The Leander ISD Board of Trustees swore in its newest Trustee, Sade Fashokun, to serve in Place 5 until the November 2022 election. The Board also explored changing its operating procedures for citizen comments and reviewed the district’s progress on meeting requirements of House Bill 3 (HB 3).
Discussion on compensation and retention bonuses for hard-to-fill positions set for Nov. 4
The administration needs more time to plan adjustments to compensation for child nutrition services (CNS), bus drivers, custodians, instructional assistants, and other hard-to-fill positions. The Board will discuss and possibly take action on a plan during their Nov. 4 meeting.
We’re facing staffing shortages in several crucial areas, which is putting a strain on our campuses (Instructional Assistants, Special Education) and student support services (Custodial, Child Nutrition Services, Transportation).
Focus on academic progress continues amid mixture of assessment data
We continue to make progress toward House Bill 3 (HB 3) proficiency plans and goals specific to early childhood reading, mathematics, and college, career, and military readiness. House Bill 3 requires the Board of Trustees of each school district to adopt and post on the district’s website early childhood literacy and mathematics proficiency plans, as well as college, career, and military readiness plans, that set specific annual goals over the course of five school years.
Through the use of numerous – though incomplete due to the pandemic – data sets, we know that our students are ready to learn despite the challenges over the last two school years. A significant percentage of our students opted not to take the STAAR exam as allowed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the opportunities to take the in-person SAT/ACT were limited during the outset of the pandemic.
To bolster those incomplete data sets, we use universal screeners that assess student learning multiple times over the course of the school year to measure individual student growth and identify student learning needs. This way, we can be more transparent and improve communication with families about an individual student’s educational journey. That collaborative relationship and providing needed resources at the right time can make a huge difference in academic success.
“Going into this year there was so much unknown, we didn’t know where kids were (academically),” Trustee Christine Mauer said. “I think this (universal screener) is a perfect tool to be able to get down to that individual level, and I think that’s what’s really, really important, making that connection.”
The next steps include sharing campus-specific data with principals and supporting campuses in pursuing their specific goals.
Trustees to revise Board Operating Procedures to update Citizen Comment, consider advisory committee appointments
The three-minute allotment for Citizen Comment at Board meetings will continue, with a reduction in speaking time when there are more than 30 speakers signed up to address the Trustees. The Board will consider a formal adoption of the process at the Nov. 4 meeting.
The new procedures include:
- When more than 30 speakers are signed up to speak, the individual time allotment is reduced to 1.5 minutes.
- The sign-up sheets for Citizen Comment will be available at the LISD administration building and online from noon the day before the meeting until noon the day of the meeting.
- After the sign-up deadline, speakers will be notified via email of their speaking order and amount of time they will have to address the Board.
- Current LISD students will be placed at the top of the speaking order during Citizen Comments.
“Listening to our community’s thoughts and concerns is both a privilege and an obligation that we take very seriously,“ Board President Trish Bode said. “Citizen Comment is an excellent time to hear from our community, but again, it should not be the only time we’re hearing from our community. Whether via Let’s Talk, Listening Leaders or emailing the governance team, we welcome feedback and ideas about how best to serve our students, families, and staff. ”
The Board also is exploring updating language related to internal committees that serve the Board in an advisory capacity. Those changes will also be discussed at the Nov. 4 Board meeting and could be approved at that time.