Dripping Springs ISD School Board
Trust, Teamwork, Transparency
Jeffrey Aylstock for Dripping Springs Independent School District
Throughout my life, I have followed the high moral codes instilled in me by my upbringing, my religion and my scouting experiences as a young boy. I continue today to work diligently to ensure that I leverage those codes in all that I do. Integrity boils down to doing what’s right when no one’s watching you. Integrity is also following your moral compass and ethical convictions. I work diligently to have all the information necessary to make the right decision for a particular problem. Of equal importance is being able to quickly adjust when a situation warrants a change. I believe that no one is perfect and the best of us truly comes out when we have to adjust a solution we thought we got right. It is also critical to own up to a mistake we made and start working to make it right. I work well under pressure. I am very adept in researching and building solutions for problems. I ensure that I can determine both the outcomes and the consequences of a problem while keeping the ability to react quickly when those solutions need to change. I believe that type of analysis is what is missing from our board. We need someone like myself on the DSISD board to provide that insight and input to each of our school district’s challenges.
Accountability for Dripping Springs Independent School District
How do you measure children’s educational success? What does it look like? How can we be sure we are on the right track? Texas took a great step forward by requiring District Improvement Plans (DIP) to both capture issues and track progress for each district. Unfortunately, DIP’s can vary widely by district and are only as beneficial as the effort district administrators put into it. Our first DIP was done this past school year and we have yet to fulfill the Campus Improvement Plans which allow campus administrators to track their own issues and progress. We need to accurately present clearly defined performance indicators that show both the positive and negative tracks for each of our specific areas of concern and the rate of change across time instead of a single number.
Transparency for Dripping Springs Independent School District
Transparency in a school board means that parents and staff should have the access and information necessary to understand what and why decisions are being made at the district level. If we create clear paths for that information, it should be easy for the public to understand what those decisions are and why the board made them. This requires an efficient way to gather that information and publish it out to the general public. Our District website is currently challenged when indexing and tracking that information. As well, our board meetings tend to discuss documents and handouts that have yet to make it to the public’s hands or were only recently released with very little time to read and understand. We need structured policies that require all documents and presentations that will be discussed to be published at least a week before the general meeting. These need to be easy to find on the district website. I would also promote a way to sign up for notification when those documents have been posted so they can be reviewed. Board meeting agenda items should both have a title and brief description of the actions requested and any documents being used should be easy to follow during a board meeting. I would also like to see greater access to conversations with board members in more informal settings, such as a town hall where the board can openly discuss their decisions and feelings towards certain topics outside of a board meeting.
Personal and Family Bio
My wife Lila and I and our two sons, Shawn (12) and Blake (10), live in Driftwood, TX. Shawn currently attends 7th Grade at Sycamore Springs Middle school and Blake is in 5th Grade at Cypress Springs Elementary school. We have lived in the Dripping Springs area for just over 4 years and moved from the Sacramento valley where we have lived most of our lives. We moved out here after recognizing that both our success and our children’s success greatly depended on thriving locations such as Dripping Springs. In our previous location, we personally experienced the failures and hardships that were created by overreaching certain school and governmental policies. We were impacted directly by those policies and how those changes impacted our children’s educational growth. I have always been engaged with our sons mental, physical, and personal growth either as a Scout Leader or as their soccer or baseball or basketball coach. Within DSISD and Sycamore Springs Middle School, I worked hard to promote the Tiger Dad’s group to help out with any school needs. I have continued to volunteer where needed throughout these school years. We love this area and moved here specifically for the school district. We constantly strive to improve and make this the best place for our kids to grow up.