October 15, 2019
1. Roll Call
2. Verification of Compliance with Open Meeting Law
3. Travis Elementary students Dymiya Anderson and Easton Christesson led the pledges of allegiance
4. Reverend Byron McWilliams from First Baptist Church gave the invocation
5. Opening remarks by the superintendent
Dr. Muri told the board he visited welding, auto tech and agriculture classes earlier in the afternoon. He complimented the programs and the work he saw. He said the students are sharpening skills that will help them be successful after high school graduation.
6. Special presentations
TASB Stand Up for Texas Public Schools recognition for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
A donation from the Education Foundation of Odessa to our ECISD Horticulture Program.
Announcement of the W.D. Noel Adult Volunteer of the Year (Charles Kenimer) and Youth Volunteer of the Year (Avery Glenn).
Introduction of three students who earned the distinction in the National Hispanic Recognition Program (Jason Zubia from OHS, and Clarissa Garcia and Avery Vega from NTO.)
7. There was no public comment
8-A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve renovations to the pool at Permian High School
Originally built in the 1960s and last renovated in the 1980s the PHS pool is leaking badly and plumbing must be replaced. At this time, swimmers from all ECISD schools are using the pool at Ector Middle School for practice. It, too, needs repairs and those will be scheduled for next summer, after the PHS pool is operational again.
8-B. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve purchases over $50,000
There are two items on the list this month; the pool repairs at Permian High School and an agreement with the DeBerry Group to help the Office of Student and School Support, Guidance & Counseling and the Communication Department produce crisis response materials and resources for staff, students, and parents to aid in the recovery from the August 31 tragedy.
8-C. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Budget Amendment #2
8-D. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve TASB Update 113
These changes came at the recommendation of the Texas Association of School Boards. Here is the link to view each of the policies - https://bit.ly/32mqVLq.
9. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the Consent Agenda
The Consent Agenda is a group of routine or previously reviewed items that are approved all together. This month’s Consent Agenda included minutes of previous meetings; bills for payment; out-of-state travel for the Odessa High School guitar program, the OHS orchestra program, the Permian High School band, and the PHS theater program; and an updated list of T-TESS appraisers. The board voted separately on, and approved by a 7-0 vote, the appointment of six people (Jodi Patman, Elixandra Carrasco, Shavoncia Meyer, Becky Rivera-Weiss, Tomisin Adenuga, and Brenda Myers) to the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC).
10-A. Trustees heard the first reading of proposed changes to three local board policies
10-B. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Muri gave his First 100 Days report to the board members
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Muri gave his First 100 Days report to the board members. When hired last spring, Dr. Muri told school board members he would spend his first 100 days studying Odessa and ECISD and visiting with a wide variety of individuals and groups. He called it his opportunity to look, listen and learn about the community.
Some of the points he brought forward: enrollment is up 1,635 students since one year ago; since 2012 the number of Hispanic students is up more than 4,400; attendance rates are below the state average and last year’s attendance rate was down from previous years; the biggest group of our teachers is in the range of 1-5 years of experience; the number of teachers with 6-10 years of experience is much lower than the 1-5 year group reflecting a state-wide trend of teachers leaving the profession after five years: the majority of our teachers come from traditional university programs but the number of those going through an alternative certification program is increasing each year; 56% of our teachers said they want to stay in this profession; the district’s financial situation is much stronger than it was five years ago, thanks in large part to the Tax Ratification Election approved in November 2018; the last facilities study, done in 2017 showed the district needs about $605 million in maintenance and updates.
Concerning student performance, our economically disadvantaged students lag behind all other school districts in our peer group – some of those districts have lower poverty and some have higher percentages of poverty; kids in AVID, fine arts, athletics and career and technical education attend school more regularly, score higher on the SAT and are more likely to graduate; and only 6.5% of the Class of 2013 earned a technical certificate, a 2-year degree or a 4-year degree within six years. This is important because in 1973, 28% of employment opportunities required postsecondary education – in 2020 is it projected 65% of employment opportunities will require postsecondary education. Statistics show 65% of our kindergartners were not ready to start school; 66% of our third graders are not reading on grade level; 68% of our secondary students are not meeting grade level requirements for Algebra I.
Some of the messages Dr. Muri heard during his Look, Listen, and Learn tour – the community wants to be involved with the school district; our facilities are old and need work; we place too much emphasis on standardized testing and too little on learning. He commented our community is saying, “ask big and expect big.” Our teachers are saying, “don’t accept the status quo; we are ready to grow and change.” Our students are saying, “we deserve an outstanding education that prepares us for our future.”
He finished by saying we have 34,000 students who need us to be better for them, and he believes we can and will. He added it will take a lot of work but we have the opportunity to be great. The next steps in this process are to finish the strategic plan that was started during the summer. That plan should be ready to be rolled out in the spring.
11. There was no closed session
12. Information items
13. There were no closing remarks by the superintendent. The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.