3 things to know from Spring ISD’s board of trustees meeting, Nov. 14

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The Spring ISD board of trustees approved several reports Tuesday night, including the lengthy annual financial report and its Targeted Improvement Plan to address areas in which it fell short of state expectations.

1. Board Governance Manual wins approval

The board approved an administrative manual outlining its established procedures—the first time the board has codified this material.

“We have a long tradition, but we didn’t have it outlined in a manual that was available to pass on as other board members come and go, and an opportunity to address all of the things that impact the board,” trustee Justine Durant said.

2. Financial and auditor’s reports accepted

The board approved the comprehensive annual financial report and the independent auditor’s report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017. The accounting firm Whitley Penn, which prepared the auditor’s report, stated that SISD received the highest level of assurance an entity can receive.

SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks highlighted several points in the district’s annual financial report, including the district’s $100 million fund balance, which is 33.9 percent of the district’s general fund. Westbrooks said that is a healthy balance for a school district to have in reserve. The fund balance has been as low as 9.8 percent in the 2010-11 school year, she said.

“If we had had devastating [damage from Hurricane Harvey]—if we had to do things that cost several million dollars before FEMA and insurance, we would be able to because we have a healthy fund balance,” Westbrooks said.

3. Board approves Targeted Improvement Plan
The board held a public hearing on the district’s Targeted Improvement Plan, which is required by the Texas Accountability Intervention System for districts that failed to meet state expectations on the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System, said Lupita Hinojosa, district chief of school leadership and student support services. The PBMAS gathers data on student performance, and districts that do not meet certain performance standards must submit an improvement plan to the Texas Education Agency.

SISD’s plan focuses on special education and ESL students within its Career and Technical Education programs and on its special education program for grades 3-8.

The district’s next regular meeting is at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the board room at 16717 Ella Blvd., Houston.

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Vanessa Holt

A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.

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