HISD Board Approves District’s Strategic Direction Plan And Apollo 20 Funding
At the regular monthly meeting of the HISD Board of Education last night, board trustees voted to adopt a Strategic Direction that will guide the transformation of the district over the next several years.
HISD developed the plan over a six month period after holding numerous community meetings to gather input from parents, employees, students, community groups and leaders, business partners and HISD taxpayers.
“The level of engagement we have had to develop this plan is unprecedented,” said Board President Greg Meyers. “I commend my colleagues on the board and the superintendent and his staff for their efforts in reaching out to involve all internal and external stakeholders to develop this shared vision for the district’s future.”
On the subject of filling the vacancy created by the resignation of board member Diana Davila, a majority of the board voted against a motion to hold a special election until the option of nominating a replacement is explored. That means that no decision has been made and the options of either nominating or holding a special election are still open to the board.
In other action, the board also approved the following measures:
Approval of Funds for Apollo 20 Project
The board voted to accept an estimated $26 million in grant funds from the Texas Education Agency to be used at the four high schools in the Apollo 20 project and two additional high schools. The Texas Title I Priority Schools (TTIPS) Grant will be used to pay for programs and resources to transform each school and raise student achievement.
PSAT/NMSAT Testing for All Ninth Graders
The board voted to allow the district to negotiate and execute an agreement with the College Board to offer preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Tests (PSAT/NMSQT) for all HISD high school freshmen during the 2010–11 school year. HISD will pay for all enrolled ninth-graders to take the PSAT/NMSQT.
Texas Connections Academy Contract Amendment
The board voted to authorize the district to amend its contract with the Texas Connections Academy to add a virtual education program for students in grades 3–10 who are located in a hospital or a homebound setting.
Agreement with Harris County Juvenile Board for JJAEP
The board voted to allow the district to negotiate and renew an agreement with the Harris County Juvenile Board for the continuation of services of the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP) for expelled students during the 2010–11 school year.
ASPIRE Award Program
The board approved new amendments to the ASPIRE Award program for the 2009–2010 school year. The trustees also approved a total of $44.2 million for the program, with payouts scheduled for January 2011. HISD launched what is now the ASPIRE Award program in January 2007 as an educational-improvement and performance-pay model that engages all employees in creating a culture of excellence. Since then, the district has steadily refined the evaluation process and increased the size of the financial rewards for effectiveness in producing academic growth in students.