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TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

 FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

 September 28, 2018

                                                                                                       

Call to Order:

Michael Garrett called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Finance Committee to order at 8:00 a.m. on Sept 28th, 2018, in Room 102 of Building 600 at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX.

In addition to Mr. Garrett, Board member Bobby Druesedow Jr., Michael Hanley, Mary Alexander, Dan Brown, and Board President Joseph Muniz were present.

TSBVI staff members present were: Pamela Darden, Chief Financial Officer; Brian McDonald, Director of School Support Services; Amanda Hafer, Director of Accounting; Dan Hampton, Information Resource Director; Susan Morrison, General Counsel; Bill Daugherty, Superintendent and Josh Splinter, Budget Officer.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of the September 28th, 2018 Meeting:

A motion to accept the minutes of the Sept 28th, 2018, committee meeting as presented was made by Mary Alexander. Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Consideration of Approval of Board Policies:

Susan Morrison presented one policy, GKA which is the community relations on campus policy. It covers Trespassing, smoking, and drinking on campus. Susan explained that we have a grievance policy in place if anyone objects to being evicted from campus. Also as a state agency we have designated smoking locations outside the fences. Mary Alexander asked how we handle the trespassing on the buses at designated drop-off locations. Bill Daugherty replied stating that TSBVI’s practice would be for the staff on the bus to contact the local police agency.

Bobby Druesedow moved to approve the adoption of the new policies as amended. Michael Hanley seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Consideration of Approval of Investment Report:

Pamela Darden presented the Investment Report for the 12 months of fiscal year 2018 ended on August 31, 2018. The total short-term investments balance was reported as $465,796.14, and that earnings year-to-date on those are $7,415.97. Pam Darden stated that these funds are usually used to cover the difference between the Broday trust and what is spent out of Legacy. For FY19 though we will stick to the Broday Trust amount and these funds will be used for shortfalls in appropriated budget side. She also stated that the Texas Class is a high rate of return currently and we rolled funds from the CDs into the Texas Class Pool.  Bobby Druesedow made a motion to accept the Investment Report as presented. Dan Brown seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Review of Donations Report:

Pamela Darden reviewed the Donations Report for the fiscal year 2018 ended on August 31, 2018. The total donations over $500 received year to date was reported as $24,850.92 and donations under $500 totaled $4,625.15

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

Pamela Darden reported that there were four donations received for over $500.00 during this reporting period. $812 were proceeds from the spring play which go to the drama department. We received $1,000 from Janet and Michael Margrave and this was undesignated.  The Delta Gamma Foundation donated $2,373 which was undesignated and Andy McLauren donated $1,000 for the Jinna Mclauren award which is presented at graduation. Also reported was a total of $1,079.27 from donations under $500. Bobby Druesedow moved to accept the receipt of gifts and donations over $500 as presented. Mary Alexander seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Consideration of approval of request for expenditures of undesignated gifts and donations: 

Pamela Darden advised that the total for the year ending August 31, 2018 in undesignated was $7,515.40. Pam Darden requested approval from the board to transfer those funds in expanded core curriculum materials account. Michael Hanley made a motion to approve the transfer of the $7,515.40 into the expanded core curriculum account. Bobby Druesedow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Review of budget reports:

Pamela Darden reviewed the Budget Report for the fiscal year 2018 ended on August 31, 2018. Pam stated that the report is pending the final year adjustments and that the board would receive the final total during the November board meeting. She stated she made changes to the report that will carry forward to all future reports. This is in effort to clarify actual cash available to support the budget. Pam Stated that the total short fall to this point is $338k. Those funds as the year closes out will be covered by Legacy.

Review of the Legacy Revenue report:

Pamela Darden reviewed the Budget Report for the fiscal year 2018 ended on August 31, 2018. Pamela stated that the estimated revenue was $789,600 and we actually collected $832,449. That was 105% of what was budgeted. Two Notes were added, first the quarterly Broday Trust payments increased and second, on this report it has been historically been called “Farm Rent”. The school does not actually get a rent but instead they receive a portion of what the farmers make on their share of the crops.  

Review of the Legacy Expenditure report:

Pamela Darden reviewed the Budget Report for the fiscal year 2018 ended on August 31, 2018. The remaining balance in Legacy, pending year end close is $106,780.  

Report from Information Resources Director: 

Dan Hampton reported they have consolidated the technology purchasing budgets into two accounts that he is responsible. This will allow him to keep a better eye on purchases and wasted expenses. For cyber security they have drawn back on the anticipated plan with the current financial situations. He said the new plan is a step above where we are right not but a step below the grand end all plan we originally looked at.

Report from School Support Services:

Brian McDonald provided an update on BLDG. 4801, he stated they completed several different upgrades to that building over the summer. The demolition of BLDG 507 is complete and the current architectural analysis and drawings are in the value engineering stage. The biggest adjustment is the schedule right now. The start was supposed to be October but will not be January through to the end of May.

Adjournment:

At 8:58 AM Joseph Muniz called the meeting into a closed session. They returned to an open session at 9:40. No action was needed from the closed session. Bobby Druesedow entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Dan Brown seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 09:45 a.m.

End of document

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Board Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2018 Meeting

 

Call to Order: Board President, Joseph Muniz called the meeting of the Governing Board of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to order at 1:02 p.m.

Introduction of Board Members and Audience: Joseph Muniz, Board President introduced himself. The additional Board Members present were: Brenda Lee, Julie Prause, Lee Sonnenberg, Bobby Druesedow, Dan Brown and Michael Garrett. Mary Alexander and Michael Hanley were unable to attend the meeting.

Audience Members present were: Bill Daugherty, Superintendent, Veronica Lopez, Administrative Assistant, Pam Darden, Chief Financial Officer, Josh Splinter, Budget Analyst, Faye Hilpert of Wells Fargo, Jim Brown of Wells Fargo, Susan Hauser, Director of Center for School Resources, Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation and Susan Morrison, General Counsel.

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

Report from Wells Fargo on the Bert E. Broday Trust Fund: Mr. Daugherty gave an overview of the Broday Trust Fund and how it was started.

Ms. Hilpert explained the ongoing process for the modification to the Broday Trust Fund. It is not as originally thought because it is more like a non-profit foundation. She stated that she had no numbers to provide to the Board and hoped that Wells Fargo will find a way to modify the trust so that it works well for TSBVI.

Mr. Brown discussed the annual report done through the close of the quarter in September and said the Trust had done well generating a half-million per year in cash flow dividends. The fees, including Trustee’s fees are less than one percent (0.08% annually).

Mr. Garrett asked what the outlook on the technology groups was, especially for Apple and Amazon. Mr. Brown answered that, since 2008, this has been a technology stock driven recovery market earning the Trust $8 million since 2007. Stocks are divided into growth or value. Wells Fargo is transitioning the Trust stocks from growth to value. Most of the technology companies follow in the growth style. High quality dividend stocks follow the value stock and provide some protection from volatility. If you look at the last ten years, it has been primarily a growth driven market. One of the points that Wells Fargo has been looking at for over a year is the valuation stocks that pay higher dividends. The discipline Wells Fargo adheres to is one of the main reasons the portfolio has continued to grow. Mr. Brown adjusts investments on a quarterly basis.

Mr. Garrett asked if the trust is structured in a manner that produces enough to raise the distribution. Mr. Brown answered that, historically and in the future, it has and will produce enough to support distribution. He added that Wells Fargo knows the early signs of recession and the economy is at the end of the longest bull market. Mr. Brown added that Wells Fargo did not foresee a recession in the next 12 months but they have been working to prepare for a downturn. Big institutions have to have distributions whether it is teacher’s retirements or Utimpco. Even if the distribution is increased Wells Fargo is at no risk of coming to a meeting of this nature and delivering bad news.

Mr. Garrett asked over what time period have the unrealized gains been measured. Mr. Brown answered since inception.

Consideration of Approval of Proceeding with Broday Trust Modification: The Board

recessed the open session and convened in closed session to discuss agenda item number 5

Consideration of Approval of Proceeding with Broday Trust Modification in conformance with Texas

Government Code 551.071 – Consultation with School Attorney.

Mr. Sonnenberg announced that no voting would take place in the closed meeting. Any action the board wished to take as a result of discussions in closed meeting would take place after the board reconvened in the open meeting. It was 1:47 p.m.

The Board reconvened in open session at 2:17 p.m. Mr. Druesedow made a motion that the

Attorney proceed with contacting the Office of the Attorney General and proceed in accordance

with the legal advice given to her at that point by the Office of the Attorney General. Mr.

Sonnenberg seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Consideration of Approval of Board Policies: Ms. Morrison gave a description of policies

DHB, EB, EC, EFA, EFAA, EHB, EHBA, EHBAA, EHBAC, EHBAD, EHBAE, EHBD, EHBK, EHDD,

EKBA EKC, EKD, FED, FOC, FOC – E, FOD, and FOF for amendment, amendment with

additional changes or deletion.

