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TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Board Meeting Minutes

April 6, 2018 Meeting

  

Call to Order:  

Joseph Muniz called the meeting to order at 9:48 a.m. 

Mr. Muniz introduced himself and ask other board members to do so as well.   Ann Corn, Caroline Daley, Michael Garrett, Bobby Druesedow and Lee Sonnenberg were present.  Mary Alexander and Mike Hanley were not present.

Introduction of Audience: 

Audience members were as follows:  Susan Morrison, General Counsel; Bill Daugherty, Superintendent; Vicki Weston, Superintendent's Assistant; Miles Fain, Principal of Comprehensive Programs; Dan Hampton, Director of Information Resources; Sara Merritt, Principal of Short-Term Programs; Kate Mainzer, Director of Human Resources; Cyral Miller, Director of Outreach; Jaye Stepp, Internal Auditor:  Kemp Long, Internal Auditor; Susan Hauser, Director of Center for School Resources; Mike Wolszon, Guest; Mary Mangan, Information Resource Staff; Kristi Sprinkle, Information Resources Web Administrator; Amanda Hafer, Director of Accounting; Brian McDonald, Director of School Support Services; Joshua Splinter, Budget Analyst; Pam Darden, Chief Financial Officer; Avery Saxe, Budget Analyst for the Legislative Budget Board;  Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation and Veronica Lopez, Administrative Assistant.

Recognition of Retiring TSBVI Staff Members:

Jaye Stepp, Internal Auditor received a plaque recognizing her ten years at TSBVI and her retirement. 

Public Comments/Open Forum:

Mike Wolszon, former Information Resources Director was out of town when his plaque was presented. Mr. Wolszon wanted to express his appreciation to the Board and talked a bit about his time at TSBVI.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of January 25 & 26, 2018 Board Meetings: 

Michael Garrett made a motion to approve the minutes from the January 25 & 26, 2018 Board Meetings.  Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.

Report from the Finance Committee: 

Consideration of approval of board policies:

The Committee recommended amending the following policies with minor clerical changes noted during the Committee meeting:

CBA-State and Federal Revenue Sources:  State

CFC-Accounting:  Audits

CK-Safety Program/Risk Management

CKB-Safety Program/Risk Management:  Accident Prevention and Reports

CKC-Safety Program/Risk Management:  Emergency Plans

CKD-Safety Program/Risk Management:  Emergency Medical Equipment and Procedures

CL-Building, Grounds, and Equipment Management

CNB-Transportation Management:  School-Owned Vehicles

CNC-Transportation Management:  Transportation Safety

CO-Food Services Management

COA-Food Services Management:  Food Purchasing

CQ-Technology Resources

CQA-Technology Resources:  TSBVI and Classroom Websites

The motion to approved came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve the amended policies.

The Committee voted to adopt the following policies:

CJ-Contracted Services

CJA-Contracted Services:  Criminal History

CKE-Safety Program/Risk Management:  Security Personnel

COB-Food Services Management:  Free and Reduced-Price Food Program

The motion to approve adoption of the new policies came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to adopt the new policies.

Consideration of approval of Investment Report: 

The Committee recommended approval of the Investment Report for first six months of fiscal year 2018 ending February 28, 2018.  The balance as of February 28, 2018, was $888,270.88. Total earnings for the period was $5,517.02.  The investment portfolio consists of:  two CD’s at First National Bank of Bellville in the amount of $100,000 each; one CD at ABC Bank of Austin in the amount of $240,000; Legacy money market and checking accounts totaling $298,295.26; Texas CLASS Investment Pool in the amount of $149,975.62. 

The motion to approve the Investment Report came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Investment Report.

Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500: 

Mr. Garrett reported that the Committee reviewed the Donations Report for the first six months of fiscal year 2018.  Mr. Garrett said that TSBVI had received a total of $14,092.65 in donations.  Mr. Garrett stated that the Committee approved the receipt of one donation over $500.00 which was from Delta Gamma Foundation in the amount of $4,398.02. 

