Oct. 24 2023 BoardBits
This e-newsletter highlights important news from the Oct. 24 regular meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.
The STISD Board of Directors approved the academic calendar for the 2024-2025 School Year during the Oct. 24 board meeting.
Leading up to the meeting, administration presented two options of the school calendar to campuses for review and selection. The campus selections were then taken to the district's Educational Improvement Council (EIC) meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, for review and a vote of that committee. EIC's recommended calendar was brought to the Board of Directors for review and final approval this week.
The approved calendar is over the state requirement for the total minutes of instruction, and the school start date, which will be Monday, Aug. 19, 2024, is allowed through the STISD District of Innovation Plan.
In addition to the academic calendar, the Board also approved the Employee Legend.
During the Oct. 24 board meeting, the STISD Board of Directors approved standing orders for the 2023-2024 school year with physician Ricardo Ochoa, M.D.
Effective Jan. 1, 2024, each school district shall adopt and implement a policy regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of opioid antagonists at each campus in the district that serves students in grades 6 through 12, which in the case of STISD, would include all schools. The district may adopt and implement such a policy at each campus in the district, including campuses serving students in a grade level below grade 6.
Section 38.225 of SB 629, and in conjunction with Texas Education Code 22.052, allows a physician or person who has been delegated prescriptive authority under chapter 157, Occupations Code, to prescribe opioid antagonists in the name of a school district, open enrollment charter school, or private school.
Per TEC 22.052, a district must have a physician's order that provides instructions for a procedure that can be activated by school personnel when specific conditions and circumstances occur in the school setting. Due to the variety of medications and treatments administered in schools, school nurses and trained school health staff can assist with administering medications, monitoring adherence to medication regimens, and providing recommendations to protect the health and safety of students.
Standing orders for the current school year were developed by Dr. Ochoa, the district's consulting physician, and have now been approved by the school board. Next, they will go to the nurses for review.
Dr. Brenda De La Garza, STISD Special Programs Director, provided the board with a detailed report on the Bilingual ESL Program Evaluation for 2022-2023.
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.053, the annual evaluation collected a full range of data to determine program effectiveness to ensure student academic success. Dr. De La Garza reviewed STAAR data showing how EB students performed closely in comparison to the All Student population across various subject areas. She also reviewed TELPAS data for the year.
Dr. De La Garza shared with the board the professional development opportunities provided throughout the 2022-2023 school year, including SAVVAS trainings that began last year with 20 teachers and are continuing into this school year with another 22 teachers in different subject areas from English and math to electives. These trainings involve working with teachers to ensure they have the strategies needed to work with the district's growing population of ESL students. She also highlighted how all STISD English teachers (ELAR) are ESL certified, so the district did not have to apply for an ESL waiver.
- STISD held a public hearing on the 2022-2023 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Report, during which Marla Knaub, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, reported to the Board and members of the public on the district's performance for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. STISD received a score of 98 and a Superior Achievement rating for the 16th straight year. Knaub explained how the score was achieved taking into account the key indicators.
- The STISD Board of Directors approved the admission qualifications and campus target populations for the 2024-2025 school year.
- The Board approved the 2023-2024 Gifted/Talented Manual.
- The Board approved the 2024-2025 Campus Course Offerings.
- The Board voted to proceed with with the 2023-2024 Capital Project: Athletic Fields for Mercedes & Edinburg Complexes project.
- The Board approved the motion of the newly-appointed 60-Year Anniversary Celebration Committee to begin looking into Nov. 2 or Nov. 9, 2024, for possible dates for the celebration.
- The Board President shared with the full board and attendees the annual STISD Board member training continuing education credit report.
- Oct. 28: Tour STISD Campus Showcase at World Scholars, 9 am to 12 pm, 510 S. Sugar Rd., Edinburg
- Nov. 4: Tour STISD Campus Showcases at Health Professions (Mercedes), Medical Professions (Olmito), and Preparatory Academy (Edinburg)
- Nov. 17: Professional Development (No school for students)
- Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving Break (campuses and offices closed)
Calendar & Category Legend:
- South Texas ISD
- UTRGV Expanded Collegiate Partnership