Summary Report & Media Highlights
Oct. 30, 2017
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Agenda
Board meeting videos now available online

Opening Remarks

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri spotted TRIO Electric President and CEO Beau Pollock in the audience and talked briefly about the electrical apprenticeship program between SBISD, HCC and TRIO. Dr. Muri thanked Pollock for recognizing a need and for coming to SBISD with an idea to “make something happen for kids.”

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch

Trustees watched a video showing the VILS initiative – Verizon Interactive Learning Schools – in action. Three Spring Branch ISD schools – Northbrook Middle, YES Prep Northbrook Middle and Spring Woods Middle – have been selected as VILS locations. VILS, a collaboration between Digital Promise, Verizon and Spring Branch ISD, puts an iPad with a data plan in the hands of every student in those schools. The VILS initiative supports SBISD’s T-2-4 goal by enhancing personalized learning. Coordinator of Personalized Learning Patricia Kassir gave trustees some context around the video.

VILS Video
VILS Story

Recognition of #IAMSBISD

SBISD senior staff recognized a score of SBISD employees with the #IAMSBISD award, presented to individuals who exemplify one or more of SBISD’s core values: #CollaborativeSpirit, #CollectiveGreatness, #EveryChild, #LimitlessCuriousity and #MoralCompass.

Chief Information Officer Christina Masick presented #IAMSBISD awards for #CollaborativeSpirit to the events support team of Petra Aguinaga, Jose Aguinaga, Brent Martin, Gerry Diaz and Roberto Yuson under the direction of Ed Wilson, for their support of a multitude of events last summer. Masick also recognized Trudy Murato and her student information team of Cody Wallace, Jason Bostick, Clinton Huffman, Monica Villegas and Susy Bailon. Student information falls under Mark Maxwell’s applications team.

Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman presented SBISD parents Minda Caesar and Suzanne Stiles with #IAMSBISD for #CollectiveGreatness. Buchman said that Caesar contacted her several times in the days after Hurricane Harvey, asking what she could do. Buchman told her to be patient. Finally Caesar told her that she knew displaced SBISD staff had lost everything and needed professional clothes for the return to classes. Caesar and Stiles opened their community networks and soon had rackfuls of new and gently used clothing – clothing that because of a meeting in the district’s boardroom was sorted (by an army of volunteers) at Spring Branch Middle and brought over later to the administration building. Chief Information Officer Christina Masick, whose house was flooded during Harvey, told the pair that she had come to the administration building that day “hoping she had a pair of shoes under her desk” and was taken in by volunteers and left with several professional outfits.

Associate Superintendent of Academic Performance and Support Tyler Ream told Trustees that he came into the administration building shortly after the storm and found a small staff group working in a meeting room, preparing for the social/emotional needs of students when they returned to school – “it’s impossible to calculate how many students benefited on behalf of them,” he said. Lance Stallworth, Pat Waldrop, Natalie Fikac and Natalia Fernandez were awarded #IAMSBISD for #CollectiveGreatness for their work during and after the storm. Ream also surprised Buchman with an #IAMSBISD for her role in helping facilitate the team’s work.

Somebody had to track the displaced students and families, and that work fell to Lawanda Coffee. Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson said that Coffee “and her team of one worked tirelessly” to gather data on displaced families. Wilson awarded Coffee an #IAMSBISD for #Collective Greatness for her efforts during and after the storm.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Ed Wilson, Gerry Diaz, Jose Aguinaga, Brent Martin, Petra Aguinaga and Dr. Muri. Not pictured is Roberto Yuson.
Board President Karen Peck (left) with Mark Maxwell, Cody Wallace, Jason Bostick, Clinton Huffman, Monica Villegas, Susy Bailon, Trudy Murato and Dr. Muri.
Board President Karen Peck (left) with Minda Caesar, Suzanne Stiles and Dr. Muri.
Board President Karen Peck (left) with Linda Buchman, Pat Waldrop, Lance Stallworth, Natalia Fernandez, Natalie Fikac and Dr. Muri.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Lawanda Coffee, Karen Wilson and Dr. Muri.