The motion to approve the receipt of gifts and donation came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve. 

Mr. Garrett stated that the funds were designated to buy a tricycle for the elementary school. 

The motion to approve the receipt of donations over $500 came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve. 

Mr. Muniz asked Mr. Daugherty about the tricycle.  Mr. Daugherty said he had not seen this particular tricycle but that it was probably considered a medical device thereby the high cost.  Sara Merritt explained that the staff and student rode the device together and allowed students of varying abilities to participate.  Mr. Muniz asked Mr. Daugherty to express the Board's appreciation to Delta Gamma for all of the wonderful work they do for TSBVI. 

Review of budget reports

Operating Budget Expenditure Report: 

Mr. Garrett stated that the Committee reviewed the Operating Budget Expenditure Report.  Mr. Garrett reported that the benchmark for expenditures as of February 28, 2018, was 50%.  The following are the percentage reported for each strategy:  Classroom Instruction 52%, Residential Program 52%, Summer and Short Term Programs 27%, Related and Support Service 52%, Outreach –Technical Assistance 43%, Outreach – Teacher Preparation 20%, Central Administration 49%, Other Support Services 40%, and the Total State Treasury Budget Expended was 47%.   

Legacy Revenue Budget Report: 

Mr. Garrett reported that revenues received as of February 28, 2018, were $418,590.52.  Mr. Garrett said that this total consisted of revenue from the following sources:  Broday Trust Income - $392,653.69, Oil & Gas Royalties - $495.78, Nolan County Farms - $19,924.03 and Interest Income - $5,517.02. 

Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report:

Mr. Garrett reported that the benchmark for Legacy expenditures through the second quarter of fiscal year 2108 was 50% and expenditures as of February 28, 2018, totaled $386,989.  He also stated that this was 35% of the Legacy Operating Budget.

Mr. Garrett asked Pam Darden to report on what was said at the Finance Committee meeting regarding the Nolan County Farm revenue.  Ms. Darden stated that she has made contact with the farmers working the land and the co-op the funding goes through.  Ms. Darden said that she would be making a trip to the farm land in late April or early May.  She stated that she would be review the receipt of crops for the last year in which TSBVI received $10,000.  She further stated that this year TSBVI has received $19,000.   During the upcoming meeting, Ms. Darden said that they would be reconciling the accounts and developing a clearer understanding of what revenues are based on so they she can project future revenues.  Mr. Muniz stated that he would like for the land to be seen regularly in the future.  Mr. Garrett stated that Ms. Darden is working on the Legislative Budget Request and would have more news on that later. 

Mr. Garrett stated that Dan Hampton reported that his main project at the moment is the website update.  Mr. Garrett continued saying that Brian McDonald reported that the repairs on the Superintendent's house should begin shortly and take about three weeks to finish.  With that, Mr. Garrett concluded his reports. 

Report from the Program Committee

Consideration of approval of board policies: 

Lee Sonnenberg stated that consideration of approval of Board Policy FP- Student Fees and Fines was brought forth. TSBVI does not charge student fees therefore it was recommended that policy FP- Student Fees and Fines be deleted.

The motion to delete the policy came from Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to delete policy FP Student Fees Fines and Charges.

Mr. Sonnenberg stated that the Committee considered approval of the School’s calendar for 2018-2019.  Mr. Sonnenberg said that Miles Fain reported that the calendar mirrored AISDs calendar with the exception that TSBVI has one week longer for the winter break.  Mr. Sonnenberg also stated that Caroline Daley asked how that would affect the students who attend AISD schools.  Mr. Sonnenberg reported that the AISD teachers accommodate TSBVI’s schedule so it does not adversely affect our students.  Mr. Sonnenberg stated that the Committee recommended approval of the 2018-2019 school calendar.  Mr. Muniz stated that the cooperation TSBVI and AISD have is a very good relationship.  Mr. Daugherty agreed wholeheartedly discussing some of the ways the relationship has developed.  Mr. Daugherty also stated that AISD has now begun to charge TSBVI for students attending their classes which would probably cost in the range of $30,000 per year.  Mr. Daugherty also stated that the same would be holding true for Texas School for the Deaf. 

