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BOARD MINUTES

for September 27, 2019 Meeting

Call to Order

Mr. Muniz called the meeting of the Governing Board of the Texas School for the Visually

Impaired to order at 10:23 a.m.

Introduction of Board Members and Audience

Board members present were:

Joseph Muniz, Board President, Lee Sonnenberg, Dan Brown, Mary Alexander, Brenda Lee,

Beth Jones and Elaine Robertson.

Mike Hanley and Julie Prause were not present.

Audience members present were:

Kate Borg, Outreach Director; Sara Merritt, STP Principal; Cheryl Williams, Human Resources

Director; Dan Hampton, Information Resources Director; Jim Clark, Teacher; Susan Morrison,

General Counsel; Avery Sax, LBB Budget Analyst; Sally Freeman, Health Center Director;

G’Nell Price, Asst. Principal; Eden Hagelman, Asst. Principal; Josh Splinter, Accounting

Director; Pamela Darden, CFO; Susan Hauser, CSR Director; Erin Shadwick, Teacher; Jason

Knighton, Family Member; Barbera Knighton, Family Member; Valerie Perwein, Special

Education Director; Miles Fain, Principal; Susan Houghtling, Director of Planning and

Evaluation; Valerie Bradshaw, ESL and Assessment Coordinator; Janet Bean, Curriculum

Teacher and several students.

Public Comments/Open Forum

There were no public comments.

Recognition of Students for Outstanding Performance on Statewide Assessments:

Mr. Muniz, Miles Fain, G’Nell Price and Dr. Hagelman presented students with plaques to

recognize their outstanding performance on statewide assessments.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of August 9, 2019 Board Meeting:

Ms. Lee moved to approve the minutes of August 9, 2019 board meeting.  Mr. Brown

seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.

Report from the Personnel Committee:

Consideration of approval of board policies:

BBE (TSBVI)         Board Members:  Authority (amend)

BBF (TSBVI)         Board Code of Ethics (amend)

BF (TSBVI)            Board Policies (amend)

BJCD                      Superintendent:  Evaluation and Appraisal (amend)

BKB (TSBVI)         Administrative Organization Plan:  Line and Staff Relations (review)

Ms. Alexander reported that the Committee recommended amendment of policies BBE, BBF, BF, BJCD and the review of policy BKB. Recommendation came for the committee and the Board voted unanimously to approve the amendment and review of the policies.

Recommendation for hiring or contracting for a new internal auditor

Ms. Alexander stated that the Committee declined to interview underqualified applicants.  The Public Funds Investment Act is due to the State.  The Committee is recommending contracting with an auditor to complete the audit.  The Board anticipates bids for this task.

The Committee recommends the Superintendent to approve and secure the contract to complete the Public Funds Investment Act Audit on behalf of the Board.  Motion came from the Committee and the Board voted unanimously to approve.

Selection of new internal auditor or consideration of approval of contract for an internal auditor

No action was taken

Consideration of approval of internal auditor salary or contract terms and start date

No action was taken

Report from the Finance Committee:

Mr. Sonnenberg thanked the outgoing board member Michael Garrett for his service and

expertise in the finance department.

Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 12-71

CBB (TSBVI)         State and Federal Revenue Sources:  Federal (amend):

The Committee recommended approval of the policy CBB.  Recommendation came

from the Finance Committee and the Board voted unanimously to approve. 

Consideration of approval of Investment Report:

The motion came from the Finance Committee to approve the Investment Report.  The

Board voted unanimously to approve.

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

The motion came from the Finance Committee to approve the receipt of gifts and donation

of over $500.  The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations:

The Finance Committee recommended the designation of undesignated gifts and

donations as follows: $2,300 for special projects to the Health Center for a vital sign

machine, $6,000 to purchase a tandem bike for the Expanded Core Curriculum

$8,759.51 to support potions of the construction project on the lighting system in the Fine

Arts building and $200 to put towards student services and activities.

The motion came from the Finance Committee to approve the designation of gifts and

donation.  The board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Review of budget reports Operating Budget Expenditure Report Legacy Revenue Budget Report Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report

Mr. Sonnenberg reviewed and gave information on the Operating Budget Expenditure Report, Legacy Revenue Budget Report and Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report.

Report on Public Funds Investment Act training received by TSBVI Investment Officers

Mr. Sonnenberg stated that Pam Darden and Josh Splinter attended the Public Funds

Investment Act training.

Joseph Muniz asked Ms. Coleman to describe what the Rider 4 is the money that the State

will match what Austin does in result to increasing pay for instructional staff.

Report from the Program Committee (Lee Sonnenberg)

Consideration of approval of board policies:

EHBAB (TSBVI)   Special Education:  ARD Committee and Individualized Education Program (amend)

EHBF                      Special Programs:  Career and Technical Education (amend)

EHBH (TSBVI)      Special Programs:  Other Special Populations (amend)

FB (TSBVI)            Equal Educational Opportunity (review)

FNCE (TSBVI)      Student Rights and Responsibilities:  Personal Telecommunications/Electronic Devices (amend)

The Program Committee recommended approval of amendment to policies EHBAB

with changes mentioned in the board meeting, EHBF, EHBH, FNCE and review of

policy FB.  The motion came from the Program Committee all board members were in

favor and the motion carried.

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal 2019 Summer programs

Ms. Lee gave a report on the Short-Term Programs.

Report from Comprehensive Program Principal, Miles Fain Statewide Assessment results Plan to promote academic excellence Report on English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Analysis TSBVI Student Performance Indicator results Consideration of membership to the School Health Advisory Council

Ms. Lee gave a report on the Statewide Assessment results, plan to promote academic excellence and report on ESL Program Analysis. 

The Program Committee recommended membership approval to the School Health Advisory Council to the following parents or guardians Patty and Dave Bushland, Mary Cameron, Deanne Palmer, Daniel Pena and Amy Potts.  TSBVI staff members Cheryl Austin, Sally Freeman, Debra Sewell, Brian McDonald, Cristi Fleming and Elina Mullen.

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

Consideration of membership to the Safe and Supportive School Team

The Program Committee recommended membership approval to the Safe and Supportive School Team be Miles Fain, Valerie Perwein and Robert Woodruff.

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

Consideration of membership to the TSBVI Concussion Oversight Team:

The Program Committee recommended approval of members Sally Freeman and Dr.

Lance Hargrave to the TSBVI Concussion Oversight Team.  The motion came from the Committee therefore; no second was needed.  The Board voted unanimously and the motion carried.

Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff:

Ms. Coleman named TSBVI’s new contract staff.

Mr. Sonnenberg moved to approve the new contract staff.  Mr. Brown seconded the motion. 

All board members were in favor and the motion carried.

Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management:

Ms. Morrison stated that there is no action to take on the agenda item Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management.

Consideration of Approval of TSBVI Organizational Chart:

Ms. Coleman stated that on the organizational chart the Health Center needs to be moved

under CSR.

Ms. Alexander moved to approve TSBVI Organizational Chart with the change brought forth at the meeting.  Ms. Lee seconded the motion and all the board members were in favor and the motion carried.

Final Update on Completion of Action Plans in the 2018-2019 Annual Improvement Plan

Ms. Coleman stated the things she looked for was status, process and completion.  She stated

that things that might have been put on hold are now being picked back up.

Report from the Superintendent:

Comprehensive Programs enrollment Campus activities

Ms. Coleman gave a report on the enrollment changes and activities happening on

campus.

Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics and Training Dates:

There were no topics or training dates to discuss.

 

Announcements:

Mr. Muniz thanked Mr. Garrett for his service.  Ms. Alexander expressed her gratitude to Mr.

Garrett.  Mr. Sonnenberg expressed that it has been a pleasure and honor to serve on the

Board with him.  Ms. Lee expressed that Mr. Garrett’s knowledge has been of great value to the

School.  Ms. Coleman read the plaque presented to Mr. Garrett. 

Mr. Garrett expressed his gratitude for being able to serve on the Board for the Texas School for

the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Mr. Brown described an event that his employer Pearson is having on tactile graphics.

Initial Discussion of Superintendent’s Evaluation:

Mr. Muniz announced that the Board would recess the open session and convene in a closed meeting to discuss the agenda item Initial Discussion of Superintendent’s Evaluation in conformance with Texas Government Code Section 551.074 – Personnel Matters.  No voting would take place in the closed meeting.  Any action the Board wished to take as a result of discussion in closed meeting would take place after the Board reconvened in the open meeting It was 11:35 am.

Mr. Muniz announced that it was 12:47 p.m. and the board would reconvene in open session.

