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98.5 percent of BISD students show progress during COVID

Special to the Bulletin
Brownwood Bulletin

The Brownwood ISD (BISD) Board of Trustees met for a regular session meeting on Monday, June 8, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. The session was called to order by BISD Board President Michael Cloy, who also led the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.

Instructional focus

Deputy Superintendent, Liesa Land, provided an update regarding the Brownwood ISD COVID- 19 response. The number of students that have shown no progress through the COVID-19 off- campus instruction period is now only 50 out of 3,436 students in the district. Land noted that the BISD teachers, principals, counselors, and staff have done a great job reaching out, contacting parents, and communicating through the pandemic. Land also indicated that even though 50 students is only around 1.5% of the total in the district, they are still working to reach all of them. The district is planning for school according to the previously board-approved 2020-21 calendar. Though there is still some uncertainty as to what school will look like, BISD is actively preparing multiple options and will be ready to provide education services to our students.

Superintendent’s report

• Superintendent Dr. Joe Young reported that the district is currently working through a safety audit that will be brought to the Board after it is completed. BISD Director of Student Services, Vick Orlando, and School Resource Officer, Fred Bastardo are coordinating with BISD campuses to complete the audit, which is done every two years.

• The 2020-21 school supplies list will be significantly smaller than the previous year. In an effort to assist parents, BISD has reduced the school supplies list by working more of these expenses into the budget and covering the cost of many previously listed items. The total price for supplies has been reduced to approximately $22-$26 per student.

• District improvement goals, including individual campus improvement plans, are being worked on in leadership meetings. Campus improvement plans will be rolled into the district plan and reviewed in a Site-Based Committee meeting in July, then brought to the Board for approval in August.

• A new online registration system has been rolled out, and registration is currently open for new students and transfers. Dr. Young noted that around 233 students had already registered to transfer into BISD. Students that are already enrolled in BISD will be automatically rolled into the system and registration is slated for July.

• Dr. Young will be participating in the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Virtual Conference scheduled for June 9-12. The conference will center around the issues school leaders are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including planning for the new school year.

Departmental reports

Budget Report: Dr. Young presented the Budget Report provided by Assistant Superintendent of Finance, Mitch Moore. The district will receive reimbursement for 75% of COVID-19-related expenses. Dr. Young pointed out that the district will also receive $800,000 in CARES Act federal funding, but state funding has also been cut by $800,000, so it should not be considered as additional financial support.

Special Education Report: The annual report regarding BISD Special Education programs was provided by Darla Peter, BISD Director of Special Populations. The report included program overviews, new staff, points of interest in 2020, and the focus for next year. Ms. Peter has secured two competitive grants, one for $40,000 and one for $25,000, and new staff includes a bilingual LSSP (Licensed Specialist in School Psychology), Dyslexia Therapist, Section 504 Coordinator, and a Speech and Language Pathologist. Ms. Peter noted that in accordance with federal and state guidelines, BISD continues to improve the identification processes for students suspected of having disabilities. In addition, she indicated BISD is ahead of most districts in Texas with regards to identifying and supplying services to students with Dyslexia.

Athletic Report: Dr. Young presented a report provided by BISD Athletic Director, Sammy Burnett, regarding the number of participants in the various sports as well as the many accomplishments of BISD athletic programs during the 2019-20 school year. It was noted that many seniors had their seasons cut short or missed out on competing in their sports for the final time due to COVID-19, and those students continue to be in the thoughts of the Athletic Department and BISD staff.

School Lunch Price Update: The BISD School Nutrition Department, facilitated by Southwest Food Excellence, will be keeping school lunch prices the same for the coming year. This is the second year in a row that the department has been able to provide meal services without a price increase.

Consent agenda

The following items were listed for consideration on the Consent Agenda: 1. May 11, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

Trustee Evans moved that the Consent Agenda be approved as presented, with Trustee Dr. Fowler seconding the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

Executive session

The Board moved into executive session at 7:08 p.m. to discuss personnel matters. They returned to open session at 8:30 p.m.

Trustee Evans made a motion to approve the presented Teacher Salary Schedule for 2020-21, along with the teacher incentives included and fully funded employee-only TRS-ActiveCare 1-HD coverage. Trustee Dr. Fowler seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

Announcements

• Summer Hours: 06/01/2020 - 07/31/2020

• District Closed: 06/29/2020 - 07/03/2020

• Budget Workshop - August 10, 2020 - 5:30 p.m.

• Regular Board Meeting - August 10, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.

• Convocation - Wednesday, August 12, 2020

• Special Board Meeting - August 27, 2020 - 12:15 p.m.