Spring ISD board approves firing of 3 employees

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A special session is expected to be held today at Spring ISD concerning the scheduling issues at the district's schools (KTRK)

Officials with the Spring Independent School District in a special meeting today approved the firing of three employees in the wake of the district's transcript troubles.

The issue has many high school seniors and their parents scrambling. The meeting will begin with a closed session and end with a vote on whether to fire five district employees.

Spring ISD has admitted to scheduling and recording issues that have jeopardized the ability for many seniors to graduate.

Students at Westfield High, Dekaney High, and Spring High Schools are affected.

According to the district, about one-third of seniors will have to make up credits and thousands of others have had some sort of issue with their transcripts.

With only three months until graduation, many of them are now taking online and evening classes to make up credits.

According to the district's press release about the authorization of the firings, the district has investigated the matter since January and "identified weak and questionable practices in how the district has for years counseled high school students, assigned them to coursework, and managed their transcripts. The issues identified were found to be systemic as well as endorsed or overlooked by members of the district's previous administration."

Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson, quoted in the release, said, "We are taking swift action to remove any member of the district's current administrative team found to have been involved with the issues and irregularities identified in our investigation. The affected students and their families deserved better. Under my administration, I'm committed to ensuring that the obligation we have to this community to prepare students for college and career is met."

The three employees who will be provided notice of the proposal to terminate their employment contracts include:

Adrain Johnson, assistant superintendent of school administration from 2012 to last December. In that role, Johnson is said to have had direct oversight of Dekaney High School until August 2014. Johnson was reassigned in December to the special projects department.

Royal Hammond, student success specialist at Westfield High School, is also included in the termination.

Thad Gittens, assistant superintendent of school administration from 2012 until last December. According to the school district, in this role, he oversaw Westfield High School and its feeder schools. Gittens was reassigned in December to associate principal at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School.

Spring ISD adds, "Since the beginning of this investigation, several staff members who were part of the district's review have resigned. If these resignations had not been submitted, it is likely that the district would have proceeded to recommend their termination as well. The district will continue its investigation into this matter, next looking closely at its counseling practices."

The superintendent adds that community meetings will continue be held to "provide an overview of the investigation and discuss how the district will operate moving forward. At each of these meetings, students and parents are provided the opportunity to meet with a school counselor and discuss their transcripts and needed coursework."
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