For the first time in months, there were not many COVID related items on the agenda, which made for a pretty short meeting on Monday evening.
In the Superintendent’s Report, Chris Smith gave the recognitions of the employees of the month and the student of the month.
Student of the Month for the District was Mariah Garcia who is a Pre-K student at Bright Beginnings. District Employee of the Month was Yolanda Guzman who works in Food Services at Bright Beginnings. Yolanda was also named Child Nutrition Employee of the Month, as well. Others honored included Kashia Peluso from Oak Grove, Chelsea Walker from BMS, and Jeanne Brown from BHS. These honors were awarded ahead of time in order to keep social distancing at the School Board Meeting.
A gift was presented to the School Board from the ELAR Department at Middle School to thank them for their hard work.
Athletic Director Aarrhon Flores gave the Athletic Department report and he stated things are going well. Volleyball teams are all winning and doing great from 7th grade up. BMS football just got started last week. BHS Varsity travels to San Angelo Lakeview this week. Cross Country has been competing well, as has tennis.
Flores stated, “One thing I am so proud of is that I got a message from the Big Spring Head Coach and he talked about how classy our football team was and how well they presented themselves. That really makes me proud of these guys and what we are accomplishing in the program.”
Smith stated, “I want to commend these guys too. They have represented us well, in spite of the tough conditions. We are all very proud of our Cub and Lady Cub athletes.”
Current BISD enrollment is 1612, which is down from this time last year. Smith stated, “We are still getting new students. We are getting some back who had previously transferred out. That just shows what a great job our faculty, staff and administration are doing.”
Assistant Superintendent Melissa Oliva gave an overview of what the online learning looks like for teachers and students at each grade level. Students are able to interact with their classroom teachers in most cases. Face to face learners are also using the same curriculum, with classroom instruction.
The same curriculum is being used throughout the district for most classes.
Oliva stated, “Since there is an attendance requirement for our asynchronous students, teachers do have a way to go in and see if assignments have been done and when a student has logged in.”
As of yesterday morning, there had been over 40,000 logins of teachers and students since school began. “This shows that we do have students and teachers logging in daily,” stated Oliva.
Smith stated, “What BISD is doing is so far ahead of what other districts are doing across the state. There are other districts who have just cancelled virtual learning and are taking it as a loss, including a loss of funding because they just weren’t able to handle this. This is something we really need to be proud of. We certainly commend our administrators and teachers, as well as our students because they are making it work.” (Roosevelt ISD announced today they are canceling online learning.)
Some of the programs have videos and other methods of teaching and it is all things that can be used for the online learner, as well as in the classroom. Teachers are able, in real time, to see the kids who are learning online. Students can interact and hear what the classroom teacher is doing.
Teachers are doing things to teach in the classroom, as they normally would, but also able to be viewed by the at home students.
Smith stated that on Monday, “Commissioner of Education Mike Morath did say ‘We are testing and we will be held accountable.’ And that was just yesterday. So we know we have to continue to teach and be sure our students are learning. He said we have to be sure what we are doing is working. I feel like we are doing better than most in the region and I would put our online up against any in the state.”
Oliva stated, “Our teachers are probably doing more than they have ever done because of having to manage classroom, as well as manage online learners at the same time. They are doing whatever needs doing to be sure our kids are learning.”
Smith stated, “I had teachers tell me today that they are feeling better every day. They are getting into a rhythm and a routine and it is working. “
BISD CFO David Martinez gave the financial report. The district took in more revenue than anticipated for the 2019-2020 school year. Martinez stated he is cautiously projecting a Fund Balance of $671,725. This was after adopting a deficit budget last year. Much of the Fund Balance has to do with greater than anticipated revenue for the district, and also due to the halt in much spending when schools were shut down in March. Also, student counts have changed and there will be some extra income from that.
Following the completion of routine business, the meeting was adjourned.