DHB                     Employee Standards of Conduct: Report to State Board of Educator Certification

EB (TSBVI)          School Year

EC (TSBVI)         School Day

EFA (TSBVI)       Instructional Resources: Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption

EFAA                    Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption

EHB (TSBVI)       Curriculum Design: Special Programs (Deleted)

EHBA (TSBVI)    Special Programs: Special Education

EHBAA (TSBVI) Special Education: Identification, Evaluation, and Eligibility

EHBAC (TSBVI) Special Education: District Share of Enrollment Costs at TSBVI

EHBAD (TSBVI) Special Education: Transition Services

EHBAE (TSBVI) Special Education: Procedural Requirements

EHBD                   Special Education: Federal Title I Programs

EHBK (TSBVI)    Special Programs: Other Instructional Initiatives

EHDD                   Extended Instructional Programs: College Course Work

EKBA (TSBVI)    State Assessment: English Language Learners/LEP Students

EKC (TSBVI)       Testing Program: Reading Assessment Program

EKD (TSBVI)       Testing Programs: Mathematics Assessment Program

FED (TSBVI)       Admissions and Attendance: Attendance Enforcement

FOC (TSBVI)       Student Discipline: Placement in Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs

FOC-E (TSBVI)   Student Discipline: Placement in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Setting

FOD (TSBVI)       Student Discipline: Expulsion

FOF (TSBVI)       Student Discipline: Students with Disabilities

Mr. Druesedow made a motion to delete policy EFAA – Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Mr. Druesedow made a motion to amend policy EHBAA (TSBVI) – Special Education: Identification, Evaluation, and Eligibility to include changes: “If TSBVI determines that an additional examination or test is required for individual evaluation, the local district shall provide the information required by Education Code 29.0041(a) and shall obtain additional parental consent. If a parent does not give consent within 20 calendar days after the district provided the information, the parent’s consent is considered denied” brought forth by Ms. Morrison during the meeting. Mr. Lee seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Mr. Druesedow made a motion to amend policy EHBAE (TSBVI) – Special Education: Procedural Requirements to include minor corrections to the section Psychological Examination and Tests brought forth by Ms. Morrison during the meeting to include: adding to the title Psychological Examinations and Tests “as Part of a Re-evaluation”, add “re-“ to evaluation, change school to “local district”, change school to “TSBVI” and change school to “local school district”. Mr. Brown seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Mr. Druesedow made a motion to amend policies DHB, EB, EC, EFA, EHB, EHBA, EHBAC, EHBAD, EHBD, EHBK, EHDD, EHBA, EKC, EKD, FED, FOC, FOC-E, FOD and FOF as presented. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Update on School Budget: Mr. Daugherty and Ms. Darden gave an update on the School budget.

Mr. Daugherty stated that TSBVI is meeting their savings targets. He added that the budget has not had a negative impact on students or student instruction. There is a firm line on TSBVI’s Summer Program budget. TSBVI will provide two thirds of Summer Programs without relying on the Broday Trust. Mr. Daugherty added he thought it was going to be much lower. Positions that can remain frozen will be as long as possible. Staffing accounts for a large part of TSBVI’s savings. Overtime hours are limited to absolute necessity for student coverage. Mr. Daugherty stated TSBVI has been doing well with the School budget.

Ms. Darden stated that she compared expenditures from the first two months of fiscal year 2018 to the first two months of fiscal year 2019 and TSBVI was at about a $200,000 savings. She added that TSBVI’s budget strategies to find savings have been working and that it is very important that TSBVI stick to these strategies for the rest of the year.

Recess: The meeting recessed at 3:22 p.m.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m.

Training Session on TSBVI’s Budget: Ms. Darden provided training to board members on the

development phases and cycles of TSBVI’s budget.

Adjournment: Mr. Druesedow made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. The

Board voted unanimously and the motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Board Meeting Minutes

November 16, 2018 Meeting

 

Call to Order: Joseph Muniz, Board President called the meeting of the Governing Board of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to order at 10:16 a.m.

Introduction of Board Member and Audience: Board members present were: Brenda Lee, Julie Prause, Joseph Muniz, Lee Sonnenberg, Bobby Druesedow, Dan Brown, and Michael Garrett. Mary Alexander and Michael Hanley were unable to attend the meeting.  Audience members present were: Bill Daugherty, Superintendent, Susan Morrison, General Counsel, Veronica Lopez, Administrative Assistant, Miles Fain, Principal of Comprehensive Programs, Lenora Williams, staff family member, Justin Andrews, staff family member, Xavier Andrews, staff family member, Pat Stephenson, staff family member, Randy Stephenson, staff member, Tad Doezema, Asst. Principal, Darla Andrews, staff family member, Marty Stephenson, staff family member, Haley Andrews, staff family member, Allie Andrews, staff family member, Jason Andrews, staff family member, Kapi Noah, staff family member, Sara Merritt, Principal, Kate Mainzer, Human Resources Director, Kim Wright, Residential Instructor, Bridgett Wolfe,  Residential Instructor, Ma’ani Monady, Residential Instructor, Misty Wade, Residential Instructor, Daniel Butler, Residential Instructor, Emily Coleman, Residential Instructor, Dan Hampton, Information Resources Director, Cyrenna Villegas, Procurement Director, Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation, Scott Kelly, TA, Carlotta Binns, Career Ed Teacher, Pam Darden, CFO, Josh Splinter, Budget Analyst, Diane Broadway, Admin. Asst., Michael Bittinger, Admin. Asst., Brian McDonald, Director of School Support Services, and Alex Moir, Texas State Employees Union.

Public Comments/Open Forum: Daniel Butler came forth for public comment.

Mr. Butler congratulated Mr. Stephenson upon his retirement. He spoke on the TSBVI’s budget

shortfall and the effect it will have on the support staff. He stated that he had spoken with several

TAs and RIs and wanted to pass the information along to the Board for future consideration to

help remedy hardships. Mr. Butler stated the Christmas holiday would be difficult because of the

lack of overtime opportunities that will force staff to go on leave without pay. He added that, in the

past, there was discussion about making support staff 12 month employees. He stated they will

get paid less, however, it would put staff at ease knowing they will be paid for the time students

are not in school. Mr. Butler thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak.

Mr. Muniz thanked him for coming forward and for his input. 

Recognition of Retiring TSBVI Employees: Mr. Muniz and Mr. Doezema recognized retiree

Randy Stephenson for his 30 years of service.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of September 28, 2018 Board Meeting: Mr. Druesedow made a motion to approve the minutes of September 28, 2018. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Report from the Finance Committee:           

Consideration of approval of board polices:

CB (TSBVI)            State and Federal Revenue Sources

CDA (TSBVI)          Other Revenues: Investments

CLC                         Buildings, Property, and Equipment Management: Traffic and Parking Controls

CMD                        Equipment and Supplies Management: Instructional Materials Care and Accounting

CRB (TSBVI)          Board Member and Executive Management Staff Liability Insurance and for Worksites Where Student Work

CRD (TSBVI)         Insurance and Annuities Management: Health and Life Insurance

CRE (TSBVI)          Insurance and Annuities Management: Workers’ Compensation Coverage

CRG (TSBVI)         Insurance and Annuities Management: Deferred Compensation and Annuities

CV (TSBVI)            Facilities Construction

Michael Garrett stated that the Committee recommended Policy CB (TSBV) – State and Federal Revenue Sources for adoption. Recommendation came from Committee, therefore, no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

The Committee recommended policies CDA (TSBVI) – Other Revenues: Investments,

CLC – Buildings, Property, and Equipment Management: Traffic and Parking Controls,

CMD – Equipment and Supplies Management: Instructional Materials Care and

Accounting, CRB (TSBVI) – Board Member and Executive Management Staff Liability

Insurance and for Worksites Where Student Work, and CRD (TSBVI) – Insurance and

Annuities Management: Health and Life Insurance for amendment. Recommendation

came from Committee, therefore, no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously

and the motion carried.

CRE (TSBVI) – Insurance and Annuities Management: Workers’ Compensation

Coverage, CRG (TSBVI) – Insurance and Annuities Management: Deferred

Compensation and Annuities, and CV (TSBVI) – Facilities Construction were reviewed by

the Committee.

Consideration of approval of renewal of Nolan County farm contracts: Mr. Garrett stated the Committee recommended to approve the renewal of the Nolan County farm contracts. Recommendation came from the Committee, therefore, no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried. 

Report on maintenance, annual inspection, and recommendations for maintenance and repair of the campus residence: Mr. Garrett gave a report on the maintenance, annual inspection, and recommendations for maintenance and repair of the campus residence. He added that it was to his and the rest of the Committee’s satisfaction that the window installation at the Superintendent’s residence had been completed. He added that the Superintendent reported he has been able to run heat and air and keep it at a comfortable temperature. Consideration of approval of Investment Report: Mr. Garrett listed the balances for the Investment Report ending on August 31, 2018.

The Finance Committee recommended the Investment Report for approval. The motion came from Committee, therefore, no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500: Mr. Garrett reported that there were no gifts or donations of over $500 since the last board meeting. Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations: There was no request for expenditure of gifts and donations. Review of budget reports Operating Budget Expenditure Report: Mr. Garrett reported the percentage at which each department was operating. The total for all budgets in State Treasury that were used was 99 percent. 

Legacy Revenue Budget Report: Mr. Garrett reported TSBVI’s Legacy Revenue Budget Report totals. Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report: Mr. Garret stated that the total Legacy Project Expenditures was at 104 percent for the Legacy Operating Budget Expenditure Report.

Report from the Program Committee     

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal Update on Summer 2019 programs: Mr. Sonnenberg reported that Sara Merritt had announced the number of students that would be offered summer programs in 2019. The number decreased from 319 to approximately 211 due to the budget needs. 

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal Social Emotional Learning Update: Mr. Sonnenberg reported that Valerie Perwein and Michael Clinkscales gave an update on the social emotional learning of TSBVI students.

Report from Outreach Program Director Professional development events: Mr. Sonnenberg reported on the Outreach Program professional development events. He stated that Emily Coleman has come out with a podcast to which listeners will soon be able to subscribe. Mr. Muniz asked Mr. Daugherty to notify the Board when the podcast is available.

Annual Report on Complaints about Discrimination or Harassment: Ms. Mainzer reported that there were no complaints about discrimination or harassment.

Mr. Muniz asked what kind of measures are in place to educate on discrimination and harassment. Ms. Mainzer answered that the State requires harassment prevention training within 30 days of hire and TSBVI follows this procedure. New hire employees are required to take this session before New Employee Orientation (NEO). Then, there is a question and answer part that is done in NEO. That allows for time for discussion if anyone has any questions or concerns. There is a refresher required every two years by the State. Lastly, Ms. Mainzer stated TSBVI provides it as a requirement every year as part of the Bridge training management system.

 Report on Achievement of Objectives for 2017-2018 from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan: Ms. Houghtling reported on the achievement of objectives for 2017-2018 from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked how the results for the achievement numbers of graduates are obtained. Ms. Houghtling answered that, in previous years’, surveys were mailed out with few responses being returned. For a number of years TSBVI has done telephone surveys with greater responsiveness.