Adjournment:

Ms. Alexander moved to adjourn the meeting of the Governing Board of the Texas School for

the Blind and Visually Impaired.  Ms. Lee seconded the motion and the Board voted

unanimously to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting stood adjourned at

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on November 14, 2019 beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room, Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
For November 14, 2019 Meeting

 

1.    Call to Order

2.    Introduction of Audience

3.    Public Comments/Open Forum

4.    Report on Texas Tech University and Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher Preparation Programs (Dr. Rona Pogrund, Dr. Shannon Darst), pages 6-10, LP 9-16

Recess (Adjournment for Purposes of Conducting Board Training)

5.    Call to Order

6.    Training Session on Updates to Texas Education Code in the Last Legislative Session (Susan Morrison)

7.    Adjournment

 

 


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on November 15, 2019 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room, Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for November 15, 2019 Meeting



1.    Call to Order

2.    Introduction of Audience

3.    Public Comments/Open Forum

4.    Consideration of Approval of Minutes of September 26 and 27, 2019 Board Meetings (Joseph Muniz), pages 11-26, LP 17-48

5.    Report from the Audit, Compliance and Management Review Committee (Joseph Muniz)
       a. Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 27-94, LP 49-169
           BBFB Ethics: Prohibited Practices (amend), pages 30-37, LP 54-67
           CFC (TSBVI) Accounting: Audits (amend), pages 47, LP 83-84
       b. Report from Auditor (Jaye Stepp), page 95, LP 170
            Consideration of approval of the Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) Audit Report
       c. Update on Status of Hiring or Contracting for an Auditor for TSBVI
       d. Consideration of contracting for an auditor to complete the Audit of Policy and Procedure for Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, or Improper care

6.    Report from the Finance Committee (Lee Sonnenberg)
       a. Consideration of approval of board polices: pages 8-62, LP 49-50-53
           CDA (TSBVI) Other Revenues: Investments (review), pages 38-46, LP 68-82
           DBB (TSBVI) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Physical Examinations and Communicable Diseases (amend), pages 48-51, LP 85-92
           DBD (TSBVI) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Conflict of Interest (amend), pages 52-58, LP 93-105
           DCA (TSBVI) Employment Practices: Probationary Contracts (amend), pages 59-60, LP 106-108
           DCB (TSBVI) Employment Practices: Term Contracts (amend), pages 61-62, LP 109-112
       b. Consideration and vote on resolution to declare Building 512 as salvage property with no value in order to demolish, page 96, LP 71-172
       c. Consideration of approval of renewal of Nolan County farm contracts, pages 97-103, LP 173-186
       d. Report on maintenance, annual inspection, and recommendations for maintenance and repair of the campus residence, pages 104-108, LP 187-194
       e. Consideration of approval of Investment Report, page 109, LP 195
       f. Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500, pages 110-113, LP 196-201
       g. Review of budget reports
            Operating Budget Expenditure Report, pages 114-119, LP 202-208
            Legacy Revenue Budget Report, page 120, LP 209
            Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report, pages 121-122, LP 210-211

7.    Report from the Program Committee (Brenda Lee)
       a. Consideration of approval of board polices: pages 63-94, LP 113-169
           EHBC (TSBVI) Special Programs: Intensive Instruction (amend), pages 63-66, LP 113-118
           EJ Academic Guidance Program (delete), pages 67-68, LP 119-122
           EKB (TSBVI) Testing Program: State Assessment (amend), pages 69-82, LP 123-150
           EKB-E (TSBVI) Testing Program: State Assessment (adopt), pages 83-85, LP 151-153
           FFEA (TSBVI) Student Assistance Programs/Counseling Comprehensive Guidance Program (adopt), pages 86-89, LP 154-160
           FNF (TSBVI) Student Rights and Responsibilities: Investigations and Searches (amend), pages 90-94, LP 161-169
        b. Report from Short-Term Programs Principal
             Update on Summer 2020 programs, pages 123-124, LP 212-213
        c. Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal
             Career education update
        d. Report from Outreach Program Director
             Outreach activities for the year

8.    Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff (Emily Coleman), page 125, LP 214

9.    Report on Achievement of Objectives for 2018-2019 from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan (Susan Houghtling), page 126, LP 215-216

10.  Consideration of Approval of TSBVI’s Vision, Mission and Philosophy Statements and Long Range Goals (Emily Coleman), pages 127-129, LP 217-222

11.  Report from the Superintendent, pages 130-131, LP 223-225
       a. Campus activities
       b. Report of curriculum sales 132, LP 226

12.  Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management (Susan Morrison)

13.  Consideration of Revision of Board Operating Procedures (Susan Morrison)

14.  Annual Report on Complaints about Discrimination or Harassment (Cheryl Williams), page 133, LP 227

15.  Discussion of the Superintendent’s Annual Performance Appraisal (Joseph Muniz)

16.  Report of Completion of Board Member Training Requirements for the Past Year (Joseph Muniz), pages 134-135, LP 228-230

17.  Discussion of Scheduling Board Training for the Next Year Based on the Framework for School Board Development (Joseph Muniz), pages 136-140, LP 231-240

18.  Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics (Joseph Muniz)

19.  Announcements

20.  Adjournment

TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
September 26, 2019

 

Call to Order

Joseph Muniz, Board President called the meeting of the Governing Board to order on Thursday September 26, 2019 at 9:06 a.m.

Introduction of Board Members and Audience:

Members of the board present:  Jospeh Muniz, Board President, Lee Sonnenberg, Mary Alexander, Dan Brown, Elaine Robertson, Beth Jones, Brenda Lee, and Julie Prause. Mike Hanley was not present.

Stakeholders and audience present:
Pam Darden, CFO; Dan Hampton Information Resources Director; Cheryl Williams, HR Director; Susan Hauser, CSR Director; Susan Houghtling, Planning and Evaluation Director; Emily Coleman, Superintendent; Eva Lavigne, Outreach VI Educational Specialist; Debra Sewell, Curriculum Director; Kate Borg, Outreach Director; Shelly Allen, Residential Director; Miles Fain, Principal; Sara Merritt, STP Principal; Susan Morrison, General Counsel; Veronica Keating, Administrative Assistant and Steve Robertson, Family Member.

Oaths of Office for New and Reappointed Board Members:
Jospeh Muniz swore in the new board members Beth Jones and Elaine Roberston and reappointed board member Lee Sonnenberg.

Board Training: Strategic Planning Needs Identified by the TSBVI Management Team:
Ms. Coleman explained the process for which each member of the management team would share information. She stated that each member would share a piece from an editorial about the School that would make them proud to be on the TSBVI team. The management team would also present information to the Board for discussion on improving services for students who are blind, visually impaired and DeafBlind in Texas.

Ms. Merritt, Mr. Fain, Ms. Allen, Ms. Borg and Ms. Sewell read their piece of an article about the School that would make them proud to be on the TSBVI team.

Ms. Merritt stated that TSBVI’s strengths are our ability to have a concentration of staff that learn from each other. TSBVI has a long history of excellence and carries a growth mind set. We are resource rich. We are fortunate to provide the staff to student ratios at TSBVI. Staff tend to work at TSBVI for long periods of time. The biggest challenges the School is facing is recruitment, retainment, Austin’s cost of living and being able to pay a competitive wage. She stated that all these factors impact the TSBVI’s ability to serve students in the summer. There has been a position posted since July with zero applicants. She stated that some of the fast food restaurants starting wages are more than what we offer employees. Opportunities for growth at TSBVI are early childhood services, remote consultation and observation, credit courses TSBVI offers and building relationships with foundations and corporations. She stated that if short-term programs were able to reach children at an earlier age, it would help them understand some of the challenges they face. TSBVI can embrace opportunities by blurring old lines between departments and having one interdepartmental system will help build relationships in the community. She stated that TSBVI should focus their attention on choosing strategic initiatives and focusing on them, improving recruitment and retention and increasing the number short-term programs serves. Ms. Merritt ended with the statistics of students served by short-term programs in previous years compared to this year.

Ms. Allen stated that TSBVI’s greatest strengths are the staffs array of expertise and reputation for excellence, their ability to be creative problem solvers with the student population. TSBVI’s faces challenges and the reason they exist is due to the residential department seeing a decrease in staff because of low wages and Austin’s high cost of living. Residential program will work with Human Resources to find ways to recruit and get information out to potential employees. Ms. Allen agrees that there are untapped community resources or groups that would be interested in helping TSBVI.

Mr. Fain stated that TSBVI’s strengths are the students and staff and their interesting and unique attributes. Staff is qualified and well trained at TSBVI. Challenges that exist are the need to maintain competitive salaries, meeting the diverse learning needs of the students and the high living cost in Austin. TSBVI’s opportunities for growth are the prioritization of serving students with low vision. Planning is underway and TSBVI will host a low vision clinic on campus this school year. There is the need for a diverse teaching staff. TSBVI has hired six very qualified individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. Evaluating and making improvement in communication and partnerships with local school districts and families there is now a Memorandum of Understanding. The Exit program continues to work closely with TWC caseworkers for the planning and successful transition goals for their students. TSBVI is prioritizing the mental health of student’s by establishing new policies and a new safe and supportive team to address safety concerns. There will be a mental health training for all staff on October 14, 2019. Mr. Fain ended by saying that these are all areas the School will continue to focus on.

Ms. Borg stated that TSBVI’s strengths are the people their depth of knowledge, passion and support. The challenges TSBVI faces are recruitment, succession and early childhood intervention. She stated that these challenges exist because of funding and the turnover in the special education field. TSBVI could grow in their use of social media as a form of communication. Lastly, TSBVI should focus on the evaluation of students, the impact of Autism on students with blindness, remote support and use of social media.

Ms. Lavigne agreed that TSBVI should continue to focus on the areas of early childhood and transition.

Ms. Sewell stated that strengths within TSBVI lie in the fact that staff have a willingness to interact between departments, have a wealth of expertise and knowledge, and lend their expertise to help write curriculum. The budget challenge has not allowed the Curriculum department to order the supplies needed to produce curriculum. It also has kept the department from attaining contract work. Time is also a challenge. Meeting the diverse needs of the students and staff is time consuming. The staffing needs have been crucial to the success of the department. A key to the growth of the department is to be able to partner with other departments in TSBVI. Piloting Literacy for Little Ones has been a huge success. She stated that she would like to continue to partner with Outreach to keep that program going. Another project the department is working on is called the Progression of Tactile Learning which falls right in with the Literacy for Little Ones. Ms. Sewell shared that she was an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, an outreach consultant and the Curriculum Director. The department can embrace opportunities by determining the need of other departments and how curriculum can support them. The department will continue to focus on providing necessary training on the curriculum that has been created, continue on projects like the Literacy for Little ones and expand on them and identifying experts for projects. She ended by saying that the great things about TSBVI is the expertise, compassion and the experiences that we provide for our students.

Ms. Lavigne announced that the training would recess for 10 minutes. The time was 10:30 a.m.

Ms. Lavigne announced that the training would now continue at 10:40 a.m.

Ms. Coleman stated that the first half of the meeting would be a share out from TSBVI’s departments and the second half would be an open forum with the Board.

