Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees

December 1605:55 AM

The Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees will hold its regular monthly meeting starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, in the Board of Trustees Meeting Room of the Wayne Schaper Sr. Leadership Center located at 955 Campbell Road.  A Special Meeting is also planned beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. An executive session may be conducted during this session regarding routine personnel matters and for other topics as allowed by state law.   view article arw

The Highland Park ISD board of trustees Dec. 10 approved a policy revision clarifying language regarding transfers within the district and specifying the circumstances under which they’d consider such transfers. Specifically, the revision amended the previous policy to say that all intradistrict transfers ‘shall be limited to,’ rather than suspended with, the following exceptions: students who are victims of bullying, students who require special program placement that’s only offered at a specific elementary campus, students approved for voluntary intradstrict transfers two years in a row, students who are involuntary transfers (transfers required by administration to attend a school other than the one closest to them for reasons like space) to a non-attendance zone campus can choose to stay at the same campus, or students with other compelling circumstances. view article arw

Leander ISD students will start school Aug. 13 next year. The district's board of trustees adopted the academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year Dec. 12. view article arw

Editors note: The attached video is related to Austin ISD's recent vote to close four elementary schools. On Thursday, the Austin Independent School District announced that several schools will be frozen to students transferring due to enrollment exceeding capacity for the 2020-21 school year. Applications for magnet or dual language programs may still be accepted at the frozen schools.  view article arw

The Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees met for the final time in 2019 on Monday, Dec. 9. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Chad Brown, the father of a student who was allegedly “assaulted in a sexual nature” addressed the Board. According to Brown, who told Board members he had contacted an investigator from the Texas Education Agency, the alleged incident involved another Corsicana High School student. Brown said his daughter was, in his opinion, “berated” by Corsicana High School administrators after reporting the incident and “blackballed” out of the school system. view article arw

The public has more leeway in addressing school trustees at public meetings as a result of legislation passed earlier this year by the 86th Texas Legislature, and schools are updating district policies to reflect those changes. As other districts in the area are doing, North Lamar ISD updated its policies this week as recommended by the Texas School Board Association through its Vantage Points publication, an executive summary of recommended changes. view article arw

The vice president of the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Board of Trustees is now in custody on charges of conspiracy and corruption. A federal grand jury returned the eight-count indictment Dec. 10 against Sylvia P. Atkinson, 48, of Brownsville. It was unsealed as authorities took her into custody upon her arrival for a scheduled BISD meeting last night. She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan today at 10 a.m. view article arw

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The vice president of the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Board of Trustees was arrested Tuesday night as she arrived for a school district meeting.  Sylvia P. Atkinson, 48m is facing eight charges of conspiracy and corruption. The charges allege a long-running criminal scheme to solicit bribes from vendors seeking to obtain contracts with BISD and RHISD. The contracts would provide various goods and services to the school districts, including computer tablets, medical teleconferencing services and tutorial services, according to the indictment. In 2018, Atkinson also allegedly solicited and received a $10,000 bribe from an undercover agent related to a film crew's potential use of BISD facilities for filming a Hollywood movie. view article arw

As part of the 2018 bond program, new campuses are being built in Mesquite ISD and some are seeing upgrades. During Monday night’s school board meeting the board approved naming middle school #10 after retired MISD educator Dr. Don Woolley. Board President Elaine Whitlock said Woolley graduated from East Baptist College in 1958 with a bachelor’s in science, P.E. and history. He was hired as a teacher in the 1958-59 school year and called to serve in the United States Army from 1961-62. He then returned to teach Mesquite High School where he also coached and became principal. view article arw

Doing more on teacher compensation and pay for at-will employees — such as bus drivers and janitors — was the top concern as the Ector County ISD board of trustees discussed budget priorities during a workshop Tuesday. Superintendent Scott Muri said the budget building process really started with Tuesday’s discussion. view article arw

We had overviews of all the Council runoffs, but there are other races to consider. Voters in parts of Houston ISD return to the polls next Saturday to complete an overhaul of the district’s much-maligned school board, which will have four new members seated in January. Runoff elections in District II, which covers large swaths of northern Houston, and District IV, home to parts of downtown and south-central Houston, pit four newcomers promising to refocus attention on students following months of acrimony on the board. None of the candidates earned the necessary 50 percent of the vote in November’s general election to win outright. view article arw

