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TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Board Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2018 Meeting

  

Call to Order:  

Joseph Muniz called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.

Mr. Muniz introduced himself and read the Oath of Office and swore in the new board members Dan Brown, Brenda Lee, Julie Prause and reappointed board member Mike Hanley.

Introduction of Audience: 

Audience Members were as follows: Joseph Muniz, Board President, Michael Garrett, Board Member, Bobby Druesedow, Board Member, Dan Brown, Board Member, Mary Alexander, Board Member, Brenda Lee, Board Member, Mike Hanley, Board Member, Julie Prause, Board Member, Bill Daugherty, Superintendent, Susan Morrison, General Counsel, Veronica Lopez, Executive Assistant, Carrie Keith, Outreach Services, Allison Kemp, Short Term Programs, Kathi Garza, Short Term Programs, Nichelle White, Short Term Programs, Phoebe Williams, Short Term Programs, Nina Wibbenmeyer, Short Term Programs, Sara Merritt, Principal of Short Term Programs, Susan Haughtling, Director of Planning and Evaluation, Cyral Miller, Outreach Director, Carrie Farraje, Short Term Programs, Miriam Miramontes, Outreach Coordinator, Randall McAllister, Outreach Services, Brian Sobeck, Outreach Services, Lyn McAllister, Outreach Services, Larry Locke Husband of Linda Locke, Louise, Mother of Linda Locke, Linda Locke, Retiree, Tobie Locke, Son of Linda Locke, Cassie Locke, Daughter in law of Linda Locke, Trisha Locke, Daughter of Linda Locke, Ginger Locke Floyd, Daughter in law, Kate Mainzer, Human Resources Director, Paula Wilson, Career Education, Margaret Edwards, Short Term Programs, Katie Clarke, Comprehensive Programs, Erin Shadwick, Comprehensive Programs, Sharon Nichols, Outreach Services, Robbie Blaha, Outreach Services, Holly Cooper, Outreach Services, Liz Brown, Wife of Dan Brown, Matt Schultz, Outreach, Chris Tabb, Outreach, Dan Hampton, Information Resources Director, Kemp Long, Internal Audit Director, Miles Fain, Principal of Comprehensive Programs, Nantana Rulon, Retiree, G'Nell Price, Assistant Principal of Comprehensive Programs, Paula Castro, Comprehensive Programs, Angela Wolf, Comprehensive Programs, Scott Brackett, Short Term Programs, Amanda Fierro, Short Term Programs, John Rose, Short Term Programs, Debra Sewell, Curriculum Director, Cyrenna Villegas, Procurement Director, Pam Darden, Chief Financial Officer, Brian Mcdonald, Support Services Director, Amanda Hafer, Accounting Director, Josh Splinter, Budget Analyst, Tad Doezema, Assistant Principal of Comprehensive Programs, Lynn Robertson, Comprehensive Programs, Sarah Layton, daughter of Dan Brown, and Abigail and Aliza Wolf, daughters of Angela Wolf. 

Recognition of Retiring TSBVI Staff Members:  

Miles Fain and Joseph Muniz recognized retirees Robbie Blaha, Holly Cooper, Margaret Edwards, Linda Locke, Sharon Nichols, and Nantana Rulon for their service to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Public Comments/Open Forum:  

There were no public comments.

Consideration of Approval of Minutes of April 6, 2018 Board Meeting:  

Mr. Druesedow motioned to approve the Board minutes as submitted. Mr. Garrett seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from April 6, 2018.

Report from the Finance Committee:  

Oath of Office for reappointed board member Michael Hanley: 

Mr. Garrett reported that Mike Hanley had been re-appointed to the Board.

Consideration of approval of board policies: 

Policies were approved separately in terms of the amended policies and one adopted policy.

Motion came from the Finance Committee therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Board policies.

CDC (TSBVI)        Other Revenues:  Gifts and Solicitations

CE (TSBVI)           Annual Operating Budget

CFA                      Accounting:  Financial Reports and Statements

CHB (TSBVI)       Purchasing and Acquisition:  Petty Cash Accounts

CKA                     Safety Program/Risk Management:  Inspections

CPAB                   Office Communications:  Mail and Delivery

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

DED (TSBVI)       Holidays

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

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

DI (TSBVI)           Employee Welfare

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

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

GKC                     Community Relations:  Visitors to the School

Consideration of approval of Investment Report: 

Mr. Garrett reported that the Committee reviewed the report and the balance as of April 30, 2018 was $793,005.61.