Susan Houghtling, Susan Hauser, Dan Hampton, Cheryl Williams, Pam Darden and Emily Coleman read their editorials written about TSBVI by the parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired.

Ms. Houghtling stated that the School’s greatest strength is the staff. The concentration of talented, caring, energetic and knowledgeable staff also, our board as well. We all have specific expertise with dynamics that help shape the School. Opportunities for growth for the School would be for the general public to have a better understanding of the capabilities and challenges of those with visual impairments. Partnering with organizations, with media and social media could help to combat this opportunity for growth.

Ms. Hauser stated that TSBVI’s strengths are the improvement of instruction in the School and across Texas, flexibility and creativity. The School’s challenges are finding resources, hiring, retention and staff pay. She stated that there is room for growth in the necessity for information to be collaborated between departments. Having an online database for registration would help embrace that opportunity.

Mr. Hampton stated that TSBVI’s strengths are people and their historical knowledge of how the department works. Challenges that TSBVI faces are that the electronic databases are out of date, the implementation of new systems like CAPPS and funding. A great deal of money was spent on the databases and system when the school was rebuilt. However, in the tech world that is old. When the new CAPPS was implemented because it was new there was an influx of tech help desk work orders created. Funding in the department has been geared more towards educational support and not administrative support. The Bob Bullock museum spent a million dollars on a website so, the department hopes that since the state has purchased that they may give us access to some of the coding.

Ms. Williams stated the greatest things about the School is the staff’s dedication and the reputation in the field. One of the biggest challenges in Human resources is recruitment. The budget constraints and being on a two-year cycle lends to that. The shortened summer school period reduced consistency in pay for summer staff which created a lot of hardship for staff. These challenges exist due to the retirement benefits being deducted. That benefit is great but it is a long term vision and for the 9.75 employees who are just trying to pay their bills it is challenging. The fact that positions are not 12 months is also a contribution to hardships. Another challenge is the lack of management development. An opportunity for growth is a robust communication program that crosses all avenues. We need to ensure our website is in order and how we use social media. We should also look into how we do our philanthropy, whether it be through volunteerism and finances to be able to keep doing projects like maker space. Things that the Human Resources department can focus on recruitment, succession planning and retention planning. During the next legislative cycle, the School will need to push the pay range issue. We need to raise the expectations of the School’s leaders. Things that will help with that issue are procedure revisions, form revisions and manager training. There will be a new evaluation system in CAPPS. This system will be for staff that are not a part of the teacher appraisal system. It will help to bring attention to behavior, how teams work together successfully and provide employees with constructive feedback.

Ms. Darden stated that she has taken information from the management team to use for the next legislative appropriations request. These requests have to be supported by performance measure, numbers and data. One of the challenges is recruitment. This is the case across the board. The finance department has not been able to hire for a position that has been posted for some time. Staff has been reduced to find efficiencies and that should be done across the agency. When there are retire rehires it costs the agency an extra ten percent. If you hire someone at the pay level, they left at the School pays an extra ten percent on top of that. Ninety percent of our budget is staff. It is important that we get our message to our Legislature. There is only one way to get money for the School and that is through the Legislature.

Ms. Coleman thanked everyone for their valid points. She stated that the managements team’s relationships with their teams helped contribute with what they shared. TSBVI’s greatest strength is passionate dedicated staff. She stated leadership has paid close attention to areas of interest in which each of their staff excels. TSBVI recognizes exceptionalities not only in students but also in staff. Another strength is the support from our Legislature and leadership at TEA. Our partnerships are designed to support success at TSBVI and the willingness of state leadership to listen and be receptive to our student needs is undeniable. The School does carry gratitude for Legislative funding and continue communication on unmet needs. It is apparent that Texas supports and is a champion for TSBVI. We are not short on champions as it is evident in the many agencies, organizations, families and I.S.D.’s. Our stakeholders contributed to every success for which we are recognized. This is also an undeniable strength. As we look to the future teacher preparation for our unique teacher population remains a strength and opportunity for growth. We are fortunate to have two programs with funding support we still are not graduating quite enough teachers to support our state needs. Our identified population continue to grow and our rural area still vary in their service levels. We need to look at it as a service shortage for students instead of a shortage of teachers. If we focus this conversation on student’s needs, it will get proper attention on the issue at hand. Luckily, we have tools in Texas like VISSIT and processes like QPVI to access student needs and we should utilize specific data to find out the specific shortages in our state in contrast to teacher shortages. Another area of strength is the deep data pool found in VI registry and the DeafBlind count. Which keeps us aware of the changing demographics as we learn more about our population. TSBVI continues to adapt each program and refuses to be stagnant. The School adapts to meet the needs of students instead of hoping they meet our needs. Although it is a strength it is an area for growth with O&H, CVI and constant technological advances. We need to stay on the leading edge by adjusting our practice and approach. Where there is room for improvement there is room for innovation. We need to educate every student from that angle. We do continue to struggle with public perception of blindness and the negative impact it has on students. Particularly community involvement and employment. The more we reach out to the community, the more opportunities our students will have. If we increase access to role models who are visually impaired to our students through a greater diversity in staff and volunteers. They will gain a more positive perception of themselves in their future. A significant challenge we have pertaining to greater engagement in our work is the lack of steady effective communication. Although we are making strides in culling website content, we have yet to find a new source of funding to get it off the ground. Creative funding sources will continue to be sought. An additional area of communication need is social media. We have multiple accounts spread throughout various departments but we lack consistent effort. A proven effective form of communication within our parent demographic is Facebook and within our educator demographic is Twitter. Among Twitter user’s educators are among the highest profession to access it. After completing our current round of strategic planning. A media audit will help the School to determine the best ways to utilize social media to align with our mission and our vision. When done right we could successfully share our school’s story. We need to continually focus our efforts with better messaging about the entire population we serve throughout Texas. Regardless of our position on campus and the department we are within we are here for the benefit of all Texas students identified as blind, visually impaired or DeafBlind. When our work and budget is only quantified by on campus numbers and I realize we are somehow tied to those numbers. We can be missing the mark. All of our funding benefits all of the students identified in Texas if we don’t have them here directly and are not providing them their IEP services, we are still working on their behalf. We are solving problems that will be shared with the field, we are creating training that will meet their teacher’s needs, we are modeling appropriate instruction and accommodations that can be highlighted at any point in time. We are also on the continuum of placements offered to each of our students. This means we are here when any of the almost eleven thousand students identified as blind, VI or DeafBlind need us for support. We need to look for opportunities to grow and serve collectively. Through the last year by consolidating purchasing efforts we have been able to find savings in each department. This is one example of providing a team approach to our mission. We will continue to find opportunities for financial efficiencies across the departments. We will have access to funding projects. We can also find more creative ways to serve students.

Ms. Lavigne stated that the meeting would take a quick recess and continue the discussion with the Board, while having lunch.

Board Team Building Session: Discussion by the Board and Superintendent of Strategic Planning Needs for TSBVI:
Joseph Muniz called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. He stated that attendees could continue to have their lunch while the meeting was held.

Ms. Lavigne stated that the afternoon would be open to the Board for discussion. She stated that she would help remind speakers of the time limitations to allow everyone time to for input and discussion.

Mr. Brown stated that the training was incredibly valuable to him. He said that the management team spoke about employees and their depth of knowledge and expertise. He commended Dan Hamptons idea of training staff to help ease the transitions after a long term employee retires. Ms. Merritt’s comment about having an online enrollment process would be helpful to pull the community together. He agreed that social media is a big role in the younger generations communication. He shared the idea of using a short video to interact with the community. Ms. Darden’s idea to collaborate with representatives from different service centers during the legislative budget year is a good idea.

Ms. Alexander expressed her appreciation for the information given to them. She asked Ms. Williams if we work with A.I.S.D. on recruitment. How could we get creative by working with them. Ms. Williams stated that legislatively we only follow them for contract staff. Unfortunately, they have also been behind even from the contract stand point related to the districts around them. Ms. Alexander mentioned the information given about the budget not affecting students. She stated if the numbers for Short-Term Programs being decreased by half, wouldn’t that affect students. Ms. Darden explained that for the summer program there was funding but it was due to a staffing shortage. Ms. Alexander went on the topic of social media. She stated that we need someone who owns that task across all departments so, that we have a consistent message. She stated that the podcasts A Sense of Texas is a good tool for the School and can be shared across a wide variety of audiences. However, there is not a consistent way to get it out to the community. We could use social media to raise awareness of the School and of the capabilities of our blind, visually impaired and DeafBlind community. Ms. Alexander stated that there be a parent group that is either state wide or on a national level. She asked that the group be virtual because our parents cannot afford to travel to conferences. Ms. Williams asked if this group be on the support side or an advocacy group. Ms. Alexander answered there is only one parent advocacy group right now and it is NFB. She stated that it would be helpful to have a group outside of an advocacy group that has specific agendas. She stated that it might not be something TSBVI can provide but maybe All Blind Children might be able to start the parent group. Ms. Robertson shared that she is from a very large district and TSBVI comes in after there is already a problem. There is not any early intervention being done. Her district is in the DeafBlind pilot right now. They are tracking a DeafBlind baby. There is HHSC and ECI at the home and for two years he will be tracked. The child will turn three by March. School staff has come in to the home before he goes to school. She stated that she feels that is key to the future. Ms. Alexander stated the performance measures that we have to provide to the Legislature should be easily accessed. This might help gather the data to take to the Legislature and ask for additional funding for all the things the School needs.