Pine Tree ISD trustees are seeking more information on a new district program that focuses on engineering, robotics and other “project-based learning” before approving it. Trustees on Monday declined to kick off the CEER — Communications, Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Robotics — program for the 2020-21 school year. view article arw

Plano ISD has a new calendar for the 2020-21 school year, and it includes an additional five minutes at the beginning of the school day for early childhood, elementary and middle school students. Originally identified as draft A when presented to the board in mid-November, this calendar will begin school on Aug. 12 of next year—a mid-week start—and end on May 27, barring any inclement weather. view article arw

Runoff elections for the District II and District IV open seats on the Houston Independent School District (HISD) school board take place on December 14. The runoffs are taking place because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote during the November 5 general election. Katherine Blueford-Daniels and John Gibbs Sr. advanced in the race for District II, defeating three other candidates. Blueford-Daniels received 42.5% of the general election vote to Gibbs’ 21.6%. As of the December 6 campaign finance deadline, Blueford-Daniels reported $39,510.00 in total political contributions for the election. Gibbs did not report any contributions.   view article arw

Incumbent Cathy M. Arellano and newly-elected Rob Ellis took oaths of office for the Klein ISD board of trustees during the Dec. 2 board meeting. As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, Ellis won in the race for Position 7—which had five candidates—according to November election results. Ellis replaced Rick Mann, who served as the KISD's longest-tenured trustee with 28 years of service, and did not seek re-election. view article arw

Sylvia P. Atkinson, the Vice-President of the Brownsville Independent School District Board and Executive Director of High School Programs & Community Outreach, was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday. Atkinson is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and six counts of travel act-state law bribery. According to the indictment, Atkinson used her position as a Brownsville ISD employee to, “obtain money from private companies and private individuals in exchange for assistance in obtaining contracts with BISD or Rio Hondo ISD.” view article arw

Plano ISD could be joining other North Texas school districts in extending the school day for some students next year. The school board is expected to vote Tuesday on elementary and middle school students starting five minutes early. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD trustees will gather to discuss proposed policy changes related to class rankings, dress code and Curriculum Design on Monday, Dec. 9. Other agenda items up for discussion include spending up to a $1 million for new playground equipment and repairs to existing equipment, $1 million for police safety supplies including canine equipment, ammunition, and supplies for training the officers and staff. In addition, the monies will be used to fund the Career and Technical Education Law Enforcement program over the next four years, agenda documents state.  Trustees will also consider expanding the district existing three-year $300,000 project management funding allocation to a five-year $1.5 million commitment. view article arw

The Belton Board of Trustees held a regular meeting on Monday. A board workshop was held, wherein Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Architect from O’Connell Robertson, provided a construction update on Lake Belton High School (LBHS) – the exterior of which is 90 percent complete – and the Belton High School Orchestra Addition. Both projects are set to open for the 2020-21 school year. Board Member Manuel Alcozer delivered a Policy Committee Report, in which he discussed the upcoming task of creating a standard operating procedure for the Belton Board of Trustees that combines the code of ethics and the district’s policies and procedures. These must be in line with Texas State Law, as well as the Texas Association of School Boards. view article arw

While the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees must still make its decision about the 2020-21 academic calendar, the public has already made its voice heard. Buddy Bonner, assistant superintendent of employee services, told the board this week that Option 2 received the most support from residents based on an online survey with 4,079 votes. Option 1 was next with 3,579 votes, and Option 3 received 2,860 votes. view article arw

Will Conley joins the seven-member Wimberley ISD Board of Trustees in place 4 and Joe Malone, continues his six years of service in his present role as president. Following a swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 18, Conley took the seat previously held by Tina Pennington, who did not seek re-election. He was elected and Malone was re-elected to the Board on Nov. 5. view article arw

El Paso's biggest school district is looking at the possibility of eliminating homework at all of its elementary schools. view article arw

