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Feburary 4, 2019 Meeting Follow Up

1.      Public Comment:

  • Only 22 of 30 slots were filled
    • Many speakers addressing changes to sex education curriculum, school renaming, and Celebration Church.

2.      Public Hearing: Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)

  • 2017-2018 TAPR data was released in December 2018 providing school-level performance and demographic data. Check out your school’s TAPR here.
  • No one signed up to speak

3.      Consent Agenda & Considerations

  • Consent Agenda passed unanimously
  • Board approved 2019 – 2020 Instructional Calendar 8-0-1
    • Austin ISD adopts 2019-20 school calendar. Here’s what changed – Statesman
    • Trustee Mathias abstained after discussion of including formal recognition of days celebrating Hispanic leaders on the calendar, as with Martin Luther King Day. Response was that the calendar was only to show days off from school.
    • 2020 Graduation will be taking place between Friday May 22, 2020 and Thursday, May 28th, 2020 coinciding with the end of school.

February 4, 2019, Regular Board Meeting

KEY ITEMS:  Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) 

7:25 PM   Public Comment

  • Up to 30 members of the community may speak for 2 minutes

8:35 PM Public Hearing – 2018 Annual Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)

9:05 PM Consent Agenda

  • Academics & Curriculum
    • SY2019-20 Instructional Calendar
  • Business & Finance
    • Amendment to Contract for Residential Treatment Center Services for Students with Disabilities
  • Facilities
    • Contract for construction/renovations at Lee ES, Walnut Creek ES, Reilly ES, Jordan ES, Houston ES, Hill ES, and O. Henry MS
    • Resolution of AISD regarding acquisition of property for modernization of Doss ES and Norman ES
  • Human Resources
    • MOU with Stephen F. Austin State University for Educator Preparation Program
    • MOU between AISD and Texas A&M University for ALEC Teacher Education Program
    • MOU between AISD and the University of Koblenz-Landau (Germany) for Student Exchange Program
  • Items for Separate Vote
    • Approval of an Electric Utility Easement Agreement for Menchaca ES and Govalle ES


November 26, 2018 Meeting Follow Up

1. Swearing in of New Trustees

  • District 1: LaTisha Anderson
  • District 4: Trustee Kristin Ashy
  • At-Large: Runoff Election

2. Public Comment

  • 20 slots were filled, remaining slots filled by waitlist
  • Speakers voiced support for renaming Fulmore after Sarah Lively
  • Teachers spoke in opposition to increasing class sizes and reducing planning time

3. Consent Agenda & Considerations

  • Consent Agenda items 11.1 to 14.3 passed unanimously 7-0-0
  • Consent Agenda items 15.1 to 15.3 passed 7-0-1; Trustee Elenz abstained
    • Various interlocal contracts between AISD and UT
  • Item 10.1 Adoption of Instructional Materials Adoption Committee; Board voted to move item to next meeting to give administration time to increase number of Certified Academic Language Therapists (CALTs) on the committee 7-1-0; Trustee Mathias opposed. He was adamant that this would slow down the process of delivering new materials.

4. Superintendent’s Report

  • School Name Changes
    • Board voted to rename Allan campus after Anita Ferrales Coy 6-1-1; Trustee Teich opposed and Trustee Ashy abstained
    • Read about Allan Renaming Committee’s process and recommendation here
    • Trustees chose not to make motions for renaming other schools so there were no other votes.
  • Budget Priorities
    • If the status quo of declining enrollment and increasing recapture continues, reserves will be exhausted in the next few years. CFO, Nicole Conley Johnson Anticipates a $60 million budget shortfall next year.
    • AISD’s Budget Priorities are that Every Child Will:
      • Thrive in exemplary schools
      • Read on level by 3rd grade
      • Excel with exceptional teachers
    • Budget Stabilization Task Force to deliver their recommendations on Dec. 14
    • Austin ISD faces unpopular options to fix budget: closing schools and redrawing boundaries

November 26, 2018, Regular Board Meeting

KEY ITEMS:  Swearing in New Board Members, School Name Changes, & Budget Priorities

 7:25 PM Items Pertaining to Board Elections

  • Recognition of Outgoing Board Members
  • Administration of Oath of Office for Positions 1, 4, 6, and 7