Recognition of National Merit Scholars

Trustees recognized the district’s National Merit Semi-Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars. Memorial High School Principal Lisa Weir, Stratford High School Principal Chad Crowson and Spring Woods Hihg School Principal Jennifer Collier presented these scholars from their respective schools. Those in attendance came forward to be recognized and for a photo.

National Merit Semifinalists

Memorial: Hannah An, Paolo Burns, Claire Cheng, Sarah Cowan, Chloe Creed, Samuel Curry, Wenxuan Dou, Kendrick Foster, Kyra Halbert-Elliott, Eliot Herbst, Robert Hurley, Eva Jacobs, Albert Landa, Ellen Li, Natalie Ling, Pierce Nguyen, Emily Qin, Chloe Sands, Ronald Weber III and Nicole Wright.
Stratford: Geoffrey Baring, Madeline Harms and Mary Mouton.
WAIS: Charlie Zong

National Hispanic Scholars

Memorial: Melanie Alvarez, Meredith Bullock, Raymon Elias, Malek Ibrahim and Adriana Kelly.
Spring Woods: Omar Hussein

National Merit Scholars recognized on Oct. 30, with principals, Board President Karen Peck and Dr. Muri.

Recognition of MHS Debate Coach Cecil Trent

Trustees recognized MHS debate coach Cecil Trent’s induction into the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame. A 34-year educator – all in Spring Branch ISD – Trent has coached debate since 1985, with his students regularly placing in state and regional events and qualifying for national tournaments.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Cecil Trent and Dr. Muri.

Recognition of Guthrie Center Teacher Sonia Greiner

Trustees recognized Guthrie Center architectural design teacher Sonia Greiner for being named American Institute of Architects Houston Educator of the Year. Normally awarded to college professors, the award’s qualifications were changed this year in order to recognize Greiner, who’s taught at Guthrie for 17 years following a 23-year career as a registered professional interior designer. Greiner’s students participate and place in competitions, and many go on to careers in architecture or structural engineering.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Sonia Greiner and Dr. Muri.

Recognition of Wilchester Elementary’s Let’s Move! Award

Trustees recognized Wilchester Elementary for its recent award of the Let’s Move! Award from Active Schools, a national collaborative of leading health, education and private sector groups that works to create active school environments. One of only 450 school recognized nationwide, Wilchester Health Fitness Specialist Paula Baker credits the Wilchester community for working to qualify for the award, which includes benchmarks for physical education, physical activity before and after school, physical activity during school, staff involvement and family and community engagement.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Rian Evans, Paula Baker, Darlene Evans and Dr. Muri.

Public Hearing: School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)

Trustees heard the annual report on the district’s FIRST rating from Controller David Bender. The district’s score of 94 gives it a superior rating, a rating the district has earned for 16 consecutive years. A combination of critical, solvency and financial competence indicators, FIRST also looks at financial transparency from the Board of Trustees and the superintendent. FIRST is the state of Texas’ school financial accountability rating system.

FIRST presentation

2007 Bond Oversight Committee

Trustees heard the final 2007 Bond Oversight Committee report, Chair David Slattery, after joking that he’d waited for that moment “for 10 years,” reviewed the committee’s charge from the Board and gave a short history of both the 2007 bond process and of work completed as part of the 2007 bond, including the 13 elementary schools (originally 12) and the rebuilding of SBEC, which originally was a large maintenance and infrastructure project. The $597.1 million bond issue, approved by voters in 2007, has spent or has encumbered $580.9 million with another $30.4 million in contingency or earmarked for expiring life cycles, for a total budget of $611.3 million. Slattery praised the Board and staff for “nimbleness” in responding to changing economic conditions as well as their openness and transparency, and recommended that Trustees appoint a Bond Oversight Committee for any future bonds. He said the 2007 bond program delivered more than was promised and was a “huge success.”

