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Trustees approve five new elementary principals

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a workshop on June 8. A recap of the agenda is below.

 

  1. Roll Call.

 

  1. Verification of Compliance with Open Meeting Law.

 

  1. In his opening remarks, Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri let Trustees know Summer Learning is underway with almost 7,000 students enrolled and engaged. He said that is about four times the number of students we normally see in the summer. He told them robotics has invaded ECISD classrooms, and he thanked teachers and administrators for creating some “pretty cool experiences” for kids. He said it is half-day; breakfast is served first, then class begins, and students are given a to-go lunch at the end of the morning. He also let Trustees know ECISD has partnered with Medical Center Hospital to target middle school kids for COVID vaccines. We have set up three clinics for the month of June, at middle schools, for any students and families who want the vaccine.    

 

  1. There was no public comment.  

 

  1. Report/Discussion Items

A. Trustees discussed the budget for the 2021-22 school year. The school board plans to officially adopt the budget next week and will schedule a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. next Tuesday, June 15. Trustees are anticipating the overall tax rate will stay the same as it is right now - $1.17792 per $100 valuation. A school board in Texas is legally required to approve three separate budgets: the General Fund budget which is projected to be $314,485,610; the Debt Service budget projected at $19,250,666; and the School Nutrition budget at $18,705,494. The highlights of the General Fund budget come from the 2021-22 Compensation Plan which Trustees approved last month:

  • Starting teacher salary raised to $57,000 (NOTE: four years ago, 2017-18, ECISD’s starting teacher salary was just $44,500);
  • Everyone on teacher pay scale will get $1,800 with additional adjustments at Steps 1-10;
  • 4% general pay increase at midpoint for hourly employees (increased hourly minimum to $12.00);
  • 3% general pay increase at midpoint for exempt (non-hourly) employees;
  • A $750 Invest in Talent Stipend for all those employed on the first day of instruction in August;
  • The pay increases come at a cost of approximately $7.4 million to the District’s budget.

*Budget Note: built into the Debt Service budget for next year is the early payment of $5.5 million in bond payments which will ultimately save the District (and tax payers) about $2.5 million in future interest payments.*

 

B. Trustees reviewed GASB 54 fund balance. According to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) the school board must approve categories for fund balance commitment or assignment for the coming year. Trustees will review categories for 2021-22, and will vote on the list at the next meeting.

 

C. Trustees received a report on end-of-year MAP Growth. MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress. These assessments, which are given three times per year, measure what students know and what they’re ready to learn next. MAP Growth measures performance - whether a student performs on, above, or below grade level over time. This year ECISD uses MAP assessments in Kindergarten through 8th grade Reading and Math, English I and II Language, and Algebra I. More areas will be added next year. MAP Growth is one of the measurements our school board uses as an Indicator of Success. This year’s goal was to have 52% of all students meet or exceed their individual growth projections, and while students showed overall growth in Math and Reading, the final number fell just short of the goal at 50%. Math exceeded the mark (55%); Reading was below it (46%). Schools contacted students and families to help them read and understand the MAP results that were sent home. If necessary, the students were invited to attend Summer Learning to reinforce learning from the school year.

**Note: Dr. Muri told Trustees there is a delay in the state verifying STAAR results so those numbers were not included in this report but will be later in the summer.**

 

D. Trustees heard the first reading of TASB’s local policy update 117. These are policy changes recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards. You can find the three proposed policies in the Board Book online.

 

E. In his legislative update, Dr. Muri said now that the legislative session is over, Districts are asking for and beginning to receive clarification and guidance on how to implement new laws that are going into effect. He said District leaders will provide updates to the school board on those legislative actions and their impact.

 

  1. Action Items

A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a memorandum of understanding between ConnEctor Task Force, the Dallas Federal Reserve and Magellan Consultants. ECISD is excited to announce that the ConnEctor Task Force will be working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a broadband consultant, Magellan Advisors, to create a plan to expand access to high-speed internet in Ector County. ECISD is among the parties involved in the ConnEctor Task Force. This initiative will extend over a three-year period. The Dallas Fed will assist in convening community partners and provide training to help us work together effectively. Magellan Advisors will assist on the technical side. They will work with the local group on assessing community needs, infrastructure and other factors and help analyze business models and financial considerations. In Ector County, our ConnEctor Task Force is ahead of the curve in this work. The local stakeholder group has already formed, community assessments have been conducted, and a variety of solutions – infrastructure and devices – are already in place and being tested for effectiveness. The ConnEctor Task Force is made up of more than twenty local entities, businesses, and organizations working toward permanent solutions for broadband internet connectivity throughout Ector County. The technical support and guidance from the Dallas Fed and Magellan Advisors will help ConnEctor take the next steps and remain at the front of the push to ensure all residents, wherever they live, can connect with online resources at any time.

 

B. Trustees approved a new slate of board officers for the coming year. President will be Tammy Hawkins, vice president will be Dr. Steve Brown, and secretary will be Carol Gregg.   

 

  1. Trustees moved to closed session to discuss hiring.

 

  1. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the following hires:
    1. Daryton Ramsey as the executive director of student and school support. Mr. Ramsey is coming from the Ventura County Office of Education in Camarillo, California, where he is the Director of Accountability & Continuous Improvement. He has also served as the Director of the Regional System of District and School Support; as an elementary school principal; a charter school dean of curriculum & instruction; and a middle school teacher.
    2. Margarita Acosta as the principal of Cameron Elementary. Ms. Acosta is currently the assistant principal at Cameron. She has ten years of experience in Cameron’s dual language program having worked as a first-grade teacher and a dual language specialist on the campus.
    3. Priscilla Aguilar as the principal of Carver Early Education Center. She is the assistant principal at Carver EEC now, and served as the assistant principal at West Elementary School from 2017-2020. She also has ten years of experience teaching kindergarten through fourth-grades in ECISD schools.
    4. Noe Ortiz as the principal of Ireland Elementary. Mr. Ortiz has been an assistant principal since 2016, for the past two years at Crockett Middle School. He also has experience as a dual language instructional specialist and a Bilingual teacher in Leander ISD and Pflugerville ISD. Before getting into education, he worked as a microbiologist.
    5. Micah Arrott as the principal of Pease Elementary. Ms. Arrott has been the acting principal at Pease since earlier this spring. She started at Pease as the assistant principal in the 2019-20 school year. Her range of experience includes three years as an assistant principal at Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School; two years as a Special Education Resource teacher; three years as a Dyslexia itinerant teacher; and a decade as a counselor in two different school districts.
    6. Fallon McLane as the principal of San Jacinto Elementary. Ms. McLane is an ECISD veteran, having started with the District in 2012. For the past three years she has served as the assistant principal at San Jacinto Elementary. Prior to that she was an instructional coach at Sam Houston Elementary, campus curriculum facilitator at Milam Elementary, and a teacher at Noel Elementary. She has also taught in school districts in Fort Worth; Lima, Ohio, and Galena Park, Texas.    

 

  1. There were no closing remarks.  

  

  1. The meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m.