Main content

Alert message

January 28, 2016

Call to Order: Joseph Muniz called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

Introduction of Audience: In addition to Mr. Muniz, Dr. Anne Corn, Tobie Wortham, Lee Sonnenberg, Michael Hanley, Bobby Druesedow, Mary Alexander and Michael Garrett. Caroline Daley was unable to attend the meeting. Also in attendance were Cynthia Martin, Meeting Facilitator; Bill Daugherty, Superintendent and Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation.

Strategic Planning Session: Cynthia Martin, Meeting Facilitator

Ms. Martin explained the process for the Board strategic planning session. Mr. Daugherty stated that strategic planning means two things at TSBVI: it is the Board/Superintendent internal statement of TSBVI's path for moving forward that includes the needs that we believe we have the talent and resources to move forward with in a noticeable way. When the Strategic Plan is submitted through the LAR, it contains funding strategies that puts a different framework than the type of strategic planning being done today.

Mr. Daugherty then explained the four areas chosen:

Distance Ed and Training – Mr. Daugherty explained the current status at the School and said that the School now has a media team of tech people, video archivists, and media persons that are focusing on Outreach and Short-Term Programs. The School now has the resources to move forward.

Transition – the School is growing in this area but needs more growth. Collaboration with the local education team is important and we are working to engage parents and districts in the process. Students often flounder after graduating and may not reach their stride until later in their 20s. Transportation or other issues can impact their success.

Career Education – the School is at the best place it has ever been but still has a long way to go.

Staff Development – There is much expertise at the School but no good mechanism to share it internally. Plans are to increase online training and staff development in general in areas including safety, emergency planning, and disease prevention.

Distance Ed and Training:

Mr. Muniz said that one important thing related to distance education is how to leverage the knowledge at TSBVI throughout the State.

Mr. Daugherty replied that the School received $300,000 each year of the biennium with the largest focus being on the work of the Outreach Program; 75% statewide outreach and 25% internal is how the resources will be allocated. The School has had great success with webinars, etc. TSBVI is not at the point where you can come to the TSBVI website and select specific presenters or subjects. The School is very inclusive with other professionals throughout the state including the Curriculum Director working with the VI community as opposed to an "us against them" mentality. We will leverage the School’s expertise with the entire state and beyond.

Mr. Druesedow asked how far down the road is development of video presentations being made available online.

Mr. Daugherty stated that it is being developed now and some structure will be in place within the year with the main focus on building up interest and participation about new broadcasts.

Ms. Martin listed the top priorities as:

• Educating teachers and school officials about TSBVI and resources
• Distance education for parents including on-demand learning
• Focus on student skills and technology training
• Emphasis on professional quality productions vs. multiple products of poorer quality
• Continue to expand the resources available and improve access

The distance education and training recommendations for distance education were:

• Build on current efforts to reach more educators, parents and students through webinars and other media resources
• Increased focus on short presentations to parents related to parenting and education
• Expand platforms for training other than TETN
• Provide TVI developmental training
• Conduct supplemental assessments to measure impact and effectiveness
• Make distance education products high quality

Mary Alexander questioned what platform will be used for the presentations it produces and how important it is for the platform to be fully accessible. Mike Hanley asked if it could be made accessible for everyone. Mr. Druesedow said that everyone should use the same accessible delivery system.

Mr. Daugherty stated that TSBVI can be counted on to push the envelope on accessibility within our capabilities. Mr. Daugherty stated that many of our new staff know a great deal about accessibility related to technology. He also stated that an example of adapting to students' needs is evident in Short-Term Programs where Sara Merritt is offering specialized and customized classes for a particular child who might not otherwise meet the criteria for a regular Short-Term class.

Ms. Alexander asked if the priority is for teachers or if the focus is spread out equally and Mr. Daugherty said he suspected that the first highest focus would be for professionals to begin with and then parents. The greatest potential for improving education for students is trained teachers and informed parents.

