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School board hears update from Superintendent Search firm

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held its regular board meeting for January on the evening of the 22nd. A recap of the agenda is below.


  1. Call to order.


  1. Crockett Middle School student Michael Mendoza led the pledges of allegiance.


Crockett student Michael Mendoza poses with school board member Carol Gregg after he led the pledges Tuesday night.


  1. Reverend Harry Irwin from Sherwood Baptist Church gave the invocation.


  1. Verification of compliance with Open Meetings Act.


  1. The citizen’s request to address the board was postponed.


  1. Public Hearing on Texas Academic and Performance Report.

 A. Executive Director of Accountability and Asssessment Annette Macias reviewed this report, which is a full summary of student data from the 2017-18 school year.


 B. There were no public comments on the report.


  1. Special Presentations - Trustees’ were introduced to members of the Finance and Business Departments; received the City Council proclamation naming January as School Board Recognition Month in Odessa; honored state qualifiers from Odessa High School in Theater, and UIL Congress; introduced Academic All State football players from OHS and Permian High School; and recognized All State football players from PHS.


  1. Report Items

 A. Representatives from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates gave a report on the work done for the superintendent search up to this point. They said 850 people took the online survey – teachers were the top responders to it, with parents next. The firm also conducted 26 interviews, focus groups and open forums, with 133 people taking part in those. The firm’s focus was to hear from the community concerning the school district’s strengths, challenges, desired characteristics for the next superintendent, area features that would draw candidates to Odessa, and suggestions of possible candidates for the job. The information included in this presentation is extensive – if you would like to read it, you can find the report at the link below. This report includes a draft of the job description created by the firm, based on the public input it received.


 B. Leaders from Ector College Prep Success Academy reported on the school’s first six months of work. The Academy is an in-district charter school on the campus of Ector Middle School and this is its first year of operation. The school implemented a rotating block schedule and extended school day along with intense monitoring of students’ work and immediate responses when necessary. Attendance is around 97%, the highest of any middle school in the district; assessment scores show growth in a number of areas along with others that need more attention.


 C. Trustees received an update on the progress of Tax Ratification Election projects. Staff received the retroactive portion of their raises on December 31. Those raises now become a regular monthly payment. Most of the roof repairs/replacement are complete for the buildings damaged by hail in 2016, and the bid process is beginning for the 17 locations damaged by the 2017 hailstorm. Controlled access entrances are in the design phase and should move forward quickly in the coming weeks. The bid for fencing for those designated elementary schools is on tonight’s agenda for approval. In regard to buses, the activity bus has arrived, seven yellow buses are ordered and due in about 30 days, and the lease agreement for 30 more buses is being finalized.


 D. Trustees received an overview of the state’s Performance Based Monitoring & Accountability System (PBMAS).


 E. Trustees reviewed the work they did last Tuesday night in developing their Lone Star Governance goals for student achievement. Those Student Performance Goals are 1) The percentage of students achieving or exceeding “Meets Standard” on state assessments will increase across all tested content areas from 30% to 60% by May 2024. 2) The percentage of all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade reading on or above grade level will increase from 60% to 85% by May 2024. 3) The percentage of high school graduates considered College, Career, or Military Ready will increase from 11% to 34% by May 2024. These specific student goals support the district’s broader goals for student success.


  1. Consent Agenda. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the Consent Agenda, which is a group of routine or previously discussed items presented for approval all at once. This month’s Consent Agenda included the approval of the TASB BuyBoard Cooperative Management Fee Report, out-of-state travel for Odessa High School Theatre students, out-of-state travel for Permian High School band students, and overseas travel for students in the Audio/Visual Production classes.


  1. Action Items

 A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve purchases over $50,000. Those items are Literacy Intervention Kits, and fencing projects funded by the successful Tax Ratification Election.


 B. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve offers on two tax-foreclosed properties. One is located at 9510 West Westridge, and the other is 301 Fitch.


 C. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a revision to the Student Code of Conduct. The approved change states transportation to the Alternative Education Center may be revoked for the duration of a student’s placement when conduct on the bus warrants removal from the bus.


 D. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve an agreement with TNTP to create a teacher certification program called Odessa Pathway to Teaching. This program is one of several solutions our school district will use to recruit, train and certify new teachers. The target audience is current school district employees and other local candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to become certified teachers. The program places these apprentice teachers in classrooms with an experienced mentor teacher for five weeks before hiring them for vacant jobs. It is not only a pathway to teacher certification it also opens career opportunities. The goal is to prepare up to 80 new applicants through the summer and fall of 2019. Odessa Pathway to Teaching is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant. TNTP, formerly known as the New Teacher Project, has collaborated with more than 200 district since 1997. The goal of this agreement is to use TNTP’s expertise to help get the program off the ground and then have the school district take it over and continue it in future years.



  1. Trustees spent about ten minutes in closed session to discuss the hiring of an executive director of elementary education.

 A. Trustees voted 7-0 to hire Alicia Press as an executive director of elementary education. Mrs. Press began her career in ECISD in 2007 as a teacher at Burnet Elementary, was later promoted to assistant principal at Pease Elementary, and in 2011 was hired as principal at Gonzales Elementary. In 2014, she was selected to lead Buice Elementary, one of the district’s new elementary schools (which opened in Fall 2015).


  1. Trustees spent 1 hour 45 minutes in closed session for a Level III Grievance.

  A. Trustees voted 4-3 to uphold the Level II Grievance decision.


  1. Information Items


  1. Request for Future Agenda Items


The meeting adjourned at 10:44 p.m.