Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has joined the Region 20 COVID Support Cooperative, which has a nearly $60,000 membership cost for technical assistance and support for maintaining school operations during the pandemic.
The UCISD board of trustees approved the expenditure and membership during a meeting held Monday at the Benson Educational Complex and live-streamed online.
UCISD Superintendent Hal Harrell said the cost of joining will be reimbursed by CARES Act funding.
According to UCISD, the cooperative is designed to provide technical and support assistance in areas that are becoming more complex due to the pandemic, such as PEIMS data collection, personnel questions, and special education instruction.
Services will be in place through Aug. 31, 2020.
Board member Elissa Gonzalez was not present for the meeting, which included a public forum where Uvalde High School students addressed the board with concerns for the upcoming graduation ceremony.
In their action, trustees also approved a $305,000 budget amendment for food services due to a lag in meal reimbursement funding, Harrell said while also expanding on the impact the meal service has had on the community.
UCISD chief financial officer Billy Collins said in a follow-up conversation that the district will be reimbursed in full for the amendment.
For the month of April, UCISD served a total of 175,968 meals via its breakfast and lunch five-day meal kit drive-through distribution. Based on February enrollment numbers showing 4,224 enrolled students, that figure equates to approximately enough meals for every UCISD student plus an additional 175 community members.
Other approved agenda items include a resolution for grading for the 2020 spring semester, the refinance of UCISD unlimited tax refunding bonds, and the renewal of the Interquest Detection Canine service contract.
During the 2019-20 school year, Interquest made six visits to UCISD campuses with their canines. The visits yielded 24 alerts for contraband, including residual marijuana, marijuana, medications and gunpowder.
The proposed cost per visit for the 2020-21 school year is $270, with 19 visits scheduled.
Superintendent Harrell said this year’s unused visits due to campus closures will be added to next year’s service.
The board approved the refinance of tax refunding bonds. In 2011, the district issued unlimited tax refunding bonds for $8.3 million, and currently has the opportunity to refinance $6.5 million of the original amount at current interest rates, saving on the total interest payment for the remaining balance.
Per the approved resolution, grade point averages including class rank will utilize grades available as of March 6, the last day of on-campus instruction.
The district will utilize a pass or fail metric in lieu of numerical grades.
For dual credit classes, the resolution states that only first semester grades will be averaged into the students’ overall GPA.
Following the regular meeting the board met in closed session to deliberate on personnel and administrator contracts.
Resignations include Crossroads Academy math teacher Michael Jones, Uvalde High School science teacher Michael Moreno, and Morales Junior High English teacher Maria Valdez.
Administrator contract renewals include assistant campus administrator Mandy Pruitt; assistant campus administrator Norma Hill-Garcia; special education assistant director Loida Gonzalez; Uvalde High School assistant principal Joel Barbosa; Robb Elementary assistant principal Mandy Gutierrez; Morales Junior High assistant principal Kayla Leal; Flores assistant principal BJ Perez; Uvalde High School assistant principal Becky Reinhardt; Flores assistant principal Gabriel Salazar; Morales Junior High assistant principal Humberto Torres; Anthon Elementary assistant principal Shawna Wolbert; and Uvalde High School vice principal Matthew Head.
At central office, administrator contract renewals include assistant superintendent Beth Reavis; business manager Norma De La Fuente; chief financial officer Billy Collins; chief of police Pedro Arredondo; New Hope Daycare Coordinator Patricia Aviles; deputy superintendent Michael Rodriguez; director Mario Ferron Solis; director Griselda Garcia; director Sandra Gonzales; director William Keith; transportation director Russell Lee; director Kenneth Mueller; maintenance and operations director James Rutherford; special education director Victor Baron; executive director Anne Marie Espinoza; and executive director Sandra Garza.
Renewals for principal contracts include Robb Elementary principal Abraham Contreras; Uvalde High School principal Miguel Castillo; Morales Junior High School principal Isidro Escamilla; Batesville School principal Felicitos Flores; Crossroads Academy principal Hector Lopez; Anthon Elementary principal Beatrice Martinez; and Flores principal Michelle Rodriguez.
The board also approved the contract renewal for athletic director R.T.Gonzales.