TEACHER’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Schools Represented – Members:
Harlingen High School – Amy Sharpe Absent Bowie Elementary - Judith Haedtke
Harlingen High School – Debbie Finch Absent Crockett Elementary – Eva Martinez
Harlingen High School – Ed Kellam Dishman Elementary – Amalia Rubalcaba
Harlingen High School South – Sue Adams Houston Elementary – Bertha Garcia
Harlingen High School South – Claudia Rogers Jefferson Elementary – Melissa Cavazos
Harlingen High School South – Rogelio Valdez Lamar Elementary – Grace Duran Absent
Keys Academy – Tony Fraga Absent Long Elementary - Leslie Farris
Coakley Middle School – Nan Fox Absent Milam Elementary – open Absent
Coakley Middle School – open Absent Rodríguez Elementary – Renee Vasquez
Memorial Middle School – Mary Sesler Absent Stuart Place Elementary – Cindy Cortez
Memorial Middle School – Sara Carney Absent Travis Elementary – Nora Lamas
Vernon Middle School – Gloria Elliott Absent Treasure Hills Elemen. – Janie Sanchez
Vernon Middle School - open Absent Wilson Elementary - Alma Mendoza
SAC – Marie Sesler Absent Zavala Elementary – Rosalinda Atkinson
Austin Elementary – Maria Lydia Hernandez Gutierrez Middle School – open Absent
Bonham Elementary - Rosie Perez Vela Middle School - open Absent
Schools Unrepresented - # of meetings missed 2006 -
CROCKETT – 4 JEFFERSON – 2
MILAM – 8 ZAVALA – 2
VERNON – 2 RODRIGUEZ – 4
STUART PLACE – 7 GUTIERREZ – 9
VELA – 9 TREASURE HILLS - 5
LAMAR – 2 LONG – 2
COAKLEY – 4 SAC – 3
DISHMAN –2 BOWIE – 2
KEYS ACADEMY – 3 TRAVIS – 1
MEMORIAL MS – 2 HOUSTON - 1
The meeting was called to order at 4:15 by the President, Susan Adams.
APRIL RESPONSES –
1. FOLLOW UP QUESTION FROM APRIL’S MEETING
A) A concern was expressed that many students are not carrying their
IDs and it becomes a safety issue when you cannot check on which students
should be on campus and which should not. A related concern was also
expressed about the use of the pin number for lunch.
RESPONSE: I spoke with Mr. Ramiro Flores, Mr. Nava and Mr.
Zepeda. Mr. Flores spoke with Kitty Wade. Neither of the principals
nor Mr. Flores was aware of the situation on the misuse of the pin
numbers. The lunch clerk said they have 3 to 4 students a month
research their accounts because someone used their number.
Mr. Flores is investigating the use of a machine like you use at an ATM
where the students would enter in their pin number and it would not be
accessible by other students. Hopefully, we can get this new system in
place so the misuse of the pin number will be stopped.
Both principals said they would investigate how they could be more
diligent in getting the students to carry their IDs.
B) Could teachers come in over the summer and be trained in the use
of the new grade book package and get an ETP day for the training?
RESPONSE: The process that has been set up is that the campus
technologists will be trained on the new grade book package on July 6
with a make up day being scheduled at the end of July. They will serve
as a resource for the teachers on their campus when school starts. The
staff development department (Cindy and Robert) will then go to the
campuses at the beginning of the year and train teachers during their
conference periods as was done in the past.
I did speak with both high school principals about this training being
conducted in the summer for ETP. They said this would create a record
keeping problem for them in tracking who had received the training
and who had not. They indicated that campus-based, department-based
training has been set up and that would be compromised with some
teachers not being in attendance. They are certainly willing to consider
this option in the future.
2. Could the district make it mandatory for ALL diagnosticians to follow
ONE test before moving on to another? We know that some tests are more
work than others, but ultimately, we should be looking out for the best
interest of our students.
(Background After speaking to a district diagnostician, I was
informed that the district has created a “list of approved tests” that may be
used to evaluate a student’s performance level when being tested for special
education. The students come and go to different schools throughout the
years and we need the results to reflect a true picture of the students’ levels.
If the list of tests was more limited, we \would have a better idea of a
students’ level and improvements that have been made.)
This question may apply for GT also.
RESPONSE: Tests are given to determine eligibility for special
education services and are not diagnostic in nature. They are norm
referenced tests and since they are not a curriculum-based measure,
they cannot be used to measure student growth. The number of tests
cannot be limited because they address different handicapping
conditions. Curriculum-based measures are used to gauge academic
progress and they are consistent from campus to campus.
