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December 12, 2011 Meeting

Recognition of Exemplary and Recognized campuses; Presentation of Gold Performance Acknowledgements

The Board of Trustees recognized 65 elementary schools, eight middle schools, eight high schools and four Alternative Education schools for achieving ratings of Exemplary or Recognized in the state accountability system and/or earning Gold Performance Acknowledgments from the Texas Education Agency.

In 2011, 23 AISD campuses achieved the State’s highest rating of Exemplary under the Texas State Accountability System, and 33 attained Recognized status. The ratings are based on the TAKS performance of students in grades 3-11, middle school dropout rates and high school completion rates.

TEA's Gold Performance system recognizes campuses for high performance on academic indicators other than those used to determine accountability ratings, including AP/IB exam results, commended TAKS performance, and Higher Education Readiness in English language arts and mathematics. In 2011, 85 campuses earned a total of 236 Gold Performance Acknowledgments.

Highlights of Consent Agenda

Before acting on the Consent Agenda, the Board approved a motion to remove Item 13.1 — Approval of Schematic Design for the Construction of the Performing Arts Center — from consideration, and to reschedule it for discussion at the Board Dialogue meeting slated for Jan. 23.

The board approved the remaining items on the Consent Agenda, including:

  • submitting a waiver application to the Texas Education Agency requesting a local modification of the scheduled state assessment testing days on March 7 and April 24-27;
  • revising the Strategic Plan in the following areas: clarifying language; removing embedded outcomes; combining similar action steps; and incorporating the district’s current approach to facilities planning; and
  • suspending until March 1, 2012, Board Policy DGB (LOCAL), Section I and Section II, Election Procedures, which is designed to allow the district to work with Education Austin, as well as the Association of Texas Professional Educators to develop options and/or structures resulting in a more inclusive and comprehensive consultation process.

Announcement of Schools Frozen to Transfers for 2012-2013

Superintendent Carstarphen presented a report of schools that will be frozen to transfer because they have, or are expected to have, enrollments that exceed their capacities. Also, some schools are frozen to maintain stability in their tracking patterns.

There are 33 schools that will be frozen and 22 at which space will be re-evaluated after priority transfers are approved. Dr. Carstarphen explained that this does not represent a change in district policy for transfers or priority transfers.

Schools to be frozen in 2012-2013

High Schools (5)

Akins, Anderson, Austin, Bowie and McCallum

Middle Schools (3)

Kealing, Murchison and O. Henry

Elementary Schools (25)

Andrews, Baldwin, Baranoff, Barrington, Blazier, Bryker Woods (except K, 5, 6), Casis, Cook, Doss, Graham, Harris, Hart, Hill, Kiker, Langford, Lee, Odom, Patton, Perez, Pickle, Pillow, Ridgetop, Rodriguez, Walnut Creek and Wooldridge

Schools to be monitored and possibly frozen in 2012-2013

High Schools (0)

Middle Schools (2)

Bedichek and Gorzycki

Elementary Schools (20)

Brentwood, Casey, Clayton, Cowan, Davis, Govalle, Gullett, Highland Park, Houston, Kocurek, Linder, Mathews, McBee, Menchaca, Metz, Mills, Oak Hill, Ortega, Summitt and Zilker

Requests for student transfers for the 2012-2013 school year will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

Parents whose children are eligible for a priority transfer (sibling, tracking or majority-to-minority) to a frozen or non-frozen school must submit requests to the Office of Student Services Jan. 4-31.

Parents whose children are not eligible for a priority transfer who wish to have a transfer request considered during the first-round lottery process must submit the request to the Office of Student Services Jan. 4-31.

Bids for Baker Administration Center

The Board of Trustees approved the recommendation to reject all bids submitted for the purchase of the Baker Administrative Center. The property, located at 3908 Avenue B in the Hyde Park neighborhood, serves as an administrative office space and teacher-training facility for the district. 

During the Facility Master Plan Task Force process and subsequent budget discussions, the sale of this property was identified as a potential, one-time revenue source for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The BAC property has an appraised value of $5.3 million. The district has received two bids — one from Bula Lewis Farms, LP in the amount of $8.1 million, and one from Hyde Park Historic Properties, LLC in the amount of $7.8 million.

Superintendent Carstarphen explained that the district considered several factors in recommending that the bids be rejected. If the property were sold, the cost of moving staff and equipment to another location would be approximately $3.1 million, leaving a net return of $5 million for the first bid and $4.7 million for the second bid. After expenses, this one-time profit for the district would be offset by the cost of leasing another facility in approximately four years. Retaining the property would offer flexibility for housing future academic options aligned to the Strategic Plan and Board priorities. Finally, it is likely that the BAC property will continue to increase in value. Keeping the property would allow the district to place the property on the market at a more advantageous time in the future.

