NEWS HEADLINES

No changes made to board policy

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, November 2, 2013

Northwest ISD trustees will retain the Standards of Professional Practice as outlined.

The board had tabled the item at its Oct. 14 meeting. Monday, they discussed the issue after a parent requested the board be more accessible.

At Monday’s meeting, trustee Judy Copp requested one change. According to the policy, board members are to “notify the superintendent prior to visiting a campus in an official capacity. The superintendent’s office will make arrangements for visitations through the principal.”

“I randomly called four districts in our area to see is they had the same standard of practice on campus visits,” Copp said. “I called Keller, Saginaw, Birdville and Denton. None of them require board members to schedule an appointment before visiting a campus.

“I feel it’s important for us to be on campus as often as we can and when we can,” she continued. “I would like to see the statement changed to ‘board members will notify the superintendent prior to visiting a campus if the board member wishes to meet with the principal. Any other time, a board member is welcome to visit when they can.”

Trustee Mark Schluter disagreed, saying the policy provides a needed structure.

“I like the policy the way it’s worded,” he said. “We love being on campus … but sometimes we have the tendency to cross the boundary. We don’t mean to. It’s always good to have a more structured approach.”

Jerhea Nail, executive director of communications and government relations, said she called Richardson, Plano, Dallas, Leander and Fort Bend ISDs, and those larger districts have the same requirements as outlined in the policy for NISD.

“(You risk) going to a campus without knowing what’s going on – if they’re testing students, if they have STAAR testing, PSAT testing,” Board President Mel Fuller said. “I don’t recall any time in my five-and-a-half years of being on the board asking to go to a campus that I was ever told no.

“I don’t see any need in changing this,” he continued. “I don’t think this hinders us being able to be out there and be seen and talk to teachers and be visible. This protects us moving forward … as we grow to the 34-, 35-, 36,000.”

Schluter made the motion to approve the policy as written, which was seconded by Devonna Holland. It passed unanimously.

IN OTHER NEWS

Trustees also:

  • discussed a $36,000 agreement with the city of Rhome for the maintenance of a school resource officer at Chisholm Trail Middle School. The item will be presented in the consent agenda of the board’s next meeting. Nov. 11.
  • named CTMS Assistant Principal Amy Howell principal of the district’s Carl E. Schluter Elementary in Haslet. Howell replaces Kim Caley, who was named NISD executive director of human resources.
  • held a public hearing on the district’s “superior achievement” rating from the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). NISD earned a perfect score and has earned the highest rating 11 times, since the accountability system was implemented.
  • named committees to select instructional materials for AP foreign languages, AP biology and global/international business courses.

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