The school district here and its attorney were vague this week when asked about the future of Daniel J. Garcia’s position on the school board following his temporary removal from the governing body by a state district judge. Visiting Judge David Stith decided to temporarily remove Garcia from the board last month after removal proceedings stemming from a petition filed in May alleged Garcia orchestrated a bribery attempt and requested bribes from school district employees in exchange for pay raises or promotions. view article arw

Frisco ISD will get an earlier start to summer break in 2021 due to the longer school day approved by the FISD board of trustees in November. The 2020-21 calendar adds 10 minutes to the end of each school day, shortens the school year by three days and lets students out before Memorial Day. The last day of school will be Friday, May 21, 2021. District leaders said the 2020-21 calendar is a result of community feedback and will offer more opportunities for student instruction and enrichment. view article arw

Some Fort Worth parents are worried about plans to redraw school district boundaries. Will students be moved in or out? The district hasn't made a change in 20 years. view article arw

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD trustee Candace Valenzuela is stepping down from her role in the district to run for Congress in 2020. Valenzuela, who was elected in 2017, announced her resignation in a letter to the board of trustees that will be presented at a Dec. 5 meeting. "It has been a true privilege to serve alongside each member of the board, and it has been amongst the greatest honors of my life to serve the children of Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District,” Valenzuela wrote in the letter. view article arw

It’s a perfectly reasonable question, posed recently in the Chron op-ed pages by two of those new Trustees-to-be, Judith Cruz and Dani Hernandez. As former Houston Independent School District educators, a product of HISD, and a parent in HISD, we are personally familiar with the inequity and mediocrity that plagues large portions of the seventh largest school district in the United States. view article arw

Tomball ISD officials released new rezoning maps in early December showing the recommended boundaries the board of trustees is anticipated to consider during a workshop meeting Dec. 9 and a regular meeting Dec. 10. The board of trustees meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The new maps, which were posted on the district's website in early December, show additional neighborhoods located north of the Grand Parkway and east of Telge Road moving to the new elementary and junior high campuses under construction near Cypress Rosehill Road and the Grand Parkway. Additionally, the Lakes at Northpointe is recommended to be split between elementary schools but regroup to attend Willow Wood Junior High School, a change from the previously proposed attendance boundaries. view article arw

Many McKinney-area public school students will start summer 2021 sooner as school districts shift to longer school days. The longer days will allow an entire week to be trimmed off of the end of the school year, meaning a longer summer break for students. McKinney ISD was not the only district to do this. MISD and Frisco ISD will both have extended days next year. MISD approved a seven-minute extension and FISD approved a 10-minute extension during November school board meetings. view article arw

Pickett, Carver and Mitchell elementary schools, as well as Wagner Middle School students may see attendance rezoning in the 2020-21 school year. Georgetown ISD has published proposed rezoning for the schools as it plans for the opening of two new elementary schools on the south east and south west portion of the district.   view article arw

During the process of determining how there was an 820-vote discrepancy in the Midland ISD $569 million bond election, a ballot was discovered in the bottom bin of one of the DS200s, Elections Administrator Deborah Land said Tuesday in a press release. The DS200 is the “equipment where the voters placed their voted ballots before leaving the vote center,” she said in a previous release. view article arw

Allen ISD Trustee David Noll joined 35 other school board members from across Texas Nov. 7-9 at the second session of the Leadership TASB class of 2020. Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group is participating in a yearlong education leadership study program. These trustees represent school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 161 to 189,681, and reflect a similar range of property wealth. view article arw

The Austin Independent School District has opened voting on the calendar for the 2020-21 school year. AISD has three calendar options to vote on. The survey closes at midnight on Friday, December 13. view article arw

Round Rock ISD board of trustees member Nikki Gonzales, a Republican, has officially filed to run against incumbent WilCo commissioner Terry Cook in the November 2020 election, according to a report in The Austin-American Statesman. Gonzalez has been the vice president of the Round Rock ISD school board since 2017, according to her bio. She is also the director of operations of governmental relations at Texas State Technical College. Prior to that, she served as chief of staff for a Republican State Representative for 9 years, according to her campaign literature. view article arw

Leander ISD has published its draft calendar for the 2020-21 school year. In addition to the first and last days of schools, the proposed calendar includes holidays, staff development days, holidays and STAAR testing dates, according to a document posted on the LISD website at www.leanderisd.org/calendar. view article arw