Presentation on safety & security highlights Workshop agenda
The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a workshop on the evening of October 8. A recap of the agenda is below. The items on this agenda are discussion only.
- Roll Call. Delma Abalos was absent.
- Verification of Compliance with Open Meeting Law.
- Opening remarks by the superintendent. Dr. Muri asked Trustees and the community to take time during October, which is Principals Month, to thank their school principal for the work they do. He said being a principal is incredibly rewarding, and incredibly difficult work. He thanked ECISD’s 43 principals for taking on that burden of leadership, often sacrificing time from their own families while they take care of their schools. Thank you, ECISD principals!
- Public Comment. No one requested to speak.
- Report/discussion items
- Targeted Improvement Plans – District leaders outlined the Targeted Improvement Planning Process. A school in its first year with an overall rating of D or F, or with multiple years of an F, is required to be part of the targeted improvement planning process. The plan must follow six essential actions of the Effective Schools Framework. Those six actions focus on campus leadership; highly qualified educators; compelling and aligned mission, vision, goals and values; curriculum and assessment aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS); objective-driven daily lesson plans with assessment; and data driven instruction. Over a two-day period, principals are trained on the Effective Schools Framework process and how to build a plan for their campus. The plans have already been submitted to the Texas Education Agency, and periodic checks will done through the year to evaluate progress.
2. School Safety and Security – Trustees received an update on the many different ways the school district approaches security and safety. As required by law ECISD has a Safety and Security Committee responsible for creating, evaluating, and modifying a multi-hazard emergency plan for the school district and plans for each school.
In regard to physical safety, the Tax Ratification Election approved in 2018 provided funds to erect fencing at five elementary schools with open wings of classrooms, and controlled access entry at all campuses. The work is still in progress at seven schools, and is on pace to be finished by the end of this year.
ECISD employees its own police force of 29 (that includes two canine units, two investigators and two gang officers), all of whom are trained in ALERRT, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, which the federal government recognizes as the top response protocol for an active shooter. Six ECISD officers are certified ALERRT trainers and the district is the hub for ALERRT training for other agencies. A number of ECISD officers are also active members of the local SWAT team. Our ECISD police department installed Bearacade lockdown barriers for all classrooms in secondary schools and will soon begin installing them in elementary schools, too. The department uses more than 1,700 surveillance cameras to monitor buildings across the district. The Student Crime Stoppers program is annually one of the best in the state. ECISD uses the Standard Response Protocol, created by the i love you guys foundation and endorsed by the State of Texas, as the guidelines for responding to emergency situations. Those guidelines are available in every classroom and office in the school district and can be found on the ECISD website.
Counseling and mental health evaluation can be the earliest steps to keeping schools safe. ECISD provides a comprehensive counseling model that includes mental health. The district also has a strong group of 18 SAS (Student Assistance Services) counselors who are trained in critical incident stress management. New Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri commended ECISD for having an SAS team that large. He called it “ahead of the curve and a wise decision to have those professionals in place.” All staff is trained for trauma recognition, crisis plans are in place for dealing with deaths of students and staff members, and a partnership with Texas Tech University offers tele-psychiatry services to students.
In the wake of the tragedy in August, ECISD is an active part of the West Texas resiliency task force and is actively working with families, and the wider community, impacted by the violence.
6. Closing remarks by the superintendent. There we no closing remarks.
The meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.