Total earning for the period was $4,250.03. Investments include: two CD's from First

National Bank of Bellville for $100,000 each and one CD at ABC Bank of Austin in the

amount of $240,000. The Legacy Money Market account total was $201,298.90 and the

Texas CLASS Investment Pool account total was $150,418.02. Mr. Garrett stated these

Were the totals from the Investment Report.

 

Motion came from Committee to approve the Investment Report therefore no second

was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Investment Report.

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

Mr. Garrett stated for the period there were two donations of over $500: one for $3,000 from the Point Venture Lion Club and one for $5,000 from the Beken, Bell, Lewis, Hrozek Families and Friends/ Edward Allison, Remax Realtors. The total for the period was $8,000.

Motion came from the Committee to approve the gifts and donations over $500 therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the requests for expenditure of gifts and donations.

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

Mr. Garrett reported that there was a request for a designation of the $5,000 donation be allocated toward technology. 

Motion came from the Committee to approve the designation of donated funds therefore no second was needed. All Board members were in favor of the motion and the motion carried.

Review of budget reports:

Operating Budget Expenditure Report:  

Mr. Garrett reported that the benchmark for this time of the year is 67%. Classroom instruction was at 69%, Residential Program is at 69%, Summer and Short Term Program is at 36%, Outreach Technical Assistance 58%, Outreach Teacher Preparation 42%, Central Administration 66%, Other Support Services 52%, and total State Treasury Budget 63%.

Legacy Revenue Budget Report:  

Mr. Garrett stated that the Legacy Revenue as of April 30, 2018 was $632,870.31. These categories came from the totals as follows: Broday Trust $602,903.64, Oil and Gas Royalties $741.53, Farm Rent $24,975.11, and Interest Income $4,250.03.  

Legacy Operating Expenditure Budget Report: 

The Legacy Expenditures for the period was $567,799. 

Mary Alexander stated that she knew there would be a report on Nolan Farm so she would save her question of why the revenue is so much higher than projected.

Report on Nolan County Farms: 

Mr. Garrett stated that Pam Darden and Josh Splinter visited the farms earlier in May and said the properties were well cared for. They visited with both lessees. One of them is pleased with the way things were going and the other is questioning whether irrigation could be installed. Per their discussion, the staff will do some cost analysis work, based on prices, yield, and if the installation could be paid for within a year. The Board will await the cost analysis work.

Ms. Alexander asked about the insurance payment for the loss of crops due to the drought.

Ms. Darden reported that one of the crops failed. There was one insurance payment for the loss of the crop and not for the production and the sale of the cotton. The other farm made their crop so TSBVI received those funds. The projections were made from the previous year. This past year both crops were successful therefore revenue increased. Ms. Darden added there is now a better understanding that will help with their projections. 

Ms. Alexander stated that, as far as the irrigation system goes, a good idea would be to see what is normally done in that area. She said she knows when you are raising cattle you take the land the way it is as a lessor. Ms. Darden stated that Mr. Fuller requested that TSBVI assist or pay for the drilling of the wells and also for the pumps. That cost would be about $10,000 and $12,000 per well. Mr. Fuller would provide the equipment for the field. Ms. Darden added the two farms are less than one mile apart and one crop succeeded and the other did not. Ms. Darden said that these are the things that will be  considered when making the decision.  

Mr. Muniz stated that, as far as legalities, it is something that the Board can act on independently. He asked if they will need to consult with the General Land Office. Ms. Darden stated that she had not looked into that subject. She said that, if it is something TSBVI can do, it will be brought forth and presented to the Board with the cost analysis.

Mr. Daugherty added that there are various factors that will be looked into and assured that staff will do so diligently. 

Mr. Muniz asked someone to give new board members a briefing of the farmland owned by TSBVI. Mr. Daugherty called on Pam Darden to give a synopsis of the farmland that TSBVI owns. Ms. Darden explained that the farmland was originally owned by Mary Prior who willed it to the School. Part of the agreement is that TSBVI maintain her cemetery plots, which is being done. Mr. Garrett inquired about the size of the land. Ms. Darden answered that one plot is 160 acres and the other is 87 acres.

Mr. Garrett reported that the weather repairs at the Superintendent's residence are moving forward. He added that the other construction projects are moving forward. Safety and Security issues are being taken into consideration and being addressed. Lastly, Information Resources is addressing cyber security for TSBVI systems.  

Report from the Program Committee:

Oaths of Office for newly appointed board members: 

Mr. Muniz stated that it was his pleasure to give the Oath of Office to the new Board Members.

