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Trustees to consider changes to board structure

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed the need to better inform the community before voting on the potential restructuring of the board of trustees from five single-member districts and two at-large trustees to seven single-member districts at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday.

They also discussed the need for data on the current state of students academic performance.

SMCISD Board of Trustees President Anne Halsey said that the board would like an academic update on the students performance in core subjects.

The state has not yet released annual academic assessments in full based on lawsuits filed against the state by other districts in connection with assessment protocols.

“I think what we’re going to do is start in the Nov. meeting with that first report, the PreK through 12th inclusive of kindergarten readiness,” Halsey said. What do their reading skills look like? Their literacy skills? How are they testing by the time they get to third grade? What do they look like when they’re coming out of fifth grade and into the middle schools? How are they doing in English 1, English 2 [and] AP, and also how are they doing when they’re exiting the high school?” She added that the board would like the college career readiness report in Jan.

Halsey then discussed the redistricting of the board of trustees. SMCISD Trustee At-Large Mari Salmi said she wanted to stress that this is not a reconfiguration of the school zones, just a change from five single- district members and two at-large members to seven single-member districts.

The SMCISD Chief of Communications Andrew Fernandez pointed out that several of the schools are almost at capacity, so redistricting may be in order in the future regardless. SMCISD Single Member District-2 Margie Villalpando said it would be wise to request that the demographer attend the meeting in which the school board structure is discussed. According to Demographers. com, a demographer’s role is to help identify and provide the demographic information needed to make decisions. It said demographic research is valuable when school districts need to make important decisions, such as whether to build or close a school, to change attendance boundaries, or to propose a bond measure.

Halsey wanted to ensure that there was a notice given to SMCISD voters to inform them that a decision will be made so that there will be a chance to weigh in during public comment and requested that the language used reference a restructure of the board in order to eliminate confusion.

“If we decide to take action of this type, which is non-reversible,” Halsey said. “We should do our best to make sure that people are aware.”

Halsey said it was important the decision be made as to whether or not to use the new configuration created by the Redistricting Committee by Dec. in order to be implemented in Jan. so that it will be done before the next election cycle. Halsey suggested that the public hearing be done in November so that a vote can be made by the deadline.

To learn more about the proposed structure change for the board of trustees go to news/committee-com-pletes redistricting-plan.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666