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May 20th, 2008
Technology, CSCOPE top School Board discussion

The Hays CISD Board of Trustees on Monday heard an assessment of technology needs over the long term, specifically of the network operations center (NOC) by Combs Consulting Group. “We asked an outside evaluator to look at our infrastructure,” said Dianne Borreson, Hays CISD Executive Director of Technology. “As we grow these are things we have to consider.”

Ron Stark, with Combs Consulting, told the School Board that the assessment took into account several factors, including: enrollment and facilities growth, the relocation of the current NOC, capacity limitations of the current technology network and the retention, archive and retrieval of documents.

Estimated cost to implement Combs’ recommendations is nearly $2 million and projected time frame is the next three to four years.

“We’re going to have to do some of these things,” said Dr. Kirk London, Superintendent of Hays CISD. “We’re going to have to have a plan. We will have to do them in a three to four year period.”

Chip DuPont, President of the School Board, mentioned that the bond package approved by voters on May 10 included a $2 million technology component.

The School Board also heard an update about the implementation of CSCOPE, a curriculum subscription cooperative through the Region XIII Education Service Center. Dr. Kimbroly Pool, Hays CISD Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum, emphasized the importance of an aligned, guaranteed and viable curriculum in “an era of high-stakes accountability,” and said that CSCOPE provides a roadmap for teachers to carry out the curriculum.

“CSCOPE provides vertical articulation and specificity across all grade levels in the foundational areas,” she said. “It provides instructional focus documents organized around conceptual understanding and essential questions. It provides student performance standards and a timeline for ensuring all tested student expectations are taught before the student encounters a high-stakes test.”

The CSOPE program was implemented in October, Dr. Pool said, and admitted the reception by teachers was a “bit rocky,” primarily because of the timing.

“It was a bit slow and rocky in the first semester. There was a reluctance on the part of some of the teachers,” Dr. Pool said. “In the second semester, teachers began to see some of the value of the focus documents.”

Dr. Pool laid out an implementation plan for CSCOPE in the 2008-09 school year, which includes: elementary and secondary teachers following the CSCOPE curriculum for social studies, science and math, while using Hays CISD instructional resources and activities and integrating Hays CISD instructional resources and activities into CSCOPE throughout the summer and continuing into next year.

“Because of the revision of the English/Language Arts curriculum statewide, Hays CISD will continue to follow our own sequence,” she said. “However, we have been invited by CSCOPE designers to participate in the development of the CSCOPE documents for the revised curriculum.”

“We want our teachers to continue to provide our students with great, rich and rigorous experiences,” she told the Board. “But our decisions about which instructional resources to use with our students must be based upon their strong alignment with the curriculum, the way the curriculum is assessed and the vertical alignment of the resource across grade levels.”

The School Board hired Charlotte Winkelmann for the new position of Director of Career and College Readiness. Ms. Winkelmann is currently the Assistant and Acting Director of Student Support Services for Austin ISD. Prior to her five years with Austin ISD, she served in the Dallas County Community College District as a college counselor and adjunct Reading/English instructor. She earned a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University, and carries counseling and Special Education counseling certification.

The major focus of the job responsibilities for the Director of Career and College readiness is to develop partnerships with post-secondary institutions for early college start programs and dual credit opportunities; coordinate PSAT, SAT, ACT and advanced placement (AP) with the Academic Deans and campus counseling staff to increase student participation; coordinate guidance counselors in Pre-kindergarten through 12th Grade; develop and implement a comprehensive guidance program for Pre-K-12th Grade; and to track the post secondary success of students, Dr. Pool said.

The School Board hired John Salmeron as assistant principal of Barton Middle School. Currently, he is an assistant principal at Clint Small Middle School in Austin ISD. He earned a master’s degree at University of Texas at Arlington.

The School Board approved a guaranteed maximum price of $23.6 million for the fifth middle school, to be located west of Hemphill Elementary School on State Highway 150, east of Interstate 35. The maximum price reflects $1 million less than what was budgeted, said Carter Scherff, Hays CISD Chief Financial Officer.

The design of the middle school is based on the prototype of Chapa Middle School by SHW Group. Estimated cost per square foot is $169, Scherff said. The fifth middle school was part of the bond package that was approved by voters on May 10. Because of enrollment growth in the district, particularly at the middle school level, the fifth middle school is on the fast track for construction, estimated to open by August 2009.

By JULIE JEROME
Chief Information Officer – Hays CISD

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