program.
Director of Planning and Construction Travis Stanford first recapped Bond 2017 as presented to voters. He said that the first issue, or sale, of bonds earlier this summer netted $147 million in proceeds. Those proceeds had earned $247,500 in interest as of July 31, and nearly $2.3 million in proceeds have been expended under the 2017 Bond program this summer.
Bond 2017 Update 8-27-18

Progress so far:

Career and Technology Education (CTE): The CTE Task Force has completed Phase 1 of its work, has kicked off Phase 2 and will report its final recommendations to Trustees in December.
CTE Task Force Interim Report to BOT 6-25-18 

Fine Arts: More than $2 million in band and orchestra instruments have been ordered, and many delivered.

Technology: School readiness for digital expansion was presented at the Aug. 13 workshop. Student devices are arriving and being distributed on campuses now and will continue throughout the school year.
School Readiness for Digital Expansion Presentation to BOT 8-13-18

Transportation: Boosted by a couple of grants worth more than $500,000, the Transportation Department has ordered 25 buses to replace buses in the current fleet that are 15-17 years old. “(The grants) make our money go further,” Stanford said.

Facilities: Trustees in March approved seven architectural firms to work with Bond 2017, firms that Stanford said have “extensive” experience working with public schools, as well as a number of professional services firms. Stanford said response was high and that a lot of firms want to work with Spring Branch ISD.

Projects: Mechanical and lighting work is complete at Bear Boulevard and Lion Lane pre-K centers. Crews will be ready to begin similar work at the district’s other pre-K centers once the school year ends in May. A Master Plan Advisory Team (MPAT) will begin work in September on a master plan for Memorial High School. Project Advisory Teams (PATs) for Spring Woods High School, Buffalo Creek Elementary and Treasure Forest Elementary will begin meeting in September to help design renovations on those campuses. Renovation work to include roofing and window replacement in the gym at Spring Oaks Middle School is in the design phase.

Standards: Standards have been developed for turf fields and high school auditoriums, and specifications refined for middle schools (Landrum, scheduled to be replaced). A Request for Qualifications is being developed for Construction Managers at Risk (CMR).

Next Steps: Preliminary/fact-finding work at Tiger Trail, Wildcat Way, Cedar Brook Elementary, Hunters Creek Elementary, Landrum Middle School, Memorial High School, Northbrook High School and Stratford High School. A committee will be formed to study furniture, fixture and equipment needs at new replacement elementary schools; a separate furniture committee will look at furniture needs at the secondary campuses.

SBISD Legislative Agenda

Trustee Chris Vierra presented a draft document for consideration. She said she hopes that not only Trustees but the community will use the document when visiting or communicating with legislators. Trustee Minda Caesar said that she’d like something added that would urge legislation that would provide consistent language and metrics across the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, especially since that’s what legislators use when making decisions. Trustees will further refine the legislative agenda at the Fall Workshop on Friday, Sept. 7. The 86th Texas Legislature convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, for its biennial 140-day session. The 86th Legislature closes on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
Draft Legislative Agenda

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees will be the Fall Retreat on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Technology Training Center, 14330 Memorial. A Board Workshop will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center (Administration Building), 955 Campbell. Please note the day change for the workshop meeting.