 8:20 PM   Public Comment

  • Up to 30 members of the community may speak for 2 minutes

9:30 PM Consent Agenda

  • Academics & Curriculum
    1. Selection of 2019 Instructional Materials Adoption Committee Members
  • Business & Finance
    1. 2018 Tax Levy
    2. 1st Quarterly Budget Amendment Reports for July – September 2018
    3. 1st Quarterly Budget, Investment and Tax Reports for July – September 2018
    4. Monthly Budget Amendment Reports for October 2018
    5. Contract for Interlocal Agreement with North East ISD
    6. External Financial Audit for 2017 – 2018
    7. Amendment and renewal of Agreement with Central Health for MAP Program
    8. Approval of MOU for Children’s Mental Health Partnership of Travis County
  • Facilities
    1. Contract for renovations at Martin MS, roof improvements at Palm ES, and repair and violation remediation for stormwater facilities
  • Human Resources
    1. Routine personnel actions
  • Items for Separate Vote
    1. Interlocal Cooperation Contract between AISD and UT Heart of Texas Writing Project
    2. Interlocal Cooperation Contract between AISD and UT for Professional Education
    3. Interlocal Agreement with UT Austin Latino Research Initiative for Nepo Club Program

10:00 PM Superintendent’s Report

  • School Name Changes, read the Task Force’s criteria
  • Budget Priorities and Staffing Guidelines

10:30 PM Executive Session (closed)

  • Board will consider and take appropriate action concerning board secretary vacancy

Austin Independent School District School Board.

October 29, 2018 Meeting Follow Up


1.      Public Comment:

  • 20 slots were filled, remaining slots filled by waitlist

2.      Public Hearing: 18-19 TEA Improvement Plans

  • One person signed up to speak

3.      Consent Agenda & Considerations

  • Consent Agenda items 10.1 – 15.3 pass unanimously 7-0-0, Trustee Elenz was absent from the meeting
    • Increased student-to-teacher ratios of 23-to-1 at Lee ES and Highland ES
    • Targeted Improvement Plans (TIP) for four Improvement Required (IR) schools: Widen ES, Sadler Means YWLA, Graduation Prep Academy @ Travis, and Rosedale. See all plans under Item 10.2 on BoardDocs.
    • New interim principal at Akins: Tina Salazar
  • Item 16.1 Partnership with UT for Student Teacher Preparation, approved 6-0-1. Trustee Gordon abstained due to his connection to UT

4.      President’s Report


October 29, 2018, Regular Board Meeting

KEY ITEMS:  Superintendent’s Evaluation & TEA Improvement Plans

 7:25 PM   Public Comment

  • Up to 30 members of the community may speak for 2 minutes

 8:35 PM Public Hearing 2018-19 TEA Improvement Plans  

9:10 PM Consent Agenda

  • Academics & Curriculum
    • Child Care Local Match Contribution Agreement
    • 2018-19 Improvement Plans for Widen ES, Sadler Means YWLA, GPA at Travis ECHS, and Rosedale School
    • 2018-19 Texas Education for Homeless Children and Youth (TEHCY) Grant
  • Business & Finance
  • Facilities
    • Contract for Construction Manager-at-Risk selected for Norman ES Modernization
    • Lease agreement b/w AISD and Travis County for Juvenile Justice Alternative Ed Program
  • Human Resources
    • Appointment of Principal of Akins HS
    • Student Teacher Preparation Partnership MOU with Texas State & Texas Tech
    • Class-size Exceptions for Fall 2018
  • Policy
  • Items for Separate Vote
    • 2018-19 Student Teacher Preparation Partnership MOY with UT

9:35 President’s Report

  • Announcement of 2018 Board Continuing Education Credits
  • Consideration of Superintendent’s Evaluation and/or Contract Amendment

 9:40 Superintendent’s Report

  • Dyslexia Awareness Month

September 24, 2018 Meeting Follow Up

1.      Public Comment:

  • All 30 slots were filled
    • Many speakers shared opinions about the decision to modernize Sanchez Elementary. Concerns raised:
      • The Bond specified a modernization project for the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team, however, Sanchez ES is in the Austin Vertical Team.
      • Does the decision to modernize Sanchez mean that Zavala ES or Metz ES could close?
      • Safety concerns about Sanchez being close to the I35
      • Concerns that the engagement process pit schools against each other for resources
    • Casis ES parents expressed frustrations with leveling of a kindergarten teacher at their campus and how the administration handled it.
    • Community members spoke in support of the East Austin Manifesto