The Board voted unanimously to approve the TSBVI calendar for 2018-2019. 

 

Report from Outreach Director, Cyral Miller: Report on the major statewide conferences this year:

Intervener Model, SWOMA, Advanced DB Practitioner, Online O&M Symposium, TX Focus, and Low Vision: 

Mr. Sonnenberg reported on the major statewide conferences this year including; Intervener Model, SWOMA, Advanced DB Practitioner, Online O&M Symposium, TX Focus, and Low Vision.  Mr. Sonnenberg stated that it was exciting to see how much TSBVI staff were helping families and teachers across the state.  Mr. Sonnenberg asked Cyral Miller to email her report to all board members.  

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt

Summer Program applications and classes: 

Mr. Sonnenberg reported that applications for summer programs have closed with 480 applications completed and 359 students being placed for summer programs.  Mr. Sonnenberg continued saying that Ms. Merritt was expecting a slightly smaller number this summer based on the numbers received already.  Mr. Sonnenberg informed the Board that there are some new health care center regulations regarding documentation and medications. Last year they modified their Life Skills programs. They used to be mostly indoors. This year, instead of just working solely with the TVI, they also work with their Life Skills teachers. Last year they started a DeafBlind vocational program. It has grown from four students last year, to this year working with seven students. Mr. Sonnenberg expressed his excitement for these programs offered to students.

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain

Social Emotional Learning Update: 

Lee Sonnenberg reported on Social Emotional Learning.

Valerie Perwein, Courtney Wilson and Michael Clinkscales shared with Mr. Sonnenberg the programs implemented this last year regarding the social and emotional learning of students. They focus on the technology and their relationship with technology aspect of learning. They discuss digital citizenship, appropriate behavior, cyber bullying, and risky online relationships. Meetings are once a month after school and use technology in the meetings with students. They are building skills to handle technology responsibly. Mr. Sonnenberg added that students have responded greatly to it.

Report from the Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee

Consideration of approval of board policies BAA, BBC, BBD, BBG, BEC, DBA, DBAA: 

Joseph Muniz listed the policies presented for amendment: 

BAA-Board Legal Status:  Powers and Duties

BBC-Board Members:  Vacancies

BBD-Board Members:  Training and Orientation

BBG-Board Members:  Compensation and Expenses

BEC-Board Meetings:  Closed Meetings

DBA-Employment Requirements and Restrictions:  Credentials and Records

DBAA Employment Requirements and Restrictions:  Criminal History (amend)

Motion to amend policies as presented came from the Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve.

Policies to be amended as suggested in the Committee: BE, DC, DEC, DHG.  

BE-Board Meetings

DC-Employment Practices

DEC-Compensation and Benefits:  Leaves and Absences

DHG-Employment Standards of Conduct:  Ethics

Motion to amend policies as suggested came from the Committee therefore no second was needed and the Board voted unanimously to approve.

 

Consideration of adopting language in Policy BBFA requiring Board members to file financial statements with the Board: 

Audit Committee made a motion that the Board not adopt the optional language in policy BBFA. All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Report from the Internal Auditor

Consideration of approval of Ethics Evaluation Report: 

All Board members were in favor of the motion to approve the Ethics Evaluation Report.

Audit recommendations tracking schedule: 

Mr. Muniz stated that this tracking schedule is a helpful tool that allows the Internal Auditor, the Superintendent and the Board to keep track of the status of pending recommendations from previous audit reports. The number of open recommendations are on a downward trend. There are twelve remaining open recommendations and they are close to completion.

Discussion of required TSBVI website postings: 

Mr. Muniz stated that the Board became aware that there was one instance of a required posting not being met. Yesterday, the Board asked for Mr. Daugherty to give an update on the matter of following regulation and statutory requirements for website posting and received a satisfactory response from Mr. Daugherty.