Mr. Garrett stated that a recurring issue is recruitment and the big problem with that is funding. He stated that taking all of the information necessary to the Legislature performance measures, testimony, and becoming creative with financing will help get more funding. The Board may need to look into dipping into other funding options as well. He added that the School needs to do everything they can to assure we have qualified staff. There is a broad range of students with different needs that need to be served. It has been a hope that every student in Texas could come here. He stated that he knows that is unrealistic. Maybe the School could think of a way to serve each of those students. Another issue that stuck out to him was the visibility of the School. Reaching out to other groups or avenues to make the School more visible for example, he is meeting with a group called the Institute of Spirituality and Health that does not know anything about blindness. He will be meeting with a group of eighty people to talk about myths, misconceptions and the practical applications of blindness. What he is hoping will come from that is that those individuals will share within their community what they have learned. He stated that statistically more people are contracting blindness. He said that TSBVI could stand to make ourselves more visible to the general public and create some of those relationships with corporations.

Mr. Sonnenberg stated the two points that stuck out to him are the social media and building relationships with the community. He said that maybe a public information officer who could go out into the community to set up these corporate relationships.

Ms. Lee stated that something that might help with recruitment might be to allow TVI’s to get hours in the summer. It would be an opportunity for growth and would help parents as well feel comfortable sending their children if their TVI is going to be there. The only problem would be lodging and meals for those TVI’s. She also stated that with such a large university campus like UT some of their students might be able to get hours working in the Residential Program. This would help also get more people involved and learning about the School. She stated that they are also facing a teacher short fall in her rural area.

Ms. Prause stated that TSBVI is near and dear to her heart. She asked if Short-Term Programs during the referral process is someone from Outreach there to represent the department. Ms. Merritt answered that there is not a good system in place for communication. She stated if the department refers the student then they are involved in the process. She added that it is an area for growth. Ms. Prause stated that an issue she sees in her community is transition. She saw a lot of the students coming back and families are not committed and schools are biding time for the student to turn twenty-two. She has seen a huge improvement in orientation and mobility skills in students. Outreach has helped with some of the sensory issues. She stated that there is a big need with programing issues that have to do with STAAR testing. They are basing programing on whether the student is taking the STAAR or not. If the student is taking the regular test, then they want them in a regular class most of the time. If they are not, they label the student ID that way we take the STAAR Alt. If the School could do something to combat this, it would be beneficial. Ms. Sewell asked if the intelligence assessment is talked about among the university community. Ms. Jones answered that they do a diagnostician in the diagnostic program and give out information on how to assess a student with sensory issues. It is not a specific course. Ms. Prause in a perfect world she would love to be able to call Outreach and have a diagnostician on staff and talk about a student’s diagnostic needs. She added that social media issue is attainable. Parents could look on a FB page to find O&H documents. Ms. Borg said that FB is being structured. Ms. Merritt added having a positon that focuses on this issue would be great. Ms. Alexander asked a follow question about the idea for an online registration. She asked if we had an online registration would it be helpful. Mr. Hampton answered that this is certainly something that is on their radar. It is a big challenge but having that database across departments is important. He wondered if social media should be something his department should start to focus on while still trying to get a new website established. Ms. Coleman stated that there are multiple pages on social media for the departments. She added that it should be precise and there should be an audit of the pages. Ms. Merritt added that in the Social Media Committee they have addressed having just one account. Ms. Borg stated that she restructured the page so that it looks more like a school’s page. Ms. Coleman added that we need to make sure it is structured and find ways to effectively use it.

Ms. Robertson said there are so many issues related to public schools. She added that she loves the QPVI process. She thinks it valuable because it gives you a document to keep up with best practices, what you are currently doing and what you need to work on. It is not mandated. She added that she thinks that is the biggest issue. If something could be created that is mandated TSBVI could be a group that changes so much in Texas. She said TEA funds a peer review they do. Ms. Alexander asked where that funding is coming from. Ms. Robertson said she was not sure it comes through TEA. She clarified what peer reviews are. It is a combination of districts, ESC’s, and supervisor. They are not punitive. They identify best practices and if someone is struggling throughout the state they tell you who to see for help. Ms. Coleman stated that one of the reasons QPVI is successful in Katy is because it is voluntary so it could be a tricky balance. Ms. Lee asked if it is monitoring regional day schools. Ms. Robertson answered it is. Ms. Robertson thanked everyone for their participation. She thought she knew what everyone did and learned that they actually do substantially more. Staff is amazing and she is excited to serve on the Board.

Ms. Jones reiterated that it was very eye opening to hear from the departments. She particularly liked what Ms. Darden said about the data. She would like to learn more about that data. She stated we should use what we have to assess our needs and paint the picture to get funding. Maybe strategic about getting the information out maybe even use social media to do so. She asked what is the typical student to staff ratio for Short-Term Programs. Ms. Merritt answered it depends on the subject and the individual student. She asked what the Low Vision Clinic is. Mr. Fain answered that Dr. Cindy Bachofer and Dr. Laura Miller are piloting the program starting with a handful of comprehensive program students. Ms. Lee added that this might be a way to make money. The School’s pay for them because it is in the student’s evaluation. Ms. Coleman added that she does know that by going with Dr. Miller they did not have to buy equipment. If they brought in someone else TSBVI would have had to buy $30,000 in equipment.

Mr. Muniz stated that he is pleased with the Board and TSBVI staff at the meeting. He stated that it is especially important for early intervention for the school’s and families. The idea of TSBVI being able to reach those students would be of great benefit. He does not know what that would involve but it would be worthwhile looking into it. The increasing percentage of the students over the years that have needs beyond their visual impairment and what the cost of the student being at TSBVI is a financial challenge. A concern arises when we start to receive complex students because the districts do not want to serve these students. There is a lack of qualified teachers across the state. He agreed that social media would be a good form of communication. There should be an effective and organized effort in moving forward with it. He stated that when long term staff members retire he wants the School to be prepared with appropriate staff to fill the need. Another challenge is the School’s location in Austin and the high cost of living. The process is going to take team effort. He asked the Board to take the information they have heard to make a decision and be able to provide the guidance that Ms. Coleman and the School needs. He said that a very large priority for him as a whole is whatever objective they choose is financially attainable and sustainable. He stated that it is the Board’s responsibility to assure that finances are part of their decision making processes. Ms. Alexander stated having procedures and staff’s knowledge well documented is key to the School’s future. Ms. Allen stated during the time the School was asking the Legislature for money for the campus to be rebuilt numerous times Congressmen came in for tours. She could tell they had no idea what we did or who our students were. They stayed long enough to enter buildings, see people working, students dropping on the sidewalk outside, watch staff standby and bridging the gap. We should make a concerted effort to set up tours for the Legislature to come for these tours so they have a better understanding of our needs. What is done here may not happen anywhere else.

The Strategic Planning meeting ended at 1:59.

Appointment of Board Committee Members, Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons:  Mr. Muniz appointed to the Finance Committee: Mr. Sonnenberg as chair, Mr. Brown as vice chair and Mr. Hanley as a member.

Mr. Muniz appointed to the Programs Committee:Ms. Lee as chair, Ms. Prause as vice chair and Ms. Jones and Ms. Robertson as members.

Mr. Muniz appointed to the Personnel Committee: Ms. Alexander as chair, Ms. Lee as vice chair and Mr. Brown as a member.

Mr. Muniz appointed to the Audit, Compliance and Review Committee: Ms. Alexander as chair and himself as vice chair.

Adjournment:
Mr. Sonnenberg moved to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Alexander seconded the meeting stood adjourned at 2:02 p.m.

Tour of New Weekends Home/Residential Staff Offices The Board took a tour of the new weekend home and residential staff offices.

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 January 31, 2020, 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, 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 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.   Consideration of approval of minutes of November 15, 2019 meeting (Lee Sonnenberg)

2.   Consideration of approval of board policies (Susan Morrison), pages 51-110, LP 91-427

CBA (TSBVI)   State and Federal Revenue Sources:  State (amend), pages 51-53, LP 91-95

CKC                 Safety Program/Risk Management:  Emergency Plans (amend), pages 54-57, LP 96-103

CKD                 Safety Program/Risk Management:  Emergency Medical Equipment and Procedures (amend), pages 58-61, LP 104-109

CQ                   Technology Resources (amend), pages 62-75, LP 110-134

CQA (TSBVI)   Technology Resources:  TSBVI and Classroom Websites (amend), pages 76-80, LP 135-142

CQB (TSBVI)   Technology Resources:  Cybersecurity (amend – portions of Policy CQ moved to new policy code), pages 81-97, LP 143-172

DFAA (TSBVI)  Probationary Contracts:  Suspension/Termination During Contract (amend), pages 98-99, LP 173-175

DHB                 Employee Standards of Conduct:  Report to State Board of Educator Certification (amend), pages 100-105, LP 176-185

DHC                 Employee Standards of Conduct:  Reports to Texas Education Agency (adopt), pages 106-107, LP 186-189

DNB (TSBVI)    Performance Appraisal:  Evaluation of Campus Administrators (amend), pages 108-110, LP 190-194

3.   Consideration of approval of Investment Report (Pam Darden), page 230, 408

4.   Consideration of adoption of a resolution regarding the review of the investment policy and strategies of TSBVI (Pam Darden), pages 231-232, LP 409-412

5.   Review Donations Report (Pam Darden), pages 233-234, LP 413-414

6.   Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500 (Pam Darden), pages 233-234, LP 413-414

7.   Review of Budget Reports (Pam Darden), pages 235-240, LP 415-423 Update on safety funding grant (Brian McDonald)

8.   Report from Chief Financial Officer (Pam Darden).

9.   Report from Human Resources Director (Cheryl Williams)

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

11. Report from Information Resources Director (Dan Hampton)

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 January 31, 2020, beginning at 8:00 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. 551.001, .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 November 15, 2019 Meeting (Brenda Lee)

