Board Briefs

Board Meeting 

October 8, 2021

The TSD Governing Board held its fourth meeting of the year in-person--the first time since February 20, 2020.

Board members present at the meeting included: Shawn Saladin, President, Heather Withrow, Vice-President, Sha Cowan, Secretary, Dina Moore, Darlene Nobles, and Erin O’Donnell.

The TSD Governing Board President called the meeting to order at 10:10 AM.

President Shawn Saladin led the Board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Governing Board recognized KV Smith for her outstanding work and contributions to TSD, in particular, in preparing the CEASD self-study report.

Superintendent Claire Bugen provided a high-level summary of events and programs that occurred since the previous board meeting. She informed the Board of changes to Homecoming and gender-neutral labeling of Homecoming Court.

Bugen informed the Board that enrollment is less for this year compared to the previous year, but she indicated there is a small increase of students returning.

She added that the TSD Foundation is restarting their innovation education grants and the Diamond Gala. The Diamond Gala is scheduled for April 1st.

She informed the Board that Lamar University staff was at TSD conducting an off-campus instructional site visit as part of their SACS Accreditation. She added that several TSD staff are in the Lamar University program.

Bugen praised several students for their accomplishments: Julian Zea for placing First in the National Trivia Cup; Sam Street for being selected to the Team Texas basketball team and representing the school at the Special Olympics; and Marissa Giuntoli and Holden Ewan for being selected on the Deaf Olympics Swimming Team.

She also informed the Board that Clara Baldwin, an administrator from Alaska School for the Deaf, visited TSD. Ms. Baldwin wanted to learn more about early childhood education, elementary, and instructional mentoring.

Board member Dina Moore asked Bugen to explain the Racial Equity Task Force’s “poster walk.” Bugen explained that the event allowed students to share their feels on what racism and white privilege meant to them.

Aaron Taylor from McKinney York provided the Board a brief report on the new Early Learning Center and Administrative and Welcome Center building. Mr. Taylor explained that the early learning center is scheduled to open October 15th.

Internal Auditor Richard Galindo, Garza/Gonzalez and Associates, presented a final report on the campus safety audit. He also suggested an audit on Health Services and Health Center next.

Bugen provided the Board an update on COVID-19 status at TSD. She explained that the school has an effective system in place. Gabriel Cardenas, TSD’s Public Information Officer, explained that the school can select from three different COVID-19 tests from four different vendors, unlike the previous year where Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) replenished the rapid tests.

Bugen gave an update on the Conference of Educators and Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) accreditation and the planned visit scheduled for November 7th.

Director of Instruction Stella Egbert provided a review of the final District Improvement Plan. In regard to Strategic Goal 2 (Nurturing Positive Culture), Board member Dina Moore shared complaints she has heard from hearing families of their deaf children being bullied. She explained that families were uncomfortable and left TSD because kids would not accept their deaf children. Egbert indicated that she believed this would be addressed in Strategic Goal 2 and 5 (Family and Community Partnerships).

Items approved by the Board included:

  • Consent Items
    • Minutes for the previous meeting;
    • Gifts and donations to the school;
    • Operations report;
    • FY21 operating budget;
    • 2021-22 probationary contracts.
  • Internal Audit Report on Campus Safety
  • District Improvement Plan
  • Extend Internal Audit Contract
  • Board Policies
    • CK (Safety Program)
    • CKC (Safety Program/Risk Management: Emergency Plans)
    • DHI (Employee Standards of Conduct Staff-Student Non-Fraternization)
    • EHBAB (Special Education ARD Committee and Individualized Education Program)
    • EIF (Academic Achievement Graduation)
    • EKB (Testing Programs State Assessment)
    • (with minor change) EHAA (Basic Instructional Programs: Required Instruction (All Levels)
    • (with minor change) EHBA (Special Programs: Special Education)
    • (with minor change) EHBAA (Special Education Identification Evaluation and Eligibility)

The president adjourned the adjourned the meeting at 1:20 PM.

If you have questions or request additional information, please feel free to email the PIO at gabriel.cardenas@tsd.state.tx.us