Discussion of campus security: 

Joseph Muniz stated this discussion happened in closed meeting, to provide Mr. Daugherty with topic expectations for future in depth discussion over campus security.

Consideration of Approval of Proposed Renewals and Nonrenewal of Staff Contracts: 

Mr. Daugherty stated that there are no nonrenewal. Cyral Miller is retiring so next to her listed name is “to be determined”.

Bobby Druesedow moved to approve proposed renewal of staff contracts. Mr. Sonnenberg seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Review of Board Timelines for Strategic Planning Document: 

Mr. Daugherty stated that Susan Houghtling would be going over the next three topics.

Ms. Houghtling stated in the November 2017 Board meeting the proposed Strategic Planning process for the school and also timelines for planning were discussed. This timeline is put into place so that it gives the Board an idea of progress that is being made. The first timeline is for last summer where we had a two-day strategic planning session with many stakeholders from all over the state in which the Board participated. The next section talks about the fall of 2017 that was the November board meeting when we adopted our Vision, Mission, and Philosophy statements for the School as well as long-range goals. Also, in the fall the Board was presented with the achievement of objectives for the past fiscal/school year from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan. Next, in January 2018, the Superintendent forwarded his Strategic Initiatives document to the Board for review. At the January board meeting, the Board provided feedback. At the April 2018 board meeting the Board was asked to approve the Agency Strategic Plan objectives, strategies and performance measures and also to approve the proposed objectives for the Annual Improvement Plan. Ms. Houghtling added the next step would be that the proposed goals, objectives, strategies and performance measures for the Agency Strategic Plan would be submitted to the Legislative Budget Board for approval. In June we will propose to the Board the consideration for approval of the entire Agency Strategic Plan. In June we will be submitting the Agency Strategic Plan to the Legislative Budget Board. At the summer board meeting we will bring before the Board for consideration the approval of the School’s Legislative Appropriations Request. In late August 2018 the Legislative Appropriations Request is submitted to the Legislative Budget Board.

Mr. Muniz stated that it is helpful to have these kinds of discussions on timelines.

Consideration of Approval of Agency Strategic Plan Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Performance Measures: 

Ms. Houghtling stated that every two years TSBVI, as a state agency, is required to develop a five-year Agency Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is prescribed in how we write it. It will appear different from any other long-range Strategic Plan you have seen. We have recently been given instruction for it so we are just beginning to write the narrative for that. In the meantime, on April 20 we are required to submit to the Legislative Budget Board, for approval any proposed changes to our current Strategic Plan’s, goals, objectives, strategies, and performance measures. Ms. Houghtling stated there are no changes to our Strategic Plan and we bring this before the Board for consideration of approval.

Mr. Muniz stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Druesedow moved to approve and Mr. Garrett seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Review of Needs Assessments and Proposed Action Plans and Consideration of Approval of Proposed Objectives for the 2018-2019 Annual Improvement Plan: 

Ms. Houghtling stated that annually school districts in Texas are required to develop District Improvement Plans and Improvement Plans for each campus. She added TSBVI is such a small campus we have a single district and campus plan. Texas Education Code also says the Board shall also adopt a Vision Statement, and comprehensive long-range goals for the district and the Superintendent, monitor progress towards those goals and establish performance goals. Ms. Houghtling stated we have already developed a Vision Statement and Comprehensive Long-Range Goals. The next step is to develop and improve the measurable performance objectives. We do that by having the different programs present needs assessments that talk about strengths and needs over the past year and needs for the upcoming year along with action plans. The proposed measurable objectives were presented to the Board for consideration of approval.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked how the new Teacher Compensation System that was adopted last year was working for us. Kate Mainzer gave an update on the compensation plan. She spoke with the Human Resources Director from AISD and others associated with AISD in regards to the Compensation Plan that was put into place. Right now it only applies to classroom teachers. AISD does not currently plan to, in the immediate future, include any other positions in the plan. They will continue to have the Teacher Salary Schedules that apply to positions at different levels. We are Legislatively tied to what AISD does. We do not have any leeway to make any other changes. However, whenever AISD's Board gives an across the board increase, that will apply to all of the employees across the board and that carries over to our contract staff as well. We will not have a decision on that until their Board meets and makes a decision. Ms. Mainzer added that there really isn’t any progress because of the Legislative requirement in the Education Code. Mr. Daugherty added it was going to take time to work itself out through the actions AISD takes or possibly some future Legislative action by us, if this doesn’t seem to be a workable match for us.

