Trustees approve new athletic director
The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held its regular meeting for July on the evening of the 24th. A recap of the agenda is below. Dr. Donna Smith was absent.
A. Trustees discussed a Proposed Chapter 313 agreement for tax credits and value limitations for a potential solar panel project in Ector County. Oberon Solar submitted a project application to the school district, including the application fee that will cover the school district’s need to hire a consultant for the process. Trustees voted 6-0 to authorize the superintendent to review the application, submit it to the comptroller, enter into an agreement to extend the deadline for board action beyond 150 days subject to ratification, and contract with Moak, Casey & Associates as a consultant to guide the school district through this process.
B. Trustees voted 6-0 to release property at Lasseter Avenue. In January 2014 the district gave the City of Odessa property on Lasseter Avenue to be developed for low-income housing (Grove Apartments). The district retained the right to take back the property if the project was not completed within three years. The project was completed and this motion releases any rights the district has to the property.
C. Trustees reviewed the results of a survey taken by district administrators, principals and assistant principals who have participated in the Leadership Visioning Institute the past three years. The Leadership Visioning Institute gives district leaders the chance to study the document Creating a Vision for Public Education in Texas. The course – which is similar to the statewide Principals’ Institute – is designed to develop knowledge and skills required to lead change at the campus and district level, and build the ability to sustain innovative transformation over time.
D. Trustees voted 4-1-1 to approve an agreement to continue the Leadership Visioning Institute for the coming year. The cost of the Leadership Visioning Institute is $54,000 plus travel expenses for the presenter. The Institute will run a total of 19 days with 80-90 ECISD participants throughout the 2018-19 school year. Carol Gregg voted against the agreement, Delma Abalos abstained.
E. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Information Systems Director Heather Potts as an alternate approver for the superintendent, meaning she can submit some data reports on behalf of the district.
F. Trustees heard a presentation on curriculum software from our Curriculum & Instruction Department. Dr. Tracy Canter, executive director for Special Education, described the effect of Brainchild for students with special needs. She told the board members this software targets skills the students are lacking; it is not a thing where they sit and play games; and it is available to students to use at home. Dr. Canter said in 2017 our teachers used Brainchild for a total of 4,754 minutes. After more training and specific professional development teachers used it for more than 20,000 minutes in 2018. Our Special Education Department found a correlation between schools that used Brainchild more than 500 hours and an increase in achievement for special needs students. Next Lisa Wills, executive director of C&I, and Jamie Miller, literacy director, talked to the Trustees about Stride. This is a software targeted to students in Tier II in kindergarten through 8th Students are tested at the beginning of the year, in the middle, and again at the end. It is ranked by number of questions answered for the year. ECISD students answered more than 1 million questions during this year earning an award for usage/growth from Stride, one of just five districts to earn this honor. The final software program highlighted was iStation. iStation is the program used for K-8 reading intervention. It is shown to be a strong predictor of success on the STAAR test. The usage report measures Good, Fair, or Insufficient use by each campus. Trustees asked to see a monthly report on each on these programs next year.
G. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve the standard interlocal agreements with Region 18 Education Service Center for a variety of services.
H. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve the 2018-19 District Continuous Improvement Plan. The DCIP is based on the Board of Trustees four performance goals plus a 5th, state-required goal, for safe, supportive learning environments and parent engagement. You can view the Board of Trustees goals by visiting this link - https://www.ectorcountyisd.org/cms/lib/TX01000975/Centricity/domain/1/lone%20star%20governance/Board_Outcome_Goals_3_30_18.pdf.
I. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve a resolution to consider alternative graduation requirements for students who entered 9th-grade before the 2011-12 school year. A change in the law means students who meet specific criteria no longer have to pass the TAAS or TAKS test in order to receive their high school diploma. A local committee will have the authority to review a student’s classwork and achievement and award the graduation.
J. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Budget Amendment #1. This amendment designates money from the general fund for a series of immediate purchases including Fiber Optic installation, networking equipment and connectivity grant ($5 million); purchase of portables ($348,000); 6 Special Education staffing positions ($267,000); incentives for teaching candidates in the 2+1 fast-track certification program ($155,000); and two forklifts for textbooks/records warehouse ($55,000.) The amendment also includes an addition of $700,589 from an E-Rate Connective Grant to be used for the Fiber Optic project.
K. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve six purchases over $50,000. Those items are the Region 18 agreements, crossing guard partnership with the City of Odessa, professional development training, and teacher materials and training.
L. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve an interlocal agreement with the City of Odessa for crossing guards. The City advertises the position, hires crossing guards, and assigns them to schools. The City and ECISD split the cost of crossing guards within the city limits with ECISD paying the full cost for crossing guards placed outside the city limits. The total cost of the service for the year is $359,388 with ECISD’s share coming to $198,018.
M. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve the updated Hazardous Traffic Area Designation. With the change of several school boundaries for this year, this designation needed to be updated. A hazardous condition exists where no walkway is provided and children must walk along or cross a freeway, underpass, bridge, uncontrolled major traffic artery, industrial/commercial area, or other comparable condition. A district may receive up to 10% of additional funding to provide transportation to children within two miles of their school if these conditions exist.
N. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Board Policy FFAC (Local) Wellness and Health Services: Medical Treatment. The change is recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
O. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Board Policy DEC (Local) Compensation and Benefits: Leaves and Absences. The recommended change: Employees may not request days for absences due to a Workers Compensation injury or illness.
P. Trustees discussed Student Outcome Goal 4 and Goal Progress Measure 4-1. Goal 4 is “The percentage of students in grades K-2 who are reading at or above grade level will increase from 61% to 85% by the end of the 2019-20 school year. Progress measure 4-1 is a look at iStation/Espanol percentages for K, 1, and 2. A total of 7,685 students tested and 61% met the Tier I target.
Q. Trustees discussed Student Outcome Goal 4 and Goal Progress Measure 4-2. Progress Measure 4-2 is the percentage of pre-k students producing 20 letter sounds on a district checkpoint. 61% of the prekindergarten students met goal progress measure.
R. Trustees discussed Board Self-Constraint 1. Self-Constraint 1 reads, “The Board will not allow their primary time or focus to be on anything other than student performance.” Trustees felt they stayed focused on student performance pretty well all year. Mr. Crowe added this school board did that to a larger degree than any other board he has worked with in the past.
S. Trustees discussed the Board’s Self-evaluation. Four times each year the board takes on this self-evaluation time. It is an element of the Lone Star Governance process our Trustees began using this year. The board members grade themselves according to parameters set by the Lone Star Governance program and strive to increase their grade each quarter.
T. Trustees spent about 20 minutes in closed session.
U. Trustees voted 5-0 to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Ector Success Academy Network. School board president Doyle Woodall recused himself from this vote.
V. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Bruce McCrary as the new executive director for athletics. Mr. McCrary comes from San Antonio ISD where he served as an assistant athletic director since 2016. Before that he was the head athletic trainer/safety compliance officer/football operations director in Midland ISD, and he also served as part of the United States Olympic Committee’s Medical Staff at the World University Games in 1991 and the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain in 1992.
W. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Michael Hicks as the new assistant principal for Travis Elementary.
X. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Josie Mata as the new assistant principal at Murry Fly Elementary.
Y. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Mayra Leyva as the new assistant principal at E.K. Downing.
Z. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda is a group of routine or previously discussed items presented for approval at one time. This month’s Consent Agenda included acknowledgement of gifts and donations and approval of 2018-19 T-TESS appraisers.
The meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.