Summary Report & Media Highlights
November 28, 2016
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Agenda
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Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch
Trustees watched a video presentation of the recent Inspire event presented by Junior Achievement for the district’s eighth graders. Inspire featured a career fair with local employers, workshops on soft skills such as interviewing, industry presentaions and career stations. All 2,600-plus SBISD eighth graders attended the event at Spring Branch Middle School on one of two days, the first time the district has ever hosted such an event.
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Recognition of #IAMSBISD Award Recipients
The #IAMSBISD campaign recognizes members of the Spring Branch ISD community who represent the best qualities and demonstrate the core values of SBISD. Medallions are awarded by Dr. Muri and senior staff and recipients receive instant recognition through social media and are invited to be recognized at that month’s regular board meeting. Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman recognized recently retired Stratford High School counselor Vanessa Croix with an EveryChild #IAMSBISD for being named Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago. Nominations for the award are submitted by University of Chicago incoming freshmen for educators who have “influenced them, challenged them, or helped them along the path to intellectual growth.” Buchman talked about her long working relationship with Croix, starting when Croix, then at Northbrook High School, helped get the mentoring program Collegiate Challenge off the ground, as well as the countless letters and other assistance she provided for students over her career as an educator.
Board President Karen Peck (left) with Vanessa Croix, Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman and Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri.

CenterPoint Energy Load Management Program –
Incentive Check Award
SBISD’s participation in CenterPoint Energy’s Energy Load Management Program earned the district $168,634.66 this year. On Monday, July 11, CenterPoint asked for energy load reduction at the 35 SBISD campuses that participate in the program, between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. CenterPoint’s Calvin Burnham presented the symbolic check to the district, commenting that participation in the Energy Load Management Program is selective, and that SBISD has always been one of the stronger participants. SBISD has received more than $1.1 million from participation in CenterPoint Energy incentive programs.
Associate Superintendent Jennifer Blaine (left), Board President Karen Peck, Margaret Rutledge, Jadelyn Waters, Calvin Burnham of CenterPoint, Executive Director of Operations Chris Juntti and Dr. Muri.

Report of Public Comments on Potential District of Innovation Exemptions
Trustees heard a report about public comment on two exemptions under consideration, the district’s first since becoming a District of Innovation in April. Director of Research and Evaluation Mike Thomas told trustees that slightly more than 34,000 emails were sent to SBISD staff, parents and community members. 216 responded to the policy exempting the district from the seven-hour day rule, while 230 responded to exempting the district from the state’s school start date. For both policies, the primary respondents were parents, followed by staff. Response to the seven-hour day policy exemption was largely favorable but 62 percent left questions or comments. Response to the start date policy was largely favorable as well, with 60 percent left questions or comments. Trustees set up the 30-day comment period for policy exemptions under consideration as well as requiring a two-thirds vote to adopt policy exemptions to make the process more transparent. The proposed policies are posted on the SBISD website.

First Reading of Policy
Trustees unanimously on first reading three policies: School Year, School Day and Student Welfare, Wellness and Health Services. The School Day and School Year policies are related to the exemptions from state education code under consideration (see above: Report of Public Comments on Potential District of Innovation Exemptions). The Student Welfare, Wellness and Health Services policy updates previous district policy concerning student well-being, including nutrition. Policies are go through three readings before being approved. Board policies under consideration are posted publicly for public comment.
Board Policy

Approval of Campus Performance Objectives
Trustees unanimously approved Campus Performance Objectives (CPO) for the 2016-17 school year. CPOs are aligned with the District Improvement Plan. Trustee Chris Vierra expressed concern that several campus’ objectives are based solely on STAAR, the state accountability testing. Associate Superintendent of Research and Design Elliott Witney told the board that staff has heard the board’s message of multiple measures for goals and outcomes, and that T-2-4 can’t be reached using a single measure. He said the community superintendents are very involved in the CPO process. Vierra reiterated that a single measure is not indicative of a child’s success.
Campus Performance Objectives (CPO)

Consent Agenda (Item 8 on main agenda)
Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda. Items on the consent agenda are considered as a whole. A trustee can remove an item from the consent agenda for separate consideration. No items were removed from the Oct. 24 consent agenda.
Consent Agenda

Program of Studies Guides 2017-18: Progress Update
Proposed changes to the 2017-18 Program of Studies guides were presented to Trustees. The Program of Studies Guides, for middle and high school students, describe instructional programs offered in the district, graduation plan requirements and course descriptions. The changes will be presented again in December for further discussion and consideration for approval.
Slide Presentation


Report on Creating a Culture of Innovation in Facilities Services

Trustees heard how innovation in several areas of Facilities Services have led to cost savings and a more efficient delivery of services. Executive Director of Operations Chris Juntti told trustees that operations always focuses on #CollectiveGreatness while never forgetting about  #EveryChild, the goal being facilities that are comfortable, well maintained, safe and clean. Director of Facilities David Vesling said he and his department are always thinking about innovation and ways to save money.

Efficiencies in Energy Management, led by Jadelyn Waters, including more strident review of utility bills have increased in-house savings from $970,000 between 2012-14 to $2.7 million between 2014-16. Waters said the district has uncovered $375,000 in billing errors this year alone. Energy Management is conducting a case study using LED lighting, reinforcing behavioral patterns to maximize energy savings and finalizing product standards across SBISD for further cost savings.

Given a directive in 2014 to expand operations, the facilities department has seen increased rental income, from $52,000 in 2013-14 to $587,000 in 2015-16 by looking at facilities rentals as a revenue stream, and developing and expanding long-term partnerships with rental customers. Under the direction of Ana Bermudez, a rental structure was developed, resulting in revised rental policies that have been positively received by the community. More refinements are underway, and the program is working with Finance to assess actual cost and profit.

Custodial Services under Director James Mora is changing from “area” cleaning to “team” cleaning to help drive efficiencies in that arena. An average SBISD custodian cleans 29,000-36,000 square feet per night, compared to the industry average of 24,000 square feet per custodian. The “team” cleaning concept, being tried at 11 district campuses now as “study schools”, seeks efficiencies in equipment and cleaning supplies, and crosstrains team members as they change roles every 30 days. Mora wants to get the average area cleaned per custodian per night down to 29,000 square feet.

Report from the Bond Oversight Committee

David Slattery, chair of the 2007 Bond Oversight Committee, gave the annual update to Trustees. The 2007 bond program is rapidly winding down, Slattery said, with the rebuilding of Spring Branch Education Center the last major project still underway. District voters authorized a $597.1 million bond program in November 2007, a program that saw 13 new elementary schools built (the original plan called for 12), system upgrades across the district, technology initiatives and new school buses. Slattery told Trustees that comment heard from the community about the bond program and new schools was largely positive, with many wondering about the effect of new residential construction on SBISD enrollment. As of Sept. 30, 2016, the 2007 bond program has $574.1 million in actual expenditures or encumbrances and $36.8 million in remaining projects, for a total budget of $610.9 million. Slattery said the Bond Oversight Committee will continue to monitor the 2007 bond program through completion while seeking guidance from Trustees regarding the committee’s role and possible sunset, or elimination.

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