Summary Report & Media Highlights
Jan. 22, 2018
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Agenda
Board meeting videos now available online

Opening Remarks

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri lifted up the Turn It Gold Foundation, which brings awareness to children with cancer. SBISD and the Health Fitness department were recently recognized by the foundation, which was started by an SBISD family whose son was diagnosed and subsequently beat cancer.

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch

Trustees watched a video about the relationship between SBISD Special Olympic athletes and members of the MHS Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch (MMOB), highlighting a bowling practice.


Trustees recognized several longtime mentors and the Collegiate Challenge team from Westchester Academy with the #IAMSBISD award, given to individuals or teams who exemplify one or more of the district’s core values of #CollaborativeSpirit, #Collective Greatness, #EveryChild, #LimitlessCuriosity and #Moral Compass. Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman said that there was “no greater honor” than honoring mentors during National Mentoring Month in January. She brought up Roger Etheridge, a longtime mentor who attends Chapelwood United Methodist Church, who was awarded #IAMSBISD for #EveryChild for his volunteer work as a mentor with SBISD. Ethridge’s mentee, Kerwin Paniagua, joined him for the presentation. Buchman also recognized Patty Cordrey, a retired SBISD counselor who has continued to mentor in the district, with #IAMSBISD. Buchman also recognized Suzanne Harter of Chapelwood, who could not attend Monday’s meeting.

The Collegiate Challenge team at Westchester Academy for International Studies was recognized with #IAMSBISD for #EveryChild for the work they do with mentors and students at WAIS. Counselors Beverly Martin and Steve Schlabach, and assistants Sylvia Urteaga and Leticia Rodriguez comprise WAIS Collegiate Challenge team.

Finally, Buchman recognized community relations specialist Becky Wuerth with #IAMSBISD. Buchman said that Wuerth, who manages the district’s mentor and volunteer programs, is an “unsung hero” working behind the scenes to make things happen.

From left, Board President Karen Peck, Becky Wuerth, Leticia Rodriguez, Beverly Martin, Sylvia Urteaga, Steve Schlabach, Patty Cordrey. Kerwin Paniagua, Roger Ethridge and Dr. Muri.

School Board Appreciation Month

Dr. Muri recognized Trustees as part of School Board Appreciation Month. Presenting a kite to each Trustee, Dr. Muri said that the district is like a kite, free to soar but tethered to and grounded by Trustees. He challenged each Trustee to find a day and fly the kite while reflecting on being a Trustee.

From left, Trustees Chris Vierra, Katherine Dawson, Pam Goodson, Board President Karen Peck, Dr. Muri, Carter Breed, Josef Klam and Chris Gonzalez.

Public Hearing: Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)

Trustees heard a required report from Dr. Keith Haffey on the Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR), which looks at STAAR 3-8 and End-of-Course results, graduation rates and college readiness from the 2016-17 school year, in a joint public hearing with the District Improvement Team (DIT). Dr. Muri noted that the TAPR includes “autopsy” data – data that is at least six-months old and in some cases up to three-years old.

Still, good news can be found in TAPR, he said:

  • SAT results – even with every 11th grader taking the SAT – rank above region and state results.
  • Highest completion rate ever for Advanced Placement (AP) and dual-credit courses completion. Students at every campus have more access to more courses.
  • Graduation rates higher than region and state for second consecutive year.
  • ESL students demonstrated gap-closure improvements – improving enough to narrow the academic gaps between them and their peers.
  • Improvement at the college readiness level for economically disadvantaged students (56 percent of SBISD students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches).
  • The more time spent in SBISD, the better a student performs.
  • SBISD students improved in four of five academic areas at the college readiness level.
  • SBISD students exceed the region and state at college readiness in every academic area.

Elliott Witney, associate superintendent of research and design, reiterated that TAPR was a “narrow slice” of the district’s multiple measures strategy and represented “autopsy” data.

There was no public comment following the report. The public hearing was closed.

TAPR Presentation

Adoption of Policy AE (Local) – Educational Philosophy

Trustees adopted on fourth reading the local policy that incorporates T-2-4 as the district’s single-focused goal. Trustees updated policy language to reflect progress made to date, and to extend the goal’s deadline. The updated policy now reads:

Every SBISD Graduate will attain a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree. This goal will be referred to as “Spring Branch T-2-4.” The District will pursue the SBISD T-2-4 goal by increasing the number of students who complete a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree from 44% to 72% by 2022.

The policy went through four readings – one more than the required three readings – to allow time for public comment. No public comment was received.


Approval of Pre-Kindergarten Tuition for 2018-19

Trustees approved tuition for the district’s preK centers for the coming school year, maintaining the current annual tuition of $5,355 ($595 a month over nine months). Tuition applies to students who are deemed ineligible under federal and state guidelines. A scholarship program helps families who cannot afford to pay tuition.

PreK Tuition

Consent Agenda

Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, except for item 8(E). The consent agenda groups together items that are considered routine and that are considered as a whole. Trustees reserve the privilege of pulling items off the consent agenda for individual consideration. Trustee Pam Goodson pulled item 8(E) – Request for Approval to Submit an Application to TEA for Staff Development Waiver for February 19, 2018.

Consent Agenda (item 8)

Approval to Submit an Application to TEA for Staff Development Waiver for February 19, 2018

(from consent agenda)

After some discussion, Trustees unanimously approved an application to the Texas Education Agency for a waiver for staff development on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Dr. Muri said that the request is for a staff development day and student holiday on Feb. 19. He said that the district has enough extra minutes built into the calendar (school years are measured in minutes) to make up one of two days missed due to the winter storm on Jan. 16-17, but not both. Goodson said that students have missed a lot of school already due to Hurricane Harvey and the aftermath and that she wanted students to make up at least one of the two days. Dr. Muri said that the district doesn’t have to use the waiver if granted, but would have it if needed.

Cover Sheet for Waiver Request

Bilingual Education Update

Trustees heard an update on bilingual education from Director of Bilingual Education Gretchen Holtsinger and bilingual education consultant Dr. Sandra Mercuri, who has worked with the district’s bilingual education teachers. Holtsinger said that SBISD made the decision last summer to go with one-way dual immersion as the district’s model for non-choice bilingual education. (One-way dual language provides instruction in both English and Spanish for EL [English learners], with teachers using each language half the time.) Holtsinger said that by grade 5, students in the program are bilingual, bi-literate and academically successful in English. Results won’t be immediate, she said, and change is not easy but she gave credit to the SBISD educators who are “changing in real time.”

Dr. Mercuri said that the research shows that higher quality dual language programs produce stronger results, and that students in dual language programs perform at or above grade level on standardized tests. She also said that bilingual students score better on math or language arts tests given in English.

Bilingual Education Update
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