The Cleburne ISD board of trustees passed a resolution in response to COVID-19 during Wednesday night’s emergency meeting. They also received an update on how staff members are responding to the virus.
Andrea Hensley, CISD human resources assistant superintendent, said they are working with a skeleton crew at CISD Central Office and the campuses as well. They’re practicing “social distancing” that was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Social distancing was evident during Wednesday’s meeting, as the board members sat apart from each other and the meeting was closed to visitors. It was streamed online.
CISD Central Office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, she said, but they are closed to the public. They are still answering calls and emails from the community.
Curriculum & Instruction Assistant Superintendent Kristi Rhone said teachers were able to contact about 85 percent of the district’s students to ensure they were healthy, if they had access to devices for online instruction and if they were receiving messages on Skyward.
Students are not being graded for the assignments they receive at this time, Rhone said. They will continue to discuss how students are graded by looking at what other districts are doing and by regulations set by the Texas Education Agency.
CISD Research, Data and School Improvement Assistant Superintendent Chris Jackson said there are about 1,000 students who don’t have access to Chromebooks at home.
They are mostly elementary students who normally have access to a cart of devices they can check out at school, Jackson said. The district will disperse those devices to students who don’t have one.
CISD Operations Executive Director Barry Hipp said the nutrition staff are working hard giving out breakfast and lunch to children 18 years and under via drive-up lanes at Cooke Elementary School and CISD Child Nutrition Office. Free take-out breakfast is available from 7-8:30 a.m. with the lunch lines open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Custodians have been cleaning and disinfecting every surface at all campuses the past week and a half and will continue to do so as staff come and go, Hipp said.
CISD Technology Executive Director Mike Wallace said the teachers are familiar with the online instruction process to be able to help students and their parents if they have questions.
Charter Spectrum is offering 60 days of free internet for students in grades kindergarten through 12th-grade and those enrolled in college.
They are constantly updating the district’s website and social media pages to keep community members updated about what they are doing, Wallace said.
CISD Superintendent Kyle Heath said they are doing everything they can to keep the community informed and to support families through this “fluid situation” concerning the virus.
The board canceled its May election due to unopposed candidates. Trustee June Bates will continue in Place 1 and Cleburne resident Jason Tennison will be in Place 2, due to Trustee Mike Witte deciding not to seek re-election.
The board also approved 11 grants from the Cleburne Education Foundation totaling $43,428:
• Vernier probes ($4,842): The probes requested will be used in chemistry and physics labs and will measure temperature, motion and gas, which will work with technology that has been funded by CEF in the past.
• Literacy loving learners ($3,703): Provides pre-kindergarteners with educational games, puppets and books to help reading come to life.
• Integrating lab technology ($4,892): This grant will provide chemistry students with a spectrophotometer named LabQuest 2, which allows students to conduct labs for measuring temperatures and other scientific levels and help them accurately evaluate the data.
• All hands on deck ($4,380): Provides pre-K students with “hands-on” tools to explore ideas about letters, numbers, counting and art.
• Reflex math ($4,894): Software and headphones will assist second- through fifth-graders to learn and memorize math facts.
• Math vocabulary picture cards ($4,215): Sets of math vocabulary picture cards illustrated to look like the meaning of the word for kindergarten through fifth-graders.
• Exploring station with makerspace ($1,584): Makerspace station in the classroom to support purposefully play, hands-on learning and engineering design for STEM activities for second-graders.
• Smart TV for smart musicians ($2,789): Interactive touch screen TV in music room that allows the teacher and students to access online music curriculum for pre-K through fifth-graders.
• STEAM in the library ($2,900): Six makerspace stations to encourage STEM learning during library time and increase reading of non-fiction STEAM-focused books for first- through fifth-graders.
• ELL matters ($4,992): Spanish collection of books with up-to-date titles for today’s youth. These books will help with reading in a student’s first language and help them progress and provide titles for dual language students in sixth- through eighth-grades.
• Mallet madness ($4,237): Provide xylophones, curriculum books and indoor parachute for music class for kindergarten through fifth-graders.