2.      Presentation of AISD School Financial Integrity Rating for 2018

  • No one signed up to speak at the Public Hearing
  • AISD receives a perfect store of 100 and a rating of Superior from TEA
  • Moody’s gives AISD an Aaa bond rating

3.      Consent Agenda & Considerations

  • Consent Agenda passes unanimously 7-0, Trustee Geronimo Rodriguez was absent from this meeting and did not participate in any votes
  • Approval of Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Roster
    • Trustee Julie Cowan raised concern that the board was unfamiliar with the SHAC appointee process and that this affected diversity of opinion on this team.
      • Lisa Goodnow, Associate Superintendent of Academics and SEL, explained that the board must appoint at least 5 members, and others may apply and be approved by the board.
    • Board approved the proposed SHAC roster 6-0-1, with Trustee Cowan abstaining

September 24, 2018, Regular Board Meeting

KEY ITEMS:  Elementary Modernization Project Approval

 7:25 PM   Public Comment

  • Up to 30 members of the community may speak for 2 minutes

 8:45 PM Presentation of Austin ISD School Financial Integrity Rating for 2018

  • Followed by Public Hearing at 8:45 PM

9:15 PM Consent Agenda

  • Academics & Curriculum
    1. Approval of Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) 2018 – 2019 Roster and Board of Trustees SHAC Member Appointment
    2. Metz, Sanchez, Zavala Elementary Modernization Project
    3. Agreement between ACC and AISD for Dual Credit Educational Partnerships
  • Business & Finance
    1. Contract for Advanced Email Protection and Analysis Solution
    2. Contracts for Security Cameras and Camera Installation
    3. Contracts for Membership and Participation in Purchasing Cooperatives
  • Facilities
    1. Approval of Electric Utility Easement Agreement at New Southwest Elementary School
  • Items for Separate Vote
    1. Interlocal Agreement with City of Austin: Mexican American Cultural Center
    2. Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
    3. Building Use Agreement with UT at Frank Erwin Center for 2019 Commencement Ceremonies
    4. Advise TX Interlocal Agreement with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and UT

Attendance, Discipline & TSI in High Schools

By: Avani Chhaya

With information readily available at your fingertips, it is easy to feel overwhelmed at the deluge of facts and figures about high schools in Austin ISD. We have distilled all of that high school information to the three important facets, impacting a high school student: attendance, discipline and college-readiness. Attendance has large budget and academic ramifications. In addition, disciplinary data shows which campuses are suspending their students at higher rates, highlighting disparities for our students of color. With the aim of high school to prepare students for life beyond the secondary level, the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment gives a glimpse at one of the college-ready components for students.


Students in Central Texas miss 2.4 million days of school every year, according to E3 Alliance.

If a student is absent from class, it results in a loss of learning and a loss of state funding for the school. According to Austin ISD, missing school once a week is equivalent to missing out on a full year of learning every five years. E3 Alliance goes on to state that a student’s absence costs $38 per day, losing $20,000 every week in a high school, totaling over $91 million a year for our schools across the Central Texas region. With higher expectations and an increase in the workload at the high school level, it is much harder to academically catch up if a student is continually absent from school. High school campuses are expected to meet the AISD’s annual high school target of 93.8 percent for attendance. A sample of how districts monitor attendance across campuses can be seen in the High School Dashboard 2017-2018

2. Discipline

In 2017, the AISD school board voted to ban home suspensions and expulsions for preK to 2nd grade students with similar ban resolutions passed in Dallas, El Paso and Houston school districts, along with a bill at the state level banning suspensions.

In reference to the Student Code of Conduct, the state law allows a student to be suspended for up to three days, and there is no limit on the number of times a student is suspended in the semester or school year. The suspended student will have a conference with the school’s administration to explain the situation.