Ms. Alexander said she would like to revisit the issue in a year on whether adequate dollars are being put towards the effort to be where we want to be in five years.

Mr. Sonnenberg said that as a parent with a child who has to travel a long way to get to TSBVI, it is good to see that is where the School’s brand is going. It gives parents the tools to reinforce at home what the TVIs are doing in the classroom. If the mainstream classroom teacher and TVI can look and see what accommodations can be made, it is very helpful.

Mr. Daugherty said the systems themselves need to be more high quality and stable.

Mr. Muniz asked if there is potential for work study students to learn about distance education to learn marketable skills. He said videos would allow parents to see how their children might benefit from the services at the School.

Mr. Garrett said that if the goal is to have a course or class where teachers could be more interactive, then it would be very beneficial for the students.

Cindy Martin asked if she was correct in restating that first the content priorities, then the platform should be decided.

Ms. Alexander expressed confidence that the School has the best staff to make decisions.

Mr. Druesedow said that having an accessible platform is very important. There is a learning curve that would need to occur to learn how to use the system.

Mr. Daugherty said he would like to bring the issue forward at a future board meeting.

Dr. Corn asked how the School can protect its products and Mr. Daugherty said Outreach has been focused on branding them. He said that the School gives information freely because it is not for commercial purposes. Dr. Corn said her concern was the products being changed by others.


Ms. Martin read the highest priorities listed by board members related to transition:

• Focus services where there is the greatest likelihood of long-term improvement for quality of life
• Effective transfer of information between TSBVI and schools with follow up
• Maintain quality services through transition of DARS/DBS to TWC
• Continue building relationships

Ms. Martin next listed the Board member’s recommendations:

• Consider marketing distance education products just as we sell curricula
• Clear concise instructions for schools and parents about what is needed before, during and after each step
• Be as pro-active as possible in planning transitions
• Follow up and support to students returning from short courses
• Identify environmental conditions at home district as part of short courses (use of class media available)
• Individual and reality

Mr. Hanley said that his daughter will graduate in June from TSBVI and he is having less success with outside agencies. He said he has received clear concise instructions from TSBVI but would like consideration of TSBVI staff also making contact with these agencies for assistance.

Ms. Alexander said she didn’t think it was the role of TSBVI to do so. She said communication back and forth with TSBVI and the local district and the co-op was a little difficult as her son transitioned including confusion about the ARD.

Mr. Daugherty said TSBVI uses a virtual live binder of student information that is accessible to the local district and that we understand it is the School’s role to go above and beyond to get on the same page.

Mr. Druesedow asked if the School needs to be a little blunter with students before they transition out to the adult world. There should be higher expectations with an understanding by transitioning students that will have need to have expectations above other students.

Dr. Corn said she didn’t see expectations in TSBVI classrooms like class starting on time, homework being completed, using chalk or whiteboards as they do in home school districts and added they need to be in place. She added that she did see some excellent teaching. Those basic skills needed in the general education classroom are really important for a successful transition.

Mr. Druesedow said the kids at a student's school when they left will be the same kids they go back to. The other students play a role in the success of the student as well.

Mr. Garrett said he saw TSBVI as individual and reality that is in a unique position to bridge that transition because it can assess the child’s individual needs and stress those when a student transitions to adult life or the LEA. But staff have to be blunt with students about the harsh reality of what they will face and teach what criteria they need to follow.

Ms. Alexander said teachers do an amazing job for students who won’t be going into vocation or higher education but the bar needs to be raised for other students.

Mr. Daugherty said students are frequently on a downward projection when they arrive at TSBVI or they are nearing adulthood and need services. He added that for career education students more focus is on developing employment skills before they go to work in the community.

Dr. Corn said students first coming here may not be ready for more pressure as those who are about to transition home and that timing is part of the art of what we do.

Mr. Druesedow said you want to build a person up but be realistic about capabilities.

