Trustees met in a closed executive session during Special Meeting to discuss routine as well as other personnel matters, and to discuss the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve routine personnel items. No other public action was taken.
Special Meeting Agenda
Associate Superintendent for Finance Karen Wilson, as superintendent designee, expressed gratitude to first responders and the SBISD Police Dept. for aiding those impacted by the Jan. 24 plant explosion that occurred in the Spring Branch area. Several SBISD employees suffered related property losses. January is the month that marks two special recognitions, she also noted. One is National Mentoring Month, while Texas also celebrates Board of Trustees Appreciation Month.
A district resident and a parent of an Academy of Choice (AOC) student spoke about the merits of the Summit program, and asked the Board to reconsider action related to Summit and to listen to parents and students.
Sights and Sounds around Spring Branch ISD
A video presentation created by the Communications Dept. focusing on mentoring during National Mentoring Month was shared. SBISD supports an active and growing mentoring program in district schools called SpringBoard.
Sights and Sounds Around SBISD Video
School Board Appreciation Month Recognition
Associate Superintendent for Community Relations Linda Buchman thanked SBISD’s Trustees for all they do for Every Child and for the community here. Each is special and brings unique skills, perspectives and expertise to the Board. “We know that there is no other school district in Texas, or I might say across the nation, blessed to have a Board of Trustees like we have here in SBISD. You bring heart, hope and a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to your roles as Trustees,” she said. “You give literally hundreds of hours of service – as perhaps our most hard-working unpaid volunteers – visiting campuses, attending events, mentoring students, answering questions from parents and community members – often in the middle aisle of the grocery store – representing SBISD across the city, state and nation.”
A small group of kindergarten and early childhood learners from Spring Shadows, Shadow Oaks and Terrace elementary schools, and the Tiger Trail School for Early Learning presented the seven Board members with books written for emerging readers. Trustees were encouraged to donate books to the schools of their choice. Literacy is one of SBISD’s priority goals.
Trustees earned several additional special recognitions from Harris County politicians at this meeting. County Judge Lina Hidalgo, touring the Spring Branch area visiting families impacted by the Jan. 24 -Watson Grinding explosion, told Board members that “your work means so much to me.” The Board also received a special proclamation from a representative of Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle.
Joint Public Hearing on the 2018-2019 Texas Academic Performance Report
The Board conducted a joint public hearing with the District Improvement Team (DIT) on the 2018-19 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR), including a public presentation by Executive Director for Assessment and Compliance Keith Haffey. The detailed report was based both on student assessment and PEIMS data compiled by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Key topic areas include accreditation statuses, a district profile, STAAR performance, and graduation and college readiness. Areas of strength and opportunity were highlighted. No speakers appeared for the public hearing.
Board members shared areas of interest and concern during a discussion. Topics raised included the performance of English learner, bilingual, and economically disadvantaged students; and high school graduation and dropout prevention efforts. The district’s priority focus on literacy, and special effort related to teacher training and development at the elementary and middle school level, was shared. Every year, SBISD educates hundreds of newcomer middle and high school students who are English learners with limited or few English literacy skills. SBISD has a need to provide additional layers of support to meet the urgent needs of these students, an administration representative said. Trustee President Pam Goodson thanked DIT members in attendance.
Trustees approved Consent Agenda items unanimously (7-0), except for Item 6B, which was discussed at length separately. The consent agenda reflects items considered to be routine, and is voted on and then approved as a whole unless a Trustee removes one or more items for separate consideration.
Item 6B was discussed separately due to a $4 million budget addition related to construction of Hunters Creek Elementary School, one of several elementary schools being rebuilt under the 2017 Bond Plan. In brief, Harris County and City of Houston building codes adopted after Hurricane Harvey and its flooding impact will make it unfeasible to include a lower-elevation, current gym at Hunters Creek into the new school plan. District bond contingency funds will be used in this case to build a new gym. A review will be conducted to assess the impact on future bond projects of higher-elevation code requirements. The 2017 district bond was presented and approved by district voters before height requirements for new facilities like schools had been discussed nor approved. Trustees approved the specific facilities budget change unanimously (7-0) after discussion.
Consent Agenda Action Items (View Full Agenda for All Items)
Consent Agenda Action Item 6B
Update on SBISD’s T-2-4 Goal
Associate Superintendent for Academics Kristin Craft, Ed.D., reminded all gathered for this update and presentation that SBISD has a single-focused T-2-4 goal for all graduates to obtain either a technical certificate, military training, or a two- or four-year college degree. Student Support Services Executive Director Lance Stallworth, Ed.D., and Director of Guidance Counseling and School Support Tyra Walker then presented an annual update of efforts related to this ambitious goal.
In brief, Dr. Stallworth noted that the district had introduced more specific measurement of its student military enrollments, and career and technical certifications would be tracked. SBISD continues to focus on those students – about a third of each recent graduating class – who do not declare a focus for their lives after high school. During the past decade, SBISD graduates’ data has remained consistent: Roughly half (45-50 percent) of students attend a four-year college; 16-18 percent of students attend a two-year college; and a third or more (35-39 percent) of students do not have post-secondary involvement.
Director Walker described current efforts to engage students in T-2-4 goal thinking as captured through a 4-E Experience model – Expose, Explore, Experience, Execute. Students at all grade levels are exposed to different careers and opportunities, with the district focused on a variety of measures so all students learn more about themselves and their interests as they move forward. In high school, students need a range of career and academic experiences to develop future options and plans, and supports to finalize their post-secondary plans. SBISD wants all seniors to graduate with clear goals, plans and next steps.
During discussion, Trustees commented on several separate but related issues. Students need to understand costs and financing of post-secondary education. How does the district manage T-2-4 goal setting for its students arriving as new English learners in high school? The expansion of digital devices to all students enrolled in SBISD high schools should make online tools for college and career exploration highly desirable if not a priority, it was said during robust discussion.
T-2-4 Update Presentation
No closing remarks were made.