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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

September 9, 2021

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

  • (A.1) Acceptance of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation of Constraint 1 and 4 Progress Measure 1, 2, 3

  • B.2) Resolution Ordering November 2, 2021, General Election For Houston Independent School District Single-Member Districts I, V, VI, VII, And IX. 

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

  • (I.1) Vendor Awards: RFP 21-04-10
  • (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 September Budget Amendment.


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

A.2 Acceptance of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation of Constraint 1 and 4 Progress Measure 1, 2, 3 (I)

The Board must approve the monitoring update for Goals 1 and 4 Progress Measures 1, 2, and 3.

Constraint 1 states: The Superintendent will not allow the District to operate without a system to recruit/employ strong teachers, who meet the needs of students needing the most support.

Constraint 4 states: The Superintendent will not allow the District to operate without students receiving special education services meeting IEP progress.

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. In August, the Board spent 33% of their time discussing student outcomes, an improvement from 14% the meeting before. While this progress is encouraging, the Board must continue to work toward this commitment to better serve our students.

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: Axon Enterprises; Digital Ally; Mark43; 360 Degree Customer, Inc.; Advanced Plus Therapy, LLC; AMN Allied Services, LLC; AmplioSpeech, Inc.; Community Rehab Association, Inc. dba CRA Therapy; Cross Country Staffing, Inc. dba New Mediscan dba Cross Country Education; EBS Healthcare, Inc. dba EBS – Educational Based Services; Gary D. Stromberg & Associates, LLC; Harris County Department of Education; New Directions Solutions, LLC dba Bilingual Therapies; Orange Tree Staffing, LLC; Pinwheel Therapy, LLC; TeleTeachers, Inc.; The Stepping Stones Group, LLC; Verboso, LLC; Virtus Et Scientia, LLC dba Children’s Evaluation & Therapy; Platinum Preferred Healthcare Network, PLLC; Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.; Data Projections, Inc.; Double M Laser Products Inc., dba Enhanced Laser Products; 5205 Limited Partnership dba Houston Communications, Inc.; Netsync Network Solutions, Inc.; Revolution Data Systems, LLC; Digi SmartSense, LLC dba SmartSense by Digi; Collaborative for Academic, Social, And Emotional Learning (CASEL); Mitinet, Inc.; Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc; Thinking Maps, Inc; Scantron Corporation; Alliance for Multicultural Community Services dba The Alliance; Cal Interpreting & Translations, Inc.; Crabtree GLOBO, LLC; Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.; LanguageUSA, Inc.; Masterword Services, Inc.; Universe Technical Translation, Inc.; ValidateMe!, LLC; Visual Language Professionals, LLC; Zab, LLC; Netsync Network Solutions, Inc.; Voice Products, Inc.; Cummins Southern Plains, LLC; Humanscale Corporation; Krueger International, Inc.; OFS Brands, Inc.; Palmer Hamilton LLC; Spacesaver Corporation; Synovia Solutions, LLC; Altec Inc. dba Global Rental Co. Inc.; Mustang Rental Services of Texas, LLC; Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.; United Rentals (North America), Inc.; The ADT Security Corporation dba ADT Commercial LLC; The ADT Security Corporation dba ADT Commercial LLC; Next Level Medical, LLC.

I.1 Vendor Awards: RFP 21-04-10 (E, L)

The board will consider a 4-year contract for body cameras and related software for the HISD Police Department. This item was originally presented at the August board meeting, but also included a vendor for purchasing tasers. The taser portion of the item has been removed.

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: Dr. Burke Orthopedics; Harvard Parent Teacher Association (PTA); Energy Ogre; Mark Twain Parent Teacher Organization (PTO); The University of Texas at Austin (UT) Youth Engagement; Local Sports Network (LSN); Houston Endowment Inc. (HEI); Student for Cause.

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: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Harris County Department of Education (HCDE); MIND Research Institute via Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS); U.S. Department of Education through the TEA; TEA.

I.4 Approval of the September Budget Amendment. (S, L)

The Board will consider the September budget amendment, which budget-neutral amendments and carryover from the previous year. The neutral budget amendments transfer funds earmarked for instruction to other functions like staffing positions, nurse supplies, and facility construction.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent. 

  • (A.3) Approval to execute a new interlocal agreement with the Region 4 Education Service Center for the Operation Connectivity Program for technology purchases

  • (B.1) Reappointment of HISD representatives to Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones Boards of Directors.

  • (D.1) Approval of Avant Assessment as a credit by examination service provided for world languages.

  • (D.2) Authority to negotiate an interlocal agreement with the City of Houston to provide a COVID-19 screening and testing program to students and employees.

  • (E.1) Approval of recommendation by the naming committee at Jack Yates HS for the naming of the Yates field.

  • (E.2) Approval of contract renewal between Westbury HS and Harris County Resources for Children and Adults for the Community Youth Services Program.

  • (I.5) Ratification of use of self-insurance recovery fund for Hattie Mae White building.

  • (I.6) Approval of resolution adopting tax rate and levying ad valorem taxes for tax year 2021.

  • (K.1) Approval to amend board policy DGB(LOCAL), Employee Rights And Privileges: Personnel Management Relations—First Reading, which allows the district to use a vendor for online voting in employee elections.

  • (L.1) Investment report.

Items Considered During Agenda Review

Last Thursday, September 2, 2021, the Board met for their monthly agenda review meeting. The Board voted on several agenda items, including altering the Board monitoring calendar for their goals and constraints, changes to Board policy recommended by TASB, and changes to the Board constraints to add targets for constraint progress measures.

Notably, the Board chose to approve the changes to the constraint progress measures with the exception of two, which they postponed for three months. Trustees expressed concern about progress measures related to expanding high-quality prekindergarten services and ensuring ESL students have access to strong teachers. Further evaluation of these votes will be provided in our monthly trustee report cards.

Areas of Concern:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge for the district in terms of student safety and learning. The Board must continue to address the effects of the pandemic, while still continuing regular district operations. Houston GPS would like to highlight the following areas of concern:

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent interruptions to HISD’s normal learning schedule exacerbated inequities amongst students. Many students struggled with remote learning, with 51% of students failing at least one class in the fall 2020 semester. Data quality concerns persisted during the 2020-2021 school year, making it difficult for the district to accurately monitor student outcomes. With the new school year approaching and ESSER funding expanding the possibilities for addressing learning loss and inequity, the Board and the district must continue to monitor and focus on student outcomes and innovative ways to support students.
  1. In June 2020, 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 2020, Board members expressed interest in having a second workshop on the topic and planned to organize the workshop for January or February. The Board’s committee has been disbanded and some trustees have indicated that changes were made to police procedure. The police policy manual is not available online for the public to review and several trustees still have questions about the changes that were made. The Board should revisit this commitment publicly.
  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. Over the last two years, the Board was able to pass a budget without delaying until the end of June, but the district has passed a deficit budget in at least the last five years, often subject to delays. To ensure the budget is passed within a reasonable timeframe, not subject to late amendments, and fiscally sound, the Board must start early with establishing priorities. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of ESSER funding, the Board and administration must now also be thinking about how to maintain the new programs and funding for student support when resources are no longer available. To see our budget recommendations, visit our blog.