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Trustees adopt resolutions to ensure all regular employees paid for regular duty during school cancellation for students

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a workshop on the evening of March 17. A recap of the agenda is below. Most items on this agenda were discussion only; Trustees did take action on a series of resolutions pertaining to the emergency cancelations due to Coronavirus.

 

  1. Roll Call. Tammy Hawkins was absent.

 

  1. Verification of Compliance with Open Meeting Law.

 

  1. Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri opened the meeting by talking about the Coronavirus, and the ways our school district is working to handle this unprecedented situation. He called out praise for the School Nutrition Department for quickly putting a plan in place and serving more than 1,500 lunches earlier today. Breakfast service starts tomorrow morning. He said the next priority is to make sure instruction continues for all 34,000 students while school is canceled. We must supply resources (online and paper) to students and a lot of support to parents who are now going to be the primary teachers, with help from our staff. Those resources will be rolled out before the end of this week and teaching and learning will ramp up mightily on Monday. Our counselors and nurses are providing support for students, and we will have a hot line established for parents to call in if they need help. Dr. Muri added that our teachers will be in touch with students and parents continually during this time in order to help them. He and the Board discussed the possibility that this situation could last longer than two weeks and agreed we need to prepare that way.

 

  1. Public Comment. No one requested to speak.

 

  1. Action items

A. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve a revision to the 2019-20 pay plan. This allows for the addition of a special assistant to the superintendent.

B. Trustees voted 6-0 to modify Board Policy DEA (Local) Compensation and Benefits: Compensation Plan. This policy change ensures, during an emergency closure, all employees shall continue to be paid for their regular duty schedule. The approval of this policy was necessary to consider the resolutions in the next item.   

C. Trustees voted 6-0 to adopt three resolutions pertaining to employee pay and leave during emergencies. These resolutions are in place for a maximum of four weeks and will have to be renewed if the school cancelation runs longer. This action taken by the Board of Trustees means all regular ECISD employees – contractual and noncontractual, salaried and non-salaried – shall continue to be paid for their regular duty schedule.

 

  1. Report/discussion items

A. The discussion of the development of a new Strategic Plan was removed from the agenda until a later date.

B. The Board of Trustees received an update on estimated revenue for the 2020-21 budget. The school district began the year with budget revenues of just more than $299 million. Based on numbers from the first semester, the initial estimate of revenue for next year’s budget is close to $307 million. That number is based on a projected increase in enrollment of 900 students and no increase in property tax revenue. With this emergency school closure, and declining local economy that estimated revenue is expected to drop. The proposed budget for next year is in the early stages of development. It is officially adopted by the school board in June.

C. Trustees received a report on the most recent Youth Truth Survey. This is a student survey funded by the Education Foundation of Odessa for the past three years. It was last given in November (2019) and had the highest participation rate yet at more than 70% of both middle school and high school students responding. The students are surveyed on their attitude towards six areas: engagement, academic rigor, relationships, belonging & peer collaboration, culture and college/career readiness. One key takeaway from the survey: 32% of the high school students said they have seriously considered dropping out, the main reason is they felt they had fallen too far behind and could not catch up. The results of this survey will become a part of each campus improvement plan and staff training efforts.

D. Trustees reviewed revisions to FDB (Local) Admissions: Intradistrict Transfers and Classroom Assignments.

 

  1. There was no closed session.

 

  1. There we no closing remarks.

 

The meeting adjourned at 7:44 p.m.