Trustees met in executive session to discuss routine personnel matters and to meet with the Board’s attorney to discuss matters allowed under Texas law. No action was taken following this meeting.
Stratford High School Additions and Renovations Project
SBISD Associate Superintendent for Operations Travis Stanford opened discussion of the design and development phase for the Stratford High School additions and renovations project. He provided an overview on key elements – a new auditorium, new campus roof, and renovation of several building interior spaces – and then introduced the PBK Architects project team.
PBK’s project team includes Principal Brandon Ross, Senior Project Manager Philip Stewart and Project Manager Gloria Carlos. This team presented a detailed overview and update on the design development phase work related to the high school. The Stratford High additions and renovations project is one part of the SBISD voter approved, $898.4 million 2017 Bond program.
Ross noted that the campus-based Project Advisory Team (PAT) began meeting in February 2019 with a kick-off meeting focused on fact finding. The PAT has now met eight times, and a final group meeting is set for Oct. 21. The project’s scope of work includes construction of a new, 1,000-seat auditorium; roof replacement; upgrades to the campus mechanical/heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems for better comfort control in hallways and classrooms; exterior and interior improvements to meet campus safety, security and education specifications; and exterior parking and safety lighting updates. Athletics upgrades are also planned for the campus track, tennis courts and field. A turf field will be installed as a separate part of the bond plan.
The PAT’s meeting structure has led to general strong support, often polling as unanimous, on a “right” direction for any number of exterior and interior design choices. One example of agreement, Project Manager Gloria Carlos said, is the new auditorium. The PAT met with PBK several times to determine best exterior and interior designs. The exterior of the new auditorium will present an inviting façade facing busy Dairy Ashford. The auditorium’s first floor will seat 750, with seating for 250 more in the balecony above. Inside, folded warm wood-like walls and “cloud” patterned ceiling will provide optimal acoustics and aesthetics for viewing. The auditorium’s lobby and exterior facade include window walls for plenty of natural light. Inside, small group gathering and performance spaces are included, as well as theater concessions and ticketing spaces. ADA-required access is built into the theater’s design.
Senior Project Manager Philip Stewart described several separate renovations projects included in high school plans. These include a fencing and canopy addition to better secure Stratford’s third gym to the enclosed campus. Security upgrades and renovation of the current lobby, reception and clinic areas are scheduled. Plans are also under way to renovate the cafeteria and commons to increase seating and to provide a more open setting. Several more areas will be repurposed, resulting in student collaboration spaces on upper floors and new classroom options. Student locker areas will decrease in size as this use has generally declined.
The PBK team goal is to move forward into the Construction Document phase after a final PAT meeting and Board approval. After Trustees asked several questions, Board President Pam Goodson gave a final few words to the group presentation: “Exciting work!”
Satterfield & Pontikes is the project’s Construction Manager at Risk.
Stratford High School Additions and Renovations Project: Power Point Presentation
2019-2020 Campus Performance Objectives
Keith Haffey, Ed.D., district executive director of assessment and compliance, and Kristin Craft, Ed.D., associate superintendent of academics, presented 2019-2020 Campus Performance Objectives to the Board members, while also describing how the measures align with the Targeted Improvement Plans required this year of some schools at either the state or federal level, or at both levels in some cases.
Dr. Haffey spoke about the campus planning and decision-making process, including campus alignment of goals to the district’s multiple performance measures. SBISD’s T-2-4 goal for every graduate is focused on attainment of a technical certificate, military training, or a two- or four-year college degree. The goals of every SBISD campus improvement plan are aligned with, and support, the T-2-4 goal. Key components of each campus improvement plan are Campus Performance Objectives. These reflect school-specific and measurable targets that drive improvement at every SBISD school.
Plans developed by SBISD campuses are based on a prior-year campus needs assessment, stakeholder participation, shared responsibilities, monitoring and follow-up, among other development criteria. In SBISD, multiple measures are used to measure student performance. These include academic growth targets, school-community connectedness, college-ready academic performance, narrowing of gaps in achievement among student groups, and compliance with state and federal laws.
Five separate student assessments are now used. They range from the national level PSAT and SAT to the state-based annual STAAR assessment. A Panorama® survey plus National Student Clearinghouse® data are also used as measurement sources. The district’s Campus Performance Objectives will be submitted for Board approval at its next regular meeting.
2019-2020 Campus Performance Objectives: Pre-K through High Schools
2019-2020 Targeted Improvement Plans
Associate Superintendent for Academics Kristin Craft followed Dr. Haffey’s presentation about campus performance with a report on Targeted Improvement Plans, which are needed when district campuses fail to meet state or federal standards. Dr. Haffey summarized state and federal interventions involved in such cases, reviewed the framework for interventions, and Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Effective Schools Framework, which include district commitments and essential actions taken by schools. These are organized into responsive areas called Prioritized Levers. In addition, Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP) were explained to Trustees in detail.
Throughout the month of September, Dr. Craft said, SBISD’s district leaders and campus principals had been trained in the Effective Schools Framework, identified campus public meetings conducted, campus leadership team meetings on plan development held, and final draft TIP plans reviewed.
“There is a tremendous amount of work that has happened with our school leaders and with leadership teams,” Dr. Craft said. “It has been a quick turnaround, but it is good news that our principals know their [campus] data well. The steps they have outlined in their Campus Improvement Plans have fed into, and align with, the Effective Schools Framework.”
After Board discussion, a public hearing on TIPs Plans will be held at the October regular Board meeting. Implementation and monitoring of the plans is also required.
The district’s three Community Superintendents – Jennifer Parker, Karen Liska and Bryan Williams – told Trustees how the campuses they work with closely had identified TIPs key focus topics, or priority levers. In general, three priority levers were identified across many identified schools as top focus areas. These include data-driven instruction, objective-driven daily lesson plans with formative assessments, and the alignment of curriculum and assessment to TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) with a yearlong scope and sequence. In all, 13 elementary and eight middle or high schools did not meet the bar set for certain state or federal accountability standards. Trustees will review 15 TIP Plans for final approvals, as required by education laws.
In final closing remarks, SBISD Superintendent Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D., noted that identification again and again of the same three priority areas across so many SBISD schools shows that the district has issues to address. “Something did not happen at the district level that created this scenario,” Dr. Blaine said. “This is . . . a district problem and a problem that the district needs to own. The district has not owned it sufficiently, but we’re going to fix it.”
“The fact that everybody missed in the same three areas is very telling. We will ask for time to address the issues sufficiently, but you will see an increase in student achievement,” she also said. “I think we will have significant improvement, but it will take time to build solid, lasting improvement in the areas where we now know we have to focus.”