3.   Consideration of Approval of Board Policies (Susan Morrison), pages 23-229, LP 44-407
      BAA (TSBVI) Board Legal Status: Powers and Duties (amend), pages 23-28, LP 44-54
      BBI (TSBVI) Board Members: Technology Resources and Electronic Communications (adopt), page 29, LP 55-56
      BE Board Meetings (amend), pages 30-40, LP 57-74
      BED (TSBVI) Board Meetings: Public Participation (amend), pages 41-44, LP 75-80
      BJCB (TSBVI) Superintendent: Professional Development (amend), page 45, LP 81-82
      BQ (TSBVI) Planning and Decision-Making Process (amend), pages 46-50, LP 83-90
      EA Instructional Goals and Objectives (adopt), pages 111-112, LP 195-198
      EHAA Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (All Levels) pages 113-122, LP 199-215
      EHAB (TSBVI) Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (Elementary) (amend), pages 123-124, LP 216-218
      EK (TSBVI) Testing Programs (amend), pages 125-127, LP 219-223
      FFAF (TSBVI) Wellness and Health Services: Care Plans for Diabetes and Food Allergies (amend), pages 128-133, LP 224-234
      FFB (TSBVI) Student Welfare: Crisis Intervention (amend), pages 134-140, LP 235-246
      FFBA (TSBVI) Crisis Intervention: Trauma-Informed Care (adopt), pages 141-142, LP 247-249
      FFE (TSBVI) Student Welfare: Student Assistance Programs/Counseling (amend), pages 143-144, LP 250-253
      FM (TSBVI) Student Activities (amend), pages 145-154, LP 254-272
      GB Public Information Program: Public Information Defined, (amend), pages 155-157, LP 273-277
      GBA (TSBVI) Public Information Act (PIA): Access to Public Information (amend), pages 158-176, LP 278-312
      GBAA Information Access: Requests for Information (amend), pages 177-203, LP 313-360
      GBAA-E Public Information Program: Access to Public Information (amend), pages 204-207, LP 361-368
      GKA (TSBVI) Community Relations: Conduct on School Premises (amend), pages 208-219, LP 369-389
      GRAA (TSBVI) State and Local Governmental Authorities: Law Enforcement Agencies (amend), pages 220-226, LP 390-401
      GRAA-E (TSBVI) State and Local Governmental Authorities: Law Enforcement Agencies (delete), pages 227-229, LP 402-407

4.   Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt
      a.   Short-Term Program update including summer referrals

5.   Adjournment

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on January 31, 2020 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room, Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for January 31, 2020 Meeting


1.   Call to Order

2.   Introduction of Audience

3.   Recognition of the TSBVI School Board Members (Emily Coleman)

4.   Recognition of the 2020 TSBVI Outstanding Direct Care Staff Members (Joseph Muniz)

5.   Public Comments/Open Forum

6.   Consideration of Approval of Minutes of November 14 and 15, 2019 Board Meetings (Joseph Muniz), pages 4-15, LP 8-31

7.   Report from the Finance Committee (Lee Sonnenberg)
      a.   Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 16-229, LP 32-427
            CBA (TSBVI) State and Federal Revenue Sources: State (amend), pages 51-53, LP 91-95
            CKC Safety Program/Risk Management: Emergency Plans (amend), pages 54-57, LP 96-103
            CKD Safety Program/Risk Management: Emergency Medical Equipment and Procedures (amend), pages 58-61, LP 104-109
            CQ Technology Resources (amend), pages 62-75, LP 110-134
            CQA (TSBVI) Technology Resources: TSBVI and Classroom Websites (amend), pages 76-80, LP 135-142
            CQB (TSBVI) Technology Resources: Cybersecurity (amend – portions of Policy CQ moved to new policy code), pages 81-97, LP 143-172
            DFAA (TSBVI) Probationary Contracts: Suspension/Termination During Contract (amend), pages 98-99, LP 173-175
            DHB Employee Standards of Conduct: Report to State Board of Educator Certification (amend), pages 100-105, LP 176-185
            DHC Employee Standards of Conduct: Reports to Texas Education Agency (adopt), pages 106-107, LP 186-189
            DNB (TSBVI) Performance Appraisal: Evaluation of Campus Administrators (amend), pages 108-110, LP 190-194
      b.   Consideration of approval of Investment Report, page 230, LP 408
      c.   Consideration of adoption of a resolution regarding the review of the investment policy and strategies of TSBVI, pages 231-232, LP 409-412
      d.   Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500, pages 233-234, LP 413-414
      e.   Review of budget reports, pages 235-240, LP 415-423  
            -- Operating Budget Expenditure Report, pages 235-237, LP 415-419
            --Legacy Revenue Budget Report, page 238, LP 420
            --Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report, pages 239-240, LP 421-423
       f.   Update on safety funding grant

8.   Report from the Program Committee (Brenda Lee)
      a.   Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 16-229, LP 32-427
            BAA (TSBVI) Board Legal Status: Powers and Duties (amend), pages 23-28, LP 44-54
            BBI (TSBVI) Board Members: Technology Resources and Electronic Communications (adopt), page 29, LP 55-56
            BE Board Meetings (amend), pages 30-40, LP 57-74
            BED (TSBVI) Board Meetings: Public Participation (amend), pages 41-44, LP 75-80
            BJCB (TSBVI) Superintendent: Professional Development (amend), page 45, LP 81-82
            BQ (TSBVI) Planning and Decision-Making Process (amend), pages 46-50, LP 83-90
            EA Instructional Goals and Objectives (adopt), pages 111-112, LP 195-198
            EHAA Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (All Levels), pages 113-122, LP 199-215
            EHAB (TSBVI) Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (Elementary) (amend), pages 123-124, LP 216-218
            EK (TSBVI) Testing Programs (amend), pages 125-127, LP 219-223
            FFAF (TSBVI) Wellness and Health Services: Care Plans for Diabetes and Food Allergies (amend), pages 128-133, LP 224-234
            FFB (TSBVI) Student Welfare: Crisis Intervention (amend), pages 134-140, LP 235-246
            FFBA (TSBVI) Crisis Intervention: Trauma-Informed Care (adopt), pages 141-142, LP 247-249
            FFE (TSBVI) Student Welfare: Student Assistance Programs/Counseling (amend), pages 143-144, LP 250-253
            FM (TSBVI) Student Activities (amend), pages 145-154, LP 254-272
            GB Public Information Program: Public Information Defined, (amend), pages 155-157, LP 273-277
            GBA (TSBVI) Public Information Act (PIA): Access to Public Information (amend), pages 158-176, LP 278-312
            GBAA Information Access: Requests for Information (amend), pages 177-203, LP 313-360
            GBAA-E Public Information Program: Access to Public Information (amend), pages 204-207, LP 361-368
            GKA (TSBVI) Community Relations: Conduct on School Premises (amend), pages 208-219, LP 369-389
            GRAA (TSBVI) State and Local Governmental Authorities: Law Enforcement Agencies (amend), pages 220-226, LP 390-401
            GRAA-E (TSBVI) State and Local Governmental Authorities: Law Enforcement Agencies (delete), pages 227-229, LP 402-407
      b. Report from Short-Term Programs Principal (Sara Merritt)
          -- Short-Term Program update including summer referrals

9.   Report on Achievement of Objectives for 2018-2019 from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan (Susan Houghtling), page 241, LP 424-425

10. Public Discussion of TSBVI’s 2018-2019 Annual Report (Joseph Muniz), page 242, LP 426-427

11. Discussion of Strategic Planning Initiatives Summary (Emily Coleman), pages 243-254, LP 428-450

12. Status Report on Action Plans in the 2019-2020 School Improvement Plan (Emily Coleman), page 255, LP 451

13. Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff (Emily Coleman), page 256, LP 452

14. Consideration of Ratifying the Use of the Memorandum of Understanding Between TSBVI, Local School Districts and Parent(s), Guardian(s) or Adult Student Agreements and Delegating Signature Authority to the Superintendent and Her Designee (Susan Morrison), pages 257-261, LP 453-464

15. Consideration of Delegation of Signature Authority to the Superintendent or Her Designee for Memorandums of Understanding" between TSBVI and Other Entities (Susan Morrison), page 262, LP 465-466

16. Discussion and Consideration of Approval of Board Operating Procedures (Susan Morrison), page 263, LP 467

17. Report from the Superintendent, pages 264-265, LP 468-470
      a.   Update on contracting for an auditor to complete the audit of policy and procedure for reporting and investigating allegations of student abuse, neglect, exploitation, or improper care
      b.   Campus activities

18.   Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics and Scheduling of Training Sessions (Joseph Muniz)

19.   Election of Board Officers (Joseph Muniz), pages 266-267, LP 471-472

20.   Consideration of Approval of Incoming Board President’s Recommendations Concerning Board Committees (Board President), pages 266-267, LP 471-472

21.   Appointment of Board Committee Members, Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons (Board President), pages 266-267, LP 471-472

22.   Consideration of Superintendent’s Performance Appraisal (Joseph Muniz), page 268, LP 473

23.   Announcements

24.   Adjournment

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a special meeting of members of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on November 14, 2019 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Room 104 of the Main Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for November 14, 2019 Meeting


1. Call to Order

2. Introduction of Board Members and Audience

3. New Board Member Orientation Session (Joseph Muniz, Emily Coleman, Susan Houghtling, Susan Morrison, Pam Darden)

4. Adjournment

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on November 14, 2019 beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room, Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

 

 

BOARD AGENDA
For November 14, 2019 Meeting

 

1. Call to Order

2. Introduction of Audience

3. Public Comments/Open Forum

4. Report on Texas Tech University and Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher Preparation Programs (Dr. Rona Pogrund, Dr. Shannon Darst), pages 6-10, LP 9-16

Recess (Adjournment for Purposes of Conducting Board Training)

5. Call to Order

6. Training Session on Updates to Texas Education Code in the Last Legislative Session (Susan Morrison)

7. Adjournment

 

 


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on November 15, 2019 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room, Building 600, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

If, during the course of the meetings, any discussion of any item on the agenda should be held in closed session, the Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for November 15, 2019 Meeting


1. Call to Order

2. Introduction of Audience

3. Public Comments/Open Forum

4. Consideration of Approval of Minutes of September 26 and 27, 2019 Board Meetings (Joseph Muniz), pages 11-26, LP 17-48

