Sept. 23, 2019 Meeting
The Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge were recited and a moment of silence was held.
- Children from the DSISD Child Development Center Precious Peacocks class sang songs to open the meeting.
- Staff members receiving Above and Beyond Awards were: Robin Acker (Walnut Springs Elementary), LaDonna Caroselli (Sycamore Springs Middle School), Shelley Egli (Dripping Springs Elementary), Carrie Gee (Rooster Springs Elementary), Melodie Havlick (Sycamore Springs Elementary), Amy Murrell (Dripping Springs Middle School), Jessica Stamp (Dripping Springs High School), and Cindi Wade (Technology Department).
- Resident Sherry Huffman commented on Darden Hill Road traffic, Elementary #5, and Driftwood.
- Casey Cutler of the Driftwood Historical Conservation Society commented on Elementary #5 and working with citizens in planning.
- Parent Cristin Hearne commented on transparency.
- Resident Martin McConahay commented on multiple topics.
- Parent Cristin Hearne commented on the Trustees Code of Ethics, the superintendent search, and the Mental Health Task Force.
- Resident Martin McConahay commented on the Bond Advisory Committee.
REPORTS AND DISCUSSION ITEMS
Bond Construction Update:
DSISD Project Manager Mike Garcia shared an update on construction projects related to the 2018 bond. He displayed the overall timeline for projects, then gave a summary of the progress on each and shared photos. Projects are: Dripping Springs High School expansion including classroom wing, ag barn, and flex space. He recapped work that has been done at Dripping Springs Elementary (renovations and furniture), Rooster Springs Elementary, and turf and tracks at DSMS and DSHS. Because additional damage was discovered when work was started on the space shuttle at DSE, the project is being re-evaluated. Mr. Garcia introduced Phase 2 projects such as Transportation Center improvements, Walnut Springs Elementary relocation/Dripping Springs Middle School renovation, and Elementary #5 on Darden Hill Road.
Office of Learning and Innovation:
- Instructional Facilitator of Learner Support Systems Wendy Kubenka gave an update on the progress of the district’s mental health initiative. The Mental Health Task Force, which was formed in the spring of 2019, developed recommendations to expand and enhance mental health support available in the district. She shared that the task force developed a mission statement and mental health strategic plan in the spring that included a tiered mental health system, as well as a personnel flowchart and timeline. This year, more than 500 staff members have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, prepared a strategic plan related to student mental health services and staff training (to meet SB11) and a mental health services team of two mental health professionals each at secondary and elementary levels is being created. The two elementary mental health professionals started with the new school year, and the process of filling the secondary positions is occurring now.
- Director of Compliance and Accountability Rhonda Whitman provided a report on accountability and STAAR results. She explained how the state system is structured with three main domains (Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap) and how accountability ratings are determined. Ms. Whitman also explained how targeted support and improvement plan are implemented. In the 2019 ratings, the district received an overall rating of A, as did Sycamore Springs Middle School and Dripping Springs High School. The other five schools received ratings of B. She also presented a breakdown of all domain scores for the district and schools. Ms. Whitman shared online resources with Board members.
- Director of Special Services Susan Maxey provided an overview of special services provided in Dripping Springs ISD in the areas of Intervention Services, Section 504 support, and Special Education. She shared data on the number of students served in each area. She highlighted programs for visual and auditory impairments, which the district previously contracted for and now provides in-house, and explained the services that are provided to students.
- Interim Assistant Superintendent Joe Burns said that the membership list for the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) is being finalized and will be presented for Board approval in October.
- Burns responded to questions regarding the Learning and Innovation report from Board members.
Office of Finance and Operations:
- Facility Use Coordinator Jennifer Minigh provided a report on the district’s process for reserving and renting district facilities. She reviewed the overall number of reservations and revenues, and explained how the School Dudes software program has assisted with the management of rentals. Ms. Minigh also shared the district’s largest external renters and future goals.
- Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Scott Drillette pointed out that the onsite phase of the audit was recently completed and that the district is expected to add to the fund balance following the close of the 2018-19 year.
Office of Superintendent:
- Interim Superintendent Dr. Nola Wellman explained the impact of Senate Bill 11 regarding safety and security. Security and Events Manager Curt Marek talked about formation of the Safety and Security Committee. The committee will meet three times this year. Two sub-committees also will be formed: the Mental Health Task Force and the Operational Safety and Security Task Force.
- Trustee Shannon O’Connor reported on a grant the district received from the Texas State School Safety Center, involving DSISD secondary campuses. She explained that student representation was added this year and that the grant covered a four-year period.
- Wellman shared that enrollment report is available.
Board of Trustees:
- Board president Carrie Kroll provided an update on the superintendent search process. The Board will review applicants the week of Sept. 30.
- Kroll shared that the revisions have been submitted for guidelines for a Bond Advisory Committee.
The consent agenda was approved.
BOARD DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
- The Board approved Board of Trustees Operating Procedures.
- The Board approved the nomination of Leonard Olsen to the Hays CAD Board of Directors.
- The first elementary "early release" day of the year will be tomorrow, Sept. 24.
- Two girls' athletic teams at Dripping Springs High School are ranked among the top-10 5A teams in the state: volleyball is fifth in the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll and the girls' cross country team is ranked sixth by the Cross Country Association of Texas.