Report from Short-Term Programs Principal:

Short-term Program attendance:  

Mr. Muniz reported that the attendance numbers have grown with attendees from across the state. The areas that have been underrepresented or even had no representation at all now have accessed TSBVI. He added that it is being made possible through the distance education infrastructure TSBVI offers. 

Mr. Muniz expressed on the Board's behalf his great appreciation to the Legislature and the Governor's office for approving the Appropriations Request, that is now paying dividends to the visually impaired students who are able to access these services. Mr. Muniz added the infrastructure allows the School to do so much more, not only for visually impaired students but for professionals as well.

Report from Comprehensive Programs Principal:

School Health Advisory Council’s activities and recommendations:  

Mr. Muniz stated that he had stepped out of the report meeting and asked Ms. Alexander to give the report. She reported that Shelly Allen discussed what they had done last year with students and healthy eating habits. This year they are doing the same things but hope that this year these habits will be better attended due to what they have practiced and learned throughout last year. Ms. Alexander added that they have done a great job in the past year. Mr. Muniz stated that when he re-entered the meeting it was encouraging to hear about the students healthy eating habits. Ms. Alexander added that salad bar has been added as an option for evening meals. There are funds being spent to make that available to students, however, they definitely think it should continue.

Consideration of approval of “Unhushed” sexual education curriculum:  

Mr. Muniz stated that Debra Sewell gave a great report. He added that it is a very important topic and that he is pleased with the school's process. Counselors are present and available for students to talk to in the case questions or concerns may arise.

Program Committee recommended approval of the “Unhushed” Sexual Education Curriculum. Motion came from Committee therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the “Unhushed” sexual education curriculum.

Consideration of approval of recommendations of the Instructional Materials Committee:  

No action was needed due to their not being any changes.

Report from Outreach Program Director:  

Update from Outreach:  

Mr. Muniz asked Mary Alexander to report on the update from Outreach.

Ms. Alexander reported that there is a collaboration between Short Term Programs and Outreach that keeps growing. The collaboration is important because it benefits TVI's and parents. There are also a number of online classes TSBVI has that are directly related to the having new facilities that help facilitate the needs of the School and community. 

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

Consideration of approval of board policies:  

Mr. Muniz stated that he was pleased with the productivity and work being done on the backlog of policies.

The Committee recommended to approve the amendment of policy BBA, adoption of policy BBBD, amendment as revised for policy BBC, amendment of policy BBE, amendment as revised for policy BED, adoption of policy BG, amendment of policy BJA, amendment as revised for policy GBA, amendment as revised for policy GBAA. 

Motion came from the Committee therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the board policies. 

Report from the Internal Auditor:

Mr. Long reported on the risk assessment and identification process. Mr. Long reported the number of hours he proposes to dedicate to each identified area: Cyber Security will have a 500-hour plan, Grants Administration/Grants Management will have a 250-hour audit plan, and CAPPS for fiscal year 2018-2019 will have a 200-hour audit plan. 

Mr. Long gave the opportunity for questions. Mr. Hanley explained his understanding of the chart given to the Board showing the level of risks. His understanding of the color coding was if it is red then it means it is high risk, therefore, it is being monitored closely. Mr. Long stated that Mr. Hanley had the correct understanding of the chart and added that all of the items have been looked into. 

Mr. Muniz added one point that Dan Brown brought forth was that accessibility of the CAPPS system should be addressed so that it is accessible for staff. Mr. Garrett added that they also talked about accessibility of the CAPPS program in the Committee meeting. Dan Hampton said it has been brought to his attention and it will be looked into. Mr. Daugherty added that he anticipates that there will be some accessibility issues of the new program. However, they will be hands on and learn a lot about the level of accessibility. TSBVI is already in contact with the Comptroller's office in regards to these points and issues. There will be training and top accessibility people on campus that will be dealing with the issues. Mr. Druesedow added he used the program three years ago and he is sure there has been some change. It may be accessible but it is up to the user. Mr. Brown added that he appreciated the fact that Mr. Daugherty assures that there will be training. He firmly believes that even if it is made accessible the availability of training materials is crucial. There often times is a gap in the demonstration of the software and accessibility. 

Consideration of approval of Internal Audit Plan:  

Motion came from Committee to approve the Internal Audit Plan therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Internal Audit Plan.

Report from the Personnel Committee:

Consideration of approval of internal auditor evaluation instrument:

Mr. Muniz reported that the Personnel Committee met on Thursday May 31, 2018 and the charge of the Committee was to address the evaluation instrument after the recommendation of a new appraisal instrument.

