SPECIAL BOARD MEETING, MAY 4, 2004
May 4, 2004
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Carruth Administration Center
SPECIAL MEETING MAY 4, 2004
Presiding Officer President Doyle A. Valdez
On this the 4th day of May 2004, at 7:00 p.m., the Board of Trustees of the Austin Independent School District convened in the Carruth Administration Center Auditorium, 1111 West 6th Street, Austin, Texas. The following members were present, to wit: Cheryl Bradley (in attendance until 10:08 p.m.), Johna Edwards, Robert Schneider, Ingrid Taylor, Doyle Valdez, Ave Wahrmund (arriving at 7:19 p.m.), and Patricia Whiteside. The following members were absent, to wit: John Fitzpatrick and Rudy Montoya, Jr.
President Valdez called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.
The Board found and determined that, in accordance with the policies and Order of this Board and with Chapter 551 (Open Meetings) of the Texas Government Code, as amended, the notice of the meeting has been properly complied with, including the posting of notice as to time, date, place of the meeting, and the subjects to be discussed at said meeting.
Ingrid Taylor made a motion that the Board of Trustees approves the Agenda as presented. Johna Edwards seconded the motion.
The motion passed unanimously.
Community Safety Task Force Report
Dr. Pat Forgione, Superintendent, welcomed the members of the Community Safety Task Force and reviewed the Task Force background.
John Moore, Executive Director of Education Support Services, introduced the panel of Task Force members.
Anne Wynne, co-chair of the Task Force, noted that Presiding Chair Bishop John McCarthy had a long-standing conflict being honored in Houston for his 24 years as a Bishop.
Ms. Wynne reviewed the history, including the charge to review District needs, programs, and to provide recommendations related to campus safety. The Task Force organized three committees to review the concerns and to develop recommendations for action related to 1) Traffic and Facilities, 2) Programs and Services and 3) Staff and Training. The Traffic and Facilities Committee presented recommendations to the Board on March 8, 2004. The Community Safety Task Force is presenting a detailed Report on Campus Safety for review and discussion by the Board.
(Ave Wahrmund arrived at 7:19 p.m.)
Steven Williams, a Task Force member, presented the framework of the recommendations organized into the following categories:
A. District Policy
B. Facility Safety
C. Campus Climate
D. Continuum of Care
The comprehensive approach to school safety included: District Policy, Facility Safety, Campus Climate, On-Campus Support, and Intensive Student Support Services.
Corinne Sumpter-Gonzalez, a Task Force member, reviewed the following:
District Policy: to provide the tools necessary for consistent leadership at all levels: Community, Board, Central Administration, and Campus Administration.
Recommendation #1: To create and adopt a Board Policy that explicitly states the value of children and AISD’s commitment to building and maintaining relationships that support the needs of all children.
Recommendation #2: Create and adopt Board Policies that:
1) establish universal minimum safety standards;
2) require implementation of Positive Behavior Supports on all campuses; and
3) establish a framework to ensure access to a continuum of care for all children to meet their individualized needs through on-campus support and direct linkage to additional community support.
Recommendation #3: Establish a community-staff collaboration group to:
1) Review existing District policies; and
2) Establish minimum safety standards, require the implementation of Positive Behavior Supports, and ensure access to a continuum of care.
Facility Safety: All schools should be places with physically safe environments.
Presented at the March 8, 2004, Board Meeting with recommendations included in the proposed 2004 Bond Initiative in the amount of $2,140,850.
Campus Climate: All schools should have a positive, respectful climate.
Recommendation #1: All schools in AISD should implement Positive Behavior Support (PBS) systems.
Recommendation #2: Provide schools with the funding, scheduling support, and training necessary to implement Positive Behavior Support systems.
Recommendation #3: Consistent with PBS, all schools should implement character education in accord with the guidelines developed by the Superintendent’s workgroup.
Recommendation #4: Consistent with PBS, all schools should implement programs that address the prevention of interpersonal aggression.
Recommendation #5: All high schools should organize their campus operations into smaller learning communities.
Recommendation #6: All middle schools should implement flexible block scheduling.
Ms. Wynne noted that Recommendation #5 would cost $175,000 per campus for smaller learning communities, and Recommendation #6 for flexible block scheduling at all middle schools would reduce the time students spend in the halls.
Stephen Williams reviewed the following:
Continuum of Care: All children should have access to a continuum of care that ensure their individualized needs are met through on-campus support and direct linkage to community support.
Recommendation #1: Provide a minimum of one counselor on every elementary campus.
Recommendation #2: Decrease the number of students per counselor at all levels, not to exceed 375:1 on any campus.
Recommendation #3: Hire a Program Support Specialist for each middle and high school to coordinate the administration of all testing, registration, scheduling, and delivery of English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented, Dyslexia, and Special Education services.
Recommendation #4: Hire a part-time Program Support Specialist at all elementary schools.
Recommendation #5: Provide one additional Full Time Employee per high school to monitor the campus.
Recommendation #6: Provide funding for the presence of Middle School Security Guards during the after-school hours of 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Intensive Student Support Services:
Recommendation #1: Align the staff duties of the already existing Visiting Teachers, Counselors, Parent Involvement Specialists, and others.
Recommendation #2: Increase the number of Visiting Teachers to provide five additional full-time Visiting Teachers to serve students districtwide.
Recommendation #3: Expand school-based social service care to ensure linkage to student/family mental health and human services.
Recommendation #4: Hire five full-time Care Coordinators to address the mental health and social service needs of families at five campuses.
