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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

April 8, 2021

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

  • (A.2) Acceptance Of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation Of Goals 1 And 4 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3
  • (B.1) Discussion and approval of progress on Board constraints for the first quarter
  • (G.1) Consideration And Approval Of Teach For America Contract For The 2021–2022, 2022–2023, And 2023–2024 School Years
  • (E.1) Approval Of The 2021–2022 Academic Calendar
  • (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
  • (K.1) Approval To Waive Board Policy BF(LOCAL), Board Policies, And Approval Of Proposed Revisions To Board Policy BJCD(LOCAL), Superintendent Evaluation, On First Reading
 

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

A.2 Acceptance Of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation Of Goals 1 And 4 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3 (I)

The Board must approve the monitoring update for Goals 1 and 4.

Goal 1 states: The percentage of 3rd-grade students performing at or above grade level in reading as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on STAAR will increase 8 percentage points from 42% in spring 2019 to 50% in spring 2024.

Goal 4 states: The percentage of students receiving special education services reading at or above grade level as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on the STAAR 3–8 Reading and STAAR EOC English I and II assessments will increase 8 percentage points from 21% in spring 2019 to 29% in spring 2024.

Core Value Evaluation: Impact

The Board has set a self-constraint to spend at least 50% of its time monitoring student outcomes (as recommended by Lone Star Governance) by the second quarter of 2022. The monthly Board Monitoring Update is the Board’s almost exclusive opportunity to discuss student outcome goals, which means this item should increasingly take up more of Board meetings. The Board must work toward this commitment to better serve our students.

B.1 Discussion and approval of progress on Board constraints for the first quarter (L)

The Board will discuss their progress on the Board constraints they adopted in Fall of 2020. The constraints include commitments to better engage the community, increase time spent on student outcomes, and reject policies that contribute to historically disproportionate student discipline.

Core Value Evaluation: Leadership

The Board sets constraints to hold itself accountable for its stated values. The Board regularly monitors student outcome goals and Superintendent constraints, but it must also ensure it is adhering to its own constraints. While not all of the constraints will show constant progress, the Board should be able to focus discussion on the steps it has taken to ensure community engagement and increase the amount of time spent discussing student outcomes in order to meet its goal of 50% by late Spring 2022.

G.1 Consideration And Approval Of Teach For America Contract For The 2021–2022, 2022–2023, And 2023–2024 School Years (L, S)

The mission of Teach For America (TFA) is to enlist promising future leaders in the movement to eliminate educational inequity. HISD seeks to renew the partnership with TFA for the 2020 – 2021 school year. The annual premium rate for teachers is $4,000, however, corp member participation in the district increases enrollment in HISD Alternative Certification Program, bringing in $4,200 for each new teacher.

Core Value Evaluation: Leadership and Stewardship

HISD continues to have teacher vacancies, even in critical needs positions (Bilingual / ESL, STEM fields, etc.), and Teach For America has a long track record of recruiting and placing teachers in these positions. By voting for the TFA contract, HISD principals, who are keenly aware of the needs of their schools and communities, will be given the option – from a larger teacher applicant pool – to place TFA teachers in vacant positions at their schools. HISD faces major problems in recruiting, developing, and properly compensating educators, and history has shown us that many of the aforementioned vacancies will remain unfilled and/or filled by teachers (likely alternatively certified) working outside their area of context expertise.

E.1 Approval Of The 2021–2022 Academic Calendar (L)

The Board must approve the proposed 2021 – 2022 academic calendar.

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: Labatt Food Service; Advance Secure Tech LLC; BLTI Services, LLC dba Harrison Alarm Service; CLS Technology, Inc.; Hi-Tek Sound & Signal, Inc.; Netsync Network Solutions; Post Oak Construction LLC; Star Asset Security LLC; Westco Ventures LLC; DB3 Unlimited Services, LLC; Dailey and Wells Communications, Inc.; American Mechanical Services of Houston, LLC, dba AMS of Houston, LLC; ERC Environmental & Construction Services, Inc., dba ERC The Brandt Companies, LLC; GT Distributors, Inc.; Precision Delta Corporation; AMC Music, LLC; Swagit Productions, LLC; Alert Services, Inc.; NAO Global Health LLC; School Health Cooperation; School Nurse Supply; Sterlington Medical; Synovia Solutions, LLC; Sprint Solutions, Inc.; Torres Henderson Education Resources, LLC; Connections Education, Inc., dba Connections Education, LLC, dba Pearson Online & Blended Learning K–12 USA; McGraw-Hill Education, Inc., dba McGraw Hill, LLC; Rainbow Books, Inc; Snap-On Incorporated dba Snap-On Industrial, a Division of IDSC Holdings, LLC; Instructure, Inc.

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: An Anonymous Donor; Arts Connect Houston; HISD Foundation on behalf of Chevron; HISD Foundation on Behalf of Just Keep Livin’ (JKL) Foundation; Twitter Inc.

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: San Jacinto College District; Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; Texas Education Agency (TEA).

K.1 Approval To Waive Board Policy BF(LOCAL), Board Policies, And Approval Of Proposed Revisions To Board Policy BJCD(LOCAL), Superintendent Evaluation, On First Reading (L)

The Board will consider proposed changes to its policy for evaluating the Superintendent to better specify that the evaluation will be based on Board student outcome goals and constraints.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1)Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent. 
  • (D.1) Authority to negotiate an interlocal agreement with Harris County Resources For Children and Adults for the Community Youth Services Program.
  • (D.2) Authority to negotiate a service contract with Zyhek Management, LLC, to provide services for the Athletic Training Service Pilot Program.
  • (E.2) Approval to apply for a state waiver to offer asynchronous instruction days during Spring 2021 for professional development.
  • (E.3) Approval of the recommendation by the Naming Committee at Woodrow Wilson Montessori School to rename the campus after Ella Josephine Baker.
  • (H.1) Authority to negotiate a construction contract for drainage systems improvements at Mylie Durham ES.
  • (K.2) Approval of proposed revisions to Board Policy EIC(LOCAL), which covers the class ranking procedures for students.

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 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.

  1. 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 and planned to organize the workshop for January or February. Moving into April, the Board needs to revisit this commitment by moving forward with proposed changes or organizing an additional workshop to follow up on the conversation.

  1. 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.