Summary Report & Media Highlights
Nov. 13, 2017
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Workshop Agenda
Board meeting videos

Vice-President Josef Klam conducted the meeting. Dr. Muri opened the meeting with a story about his visit to the Ag Farm earlier that day and how SBISD offers a multitude of opportunities for its students.

Executive Session

Trustees met in executive session. No action was taken.

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Second Reading of Policy: TASB Policy Update 108

Trustees heard on first reading a policy update from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) to LEGAL and LOCAL policy, which will bring the policy in line with recently passed legislation.

TASB Policy Update 108

Audit Presentation / Approval

Auditors from Whitley Penn presented an “unmodified” opinion – the highest given – after their review of SBISD finances for the 2016-17 budget year. The auditors noted that the largest portion of the budget – 53 percent – goes to instruction, followed at 15 percent to recapture. The district last year brought in $2.2 million more into the general fund than expected, they said, and spent $9.5 million less, a net swing of $11.7 million. The debt service fund ended with a balance of $36 million, after making interest payments and paying down principal. Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson said that the budget “caps” spending and that she would expect less spent than is budgeted. Trustees unanimously accepted the audit.

Audit Presentation

2017 Bond Review and Next Steps

Dr. Muri thanked the board and senior staff for the work that went into both building and passing the $898.4 million bond package. He said the 80 percent approval rate was getting attention across the state – many districts passed bond measures but none at 80 percent. He further thanked the Spring Branch community, noting that many no longer have children in the system but continue to care deeply for public schools. Associate Superintendent for Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine said the next six months or so will be spent getting prepared for bond projects.

Spring Branch Voters Approve $898.4 Million Bond

2018-19 DIT Calendar Recommendation

Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman presented results from a community survey that ranked academic calendars for the 2018-19 school year, with calendar “A” receiving the most first-place votes. That calendar has the school year starting on Thursday, Aug. 16 – made possible by District of Innovation status. The calendar offers a full week off at Thanksgiving and ends school before Memorial Day, expressed most frequently in the survey comments. Second-most heard was the full week off at Thanksgiving, but ranking third were comments not in favor of Thanksgiving week as a holiday. Trustees will consider the calendars and select one at a future meeting.

Survey Results

Potential CTE Task Force and Charge

CTE Director David Sablatura asked the Board to consider creation of a task force to study Career and Technical Education (CTE) in SBISD. Dr. Muri pointed out that the work of the 2017 bond begins now – the package includes $10 million for refreshing existing CTE equipment, with some money used for design or other expenses resulting from a CTE Task Force’s recommendations. Sablatura said the task force would be charged with creating a vision for the future of a world-class CTE program in SBISD. He said the charge and task force composition will be brought to the board at a future meeting.

CTE Presentation

TEA Transformation Zone Planning Grant

Dr. Muri told Trustees that SBISD is eligible to apply for a six-month planning grant for high-needs schools, with the possibility of more funding later. Dr. Muri said the grant criteria looks at basically three questions: How can we better support and serve those high-needs schools? How can we design a talent strategy to better serve those needs? How can we redesign the current Campus Improvement Team structure (both in high-needs schools and beyond)?  The grants are highly competitive, he said, with no guarantee of receiving one. He also said there’s no commitment beyond the scope of the grant.

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Closing Remarks

Dr. Muri told Trustees that Principal Nancy Harn of Rummel Creek Elementary will share stories of students and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey at a meeting with Secretary of Education Betsy Devos on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be the regular meeting, on Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Sr. Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.

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