Mr. Garrett asked if we are one of the only ones doing this kind of tracking. Ms. Lee answered that it is required by TEA for special education students.

Discussion of Board Operating Procedures: Ms. Morrison invited a motion to table this item.

Mr. Sonnenberg motioned to table Discussion of Board Operating Procedures. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Report from the Superintendent: Mr. Daugherty gave a report on various campus activities and curriculum sales and projects.

Report of Completion of Board Member Training Requirements for the Past Year: Mr. Sonnenberg listed the Board member record of training and requirements:

For the 2018 calendar year, Board Members beyond their first year of service were required to receive a Tier 2 Team Building session with the entire Board and Superintendent and 5 hours of Tier 3 continuing education. Completing the annual required continuing education is a basic obligation and expectation of any sitting board member under State Board of Education rule.

Following are the training hours received by members of the TSBVI Board:

Mary Alexander: Met the team building training requirement. Received 1.5 of the required 5 hours of continuing education.

Bobby Druesedow: Needed the team building session. Exceeded the required 5 hours of continuing education with 16.5 hours of training.

Michael Garrett: Met the team building training requirement. Received 1 of the required 5 hours of continuing education.

Michael Hanley: Met the team building training requirement. Received 1 of the required 5 hours of continuing education. Needs online contract management training.

Joseph Muniz: Met all training requirements including the team building training requirement and the requirement to complete 5 hours of continuing education with a portion on the duties of the Board President.

Lee Sonnenberg: Met the team building training requirement. Received 2.5 of the required 5 hours of continuing education.

New Board Members are required to receive training on the Public Funds Investment Act within 6 months of taking office, training on open meetings within 90 days of taking the oath of office, and to receive an orientation to Texas Education Code within the first year or 12 months of service. They also must receive team building training annually or every 12 months, complete 10 hours of continuing education within the first year or 12 months of service and complete online training on contract management.

Training hours received by new Board members were:

Dan Brown: Completed Public Funds Investment Act and Open Meetings Act training. Timelines for future training requirements include completing an orientation to Texas Education Code, participating in annual team building and completing 10 hours of continuing education. 8 of these 10 hours have already been completed. Online training on contract management will also need to be completed.

Brenda Lee: Completed Public Funds Investment Act and Open Meetings Act training. Timelines for future training requirements include completing an orientation to Texas Education Code, participating in annual team building and completing 10 hours of continuing education. 8.5 of these 10 hours have already been completed. Online training on contract management will also need to be completed.

Julie Prause: Completed Open Meetings Act training and contract management training. Timelines for future training requirements include viewing the Public Funds Investment Act video, completing an orientation to Texas Education Code, participating in annual team building and completing 10 hours of continuing education. 2.5 of these 10 hours have already been completed.

Discussion of Scheduling Board Training for the Next Year Based on the Framework for School Board Development: Board members agreed on the annual team building training being done January 24, 2018. Training on vision and goals for the organization will be done at the summer board meeting. Training on the updates to the Texas Education Code will be done at the November Board Meeting.

Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics: No topics were brought forth.

Announcements: Mr. Sonnenberg announced that his daughter is having surgery. He added that thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Mr. Druesedow announced that Walgreens gives free access to the AIRA glasses through and app on your phone. He said that that is a great opportunity for those who have not used it to try it out.

Ms. Prause announced that a student who lost his battle to cancer received great love and support from the TSBVI community, as well as his family. Ms. Prause said she felt supported too. She thanked TSBVI for their kindness during this difficult time. Mr. Daugherty stated that he was a great kid and it was an honor to know him.

Mr. Brown expressed his appreciation as a new board member to the administrative staff for all that they do to make documents and electronic files accessible.

Mr. Garrett announced that he attended the Education Action Committee meeting in Outreach and he was extremely impressed with the meeting. He added that Cyral Miller does a great job of keeping everyone on task yet making it a fun, educational, and productive experience.

Discussion of Initiating the Superintendent’s Annual Performance Appraisal for the January Board Meeting: Ms. Mainzer assured the Board that she would ensure that her successor would have instructions to follow to complete the process of initiating the Superintendent’s annual performance appraisal for the January Board meeting.

Mr. Daugherty added that Ms. Mainzer had done an exceptional job at modernizing her department. TSBVI’s directors and managers appreciate her and everyone at TSBVI wishes her the best in the future upon her retirement.

Ms. Mainzer added that she spent 30 years in the private sector and 13 years with the State. One of the things she learned was there are a lot of really good people doing really good work and a lot of times with very little resources. That speaks to their dedication and to their commitment. She added she has seen that over and over at TSBVI. She wished the Board and everyone at TSBVI the best.

Mr. Muniz announced the Board would recess the open session and convene in a closed meeting to discuss agenda item #9 – Discussion of Initiating the Superintendent’s Annual Performance Appraisal for the January Board Meeting in conformance with Texas Government Code Section 551.074 – Personnel Matters.

Mr. Muniz stated that no voting would take place in the closed meeting. Any action the board wished to take as a result of discussions in closed meeting would take place after the board reconvened in the open meeting. It was 12:04 p.m.

Mr. Muniz announced it was 12:45 p.m. and the Board would reconvene in open session.

Mr. Muniz stated that the Board would not be taking action on agenda item number 9 – Initiating the Superintendent’s Annual Performance Appraisal for the January Board Meeting.

Adjournment: Mr. Druesedow made a motion to adjourn the November 16, 2018 Board meeting. Mr. Garrett seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

 BOARD PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING

September 28, 2018

Call to order: 

Brenda Lee called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Programs at 8:02 a.m. on September 28, 2018 in Room 104 of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

Program Committee member Julie Prause was also present.

Program Committee member Lee Sonnenberg was not present.

TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were: 

Susan Morrison, School Counsel; Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Miles Fain, Comprehensive Programs Principal; Emily Coleman, Outreach Director; Susan Hauser, Center for School Resources Director; Valerie Bradshaw, Bilingual ESL and Assessment Coordinator.

Consideration of approval of minutes of the June 1, 2018 meeting:  

Ms. Prause moved that the minutes of the June 1, 2018 meeting be approved and Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of Board Policy FFG Student Welfare: Child Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, and Improper Child Care Practice:  

Ms. Morrison presented policy amendments for consideration. This policy must be reviewed every year. A few amendments are recommended at this time, since there are some legislative updates that require amendments. In addition, there is a change to make clear TSBVI’s higher standard for investigating reports of improper child care, even when the incident does not rise to the level of abuse or neglect. Because this policy is within the jurisdiction of the Program Committee, the Committee must determine by vote whether to recommend approval of amendments to the full Board.

Ms. Prause moved that the policy amendments be accepted. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Introduction of New Outreach Director, Emily Coleman:  

Ms. Coleman was introduced, and she briefly described her background. She has been an Itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired, and she has served as Outreach Director at the Washington School for the Blind. She has a child with a visual impairment. Ms. Coleman and her family moved to Austin in August.

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain

a. Statewide Assessment results

Mr. Fain introduced Valerie Bradshaw, who helped review data on assessment results.

Ms. Bradshaw summarized changes to statewide assessments for the 2017-2018 school year. There were no significant changes to the STAAR and STAAR-ALT2 testing programs. There were changes to the Texas English Language Proficient Assessment System (TELPAS). Tests for English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learners (ELL) are no longer used. Now students are classified as English Learner (EL) or English Proficient (EP). The TELPAS Listening and Speaking assessments were introduced using an online testing program consisting of point-and-click responses. Since this program is not accessible for visually impaired students, TEA allowed districts to continue using Holistic Ratings for listening and speaking for these students. The Reading test is still not accessible. Ms. Bradshaw said that, in order for tests to be made accessible, TEA must give Pearson direction on how to structure the test to make it accessible, so this change must start with TEA. Ms. Bradshaw and teacher Brenda O’Sail have contacted state authorities about this accessibility issue.

Ms. Bradshaw and two Short-Term Programs teachers serve on a TEA accessibility committee. TEA has a stated goal for accessibility. Refreshable braille is new and has been added as an accommodation regularly. Reading, writing, and social studies assessments can now be accessed through a screenreader. TEA discussed accomodations with TSBVI students and arranged for TSBVI students to try out accomodation prototypes in order to improve them. There are online practice methods for students to prepare themselves. Ms. Lee is aware that there has been a shift at TEA to support accessibility, and there is a much more accepting attitude toward accommodations for visually impaired. TEA is allowing dictionary apps, which is helpful for visually impaired students. The test was shortened considerably last year. There are also American Sign Language (ASL) signed videos for the online test, and there are practice apps with that. Spanish testing has been improved as well. TEA is not allowing scientific and graphing calculators through 8th grade, which Ms. Bradhaw plans to look into.

Ms. Bradshaw reviewed the number of TSBVI students participating and the medium used by TSBVI students for the following State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) assessments: STAAR grades 3-8, STAAR ALT2 grades 3-8, STAAR End of Course (EOC) and STAAR ALT2 EOC. TEA allows districts to preview the ALT2 exams for one week prior to the assessment window so teachers and trained staff can create individualized accommodations for students who access information in a manner other than print. TEA also allowed preview of STAAR EOC exams for the purpose of accommodating these tests materials. For the 2018 spring STAAR administration, a standardized braille and tactile graphic supplement was produced by TSBVI braillists for all braille students using Embedded Supports. TSBVI is working with Educational Testing Servies (ETS) to produce this braille supplement at ETS for distribution with standard test materials during the 2019 spring administration.

Testing results are reported using a variety of measures. Ms. Bradshaw reviewed TSBVI results. TSBVI students exceeded the state passing rate for STAAR students in Special Education in several areas. There is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding TSBVI students’ passing rates. TSBVI will not meet the MOU standards for the 2017-2018 year. Mr. Fain said that this is due to the types of students who are currently being referred to TSBVI. TSBVI testing results depend of the specific group of students who are attending each school year. Low passing results are reflective of the students that are being referred to TSBVI, many of whom have not been academically successful in their local districts. The TSBVI student population is very transient, and TSBVI is unable to track individual students over time. The small number of TSBVI students being reported skew testing results very significantly. Ms. Lee suggested going back to the legislature to have the MOU revised, and Mr. Fain acknowledged that this step will likely be necessary . Mr. Fain said that there are no stated consequences to TSBVI for not meeting MOU standards, other than discussion and possible revision of the MOU.

