Summary Report
March 26, 2018
Board agenda
Board meeting videos

Opening Remarks

Dr. Muri announced the six finalists for SBISD Teacher of the Year -- three elementary teachers and three secondary teachers. He lauded the committee that had to screen a record 871 teacher nominations this year. The finalists are:

Kate Zuelke – Edgewood
Stephanie Chambers – Bendwood
Heather Bothe – Frostwood

Holly Hartman – Memorial High School
Ryan Beeler – Spring Woods High School
Janice Cummons – Stratford High School

Dr. Muri also recognized Maria Campos of the SBISD transportation department with an #IAMSBISD award for #CollaborativeSpirit. Campos organizes the district’s bus routes – quite a job in itself, Dr. Muri said – but she also chairs the Transportation Care Committee, which helps take care of bus drivers and others in Transportation. She plans and organizes raffles throughout the year that help pay for semi-annual celebration. Dr. Muri called her “a presence in transportation,” and a large contingent from Transportation was on-hand to watch Campos be recognized by Trustees.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Maria Campos and Dr. Muri.

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch ISD

Trustees watched a video of Dr. Muri surprising Elementary Principal of the Year Chris Winstead and Secondary Principal of the Year Sarah Guerrero with the announcement at a recent meeting, in front of peers.

Principal of the Year Video

Recognition of All-State Band, Choir and Orchestra Students

Trustees recognized eight SBISD students who made all-state either in band, choir or orchestra. Presented by Stratford High School Fine Arts Orchestra Director Richard Fahey was 10th-grader Catherine Wu, violin. Presented by Bingiee Shu, orchestra director at Memorial High School, were Emily Sonn, violin, a sophomore and Sophia Yoon, cello, a freshman. Presented by Lawrence Johnson, choir director at Memorial, were seniors Lola Budimir, alto 1; Katherine Coe, alto 2; Allison Gentry, alto 1; Mariam Haider, soprano; and Anna Zimmerman, soprano 2.

SBISD all-state band, choir and orchestra students with Board President Karen Peck and Dr. Muri.

Recognition of Terrace Elementary Students Named to O.A.K.E. National Children’s Choir

Trustees recognized four Terrace students who recently performed as part of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (O.A.K.E.) National Children’s Choir at O.A.K.E.’s national meeting in Oklahoma City. Students have to demonstrate the ability to sing a capella from various starting points, often with different chords being played around them. O.A.K.E. choir members are Ricardo Costillo, fifth grade; Isabella Hernandez, fifth grade; Sara Noyola, fifth grade; and Jonathan Hogue, fourth grade. Principal April Falcon-Blanco and teacher Eric Murillo praised their students and thanked parents, PTA and the Terrace community for helping raise money to offset travel expenses.

Board President Karen Peck (left) and Dr. Muri with Terrace O.A.K.E. choir students and teacher Eric Murillo (back left) and principal April Falcon-Blanco.

Recognition of Community Superintendent D’Andre Weaver Receiving Alumni Award

Trustees recognized Community Superintendent D’Andre Weaver for receiving the 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the College of Education at the University of Illinois. The award recognizes alumni under 40 who have made outstanding professional contributions to their fields. Weaver came to Spring Branch from Chicago in 2016 to take one of the community superintendent positions, where he supports 15 principals and nearly 12,000 students.

Board President Karen Peck (left) and Dr. Muri with D’Andre Weaver.

Recognition of Pine Shadows Parent Liaison
Luisa Rodrigues as a Texas AFHK Healthy School Hero

Trustees recognized Luisa Rodrigues, parent liaison at Pine Shadows Elementary, as a Texas Action For Healthy Kids (AFHK) Healthy School Hero. Rodrigues seemingly does everything at Pine Shadows, from serving on the Campus School Health Advisory Committee (CSCHAC) where she manages programs and adult classes to volunteering in the school garden to managing the school’s recycling program.

Board President Karen Peck (left) and Dr. Muri with Luisa Rodrigues.

First Reading of Policy

Trustees heard on first reading updates to LEGAL and LOCAL policies as a result of action taken by the 85th Legislature (2017). The policy updates are from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), which helps school districts manage required updates to policy. Policies generally go through three readings before being adopted.

TASB Policy Update 109 Overview
Board Policy Website

Order Authorizing Issuance of Schoolhouse Bonds

Trustees unanimously approved (6-0 – Trustee Josef Klam was out of town on personal business) parameters for the sale of up to $200 million in bonds, the first sale in the 2017 bond program. Proceeds will be used to purchase fine arts instruments, buses, technology and CTE (Career and Technical Education) equipment, to hire architects, to begin work on preK centers, to begin work on the three campuses built in the 1990s (including classrooms at Cedar Brook Elementary), to begin predesign work at Hunters Creek Elementary and Landrum Middle School (both will be replaced), and to begin work at the four comprehensive high schools (including temporary buildings and relocated tennis courts at Memorial High School). Voters in November 2017 overwhelmingly approved the $898.4 million bond package, which includes the rebuilding of nine elementary schools and Landrum Middle School, and renovation and/or maintenance work at every district facility.

Bond Issuance Order

Defeasance of SBISD Bonds

Trustees unanimously approved defeasance (retiring of debt) of several issues from the 2007 bond program. The district will pay off a portion of 2009 series, a little more than $24 in principal, and redeem the 2013 series. Work under the $597.1 million 2007 bond program was substantially complete with the opening of Spring Branch Education Center in August 2017.

Resolution Authorizing Defeasance

Intent to Finance Expenditures to be Incurred

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the district to issue contracts and purchase orders for bond projects prior to the actual sale of the bonds. The resolution allows the district’s general fund to be repaid from 2017 bond funds.

Resolution Authorizing Intent to Finance Expenditures to be Incurred

Gifted and Talented Report

Trustees heard from Pam Johnson, the district’s director of advanced academic studies, on gifted and talented (GT) programs in Spring Branch ISD. She said the district uses multiple means to determine if a child is GT, and supports those students through various programs both at the elementary and secondary levels. The district provides highly gifted services through its Spring Branch Academic Institute. Johnson talked about recent improvements to the programs, as well as challenges going forward. “We want to make sure that every child in SBISD has an appropriate (academic) experience,” said Johnson.

GT Presentation

FY 2019 Budget

Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson gave Trustees an update on the reappraisal process initiated by the district for homes affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Reappraisals on those homes are complete and notices were sent to homeowners in February. Those homeowners had 45 days to appeal. The appeals are why, Wilson said, she couldn’t provide figures for Trustees just yet. She said that the certified estimate of appraised property is expected around the end of April and will reflect adjusted numbers based on the reappraisals. She also said about 100 affected property owners signed up for the installment payment option offered by SBISD.

Wilson began talking about testimony recently given by Dr. Muri, Board President Karen Peck and others from the SBISD community before the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. The commission was established by the Legislature in 2017 to study school finance and make recommendations for the coming legislative session. Wilson deferred to Dr. Muri, who first noted that there was a “great contingent” of people from the Spring Branch community. He said that the commission received and heard what he had to say, and that the district needs to “remain communicative “ with the commission. “Thankfully, we have an articulate community,” he said, who are educated and speak well on public school finance. Wilson further noted that Dr. Muri and SBISD were one of only a handful of districts invited to testify before the commission.

Budget Worksheet
Texas Commission on Public School Finance
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