Austin ISD’s Summary of Equity Work indicates that several student groups experienced a higher rate of home and in-school suspensions in 2016. While male students were suspended at a higher rate than female students, special education and economically-disadvantaged students were punished with a home suspension, which was higher than the district average. Middle school rates of home suspensions were higher than high school and elementary school. In addition, there is a clear inequitable gap between students in different racial and ethnic groups. African-American and Hispanic students experienced home suspensions at a far greater rate than their White counterparts. These trends continue to persist with in-school suspensions as well.

Some campuses in Austin ISD, such as Akins High School, are implementing restorative practices to lower the suspension rate. Through a partnership with Life Anew, Akins implements a system of check-ins and classroom circles to build the school community, as well as lessen the occurence and frequency of conflict.

In a 2015 AISD report, seven sixth grade students were asked about the circling techniques at Martin Middle School, as part of the restorative practices program with Life Anew. Circling is where students sit in a circle and confront a problem directly with their classmates, teachers or family members. This strategy is meant to build empathy, perspective-taking, trust and dialogue among a classroom community. While the students spoke of their positive experiences with this circling technique, they mentioned how circling with a shy or disrespectful peer poses challenges.

3. Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment

Students planning on attending college in Texas can take the TSI, which is a standardized test determining college-readiness in reading, writing and math. The district and state scores below represent the number of graduates who scored at or above the set criteria for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math out of the total number of graduates with subject scores. According to the Texas Education Agency, high school students are considered college-ready with a score of at least 351 in ELA and at least 350 in Math. In the most recent school year, only 25 percent of students are college-ready in ELA and only 20.3 percent in Math in Austin ISD.


TSI Scores in ELA & Math for District and State From 2014-2016

Source: Texas Academic Performance Report

District State
ELA in 2015-2016 25% 22.6%
ELA in 2014-2015 10.7% 10.6%
Math in 2015-2016 20.3% 18.1%
Math in 2014-2015 6.9% 7.1%


August 27, 2018 Meeting Follow Up

1.      Public Comment:

  • All 30 slots were filled
    • Many speakers raised concerns about Celebration Church being allowed to rent out the AISD Performance Arts Center because of their stance on LGBTQ people. Read about it here.
    • Librarians raised an unintended consequence of the decision to halt inter-campus mail due to budget constraints. Previously, librarians could use inter-campus mail to request books from other campuses, providing more options for students. Without it, students only have access to the books in their library. Dr. Cruz said that the district would work to find a solution.
    • Speakers expressed frustration with the proposed MLS soccer stadium plan; as currently written, Precourt Sports Ventures would not have to pay property taxes and AISD would miss out on potential tax revenues.

2.      Consent Agenda & Considerations:

  • Consent Agenda passed unanimously 8-0
  • Board approved an agreement to continue mental health services at Austin HS, Bedicheck MS, Burnet MS, Dobie MS, Eastside HS, International HS, Fulmore HS, Garcia YMLA, Lanier HS, LBJ, LASA, Martin HS, McCallum HS, Reagan HS, Sadler Means YWLA and Travis HS for the 18/19 school year.
  • 2019 Legislative Priorities
  • Interlocal Agreement with Austin Public Health for youth development programs passes 7-0-1, Trustee Wagner abstained because she works for the City of Austin
  • AISD Human Resources presented amendments to the Family Leave policy, removing partial pay for some extended leave and parenting leave. After much discussion, the motion failed 2-6. Trustee Cowan, who voted in favor, said, “If not this, then what?” The board has asked the district to make tough calls, like this one, and Cowan called her fellow trustees to support their plan. Trustees who voted against said that they worried about this policy change not being communicated in time for families to make decisions about having or expanding a family. Trustees also expressed not wanting to balance the budget on the backs of their employees.

3.      Superintendent’s Report:

  • Preliminary Accountability Results
  • Adoption of I&S and M&O Tax Rate
    • Motion to levy a Maintenance & Operation ad valorem tax at a rate of $1.0790, unchanged from previous year, passed unanimously
    • Motion to levy an ad valorem tax to provide a sinking fund to pay principal and interest on bonds at a rate of $0.1130, unchanged from previous year, passed unanimously
    • Motion to grant historical landmarks a partial tax exemption passed 5 –3; Trustees Gordon, Anderson, and Mathias voted no