Mr. Muniz asked about what the School might ask of the LBB regarding transition in five years and Mr. Daugherty said the School’s resources are ok for now. Mr. Muniz asked if there is some policy issue the Board could consider.

Mr. Daugherty said that no policy is needed but that all the parties including TSBVI, the parent, child and school district need to collaborate in the same direction for a successful transition. Developing partnerships with parents and the local school district is the priority.


Ms. Martin read the highest priorities:

• Strong partnership with Criss Cole
• Prepare students to be job ready and self-advocates
• Courses on financial literacy in preparation for independence
• Maximize all of our current resources

Recommendations listed by board members related to career education:

• TSBVI serve as a model in providing career ed
• Identify future job opportunities and begin planning how to prepare students for developing markets
• Find positive professional role models
• Summer intern jobs
• Consider relocation for improvement

Ms. Wortham asked if any career inventory testing is being done and Mr. Daugherty answered that the School uses its own curriculum assessment to gauge student interests.

Mr. Garrett said it is important to identify where the demand for jobs will be in the future and find out if they are adaptable to students who are blind or visually impaired. He asked if we are preparing students as best we can to go into higher education.

Mr. Druesedow said fewer things are requiring college degrees as opposed to skill certifications and should be explored.

Dr. Corn asked about what TSBVI students are doing in summer jobs or part-time jobs including babysitting or mowing lawns for instance.

Mr. Daugherty agreed that the School does promote summer jobs and has for many years run the SWEAT and WALIC Programs. Mr. Daugherty said discussion of what students do at home during the summer needs to be part of the collaboration with local districts and parents. If students have O&M skills and have summer job experience it goes a long way to being ready to work.

Ms. Alexander said it also lets employers see student capabilities. She added that she was pleased with the School’s better use of the greenhouse and coffee bistro and applauded Mr. Daugherty for it.

Mr. Druesedow said students may go home and not have a job available and may need to move to larger cities to find a job.

Dr. Corn said that building partnerships with businesses in the local area is important so that students can learn skills and be more employable.

Mr. Daugherty stated that the 17+ age students are the greatest growing demographic at the school. Grooming, hygiene and social interactions are soft skills that the School must focus on for these students to be employable.

Dr. Corn said that students need to learn financial literacy such as buying a home and it is because others handle their money for them and the students have not gained financial control of their future.

Mr. Daugherty was called downtown to a meeting related to dual credit education and will meet at ACC next week but is not certain of the intent. He stated that the students who do best go to community college and taking dual credit courses and maybe come out of the School with a certification.

Ms. Wortham said there are so many pieces related to transition.


Ms. Martin read the top priorities:

• 3-5 year plan be developed for/by each member of staff
• Provide training related to audit findings
• Encourage staff to become certified TVIs or O&M (or other appropriate certifications)

Recommendations board members listed related to staff development:

• Build on online training platform
• Continue focus on braille
• Maintain skills with latest technology

Evaluation of both

1. Access so every student can use it

• online courses for students - reviews
• measure progress on learning
• use platform (i.e. go to meeting) that supports accommodations

Who is customer?

• parents
• students
• educations - outside TSBVI
• staff at TSBVI

2. Do you have data on where parent go now for their Braille info?

• Perkins partnership

3. Content include info about what is done at TSBVI

Mr. Sonnenberg said that it is exciting to see TSBVI staff work towards TVI certification and would like to see that continual growth.

Mr. Daugherty said that an issue related to this is that they have come up in the TSBVI system and they don’t know itinerant programs or what happens in local districts. We want our staff to understand that 98% of students do not attend classes at TSBVI and they need to understand where students come from and where they are going.

Mr. Hanley asked if people who apply for a position at TSBVI state what their 5 year goals are and what position they would want to hold, and then training goals could be geared towards that end.

Ms. Alexander suggested that staff have a learning goal for what they want to focus on and then management develop a plan for staff development.

