Summary Report & Media Highlights
May 8, 2017
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Workshop Agenda
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The Board opened with an executive session. No action was taken.

Second Reading of Policy

Trustees advanced to third and final reading of TASB Update 107, which updates many of the Board’s Legal and Local policies. Trustee Katherine Dawson said that the updates had been posted for public comment on the Board’s policy website and that no comments had been received.

Board Policy Website

Strategic Plan Update: Project Reports

Trustees heard an update to the strategic plan – The Learner’s Journey – through several ongoing project reports. Strategic Planning Coordinator Bailey Hampton reiterated that T-2-4 is still the district’s overarching goal and, pointing to the “road map” of projects, and she said that the work reflected in that map comes from hundreds of people across the system. She said that 52 projects have been completed, with 19 still active and on track.

Project manager Victoria Graham reported on the Family E3 Framework, an initiative falling under the Customized Supports theme of The Learner’s Journey. Family E3 – educate, engage, empower – had two goals this year – to launch a Family E3 committee, and to develop a Family E3 framework. Graham reported that the Family E3 committee has developed a framework that includes a vision, guiding principles, beliefs, measures and accountability, and expectations. Next steps include the launching of micro-pilots at select campuses and telling the stories of Family E3 in action.

Coordinator of Personalized Learning Patricia Kassir reported on the Transcend school redesign initiative at Spring Branch Middle School. A team of administrators, teachers and parents are using design thinking, a human-centered process that starts with studying a problem from the user’s perspective – to drive the redesign, Kassir said. Equity is a core design anchor, she said, with all students held to the same high standards. Transcend is a national nonprofit that “accelerates innovation in the core of schools.”

Chief Academic Officer Uyen Tieu reported on the knowledge marketplace, a curated repository of tested apps and software that is accessible by teachers. The marketplace has “aisles” of related items, such as material for English Language Learners (ELL), the first “aisle” to being built out. The curated aspect means that the apps and software have been tested by Spring Branch educators and are known to be effective. Tieu and her team are building a website (not yet live) where users can access the marketplace with search functionality, teacher ratings and results ratings.


Presentation and Discussion of the Draft FY2018 Budget

Referring to last month’s regular meeting where two budget scenarios were presented, Dr. Muri said that there was now only one scenario – “the worst case is now the (only) case.” While the Legislature is in session until May 29, he said he and staff are building the 2018 budget based on the best information they have right now. House Bill 21, which pumps an extra $1.6 billion into state funding for public education and which offers a little help for SBISD, has yet to be considered by the Senate. The certified property appraisal estimate shows a 5 percent growth in property values, a little less than expected, said Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson. Also, increased property values coupled with flat enrollment means the district’s recapture payment will increase as well. The district uses a modified zero-based budgeting system, she said, meaning that every division’s budget starts at zero and justifies its expenditures. Still, she said, with declining revenue projections over the next few years, the district will start having to look at expenditures differently.

While the district faces an uncertain financial future with sharply rising recapture payments, Dr. Muri and Trustees remain committed to a pay increase this year. The district has to take care of its employees, Dr. Muri said, because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Legislative Update

Dr. Muri encouraged Trustees to schedule at least one more trip to Austin and the Capitol to encourage passage of school finance reform – a priority for SBISD.

Closing Remarks

Dr. Muri reported that SBISD has been chosen by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to be part of its System of Great Schools, a cohort of innovative districts around the state. TEA will provide some focused support work, he said, with the possibility of some funding opportunities.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m., at Memorial High School, 935 Echo Lane.

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