Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees Meeting Summary - 05/09/17

Every month the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees convenes a regular meeting to publicly address the business of the school district. Community members and business partners are encouraged to attend and participate.There is a public speaking section during every meeting that provides an opportunity for anyone to share positive feedback or concerns. However, the board is unable to take action on any item that is not already included on the meeting’s agenda.

Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at the Duncanville ISD Education Plaza (710 S. Cedar Ridge Drive). A highlight of board decisions at this month’s meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017, included:

District of Innovation Plan Passes Unanimously  

Duncanville ISD is now a District of Innovation. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the plan Monday. The designation provides more local control and decision-making power regarding the school calendar, length of the instructional day and staffing. The District of Innovation Advisory Committee included teachers, parents, administrators, business and community members. They provided input for elements of the plan and removed parts that were not a good fit for our district. To view the plan approved by the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees, click here

Before any parts of the District of Innovation Plan can be put into action, policies have to be developed. Using feedback from the committee, those will be developed over the summer. In addition, a District of Innovation sub-committee was created to specifically review teacher certification requirements.  

Board Thanks President Granger for Service   

Board President Elijah Granger received a heartfelt farewell from his fellow board members, staff and community members Monday at his last Duncanville ISD regular board meeting. They thanked him for his years of service, dedication and professionalism. 

In the May 6 election, the community elected Cassandra Phillips to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Granger as Board of Trustee Place 5. Ms. Phillips is scheduled to be sworn in at the next regular board meeting on June 12, 2017.   

Board Congratulates 2017 District Teachers of the Year  

Elementary Teacher of the Year

Tammy Rios, a graduate of Duncanville High School, teaches 4th grade math at Alexander Elementary School. She has been with the district for five years.

Tammy’s teaching philosophy is based upon helping her students reach their fullest potential by treating them as individuals. She includes social and emotional strategies along with the academics to help students solve everyday problems. She teaches empathy and a sense of community so her students grow both as learners and human beings.

In her application for Teacher of the Year, Tammy described her experience with a student who had been labeled a ‘challenge’ because he was unmotivated. She developed a relationship with the student where she gave him attention and love and rewarded him for completing academic and behavioral tasks. At the end of the year, the student scored well on his STAAR test and required no rewards. Tammy said her personal reward came when the student told her, ‘I love you.’ 

Secondary Teacher of the Year

Olish Allen teaches 7th grade math at Byrd Middle School. He has been with Duncanville ISD for 15 years.

Olish’s teaching philosophy revolves around the truism that every student is different and has unique needs. He meets them where they are, not where he assumes they should be. By reminding students what they already know, he can help them move on to larger and more complex concepts.

Olish's favorite part of the job is seeing growth in the students. By making personal connections with his students and celebrating their accomplishments, he has seen their interest in school and learning increase.

Years ago Olish began a mentoring program to tutor boys at risk of dropping out. They spent time talking about life and struggles at school and home. Around 10 years later, one of the young men came back and told Olish he wanted to come see ‘the most influential man in his life.’ That reminded Olish that teaching always has a greater purpose.  

"Made with Pride in Duncanville" Honorees Recognized 

Karen Boss-Johnson and Elizabeth Hunter were selected as the Made with Pride in Duncanville Teachers of the Month. Ms. Boss-Johnson is Acton Elementary School's reading center teacher and Ms. Hunter is the school’s math center teacher. Both teachers work tirelessly to provide interventions for struggling students and support through the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. They work to create a fluid process that allows students to respond to the interventions and close academic gaps. Their classroom is a place where students feel supported and comfortable trying their best.

Daisy Cox, a clinic assistant at Central Elementary School and Hardin Intermediate School, was selected as the Made with Pride in Duncanville Staff of the Month. Recently, a student who had not been feeling well visited the clinic where Ms. Cox was working. Ms. Cox recognized that the student was very ill and needed immediate medical attention. EMS was called and the student was transported to the hospital. Thanks to Ms. Cox’s keen assessment of the situation and her level-headed and timely response, the student received treatment and has since returned to school.

Duncanville High School junior Jeremiah Dukes was selected as the Made with Pride in Duncanville Student of the Month. Jeremiah is a leader in and out of the classroom. While he takes a full load of classes, both dual credit and Career and Technology Education, he also has a job, is active in SkillsUSA and serves as a leader for Tabernacle, a student-led organization. Jeremiah is a polite, respectful and outgoing student who brings a great attitude to class every day. When his teachers give him a task, he will not stop until it is complete. Jeremiah is always willing to listen to constructive criticism and uses it to improve his work 

Superintendent Reports 

Trustees received an update on Duncanville ISD’s 2014 Bond Program.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith gave a legislative update regarding budget and accountability.

Jan Arrington, Chief Financial Officer, presented the monthly finance and budget update 

Other Business 

Approved March 20 and April 10 minutes

Approved budget amendments

Approved financial reports

Approved local innovation plan

Approved purchase of HP chromebooks for DHS

Approved interlocal agreement between Education Service Center 19 and Duncanville ISD

Approved interlocal agreement between Education Service Center 10 multi-region purchasing cooperative and Duncanville ISD

Approved additional internet circuit

Approved revised DED (Local) policy regarding non-duty days, allowing employees on a 226-day calendar to carry over as many as 5 flex days through December of the following school year 

Approved amendment to payment option under local retirement compensation plan

Approved resolution authorizing the City of Dallas to represent Duncanville ISD in the matter of tax foreclosure sales

Approved 2017-18 textbooks

Received preliminary draft of 2017-18 budget

Heard about Strategic Plan: Priority #2 – Focus on Students, Families and Community

Received summer school update