Mr. Sonnenberg inquired about Short-term Programs submission. He noticed, it states residential staff are 75% full time employees, they need 100% FTE’s. He asked if these are dorm staff. Sara Merritt stated dorm staff are there 75 percent of the time because of class schedules. If we had full time staff we could offer more programs. Mr. Sonnenberg added that leads into his next discussion; he noticed there is a need for a residential director for assistance with the needs of the growing summer programs. Ms. Merritt added that position has been approved and posted. 

Mr. Sonnenberg addressed the Family Leadership in Outreach. He asked what it would take to offer that program in more regions of the state? Cyral Miller, answered it is all about the people that attend. Much of it depends on the group of parents and their needs. 

Mr. Sonnenberg inquired about the plan to enhance the overall operation of the Transportation Department. Ms. Darden added that it is to address the Transportation Committee and to come up with a plan to move forward with vehicle replacement and an automated information system. 

Mr. Daugherty added that TSBVI has received three new vehicles. We are trying out the new smaller size vehicles. Many of the staff have trouble getting in and out of places due to the size of the old vans. The new vehicle is like the vans that Special Transit Services use. It is more compact, lower, easier to manage, and still gives a nice element of safety. He added it is meant for function and we think it is going to be popular.

Mr. Muniz asked Mr. Daugherty what his expectations for the person who will obtain the new Assistant Residential Director position are.

Mr. Daugherty answered that we need someone who will give some assistance in the summer and work alongside one of the existing Residential Directors to learn how the process works and also to become very familiar with the whole operation of our Residential Programs. Eventually when the time comes this individual would be able to move into a Director position.

Dr. Corn stated that, in the future, some of the objectives such as for curriculum development should be more measurable in criteria, observable behavior and go into more detail. 

Consideration of approval of the measurable objectives found in the Annual Improvement Plan: 

Bobby moved to approve and Caroline Daley seconded the motion. All Board members are in favor of the motion, motion carries.

 Report from the Superintendent: 

Mr. Daugherty reported the graduation ceremony has changed to 1:00 p.m. on May 31st.

Campus visitors: 

Mr. Daugherty stated that TEA has hired new staff that are going to be embedded all around the state service centers. They came out and toured the school to see what we do. On March 7, Apples Director of Accessibility from California and other Apple staff visited campus. They launched an Accessibility Coding Program on an IPad. The coding was to make drones fly. Our students had a great experience doing that with all the Apple staff. 

Campus activities: 

Mr. Daugherty reported that a tennis tournament is coming up that is an adaptive tennis event. Our role is to get kids interested and exposed to these things. The USA is the only country that doesn't have a soccer team that goes to the International games. We have a strong relationship with US Association of Blind Athletes. They are working with us in every component of these specialized activities for our students.

Dr. Corn added that Outreach is hosting their sixth year of the seminar, In the Driver Seat. It helps kids, families, parents learn about possibilities and the reality of driving with low vision.

Report from Personnel Committee: 

Mr. Muniz announced that he Board will now recess this open session and convene in a closed meeting to discuss the following items listed under agenda items 9. a & b and agenda item 10: Recommendation for new Internal Auditor, Full Board Introduction of Finalist for Internal Auditor Position and Selection of New Internal Auditor in conformance with Texas Government Code Section 551.074 – Personnel Matters.

No voting will take place in the closed meeting. Any action the Board wishes to take as a result of discussions in closed meeting will take place after the Board reconvenes in the open meeting. It was 11:21 a.m.

