Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Board Briefs - Oct. 29, 2018


Opening Remarks

Dr. Muri commented on a couple of slides showing that SBISD students outperformed state scores on the SAT – a standardized test widely used in college admissions -- and made some gain on national scores for both the class of 2017 and the class of 2018. He noted that every SBISD students takes the SAT during the school day. Likewise, he said that SBISD scores on the ACT -- another standardized test used in college admissions – have steadily risen since 2009 while area, state and national scores have trended downward. Dr. Muri also referenced a Houston Chronicle article highlighting how SBISD scores on the ACT outpaced regional, state and national scores.

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch

Trustees watched a short video, “In the Zone,” of October highlights from around the district.
In the Zone October 2018


Trustees recognized four SBISD staff members who led the district’s massive web redesign last year with an #IAMSBISD award for Collective Greatness, one of the district’s five core values. Communications staffers Melissa Wiland and Kristen Watts Cain were recognized by Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman, who commended the pair for their leadership on what she called a “stretch” project for the entire district. She said Wiland and Cain are “rock stars” and “outperformers” who showed tremendous leadership throughout the project. Their technology counterparts, Cody Wallace and Minh-uy Luong, were recognized by Chief Information Officer Christina Masick, who said that technology projects are more complex than ever, and that Wallace and Luong integrated any number of elements, including network security, cloud content and social media, into the new website structure – and did it on a condensed timeline. The #IAMSBISD award recognizes individuals or groups who embody the district’s core values of Every Child, Collaborative Spirit, Collective Greatness, Limitless Curiosity and Moral Compass.

National Merit Semi-Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars

Trustees recognized SBISD’s National Merit Semi-Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars, introduced by  principals Lisa Wier of Memorial High School, Chad Crowson of Stratford High School and Jennifer Collier of Spring Woods High School, and Valerie Muniz, director of Westchester Academy for International Studies. National Merit Semi-Finalists are, from MHS, Liam Berney, Aneesa Bhakta, Merrick Huang, Hyungu Ju, Jun Seok Kim, Sarah King, Tianrun Ma, Minwoo Park, Aidan Shine, Susan Soh, Isha Thapar, Crystal Wang and Frederick Wilhelm; from SHS, William Hannigan, Andrew Walker and Carissa Yun; and from WAIS, Matthew Rosca-Halmagean. National Hispanic Scholars are, from MHS, Maria Amador, Tyler Baldwin, Lily Fabrega, Josephine Jamison, Amanda Junek and David Nemoto; from SHS, Valeria Robayo and Andrew Plant; from SWHS, Giovanni Torres; and from WAIS, Amaris Bobbio-Tarco.

Public Hearing on 2017-18 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)

Trustees conducted a public hearing on the required reporting of the district’s rating through FIRST. SBISD Controller David Bender told Trustees that the district earned a Superior rating, the highest given, for the 17th consecutive year. FIRST looks at a district’s financial management and transparency based on 15 indicators and is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources. No members of the public commented during the public hearing.
FIRST presentation

Adoption of Policy

Trustees unanimously adopted, on third and final reading, policy updates recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The policy updates have gone through two prior readings before Trustees and were posted on the Board’s policy website for public comment.
TASB Policy Update 111

Approval of Schaper Leadership Center No Place for Hate Resolution of Respect

Trustees unanimously approved – and signed – the No Place for Hate Resolution of Respect, which makes the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center (the SBISD administration building) a No Place for Hate building. Board President the Rev. Josef Klam said that SBISD is the only district to designate its Board of Trustees to annually recommit to the Resolution of Respect, promoting at the district level the importance of respectful, inclusive environments across our community and in our schools. Klam said the recommitment was especially poignant in light of the tragic events in Pittsburgh the previous weekend. Trustee Chris Gonzalez read aloud the resolution, which senior staff members also signed. Klam challenged the community to adopt the resolution as well.
No Place for Hate Resolution of Respect

Approval of Alternative Graduation Requirements

Trustees unanimously approved alternative graduation requirements as required by Senate Bill 463 from the 85th Texas Legislature. Local policy was updated in TASB Policy Update 111 (above).
Resolution to Consider Alternative Graduation Requirements

Consent Agenda

Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, a group of items considered routine and that are approved as a whole, unless a Trustee removes an item for separate consideration. Trustee Pam Goodson removed item 8(G) – Request for Approval of Grants and Other Services – to be considered separately. Goodson said that the Transformation Grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will create several new administrative positions, and that she wanted the public to be aware these positions will be grant-funded and not new positions created by the district. The item then passed unanimously.
Consent Agenda (8)

Annual Bilingual Education and ESL Program Evaluation

Trustees heard an update from bilingual education. Chief Academic Officer Kristin Craft said that while the district has made some gains in bilingual education, evidenced through some gap closures in the district’s measures. Director of Bilingual ESL - Compliance Gretchen Holtsinger said that because of state changes to reporting data that she couldn’t present progress reports but that the changes would result in new baseline data. Trustees approved additional spending in the 2018-19 budget for Catalyst schools and bilingual education, but the effects of those dollars has yet to be felt. Trustee Karen Peck said that bilingual education has been a board priority and that she’d like to see consistency in training and methods across campuses. Craft also introduced the district’s new director of bilingual and ESL instruction Michelle Burke.
Bilingual/ESL Presentation

Closing Remarks 

Dr. Muri advised that Halloween night was forecast to be cold and rainy and that those who participate should take extra care. Board President Klam reminded the audience that early voting is still open.

The next meeting of the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees is a workshop meeting on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr.  Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.