Ms. Merritt mentioned that Short-Term Programs provide support for students in local districts so those students can be successful there.

Ms. Fain said that the elimination of the Modified test dramatically affected statewide assessment results. That test was much more appropriate for certain students, and those students may never be able to pass the test that is required now. We do know that our students are making progress through our use of progress measure. Even students who do not pass academic testing have shown that they are making academic progress.

b. Plan to promote academic excellence

Mr. Fain reviewed the TSBVI Plan to Promote Academic Excellence and Improve Student Performance on the STAAR. This plan is a group effort by Comprehensive Programs staff to create effective strategies. The Superintendent and Board are asked to review and give input to this plan. Mr. Fain described some of the kinds of trainings that staff are able to access (such as at ESC 13 and the University of Texas Dana Center) and the support that students receive. Mr. Fain believes that this plan has helped significantly with student performance and achievement. Ms. Prause mentioned that one student her district referred to TSBVI was surprised that there was not as much focus on statewide testing results. The TSBVI focus on additional learning areas really helped this student.

c. Report on English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Analysis

Ms. Bradshaw provided information regarding the Limited English Proficient (LEP) students (now called English Learners). At the beginning of the 2017-2018 year, there were 10 students identified as LEP and an additional 3 students who had been exited from English as a Second Language (ESL) services but still monitored by the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC). Recently a determination was made that EXIT students no longer need to be assessed using TELPAS. TSBVI had 30 certified ESL teachers by the end of the 2017-2018 school year. All self-contained teachers obtain ESL certification. TSBVI is working on getting all content-area secondary teacher to become ESL certified as well, so that ESL services do not need to be provided on a pull-out basis. There are a number of after-school and cultural opportunities at TSBVI for LEP students. Five students last year had been in the US for fewer than two years, so they were just beginning to learn English. TSBVI provided lots of help to staff so that these students could receive intensive support in learning English. TSBVI also had one student who had had an interpreter before attending TSBVI, so he was also just beginning to learn English. He made good progress in learning English last year, though he still needs support. Ms. Bradshaw reviewed the number of students who exited from ESL last year and the number of TELPAS exemptions. All students improved their rating levels from one year to next if they were not already at the highest rating level.

d. TSBVI Student Performance Indicator results

Mr. Fain reviewed the Performance Indicators (PIs) Report for the 2017-2018 school year. This set of curriculum-based evaluations was created a number of years ago and includes ways to assess students’ progress in all Core Curriculum and Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) areas. Each student receives a pre-test in the fall and a post-test in the spring, so students not present for both tests cannot be included in reported results. There is a Memorandum of Understanding with TEA that sets out requirements for student progress on the PIs. For the 2017-2018 school year, the requirement is 70% of students evaluated by PIs will make at least moderate progress in every area. Mr. Fain observed that it is difficult to ensure that every student make progress in every area. School-wide, 85% of students made moderate to substantial progress in assessed areas. The report includes a specific break-out of scores in various academic and ECC areas. Ms. Prause asked how often the MOU is revised, and Mr. Fain said that changes are not made very often, but it was revised recently based on changes to STAAR testing. Ms. Coleman plans to talk with Debra Sewell to learn more about the PIs. Ms. Bradshaw mentioned that any of the PI evaluations can be used as needed. Each TSBVI student’s evaluations are based on need areas identified by the student’s ARD committee. TSBVI Lead Teachers help classroom teachers determine what PIs should be used for each student. The decision is very individualized.

e. Consideration of membership to the School Health Advisory Council

Mr. Fain briefly described the activities of the School Health Advisory Council and he made a recommendation for members for the Council. Ms. Prause moved that the recommended membership be accepted, and Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

6. Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt

a. 2018 Summer programs

Ms. Merritt gave a report on 2018 summer programs. Ms. Merritt plans to submit information prior to the Board meeting for future meetings instead of waiting to share data at the time of meeting. Ms. Merrit explained the program offerings during Summer of 2018. Ms. Lee shared anecdotal data about participating in Summer programs in the past. Ms. Merritt explained the newer DeafBlind Vocational program and the need for this camp even though attendance is lower than other programs. Summer programs had 24 fewer students than last year due to meeting the budget requirement; attendance totaled 315.

Ms. Merritt stated in 2018, they received 488 applications and they offered 410 students a class at some point, however not all could attend. Students not offered a position may have not met the program criteria and Short-Term Programs also offers space first to students that have not attended in the past. Each ESC, except for Region 9, had at least one student attend the Summer Programs. Ms. Merritt has made efforts to visit ESCs that have had lower student enrollment in the past. Ms. Lee shared difficulty of traveling to Austin for some regions of Texas. In 2018, Summer Programs served 139 districts, which is 9 fewer than last year. Ms. Merritt indicated this may be due to families moving into larger districts in urban settings.

Due to the medical needs of our population, Ms. Merritt indicated it is challenging to make sure the nursing staff and expertise can serve high numbers of students. Ms. Lee shared similar planning concerns with the camp she coordinates in her region. Ms. Merritt discussed the health forms that go home to families and the significant factor of assuring medications are delivered and up-to-date at the beginning of the student attendance. Applications are due in February and the TSBVI Health Center reviews medical paperwork upon receipt. Ms. Merritt and Ms. Lee discussed the unique situation of students arriving with a nurse. Ms. Lee asked for suggestions and paperwork used by TSBVI in the past to coordinate a nurse attending with a student.

Ms. Merritt shared that a significant reduction in summer programs may happen in 2019 due to budget constraints. Discussion indicated the hope is that this is a one-time reduction. Ms. Merritt shared that programs funded by TWC will likely be continued. Ms. Lee suggested reviewing programs to see if TWC will fund other events, and Ms. Merritt stated she has pursued this option and will continue to do so. Ms. Lee offered her assistance to draft information for TWC consideration.

7. Adjournment

Ms. Prause made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Ms. Lee adjourned the meeting at 9:45 a.m.

TSBVI BOARD COMMITTEE MEETING

AUDIT, COMPLIANCE, AND MANAGEMENT REVIEW

June 1, 2018

Call to Order:  

Joseph Muniz called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Audit, Compliance, and Management Review at 7:50 a.m. on June 1, 2018 in Room 104 of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas.  Board member Mary Alexander was also present. TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were Kate Mainzer, Human Resources Director, Kemp Long, Director of Internal Audit, Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation, and Susan Morrison, General Counsel.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of the April 5, 2018 Meeting:  

Mary Alexander moved to approve the minutes of the April 5, 2018 Committee meeting and Joseph Muniz seconded the motion.  All board members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of Approval of Board Policies BBA, BBBD, BBC, BBE, BED, BG, BJA, GBA and GBAA: 

Susan Morrison reviewed proposed changes to Board policies.  Policy BBA is updated to more specifically address eligibility for Governor appointed members.  The Legislature added blanket ineligibility language for a person to serve on the Board if the person has been convicted of prostitution. 

Policy BBBD on electioneering is a new policy that addresses board ethics issues including a limitation on using public funds for political advertising.

Language in Policy BBC was amended to clarify that only the Governor may appoint a board member replacement to serve temporarily if an appointed board member will be on active military duty for longer than 30 days.

New language was added to Policy BBE as per Senate Bill 1566 to clarify when TSBVI must provide requested information, documents or records to a board member.  The policy also requires that the information provided must be confidentially maintained by the Board member as required by privacy laws including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Also added is language requiring TSBVI to create a policy on visits to the School by a member of the Board.

Policy BED addresses public participation in board meetings.  Language was added stating:  “The Board may confine its meetings to specified subject matter and may hold nonpublic sessions to transact business.”  Ms. Morrison recommended that this language be struck and board members vocalized their support.

New policy BG states that the commissioner of education shall develop a board improvement and evaluation tool and the Board may determine whether to use the self-evaluation tool.  Ms. Morrison said it is intended that the Board self-evaluate annually.  Mr. Muniz responded that he preferred that a time frame not be specified and the evaluation be conducted as needed to maintain flexibility.

Policy BJA added new language regarding the responsibilities of the Superintendent.

Policy GBA contains many changes related to access to public information including changes from Senate Bill 7 that clarify confidential teacher and administrator evaluations are not subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act.  Senate Bill 532 and House Bill 1861 add to security information that is confidential to address information directly arising from the Board’s routine efforts to prevent, detect, investigate or mitigate a computer security incident, including information obtained in an information security log.  The policy includes language regarding how an employee or board member may choose to restrict public access to personal information including a person’s home address, home telephone number, emergency contact information, or social security number, or any other information that reveals whether the person has family members.  Mary Alexander questioned whether “home telephone number” included personal cell phone numbers.  Ms. Morrison said that she will strike the word “home” and add an “s” after “numbers” to clarify that this includes a person’s home, cell and work numbers.

Policy GBAA included many amendments and addressed the process followed for public information requests.  Two typos were noted that need to be corrected.

Mrs. Alexander moved to accept the policies as presented with corrections as noted in the meeting.  Mr. Muniz seconded the motion and all board members were in favor of the motion.  Mr. Muniz thanked Ms. Morrison for her work on the policies. 

Report from the Internal Auditor - Consideration of Approval of Internal Audit Plan:  

Kemp Long stated that internal auditors are required to use a process of risk assessment to develop the Internal Audit Plan.  A risk factor approach or an enterprise risk model approach may be used.  Mr. Long explained how the Internal Auditor facilitates with administration the accomplishment of the strategic plan and operations in general.  For the risk assessment, both impact and probability of an event are rated as high, medium or low.  High means the impact or probability would be catastrophic or severe, low means negligible or no impact and medium is everything in between.  After the risk footprint is developed, the audit history is used to develop the Internal Audit Plan for each fiscal year.

