TSL Grant Update Provided
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – The Crockett Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening, Dec. 13 highlighted by a report on the district’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, as well as update on the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) grant.
Once several routine matters had been taken care of, Superintendent John Emerich asked District Nurse Jessica Maitland, RN to discuss the CNA program offered at Crockett High School.
“The CNA program through Angelina College gives the kids an opportunity to use it as a class and then go sit for the state exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, which is a really awesome job, especially when you’re 17 or 18,” the nurse said.
Accompanying Maitland was CHS student Sayma Antonio who expressed the CNA program was a great opportunity for students and added once she received her certification, she felt she would be able to begin her career in healthcare.
Prior to the CNA discussion, the superintendent provided an update on the TSL grant.
“We had our kickoff meeting with the organization last week and that went very well. The exciting part is, when we turn our reports – and if the government feels we are making progress – we can get up to two additional years of funding for this grant. It can turn from a two-and-a-half-year grant into a four-and-a-half-year grant. It will mean – probably – an additional $2 million for us. That was the first time I heard that and it was very exciting news,” he said.
Emerich explained this would allow the district to help pay for additional personnel and provide for an increase in teachers’ salaries.
“It is all about instruction,” he said. “Everything about it will help us with our instruction. If we can get four years out of this instead of two, that will really set us up for some good results in the next few years. The $2.5 million we are getting now could turn into $4.5 million, if things go right.”
Following the TSL Update, Emerich yielded the floor to Asst. Superintendent Brian Aiken who addressed the board about a new program coming to the district called Book Nook.
“Due to the (COVID-19) pandemic, students acquired gaps in their learning, primarily in math and in literacy,” he said. “We understand the need to fill these gaps as quickly as possible to try and mitigate some of the ongoing gaps that can follow these students through their academic careers.”
Aiken said CISD had applied for a grant through a program called Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (TCLAS). Through this program, he continued, was an area called the Vetted Texas Tutoring Corps.
According to the Texas Education Agency, “The Vetted Texas Tutor Corps (VTTC), is an initiative aimed at accelerating student learning through high impact tutoring, with a goal of reaching over one million students. The VTTC is comprised of TEA-Approved and TEA-Subsidized Tutoring Providers that can support the implementation of high impact tutoring as well as assist districts in meeting the statutory requirements for supplemental accelerated instruction.”
The assistant superintendent said the district “… had chosen to partner with Book Nook. We tell them how many students we want to help with reading intervention and they supply vetted tutors. It’s not just anyone off the street. They supply folks who are retired teachers, folks who have their teaching credentials but may not be current teachers or they could be current teachers.”
Starting in January of 2022, Aiken continued, the third, fourth and fifth grade students at CISD would be targeted. They would receive four, 30-minute literacy-based, remote individualized tutoring sessions.
As the meeting continued, Emerich said he would like to express his appreciation to the city of Crockett for their support concerning the sale of the former state school property.
“I would like to publicly thank the city, the city council, the mayor and the city administrator for their support. They were asked to consider some things last Monday (Dec. 6) that would have been detrimental to the school district. They felt it was in the best interest of both the city and the school district not to pursue those things. I feel they are really supporting us right now and taking the same approach we have of ‘One Town, One School, One Family,’ and trying to work together to make things as good as they can for the city and the school district. I want to publicly thank them for that show of support for the school district. It was much appreciated,” he said.
In other matters brought before the board:
- Consent agenda items were approved.
- High School Counselor Jenifer West provided the board with an update on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Board operating procedures were reviewed.
- The board allocated 543 votes to WF “Red” Kitchen and 543 votes to Kathi Calvert for the Board of Directors of the Houston County Appraisal District.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.