Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Board Briefs -- October 21, 2019


Executive Session

Trustees met in a closed executive session during a 5:30 p.m. Special Meeting to discuss routine and other personnel matters, consult with the Board’s attorney, and consider other matters as allowed by state law. No action was taken during the closed session, nor during the open session that followed.
Special Meeting Agenda

Opening Remarks

Superintendent Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D., welcomed National Merit Semifinalist and National Hispanic Scholar students and their families to the Board meeting with a recognition event. “We know these students have worked extremely hard to get where they are, and we are so very, very proud of their accomplishments,” Dr. Blaine said.

Citizens Participation

Carolyn Janice spoke about the importance of teachers who self-publish their own stories and books. Ms. Janice is a community-based instructor working in the self-publishing field.

Special Presentations

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch ISD

Trustee Karen Peck introduced a video presentation compiled by the Communications Dept. on recent events and programs involving SBISD students, staff and families.
Sights and Sounds Around SBISD Video

Recognition of #IAMSBISD Award Recipients

During introductory remarks, Trustee Chris Gonzalez noted that the two honorees being honored this evening represent the district’s core values, especially Every Child. SBISD Athletics Executive Director Paige Hershey then introduced Mike Stokebrand, athletics assistant director, and Leslie Wylie, who is student wellness assistant director. Stokebrand and Wylie, both active in the SBISD Advanced Movers program, were recognized with #IAMSBISD awards for working behind the scene to support swimming and water safety. Students at 21 elementary schools already take part in water safety classes given at the Brenda and John Duncan YMCA on Clay Road and at several other sites. Stokebrand and Wylie are responsible for making swimming available to 80 middle school students. As a result, five of the teens they helped advance into swimming now swim at the high school level. “To see the [middle school] kids swimming, and swimming freestyle and backstroke and working on [their] butterfly . . . it’s really incredible,” Executive Director Hershey said. “When kids have opportunity, their world enlarges. They see the world differently.”

Recognition of National Merit Semifinalists and National Hispanic Scholars

Trustee Josef Klam spoke about the accomplishments of 33 district high school seniors named this year as either National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists or as National Hispanic Recognition Program award recipients, also known as National Hispanic Scholars. The National Merit Semifinalist recognition is based on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test taken as juniors. Honorees represent the top 1 percent of 1.5 million test takers. Semifinalists may now earn one of 7,500 scholarships worth an estimated $32 million. Twenty seniors from Memorial and Stratford high schools were named to this recognition. Separately, 13 district students from three high schools are National Hispanic Scholars. The students were introduced by Principals Lisa Weir of Memorial High, Chad Crowson of Stratford High and Jennifer Collier of Spring Woods High.

National Merit Semifinalists from Memorial High are Parker Beck, Blakeley Buckingham, Tehani Cabour, Noah Czelusta, John Grimes, Rishab Jagetia, Jennifer Kim, Grace Lee, Luke Lorentzatos, Joseph Park, Andrew Qin, Tess Rudic, Megan Tran, James Westenhaver and Melonie Yue. Stratford High’s National Merit Semifinalists are Bea Jeon, Adam Leif, Sydni Moon, Caleb Oliphant and Catherine Wu.

National Hispanic Scholars this year from Memorial High are Ana Daza Walter, Alexandra Freytes, Sophia Grekin, Madeline Luther, Nicholas Mendoza, Alexander Monson and Laura Olvera. Honorees at Stratford in this category include Nicholas Calzado, Franco Grimoldi Calo, Matias Grimoldi Calo, Daniela Perez, and Cole Rincon. Nicholas Flores of Spring Woods High is also a National Hispanic Scholar.

