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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

January 14, 2021

*More details on each item and additional areas of concern during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found below the list.

  • (A.2) Approval Of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation Of Goal 2 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3, And Goal 3 Progress Measure 1
  • (E.1) Approval Of School Goals Aligned To The District’s Newly Adopted Board Goals
  • (I.1) Vendor Awards for Purchases over $100,000
  • (I.2) Donations for Districtwide and School-Specific Programs
  • (I.3) Grant Funds in Support of District-wide and School-Specific Programs

Impact (I), Leadership (L), Equity (E), Stewardship (S), Collaboration (C)

A.2 Approval Of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation Of Goal 2 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3, And Goal 3 Progress Measure 1 (I)

The Board must approve the monitoring update for Goal 2 Progress Measures 1, 2, and 3 and Goal 3 Progress Measure 1.

Goal 2 states: The percentage of 3rd grade students performing at or above grade level in math, as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on STAAR, will increase 8 percentage points from 46% in spring 2019 to 54% in spring 2024.

Goal 3 states: The percentage of graduates that meet the criteria for CCMR as measured in Domain 1 of the state accountability system will increase 8 percentage points from 63% for 2017–18 graduates to 71% for 2022–2023 graduates reported in 2024.

Core Value Evaluation: Impact

This is the first Board monitoring report for Goals 2 and 3, which were passed in November. Considering the Board was not actively monitoring student outcomes from August through November, the Board should devote significant time and energy to reviewing how students are doing with the changes to instruction caused by the pandemic. Lone Star Governance recommends that school boards spend 50% of their time on student outcomes. The Board should focus on meeting that recommendation moving forward.

E.1 Approval Of School Goals Aligned To The District’s Newly Adopted Board Goals (I)

State law requires schools to submit campus-level goals aligned to the Board-developed district goals as part of their School Improvement Plans (SIP). The Board must review and approve the campus goals and strategies the district has created based on prior student performance and broken down by student demographics to ensure the goals are aligned and targeted to equitably address student needs.

I.1 Vendor Awards for Purchases over $100,000 (S, L)

The Board needs to approve vendor awards greater than $100,000 and ratify vendor awards under $100,000.

Vendors: American Mechanical Services of Houston (AMS); Carrier Corporation; Carrier Enterprise, LLC; Century Air Conditioning Supply, LLC; Heat Transfer Solutions; Johnstone Supply – Houston; Texas AirSystems; Liberty Equipment Sales, Inc.; Litho Supply and Service Company, Inc. dba LSS Digital Print Finishing Systems; Cummins Southern Plains, LLC; Ford Audio-Video Systems LLC; Daikin Applied Americas Inc. dba Daikin Applied; Johnson Controls Inc.; Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc.; Caldwell Automotive Partners, LLC, dba Caldwell Country Chevrolet and Rockdale Country Ford; Cowboy Motor Co., LC dba Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; Donalson-Umphrey Automotive Group, Inc. dba Silsbee Toyota; Spring Klein Auto and Truck, Inc.; Gateway Education Holdings LLC dba Savvas Learning Company, LL; Asteria Learning Inc. dba ECS Learning Systems/Prepworks/TestSmart; National Science Teaching Association; Tarheel Promotions, Inc., dba Insight Branding

I.2 Donations for Districtwide and School-Specific Programs (S, L)

All donations greater than $5,000 must be approved by the HISD Board of Education.

Donors: Dick’s Sporting Goods; Port of Houston Authority; Good Reason Houston; Houston Young Lawyers Association; WSP Global

Core Value Evaluation: Stewardship and Leadership

One of the donations listed for approval is an in-kind donation of consulting services to design a teacher evaluation system that is in line with the requirements for the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) provided by the state. Having a TIA-approved evaluation system would make HISD eligible for additional state funding that would be specifically earmarked for teacher salaries at campuses with highly-effective teachers. The Board should approve this donation and move forward with pursuing TIA funding in order to better compensate our teachers, especially given the likely budget shortfall caused by the pandemic.

I.3 Grant Funds in Support of Districtwide and School-Specific Programs (S, L)

All grant funds greater than $5,000 must be approved by the HISD Board of Education.

Grantors: Staples; Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) c/o XQ The Super School Project

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent.
  • (F.1) Authority to renew a partnership agreement with the University of Texas at Austin OnRamps for Dual-Enrollment course offerings.
  • (G.1) Approval of the term contract employment areas that could be affected by a reduction in force.
  • (G.2) Approval of the continuing contract teaching fields that could be affected by a reduction in force.
  • (H.1) Approval to negotiate and execute a construction contract for structural repairs and renovations for Lucian Lockhart ES
  • (H.2) Authority to negotiate and execute an agreement with the SPARK School Park Program for the improvement and construction of SPARK Parks at Anderson ES, Daily ES, Garden Oaks Montessori, Henderson ES, Montgomery ES, Park Place ES, Reynolds ES, and West University ES.
  • (I.4) Authority to negotiate and execute an Interlocal Agreement with EPIC6 Cooperative Lead Agency Region 6 – Education Service Center, which allows members the opportunity to purchase goods and services from contracts that meet competitive bidding requirements.

Summary of Votes from January 6 and 7

On January 6, 2021, the Board held a special meeting to interview three search firms to conduct a national Superintendent search, which the Board voted to move forward with in November. The three search firms interviewed included McPherson & Jacobson LLC, HYA Executive Search, and JG Consulting. The majority of the trustees (6) supported selecting JG Consulting and the Board voted unanimously to approve the search firm.

At Agenda Review on January 7, 2021, the Board voted unanimously to extend leave benefits for staff for situations where they are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or due to close contact with an individual confirmed to have the virus, and the employee cannot work remotely. The leave benefits allow employees up to 80 hours or 10 days of emergency paid sick leave for this purpose.

Areas of Concern:

Although normal school board operations have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still items the school board must address and new areas of concern created by the current crisis. Houston GPS would like to highlight the following items:

1. The closure of the district, while necessary to ensure the safety of the HISD community, has exacerbated inequities amongst students. Many students have struggled with remote learning, with 42% of students failing at least one class in the first grading period. The addition of face-to-face learning comes with potential disruptions to maintain the safety of students and staff. The January agenda, like the one in December, includes concerns about data quality during the pandemic, which must be addressed moving forward if remote assessments are given, so that the Board can accurately monitor student outcomes.

2. In June, the Board made a commitment to examine the role of police in the district to confront systemic racism and police violence against people of color. Considering the disproportionate discipline and forced interaction with police that students of color, especially black boys, face in public education, this is a pressing equity concern. In December, Board members expressed interest in having a second workshop on the topic, which should be organized for either later in January or February.

3. In the past, the Board has faced last-minute changes to the district budget and budget approval votes that cut close to the deadline for the district. Last year, the Board was able to pass a budget without delaying until the end of June, but this was the first time in several years. In order to ensure the budget is passed within a reasonable timeframe and not subject to late amendments, the Board should set its budget priorities early to guide the administration in developing the 2021-2022 budget.

4. The HISD Board President should assign school board members to committees in January. Generally, this is not done publicly but should be done at the start of each new year so that committees can continue their work without delay. Each committee would ideally be made up of at least one returning committee member for consistency and at least one newly elected trustee to get new voices involved. The Board President should consider trustee preferences and individual skillsets when making committee assignments.

5. At the beginning of each year, the HISD Board elects new officers for the year in January.

Core Value Evaluation: Collaboration

The Board must demonstrate Collaboration when picking the new president, who must work with all members of the board and the superintendent, authentically engage with HISD community members with transparency, and be willing to make tough decisions if it is best for children.