San Marcos CISD board postpones action on curriculum staffing

The San Marcos CISD board of trustees voted March 25 to renew the contracts for all but two of its administrators.

The board members voted 5-2, with trustees David Castillo and John Crowley opposing, to approve the package of staffing recommendations made by Superintendent Mark Eads. The recommendation included taking no action on the contracts for a pair of administrators who oversee curriculum and instruction.

The vote came the same evening that trustees heard a report showing that San Marcos CISD campuses had fallen short of the Texas average in more than half of the state-mandated exams taken by third- through eighth-grade students in 2012.

Greg Rodriguez, the San Marcos CISD director of accountability and school improvement, said the district's scores were similar to the state average for almost all of the exams. There were two exceptions, however. The district outperformed the state average, 79 percent to 68 percent, in fourth-grade math, while San Marcos CISD's eighth-grade social studies performance was 47 percent, compared with a statewide average of 59 percent.

"We know we have to change the way we teach and the way we do business," Rodriguez said.

Final results from the 2012 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness were released to San Marcos CISD in January, Rodriguez said. The 2013 tests are scheduled for the first week of April.

During the board meeting, Eads said the district has taken several steps to improve scores, such as incorporating technology in campuses and making adjustments to staffing.

"There have been some programs implemented and changed as well," Eads said. "We have also refocused on instructional coaches. We're actually making gains from the previous year."

After the meeting, Eads said he recommended taking no action on the contracts for Yolanda Almendarez, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and Pam Guettner, director of curriculum and instruction.

"I recommended to approve an extension of all administrators' contracts," Eads said. "I took no action on two administrators' contracts. When I take no action, it's one of three reasons. Either the employee has told me they're going to retire in the future ... or told me they're going to resign, ... or I will be reassigning them to a new position, and if I do that, I don't do that until June."

Eads declined to say which of the three reasons went into his recommendations for Almendarez' and Guettner's contracts.

Although it was not discussed at the March 25 board meeting, four of San Marcos CISD's nine campuses also fell short of the Texas Education Agency's standards for adequate yearly progress in 2011–12, according to a TEA report released in February.

The high school, both middle schools and Crockett and Mendez elementary schools missed the benchmark. Bowie, De Zavala, Travis and Hernandez elementary schools met requirements for adequate yearly progress.

Also at the March 25 meeting, trustees voted to change the academic grading calendar from a six-week grading period to a nine-week grading period. San Marcos High School already uses a nine-week grading period, and administrators said the switch would allow teachers more time for instruction.

Eads said district officials would also be taking a hard look at possible shortfalls in the 2013–14 budget.

"My hope is we do not have to cut any staff," Eads said. "I do not anticipate letting anyone go. There may be some positions that are not filled."



MOST RECENT

Protesters march from the state Capitol in downtown Austin on May 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mayor of San Marcos, school districts respond to death of George Floyd

As protests spark around the world to demand justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others who have died in police custody, San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson, San Marcos CISD Superintendent Michael Cardona and Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright issued statements earlier this week addressing their stances on the matter.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

The new storage location will be at 250 Riverwalk Drive, San Marcos. (Courtesy Guard Dog Storage)
Guard Dog Storage coming soon to San Marcos

The storage facility features drive-up storage access, standard and air-conditioned storage.

Mano Amiga will host a call for action at the Hays County Historic Courthouse at 3 p.m. June 6. (Christopher Neely)
Hays County activists seek reinvestment of policing funds, call a rally for action

Mano Amiga, a local grassroots organization in Hays County pushing for criminal justice reform, seeks to open a dialogue about how to better invest tax dollars allocated to law enforcement.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

Hays County cases are up four from June 3. (Community Impact staff)
Hays County has 4 new coronavirus cases on 13 tests reported June 4

Kyle has had more than 200 cases; San Marcos nearing 100 positive tests

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.

The shop specializing in daiquiris is located at 1617 Aquarena Springs, San Marcos. (Courtesy Longhorn Daiquiris)
Longhorn Daiquiris now open on Aquarena Springs in San Marcos

Longhorn Daiquiris, a Kyle-born daiquiri and wing shop, opened on May 31 at 1617 Aquarena Springs, San Marcos.

Buda businesses who did not receive funds from the Still Budaful fund may apply for Still Budaful 2.0. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still Budaful 2.0 kicks off with $250K for Buda businesses

Program applications are open for Buda businesses until June 10.

Volunteers get ready to load cars with food May 30. (Courtesy city of Kyle)
Central Texas Food Bank event serves nearly 1,500 families from Kyle area

The next area food distribution by the Central Texas Food Bank will be June 18.

Legendary baseball player Nolan Ryan has long enjoyed ranching. Now, he and his team are preparing to open a butcher shop in Round Rock to showcase Goodstock, Nolan Ryan Beef and other Texas-made products. (Photo courtesy Nolan Ryan)
Nolan Ryan to open Round Rock butcher shop and 20 other Central Texas business updates to know

Read the latest news on Central Texas businesses from Community Impact Newspaper's latest coverage.