5. Report from the Audit, Compliance and Management Review Committee (Joseph Muniz)

a. Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 27-94, LP 49-169

BBFB Ethics: Prohibited Practices (amend), pages 30-37, LP 58-67
CFC (TSBVI) Accounting: Audits (amend), pages 47, LP 83-84

b. Report from Auditor (Jaye Stepp), page 95, LP 170

 Consideration of approval of the Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) Audit Report

c. Update on Status of Hiring or Contracting for an Auditor for TSBVI

6. Report from the Finance Committee (Lee Sonnenberg)


a. Consideration of approval of board polices: pages 8-62, LP 49-50-53
CDA (TSBVI) Other Revenues: Investments (review), pages 38-46, LP 68-82
DBB (TSBVI) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Physical Examinations and Communicable Diseases (amend), pages 48-51, LP 85-92
DBD (TSBVI) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Conflict of Interest (amend), pages 52-58, LP 93-105
DCA (TSBVI) Employment Practices: Probationary Contracts (amend), pages 59-60, LP 106-108
DCB (TSBVI) Employment Practices: Term Contracts (amend), pages 61-62, LP 109-112
b. Consideration and vote on resolution to declare Building 512 as salvage property with no value in order to demolish, page 96, LP 71-172
c. Consideration of approval of renewal of Nolan County farm contracts, pages 97-103, LP 173-186
d. Report on maintenance, annual inspection, and recommendations for maintenance and repair of the campus residence, pages 104-108, LP 187-194
e. Consideration of approval of Investment Report, page 109, LP 195
f. Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500, pages 110-113, LP 196-201
g. Review of budget reports
 Operating Budget Expenditure Report, pages 114-119, LP 202-208
 Legacy Revenue Budget Report, page 120, LP 209
 Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report, pages 121-122, LP 210-211

7. Report from the Program Committee (Brenda Lee)

a. Consideration of approval of board polices: pages 63-94, LP 113-169

EHBC (TSBVI) Special Programs: Intensive Instruction (amend), pages 63-66, LP 113-118
EJ Academic Guidance Program (delete), pages 67-68, LP 119-122
EKB (TSBVI) Testing Program: State Assessment (amend), pages 69-82, LP 123-150
EKB-E (TSBVI) Testing Program: State Assessment (adopt), pages 83-85, LP 151-153
FFEA (TSBVI) Student Assistance Programs/Counseling Comprehensive Guidance Program (adopt), pages 86-89, LP 154-160
FNF (TSBVI) Student Rights and Responsibilities: Investigations and Searches (amend), pages 90-94, LP 161-169

b. Report from Short-Term Programs Principal

 Update on Summer 2020 programs, pages 123-124, LP 212-213

c. Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal

 Career education update

d. Report from Outreach Program Director

 Outreach activities for the year

8. Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff (Emily Coleman), page 125, LP 214

9. Report on Achievement of Objectives for 2018-2019 from the Agency Strategic Plan and the Annual Improvement Plan (Susan Houghtling), page 126, LP 215-216

10. Consideration of Approval of TSBVI’s Vision, Mission and Philosophy Statements and Long Range Goals (Emily Coleman), pages 127-129, LP 217-222

11. Report from the Superintendent, pages 130-131, LP 223-225

a. Campus activities
b. Report of curriculum sales 132, LP 226

12. Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management (Susan Morrison)

13. Consideration of Revision of Board Operating Procedures (Susan Morrison)

14. Annual Report on Complaints about Discrimination or Harassment (Cheryl Williams), page 133, LP 227

15. Discussion of the Superintendent’s Annual Performance Appraisal (Joseph Muniz)

16. Report of Completion of Board Member Training Requirements for the Past Year (Joseph Muniz), pages 134-135, LP 228-230

17. Discussion of Scheduling Board Training for the Next Year Based on the Framework for School Board Development (Joseph Muniz), pages 136-140, LP 231-240

18. Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics (Joseph Muniz)

19. Announcements

20. Adjournment

 

 `

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on September 26, 2019 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Barraga/Silverrain Room of the Outreach Building, 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 Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for September 26, 2019 Meeting

 

1.   Call to Order

2.   Introduction of Board Members and Audience

3.   Board Training: Strategic Planning Needs Identified by the TSBVI Management Team (Eva Lavigne, Facilitator)

4.   Board Team Building Session: Discussion by the Board and Superintendent of Strategic Planning Needs for TSBVI (Eva Lavigne, Facilitator)

5.   Tour of New Weekends Home/Residential Staff Offices

6.   Adjournment

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on September 27, 2019 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room of the Administration Building, 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 Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for September 27, 2019 Meeting

1.   Call to Order

2.   Introduction of Board Members and Audience

3.   Public Comments/Open Forum

4.   Recognition of Students for Outstanding Performance on Statewide Assessments (Joseph Muniz)

5.   Consideration of Approval of Minutes of August 9, 2019 Board Meeting (Joseph Muniz), pages 4-11

6.   Report from the Personnel Committee (Mary Alexander)
      a.   Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 12-71
            BBE (TSBVI) Board Members: Authority (amend), pages 15-18
            BBF (TSBVI) Board Code of Ethics (amend), pages 19-20
            BF (TSBVI) Board Policies (amend), pages 21-24
            BJCD Superintendent: Evaluation and Appraisal (amend), pages 25-26
            BKB (TSBVI) Administrative Organization Plan: Line and Staff Relations (review), page 27
      b.   Recommendation for hiring or contracting for a new internal auditor
      c. Selection of new internal auditor or consideration of approval of contract for an internal auditor
      d. Consideration of approval of internal auditor salary or contract terms and start date

7.   Report from the Finance Committee (Michael Garrett)
      a.   Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 12-71
            CBB (TSBVI) State and Federal Revenue Sources: Federal (amend), pages 28-40
      b.   Consideration of approval of Investment Report, page 72
      c.   Consideration of approval of receipt of gifts and donations of over $500, pages 73-76
      d.   Consideration of approval of request for expenditure of gifts and donations, pages 77-78
      e.   Review of budget reports
            -- Operating Budget Expenditure Report, pages 79-84
            -- Legacy Revenue Budget Report, page 85
            -- Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report, pages 86-87
      f.   Report on Public Funds Investment Act training received by TSBVI Investment Officers, page 88

8.   Report from the Program Committee (Lee Sonnenberg)
      a.   Consideration of approval of board policies: pages 12-71
            EHBAB (TSBVI) Special Education: ARD Committee and Individualized Education Program (amend), pages 41-56
            EHBF Special Programs: Career and Technical Education (amend), pages 57-60
            EHBH (TSBVI) Special Programs: Other Special Populations (amend), pages 61-62
            FB (TSBVI) Equal Educational Opportunity (review), pages 63-69
            FNCE (TSBVI) Student Rights and Responsibilities: Personal Telecommunications/Electronic Devices (amend), pages 70-71
      b.   Report from Short-Term Programs Principal, Sara Merritt
            -- 2019 Summer programs
      c.   Report from Comprehensive Program Principal, Miles Fain
            -- Statewide Assessment results, pages 89-95
            -- Plan to promote academic excellence, page 96
            -- Report on English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Analysis, pages 97-99
            -- TSBVI Student Performance Indicator results, pages 100-105
            -- Consideration of membership to the School Health Advisory Council, pages 106-107
            -- Consideration of membership to the Safe and Supportive School Team, pages 108-109
      d.   Consideration of membership to the TSBVI Concussion Oversight Team (Susan Hauser), page 110

9.     Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management (Susan Morrison)

10.   Consideration of Approval of TSBVI Organizational Chart (Emily Coleman), pages 111-112

11.   Final Update on Completion of Action Plans in the 2018-2019 Annual Improvement Plan (Emily Coleman), page 113

12.   Report from the Superintendent, pages 114-115
        a.   Comprehensive Programs enrollment
        b.   Campus activities

13.   Initial Discussion of Superintendent’s Evaluation (Joseph Muniz)

14.   Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics and Training Dates (Joseph Muniz)

15.   Announcements

16.   Adjournment

 

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be held on August 9, 2019 beginning at
8:00 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room of the Administration Building, 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 Board 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):

BOARD AGENDA
for August 9, 2019 Meeting

 

1.    Call to Order

2.     Introduction of Board Members and Audience

3.     Public Comments/Open Forum

4.     Report from Personnel Committee (Mary Alexander)

a. Recommendation for new internal auditor

5.     Selection of New Internal Auditor (Joseph Muniz)

6.     Consideration of Salary and Start Date for TSBVI’s Internal Auditor (Joseph Muniz)

7.     Consideration of Approval of Minutes of May 31, 2019 Board Meeting (Joseph Muniz), pages 3-11

8.     Consideration of Approval of Operating Budget and Personnel Budget for 2019-2020 (Pam Darden), page 12

9.     Consideration of Approval to Transfer Funds between Budget Codes (Pam Darden), page 13

10.    Discussion and/or Consideration of Approval to Lease Oil and Gas Rights on Brazos County Land Tracts to WildHorse Resources Management and Delegation of Signature Authority to Superintendent or Board President (Susan Morrison)

11.    Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff (Emily Coleman), page 14

12.    Consideration of Approval of Keeping Firearms in the Superintendent’s Residence (Joseph Muniz), pages 15-16

13.   Consideration of Approval of Board Policies (Joseph Muniz), pages 17-118

CPC (TSBVI) Office Management: Records Management Program (amend), pages 21-24
DBDA (TSBVI) Conflict of Interest: Dual Employment (amend), pages 25-26
EHAD (TSBVI) Basic Instructional Program: Elective Instruction (amend), pages 27-28
EHDE (TSBVI) Alternative Methods for Learning Credit: Distance Learning (amend), pages 29-38
EI (TSBVI) Academic Achievement (amend), pages 39-44
EIE (TSBVI) Academic Achievement: Retention and Promotion (amend), pages 45-55
EIF (TSBVI) Academic Achievement: Graduation (amend), pages 56-67
FFG (TSBVI) Student Welfare: Child Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, and Improper Child Care Incidents (amend), pages 68-76
FM (TSBVI) Student Activities (amend), pages 77-86
FNC Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Conduct (amend), page 87
FNCD Student Conduct: Tobacco Use and Possession (amend), page 88
FNCF Student Conduct: Alcohol and Drug Use (amend), pages 89-91
FNCF-E Student Activities: Contests and Competitions (delete), page 92
FNG (TSBVI) Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student and Parent Complaints/Grievances (amend), pages 93-103
FOA (TSBVI) Placement in Alternative Educational Setting: Removal by Teacher (amend), pages 104-106
GKA (TSBVI) Community Relations: Conduct on School Premises (amend), pages 107-118

14.    Report on Memorandum of Understanding Template with Local ISDs (Susan Morrison)

15.    Consideration of Approval of TASB Delegate and Alternate (Joseph Muniz), page 119

16.    Consideration of Future Board Meeting Topics and Training Sessions (Joseph Muniz)

17.    Announcements

18.    Adjournment

 

TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

BOARD PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEETING
APRIL 5, 2019

1. Call to order

Lee Sonnenberg called to order the meeting of the TSBVI Board Committee on Programs at 8:01 a.m. on April 5, 2019 in Room 104 of the Main Administration Building 600, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas.

