The School Zone: News


Trustees first met in executive session, and upon return to open session unanimously approved routine personnel items.

Second Reading of Policy

Five policies were heard on second reading (below). Associate Superintendent of Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine said the appraisal instruments are tied to state regulations but also aligned with SBISD’s multiple measures. Policies are generally approved on third reading.

Year-End Dual Language/EL Update

Trustees heard from Dr. Muri, Bilingual ESL and LOTE Director Gretchen Holtsinger and Ridgecrest Elementary Principal Michelle Garcia on gains made in dual language. Dr. Muri said that SBISD uses one-way dual language instruction, where native Spanish speakers learn in both Spanish and English, in grades K-2 (extending to K-3 this year) and that about a third of SBISD students are English Learners (ELs). Garcia said that Ridgecrest committed during the 2017-18 school year to leveraging the school’s strengths, including bilingualism. She said staff there developed bilingual skills through a language-rich environment and intensive student writing, as well as getting teachers to see themselves as language teachers and not just content teachers. She said that progress could be seen, heard and felt across the building – “they were doing it,” she said. Garcia credits a growth mindset and culture of excellence, and professional learning communities (PLCs) in helping create the learning environment at Ridgecrest

Dr. Muri said that will work over the summer to create more dual language curriculum and professional development.
Dual Language EL Update

New Performance Management Appraisal Instrument Report

Trustees heard about a pilot appraisal instrument for the district’s non-educational staff. The pilot appraisal is competency-based and designed to help employees grow in their careers, said Associate Superintendent of Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine. Chief Information Officer Christina Masick used the pilot appraisal this year in her division, working with the Talent department to create competencies. Talent Director Karen Heeth said feedback indicated that while the appraisal took longer employees were happy that their work was discussed. Blaine said that by law Trustees have to approve appraisal instruments and that staff will bring that instrument back once its ready.
New Performance Management Appraisal Instrument

2018-19 Compensation Plan and Change in Employee Insurance Contributions

Blaine gave an update/refresher on the second year of the district’s compensation plan, which groups non-academic roles into “pay bands” with a minimum, midpoint and maximum salary. A 3 percent salary increase is built into the 2019 budget for academic paygrades, and at the midpoint of each salary band. The compensation plan also includes updated stipends, including one for campus webmasters in anticipation of SBISD’s new website.

Blaine said that TRS insurance premiums increased around 4 percent, and that Active Care 2 increased 10 percent. She said TRS is looking to eliminate Active Care 2, is discouraging users and will drop the plan next year. She said that increases will be passed on to employees – she said that she hears employees look at “bottom line salary” rather than more help with benefits.
2018-19 Compensation Plan

Proposed Updates to 2018-19 Student/Parent Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct

Executive Director of Student Support Services Lance Stallworth told Trustees that updates to the student handbook were made to align with TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and local policies. Community Superintendent Kristen Craft said the Student Code of Conduct was similarly aligned but with some changes, such as eliminating suspensions under second grade and reducing the maximum time at District Education Alternative Program (DAEP) from 60 to 45 days. Craft praised the district’s System of Care – “it works,” she said.
Proposed Updates to Student Handbook
Proposed Updates to Code of Conduct

2019 Budget

Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson said that the budget is on track for a public hearing and adoption at the June 25 regular meeting. The draft she provided Trustees includes a salary increase of 3 percent, stipends and additional support for Catalyst schools. She said the budget uses $14.4 million of fund balance (reserves) and drops the level to 18 percent of expenditures. But she also said that she expects that after the final audit she expects fund balance to meet the board guideline of 19 percent of expenditures. Board President Josef Klam said that he appreciates the numerous opportunities the board had to discuss finances, and that the district “has its work cut out” for the coming legislative session.
2019 Draft Budget

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the SBISD Board of Trustees will be Monday, June 25, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr.  Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.