Mr. Sonnenberg said online training is how that training might be provided.

Mr. Daugherty said that technology skills training is always a need and staff have a wide range of capabilities. In a more holistic way at providing training, you would look at development and how to increase skills.

Mr. Muniz said that one issue stated was the time needed to provide three more days of staff development as an example and asked what would be needed to do so.

Mr. Daugherty replied that it would impact the budget and added that he thought the best way would be to offer more online training. A decision would need to be made on whether some compensation could be offered for certain training. He added that staff can be placed on growth plans that require them to improve their skills.

Mr. Druesedow said that some training that is not online that allows for peer interactions are important also.

Mr. Daugherty said there is difficulty in getting a group of people in the room at the same time with no absences at a time when they don’t need to be working with students.

Mr. Sonnenberg said Texas Tech University pays staff to take online courses whether it takes them 30 minutes or 4 hours to complete a course.

Mr. Garrett asked if smaller groups could meet for training and Mr. Daugherty responded that it is done this way at the School but the trainer’s time can be an issue.

Adjournment: Mr. Druesedow motioned to adjourn the meeting and Michael Garrett seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion and the meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

January 29, 2016

Call to Order: Mary Alexander called to order the Board of Trustees meeting at 10:15 a.m.

Mr. Daugherty announced that January is School Board Recognition Month and read a certificate of appreciation honoring the Board for their service. Art Teacher Gretchen Bettes introduced four of her students who gave each Board member socks they made to thank them for their service to the School.

Introduction of Audience: Board members in attendance were: Mary Alexander, Board Vice-President, Dr. Anne Corn, Tobie Wortham, Lee Sonnenberg, Michael Hanley, Michael Garrett and Bobby Druesedow. Caroline Daley and Joseph Muniz were not in attendance. Also in attendance were Leonard Schwartz, General Counsel; Bill Daugherty, Superintendent; Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation; Kate Mainzer, Director of Human Resources; Jaye Stepp, Internal Auditor; Ken Miller, Director of Policy and Development; Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Susan Hauser, Director of CSR; Bill Holland, Director of Accounting: Eden Hagelman, Assistant Principal; Mike Wolszon, Director of Information Resources; Gloria Bennett, Community Resources Director; Patti Robinson, Staff Development; Shirley Smith, Visitor; Vianey Salinas, T.A.; Diana Broadway, Administrative Assistant; Pamela Henkel, Teacher; Lynn Robertson, Lead Teacher; Tad Doezema, Assistant Principal; Mary Faith Cowart, Orientation and Mobility Specialists; Barney Schulz, CFO; Garner Vogt, Residential Supervisor; Christy Silva, Residential Instructor; Debra Sewell, Curriculum Director; Miles Fain, Principal of Comprehensive Programs and Haley Moberg, Teacher.

Public Comments/Open Forum: There were no public comments.

Recognition of Patti Robinson for Receiving the Recognize Good Legend Award: Gloria Bennett introduced Patti Robinson who talked about Ms. Robinson's many years of community service including her work with the Downtown Lions Club. She received an award from the RecogizeGood Foundation connected with KEYE TV and was recognized as a “RecognizeGood Legend”. Her favorite charity, All Blind Children of Texas, also received a $1,000 award. All of the Legends who receive the most votes are eligible for a $10,000 award to their favorite charity. Mrs. Bennett reported that Ms. Robinson created the TSBVI Leo Club, a youth group that also performs many charitable acts. Ms. Alexander presented Ms. Robinson with a certificate of recognition from the Board.

Recognition of the 2016 TSBVI Outstanding Direct Care and Outreach Staff Members: Miles Fain introduced Garner Vogt who recognized Christy Silva, Overnight Charge Person, for her service at the School. Ms. Alexander presented a certificate of recognition from the Board for her award as the TSBVI Outstanding Residential Instructor.