Ms. Mainzer and Mr. Long contributed to the changes made to the instrument. Mr. Muniz added that he was very pleased with the new appraisal instrument. Ms. Alexander and Mr. Garrett both reviewed it as well. They did make one change to the instrument that there be an evaluation of the Internal Auditor's working relationship with the Board.

The Personnel Committee voted to approve the Internal Auditor Evaluation Instrument as revised therefore no second was needed. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Internal Auditor Evaluation Instrument.

Consideration of Approval of New Contract Staff:  

Mr. Daugherty listed the additions of new contract staff for the Board’s approval. He added that there will be additional contract staff before the summer is over.  Mary Alexander asked when the Board will be approving the new staff. Ms. Mainzer answered they will need to be approved this board meeting and again in August’s board meeting. 

Ms. Alexander moved to approve the new contract staff as presented. Mr. Garrett seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion and the motion carried.

Consideration of Approval of Appraisers for the Teacher Appraisal Process: 

Mr. Daugherty stated that the following would be teacher appraisers: Miles Fain, Principal, G'Nell Price, Assistant Principal, Eden Hagelman, Assistant Principal and Tad Doezema, Assistant Principal. Mr. Muniz asked what the purpose of the appraisal process was. Mr. Daugherty answered it is part of the teacher evaluation process. There is a new teacher appraisal system and individual specific goals for each teacher. It is a much more involved process. The appraisers are qualified, therefore, the appraisal task is in good hands.

Mary Alexander moved to approve the appraisers for the teacher appraisal process. Brenda Lee seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion and the motion carried.

Consideration of Approval of the Agency Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2023:  

Mr. Daugherty stated that every other year TSBVI and all other state agencies submit a Strategic Plan to the Legislative Budget Board. The Strategic Plan is largely a budget document. In the Strategic Plan it gives the opportunity to bring forth items that might be coming from a rule, law, regulations standpoint, or funding issues. It is signaled in our Agency Strategic Plan that we are going to ask for general revenue funding. TSBVI has been flat funded in general revenue for a while and the budget is getting tighter.

Mr. Daugherty stated he would like for the Board to consider the Strategic Plan that will be submitted to the Legislative Budget Board on Friday June 8, 2018. There will be clarifying language that will be added to make the plan a better submission. The two areas are: 1. campus security upgrades that will be monitored over the summer and school safety issues, both personnel and structural and 2. Residential Instructors, Teacher Assistants, and Nurses are running into problematic job market issues in regards to pay. There are fast food establishments that pay employees what we pay our beginner RI's. With cost of living increasing, TSBVI will ask for additional funds. The Strategic Plan will be submitted with these items added.

Mr. Hanley asked what the qualifications are for a Residential Instructor. Mr. Daugherty stated that it is high school graduation and some college hours. Mr. Druesedow added that it is an entry level position. Mr. Daugherty stated that he wants to continue to offer paths of career growth for them. Very typically what will happen with our RI's is when a TA position opens up they will switch over to that position. It is good for them to be able to develop more of their instructional capabilities. TSBVI has a nice system with its two universities to get their degrees. We just need to bring some money into that system.

Ms. Alexander asked for clarification regarding if the Board is approving the Agency Strategic Plan knowing that there will be additions. Mr. Daugherty answered that he is asking the Board's permission to allow the last minute changes and make a clear signal of what we intend to do.

Mr. Druesedow moved to approve the Agency Strategic Plan for fiscal year 2019-2023 with the Superintendent’s recommended changes. Ms. Alexander seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of the motion and the motion carried. 

Review of 2018-2019 Annual Improvement Plan (Bill Daugherty):  

Mr. Daugherty said the topic is a review of the Annual Improvement Plan because the Board had seen the plan before. Formerly it did not have any Action Plan detail, which is now included.

Mr. Garrett stated that he is pleased to see that all throughout the plan it mentions striving for academic excellence. Now the other concern he has is that problem solving and critical thinking are not addressed. He would like to see that it is brought to the Board’s attention that the students are learning and using problem solving techniques. Mr. Daugherty added that he would get together with Mr. Fain and Ms. Sewell to bring forth where in the document that may be. Mr. Muniz asked that he puts his findings in an off-month report or email to the Board.

