Board Briefs: Regular Meeting (Oct. 27)
Superintendent Search Update
Board President Vincent Torres reported that as of the Oct. 20 application deadline, more than 90 people had submitted applications for the position of permanent superintendent. The search firm is now reviewing and screening the applications and will provide a list of candidates for the board to review. Those candidates will be the ones who best match the superintendent profile that was created this summer with input from the community.
On Nov. 8, the board is scheduled to review and discuss this list of candidates. Initial interviews will be held later in November. A second round of interviews and an open public forum will follow in early December. A lone finalist is expected to be named by Dec. 15, and a permanent superintendent is expected to be hired in January.
2014 State of the District
On Oct. 6, Interim Superintendent Paul Cruz delivered the State of the District address. He reported that:
- Graduation rates are at their highest rate, 84.1 percent for the class of 2013.
- Our schools are performing well under tough state accountability standards.
- We are making early childhood education, fine arts, physical fitness, and social and emotional learning high priorities throughout AISD.
- To help chart our future path, the board is working on the 2015–20 Strategic Plan. The plan will direct and shape our work to ensure we are meeting student needs, while effectively using our resources to guarantee the highest return on investment for our communities.
Dyslexia Awareness Month
Dr. Cruz reported that October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Roughly one in five people has the disorder, and many go undiagnosed. The earlier a child receives intervention, the sooner he or she can get on the path to successful learning.
To provide support for students with dyslexia, AISD has expanded its screening efforts, invested in assistive technology and supported teachers in Certified Academic Language Therapy training. Teachers across the district are trained in an explicit, multisensory, sequential and systematic literacy approach.