Ector County Independent School District’s board of trustees met Wednesday afternoon to discuss board goals and allowed the superintendent to give authority to another administrator to sign off on some TEA confidential data.
The noon meeting included only two items that required action, but a large portion of the meeting included training among the board in which trustees reviewed goals for the board during the upcoming school year.
The board reviewed items they thought needed to be reviewed for board governance.
H.T. Sanchez, chief of staff, asked the board to review the items that the district’s leadership team and superintendent’s team are following for the district’s 90-day plan. The plans were created from the board’s four strategic plans and included a number of long-term goals to meet in helping the district move forward. Sanchez asked the board to review the items to ensure the items align to local board policies.
“We’re trying to be progressive,” Sanchez said.
Among the plan the board reviewed several goals, including: exploring options of adding an early college high school in ECISD, to improve student attendance and dropout rates, redesign John B. Hood and continue to support a partnership between New Tech and Hood, plans to sell the Teen Parent Center, a communication plan to disburse information to the community and to look for options for short-term housing packages for teachers coming to ECISD. The plans also included a dignity model for staff, an update on additional teen parent services and plans to addresses immediate crowded campuses within ECISD. The plans were mainly ideas or goals, not necessarily set in stone.
Hector Mendez, superintendent for ECISD, said prior to beginning the process that reviewing the goals was a matter of looking at the district goals to see where it is and to look at which pieces need to be realigned to everyone is working in tandem.
“All this is part of the alignment process that needs to be in place,” Mendez said.
Sanchez said this is the first time the board has sat down and examined the 90-day plan, whereas in the past the board recognized more generic goals, like increasing student success.
Board members talked in small groups about each of the plans, and discussed which items they wanted governance in, and which items they wanted the district to continue to focus on.
Mike Adkins, director of communications for ECISD, said the board’s work was mainly to look at the superintendent’s leadership team plan as well as the instructional team to get everyone on the same page with the goals in relation to the 90-day plan.
“They’ll tell us if we’re on the right track,” Adkins said.
Fay Batch, board member position 2, talked about her interest for the district to create a stronger communication plan, in which information could be provided to parents and employees more easily and to encourage more parental involvement. Batch also talked about the need for the district to maintain focus on the projects it has recently implemented and not forget about them in a couple of years, like CSCOPE and AVID.
“We’ve put a lot of time and money into these programs, (so) we need to make sure their maintained and kept upfront,” Batch said during the workshop.
Tom Pace, board member position 4, also talked about an interest in seeing more plans regarding the bond election, whether it passes or fails. He said he wanted to see the district talk about plans for addressing what the district more immediately to address overcrowding.
Donna Smith, board member for position 3, talked about an interest to see less pressure placed on teachers regarding testing, and just let teachers teach the material so students do well without the pressure.
“Learning is fun,” Smith said.
Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved a motion to allow Pam Harper, technology services district director of data and PEIMS, which is data submitted to TEA, to have the authority to sign off on confidential documents that go to the Texas Education Agency.
Mendez talked to the board about briefly about the applications and told the board that a lot of the time some of the paperwork is incorrectly filled out. Each time the paperwork goes back to Harper, who works and trains the individuals.
“I believe this is a good move…waiting for me slows information down at the campus,” Mendez said. “It allows Pam to be the signature authority on this.”
Sanchez said the district has to file a lot of applications, such as grants, that need to be authorized by the superintendent before going to TEA to certify that the information is correct. Sanchez said that Harper would still inform Mendez before authorizing certified documents.
“It’s just to make sure things move a long,” Sanchez said.
The meeting lasted about two and a half hours. All board members were present.