Recommendation #5: Contribute $150,000 to the pool of social service funding available for access by those involved in the Systems of Care collaboration.
Ms. Wynne reviewed the estimated fiscal impact of $7,589,773 for the 2004-05 budget; and $8,238,273 estimate for the 2005-006 budget.
Accountability: Need indicators to assist stakeholders to recognize progress toward implementation of these recommendations and progress toward improved school safety.
Ms. Wynne reported that meaningful climate surveys are used on some campuses to provide a measurement for accountability. Ms. Sumpter-Gonzalez noted that students do not respond correctly on surveys; therefore, a working group should be formed to meet with groups.
Board discussion regarding the Report included the following: the best practices in the District; districtwide application of best practices in a consistent way; smaller learning communities; cultural changes to meet the needs of students to bring about student academic success; efficiency to build a large facility and create small learning communities within a school; CBAC included Priorities One and Two in final recommendation; the need for counselors to focus on career, college, and higher education aspirations; the need for counselors to meet together to share stories; definition of the function of a guidance counselor; the need for more therapeutic and support counselors; a clear and more effective Code of Conduct document is needed; middle school block scheduling allow teachers to have 80-90 students instead of 150-160 students; the need for students to have a relationship with an adult; the need for meaningful accurate discipline data; priorities of the Task Force recommendation; the possibility to begin the recommendations in a number of schools initially.
Ms. Wynne and Ms. Sumpter-Gonzalez noted that Garza Independence High School has best practice for discipline and climate.
Ms. Wynne indicated that there are committee members interested in continuing in a group to follow the next steps.
Celia Israel, Co-Chair, reported that the District owes the community to follow up on the momentum of the Task Force in order to provide results, not just a Report.
President Valdez asked the members of the Task Force in the audience to make comments.
Ross Pumfrey, Task Force Member, suggested that the District consider foundation funding to initiate the programs.
John Moore recognized the staff who have been working with the Task Force.
Dr. Forgione announced that the safety issues related to dress code and closed campuses are under review, receiving campus input and a final decision would be announced on May 10, 2004.
School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Annual Report to Board of Trustees
Dr. Susan Millea, School Health Advisory Council Chair, presented an update to the Board of Trustees of the activities of the Council during the 2003-2004 school year.
Dr. Millea reviewed the recent legislative changes affecting the SHAC and coordinated school health; subsequent action by the Texas Education Agency to define evaluation criteria for Coordinated School Health Programs; the strategic planning activities of the SHAC; information on the federal HHSC STEPS to a Healthier Austin grant, current child health concerns; targeting immunization due to the Texas Department of Health mandate; changes in nutrition by the Texas Department of Agriculture Policy; the SHAC Nutrition Committee goals and results; program improvement plan and outcomes for physical education; employee wellness; forthcoming SHAC Health Education Committee; parent involvement; school-based mental health regional initiative plan; and involvement with social and emotional wellness.
Board discussion included: competitive foods in the schools not allowed; schools are allowed three days during the school year for cookies, cakes, candy and pizza; and the concerns regarding student immunization data.
Dr. Forgione reported that the school year began with 17,000 students without immunizations and he discussed the plan for the 2004-05 school year to address this need.
Tracy Diggs, Coordinator of Student Health Services, reviewed the plan for working with the community to provide immunizations during the summer and before school starts in the fall.
At 10:06 p.m., President Valdez announced the conclusion of the televised portion of the meeting.
(Cheryl Bradley left the meeting at 10:08 p.m.)
Monitoring of GP-4, Monitoring Board Governance Process and Board-Superintendent Relationship Policies
Patricia Whiteside reported that six Trustees completed a self-monitoring report for GP-4, Monitoring Board Governance Process and Board-Superintendent Relationship Policies, rated unanimously In Full Compliance.
Patricia Whiteside made a motion that the Board of Trustees accepts GP-4, Monitoring Board Governance Process and Board-Superintendent Relationship Policies, as In Full Compliance. Robert Schneider seconded the motion.
The motion passed unanimously.
The GP-4 Self Monitoring Report Summation is shown as Attachment A to the Official Minutes and the Official Board Response to GP Policy Self Monitoring Report is shown as Attachment B to the Official Minutes.
Monitoring of B/SR-6, Board-Superintendent Covenants
Patricia Whiteside reported that five Trustees completed a self-monitoring report for B/SR-6, Board-Superintendent Covenants, with the majority of respondents In Full Compliance.
Patricia Whiteside made a motion that the Board of Trustees accepts B/SR-6, Board-Superintendent Covenants, as In Full Compliance. Ave Wahrmund seconded the motion.
The motion passed unanimously.
The B/SR-6 Self Monitoring Report Summation is shown as Attachment C to the Official Minutes and the Official Board Response to GP Policy Self Monitoring Report is shown as Attachment D to the Official Minutes.
After discussion, President Valdez noted that the Board would take action on these self-monitoring reports and the Board can have a discussion regarding discussion or action in the future.
Ingrid Taylor requested that the self-monitoring reports be discussed with Aspen Group International at the June Board Retreat.
After discussion, the Trustees completed four Board Self-Assessment Forms: two rated Commendable and two rated Acceptable.
The meeting adjourned at 10:28 p.m.
Doyle Valdez, President of the Board
Ave Wahrmund, Secretary of the Board
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AISD Board of Trustees
From left to right: John J. Fitzpatrick, Patricia Whiteside, Mark Williams, Doyle Valdez,
Robert Schneider, Cheryl Bradley, Rudy Montoya, Johna H. Edwards, and Ave Wahrmund.