Eden Hagelman introduced Mary Faith Cowart and spoke about her service to the School as an O&M Instructor. Ms. Alexander presented a certificate of recognition from the Board as the TSBVI Outstanding Related Services Provider.

Ms. Hagelman introduced Haley Moberg and spoke of her service as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired. Ms. Alexander presented a certificate of recognition as the TSBVI Outstanding Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Tad Doezema introduced teacher Pamela Henkel and spoke about her service at the School. Ms. Alexander presented a certificate of recognition as the TSBVI Outstanding Teacher of Students with Visual and Multiple Impairments.

Mr. Doezema introduced Vianey Salinas and spoke of her outstanding efforts. Ms. Alexander presented a certificate of recognition as the Outstanding Paraprofessional at TSBVI.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of November 19 and 20, 2015 Board Meetings: Michael Garrett moved that the November 19 and 20, 2015 Board Minutes be approved and Mike Hanley seconded the motion. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Report from the Finance Committee
Consideration of approval of board policies:

CFDA Accounting: School Activity Fund Management
CFDB Accounting: Student Trust Fund
CFE Accounting: Payroll Procedures
CFEA Payroll Procedures: Salary Deductions
CFG Accounting: Cash Received for School Purposes
CG Bonded Employees and Officers
CHF Purchasing and Acquisition: Payment Procedures
CV Facilities Construction

Michael Garrett briefly described the policies and stated that the Finance Committee recommended approval of the policies as presented. Since the motion came from Committee no second was necessary. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of Investment Report: Mr. Garrett briefly reviewed the Investment Report which he stated had changed because of the purchase of a new bus. The balance as of 08-30-15 is $861,985.82 and stated that the Finance Committee recommended approval of the Investment Report. Since the motion came from Committee no second was necessary. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Consideration of adoption of a resolution regarding the review of the investment policy and strategies of TSBVI: Mr. Garrett said that this section is to verify that the Finance Committee recommended adoption of a resolution regarding the Board’s review of the investment policy and strategies of the School. Since the motion came from Committee no second was necessary. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500: Michael Garrett reported that the Finance Committee recommended approval of gifts and donations gift received by the School. Since the motion came from Committee no second was necessary. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations: Mr. Garrett briefly stated that the Finance Committee recommended approval of the request for expenditure of funds received from the US Association for Blind Athletes sponsoring the Anthem Foundation National Fitness Challenge. Since the motion came from Committee no second was necessary. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion. Mr. Garrett said the School still has $3,000 from the Point Ventures Lions Club that has not be designated for a specific purpose.

Review of budget reports: Mr. Garrett reported on operating budget expenditures which has a benchmark of 25% currently. Classroom instruction is at 28%, residential program at 28%, summer and Short-Term Programs at 12%, related and support services at 29%, Outreach Technical Assistance at 25%, Outreach Teacher Preparation at 0%, Educational Salary Increases are not applicable, Central Administration at 26% and Support Services at 29%. The Total State Treasury budgets are at 25%.

Report from the Program Committee
Consideration of approval of board policies:

EA Instructional Goals and Objectives
FL Student Records
FL-E Student Records

Dr. Corn briefly described the policies changes and explained that the Committee recommended that Policies EA and FL-E be deleted. Since the recommendation came from Committee, no second was necessary and all Board members were in favor of the motion. She asked Ken Miller to describe the amendments proposed in Policy FL. Mr. Miller said the Program Committee wanted to amend Policy FL related to student records. The Committee also wanted consideration of adding additional language to Policy FL or to add a companion policy that addresses the educational records of students attending the summer or Short-Term Programs. Additional language related to students who receive assessments at the School but do not actually enroll would also be considered.

Mr. Hanley moved that Policy FL be tabled until consideration was given to adding new language as Mr. Miller proposed. Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion. The motion passed with all Board members in favor of the motion.

