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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

February 11, 2021

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

  • (D.3) Approval to Waive Certain Requirements of Board Policy DNA(LOCAL) in Light of the COVID-19 Impact on Normal District Operations
  • (F.2) Approval of Resolution to Dissolve the Relationship Between HISD and the Formerly Created Student Congress and to Establish a New HISD Student Advisory Council
  • (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
  • (I.4) Approval of the February General Fund, Debt Service Fund, and Nutrition Services Fund Budget Amendment
  • (K.1) Approval Of Proposed Revisions To Board Policy AE(LOCAL), Educational Philosophy—First Reading
 

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

D. 3 Approval to Waive Certain Requirements of Board Policy DNA(LOCAL) in Light of the COVID-19 Impact on Normal District Operations (I)

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and inconsistencies with student outcome data related to disruptions in the normal operation of the district and state accountability system, the Board is asked to waive student performance as a criterion for teacher evaluations under the Teacher Appraisal and Development System (TADS).

F.2 Approval of Resolution to Dissolve the Relationship Between HISD and the Formerly Created Student Congress and to Establish a New HISD Student Advisory Council (E)

Administration is asking the board to adopt a resolution discontinuing the district’s relationship with HISD Student Congress, a student-led organization established in 2014, and creating a new student advisory council. This request stems from tension between the administration and Student Congress.

Core Value Evaluation: equity

Students deserve to have their voices reflected in school and district policy. HISD leadership has neglected several meaningful communication channels for years, and the conflict between administration and student groups illustrates the need for a significant effort to address this void. The board should postpone this item and devote the next several months to developing a comprehensive and equitable strategy for amplifying student voice through authentic dialogue with students and incorporating the work of student-led organizations in policy decisions.

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: Houston Kaco; Milam & Co. Painting, Inc.; Post Oak Construction, LLC; Quadra Mind Enterprise, Inc.; Westco Ventures, LLC; Netsync Network Solutions; BR Kym Inc. dba Worth Hydrochem of Houston; C & B Maintenance Inc dba C & B Wholesale Plumbing Supplies; M & D Supply Inc; Swivl, Inc. dba Satarii, Inc.; SHI Government Solutions, Inc.; Interactive Communications Solutions Group, Inc., dba ICS Learning Group; LRP Publications; Chalk’s Truck Parts, Inc. dba Randy’s DriveShaft Service; Lubrication Specialists, Inc.; R & C Distributors, LLC dba Blender Direct; LC5, Inc., dba itslearning; Caldwell Country Chevrolet, LLC dba Caldwell Country Chevrolet; Caldwell Country Ford dba Rockdale Country Ford.

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: Beal Counseling Associates; Dick’s Sporting Goods; HISD Foundation on behalf of Chevron; Texas Spring Cypress Links; Mark Twain Parent Teacher Organization (PTO); TH Rogers PTO; Port Terminal Railroad Association; SABIC Innovative Plastics US LLC; Cedillos Law Firm; Chevron USA Inc; Ever PPE; Farouk Systems; Steve McDowell Private Donor.

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: Greater Houston Community Foundation; G-UNITY Foundation and Horizon United Group International, LLC; K9s4COPs; Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Harris County; Verizon.

I.4 Approval of the February General Fund, Debt Service Fund, and Nutrition Services Fund Budget Amendment (S, L)

The board is asked to approve the midyear budget report that contains budget amendments and budget-neutral adjustments between departments.

K.1 Approval Of Proposed Revisions To Board Policy AE(LOCAL), Educational Philosophy—First Reading (I)

The board will consider revisions to its adopted goals to update the goal and constraint progress measures, including adding in baseline data for Goal 3 progress measures. A full outline of the changes is available in the agenda.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent.
  • (B.1) Approval for the appointment of trustees to serve as representatives to other organizations and board committee members.
  • (D.1) Authority to negotiate and execute agreements with Texas Southern University to provide internship opportunities for student trainers interested in participating in the HISD Athletic Department Internship Program.
  • (D.2) Authority to negotiate and execute an interlocal partnership agreement with the University of Houston for consulting and tutoring services for Worthing HS.
  • (D.4) Adoption of recommended instructional materials for pre-k for the 2021–2022 school year.
  • (F.1) Authority to negotiate and execute an interlocal agreement with Houston Community College for Federal work-study college advisors to assist HISD seniors through the college and financial aid process.
  • (K.2) Approval to revise board policy so that workers’ compensation and property damage claims less than $5,000 do not require board approval.
  • (L.1) Debt management activity report.
  • (L.2) Discussion of House Bill 3 district student group targets.

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. Data quality concerns persist due to the pandemic and they must be addressed moving forward if remote assessments are given so 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. HISD should start identifying teachers and principals for the next school year to ensure there are no teacher or administrative vacancies. It should be utilizing the teacher pipelines, such as Teach Forward Houston, so every student will have a teacher for all of their classes before the start of the 2021 – 2022 school year.