Discussion of Development of Board Operating Procedures:  

Susan Morrison introduced herself. Ms. Morrison explained the Board Operating Procedures. She stated Mr. Muniz and herself have been discussing topics that will help the trustees, especially new Board members, acclimate to their positions. Basically they are trying to avoid liability and the problems that come up in establishing and maintaining the proper relationship between the Board, administration, students, employees and the public. Topics include chain of command such as going through the Board President for putting items on the agenda, preparing for board meetings, visits to the classrooms, access to staff when you are on campus, confidentiality and executive sessions. Mary Alexander stated that after seeing the Operating Procedures she would suggest adding information like training hours required per year, how many times you will see certain reports, and what the process for travel is. Mr. Druesedow added the resources for such trainings would be helpful. Ms. Alexander asked who she should contact during this process. Mr. Muniz stated that she could email Susan Morrison and cc him.  

Report from the Superintendent:

Campus visitors: 

Mr. Daugherty reported on the campus events: on May 1, 2018 a meeting of the Personnel Prep Advisory Group (PPAG) and a May 2 meeting of the Texas Action Committee for the Education of Students for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They are unique to Texas. TSBVI pulls everyone together, representatives from school districts, service centers, parents, adult services, and early childhood services to talk about the big issues that are going on today. It is one of the great and wonderful things about our school and our state. In most ways Cyral Miller is the engine that drives this.

Campus activities: 

Mr. Daugherty reported on some of the activities going on around campus. In Short Term Programs, the In the Driver's Seat program took place. It is an introduction to safe driving with low vision. It helps teenagers and their parents work through the issues on whether they can drive or not. The program was well attended. 

Distance Education is coming on strong. There is going to be a growing percentage of enrollment of kids that are participating in this. Lastly, on the Outreach program, the Mentor Center brings in teachers that are becoming certified as teachers of the Visually Impaired. It really ties people to TSBVI as partners from the very beginning of their career and throughout it.

Mr. Daugherty added that there were a lot of things going on around campus; most of it culminating yesterday with graduation.

Mr. Muniz stated the Distance Education Infrastructure came up two times today. He asked if the infrastructure is about where they planned it would be. Mr. Daugherty answered that Allison Kemp has been putting this together from the infrastructure stand point. We have more people learning how to do it and being more comfortable with the process. The equipment and the way you do it is always evolving. However, what we have right now works well. We are keeping an eye out on any new technology that might help us. The Legislature gave us additional funding to pay personnel and that is paying off now. 

Mr. Muniz recognized the Superintendent and staff who did a great job at graduation. Ms. Alexander recognized the staff and cafeteria staff. Mr. Brown added that graduation was very special and the way every graduate got special attention was great. Ms. Lee added that she enjoyed the graduation. Ms. Prause stated that she really enjoyed the guest speaker. Mr. Druesedow added it was nice to see her because she was a student in his class.

Consideration of Approval of Dates for 2018-2019 Board Meetings and Training Dates and Discussion of Summer 2018 Board Meeting:  

Susan Houghtling reported on the dates for Board Meetings and training dates.

Board Members discussed the dates August 9 and August 10. It was decided that August 9 start time will be 1:00 p.m. and August 10 start time will be 8:00 a.m. The orientation date for new Board Members will be August 9 at 9:00 a.m. 

All other proposed board meeting dates were discussed and worked for a majority of the Board.

Ms. Houghtling listed the training hour requirements for the new board members. Orientation must be done within 120 days after appointment to the Board. Open meeting training must be done within 90 days of taking the oath of office. Public Funds Investment Act training needs to be done within 6 months of taking office. Texas Education Code orientation must be done within 120 days of service. Contract management training and 10 hours of continuing education should be done within the first 12 months of service.

Mr. Druesedow motioned to approve the calendar as submitted. Mr. Hanley seconded the motion. All Board Members were in favor of the motion and the motion carried. 

Discussion of Future Board Meeting Topics:  

No Board meeting topics were brought forth.

Appointment of Board Committee Members, Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons:  

Board President, Joseph Muniz appointed to the Finance Committee: Michael Garrett as chair, Bobby Druesedow as vice-chair and Dan Brown as a member. Mr. Muniz appointed to the Audit Committee: Mary Alexander as chair, Mike Hanley as vice-chair and Joseph Muniz as a member. Mr. Muniz appointed to the Program Committee: Lee Sonnenberg as chair, Brenda Lee as vice-chair and Julie as a member.

Announcements:  

Mr. Garrett announced his fourth great grandson named after him. Ms. Lee thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve as a Board Member. Ms. Prause also announced her appreciation and admiration of the School. Mr. Brown expressed his appreciation to the staff and board members for the work that they have done. Mr. Daugherty added that TSBVI is pleased with the addition of the new board members and thanked them for serving as board members.

Adjournment:  

At 1:11 p.m. Mr. Druesedow made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Garrett seconded the motion. All Board members were in favor of adjournment and the meeting was adjourned at 1:11 p.m.