Sutherland for Schools blog
The board book and agenda are on the "information" tab. It will be a short meeting--finalizing the contract with Dr. Scribner is there, plus a short Pre-K presentation and awarding the CMAR contract (that's the management of the project) for the STEM and VAPAC projects.
I was wrong about the number of teacher retirements in an earlier post; it was just 583 this year. We hired 800 new teachers because of the new Pre-K classes.
Thanks to Chief Monge for this information.
Listed below you will find information about the number of resignations/retirements that were needed to be filled by 8/24:
· Teachers 583
· Other Professionals 114
· Auxiliary Staff 203
In addition to the above we added 139 teachers and 26 auxiliary staff due to Universal PK, program growth and projected enrollment. We ended up needing over 800 teachers when you add in teachers moving internally due to promotions.
Listed below you will find the number of teacher substitutes that were needed for the past three days:
· 8/24 110 teacher substitutes needed (58 teacher absences)
· 8/25 130 teacher substitutes needed (72 teacher absences)
· 8/26 139 teacher substitutes needed (80 teacher absences)
The above total number includes teacher absences, vacancies and extra help request from principals. Many schools call in substitutes as extra help during the opening of the school year.
The agenda for 9/1 has no regular session, which means there will be no decisions and no public comment. We meet again on Sept. 8th.
Thanks to Paschal parent for this question. Sophomores and freshmen are allowed to leave campus only with written parent permission. Board policy directs school administrators to punish violators. Here is board policy FEE (local):
Students in grades 11–12 may be accorded the privilege of leaving campus during the lunch period subject to rules and regulations developed by the principal and management team at each campus and with parental consent.
Students in prekindergarten–grade 10 may go home during the lunch period if they have on file at the principal’s office a signed parental request that they be released for lunch; students must be picked up at the school by the parent or guardian. A parent or guardian who wishes to pick up a student for the lunch period shall first secure the principal’s approval. A parent must sign the student out each day and return the student to campus on time.
Students who violate this policy or leave campus at any time without administrative approval shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
The agenda and board book are at the "information" tab.
I received this comment:
I went to a substitute hiring this week and I thought I was joining a concentration camp. Really who runs HR? I wanted to work for your district but now I am going elsewhere. The people taking my forms were rude. Reading these comments, I don't want my kids at FWISD. Hearing about the discipline problems at FWISD makes me anxious for my kids.
We have too many truant students, defined as absent without a legal reason. Last year, nearly 12,000 students were truant for ten or more days.
I am excited about our superintendent choice; some people told us it would be hard to find a top-notch candidate but they were wrong. We interviewed seven candidates, all strong, and picked three finalists. After interviewing two of them (one dropped out), Dr. Scribner was our unanimous choice.
The packet is on the "information" tab. Included are AVID support for first-generation college goers,state waivers for ADA for pregnancy-related education and services; two grievances.
Trinity Episcopal Church started a mentoring program for McLean 6th students who are behind. It's been a huge success. Now they are asking their church members to volunteer for the 3rd year. Here's their write-up if you are interested.
Readers, I haven't changed my mind re HCM; I have talked to the board in exec session and privately to President Ramos Dr. Linares about it. The problem is that board members have little control over staff aside from approving appointments above the principal level. You will remember that I have voted against all raises and the recent appointments. I believe the vote on these was 6-3, which shows that there is concern about staffing at the board level.
Much public comment at our Tuesday board meeting involved concerns about the handling of the causes of the civil war. Specifically, the TEKS list slavery third among the causes of the civil war even though most observers would list it as first.
Every institution the size of FWISD has situations where staff do not live up to prescribed standards. When this happens, the health of the institution depends upon leadership addressing the substandard action. Otherwise, the quality of the whole instution suffers as does its reputation.
This spring a proposal was brought forth to consolidate the operations of our two credit recovery programs. The board adopted the recommendation even though several citizens had indicated problems with the decision. After the adoption, investigation revealed serious problems with the procedures followed. Most troubling was that software for an unsuitable version of one of the software programs had been substituted for the version which had been in use. Thus the evaluation of applicant programs could not have been completed fairly.
After the board's decision there were several other complaints from parents about the decision and about the management of the program.
A second major problem with the board's selection, I was told, relates to records of student progress in our credit recovery system. Without this record, student grades can be changed without any record of who is making the change or what changes had been made.
To my knowledge, no actions have been taken to rectify either the bad choice or to sanction the individuals involved.
Our new superintendent will need to take a stronger stance.