Report on low vision travel off-campus and use of canes: Dr. Corn stated that the purpose of the discussion was not to micromanage, rather it was a question that could potentially deal with school liabilities and public perception and that also it would deal with all students with a disability category being treated in one way rather than based on an individualized assessment. That was Dr. Corn's reasoning for requesting the presentation to the board. Thanks to Miles Fain, Lisa Calaci and Caroline Gonzales, it was a very productive discussion that clarified the practices of TSBVI with regard to student who have low vision and the use of a cane during independent travel off campus. The Program Committee was assured that only O&M assessments are used to determine if a student with low vision should use a white cane either with white cane technique or as an ID cane. It was further clarified that some students with low vision are assessed as needing a cane and some students are assessed as not needing a cane and are not required to use a cane off campus. Dr. Corn stated that her concerns were laid to rest and she believes it is based on each student's assessed needs.

Michael Garrett said perceptions have changed over the years in that, when he went to school at TSBVI, he didn’t use a cane but upon graduation found a cane very necessary in unfamiliar surroundings.

Report from the Audit, Compliance and Management Review Committee: The Committee met with Jaye Stepp to review audit recommendations that were completed. The two completed recommendations were the perimeter fencing and the security issues resolved within the new access gates on campus. The payroll control steps have been implemented. There are still several open recommendations mainly regarding areas where personnel changes are taking place, particularly in the area of the new CFO position. The Committee feels comfortable waiting for those recommendations to be closed. There were also some recommendations regarding transportation that are being assigned and will also wait until the new director is hired.

Public Discussion of TSBVI’s 2014-2015 Annual Report: Dr. Corn referred to page four regarding partnership under the first bullet "students being shared" and stated that it sounded as if the student was a product. Then in the second bullet she suggested the term "student is returned" be changed to "transitioned". Mary Alexander asked who the audience was for this report. Ms. Houghtling stated they were parents, districts that send students to our school, organizations serving the blind and visually impaired and Service Centers. Dr. Corn said that on page seven the first bullet said that "73% of students surveyed who graduated from TSBVI during the past five years were engaged in productive life activities, work, post school education and training, childcare or volunteer activities". Dr. Corn asked if we have an analysis of why 27% are not engaged in activities. Mr. Daugherty stated that an analysis is done and details could be provided.

Consideration of Superintendent’s Performance Appraisal: Mary Alexander announced that the Board would convene in such closed session in accordance with Texas Government Code, Sec. 551.074, Personnel Matters. No voting would take place in the closed meeting. Any action the board wished to take as a result of discussions the closed meeting would take place after the board reconvenes in the open meeting. Ms. Alexander announced the Board would convene in closed session at 11:24 a.m.

Ms. Alexander stated that the board would reconvene back into open session at 12:13 p.m. There was no discussion regarding Mr. Daugherty's evaluation. Mary Alexander then recessed for lunch.

Consideration of Internal Auditor's Performance Appraisal: Mary Alexander announced that the Board would convene in such closed session in accordance with Texas Government Code, Sec. 551.074, Personnel Matters. No voting would take place in the closed meeting. Any action the board wished to take as a result of discussions in the closed meeting would take place after the boar reconvenes in the open meeting. Ms. Alexander announced the Board would convene in closed session at 12:44 p.m.

Mary Alexander announced that the meeting was called into open session at 1:14 p.m. There was no discussion regarding Jaye Stepp's evaluation.

Ms. Alexander announced that there was a group of Girls Scouts who wanted to come in to sell Girl Scout cookies. The girls introduced themselves and sold cookies.