Mr. Long explained that management develops their own control steps to identify how they mitigate risks.  It is a joint assurance between management and the Internal Auditor that risks have been identified and controlled or changes will be made.

Mr. Long reviewed his proposed audits for FY 2019:  (1) the Cybersecurity Audit would address confidentiality of information and records and (2) the Grants Management Audit would cover grants management compliance, monitoring and reporting controls.  Both of these audits would spread across several areas of the campus.  The third audit that was recommended would cover deployment by Human Resources and Payroll of the CAPPS system.  It would be a review and consulting engagement to assist with the deployment of the system and design of internal controls.

Mr. Kemp reviewed his time estimates for completing his internal audit activities.  He added that one area that should be addressed but would be difficult to audit is hiring of qualified personnel.  There are environmental factors such as the School being in Austin and its increased cost of living that have an impact.

Mrs. Alexander asked that, for the next year, Mr. Long become more family with the campus and how it serves 10,000 students across the state.  She added that she would like to see an audit addressing student risks.  Mr. Kemp responded that audits have already been completed in areas such as transportation, the Health Center, as well as the abuse/neglect audit but added that he could shift his audit time from the consulting role.

Mr. Muniz asked, considering the Legislature has provided funds for consulting time regarding CAPPS, if some time was shifted to focus on students, what would that be?

Mr. Long replied that he would suggest a transportation audit as high risk considering the long distances that School vehicles travel for Weekends Home.  He added that he thought it important for the Internal Auditor to be involved at the front end of the CAPPS implementation due to a risk of failure.

Mary Alexander moved to accept the Internal Audit Plan for FY 2019 and Joseph Muniz seconded the motion.  All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Adjournment:  

Mary Alexander moved to adjourn the meeting and Joseph Muniz seconded the motion.  All Board members were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:53 a.m.

NOTICE OF MEETING

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
AUDIT, COMPLIANCE, AND MANAGEMENT REVIEW COMMITTEE
TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on June 1, 2018, beginning at 7:45 a.m. in Room 102 of the Main Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meeting, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee shall convene in such closed session in accordance with Texas Government code, Sec. 551.071, .072, .073, .074, .076, .082, .0821, .083, 084, or .089. Before any such session is convened, the presiding officer shall publicly identify the section or sections of the Code authorizing the closed session. All final votes, actions, or decisions shall be taken in open session.

The subjects to be discussed or considered, or upon which any formal action may be taken are as follows (items do not have to be taken in the same order as shown on this meeting notice):

1. Call to Order

2. Consideration of Approval of Minutes of the April 5, 2018 Meeting

3. Consideration of approval of board policies: pages

BBA (TSBVI) Board Members: Appointments/Qualifications (amend)
BBBD (TSBVI) Electioneering (adopt)
BBC Board Members: Vacancies (amend)
BBE Board Members: Authority (amend)
BED (TSBVI) Board Meetings: Public Participation (amend)
BG Board Self-Evaluation (adopt)
BJA (TSBVI) Superintendent: Qualifications and Duties (amend)
GBA Public Information Program: Access to Public Information (amend)
GBAA Information Access: Requests for Information (amend)

4. Report from the Internal Auditor (Kemp Long)

a. Consideration of approval of Internal Audit Plan

5. Adjournment

NOTICE OF MEETING - BOARD OF TRUSTEES

FINANCE COMMITTEE

TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on June 1, 2018, beginning at 8:00 a.m. in Room 102 of Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meeting, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Finance Committee of the Board shall convene in such closed session in accordance with Texas Government Code, Sec. 551.001, et. seq. Before any such session is convened, the presiding officer shall publicly identify the section or sections of the Code authorizing the closed session. All final votes, actions, or decisions shall be taken in open session.

The subject to be discussed, or considered, or upon which any formal action may be taken are as follows (items do not have to be taken in the same order as shown on this meeting notice):

 

Finance Agenda:

1. Oath of Office for reappointed Board member Michael Hanley

2. Consideration of approval of minutes of April 6, 2018 (Michael Garrett)

3. Consideration of approval of board policies:

CDC (TSBVI) Other Revenues: Gifts and Solicitations (amend)

CE (TSBVI) Annual Operating Budget (amend)

CFA Accounting: Financial Reports and Statements (amend)

CHB (TSBVI) Purchasing and Acquisition: Petty Cash Accounts (amend)

CKA Safety Program/Risk Management: Inspections (amend)

CPAB Office Communications: Mail and Delivery (amend)

CRF (TSBVI) Insurance and Annuities Management: Unemployment Insurance Policy (amend)

DED (TSBVI) Holidays (amend)

DHB Employee Standards of Conduct: Report to State Board of Educator Certification (adopt)

DHF (TSBVI) Employee Standards of Conduct: Fraudulent Action Against TSBVI (amend)

DI (TSBVI) Employee Welfare (amend)

DIA (TSBVI) Employee Welfare: Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (amend)

DMBA (TSBVI) Special Programs Training: Training Related to Visual Impairment (amend)

GKC Community Relations: Visitors to the School (amend)

4. Report on Nolan County Farms (Pamela Darden)

5. Consideration of approval of Investment Report (Pamela Darden)

6. Review Donations Report (Pamela Darden)

7. Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500 (Pamela Darden)

8. Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations (Pamela Darden) 

9. Review of Budget Reports (Pamela Darden)

10. Report from Chief Financial Officer (Pamela Darden)

11. Report from Information Resources Director (Dan Hampton)

12. Report from School Support Services Director (Brian McDonald)

 

NOTICE OF MEETING

BOARD OF TRUSTEES COMMITTEE ON PROGRAMS
TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Program Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on June 1, 2018, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Room 104 of the Main Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meeting, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Committee on Programs shall convene in such closed session in accordance with Texas Government Code, Sec. 551.071, .072, .073, .074, .076, .082, .0821, .083, 084, or .089. Before any such session is convened, the presiding officer shall publicly identify the section or sections of the Code authorizing the closed session. All final votes, actions, or decisions shall be taken in open session.

The subjects to be discussed or considered, or upon which any formal action may be taken are as follows (items do not have to be taken in the same order as shown on this meeting notice):

 

1. Call to Order

2. Oath of Office for Newly Appointed Board Members

3. Consideration of Approval of Minutes of the April 6, 2018 Meeting

4. Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt

a. Short-term Program attendance

5. Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain

a. School Health Advisory Council’s activities and recommendations
b. Consideration of approval of “Unhushed” sexual education curriculum
c. Consideration of approval of recommendations of the Instructional Materials Committee

6. Report from Outreach Director, Cyral Miller

a. Update from Outreach

7. Adjournment

 

 

BOARD PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING

 June 1, 2018

Call to order:  Joseph Muniz called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Programs at 8:56 a.m. on June 1, 2018 in Room 104 of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas. 

Board Member Mary Alexander was present.

Program Committee member Lee Sonnenberg was not present.

Newly appointment board members attending the meeting were:  Dan Brown, Julie Prause, Brenda Lee.

TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were: Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Miles Fain, Comprehensive Programs Principal; Cyral Miller, Outreach Director; Susan Hauser, Center for School Resources Director; Shelly Allen, Residential Director; Debra Sewell, Curriculum Director; Cyrenna Villegas, Procurement Director and Notary.

Other attendees:  Newly appointed board member Dan Brown’s family: Liz Brown (wife), Sarah Lujan (daughter).

Oaths of Office for newly appointed board members:  Mr. Muniz administered the Oath of Office to three newly appointed Board members: Dan Brown, Julie Prause, and Brenda Lee.  Cyrenna Villegas notarized the oaths that they signed.

Mr. Muniz requested that a photographer be available at the Board meeting to take a publicity photo of the new board members. 

 

Consideration of approval of minutes of the April 6, 2018 meeting:  Mr. Muniz explained that the members of the program committee who were present April 6 are not present today.  Mr. Muniz moved that the minutes of the April 6, 2018 meeting be approved and Ms. Alexander seconded the motion.  Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt:  Ms. Merritt gave a report on Short-Term Programs (STP) attendance, including written reports.  This is the first year that a student from every region in Texas attended Short-Term Programs.  STP has made extra efforts to connect with students, families, and local district staff in regions that have had lower STP attendance, in order to encourage more students from those regions to attend STPs.  Tours have been provided so families and students can see Austin and the campus.  Ms. Merritt said that consideration was given to offering a local STP class in other regions, but it was determined that this still would not be convenient enough for students in the region to attend.

Distance learning programs have helped increase the number of students who were served by STP.  These programs have allowed students to get help quickly for specific problems and questions.  Also, local students’ Teachers of the Visually Impaired have been able to participate with their students.  The Texas legislature funded a distance learning staff position, which has really made a difference in STP’s ability to deliver distance learning programs.  Mr. Brown asked if distance learning class offerings will be expanded.  Ms. Merritt said that TVIs in the state are being surveyed in order to identify needs, and technology has been the identified need up to this point.  She has a goal of teaching a class for credit, but there are logistical issues to be overcome.  Mr. Muniz said that the board would be very interested in STP offering a distance credit class. 

The STP attendance numbers increased significantly this year.  Ms. Merritt reported both duplicated and unduplicated attendance counts.  Duplicated count is the total number of student attendees at all programs (each time a student attended any program is counted, even if a student attended multiple programs).  For 2017-2018, the duplicated count is 312 attendances.  Unduplicated count is the number of different students who attended Short-Term Programs (each individual student is counted only once, regardless of how many programs the student attended during the year).  For 2017-2018, the unduplicated count was 170 students.  The counts combine both distance learning programs and on-campus classes.

Ms. Merritt briefly reviewed details of attendance by program.  Weekend classes and classes with fun themes (such as “Iron Chef” and “In the Driver’s Seat”) were better attended than more academic classes.  Short-Term Program collaborated with Outreach to present five separate programs this year.  STP provides transportation for students during the school year, but they do not provide transportation for summer programs.  Ms. Lee mentioned her experience that students can be encouraged to attend STP through interactions with Outreach staff and by attending fun programs first. 

Ms. Merritt described summer programs that will be happening this summer.  There are several one-week programs that allow students and families who haven’t attended before to come for a shorter time to see how it goes. 

