November Board Meeting Summary
The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Nov. 16, with board members participating remotely, as allowed by law. A key action item approved at the meeting was a resolution providing a one-time lump sum employee retention incentive of $500 for all teachers and staff. The resolution recognized "that the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols, and learning models needed to support both in-person and remote learners have created unanticipated additional workloads, challenges, and stress related to each position within the district."
Above and Beyond awards were presented to Katie Anderson (Dripping Springs Elementary), Hilary Barnett (Dripping Springs Middle School), Shauna Doyle (Rooster Springs Elementary), Zach Fenderson (Dripping Springs High School), Soledad Gutierrez (Sycamore Springs Elementary), Julie Jameson, Paula Mathews, and Jennifer Mays (Sycamore Springs Middle School), and the entire Walnut Springs Elementary staff.
Following public forum, Ron Jones and Barbara Stroud were sworn in after being re-elected to the board. Officers were elected: Barbara Stroud as president, Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick as vice president, and Shannon O'Connor as secretary.
An overview of the Town Center project was presented by Project Manager Keenan Smith, including the potential community benefits, a layout of Phase 1 and Phase 2, and renderings of buildings. Councilwoman Taline Manassian shared information on timeline of the real estate agreement.
Assistant Superintendent Karen Kidd shared an overview of campus staff visits at all schools, feedback, and survey data. She outlined five themes: lack of planning time, more work with less effectiveness, inflexibility of schedule, model sustainability, and staff mental health.
Project Manager Mike Garcia provided the monthly bond construction update. He reviewed projects included in the bond program, all of which are complete or in progress, and pointed out that the design phase recently started on the Walnut Springs Elementary- Administration Building conversion.
Executive Director of Human Resources Tiffany Duncan referenced additional nurses and permanent campus floating substitute teachers, and the use of staffing agencies for hard-to-fill positions.
Interim Superintendent Brett Springston referenced the monthly legal fees, district enrollment (7,297), elementary classroom ratios, and a notice regarding additional subdivision lots.
Board President Barbara Stroud introduced the option of returning to in-person board meetings, and said that logistical issues are being considered.
In addition to the lump sum payment for staff, the Board action included approval of a resolution designating authorized school depository representatives, a due date waiver for the Annual Financial Report, the construction delivery method) for the administration building renovation, and votes for the Travis County Central Appraisal District.