Consideration of Approval of TSBVI’s Vision, Mission and Philosophy Statements and Strategic Goals: Bobby Druesedow moved approval as stated and Michael Hanley seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Status Report on Action Plans in the 2015-2016 School Improvement Plan:
Mr. Daugherty briefly reviewed the status of some of the 26 action plans from the current year School Improvement Plan. Mr. Daugherty highlighted STAAR Testing Plans, Career Ed Five-Step Approach, Transition to Adult Life, Customized Employment, Training on Student-Led ARDs, Instructional Video Production, Efficiency in Low Vision, State Mandated Instruction, Curriculum Development on Abacus and Nemeth, Improvements to the ARD Process with ISDs including information on the Live Binder, Short-Term Programs and Individualized Programs, Outreach Distance Ed Infrastructure, Technology and Staff Development. There were no questions or comments from the Board.

Report from All Blind Children of Texas: This report by Gloria Bennett was tabled until next meeting.

Report from the Superintendent Campus activities: Mr. Daugherty highlighted the Outreach and Short-Term Programs reviewing many of the past activities and upcoming events including workshops and webinars.

Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics and Scheduling of Training Session:

Ms. Alexander recommended a report on the US Blind Athletes Association from Joe Paschall.

Susan Houghtling said she will come to the next meeting with recommendations for future training sessions in the area of advocacy, ethics and fiduciary responsibilities. Mike Hanley asked about TASB. Mary Alexander said it is usually in late September or early October but they also have Summer Leadership.

Election of Board Officers
Mary Alexander opened the floor for nominations. Michael Garrett nominated Joseph Muniz as Board President. Lee Sonnenberg seconded the motion. Michael Hanely moved nominations be closed. Bobby seconded the closing motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve Joseph Muniz as Board President for the next two years.

Dr. Anne Corn nominated Mary Alexander as Board Vice-President. Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion. Michael Hanley called for the vote. The board voted unanimously to approve Mary Alexander as Board Vice-President.

Tobie Wortham nominated Lee Sonnenberg as Board Secretary. Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion. Bobby moved to close the nominations and Michael Hanley seconded. The Board voted unanimously to approve Lee Sonnenberg as Board Secretary.

Consideration of Approval of Incoming Board President’s Recommendations Concerning Board Committees: Because the Board President, Joseph Muniz was absent from the meeting, Mary Alexander tabled this item until the next meeting.

Appointment of Board Committee Members, Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons: Because the Board President, Joseph Muniz was absent from the meeting, Mary Alexander tabled this item until the next meeting.


Bill Daugherty reported that memorial services for Phil Hatlen will be held in Austin on February 6 at 1:30 p.m. A second service will be held in California and an event will be held at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired at a later date.

Mr. Daugherty suggested the Board adopt a proclamation in honor of Dr. Hatlen. He added that Dr. Hatlen was very important to the School and to the field of visual impairment.

Ms. Alexander suggested something be done in his honor at the Legislature. She also announced that their University Program received continued funding for the next three years from their major funder.

Dr. Corn stated she has been speaking out against the National Reading Media Assessment because it is not a standardized assessment and it does not allow children to use optical devices during the assessment. Students are not allowed individual modifications or accommodations. The Virginia House of Legislature has passed a bill that was put forth by NFB which basically does three things: It removes some of the education services from the Virginia Department of Education and puts in into the rehabilitation agency; It extends all braille directives from children who are under IDEA to children who are being served under 504 Plans. It also, without saying it, would require the National Reading Assessment to be used. It was passed on Tuesday and forwarded to the Virginia Appropriations Committee and the Elementary and Secondary Committee. Dr. Corn also stated that there is a movement in Missouri. Michael Garrett stated that the American Council for the Blind will be in Washington next month speaking on behalf of the issue.

Mr. Sonnenberg said his daughter has been invited to the paralympic summer swimming camp.


Bobby Druesedow moved that the meeting be adjourned and Michael Garrett seconded the motion. All Board members were in agreement to adjourn the meeting at 1:40 p.m.

__________________________________ ______________________
Joseph Muniz, Board President                  Date

__________________________________ ______________________
Lee Sonnenberg, Board Secretary             Date

__________________________________ ______________________
Vicki Weston, Recording Secretary            Date