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Trustees receive deed to land donated for new CTE Center

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held its May Workshop on the 21st. A recap of the agenda is below.

 

  1. Roll Call.

 

  1. Verification of compliance with open meetings requirements.

 

  1. In a special presentation, Grow Odessa officially transferred the deed to 37.9 acres of land in the industrial complex near the corner of E. Murphy Street and South Meadow Avenue. Grow Odessa donated the land to ECISD to be the site of the new Career & Technical Education Center approved by voters as part of Bond 2023. The new CTE Center will be the home campus for 400 full-time students. It would also serve an additional 2,000 students at various times throughout each day as they travel back-and-forth from Odessa High School, Permian High School, and New Tech Odessa taking CTE elective courses. The new CTE Center would work in partnership with Odessa College to offer students opportunities for dual credit, certifications, and degrees, and would be available on nights and weekends as a training center for the Permian Basin’s adult workforce.

 

  1. Opening comments from Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri gave an overview of the District’s first round of bond sales which took place Tuesday morning. He said the interest rate was better than bond advisors anticipated and the better rate will mean a savings of $2.9 million for taxpayers over the life of the bonds. This initial sale was for $179 million and there were $338 worth of requests. Locally, residents purchased $40,000 worth of the bonds and one local bank purchased $3 million. He said they were very popular and there will be another round of sales next month.    

 

  1. In public comment, Viviana Rivera, a 7th-grade Math teacher at Bowie Middle School told Trustees she appreciates Opportunity Culture and her Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL) who has pushed her and coached her to become a stronger teacher whose students are showing double-digit growth this year.

 

  1. Report/Discussion Items

 

  1. Trustees heard a report on analysis of the district’s coaching models to gauge effectiveness regarding teacher performance, student growth, teacher retention, and financial impact. Researchers at Texas Tech University have been studying the impact of teacher coaching efforts in the Opportunity Culture (OC) staffing model. In the Opportunity Culture model, a Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL) not only teaches but also coaches a team of teachers, aides and/or teacher residents on a campus. The goal is to extend the reach of the Master teacher – to more students and to other teachers with daily coaching and modeling. The MCL is paid a significant stipend for this role. Currently 20 schools are using some form of this OC model, which is showing a positive effect on student performance in both reading and math. In last year’s analysis by Texas Tech of the MCL’s coaching role, MCLs reported they felt empowered and responsible for their campuses at elementary and high schools; middle school MCLs did not feel they were included in leadership to a satisfactory degree; and most MCLs named workload and protecting their time as issues. After implementing tactics this year to address those concerns, highlights from a 2023-24 analysis show staff in OC roles are more likely to report wanting to stay at their current school (64% of all staff, 78% of those in OC roles); 92% of Team Teachers report appreciating support they receive from MCLs; and 91% of MCLs indicate they have protected time to coach/support teachers on their team, up from 15% in 2022-23 survey results. More coaching and training sessions are planned to enhance Opportunity Culture roles in ECISD, as the District endeavors to build a culture of coaching among staff.   

 

  1. Trustees received a report from Curriculum & Instruction focused on Reading Language Arts (RLA) and Languages Other Than English (LOTE). Elementary RLA begins with the fundamental skill of learning to read, the cornerstone for the academic journey. ECISD implemented Saxon Phonics in kindergarten through 2nd-grade and is seeing tangible evidence of improvement one year later. Small group instruction is also priority allowing teachers to spend time with students in a setting that allows more individual attention. In Secondary RLA, consistent and aligned structures ensure students are reading with fluency and meaning. STAAR has combined Reading and Writing, making the connections more critical. An example of a particular 6th grade student was shown. The student benefited from the combination of proper small group and whole group instruction and scored 9 of 10 on the STAAR writing prompt using ECISD’s RACER strategy, which is a framework for responding to text and writing. Students in a foreign language (LOTE) can earn a Performance Acknowledgement on their diploma for achieving Bilingualism/Biliteracy, the ability to read and write in two languages. Literacy in two languages opens doors to opportunities for students and bilingual workers can earn 5-20% more than monolingual workers. There is a focused effort to encourage more Emergent Bilingual students to pursue biliteracy. To qualify, a student maintains an 80 or higher in all English and LOTE course or through Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, and Emergent Bilingual students must also have successfully exited the Bilingual/ESL program. Last year 62 students qualified, this year the number is 120 so far.

 

  1. Trustees received an update on the ways ECISD Technology Services is impacting classrooms and learning across the district. Technology’s priority is the classroom. The first item mentioned was the installation of interactive flat panels, a project included in Bond 2023. Providing and improving help and support has been a priority for the IT team this year. They received 10,023 work orders; 81% started on time; 91% were closed on time; more than 25,000 Help Desk calls were answered. The team also stepped out of ECISD to serve the community through volunteering at the West Texas Food Bank. Blended Learning is a district initiative that is not only supporting teaching and learning but also growing the next level of leaders through our #TechyTribe Ambassadors effort, a multi-year professional learning experience. ECISD has become a destination for other school districts to visit to learn about Blended Learning. IT’s goal through all its work is to align technology and digital learning to campus/district learning goals. The Digital Learning team has provided 4,400 hours of interaction supporting some 1900 teachers. The team does this through one-to-one meetings, grade level/department sessions, and professional learning offerings.  

 

  1. There was no closed session.

 

  1. In his closing remarks, Dr. Muri mentioned the state sent to ECISD another $275,000 for Blended Learning, and the district expects to close on the Sunset Golf Course property this week. That property is not part of the bond but will be available for future growth. Also, Friday evening will be the first two graduation ceremonies of the season – OCTECHS and Odessa Collegiate Academy.

 

  1. The meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.