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TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

BOARD MEETING MINUTES

April 8, 2016

  

Call to Order:  Joseph Muniz called the meeting to order at 10:18 a.m.

Introduction of Audience:  Board members in attendance were Joseph Muniz, President; Anne Corn, Tobie Wortham, Lee Sonnenberg, Michael Hanley, Michael Garrett, Bobby Druesedow and Caroline Daley.  Mary Alexander was not in attendance.  Also in attendance were Leonard Schwartz, General Counsel; Bill Daugherty, Superintendent; Vicki Weston, Executive Assistant; Ben Bhatti, Governor's Office; Josh Shepherd, Legislative Budget Board; Trevor Simmons, Legislative Budget Board; Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Jaye Stepp, Internal Auditor; Holly Cooper, Outreach D/B Project;  Chrissy Cowan, Outreach Mentor Coordinator; Ann Rash, Outreach Early Childhood Specialist; Eve Thompson-Lavigne, Outreach Transition; Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation; Beth Bible, Outreach Support Staff; Melanie Schacht, Outreach Administrative Assistant; Sue Enoch, Outreach Graphics and Data; Mike Wolszon, Director of Information Resources; Brian McDonald, Director of Support Services; John Daude, Director of Operations; Andy Weir, Outreach Media Tech; Steven Landry, Outreach Instructional Developer;  Susan Hauser, Director of CSR; Pam Darden, Chief Financial Officer; Karen Brown, Budget Analyst; Lynne McAlister, Transition Specialist; Randall McAlister, Administrative Assistant; Carrie Keith, Outreach V.I. Support; Miriam Miramontes, Outreach Coordinator; Mary Shore; Special Preparation Coordinator; Brian Sobeck, Administrative Assistant; Ken Miller, Policy Development; and Kate Mainzer, Director of Human Resources.

Recognition of the 2016 TSBVI Outstanding Outreach Staff Member:  Joseph Muniz introduced Chrissy Cowan who then spoke about Ann Rash's contributions to TSBVI and Mr. Muniz presented Ms. Rash with the 2016 TSBVI Outstanding Outreach Staff Member award. 

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

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of January 28 and 29, 2016 Board Meetings:  Anne Corn reviewed the one word change she had submitted to the minutes.  The change was on page 17 of the board packet under announcements where Dr. Corn was speaking about the National Reading Media Assessment.  The original minutes stated that the test were "only" standardized and should have said "not" standardized.  Bobby Druesedow made a motion to approve the minutes with the change.  Michael Garrett seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve the January 28 & 29, 2016 minutes with the change. 

Report from the Finance Committee:

Introduction of Pam Darden as the new Chief Financial Officer:  Mr. Muniz introduced and welcomed Pam Darden as the new Chief Financial Officer.

Introduction of Brian McDonald as the new Director of Support Services:  Mr. Muniz introduced and welcomed Brian McDonald as the new Director of Support Services.  

Consideration of appointment of Pam Darden as the Chief Investment Officer:  Michael Garrett stated that the Finance Committee recommended Pam Darden as the Chief Investment Officer therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve Ms. Darden as the Chief Investment Officer.

Consideration of approval of Investment Report:  Mr. Garrett reported that the balance of the investment report as of January 31, 2016 was $893,375.98 with investments consisting of two CD's at First National Bank of Bellville totaling $340,000.00, one CD at ABC Bank of Austin totaling $240,000.00, one money market account totaling $304,664.68 and the Texas Class Investment pool totaling $8,711.30.  Mr. Garrett reported that the Committee wished to track the flow of funds more closely and requested a more detailed report on how funds reconcile when balances change.  With that proviso, Mr. Garrett stated that the recommendation for approval of the Investment Report came from Committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve the investment report. 

Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500:  Mr. Garrett stated that the donations report included all gifts received as of January 31, 2016 which was over $17,000.  Mr. Garrett stated that there were two donations over $500, one from Delta Gamma and one from Point Venture Lions Club.  The recommendation for approval of receipts of gifts and donations came from Committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve. 

Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations:  Mr. Garrett reported that there were three recommended expenditures for the undesignated funds:  $9,000 for the FUSA four-unit apartment; $3,000 for Special Programs and $3,000 for Summer Programs.  During the Finance Committee, approval was recommended.  Joseph Muniz asked specifically what the FUSA request would be used for and Mr. Garrett stated it would be used for student services and that they had requested additional information on that expenditure.  The request came from Committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve. 

Review of budget reports: Mr. Garrett reviewed the percentages of budget spent by strategy as of January 31, 2016.    

Report from the Program Committee:

Consideration of approval of board policies:

DAA    Employment Objectives:  Equal Opportunity Employment:  Caroline Daley stated that this policy was amended to add a section stating that the School may not discriminate in employment matters for an individual who has undergone bankruptcy.  

