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Board Briefs - November 24, 2008
November 25, 2008 - 2009-2010 School Calendar
Austin School Trustees discussed two draft calendars of the 2009-2010 school year, as presented by the District’s Calendar Task Force.
In Draft A, the first day of school would be Monday, August 24, 2009, and the last day of school would be Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Draft A includes 78 days in the Fall Semester and 95 days in the Spring Semester, for a total of 175 student days.
In Draft B, school would start and end on the same days as Draft A, Monday, August 24, 2009, and Wednesday, June 2, 2010, respectively. The difference is in the number of days per semester. In Draft B there are 88 days in the Fall Semester and 87 days in the Spring, for a total of 175 student days.
Both draft calendars include the following holidays for students and staff: three days at Thanksgiving, from November 25-27; 10 days at Winter Break, which would begin on December 21 and end on January 1, 2010; Spring Break, which is projected to match with that of the University of Texas, would run from March 15-19, 2010.
Of the two calendars, District staff has recommended adoption of Draft A. Trustees are scheduled to take action on the 2009-2010 school calendar at the next Regular Meeting on Monday, December 8.
PAC Selection Criteria
Trustees approved the site selection criteria developed by the Performing Arts Center Task Force for the location of the District wide venue. Earlier in the month, Task Force Tri-chairs— Tommy Cowan, Amy Wong Mok, and Geronimo Rodriguez — presented to Trustees the group’s recommendations on criteria for selecting a site for the new facility.
In highest priority, Task Force recommendations included:
The Performing Arts Center will be constructed with funding from the 2008 Bond Program, and is projected to open in Fall 2011, seating 1,200.
Community Bond Oversight Committee Report
Community Bond Oversight Committee Tri-Chairs Bobby Jenkins and Eliza May presented highlights and a status update of the Apple at Work Bond Program, including:
The report also included significant challenges encountered by the Apple at Work program, including:
The Tri-Chairs also suggested that the 2008 Bond Program be structured similarly to the Apple at Work Program, with 70 percent of the projects scheduled for completion within the initial phases of the program, including the construction of the Performance Arts Center and installation of capacitor banks to equalize the distribution of electric power used by the District.
The report also included information regarding overall Bond Program Economics and Budget Status, Prevailing Wage Update, Communications Report, HUB Report, Safety Report, Sustainability Report, and Transition Plan to include new members who will also oversee the 2008 Bond Program.
A copy of the report will soon be available at the Apple at Work link at http://www.austinisd.org
Apple At Work Bond Program
As projects of the Apple At Work Bond Program, Trustees also approved:
President’s Update: Superintendent Search
Board President Mark Williams provided a brief update of the Superintendent Search. The Board continues to work with representatives of ProAct, the firm assisting with the search process, to screen and interview candidates over the next two months. Trustees’ are hoping to select finalists by late January or early February.
The final Position Profile is posted on the Superintendent Search page of the AISD website at www.austinisd.org.
Trustees approved Superintendent Pat Forgione’s recommendation of the following appointments:
Both campuses are scheduled to open at Eastside Memorial High School, beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.
AISD Priorities for 81st Legislative Session
Trustees approved Guiding Principles for the 81st Legislative Session, which is scheduled to convene on January 13, 2009. AISD’s operating costs, and the establishment of mechanisms to offset the costs continues to be a legislative priority, as well as an Accountability system that penalizes large urban school districts with diverse student populations.
For example, every year the District spends more that $28 million in costs associated with Social Security payroll taxes, which it is required to pay employees. Many of the surrounding districts are not required to pay Social Security taxes. This results in an unfair disadvantage to AISD in regards to teacher recruitment.
In regards to Accountability, districts like AISD are penalized for diversity because they are held accountable for more student indicators within the system than districts with more homogenous student populations. The District’s proposed solution supports an accountability system based on academic improvement.
The next Regular Meeting of the AISD Board of Trustees is scheduled for Monday, December 8, at 7 PM in the Auditorium of the Carruth Administration Center, located at 1111 West Sixth Street. All Board Meetings are carried live on Time Warner and Grande Communications Cable, Channel 22, and on the AISD Website at http://www.austinisd.org.
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