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Newly re-elected Trustees sworn into office

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a workshop on May 11. 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 gave Trustees a brief update on some of the academic progress made this year. Looking at MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessments from the Spring Semester, District-wide scores show the median growth percentile to be a 52 Overall, a 57 in Math and a 47 in Reading. He explained that the 50th percentile represents average growth during an average school experience. Approaching 60 is remarkable. Of course, he added, this was anything but an average year. Broken down in more detail, data shows many ECISD students grew more in the second semester than they did in the first semester, which is the opposite of typical trends. He said in summary, there is much cause for celebration, yet, still a lot of work to do to ensure our students have an excellence educational experience every day.    

 

  1. Public comment: Javier Ruiz, president of Ector County Texas State Teachers Association, congratulated Chris Stanley on his re-election to the school board. He also talked about the proposed raises for employees, federal stimulus money for public school districts and plans to use those federal dollars to improve student achievement.  

 

  1. Action Items

A. Trustees voted 7-0 to canvass the results of the May 1 election. These are the final cumulative and precinct by precinct results from each polling place where the trustee position was contested.

 

B. Four Trustees took the oath of office. Delma Abalos (Position 2), Steve Brown (Position 5), and Nelson Minyard (Position 7) all ran uncontested. Chris Stanley (Position 4) won his bid for re-election.

 

C. Trustees delayed the vote on student uniforms as part of the implementation of RISE at Burnet Elementary School.

 

  1. Reports/Discussion Items

A. Trustees received a report from the Transportation Department. A staff of more than 150 operates and maintains a fleet of 185 buses and 10 SUVs used for student and staff travel. Using money approved by voters in the 2018 Tax Ratification Election (TRE), the department has purchased 29 new buses and has leased-to-own another 30, putting 59 new buses in rotation since the TRE. ECISD buses travel more than 1.5 million miles each year just running routes to and from school (6,200 students); another 300,000 are covered for extra-curricular activities; and the District spends about $670,000 for fuel each year. This year, due to COVID, the number of passengers on buses has been limited, and the District increased bus sanitizing and hand sanitizing for all riders. ECISD’s Transportation Department is recommending the addition of Live GPS on buses to help with routing and with safety. If adopted, the GPS app would allow parents to confirm their child is on the bus, and to be able to track the bus as it moves through town. Adding WiFi to trip buses is another project the department would like to pursue in the future.

 

B. Trustees heard a report on the improvement plans for Nimitz Middle School. Nimitz was rated “Met Standard” by the state until receiving a “D” rating in 2018-19. Because of the pandemic, accountability ratings have been suspended since then. Showing end-of-year MAP data (student benchmark tests given three times per year), Nimitz students showed growth beyond expectations in both math and English Language Arts in all three grades (6th, 7th, 8th). The use of Professional Learning Communities (PLC), professional development for school leaders, and the use of the Opportunity Culture model are ways Nimitz is growing professionally and improving its work for students.

 

C. Trustees reviewed revisions to policy FNCA (Local): Student Conduct Dress Code. Proposed revisions would move some aspects of the policy to Administrative Regulations.

 

D. In his legislative update, Dr. Muri told Trustees there is a process involved in applying for ESSER 3 funds ($55.9 million for ECISD) and our District has started it. He added there is still no word on ESSER 2 money, though it is evident that some of the money is being built into proposed bills. Dr. Muri said he would not be surprised if a final decision is not made during this legislative session. He added, HB 4545 was voted down, and he felt that was good because it contained a lot of restrictions on local decision-making, and new accountability discussions could mean “look back” consequences for schools who were rated a D or F as far back as 2015.   

 

  1. Trustees spent approximately ten minutes in closed session discussing the hiring of an executive director of leadership.

A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Erin Bueno as an executive director of leadership-principal supervisor. Mrs. Bueno spent the past three years as the principal of San Jacinto Elementary School, and before that she was the assistant principal there for four years. She helped lead San Jacinto from an Improvement Required campus that was reconstituted to a grade of “B” from the Texas Education Agency. She also served five years in instructional coaching.  

 

  1. In his closing remarks, Dr. Muri announced the administrative team is beginning the process of nominating this board for the school board of the year.  

  

  1. The meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.