August Board Meeting Summary
August 31, 2021
The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting on August 30 at the Dripping Springs High School auditorium.
Following public comments, departmental reports were introduced. Director of Facilities and Construction Clint Pruett outlined the construction report and summarized the status of the 2018 bond program, including individual projects and completion percentages. Human Resources Officer Tiffany Duncan introduced the monthly HR report and shared that the department is making progress filling teacher vacancies and is advertising in a variety of ways for hard-to-fill auxiliary and support positions. Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Innovation Dr. Karen Kidd, interim Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Larry Keiser and Superintendent Dr. Holly Morris-Kuentz also presented monthly reports.
Dripping Springs Education Foundation Executive Director Audrey Pendergrass and DSEF board president George Gomez presented the annual report, highlighting the mental health initiative, employee giving program, community youth fund, the Jad Jadeja Memorial Scholarship Fund and DSEF events.
Board president Barbara Stroud announced her intent to step down as president of the DSISD Board of Trustees, which led to a reorganization of the board. Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick was nominated as president; she was unanimously approved. To fill the vice president role vacated by Dr. Hetrick, Joanna Day was nominated and approved. A letter from Dr. Hetrick can be found here.
Dr. Morris-Kuentz outlined the district’s current school health protocols. She reported that classrooms, restrooms and buses are disinfected daily. The district upgraded filtration (MERV-rated filters) on campuses and in buses to improve air quality, and buses continue to have the hatch and windows open for increased air flow. Campuses are using outdoor space for fresh air and social distancing. Dr. Morris-Kuentz mentioned that currently campuses are not holding school-wide, indoor assemblies and visitors are not allowed at lunch. Students may opt out of eating in the cafeteria and going on field trips and gatherings. Parents also may request that a divider be placed at their child’s desk. Students, staff and visitors should self-screen daily and should stay home if experiencing any symptoms of any infectious illness. COVID positive cases are required to stay home and close contacts are encouraged to not come to campus.
The board approved employee COVID-19 leave for the 2021-22 school year, the staff development waiver submission, Hays County and Travis County appraisal roles, and an agreement for the purchase of attendance credit. In addition, DSISD core beliefs, core commitments, vision and mission, as well as board operating procedures and campus improvement plans were adopted.
The board took action on two aspects of the administration relocation project, the final project in the 2018 bond package. An increase from the initial projected budget of between $2.84 million-$3.73 million was approved, using excess funds from the 2018 bond and resulting in a revised project budget not to exceed $7.85 million. In addition, the schematic design for the project was approved. A fact sheet on the relocation project can be found here.
Dr. Hetrick shared that with regard to the two TEA complaints alleging issues of conflict of interest and open meetings, the TEA recently notified the district that the TEA has concluded its review and no further action will be taken by the TEA. The TEA determined that the district has addressed the reported concern(s) that were within the jurisdiction of the TEA.
The meeting was streamed live on YouTube; it can be viewed here.