Board members Julie Prause and Brenda Lee were also present.

TSBVI staff members participating in the meeting were: Susan Morrison, General Counsel; Miles Fain, Comprehensive Programs Principal; Emily Coleman, Outreach Director; Sara Merritt, Short-Term Programs Principal; Renee Toy, Learning Resource Center Director; Susan Hauser, Center for School Resources Director

2. Consideration of approval of minutes of the January 25, 2019 meeting

Ms. Prause moved that the minutes of the January 25, 2019 meeting be approved and Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

3. Consideration of Approval of Board Policies

Ms. Morrison reviewed policies to be considered and answered questions.

Policy CY (TSBVI) Intellectual Property (amend)

Ms. Morrison informed the committee that TASB has retired the code for former Policy EFE so information has been transferred to Policy CY.

Ms Morrison noted that TSBVI creates a lot of copyrighted material, and TSBVI own the rights to that material. She expects that TSBVI may register for copyrights more often than the school has done in the past. TSBVI needs to be careful about the kinds of licenses the school approves to allow other people to use the school’s copyrighted materials. She recommended that the following language be inserted in the policy just after the first paragraph:

“With legal review and advice of TSBVI's General Counsel, the Superintendent has the authority to post works for hire (intellectual property of TSBVI created by TSBVI employees) to the TSBVI website and to grant various irrevocable Creative Commons Licenses [for non-commercial use with Attribution 4.0 International or other license types] to benefit the blind and visually impaired community and to promote the reputation and expertise of the School statewide, nationally and internationally. The Superintendent shall adopt procedures to insure that such licenses will not have a detrimental financial impact on TSBVI.”

Mr. Daugherty has reviewed this language and agrees with this addition. It would allow decisions to be made administratively and would not require Board action each time, as long as it is not costing the school money.

Ms. Lee moved that Policy CY be amended as proposed, including insertion of new language recommended by Ms. Morrison. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Exhibit CY-E Intellectual Property (adopt)

Ms. Morrison stated that it is important for teachers and school staff to understand copyright law and for them to know how to determine fair use of copyrighted information. The school should be careful about copyright infringement by staff, since actions of teachers in other school districts have led to serious consequences. Exhibit CY-E provides a Fair Use Test, which is a list that teachers can use to make sure they are within fair use of copyrighted materials. Ms. Morrison is considering adding a logo to the Exhibit, and the Fair Use Test would be shared with teachers. Austin Independent School District (AISD) has adopted a similar test.

Ms. Prause moved that Exhibit CY-E be adopted. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EFE Instructional Resources: Copyrighted Materials (delete)

Ms. Prause moved that Policy EFE be deleted. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EGA Curriculum Development: Innovative and Magnet Programs (delete)

Ms. Lee moved that Policy EFE be deleted. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EHA Curriculum Design: Basic Instructional Program Parental Requests (review)

Ms. Lee moved to approve review of this policy. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EHAA Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (All Levels) (amend)

Mr. Sonnenberg asked if the language in this policy comes directly from the law code, and Ms. Morrison confirmed that it does.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked if parent participation in the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) had improved. Mr. Fain said that it has not and that it is still difficult to find parents to participate. Shelly Allen is still trying to encourage parents to participate and has offered different times to meet and the option for parents to call in to the meeting rather than attend in person. Ms. Morrison noted that TSBVI has decreased the minimum number of parents required to attend.

Policy EHAB (TSBVI) Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (Elementary) (amend)

The committee discussed recess requirements for TSBVI students. Mr. Fain said that for most TSBVI students, an individualized schedule works best.

Policy EHAC Basic Instructional Program: Required Instruction (Secondary) (amend)

Ms. Morrison described the proposed amendments to Policy EHAC.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked if TSBVI students still attend Lamar Middle School and McCallum High School and whether AISD is now charging for TSBVI students to attend and about PE attendance. Mr. Fain confirmed that TSBVI students still attend these AISD schools for a charge. Mr. Fain said that most TSBVI students receive Adapted PE. Mr. Sonnenberg asked about arrangements for the TSBVI spring plan. Mr. Fain answered that some students participate in the spring play as part of their theater course and others participate in the play as an extracurricular activity. When asked, Mr. Fain noted that TSBVI does not offer foreign language courses, and that attending McCallum is the only opportunity for students to take those courses.

Mr. Fain said that TSBVI offers units on personal financial literacy that are incorporated into various classes for students. Ms. Merritt said that the topic is also included in summer SWEAT and WALIC programs. Ms. Morrison noted that the law requires that this topic be taught only by an approved group, and Ms. Lee mentioned that schools have allowed approved vendors to teach the topic. Mr. Fain said that he would check on that rule.

Mr. Fain said that TSBVI uses the DAVE alcohol awareness program as part of health classes. He said that students can receive CPR instruction through PE classes when it is appropriate for the student, but the requirement is waived for some students because of their disabilities. Students learn about proper interaction with a peace officer in government classes.

Ms. Morrison noted that references to “district” in the last part of this policy should be changed to “TSBVI”.

Ms. Prause moved that Policies EHAA, EHAB, and EHAC be amended as proposed that the correction pointed out by Ms. Morrison be made to Policy EHAC. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EHBC (TSBVI) Special Programs: Accelerated and Intensive Services (amend)

Ms. Morrison noted that this is a special education policy. The proposed policy is changed from the TASB model because TSBVI does not receive compensatory funds. TSBVI uses intensive, rather than accelerated, instruction, but a TEA waiver must be obtained for that part of the Policy to be amended. Ms. Morrison requested that language related to accelerated instruction be kept until TSBVI obtains the necessary TEA waiver.

Ms. Prause asked why items #7 (students who have been expelled) and #8 (students who are on parole, probation, deferred prosecution or other conditional release) were struck, but not item #6 (students who have been placed in DAEP). Ms. Morrison explained that students mentioned in #7 and #8 do not attend TSBVI, so those students would be covered in a local district policy. However, placement of student in #6 must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ms. Lee moved that Policy EHBC be amended as proposed, except that language regarding accelerated instruction be kept until a TEA waiver is granted. Ms. Prause seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy EHBJ (TSBVI) Curriculum Development: Innovative Programs (amend)

Policy EIA (TSBVI) Academic Achievement: Grading Progress Reports to Parents (amend)

Ms. Morrison described proposed amendments.

Ms. Prause moved that Policies EHBJ and EIA be amended as proposed. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

Policy GKG (TSBVI) Community Relations: School Volunteer Program (amend)

Ms. Morrison described proposed amendments.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked who is on TSBVI training concussion oversight team. Mr. Fain said that the Health Center Director and a contracting pediatrician are on the team and that coaches and PE teachers provide consultation but are not team members.

Ms. Prause moved that Policy GKG be amended as proposed. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

At the conclusion of the committee’s consideration of policies, Mr. Sonnenberg thanked Ms. Morrison for her work on the policies.

4. Consideration of Approval of the School’s calendar for 2019-2020

Mr. Fain reviewed the proposed 2019-2020 school calendar. He said that the calendar is similar to the previous year’s calendar, except that one staff development day was moved from the day after Labor Day to the last day of inservice week, so that staff can get training that they need before instruction for the year starts. The Instructional Planning Council has reviewed and given input on the proposed calendar, and they support it. Mr. Sonnenberg mentioned that a TEA waiver will be needed for the reduced number of instructional minutes in the proposed calendar.

Ms. Prause moved to approve the school calendar for 2019-2020, including the request to TEA for a waiver for reduced instructional minutes. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

5. Report from Outreach Director, Emily Coleman

Ms. Coleman reported on Outreach future planning, which is based on the recently-completed Outreach Needs Assessment. There is a large amount of data that is useful for Outreach planning.

A priority is increased distance technology and online training opportunities. Lots of good things have happened this year, including getting Active Learning courses online. There is a plan to test these courses in order the determine the appropriate number of CEUs to offer. Bridge course use has been increasing.

