LATEXO – During a meeting of the Latexo ISD Board of Trustees, held on Monday, March 23, Superintendent Michael Woodard praised the teachers and staff for their abilities to transition into an online-based curriculum.
“We are very lucky to be able to offer our students an online education and provide each student with the tools necessary to complete their assignments,” Woodard said. “This is not something we could have planned for. I’m proud of our staff for working hard and quickly to make this as easiest possible for our students.”
According to the LISD, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 95% of Texas schools are currently sending out learning packets to their students. In order for school districts to continue to receive state and federal funding, the students are required to complete their school work from and submit their finished assignments back to their schools.
After giving recognition to the school staff members, the meeting moved forward to the scheduled agenda items. One item discussed was a proposal for a four-day instructional week. The proposal was presented before the community in a town hall meeting held earlier this month on March 4.
At the town hall meeting, a notice was given to the community that a phone survey would be conducted to receive accurate feedback from the parents of Latexo students. The results came back with an overwhelming approval from both parents and teachers approving a four-day instructional week.
The new calendar will go into effect for the 2020 – 2021 school year. The survey also provided information that 70% of the parents preferred to have Friday out of school instead of Monday.
“We are excited for this opportunity. We believe this will be a unique quality that helps us stand out in our state. There has already been a large amount of teachers and parents that have reached out to us to express their interest in joining our district,” Woodard said.
“(Elementary Principal) Mrs. (Rachel) Gallaway and I spoke about issuing a no homework policy for our younger students. The kids will be there 40-minute longer than their current schedule that will allow them to complete their work during the new school hours,” Woodard said. “The last thing we want to do is overload the students and the parents with the new four day calendar.”
An additional agenda item up for discussion was the architectural candidates from the RFQ (request for qualifications). After reviewing each candidate’s qualifications and portfolios of previous projects, the board awarded the project to the architectural firm of Goodwin Lasiter Strong (GLS). GLS is a Lufkin based architectural firm that has experience with smaller school districts similar to Latexo.
Another agenda item on schedule for review was the approval of the proposed bond’s financial group. The board spoke about Latexo ISD’s established relationship with their current financial group that has assisted them throughout the years with the previous bond that is expected to be finalized in February of 2021. It was an agreement that Live Oak Public Finance, LLC would be remain their contractor as they pursue their proposed bond.
The Latexo ISD bond would not increase the local tax structure. It would, however, fund a new 600 seat multipurpose facility, new CTE classrooms, a new elementary school cafeteria seating area for student and provide a facelift to the front of the high school.
Also included in the board of trustees agenda was a resolution regarding the wage payments during emergency school closing. The board discussed and then approved all Latexo ISD staff would be paid throughout the school year as normal, whether students are on site or not.
In other action, the board:
• Approved Interquest Detection Canines of Southeast Texas Agreement
• Approved 5 ESC Food Service Cooperative: Letter of Commitment & Board Resolution
• Approved Update: 114: final reading
• Approved cancelling school board trustee election for May 2, 2020
Jordan Bridges may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.