 

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain:  Mr. Fain gave a report on the School Health Advisory Council’s activities and recommendations.  He introduced Shelly Allen, who is Chairperson of the School Health Advisory Council.  Mr. Fain introduced Debra Sewell, Curriculum Director, who is also a member of the council.  The only other staff who is a council member is Elina Muller, PE teacher.  The rest of the council members are parents, since parents are required to be the majority of the members.  All schools are required to have a School Health Advisory Council, primarily to get input from parents, staff and students to promote student health.

Ms. Allen discussed the council’s activities.  All items on this year’s Action Plan were accomplished.  A challenge for council meetings is the distance of parents from the school.  There are five parent members of the council, who represent a cross-section of parents from across the state.   Council meetings take place through conference call. There are six meetings per year, and usually only about two parents are able to attend each meeting.    The council provides newletters and other information to parents.  There is a Health and Wellness Fair during Parent Weekend.  The committee collects data on student health, such as student heights and weights at the beginning and end of the school year. 

TSBVI has only limited ability to affect students’ diet and fitness while students are on campus.  Students return home frequently, and diet and exercise at home might be very different than on campus.  Students are free to have food delivered to campus and they may choose less healthy options.  Food deliveries are made to the front of the campus, where TSBVI security staff can meet them.

On campus, TSBVI doesn’t provide or sell unhealthy food for students for snacks or in vending machines.  The school has increased the quality and variety of food provided to students on weekends.  Cheryl Austin, Residential Teacher, has helped create a healthy menu for students and residential staff to cook on weekends.  The cafeteria is not open on weekends, but the new menu includes fresher ingredients and more healthy choices.  During the week, the evening meal in the cafeteria is not a reimbursable meal, as lunch meals are.  In the past, many students have not enjoyed the evening meal provided in the cafeteria and instead have chosen to order food from off campus.  This year, a salad bar is provided in the cafeteria for the evening meal, which many students enjoy and therefore choose to eat on campus.  Evening residential staff are also able to buy salad bar at a low cost, which helps the physical and mental health of staff, as well as students. The health of staff is also supported by things such as staff being able to use campus recreational facilities (such as pool, track, and gym) and to participate with their students in classes such as yoga. 

Yanni Crespo, Health Center Director, plans for nurses to be more involved in student education for health topics next year, both during the school day and during dorm time.  Ms. Crespo already does training for staff to be med sponsors and diabetes training for staff and students.  Ms. Crespo supports students in learning self-medication, which is excellent life training for students.

Consideration of approval of “UnHushed” sexual education curriculum:  Ms. Sewell discussed sexuality education for TSBVI students.  This curriculum topic is important, but it is sometimes difficult for staff to deliver and for students to receive.  For middle school and high school students, sexuality education takes place during health classes, during EXIT classes, and in small groups outside scheduled class times.  The campus currently uses parts of the FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) curriculum and  the PAPA curriculum (a TEA parenting curriculum).  The new UnHushed curriculum will also be used if approved.  Ms. Sewell briefly reviewed topics covered in the UnHushed curriculum.  Emphasis during TSBVI sexual education instruction is on students knowing how to be safe, how to make wise decisions,  and how to protect themselves when dating, as well as learning about healthy relationships and knowing who to talk with about issues and questions.  State law requires that abstinence be emphasized in the curriculum.  Curriculum guidelines recommend or require that a counselor be present when sexual education is taught.  In Comprehensive Programs, a TSBVI counselor either leads sessions or attend sessions led by teachers.  In the future in Short-Term Programs, counselors will also be included when sexuality education takes place.  When issues come up during sexual education sessions that counselors must address with students, the counselor reports important issues to the Principal and/or notifies the student’s assigned counselor.  Sometimes things come out that staff must report as possible abuse or neglect to authorities, according to TSBVI policy and procedure.

Ms. Alexander moved to approve the UnHushed curriculum.  Ms. Lee seconded the motion.  Committee members were in favor of the motion.

 

Consideration of approval of recommendation of the Instructional Materials Committee:  Mr. Fain reported that no new instructional materials were adopted by the State Board of Education for the 2018-2019 school year, so no new instructional materials need to be adopted by TSBVI.  TSBVI plans to continue using instructional materials adopted by the board in April 2017. 

 

Report from Outreach Director, Cyral Miller:  Ms. Miller gave an update from Outreach.  There are lots of changes in Outreach coming up.  There are several Outreach teachers retiring.  Also, Ms. Miller is stepping down from the Outreach Director position, and interviews to hire a new Outreach Director are taking place now.  Ms. Miller will continue part time to support the new director and to help with projects. 

Ms. Miller reported that everything Outreach does has online and in-person elements.  New online modules, such as those for reading and literacy, are being developed and posted continually.  Other areas that have both online and in-person elements include active learning, low vision, teacher of the deafblind.  New staff who are being hired to replace retiring staff will create new modules and trainings.  The Foundations of Visual Impairment modules are being posted.  Online offerings are available both in Texas and across the country.  These are all national resources.  Outreach frequently collaborates with service centers and other campus programs to create modules and to sponsor conferences.  Ms. Miller mentioned that low salaries for Outreach staff are obstacles to hiring the best new people. 

Adjournment:  Ms. Prause made a motion to adjourn.  Ms. Lee seconded the motion.  Mr. Muniz adjourned the meeting at 10:01 a.m.

TSBVI BOARD COMMITTEE MEETING

AUDIT, COMPLIANCE, AND MANAGEMENT REVIEW

April 5, 2018

Call to Order:

Mr. Muniz called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Audit, Compliance, and Management Review at 2:02 p.m. on April 5, 2018 in the Boardroom of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas.  Board members Anne Corn, Caroline Daley, Lee Sonnenberg, and Michael Garrett were present. Mary Alexander was not present. TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were Bill Daugherty, TSBVI Superintendent, Pam Darden, Chief Financial Officer, Kate Mainzer, Human Resources Director, Kemp Long, Director of Internal Audits, Jaye Stepp, Internal Auditor, Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation, and Susan Morrison, General Counsel.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of the January 26, 2018 Meeting:

Michael Garrett moved to approve the minutes of January 26, 2018 meeting and Lee Sonnenberg seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of Approval of Board Policies BAA, BBC, BBD, BBG, BE, BEC, DBA, DBAA, DC, DEC and DHG:  

Joseph Muniz moved on to agenda item Consideration of Approval of Board Policies.  He commended Mr. Daugherty on his staff’s efforts to catch up on Policies.  Mr. Muniz stated he was impressed and pleased with the output of Board policies.  He added that the Board made them a priority and Mr. Daugherty and his staff have responded to the Board’s request. Mr. Muniz added the output and quality of work is appreciated.

 Susan Morrison reviewed changes to proposed Board policies.

Policy BAA is updated to clarify TSBVI's role as a state agency. When we get the model policies from TASB, they are always focused on local independent school districts and so to a certain extent all policies are localized. The more we change them, the more likely it will have “TSBVI” in parenthesis after the code letters. If you see TSBVI after the regular TASB letters that means, it's been modified quite a bit.

Mr. Muniz, asked if all policies are to be amended. Ms. Morrison stated that they are all amended proposed policies. Mr. Muniz stated that they will handle them as a single motion at the end of the presentation.  

Policy BBC is amended to allow temporary appointment by the Board of a board member in the case a board member is called to active duty. 

Mr. Muniz stated he has a question in dealing with the vacancy of a board member who is recalled to active duty. Is it the intent of the policy that this board itself can appoint a temporary placement or does that go through the Governor's office?

Ms. Morrison stated that TASB’s recommended policy states that the Board may temporarily appoint so, in this case it's an exception constitutionally by amendment, that allows an exception to the governor. 

Policy BBD has been localized. It reflects the two hours of training on board responsibility and the Public Information Act within 90 days of taking the oath of office. New trustees must complete at least 3 hours of training within 120 days of appointment by the governor. The legislature has made a requirement of posting any trustees failure to get training on the internet of the TSBVI website within 10 business days of the meeting in which the trustee becomes deficient. 

Mr. Muniz stated he will interpret that to mean, members are deficient the date the board president reads the status of the board members training for that year. 

The statute gives certain days with deadlines to get that done. Mr. Muniz asked for clarity on at what point does a board member become deficient. Ms. Morrison stated it is technically after the expiration of either the 90 days or the 120 days then the posting requirement kicks in when the Board is together to make the decision to post.

Policy BBG addresses Board members being allowed to participate in the contract for travel services that the comptroller provides which gives discounts because it is a statewide provision.

Policy BE adds language that addresses an option for an online message board for postings by members.

Ms. Corn stated that she interpreted it differently. She asked whether or not that provides an approval of discussion among Board members. Ms. Morrison stated that an online message board is a very distinct posting of items of public interest where board members as a citizen can express their first amendment free speech rights. Their free speech rights then are known generally to the public even if it’s a discussion going back and forth from trustees. It's allowed by the Government Code so it is not a violation of having a meeting but there are restrictions. The dangers of even having an online message board is that if you start doing business that way, you cross the line and you can get into trouble. Ms. Morrison stated that is why she is not recommending this addition to the policy. Michael Garrett adds that he is following her recommendation to air on the side of caution. Ms. Morrison stated that additionally we would have to adopt another policy that goes into the details about this, which is a policy labeled by TASB as BBI (legal). There would be two steps involved in this.

Mr. Muniz stated that he agrees with Michael Garrett and said to the members he will recommend to the Board that they take out that optional portion from this policy in the final version that the Board will adopt tomorrow. Lee Sonnenberg agreed. Michael Garrett agreed. 

Ms. Morrison stated video conference calling is also included in policy BE. If someone is stuck in their hometown due to natural disaster or family situations there are ways to include them, it is very technical.

Mr. Muniz asked the Superintendent if the school is able to support such call ins. Bill Daugherty, stated that it is something we have to explore and for them to be accessible they have to meet certain requirements. Ms. Morrison stated that the reason it is included is for you to have notice that it is available and so you could just adopt it as amended and then not use it, until its capability grows.

