By Will Johnson
LATEXO – The Latexo Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, June 18.
The meeting was called to order at 6 pm and following the invocation along with the pledges to the American and Texas Flags, LISD Superintendent Michael Woodard moved the meeting into the actionable item portion of the agenda.
Highlighting the consent agenda was the approval of several waivers for the district. The first waiver was Waiver ID 54854 which was a waiver for missed days of school due to COVID-19.
The second waiver was Waiver ID 55123 which concerned educator appraisal waiver from the requirements due to COVID-19.
The third waiver was Waiver ID 55132 which was a waiver of CPR instruction requirements due to COVID-19.
The fourth waiver was Waiver ID 55132 which was a waiver of required early notice of students at risk of failure due to COVID-19.
All four waivers, as well as other items on the consent agenda, were unanimously approved.
The next item brought before the board was the consideration of House Bill 3824.
According to the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), “The bill requires that all state and local government employees and contractors with access to their respective government computer systems or databases take an annual cybersecurity training course certified by DIR (Texas Department of Information Resources).”
In addition, the TAC sated, “The training course must be completed by June 14, 2020, to fulfill training requirements for the first year the law is in effect. DIR is still developing reporting requirements, but has indicated it will likely require that each government employee take responsibility for reporting their individual compliance with the bill.”
As the meeting continued, the LISD superintendent addressed an issue from a previous meeting concerning a “grandparent clause” for LISD tuition.
“(Business Manager) Jo (Lane) actually found this and we put it together. Back on April 23, 2014, it was on the agenda to talk about this. We went to the minutes and they said, ‘Edward Stockton made the motion and Thomas Gilson seconded it for the setting of grandparent care after school for four out of five days. It passed unanimously. It’s also in our board policy, FD Local,” Woodard said.
He added, “Since the board already did this years ago, we will put this back in play and take care of it.”
Woodard also addressed the upcoming 2020-2021 school year and what might be expected.
“We hope to start school on time and in person. They (Texas Education Agency – TEA) keep throwing out to have flexibility for remote learning. The governor (Greg Abbott) said today (June 18) there will no mandate for a student to wear a mask or to be tested for COVID-19 symptoms. We did not know how this was going to be starting school but he came out and said there are no mandates on anything,” he said.
“On the other side of that,” Woodard indicated, “the TEA is ending PPE (personal protective equipment) out to every district throughout the whole state. We are getting 4,136 masks, 1984 gloves, three thermometers and 42 gallons of hand sanitizer. This is not a mandate that we use this, but it will be available if a parent says they want it. That is how I’m going to pursue this. We want the kids back here and we want everyone to be comfortable. The front door is going to open and we are going to start school on Aug. 10.”
Board Secretary Jeffrey Catoe questioned, “Despite what the governor or TEA might say, can’t the district do more? We get the flu in here every year and there is still no cure for it. My biggest concern is in the adult world. You see people wearing the mask and people pick at them for wearing it. More than likely the kids who need to wear it are not going to wear it because they will be picked on by other kids.”
He added in businesses like Walmart if an employee has a temperature of 100 degrees or more, they are sent home.
“Parents are going to go to work and send that sick kid up here. If that COVID gets loose in this school, it’s going to be bad for some of these kids. I think between now and August, we have to take this very serious. We have some elderly teachers and until it really affects our community … we need to get ahead of it,” he said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.