Bids for Carruth Administration Center

The Board of Trustees approved the recommendation to reject all bids submitted for the purchase of the Carruth Administrative Center. For 19 years,  the property, located at 1111 W. 6th Street, has served as an administrative office facility for the district.

During the Facility Master Plan Task Force process and subsequent budget discussions, the sale of this property was identified as a potential, one-time revenue source for the 2011-12 fiscal year.  The property has an appraised value of $27.5 million. The district received two bids — one from Cerco Development, Inc. in the amount of $16 million, and one from 1111 W. 6th St. JV, LLC, in exchange for a 50-year ground lease of approximately 200,000 square feet of first-class office space located at a former retail building at the Highland Mall and an approximate $4.6 million rent wavier. Superintendent Carstarphen said the two bids were not in the best interest of the district at this time.

Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations

Superintendent Carstarphen presented Annual Academic Facilities Recommendations (AAFRs) for the 2012-13 school year.

The Board of Trustees took action on the AAFRs as follows:

1. Dual Language Immersion

The Board approved Dual Language Immersion program expansion to four additional schools, including a one-way Chinese dual language immersion program at Doss Elementary and three two-way Spanish dual language immersion programs at Blanton, Casey and Galindo Elementary Schools.

This measure is designed to expand the district’s support for English Language Learners, to promote acquisition of a second language and to offer more students an opportunity to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.

2. Learning Support Centers/Disciplinary Placement

The Board authorized the district to enter into an agreement with an outside provider to operate a Learning Support Center to serve all students who are removed from the classroom for mandatory purposes, as well as students removed for discretionary reasons if the student is considered a safety concern.  If an outside provider is not identified, AISD may continue serving students at the Alternative Learning Center.  To serve students who are removed for discretionary reasons but remain on campus, additional teachers and counselors would be assigned based on campus and student need and related services. These staff members would be added to the existing Child Study Teams. 

This measure is designed to address the fact that the district’s Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs serve a disproportionate number of African American and Special Education students. Students in these programs typically lag behind their peers, and are at significantly higher risk of falling behind academically and dropping out. 

3. North-Central Elementary Schools Overcrowding

Barrington, Cook, Graham, Hart, McBee, Walnut Creek, Wooldridge and Wooten elementary schools are severely above permanent capacity, creating health and safety concerns for students and staff.  Even with the additional permanent capacity that will be created with the 2004 Bond Program elementary school opening in 2013-2014, the area will continue to have a deficiency of approximately 1,038 seats.

The Board approved the following actions for the 2012-2013 school year to address overcrowding in north-central elementary schools:

    • Sixth grade students from Barrington and Brown elementary schools will attend Webb MS. 
    • Sixth grade students at Walnut Creek ES will attend Dobie MS.
    • Create a pre-kindergarten center at Dobie MS.  Pre-kindergarten students from Graham ES and Hart ES will be assigned to Dobie MS. 
    • Create a model for pre-kindergarten through grade 8 students at Webb MS by reassigning a portion of Barrington ES attendance zone to Webb MS, and retaining the same boundaries for the existing middle school students. The program for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8 at Webb Middle School will be phased in during a period of five years, beginning with pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade in 2012-2013, growing yearly by grade level to pre-kindergarten through grade 8 by 2016-17 only if the school has capacity to implement the new design; and
    • Reassign remaining Barrington ES pre-kindergarten students to Reilly ES.

4. Designation of 2008 Bond Program Elementary School to relieve overcrowding in north-central Austin

The Board approved the designation of the district's north-central area for the location of the 2008 Bond Program elementary school.

This measure is designed to provide longer-term relief of student overcrowding in the north-central area by designating the 2008 Bond Program elementary school with a capacity for 669 students, either through the construction of a new school or the purchase and adaptive reuse of an existing facility.

5. In-District Charter: Graduation Pathways Education Program

The Board approved an agreement with Responsive Education Solutions as an in-district charter to provide a graduation pathways program at Lanier and Travis high schools, which have two of the lowest graduation rates in the district. The program is  designed for students who are above the age of their grade level and who failed at least three classes per year. Using individualized curriculum plans, as well as direct teaching, paper-based curriculum and computer-based instruction, students recover credits, accelerate credit accrual and receive intensive tutoring in math and other needed areas.

6. In-District Charter: College Preparation Program

The Board took no action on the proposed agreement with IDEA Public Schools to provide an in-district charter for a college preparatory program within AISD.  The Board will consider this item at a meeting scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.