Policy BEC adds language to allow all the exceptions for holding a closed meeting.

Policy DBA adds language to the employment policy to address emergency permits as well as pre-employment inquiries of bus drivers. Also disqualification of bus drivers if they have been revoked, suspended or withdrawn from their license. These were subject to revisions made to Texas Administrative Code about teacher credentials. Effective this school year, emergency permits are limited one year within limited exceptions for teachers who have students with visual impairments.

Mr. Muniz asked Mr. Daugherty how this will affect practices that TSBVI has. Mr. Daugherty stated that it will not have any impact on TSBVI.

Mr. Muniz asked if those were the significant changes. Ms. Morrison answers that those were the highlights.

Policy DBAA covers new rules from the Texas Administrative Code for criminal history checks. The FBI subscription service requires the DPS to issue rules clarifying the process for obtaining a criminal history, the access to the FACT clearing house is very restricted. They don't want a whole lot of people from the same agency or school to have access.

Mr. Muniz asked who in this organization is authorized to access the database. Ms. Morrison stated that Kate Mainzer is. Ms. Mainzer summarized that she and Amanda Anguiano, Employment Specialist, do. The information comes back to them, from the FBI fingerprint background checks. Kate stated that there is very specific training required for anyone to have access. There is also a separate training required for anyone to complete before, addressing questions they might have about a background check. She added they have taken that training. Ms. Mainzer stated that it would not be legal for her to discuss any of that information with anyone who has not had that training and been approved.

Ms. Morrison stated that there is a specific statement that is localized to TSBVI, that it is not the policy or practice of the School to consider credit reports for employment purposes. We have the right to do that but as a policy matter. Previous boards have determined that it is not necessary for the types of employment that we have.

Mr. Muniz asked if it is still the administrations’ recommendation that they keep that practice.

Susan Morrison and Bill Daugherty answered that it is. Mr. Garrett asked if this also applies to employees who have access to funds. Ms. Morrison answered she believed it does. There's an assumption made that when someone has a bad credit report, that they will steal money. She added that she believed that has been disproven with some kind of evidentiary study. It is allowed by employers but it is not done here. Ms. Morrison asked Pam Darden's input. Ms. Darden stated that is the assumption and we have internal controls in place to control those situations. Mr. Muniz asked that if this happened during his administration, when was the change made? Mr. Daugherty stated that he doesn't know that this happened during his time here. Ms. Morrison stated that it is a 50-year change. She stated that there are all kinds of rationales on using credit history because of impact on minorities, just of assumptions that don't turn out to be truthful. 

Policy DC includes the new pre-employment affidavit requirements to provide additional safety to avoid hiring anyone who has been charged with or convicted of inappropriate conduct with a minor. There are penalties for administrators who try to assist the hiring of such people. They can get in trouble with State Board of Educators Certification. State and federal law prohibit educators from assisting such individuals to be hired at schools. Ms. Morrison stated there was a question in the last committee meeting, about where did the discharge of convicted employees paragraph go. That is now in DBAA which is the previous policy. She added she noticed when she was reading the minutes, under employment of other professionals there was some question about where school nurses fell, whether they are contract employees like the Education Code says or whether a school nurse is “other professionals”. Ms. Morrison suggested adding language that school nurses are state employees, unless otherwise designated under the state of TX classification system. That would clarify any confusion that either an employee or applicant might have. 

Mr. Muniz added that they would fall under the general at will employee, under Bill's supervision.

For Policy DEC, the major change being focused on emergency leave is it is updated to reflect the restrictions of its designation so, that only returning employees are qualified for approval.

Ms. Corn asked how this applies when someone is on the road or for evening meetings. Ms. Morrison added for salaried employees it does not matter, they either earn comp time or include that travel as work time. Mr. Daugherty added that TSBVI does not send hourly employees on trips. He clarified that they do send residential instructors on athletic trips so, in that case, hourly employees do travel. They are not paid around the clock; there are duty free times. Ms. Morrison clarified that the travel time is paid. Ms. Mainzer added that staff is compensated while sleeping in some cases if they are required to be available for a student that might need something. It is the equivalent of being on call so they are expected to be available if the student has a need that has to be attended to. Mr. Daugherty added they will use that comp time during the summer and on vacation times to keep themselves in pay status. That's primarily where that comes into play with teaching assistants and residential instructors.

Also amended in the policy was a statement that two employees who are married to each other have a cap on the FMLA time.

Policy DHG adds language from the Government Code provision for property inventory reports made by the comptroller.

Mr. Muniz obtained a motion to recommend that the Board approve policies; BE, DC, DEC, and DHG with changes recommended at this committee meeting. Michael Garrett moved the motion and Lee Sonnenberg seconded the motion. All other Board members were in favor of the motion.

Mr. Muniz brought forth policies; BAA, BBC, BBD, BBG, BEC, DBA, and DBAA. He stated that he will obtain a motion and recommend that the Board amend them as presented in the Board packet. Lee Sonnenberg motioned, Michael Garrett seconded. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of Adopting Language in Policy BBFA Requiring Board Members to File Financial Statements with the Board:

Ms. Morrison stated that when we received the TASB update 109 for BBFA Legal Ethics, dealing with conflict of interest disclosures, it included an option of the Board to pass a resolution making it a little more burdensome to file not only with the Texas Ethics Commission your financial statements but to also file them with the Board. In order to have that option you have to adopt a resolution and this policy is going to come to you for the June board meeting to consider the version you want to adopt. She stated that she wanted to give the Board a heads up to the fact that it was coming and give the Board an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of this additional filing, which would be with the Superintendent's office. It would be kept confidential and will be available through the Texas Ethics Commission. However, at this time they are not posted publicly on the website. The Texas Ethics Commission does have the option of doing that in the future, right now they are not. Ms. Morrison stated that she is not recommending that the Board pass a resolution.

Mr. Muniz, Anne Corn, and Michael Garrett agreed with Ms. Morrison.

Lee Sonnenberg moved that the Board not require board members to file their financial statements with TSBVI. Michael Garrett seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Report from the Internal Auditor - Consideration of Approval of Ethics Evaluation Report:

Jaye Stepp introduced the report on Ethics Evaluation. It is not based on the risk based way that we pick our audits. This one is required by internal auditing standards and because we have had a recommendation in prior reviews to do an Ethics Evaluation we came up with this survey. We did surveys of all staff to try to get a feeling for if they felt comfortable in ethics and how to report things in management, leadership, and their exhibiting ethical standards and processes. What we found out is if you do a search on the School’s Intranet for ethics, you really didn't get anything. One of the recommendations is that there be higher visibility on the intranet for people to find ethics, at least the policies. Another is that we train upon employment in ethics but don't go anywhere from there. This is not an audit recommendation that we will be following. This is more of a maturity model that this Ethics Evaluation is on. We want to move from one level to the next level. These ideas are just opportunities for improvement including improving visibility on the Intranet, expanding the ethics training for staff and delegating an Ethics Officer for the school so you have somebody designated so all the staff will know. It will help to have an officer designated. Attachment A goes through maturity models that the whole evaluation is based on. There were six attributes that were looked at, the code of ethics, the culture and consistency, awareness, structure and accountability, process automation and integration, and goals and metrics. Ms. Stepp added she thought we would classify as level two on most things. After going through the process, the school achieved a level three on everything except the goals and metrics. Ms. Stepp added we can work to improve to get to the next level on everything. What other agencies have done is appoint a few people to monitor this and try to move things forward into the next level.  Ms. Stepp added that level three means there are policies and procedures in place. Although staff have had blended training, they seem based on the survey to understand who to go to. There are always in these kinds of surveys a couple of disgruntled employees who didn't think anything was good. Generally, ninety percent of people do understand and do feel like they are getting an adequate training and know what to do in these events.

Mr. Muniz added a suggestion for a designated Ethics Officer. Mr. Daugherty stated he has not thought about that point and adds it certainly will not be difficult to do.

Mr. Muniz moved to obtain a motion to approve the Ethics Evaluation Report. Michael Garrett moved to approve the Ethics Evaluation Report. Lee Sonnenberg seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion

Audit Recommendations Tracking Schedule:

Ms. Stepp stated that there has been significant progress on the Audit Recommendations Tracking Schedule. There are 12 open audit recommendations at this time. Dan Hampton, Information Resources Director has asked that two of the policy recommendation stay on there to allow more time to go over them. The due dates have now been reset to give time for review. The Information System Security Policies and Procedures also still needs to be reviewed and will be worked by the end of this fiscal year.

Mr. Muniz asked how far the recommendation for that policy goes?

Ms. Stepp stated that it is from last year. It was under Mike Wolszon, former TSBVI Information Resources Director, but since Dan Hampton is here and he's new, we're giving him a little more space. This is the same case in the Health Center. Jaye Stepp added that she has gone over the recommendations with Yanni Crespo, Health Center Director, however, she is new and has spent the first six months getting settled in. She is now ready to look at these and take these on. Completion due dates have been reset to allow more time to go over the recommendations. The procedures that have been written for the Business Office still have a short way before they are ready to post on the internet. Security Procedures Manual Development is set to be done in September along with Emergency Operations Planning Team. That is a summary of open recommendations. The completed recommendations are, Abuse and Neglect reporting, Staff Development tracking system in bridge, PFIA training hours, Contract management, TACT 202 information systems risk assessment, and Information system security report completed by Ray Solanik for property management, the automating inventory barcode system they were looking at is not compatible with state systems so, they are not implementing that. The Business Office does have desk procedures completed as well as the recommendation about optimizing MIP usage. They are using all the modules that they can that is cost effective for them (EREQ and bank reconciliation, payroll departmental procedures, transportation database, and SAO performance measures).

Discussion of Required TSBVI Website Postings:

Mr. Muniz addressed the Board and stated that he requested this to be posted on the Audit Committee. During the Personnel Committee’s interview process for the internal auditor position it was noted by the candidate, Mr. Kemp Long, that there were missing required postings.

