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December 5, 2011 Meeting

I.       Proposed Revisions to Strategic Plan

As part of the district’s regular reporting rhythm, the board conducted the second annual review of the district’s five-year Strategic Plan. Chief Performance Officer Bill Caritj and Planning Supervisor Joey Crumley initiated the discussion. Proposed changes to the strategic plan goals include:

  1. Adding three key action steps to the recommendation addressing specific, ongoing issues involving facilities, including sustainability, maintenance and repairs, and implementation plans;
  2. Replacing TAKS performance tables with STAAR performance tables, which will be presented for Board approval at a later date; and
  3. “Housekeeping” items, such as clarifying language and combining similar actions

The proposed revisions are scheduled for Board Action at the December 12 Regular Board Meeting.

II.    Draft Scenarios for Development of Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations

The Superintendent presented the administration’s Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations, or AAFRs, for review and discussion by the Board of Trustees. The following are summaries of the AAFRs. 

  1. Add four new dual language programs in four schools located in different parts of the district. Establish a one-way Chinese dual language immersion program at Doss Elementary and two-way Spanish dual language immersion programs at Blanton, Casey, and Galindo elementary schools.

    This recommendation 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. In addition, the US State Department has identified Chinese as a critical language for our global economy.
  2. Adopt the Learning Support Center Model for disciplinary programs and reduce referrals to off-campus Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs.

    The district’s Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs, or DAEPs, 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. To serve students on campuses who are removed for discretionary reasons, additional teachers and counselors would be assigned to campuses based on campus and student need and related services. These staff members would be added to the existing Child Study Teams. 

    The district would enter into a contractual agreement with an outside provider to operate a Learning Support Center that would serve all students who are removed from the classroom for mandatory purposes, as well as students removed from the classroom for discretionary reasons if the student is considered to present a safety concern. If an outside provider is not identified, these students would continue to attend ALC, but with a new delivery model that would include rigorous and aligned academic programming, Social and Emotional Learning through individual and group counseling, service learning projects, additional Child Study supports, and mental health screening.
  3. Address overcrowding in north-central elementary schools in the 2012-13 school year by:
    • eliminating the sixth grade at Barrington, Brown and Walnut Creek elementary schools. Sixth grade students would attend middle school in their attendance area.
    • creating a Pre-K center at Dobie Middle School and move pre-K programs at Graham and Hart to Dobie.
    • making Webb a pre-K-8 school, and reassigning part of the Barrington attendance zone to Webb. For Pre-K, the remaining Barrington attendance area would be moved to Reilly.

      Barrington, Cook, Graham and Hart elementary schools are severely over capacity, creating health and safety concerns for students and staff. Even when a new elementary school funded by 2004 bond money is completed, the district will still be about 500 seats over permanent capacity. These recommendations would reduce overcrowding by 1,461 seats, allowing the district to reduce overcrowding in the short term while beginning to plan for a future bond.
    • for longer-term relief of student overcrowding in the north-central area, designate 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.
  4. Establish an in-district charter to operate a graduation pathway program at Lanier and Travis high schools for students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out

    Lanier and Travis high schools have two of the lowest graduation rates in the district, and need a program designed solely to recapture students who are over age for their grade level, having failed at least three classes per year over time. The graduation pathway program delivers each student a prescribed course of study. Using individualized curriculum plans as well as direct teach, paper-based curriculum, and computer-based instruction, students recover credits, accelerate credit accrual, and receive intensive tutoring in math and other areas of need.
  5. Establish a college preparatory in-district charter program with IDEA Public Schools at Allan Elementary and Eastside Memorial

    The Texas Education Agency has directed the district to work with an outside entity as part of the Board-approved Reconstitution Plan for Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus. To this end, the administration recommends that the district contract with IDEA Public Schools to establish a K-12 college preparatory in-district charter program in the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team so that area students have access to the same strong academic programming available to students in other parts of Austin.

    IDEA has a record of success with Hispanic, economically disadvantaged students. It operates schools in the Rio Grande Valley that have consistently been rated Exemplary under the state accountability system. Using research-based practices and emphasizing a strong core curriculum and a results-driven culture, IDEA prepares students for success in college and citizenship by developing academic, social, and leadership skills needed to succeed in a four-year college.

    For the 2012-13 school year, IDEA would offer grades K-2 and 6 at Allan Elementary. In each subsequent year, the program would expand so that by 2018-19 it would serve Allan students in grades K-5 and all students in the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team in grades 6-12.
  6. Single-Sex Middle Schools in District 1

    There is not yet a recommended delivery model for the scenario. The Administration will continue to develop the delivery model, which will combine the attendance areas of James E. Pearce Preparatory Academy and Gus Garcia Middle School. Boys would attend one middle school, and girls would attend the other.

 III. Additional Considerations for the Annual Facilities Recommendations in Development

  1. Evaluate, accept, or reject administrative facility bids for either or both Baker Administration Center and Carruth Administration Center.
  2. Evaluate the district’s transfer policy and practice at over-enrolled schools.
  3. Approve any boundary changes that would be needed in order to implement facilities proposals.

IV. Budget Implications

Proposed budgets for each AAFR include new program costs, one-time start-up and facility costs, and annual operating costs.  The potential impact on the district’s FY 2012-13 M&O budget of all AAFRs combined  is $3 million.  One-time start-up costs of $1.3 million would be covered by carrying over funds available as a result of spending controls put in place this year.

Bond program contingency funds of $5.4M would be used to cover those facility construction costs that the district’s bond counsel has advised are appropriate uses of bond program funds.  

 

Trustees are scheduled to take action on the 2012-13 Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations at the December 12 Regular Board Meeting. Information about the meeting can be found on the district’s website at http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/board/meetings.phtml.