Thorndale ISD votes to make masks optional
On Monday, May 10, Thorndale ISD held its regularly scheduled meeting.
The first item on the agenda were administrative reports.
Elementary Principal Michael Young talked briefly about STAAR testing and planning a trip for UIL participants.
Middle School principal Scott Frei informed the board about several new hires.
Jessica Stillwell will be coming from Lexington to teach science to replace Dianne Preusse who is moving to the high school. Jenny Williamson from St. Paul’s will be coming on to teach math.
Frei also announced that the middle school secretary Amanda Lanahan will be taking the HS Art teacher position.
High school principal Jennifer Parnham started by introducing Kirk Wagner who will be coming from Cameron to teach social studies. Parnham also talked about all of the plans for senior week leading up to graduation. She also informed the board that they had Casey McDaniel from Caldwell coming on board to teach English and coach girl’s sports.
Superintendent Adam Ivy talked briefly about the potential of a new economic development opportunity in the district that could be a financial benefit if it comes to fruition. He also talked about the plans for an expanded summer school to address learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures.
The consent agenda was presented and approved without amendment.
Business manager Rebecca Peel presented two budget amendments related to the upcoming high school renovation that the board approved 6-0.
The board discussed the possible creation of a new position using federal stimulus funds. This position would help in the expansion of mental health and counseling services along with helping to address learning loss attributed to COVID-related school closures.
The board decided to table this item and asked Ivy to develop a job description to be discussed at a special meeting on May 17.
Up next, the board heard updated data regarding recent COVID guidelines concerning mask wearing.
Ivy along with School Nurse Sara Sanders talked to the board about infection trends over the past seven weeks.
Sanders stated that there had not been a lab confirmed case at school during that time and that the county numbers during that time had stayed consistently below 15 cases and in many cases that number was below 10.
Sanders also informed the board about a survey that was given to all staff members, which showed that nearly 90 percent were in favor of making masks optional.
She also added that individuals that were still nervous about making masks optional should absolutely keep wearing them and could even double mask to increase their personal level of assurance.
The board discussed in detail and then voted 4-1 to approve making masks optional with one member abstaining from the vote.
Ivy presented Board policy update 116 which the board had been reviewing for several months. He explained that the only change was to policy FFAC local, which would give the district the ability to purchase and distribute certain over the counter medications with parental consent. The board voted 6-0 to approve the policy update.
Peel and Ivy then presented the TEKS certification for the 2021-22 school year. They explained that this is done annually but that the process was different this year and that the district had selected the TEKS Resource System as the tool through which the curriculum would be aligned and taught.
Ivy clarified that the district still uses many other resources in addition to supplement this system. The board voted 6-0 to approve the TEKS certification.
The board accepted the resignations of Hudson Evans, Meghan Bow, John Sanchez, Shelly Bertram, and Cheyenne Lynch.
The board set the date and time for the June meeting for June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, the board met on May 17 and voted to create a new Student Support Coordinator position using supplanted federal stimulus funds.