Mr. Daugherty stated after the review of state agency required website postings, the Internal Audit Plan and one other document was not posted. He added that the following steps will be taken to ensure it no longer happens; that we keep a comprehensive inventory of required website postings and assess how we will make sure that things always get posted.

Ms. Morrison added that at the March 6, 2018 board meeting, the Committee would be looking at policy CQA, a localized policy on websites and the required postings that apply to all schools. In addition to that policy, she and Susan Houghtling will be recommending an amendment, by adding the State Agency Required website postings list 1 through 13 on Policy CQA.

Mr. Muniz asked if we are now in compliance with required postings. Mr. Daugherty answered “yes”.

Mr. Daugherty stated that it should not occur again unless in pure human error and there will be checks and balances in place so that it does not happen again. Mr. Muniz added that steps should be simplified to assure documents be accessible to anyone. Mr. Daugherty stated, that there are complex documents that may pose some difficulty in making accessible. Ms. Morrison added that, anytime a document has a chart with data, it becomes harder to make accessible. The exception is that some of the required time sensitive web postings, have some small accessibility issues that will get worked out after we have met the time required posting deadline. Michael Garrett added it would help to give an explanation of what the chart represents. 

Discussion of Campus Security:

Mr. Muniz stated the Board will now recess this open session and convene in a closed meeting to discuss the following agenda item: Discussion of Campus Security in conformance with Texas Government Code Section 551.076 – Deliberation Regarding Security Devices or Security Audits.

No voting will take place in the closed meeting. Any action the Board wishes to take as a result of discussion in closed meeting will take place after the Board reconvened in the open meeting. It is now 3:29 p.m.

Mr. Muniz stated at 4:46 p.m. the Board will now convene in open session. No action was taken on agenda item Campus Security.

Adjournment:

Michael Garrett moved to adjourn the meeting Caroline Daley seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 4:46 p.m.

 

BOARD PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING

 April 6, 2018

Call to order:  

Lee Sonnenberg called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Programs at 8:04 a.m. on April 6, 2018 in Room 104 of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas. 

Program Committee members Dr. Anne Corn and Caroline Daley were also present.

TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were: Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Miles Fain, Comprehensive Programs Principal; Cyral Miller, Outreach Director; Susan Hauser, Center for School Resources Director; Valerie Perwein, Special Education Coordinator; Courtney Wilson, LSSP; Michael Clinkscales, Social Worker

Consideration of approval of minutes of the January 26, 2018 meeting:  

Ms. Daley moved that the minutes of the January 26, 2018 meeting be approved and Dr. Corn seconded the motion.  Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of deletion of Policy FP: Student Fees, Fines and Charges:  

Dr. Corn moved to approve the deletion of the policy and Ms. Daley seconded the motion.  Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Consideration of approval of the school’s calendar for 2018-2019:  

Mr. Fain described the proposed 2018-2019 school calendar.  It is similar to last year’s calendar.  It is aligned with AISD calendar as much as possible, with a few differences, for example, the AISD winter break is shorter than the TSBVI winter break.  Ms. Daley asked how students attending AISD schools handle missed school days if TSBVI is on break when AISD is not.  Mr. Fain said that Haley Moberg, TSBVI teacher, works with AISD teachers to arrange for students to complete their work and exams. Next year, the AISD and TSBVI spring break will not align with South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, which might create problems with traffic, airline travel and other issues.  Mr. Fain mentioned that next year, AISD will require TSBVI to pay for students to attend AISD. 

Dr. Corn moved to approve the school calendar and Ms. Daley seconded the motion.  Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt:  

Ms. Merritt gave a report on 2018 summer programs applications.  Applications for summer 2018 have closed.  Short-Term Programs has received 480 completed applications plus 103 incomplete applications.  For the 480 students with completed applications, 359 students were offered a summer programs place. So far, 11 of the students offered places have withdrawn, leaving 348 applicants.  Ms. Meritt predicts that Short-Term Programs may end up serving about 325 students this summer, which is less than last summer’s total of 345 participants. This smaller number of summer student is more aligned with the available summer programs budget. 

One factor in the reduced number of students who are accepted is new Health Center requirements this year.  The new Health Center Director has placed tighter medical restrictions and is requiring families to provide medical action plans for certain medical conditions.  New medical requirements will help in keeping students safe while attending Short-Term Programs, but it is sometimes difficult for families to meet these requirements.  For example, if a family does not have insurance, they may not be able to obtain required medications or medical equipment such as an epi-pen.  TSBVI works with families to help as much as possible to resolve these issues.  The TSBVI Health Center carries out an initial medical review of each student’s information and follows up with phone calls to families.  Based on this, the Health Center approves a student medically if they determine that the student can be served medically on campus.  The Health Center may also make a conditional acceptance of a student, or they may deny a student for medical reasons.

Another factor in reduced numbers is the change that was made for students who have attended the dorm-based Life Skills Camp in past years.  This program became a classroom-based program last year, and some students who were accepted had intensive behaviors that were difficult to manage with available supports.  As a result, the number of students accepted for the program this year has been reduced.  STP staff have now made it a practice to contact these students’ life skills teachers rather than the students’ TVIs, in order to better learn about each student, including evaluating whether the student will be able to be successful at TSBVI, since TSBVI summer programs ratios do not allow for intensive 1:1 behavioral support.  In addition, this year there will be 6-7 deafblind student in a special entrepreneurial vocational program, an increase in numbers from the 4 deafblind students who participated last year.  

Report from Outreach Director, Cyral Miller: 

Ms. Miller reported on major statewide conferences this year.  In the past, her reports have focused more online workshops, so Ms. Miller decided to report on in-person conferences and workshops.  In-person conferences are important since they allow participants to be together in the same place to interact, share, and support each other.  Ms. Daley agreed and described how helpful it is for families to be able to get together and share ideas and support each other.

Introduction to the Intervener Team Model – Outreach has presented similar training locally at service centers, and Outreach plans to beef up the regional model in the future. The advantage of doing this statewide conference is to get a larger group together so that teams of people with similar students can be grouped together to share ideas and learn together. A tour of the TSBVI deafblind program at TSBVI was included in this conference.

Southwest Orientation and Mobility Association (SWOMA) – This is a regional O&M conference that was started many years ago.  The last 5 years, TSBVI has taken on greater leadership, in collaboration with a regional committee.  This year’s conference was held in the Houston Service Center right after Hurricane Harvey, so planning for it was especially difficult.  There were 101 participants. 

Advanced DeafBlind Practitioner – Since there is not yet certification for teachers of deafblind, this annual 1-day conference is designed simply for knowledgeable teachers of deafblind students.  There were 91 attendees. It was presented by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk.  Dr. Zeedyk stayed after the conference to work with 9 families with deafblind childen who have intensive behaviors. 

2018 International Orientation & Mobility Online Symposium

Texas Focus – The conference was successful, but TSBVI had to work hard to get teachers to attend, since financial and administrative supports for teachers to attend conferences has become more limited across the state. 

Low Vision: Supporting Students with Albinism – This is an exciting conference coming up in May.  There will be experts from around the country and from TSBVI. 

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain:  

Mr. Fain introduced Special Education Coordinator Valerie Perwein, LSSP Courtney Wilson, and Social Worker Michael Clinkscales.  Together they gave an update on social-emotional learning for TSBVI students.  This kind of instruction for students is important to support the school’s goals for student safety and students’ social-emotional health. 

Ms. Perwein said that lots of schools are looking for social emotional learning for their students.  TSBVI has always been a leader in teaching in this area.  Recently the piece of it related to technology has become more important.  TSBVI is now training teachers, residential staff, and student about digital citizenship using a free curriculum from Common Sense Media, which TSBVI has adapted for use with our students.  TSBVI’s goal is to fit in instruction in this area for all students at every developmental level, so every student can build skills for healthy use of technology.

Mr. Clinkscales described group sessions with students that have taken place once per month after school during residential hours that covered topics such as cyberbullying and risky online relationships. The sessions included the opportunity for students to use technology to answer questions and to be engaged, which enhanced the expereince for them.  Peer mentoring by EXIT students for 11th and 12th grade students has also been used very effectively.  The group has been creating parent information handouts as well.

Ms. Wilson observed that staff and students have responded very well to this instruction, and students have been very interested.  There has been a high level of participation by students and good interactions between different levels of students.  Future instruction will expand topics, and additional information will be provided to parents.  Staff will receive additional training on how to respond to subtle harrassing situations by students.

Mr. Fain and Ms. Perwein discussed dorm rules that require students to leave their devices in charging areas outside their bedrooms overnight. Parents have been supportive of this and other technology-related rules for students.  The school recognizes that parents and students need ways to stay in touch while students are so far from home, and rules regarding technology use and availability take that into account. 

Ms. Merritt described her experiences with Short-Term Programs students’ use of technology that is based on what is happening for them in their district classrooms.  Short-Term Programs students do not attend TSBVI for long enough periods of time for TSBVI to effectively address inappropriate use of technology by students.  Since students often use technology devices for magnification and for other school-related purposes, rules about it must be individualized.

Dr. Corn asked if TSBVI has experienced incidents of students getting in trouble online.    Mr. Fain said that there have been several incidents which were handled individually with students.  School responses often included having the student talk to a counselor and having the student meet with Mr. Fain in order to get a confiscated personal device back.  He said that having students check in devices at charging stations at night has helped. Teachers have been setting firmer limits on inappropriate technology use and monitoring students’ use of technology more closely. 

Ms. Daley described how she has used a Disney Circle app to manage group access to the internet, and something like that might be helpful for TSBVI to look into. She asked if TSBVI instruction includes information about legal ramifications. 

Mr. Clinkscales  and Ms. Wilson said that sessions have included discussions of legal issues and discussions about news stories that students have heard, which helps the instructor clear up confusion about what every day actions are legal and illegal.  The curriculum program offers helpful statistics and information about who predators can be, including a student’s age group peers.  The curriculum is very student-friendly and interesting for students.  

Adjournment:  

Ms. Daley made a motion to adjourn.  Dr. Corn seconded the motion.  Mr. Sonnenberg adjourned the meeting at 8:52 a.m.