A matrix is used to determine eligibility for GT services. The measures
within the matrix are consistent for all students.
3. Next year’s calendar has a Saturday work day in January. How will this
affect the hourly employees? Will the district pay them time and a half?
Paraprofessionals have been told this is not a campus issue?
RESPONSE: We have historically had work days on Saturdays.
The hourly staff work 5 2/3 hours instead of 8 if they are eligible for
time and a half.
4. The Teacher Advisory Committee has done great things for teachers on
all campuses. Many paraprofessionals have approached their campus TAC
representatives wanting their questions and concerns voiced at meetings only
to be told that TAC is for teachers only. What could paraprofessionals do to
establish a committee like TAC for themselves?
RESPONSE: The TAC ahs been established to be the “formal
communication channel for District wide concerns.” Paraprofessionals
can certainly voice any concerns they have to the TAC member so the
issues can be addressed. Due to wage and hour laws, it would be
difficult to establish a separate committee.
5. Will the district move to alternate or modified block scheduling to help
with TAKS as well as AP testing? Students are either being shorted time for
preparation, (spring term), or have a long time between lessons and testing,
RESPONSE: A move from accelerated block is not being
considered at this time. With a move to 26 credits being required for
graduation, many districts are moving back to the block scheduling
from a traditional schedule.
Accelerated block was last evaluated in February of 2001. At that time
over 95% of staff members choose to remain with that schedule. The
issue will be studied again when the decision on end of course exams is
made in the legislature and we know whether testing will be allowed
6. When the 25th of the month falls on a Sunday, can we be paid on Friday?
RESPONSE: The district receives its funding from the state on
the 25th of each month. If the 25th falls on a weekend, the district gets
the money on the following Monday.
District procedures are that if the 25th falls on a Saturday, the checks go
out on Friday. If the 25th falls on a Sunday, the checks go out on
7. As we gain more experience, why does our district fall on the pay scale
when compared to other valley school districts? We rank 6th for first year
teachers, drop to 10th for 5-year teachers, 11th place for 10-year and 15-year
teachers, drop again to 12th place for 20-year teachers, and we are in 11th
place for our pay schedule maximum. (The tables were attached to last
RESPONSE: I have asked Julio Cavazos and Rosalinda Vargas
to study this issue. Monies have bee budgeted to have TASB study our
entire salary scale and to determine if inequities exist and if adjustments
The steps on our hiring schedule are adjusted when a salary increase is
given. However, since the raises are usually a set amount, it is a
different percentage based on the years of experience.
Dr. Wade also mentioned that, after Julio Cavazos researched the topic
of insurance, he found that we are the only district in the valley that
pays 100% of the health insurance for an employee. Harlingen plans to
continue this practice as part of our pay.
NEW BUSINESS –
1. Can final exam exemptions be considered for High School seniors?
2. Can the old silver laptops be kept at the school to be used for class sets?
Teachers could use these when they want all the students to work on a
project at the same time and the new laptops on the cart are already in use.
The computers would be used more often since they would be more easily
I realize they are out of warranty but they could be used until they no longer
work and then they could be sent in for auction at a later date.
Question referred back to the Site Based Decision Making
1. Why doesn’t everyone get to vote for the calendars? Custodial staff,
paraprofessionals, security, and lunch room staff are also affected by the
RESPONSE FROM TAC: Most of the representatives on the
committee said that their additional staff does get to vote. Have you
asked at the campus level yet?
2. The copiers at the secondary campuses are always on the fritz. Is there
some way to get a new contractor? It would be great if each department
would have a copier to use.
RESPONSE FROM TAC: It was decided that the number of
copiers your campus has is a campus issue. You need to contact your
principal and/or site based committee about the need for more copiers.
3. In our district, we have a huge number of students that transfer within the
district during the year. Considering the number of elementary schools, and
the transfer rate, why doesn’t this district have a district wide elementary
reading and math program? It would make so much sense to have each
campus teaching the same reading and math program. Wouldn’t those
transfer students do better if they already knew the program because it was
taught at their previous school?
RESPONSE FROM TAC: Next year we are to use the
Curriculum Collaborative and this will insure that the classes are
aligned throughout the district. There is training about the Curriculum
Collaborative during the summer through Staff Development.
Be sure to submit your questions to the member for your school by the
first Thursday of each month. The next meeting is in September.
Please remember, the committee’s job is to determine which questions are to
be submitted to Dr. Wade and which ones need to be dealt with on the
The meeting was adjourned at 5:07pm.
HAVE A FANTASTIC SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!