Dr. Muri opened the meeting by recognizing the role that military veterans play in freedom, and especially those who work for Spring Branch ISD and those who live in the greater community. He said that he was proud that SBISD students could connect so easily with those who’ve served.
Trustees were presented the 2017-18 financial audit by Dan Hernandez, audit senior manager with Whitley Penn. SBISD received an unmodified, or clean, opinion in every area audited, including financial statements, financial reporting, compliance and major federal programs. Hernandez said that the district does a “good job managing expenditures, except for recapture, which it doesn’t control.” Board President Josef Klam further discussed the drain of recapture – Robin Hood – on the district’s general fund, and said that the recent tax bills and tax letter have opened dialogue across the community about school finance.
2017-18 Financial Audit Presentation
Approval of 2017-18 Audit
Trustees unanimously approved the 2017-18 audit.
Approval of Sponsorship Agreement with Memorial Hermann Memorial City
Trustees unanimously approved a one-year sponsorship agreement with Memorial Hermann Memorial City (MHMC). The hospital will provide screening and medical services for SBISD athletes in exchange for sponsorship opportunities, including inclusion on the SBISD athletics website and signage at district athletic facilities.
SBISD/MHMC Sponsorship Contract
Dyslexia Program Update
Trustees heard an update on SBISD’s dyslexia program. Chief Academic Officer Kristin Craft said the district’s dyslexia team including Executive Director of Student Support Services Lance Stallworth, Dyslexia Specialist Aissa Painter, and Darlene Fournier, lead dyslexia teacher, has put together a handbook for parents of dyslexic children. Stallworth said that dyslexia affects up to one in five people and that the district currently serves 286 elementary students, 301 middle school students and 337 high school students. The Dyslexia Support Team has a lead, an assessment specialist and 16 dyslexia specialists. Stallworth said that dyslexia is a neurobiological learning disability and that students don’t outgrow dyslexia but with multi-sensory instruction, skills can improve. He said the district uses the IMSE Orton-Gillingham methodology in working with dyslexic students.
Trustees were somewhat dismayed by the estimate that one in five persons is dyslexic but only 924 of some 35,000 students in SBISD have been diagnosed. Trustee Chris Vierra asked how dyslexic students are recognized and that she’s heard from parents have to ask for testing. Trustee Minda Caesar noted that the dyslexia specialists are serving more than 50 students each now. Stallworth said that teachers have to recognize that something is wrong with a student’s learning, and that there are ways to use MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) data to help recognize dyslexia. Klam said that the state Legislature needs to be pushed to provide more funding for dyslexic students.
Strategic Plan Update
Trustees heard an update on the district’s strategic plan, the Learner’s Journey. The plan uses four pillars – Customized Supports, Extraordinary People, Learning Ecosystems and Resilient Foundation – to support the district’s overarching goal of T-2-4 – every SBISD graduate will attain a technical certificate, military training, or a 2-year or 4-year degree. Dr. Muri said that much of the plan’s early work involved the Resilient Foundation, and work on the plan now is largely embedded in the system’s broader work. Senior staff members highlighted their division’s key initiatives from the plan’s “road map,” a stylized look at the plan’s work on an annual timeline.
Strategic Plan Update
Trustees met in executive session to discuss routine personnel and other personnel items, the superintendent’s evaluation and to discuss the purchase, exchange, lease, value of real property. No action was taken upon their return to open session.
Executive Session Agenda Item
The next meeting of the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees will be Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.