TSBVI is working toward development of micro-credentials, including determining the protocol of a micro-credential that makes it worthy. Work submitted as evidence must be graded, and this takes staff time, so a fee for the training may be charged. Having a micro-credential can lead to teacher pay increase. Mr. Fain said that the TSBVI plan for this is based on the AISD pay plan, which AISD describes online. Mr. Fain can share the TSBVI written procedure. A teacher’s appraisal performance and professional development activities can lead to small increments of pay increase. Professional development units are based on national board certification units, which include learning about a research based strategy, using the strategy with students, and then reporting based on gathered evidence. A second category is obtaining leadership steps, such as obtaining a Texas Tech DeafBlind certificate. A micro-credential earns 2 points, completing a graduate course earn 6 points. There is a range of costs for the training units available, depending on the vendor, which basically pays for the work to be graded, and vendors have high standards. The pay scale includes 10 steps with $750 pay increments. Completing these activities takes time, and teachers must get supervisor pre-approval to ensure that the training ties in with teacher’s professional goals. Trainings apply well for Comprehensive Programs teachers. It is more difficult for Short-Term Programs teachers to obtain student evidence for the report since they don’t work over a long period of time with their students. Ms. Coleman described a book study done by Outreach teachers regarding the effect of trauma on the body, which applies to students who have had that experience. This led to a discussion of how to write Outreach consultation reports.

Plans are made to continue podcasts, since these have been well-received and widely used. The podcast provides information not only about TSBVI, but also on other organizations. It is a good way to highlight things that TSBVI is doing. The next topic is low vision, and a TSBVI student contributed to that podcast. TSBVI needs to find new ways to market our resources and products. We need to improve our website.

Another area is finding more opportunities for collaboration with other organizations. The Outreach Director should meet more regularly with TEA leaders, including Vicki Dupontis and Stephanie, the new network lead, to get on the same page with the leadership team.

Regarding student and family consultations, Outreach has gone to all ESCs this year. Active Learning is a niche that Outreach has developed which isn’t always available in other places. It would be helpful to develop an Active Learning micro-credential.

There has been a spike in requests for students who have Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH), and many requests include the need for guidance on behavior. Outreach staff are working on products to help with that, such as how to do Functional Behavior Evaluations and how to improve positive behavior support. Ms. Prause asked if Outreach is planning to do a group or network for ONH, such as helping teachers meet monthly to talk about it. Ms. Coleman agrees that is a good idea, because ONH is a condition that is on the rise, and there is not much focus in the field on it. There is a large range of kids, and everyone is struggling with these students. The ONH study group that was meeting on campus was really helpful for TSBVI staff, and they found good strategies. These strategies need to be put in writing and offered out to other professionals.

There are more and more requests for O&M consultations, probably due to the new law. There are lots of requests for information on the psychosocial effect of visual impairment on children and families. There is a need to develop CEUs for additional professions such as counselors. There is a cost to provide CEUs for other professionals, so a charge may be required.

Outreach will keep working to get more Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs). Student identification levels are going up, while the number of TVIs is going down. A request for funds to support DeafBlind coursework has been made. We are working toward future certification in DeafBlindness through the State Board of Education.

Outreach will continue promoting family activities, including assisting TAPVI, which is struggling. Activities of the West Texas cluster didn’t happen this year.

Ms. Prause said that she is very interested in the planned low vision clinic at TSBVI. The West Texas cluster would support that program with low vision funds. Dr. Miller is too expensive for them to pay for her come there, and other options are limited. For example, there is an organization in the Hill Country that pays for evaluations and buys devices for children, but that is only available in a small specific area. Ms. Coleman said that there is a hope to launch the TSBVI low vision clinic next year. There has been talk about partnering with Short-Term Programs to provide support for students after a low vision clinic visit. In Washington state, a partnership worked well to evaluate low vision students and then help them buy recommended devices. TSBVI may be able to partner with All Blind Children to purchase low vision devices for students. Ms. Merritt mentioned that the Lion’s Club may also be interested.

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

Ms. Merritt reported on 2019 summer program applications and classes.

This year, a total of 377 applications were received, as compared to 488 applications last year, so there was a 29% decrease in the number of applications for this summer’s programs. This is probably due to the announcement that summer programs would be smaller this year, and it was helpful that people found other options for their students rather than depending on TSBVI summer programs and having to be disappointed if not accepted.

Ms. Merritt provided and discussed a chart showing the numbers of applicants and seats offered for each program and the number of DeafBlind students included in each program.

PROGRAM                      APPLICANTS 2019    SEATS OFFERED 2019 DEAFBLIND
ESE                                                  98                          56                         1
PEEC                                              106                          60                         4
SE                                                   134                          56                         1
CREDIT PE                                  in SE #s                     12
SWEAT & WALIC                              39                          30                         3
TOTAL 377 214 9

This summer, a total of 214 seats are being offered, which is down 32% from last year.
The secondary program took the biggest hit with a 48% decrease in number of seats offered. This is because those students have the easiest time going to other camps. Students eligible for the PEEC program don’t have many other opportunities to attend camps so 60 seats are being offered, a 13% decrease. The elementary program is down 34%, with 56 seats being offered. In addition to smaller number of seats offered, most program lengths were shortened as well. The exceptions were SWEAT and WALIC, which did not have to be decreased because TWC provided funding. Also, the PE program is not decreased because it is so important to offer a PE course for credit in the adapted environment available at TSBVI.

Last year the DeafBlind vocational program only served three students, so that program was canceled. However, nine students with DeafBlindness have been offered seats in various programs this year. There will be a challenge in finding staff to hire as interveners. In addition, we may not have enough staff on campus who are willing to work, since only two weeks of work can be offered to TSBVI staff.

Ms. Merritt described the efforts that she, Ms. Morrison and the TSBVI Business Office made in trying to reach an agreement with Health and Human Service (HHSC) to fund an additional 86 students this summer. After initial discussions, HHSC stopped communicating about the possible agreement for several weeks, and then they did not follow through, saying that TSBVI and HHSC needed a master contract/MOU which did not exist. Ms. Morrison said that she would work to get that agreement in place by next year. Mr. Sonnenberg noted that HHSC has more money to spend due to a two-year rider they were granted, but those funds will go away by next year.

HHSC seemed interested in the program, but their organization seems to have a poor communication chain internally. Ms. Lee noted that she has experienced difficulties in working with HHSC also. Last year HHSC presented a conference in August, but they wouldn’t pay for food, which made planning very difficult.

Ms. Prause asked if the calendar of Short-Term Programs school-year offerings for next year is available yet. Ms. Merritt said that she is working on it now. The plan for next year reflects four fewer programs, since Short-Term Programs is down two staff and she is not sure if those positions can be restored next year. Some in-person classes have become online or distance learning offerings.

7. Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal, Miles Fain

The committee considered approval of recommendations from the TSBVI Instructional Materials Committee. Renee Toy, Learning Resource Center Director, provided information about these recommendations. For the 2019-2020 school year, instructional materials that were adopted by the State Board of Education were reviewed by teachers on the TSBVI Instructional Materials Team. The team is recommending Pearson for English Language Arts and Reading, since online materials were most accessible. Zaner-Bloser, Inc. was the only company offering spelling materials, so those were selected for spelling grades 1-6. There were no recommendations for Spanish Language Arts or Handwriting. Goodheart-Wilcox was selected for Personal Financial Literacy.

Mr. Sonnenberg asked if handwriting is taught at TSBVI. Mr. Fain said that the focus is often more on signatures, rather than general handwriting. Student are taught to use signature guides, and Occupational Therapists sometimes work with students to learn to write a signature.

Ms. Toy also gave update on recent activities in the Learning Resource Center (LRC). Lots of good activities have continued, despite the recent budget limitations. Ms. Toy mentioned the following activities and events:


a. A large group from the Austin Public Library came to visit the LRC and discuss a partnership, so that TSBVI students can better utilize Austin Public Library services. The visitors complimented Ms. Toy for the purchases she has made for the LRC, which pleased Ms. Toy, since she makes a great effort to utilize her budget wisely.
b. Sue O’Brien and Ms. Toy visited the Library of Congress and saw the reading room there. They noticed that the TSBVI LRC has almost all the books that they saw there.
c. One of the ideas that guides Ms. Toy in choosing materials for the LRC is the idea that “students need mirrors of themselves and windows out into the world.” Ms. Toy tries to make sure that student can see themselves in the books they read.
d. Student choice in reading is important for students to become life-long readers. The LRC endeavors to provide students many choices.
e. TSBVI partners with the Junior League. One of these volunteers told Ms. Toy that she has gotten ideas from the TSBVI LRC to take to the school library in her own community.
f. The LRC hosted a voter registration drive in order to register students to vote.
g. The Braille Challenge was hosted at TSBVI.
h. Teacher Chris Correll helped develop a new area in LRC as a “maker space” and it has been a great success. Students and teachers across the school have utilized it for a great variety of projects. Students have learned to use tools and to create many different items. Some students received a $300 grant to create a project and used the maker space to work on the project. The 3-D printer has been used to create many interesting 3-D objects.
i. LRC staff have been supporting implementation of the UEB Braille system. Library staff braillists are translating books, especially for younger students.
j. LRC staff are participating in a coding class.
k. There are couple of lunch time reading groups, when students can have bag lunches. Rather than a book discussion, students prefer having a book read to them.
l. Ms. Toy supports the Talking Book program by making sure that all students are registered. She sends students home for the summer with many books on cartridges that they can access. Because of that, many students have been able to read far more books at home than they could otherwise.
m. The LRC has a volunteer who is an aerospace engineer and who works in the LRC with a 6th-grade student who is interested in learning about the field of engineering.
n. The LRC hosted a World Read Aloud event, and several TSBVI administrators participated.
o. More books have circulated this year than in the past. Interest among students is growing as students hear about interesting books that other students have read.
p. The staff versus student reading challenge was very successful.
q. High school English teacher Paul Carlson has made it a requirement for students to pick any four books they want to read, which is a very positive experience for students.
r. LRC staff help people with braille issues across the state and nation, including tactile graphics and music braille.


Ms. Prause moved to approve recommendations for instructional materials made by the TSBVI Instructional Materials Committee. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Committee members were in favor of the motion.

8. Adjournment

Ms. Prause made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Lee seconded the motion. Mr. Sonnenberg adjourned the meeting at 9:56 a.m.