In the last month of the 2017-2018 school board meetings, the June Briefing agenda was packed! Below are some key issues with a summary of the administration’s presentation and the board’s response.
Data for Student Outcome Goals 1 & 3
End of Course Data was shared by the administration highlighting progress towards 2 of the 4 district goals. The data below is a sample set that demonstrates progress towards meeting the goal.
The data above represents significant progress towards meeting the district goals and it is all thanks to the collective staff at the Dallas ISD campuses, the leadership of central staff, and board advocacy in support of a concerted focus on student achievement.
The board did not discuss the content of the presentation at length, but, on behalf of the board, Board President Dan Micciche congratulated the district for all of its work.
School Health Advisory Council
The administration and the School Health Advisory Council presented recommendations to the board for promoting health in our DISD classrooms and schools.
The goals include vetting curriculum on an annual basis, growing representation from each district on the advisory council, and prioritizing parental engagement in support of our students’ well-being.
The five specific recommendations included:
Reinstate the Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Reinstate a coordinator position for the Urban School Wellness Department
Promote a local wellness policy
Implement a wellness checklist for our schools
Prioritize a human growth and sexuality program for grades 6-8 and one additional credit course for high school students
The board discussion included concerns from Trustees Marshall, Nutall, and Blackburn about the curriculum used in classrooms. Trustee Foreman pushed for SHAC to ensure parents understand opt-out is an option.
Early College High School Program Expansion
The early college high schools in Dallas ISD have been one of the more prominent initiatives in the district that have both supported student access to college as well as recruitment for new students in our district. The administration presented two new programs for the 2019-2020 school year, which will begin planning in the 2018-2019 school year.
Cedar Valley College will partner with Skyline High School and 9th-10th graders will continue to attend classes on the Skyline campus while 11th-12th graders will take courses at the Cedar Valley campus.
North Lake College will partner with DISD to replicate the model of Trini Garza - all four years of high school will be on the college campus.
The board discussion on this agenda item came from Trustees Foreman and Marshall asking the administration to explore additional funding options for early college programs.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Scores
This assessment, NAEP, was administered to 4th and 8th graders for reading and math. Typically, the results from this exam are compared to district across the country and do not account for the demographic of students that make up the district. For that reason, the administration compared the makeup of Dallas ISD to the make up of comparable districts and found that in math, our students are performing above average and in reading, our students are performing on average.
Board discussion from Trustees Resendez, Foreman, and Marshall related to reinforcing reading and reading initiatives across our schools.
2018-2019 Budget Proposal
The budget presented by the administration included an assumed tax increase for Dallas ISD taxpayers. If the tax increase passes through a Tax Ratification Election first through the board in August and then through a ballot vote in November, DISD employees will see a pay increase for their salaries. If the tax increase does not go through, there are no plans for a pay increase for staff.
Board discussion included the following comments from Trustees -
Trustee Blackburn: Pay increase should not be dependent on an increased tax rate.
Trustee Foreman: Community should be a part of the budget proposal and a tax attorney should approve the budget proposal with its tax rate assumption.
Trustee Marshall: Supportive of pay increase for teachers who have met specific performance metrics in their evaluations; concerns about where money should go without strong consideration of where the money would come from.
Trustee Pinkerton: Wants administration to ensure that there are adjustments to central staff costs as well, not just adjustments to campus costs.
Trustee Nutall: Wants to ensure investment in early childhood matches retention of students.
Trustee Resendez: Interested in how funds will be spent for racial equity work.
Trustee Micciche: Concerns on accurately communicating budget implications when it comes to topic of ‘recapture.’
Student Recruitment & Retention
The administration named retention strategies for our DISD students as well as recruitment efforts to gain additional students who are not currently served by the district.
Retention Strategies -
Kinder & Bridge Camps - This is designed to help students in their transition years of Pre-K to Kindergarden, Kindergarten to 1st grade, 5th grade to 6th grade, and 8th grade to 9th grade. Students would have the opportunity to visit the school they would attend the following year to begin to get acclimated.
Summer Connection Fair, Open House, and Customer Service Training are all strategies used to invite family engagement to feel connected to the district and to learn more about the schools in their communities.
Recruitment Efforts -
There will be a Recruitment Team on every campus and marketing efforts from DISD staff will continue to invite current and new families to learn about DISD.
A campus-based initiative known as Operation Comeback will focus on calling students who are enrolled but not showing up to school once the school year begins.
The annual Discover ISD fair will be hosted in two different locations to accommodate families across our district and offer a showcase of the many different schools and special programs DISD has to offer.
Board discussion included suggestions from Trustee Foreman to visit churches, add suggestion boxes on campuses, and have the Superintendent do a robocall to households in the district. Trustee Marshall asked the administration to ensure our schools are prepared to offer school tours as parents show interest in visiting our campuses. Trustee Micciche reinforced outreach efforts that match or exceed the tools charter schools use to engage families.
DISD currently offers programs that are geared towards preparing students for career immediately following high school graduation. However, the administration saw the need to better align the certificates and expectations of the industry with the DISD program offerings. With that, the administration proposed enhancing the qualities of existing programs and eventually striving to have an industry partner at each DISD high school.
Board discussion included Trustee Foreman’s comment that we cannot leave out schools that do not have any programs, and not only strengthen the existing programs. Trustees Flores and Pinkerton offered their help with finding new partnerships for our schools.
If you have any questions about the June Board Briefing, please do not hesitate to visit the Dallas ISD Board Meeting Agendas Website, or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.