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Trustees approve staff raises, agreement with local apartments for teacher housing

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held its regular board meeting for June on the evening of the 18th. A recap of the agenda is below.

Call to order.

Alyzabeth Aguilar (West Elementary) and Laila Andrade (Austin Elementary) led the pledges of allegiance. Both are taking part in Camp SIP this week.

The pledgers pose for a picture with Mr. Nelson and Trustee Tammy Hawkins

Reverend Ralph Emerson from New Life Chapel gave the invocation.

Special Presentations included the recognition of Doyle Woodall as the school board’s outgoing president, the announcement of TMEA’s Distinguished Administrator Award to Bowie Middle School principal Shelia Stevenson, College Board Counselor Award to Permian High School’s Jennifer Perkins, and the WeTeach_CS Change Makers award to Odessa High School teacher Tom Kyle. Officials also announced the 2018-19 ECISD Employees of the Year:

Administrator of the Year – Erin Bueno, Principal, San Jacinto Elementary
Counselor of the Year – Lynette Salinas, Ector College Prep MS
Nurse of the Year – Kristen Brame, Buice Elementary
Para-Professional of the Year, Shirley Babcock, Trainer, Information Systems
Professional Employee of the Year – Armando Nunez, Director for Payroll
Transportation Employee of the Year – Delia Renteria, Bus Driver
Custodial Employee of the Year – Lupe Valenzuela, Head Custodian, Dowling Elementary
Maintenance Employee of the Year – Randy Parker, Cabinet Maker
School Nutrition Employee of the Year – Shannon Ballard, Head Cook, Permian HS
Police Officer of the Year – Brandon Upchurch, K-9 officer at OHS
Elementary Teacher of the Year – Nancy Stone, Media Specialist, Cameron Elementary
Secondary Teacher of the Year – Milton Hunt, Bowie MS

Employee of the Year, gathered in the courtyard behind the Admin Building

Verification of compliance with Open Meetings Act.

Report Items

  1. Trustees discussed Lone Star Governance Goal 2 that focuses on kindergarten through 3rd grade reading. The District’s iStation results (measuring reading) rose to 66%, which exceeded this year’s goal of having 64% of students reading on grade level.
  2. Trustees heard an update on the district’s use of online forms to streamline Summer Registration in July. All returning students must use the txConnect Parent Portal to update their information for registration. Not only will this speed up the Summer Registration process in July, the Parent Portal gives parents daily access to their student’s grades, assignments, and attendance. Parents can find all registration information at this link
  3. Trustees heard the annual AVID report. Twelve years ago AVID began with 489 students involved. This year more than 2,100 secondary students are in AVID classes and more than 7,000 elementary students are learning AVID strategies. AVID has had a huge impact on ECISD students and families. To read more about how AVID supports students, the full report is at this link
  4. The Advanced Academics Department reported on 2019 SAT Day. All high school juniors tested in March (1,541) and 14% met both benchmarks (English/Writing 480, Math 510). This year, as in past years, our district tested all juniors, however, next year only the top 30% and other students who opt-in will take it. Our ECISD Advanced Academics Department is offering a PSAT/SAT Boot Camp this summer to help prepare students. We also offer Princeton Review as an SAT prep course during the school year, and College Board comes in annually for an SAT Review with teachers.
  5. Trustees discussed Lone Star Governance Goal 1 that focuses on the percentage of students reaching or exceeding the Meets Standard level on state tests.
  6. Trustees received a report on this year’s STAAR test results. The results of the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test show areas of growth for ECISD students, and also highlight areas that need improvement. The two sets of charts – at this link– give two different views of the results. For example, the charts titled Year to Year compare this year’s 3rd grade results on a particular test to last year’s 3rd grade results on the same test. The second set of results called Cohort Comparison compares this year’s 4th grade results on a particular test to last year’s 3rd grade results on the same test. The Cohort Comparison gives a look at how the same group of students is growing from one year to the next, while the Year to Year comparison is a look at two different sets of students. Green shows gains, yellow indicates scores stayed the same, and red shows drops in performance. Goal 1 of our district improvement plan is to meet or exceed the state average on all tests by 2024. When considering the three standards – Approaches Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, Masters Grade Level – ECISD students gained some ground on the state in Reading in all grades 3rd through 8th; in Math in 5th, 7th, and 8th grade; Social Studies in 8th grade; Science in 8th grade; and the U.S. History End of Course exam.
  7. A representative from Young & Davis Demographics presented the results of the firm’s recent study and ten year student projections. A few key numbers presented: continuing the recent trend more than 3,000 residential units are planned within the school zones of Jordan Elementary and Buice Elementary; district-wide enrollment is projected to top 35,000 by 2024; and high school enrollment is projected to reach about 9,900 in the next ten years. You can find the presentation at this link
  8. Trustees heard an update on the progress of TRE projects.
  9. The Finance Department gave an update on budget preparations. A budget hearing will be held on Thursday, June 26, to adopt the budget for the 2019-20 school year.

Consent Agenda

  1. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve minutes of past meetings; bills for payment; changing the Work Study or Regular Meeting dates for July, September, and next March; the TASB Risk Management Fund Agreement; the interlocal agreement with Region 18 Education Service Center to provide various services; and the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Texas Permian Basin for dual credit courses for 2019-20.

Action Items

  1. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a resolution committing fund balance in accordance with GASB 54.
  2. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the budget amendment to close out the fiscal year.
  3. Trustees voted 6-0-1 to allow for the sale of excess property at 619 W. 10th This is the old textbook warehouse building. If a buyer is found, the school board must approve the sale before it is completed. Delma Abalos abstained from voting.
  4. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve changes to Board Policy DED(Local) Compensation and Benefits: Vacations and Holidays.
  5. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve an agreement with Weidner Property Management, LLC to provide discounted rent for school district employees. Lease agreements would be for six-months, and be 10% off market value for a maximum of 100 units across all Weidner properties in Odessa & Midland. The agreement would also reduce initial move-in costs, waive other fees, and eliminate the requirement of first-and-last-month’s rent up front. Teachers will be the priority for available apartments.
  6. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the 2019-20 Compensation Plan. As anticipated, it is well beyond the pay raises required by House Bill 3. The new starting teacher salary will increase to $52,000 (up from $50,000), and teachers with more years of experience will receive larger increases ranging from $2,500-$3,500. All other employees not on the Teacher Salary Schedule (teachers, nurses, and media specialists) will receive an increase of 4% of midpoint of their salary range. The approved Compensation Plan will be posted on the ECISD website right away.
  7. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve an amended agreement with Oberon Solar, LLC.

There was no closed session.

Request for Future Agenda Items – no discussion.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.