FFG    Student Welfare:  Child Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, and Improper Child Care Practice:  Caroline Daley stated that this was a clarification that there is internal reporting and that no one who reports internally should be made to feel that they should not also report externally.  Ann Corn found a redundancy on page 52 which was stricken.

FL       Student Records:  Ms. Daley stated that the amendments to this policy were to clearly distinguish "enrolled" and "short-term" students and added digital signature as acceptable.  She further stated that with regard to access to student records, it now includes transportation staff in the event they have a need to see information such as allergies.  Anne Corn pointed out that the Educational Need to Know Act would make sure there was no reason why a staff member would have access to further information than was necessary for their function.  Ms. Daley stated that fees for families will be waived if copies of records are needed and also clarified the destruction of records to include the destruction of videos and photos as well.  Ms. Daley stated that there was an incorrect phone number for the Superintendent in the policy and that Brian McDonald's name should replace John Daude as Director of Operations.  Mr. Muniz stated that the recommendation to approve the board policies DDA, FFG, and FL as amended came from Committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve Policies DAA, FFG and FL.


Consideration of approval of the School’s calendar for 2016-2017:  Caroline Daley stated that the main change is that the number of instructional days has been changed to instructional minutes.  The Program Committee reviewed the school calendar and recommended approval therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve the 2016-2017 school calendar.  

Report from Short-Term Programs:  Caroline Daley stated that Sara Merritt reported that although we are receiving fewer referrals, this is considered a success because there are more summer programs being offered locally that our students can attend. Joseph Muniz commented that he was pleased to see our programs being used as models by local communities.  Mike Hanley asked if staffing was an issue this summer. Ms. Merritt stated that they had established relationships with Texas A&M and U.T. that was helping with additional staff.  Lee Sonnenberg asked when training was being done for these new staff.  Ms. Merritt stated that they have developed an online training course which staff can take before in-person training at TSBVI.  Mr. Sonnenberg recommended that Ms. Merritt also contact Texas Tech.  Ms. Merritt stated that one of her staff was from Texas Tech.  


Report from Outreach Director:  Caroline Daley reported that Kate Hurst provided a report regarding Distance Learning and the Delayed Viewing Request Form so that archived webinars can be accessed after the fact and are available in audio, video or transcripts.  Ms. Daley explained how they were using this as advertising including a parent testimonial giving users a good overview of what the particular webinar would be about.  Steve Landry reported to the Committee that TSBVI is using Moodle as a free learning management tool and explained the different ways in which they are using online training including mentoring certification in a cost effective manner.  Bobby Druesedow asked about Moodle's accessibility.  Andy Weir stated that Moodle was chosen because of its accessibility features and the end products will be tested with keyboard and speech software before it is published.  Sara Merritt stated that they have started providing direct instructions to students in classrooms off campus to provide live assistance with accessibility issues.  

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal:  Ms. Daley stated that in Miles Fain's absence, Tad Doezema reported for Mr. Fain.

Consideration of approval of recommendations of the Instructional Materials Committee:  Ms. Daley reported that there were no new recommendations for instructional materials this year.  Ken Miller clarified that the Board needed to approve what was being used and the Board president would sign a certificate to verify the Board's acceptance of instruction materials.  Ms. Daley stated that the recommendation to approve the instructional materials came from committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve.

Transition to Adult Life Update:  Ms. Daley reported that the Committee discussed 18+ programs specific to each student in order to create a seamless transition into adult life.  They discussed working with the districts, communities and employers to assist in facilitating this.   

Report from the Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee: 


Overview of the Information Resources Department:  Mr. Muniz reported that Mike Wolszon gave a departmental overview and review of the departmental risk footprint.  Discussion included security issues.

Report from the Internal Auditor:  Approval of Internal Audit Report on TSBVI’s Health Center:  Mr. Muniz reported that the Health Center’s audit report was compliant with a few recommendations which will be followed up on by Health Center Director Andrea Ashton.  The recommendation to approved came from Committee therefore no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously to approve.  

Consideration of Approval of Proposed Renewals and Non-renewals of Staff Contracts:  Bill Daugherty reported that the list was provided with one change.  Ann Rash will be retiring so her name will be removed from the list.  Bobby Druesedow made a motion to approve the proposed renewals and non-renewals of staff contracts with the one change.  Lee Sonnenberg seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to approve.