Mr. Muniz announced that it is 11:36 a.m. and the Board will now convene in open session. No action was taken on Recommendation for New Internal Auditor and Full Board Introduction of Finalist for Internal Auditor Position.

In regards to agenda item Selection of New Internal Auditor, the Personnel Committee recommended to the Board that Mr. Kemp Long be selected as the Internal Auditor for TSBVI.

All board members were in favor of the motion.

Ratification of Board President’s Decision to Provide an Earlier Start Date for the Auditor: 

Mr. Muniz stated he used his authority as Board President to maximize the amount of time Mr. Kemp had to spend with the current internal auditor. He asked Mr. Long to begin work yesterday so he could attend the Board meetings. Mr. Muniz stated that he will bring to the Board for ratification the decision to provide an earlier start date before the Board’s decision to select Mr. Long.

Mr. Muniz asked to obtain a motion. Mr. Garret motioned and Mr. Sonnenberg seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion and the motion passed.

Lunch with Student Council: 

The Board recessed at 11:40 a.m. to have lunch with the Student Council. The Board was called back to order at 12:24 p.m. Mr. Muniz stated that the students on Student Council were an impressive bunch of kids. He addressed the Student Council’s idea to purchase umbrellas for outside tables. Mr. Daugherty said sometimes they will get blown over or tend not to last long. He made a suggestion to them on which ones to purchase but he would leave it up to the student council.  

Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics and Scheduling of Training Sessions

Future Board Meeting Topics: 

Dr. Corn stated that last year the Board talked about fitness-the extent to which kids meet physical fitness; not all kids can do it or are expected to. She would like some data that comes out of the physical education program. Mr. Muniz asked if she would like a presentation or a monthly report. Dr. Corn added an off-month report is fine.

Scheduling of Training Sessions: 

Ms. Houghtling stated in this non-Legislative year requirements are a session with the Superintendent on team building. In January that requirement was met with the Friday Night in the ER Team Building Session. Also, the Board needs five hours of continuing education. Ms. Houghtling listed the available TASB trainings or gave the option to provide training through TSBVI. Ms. Houghtling stated that Mr. Muniz had mentioned intentions of participating in the training on Student Performance Indicators in the summer. She added that it would be in conjunction with the meeting we’ll have about approving the Legislative Appropriations Request this summer. Mr. Muniz added that the training is in conjunction with a new requirement for all school boards. He stated that they could have been exempt but he felt it is good to have that training. Ms. Houghtling explained that Mr. Muniz was referring to Senate Bill 1556 that passed in the last session.

Ms. Houghtling asked if the Board would like for TSBVI to provide them with any training on campus or if they wanted to take care of it individually.

Ms. Daley stated that she would like to attend TASB conference in Fort Worth. Dr. Corn and Mr. Druesedow stated that they need to check calendars. Mr. Sonnenberg stated that he would like to attend the Austin TASB conference in September.

Mr. Muniz stated that all trainings are approved expenses.

The Board agreed on the projected meeting date for September 28, 2018 and not to have any training for the next meeting.

Consideration of Superintendent’s Performance Appraisal: 

Mr. Muniz stated the Board will now recess this open session and convene in a closed meeting to discuss the following agenda item: Consideration of Superintendent’s Performance Appraisal in conformance with Texas Government Code Section 551.074 – Personnel Matters.

No voting will take place in the closed meeting. Any action the Board wishes to take as a result of discussions in closed meeting will take place after the Board reconvenes in the open meeting. It is now 12:41 p.m.

Mr. Muniz stated that it was 1:24 p.m. and the Board will now convene in open session and no action will be taken on agenda item Consideration of Superintendent’s Performance Appraisal.

Announcements: 

No announcements were made.

Adjournment: 

Mr. Muniz asked if he had a motion to adjourn. Dr. Corn moved to adjourn and Ms. Daley seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion to adjourn the April 6, 2018 Board Meeting. The meeting adjourned at 1:27 p.m.