Public Hearing on 2018-19 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)

Trustees conducted a public hearing on required reporting related to the state’s FIRST results, an annual comprehensive review and public hearing. District Controller David Bender told Trustees during a special presentation that SBISD had earned a Superior rating, the highest possible, for the 18th consecutive year. FIRST is designed to analyze and rate a school district’s financial management and transparency using 15 separate indicators. Overall, SBISD scored 96 out of 100 possible points; the district’s fiscal year-end calendar date (June 30), which is earlier than many school districts, may have cost it a couple of points, Bender said. Texas initiated the FIRST ratings system years ago to encourage public school districts to manage financial resources well. The open hearing closed without additional public comment. Several Trustees complimented the dedication and work of SBISD’s Financial Services Division, led by Associate Superintendent for Finance Karen Wilson. The compliments led the Board and audience to give a round of applause for the employees in this highly important area.
FIRST Presentation

Public Hearing on 2019-20 Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP)

Trustees conducted a public hearing as required on 2019-20 Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP), which are campus-designed plans to increase student achievement and accountability at schools that failed to meet Texas or federal standards. Associate Superintendent for Academics Kristin Craft, Ed.D., gave brief introductory remarks. SBISD Executive Director of Assessment and Compliance Keith Haffey, Ed.D., then summarized once again for Trustees state and federal accountability standards, reviewed Performance Intervention and Effective Schools Frameworks use and implementation. Dr. Haffey also reviewed the trainings conducted so far with district leadership and campus principals. In all, 15 SBISD schools will implement TIPs this school year; many schools have identified similar areas of focus, including TEKS-aligned curriculum and instruction with scope and sequence, data-driven instruction, and objective-driven daily lesson plans using regular assessments. No public speakers commented during the open public hearing. Board members were briefed in detail on TIP during their Oct. 7 Workshop Meeting.
Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP) 2019-20 presentation

First Reading of Policy 

Trustee Karen Peck introduced the Board to a first reading of local policy CAA, Fiscal Management Goals and Objectives: Financial Ethics. The proposed policy, updating purchasing contracts, will face two more readings before a final vote is taken. The policy is posted on the Board’s policy-related website, and it is available there for public comment.
Policy Update CAA, Fiscal Management Goals and Objectives: Financial Ethics

Approval of 2019-20 Campus Performance Objectives

Local Trustees voted unanimously (7-0) to approve the 2019-20 Campus Performance Objectives. These district objectives reflect school-specific and measurable targets driving planned improvement. Campus objectives were presented in detail during the Board’s Oct. 7 Workshop Meeting.
Campus Performance Objectives 2019-2020

Approval of 2019-20 Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP)

Trustees voted unanimously (7-0) to approve the 2019-2020 Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP). A full summary presentation and a required public hearing was held on TIP earlier in the meeting. Trustees were also briefed in detail on the same topic at the Board’s Oct. 7 Workshop Meeting.
Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP) 2019-2020

Consent Agenda

Trustees approved unanimously (7-0) the Consent Agenda, with a single-item abstention by Trustee Karen Peck (Item C6). Item C6 was approved on a 6-0 vote. The consent agenda reflects those items considered routine. They are voted on and approved as a whole unless a Trustee removes items for separate consideration.
Consent Agenda Action Items (View Full Agenda for All Items)

Current Status Report of Actions Taken to Obtain Specific Information Related to Possible Use of Memorial Middle School Property for an Underground Storm Water Detention Facility

Superintendent Blaine presented a report to Trustees updating efforts by the district to obtain public information from TIRZ 17 and the City of Houston related to any planned proposals for underground storm water detention on Memorial Middle School’s property. In brief, SBISD has filed public information requests with the two groups for specific and detailed information related to this matter. At present, TIRZ 17 and the City of Houston have appealed up to the state Attorney General’s Office, arguing that material related to SBISD’s requests be withheld. Responsive documents received by SBISD from the City of Houston and TIRZ, or TIRZ’s attorney, “did not contain the detailed plans, proposals and specifications that have been requested by the district,” Dr. Blaine said. The City of Houston has told the attorney general within its appeal that one of the documents includes a FEMA application with SBISD’s middle school property cited. The superintendent said that the district will continue to seek all specific plans or proposals related to any proposed underground water detention at Memorial Middle property. Trustee Karen Peck thanked Dr. Blaine for her update status report.
View Board Meeting Video on This Topic