Dr. Muri told Trustees that campus robotics teams from all levels are performing well at competitions and are getting noticed.
Sights and Sounds around Spring Branch ISD
Trustees watched a short video of SBISD students thanking mentors for helping them towards a successful academic career. January is National Mentoring Month.
National Mentoring Month Video
Further celebrating National Mentoring Month, Trustees recognized longtime mentor Jim Lemming and his mentee, Sharlston Murillo, as they were honored with #IAMSBISD awards for #Collective Greatness from Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman. Murillo became Lemming’s mentee soon after moving here from Costa Rica with his family, when Murillo had limited English skills. The pair were featured in a 2011 edition of STARNews, SBISD’s publication for senior citizens, which specifically mentioned that Lemming was “making college possible” for Murillo, who was graduating. Today. Murilo is an United States citizen, a college graduate and works at Lemming’s company.
Also recognized with #IAMSBISD was former Spring Woods High School Gear Up mentor coordinator Norma Alvarenga, who Buchman said understood even then – a year before the district’s T-2-4 goal was adopted – that through college was as important as to college. Alvarenga stayed in touch with Gear Up students throughout their post-secondary studies and helped ensure their success after they left SBISD. The district’s T-2-4 goal is that every SBISD graduate obtains a two- or four year degree, a technical certificate or military training within six years of graduation.
Recognition of NMS Teacher Kristian Lenderman
Trustees recognized Northbrook Middle School teacher Kristian Lenderman as the initial recipient of the Julius Glickman Educational Leadership Award. Lenderman was presented by NMS Principal Sarah Guerrero. Lenderman last year was an ELA expanded impact teacher Opportunity Culture-Texas (OC-TX) and was part of the NMS sixth-grade humanities team, an innovation developed through school redesign. She also participated in another NMS innovation—Lenderman was one of three teacher leaders who worked with assistant principals to develop systems for Restorative Justice to support school connectedness. This year Lenderman has taken on a new role, that of a TOTAL facilitator, one that connects her to the field in which she is pursuing her doctorate, special populations.
School Board Recognition Month
Dr. Muri lauded Trustees during School Board Appreciation Month recognition. He said they each said “yes” to service, and that they lived SBISD core values of #Limitless Curiosity, #Collective Greatness, #Collaborative Spirit, #Moral Compass and especially #Every Child. “It takes a village,” said Dr. Muri, “and the seven of you lead that.”
Cody Holder from Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle’s office presented Trustees with a proclamation honoring their work. Holder’s wife, Alyssa, is girls basketball coach at Northbrook High School.
Following this year’s theme of “Planting Seeds of Success”, each Trustee received artwork based on the “Creepy Carrots!” book from kindergarten students in teacher Lindsay Ripley’s class at Nottingham Elementary, along with a copy of the book to give to the school library of their choice. The artwork and books were delivered to Trustees by several students from that class.
First Reading of Policy
Trustees heard on first reading updates to board policy FNA (LOCAL) Student Rights and Responsibilities, Student Expression. The policy is posted on the board’s policy website for public comment.
FNA (LOCAL) Student Rights and Responsibilities
Board Policy Website
Adoption of Policy
Trustees unanimously approved on third and final reading two board policies: CCA (LOCAL) Local Revenue Resources, Bond Issues and DHE (LOCAL) Employee Standards of Conduct, Searches and Alcohol/Drug Testing. Both policies came through two previous readings and were posted on the board’s policy website for public comment.
CCA (LOCAL) Local Revenue Resources, Bond Issues
DHE (LOCAL) Employee Standards of Conduct, Searches and Alcohol/Drug Testing
Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, after taking off item 7(D), a request to the Texas Education Agency for class size waivers, for separate consideration. The consent agenda is a collection of items considered routine and are considered and approved as a whole, unless a board member requests that an item be removed for further discussion.
SBISD is requesting 105 class size waivers this year, an increase over the past three years. The 105 waivers is the first triple-digit request since the 2014-15 class year, the third year after the state legislature in 2011 reduced public education funding by $5.4 billion statewide, leading to generally larger class sizes in SBISD. Dr. Muri said that the district Opportunity Culture sometimes creates larger class sizes by design, by exposing more students to great teachers. And practically, he said, it often makes little sense to hire a new teacher in January by splitting a class. Trustees were concerned at waivers at Catalyst schools, those campuses that are struggling. Dr. Muri said that staff will investigate those situations.
Class-Size Waiver Backup (Item 7D)
Dr. Muri reiterated budget priorities from the board retreat in December. He said that departments will begin presenting their zero-based budgets in February and will be evaluated through a lens of board priorities that are largely centered on student performance and include social-emotional learning, salaries and compensation, English learners (EL) support, dyslexia and special services support, learning intervention support, class size, T-2-4 support, Catalyst schools and Career and Technical Education (CTE).
Dr. Muri said that both the Texas House and Senate have released preliminary budgets and both include additional dollars for public education. “The question,” he said, “is how the money will be spent.” He said that he’s found legislators willing to listen to Spring Branch ISD’s concerns but he warned that “we have to stay with it.” He said there’s a “cautious optimism” that school finance will be addressed this legislative session.
The next meeting of Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees will be a workshop on Monday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.