Consideration of Approval of Agency Strategic Plan Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Performance Measures:  Susan Houghtling reported that TSBVI is required to develop a Five-Year Agency Strategic Plan which precedes the Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR), stating that the Strategic Plan is due about June 24 and the LAR is due at the end of August.  Ms. Houghtling stated that they are required to develop long-range goals, measurable performance objectives and strategies that are tied to funding requests and performance measures which are due in May.  Anne Corn stated that she was concerned that the objectives be measurable.  Dr. Corn asked that moderate vs. substantial progress numbers be provided separately.  Mr. Daugherty stated that in the next version of the document will contain the necessary measurable language.  Joseph Muniz stated that Caroline Daley had asked what was the best way to provide feedback.  Mr. Muniz stated that Mr. Daugherty was always open to emails or phone calls but that if there were to be substantial changes it should take place at the beginning of the cycle.  Mr. Daugherty stated that he did not anticipate substantial changes but rather minor tweaks.  He further stated that he is open to looking at different ways of looking at data but that this document has been designed to serve various different masters for reports and mapping progress.  Mr. Daugherty suggested that the Program Committee might want to look at this more closely in the future.  Ms. Houghtling added that all of the performance measures are defined as part of the strategic planning process.  Mr. Muniz stated that he would turn it over to the Program Committee for the next cycle.  Michael Garrett made a motion to approve the strategic plan.  Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve.     

Consideration of Approval of Proposed Goals, Needs Assessments, Objectives and a List of Action Plans for the 2016-2017 Annual Improvement Plan:  Susan Houghtling stated that TEA requires an Annual Improvement Plan.  She further stated that what is being presented now are the needs assessments from Miles Fain for Comprehensive Programs, Sara Merritt for Short-Term Programs and Cyral Miller for Outreach Programs.  Ms. Houghtling also stated that the Board approved the long-range goals at the January board meeting and that the measurable objectives and the title or placeholders for the action plans are included in this document.  The full action plans will be presented at the June board meeting.  Michael Garrett made a motion to approve.  Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve Approval of Proposed Goals, Needs Assessments, Objectives and a List of Action Plans for the 2016-2017 Annual Improvement Plan.  

Joseph Muniz announced that the lunch with Student Council has been canceled because the majority of students are at SCASB. 

Report from the Superintendent:

Legislative Budget Board Audit:  Bill Daugherty reported that the major portion of the LBB Audit was completed last week with a draft report due out in September or October.  He stated that TSBVI will then have a chance to review the report before it is sent to the LBB for publication.  Mr. Daugherty also stated that TEA will be doing a Special Education Monitoring of TSBVI from April 20-22, 2016 as well as the State Office of Risk Management (SORM) doing their review on April 27, 2016.  

Mr. Daugherty reported that there was a service for Phil Hatlen at a local church and one at TSBVI as well.  

Campus activities:  Mr. Daugherty reported that we are moving toward graduation with the Junior-Senior banquet and the "Hawaiian Paradise" Prom.  The annual school play is also coming up this spring.  Mr. Daugherty also reported that Dr. Gene Brooks will be the graduation speaker this year.  

Report from All Blind Children of Texas:  Gloria Bennett distributed reports for the Board then briefly explained to new Board member what All Blind Children (ABC) does in the community.  She stated that an application process is used and approval comes from the ten-member ABC Board.  Ms. Bennett also stated that in addition to the programs funded in the report she distributed, the following were also funded:  Braille Challenge, gymnastics lessons, Critter Capades, Library Bibliotech, V.I. Art Exhibit, Pizza and Bowling and a trip to see the USA Goalball team.  Ms. Bennett read the expected outcomes from one of the applications to give the Board an idea of how the activities are tied to the Expanded Core Curriculum.  Board members asked several questions about specific activities and functions of ABC.  

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

No future board meeting topics were requested.  Mr. Muniz asked board members for suggestions on training for the coming year.  The following topics were suggested: 

Ethics, transgender issues, self-evaluation, advocacy, fiduciary responsibilities.  Mr. Muniz prioritized the top three as:  1) Self-evaluation, 2) Ethics, 3) Advocacy

Consideration of Approval of Board President’s Recommendations Concerning Board Committees and Appointment of Committee Assignments:  Joseph Muniz stated that the Committees in place would stand and he made the following Committee assignments:   

Finance Committee  

Michael Garrett, Chairman

Bobby Druesedow Vice-Chairman

Mike Hanley, Member

Program Committee 

Lee Sonnenberg, Chairman 

Caroline Daley, Vice-Chairman

Anne Corn, Member  

Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee 

Joseph Muniz as Chairman

Mary Alexander as Vice-Chairman

Tobie Wortham as Member

Michael Garrett made a motion to approve the Board President's recommendations concerning Board Committee assignments.  Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve Committee appointments as assigned. 

Announcements:  Leonard Schwartz announced that the pending EEOC case has been dismissed by the EEOC.   

Adjournment:  Anne Corn made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to approve adjournment at 12:13 p.m.

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Joseph Muniz, Board President                                                                Date

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Lee Sonnenberg, Board Secretary                                                           Date

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Vicki Weston, Recording Secretary                                                          Date