Trustees met in a closed executive session during a 5:30 p.m. Special Meeting to discuss routine and other personnel matters, and to consult with the Board’s attorney concerning legal requirements for various electoral systems. No action was taken after attorney’s consultation. Trustees then voted 7-0 and approved routine personnel items.
Special Meeting Agenda
In a first semester closing message, Superintendent Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D., thanked Trustees for her opportunity to lead SBISD. Dr. Blaine also thanked district and campus leaders, teachers and staff members for adopting a laser-like focus on key priorities, including literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional supports for students, with added secondary-level priorities like digital expansion, with increasing use of the itslearning system, an online educational platform.
“Looking forward to the second semester, it is my expectation that principals will focus on these areas, and that we will sacrifice for focus,” Dr. Blaine said. “We’re excited for the upcoming semester. I think that it’s really going to be a great [new] year.”
A district resident and Academy of Choice (AOC) teacher spoke in support of continuing the Summit program learning platform at AOC. Informational folders were also shared with gathered Trustees.
Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch ISD
A video presentation created by the Communications Dept, “In the Zone – December 2019,” was shared. The brief video describes recent events and programs involving SBISD students, teachers, staff members and families.
Sights and Sounds Around SBISD Video
#IAMSBISD Award Winners – SBISD Technology Team
Trustee Minda Caesar introduced the district’s #IAMSBISD Award, which recognizes individuals for going above and beyond in exemplifying one or more of SBISD’s five Core Values. Recognized this month is the SBISD Technology Team for its swift responses to unexpected power outages and other issues that arose during the Thanksgiving holiday break. Team members were honored for their key Core Value responses of Collective Greatness and Collaborative Spirit. Recognized at the Board meeting were Christina Masick, SBISD associate superintendent for technology; Mark Maxwell, applications director, and Wes Hargrove, director of systems, and Tommy Mertz, Student Information Systems manager. Joining administrators in earning the top district recognition were Operations & Engineering staff members Greg Sorensen, Teddy Herman, Isaac William, Ben Allen, Bryan Faul and Jason Bostick. Kyle Mickelson with the SIS Department was also honored with his peers.
Adoption of Local Policy
After a third reading, Trustees voted unanimously (7-0) to adopt local policy BQA Planning and Decision-making Process: District Level. The revised policy includes minor language changes involving the District Improvement Team (DIT). New or amended policies come up before the Board at least three times before a final approval vote occurs. Before the vote, Trustee Karen Peck noted that the proposed policy was posted online for public review without public comment or response. In addition, no amendments were suggested for discussion.
Policy BQA (Local) Planning and Decision-making Process: District Level
Approval of 2020-2021 Course Catalogs for Middle and High Schools
Trustees voted unanimously (7-0) to approve 2020-2021 course catalogs for middle and high school students. Trustee Karen Peck noted before voting that the catalogs were discussed at the Board’s full-day Winter Retreat meeting, held earlier in December.
2020-2021 Course Catalog for Middle School
2020-2021 Course Catalog for High School
Trustees approved the Consent Agenda items unanimously (7-0). The consent agenda reflects those items considered to be routine, and it is voted on and approved as a whole unless a Trustee removes one or more items for separate consideration.
Consent Agenda Action Items (View Full Agenda for All Items)
Family Education, Engagement and Empowerment (Family E3) Discussion
Associate Superintendent for Community Relations Linda Buchman provided introductory remarks on SBISD’s Family Education, Engagement, and Empowerment (E3) initiative, including staffing impacts in this area resulting from state-mandated reductions in school funding that occurred in 2011. Family E3 represents the district’s framework for advancing family education, engagement and empowerment in all schools. Team leaders Betsabeth Beyk and Leticia Verdinez were introduced and then spoke about the program in detail.
Beyk and Verdinez described key components of the SBISD Family E3 framework which promises, principles, vision, and expectations for all stakeholders. Beyk noted that 40 years of research shows an increase in student achievement when families, schools and the community all partner on behalf of the student’s own needs and opportunities. Over time, the research also shows the need to move from the “parent involvement” to a fuller “family engagement” model, with a goal of daily practice. This key shift in thinking and perception is reflected today in federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
In her presentation, Verdinez highlighted several achievements at the district level. Highlights included a district Translation Policy, with regular use of easy-to-use listening devices for talks and discussion; local school sessions known as the Technology Academy for Parents; and other learning and listening options. Moving forward, Family E3 team priorities include building the capacity of staff and families, and valuing everyone’s role in creating family engagement practice and success.
Three campus principals spoke compellingly about how attention to the new family engagement model had motivated changes at their own schools. Wilchester Elementary Principal Liz Goodman spoke about campus outreach to engage more parents and families, including hiring a support specialist to better serve the 25 separate home languages spoken. At Spring Forest Middle, Principal Raymorris Barnes said the district’s T-2-4 goal was supported through Parent U sessions and greater two-way communications. Principal Jennifer Collier noted that engagement tactics and strategy at Spring Woods High to change the campus “narrative” had produced big results: Interest in the high school from feeder schools was way up, and the annual Tiger Party on the Patio celebration had increased parent participation from 250 years ago to more than 1,500 attendees this past year.