Bond Oversight Committee presentation

First Reading: LEGAL and LOCAL Policy (TASB Policy Update 108)

Trustees heard on first reading the board policy on education philosophy, which contains the district’s T-2-4 goal and its five core values. The T-2-4 goal was originally written with a date of 2017, which would expire at the end of the year. Trustees have recommitted to T-2-4 as the district’s single overarching goal beyond 2017. Both policies will be posted on the Board Policy website.

TASB Policy Update 108

First Reading: AE (Local) – Educational Philosophy

Trustees heard on first reading the board policy on education philosophy, which contains the district’s T-2-4 goal and its five core values. The T-2-4 goal was originally written with a date of 2017, which would expire at the end of the year. Trustees have recommitted to T-2-4 as the district’s single overarching goal beyond 2017. Both policies will be posted on the Board Policy website.

AE (Local) – Educational Philosophy
Board policy website

Adoption of Policy: CDA (Local) – Other Revenues, Investments

Trustees unanimously approved on third and final reading policy CDA (Local) – Other Revenues, Investments. The policy requires annual review and has been posted on the Board’s policy website.

Board policy website
CDA (Local) – Other revenues, investments

Approval of Campus Turnaround Plans

Trustees unanimously approved turnaround plans for the five campuses under Improvement Required (IR) status. Year 3 schools are Treasure Forest Elementary and Woodview Elementary; year 1 schools are Spring Branch Elementary, Westwood Elementary and Spring Woods Middle. Principals and community superintendents presented the plans to Trustees at the Oct. 16 workshop.

Treasure Forest, Woodview plans
Spring Branch Elementary, Westwood and Spring Woods Middle plans

Approval of Campus Performance Objectives

Trustees approved on a 5-2 vote Campus Performance Objectives (CPOs) – statements that clarify the measurable student outcomes a campus is focused on achieving during an academic year – for the 2017-18 school year. Trustee Katherine Dawson raised questions about accountability and how the CPOs align with the district goal of T-2-4 and the district’s five core values. She asked about a “data dashboard” that’s been in the works for some time now that would present current information in a concise online format. Trustee Chris Vierra said that she had looked through the CPOs and saw many whose sole measurement was based on STAAR, the state of Texas’ accountability system. She said she was disappointed seeing the STAAR measure because SBISD is a multiple measures district. Dawson and Vierra voted against adopting the CPOs.

No Place for Hate

Trustees reaffirmed SBISD’s commitment as a No Place for Hate district by unanimously approving a Resolution of Respect, to be signed by all trustees and senior staff. SBISD was the first district to include its Administration Building as No Place for Hate, promoting and modeling the goal of respectful, inclusive environments across the community. No Place for Hate is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League.

Resolution of Respect
No Place for Hate website

Consent Agenda

Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, a collection of agenda items considered routine. The consent agenda is considered as a whole unless a board member pulls an item for a separate vote. Trustee Pam Goodson pulled item 10(D) – “Request for Approval of Request to the Texas Education Agency for the Maximum Class Size Exception” – for separate consideration.

Consent Agenda

Approval of Request to TEA for Maximum Class Size Exemption (from Consent Agenda)

Trustees unanimously approved the request. Goodson said she pulled the item for “clarity,” asking when administrators consider splitting classes that exceed the maximum class size – 24 students for grades K-2. Dr. Muri said that the district tries to solve overcrowded classrooms as soon as school starts, before “high quality” teachers are unavailable and before students bond with teachers. Board President Karen Peck said that the Board could look at the cost of holding to 24 students per teacher during the budget process this year. Dr. Muri said that the “opportunity culture” being implemented around the district allows “great teachers access to more students.”

Request for Class Size Exemption

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is a workshop on Monday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m., in the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.

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