Burton ISD officials gave glowing reports on how the start of school has gone at their virtual meeting Monday.
Each of the administrative reports from Superintendent Dr. Edna Kennedy and Elementary and High School Principals Melinda Fuchs and Matthew Wamble praised students, parents, and teachers for the work they have done so far this school year. At this time, no positive COVID-19 test results have been reported in the district.
The three said students have adjusted well to the new COVID-19 safety protocols, while parents have been cooperative and forthcoming with keeping students home if they are feeling ill. They also commended teachers for their efforts in creating and preparing lesson plans for in-person and remote learning while also teaching students about the new safety procedures.
Both Fuchs and Wamble reported a significant decrease in the amount of remote students from the start of the school year. Fuchs said the elementary school is down to 26 remote students, compared to 68 when classes began. Wamble reported there are currently 14 remote high school students, after starting the year with 34. Wamble—referring specifically to the high school—said students making the switch from remote to in-person classes were allowed to come back after progress reports, which ended last Friday.
Fuchs said school administrators are trying to get more students to return to physical instruction, as they feel the best place for them is on campus in front of a teacher, but they still understand there are parents with health concerns who wish to keep their children home.
Dr. Kennedy, speaking for Athletic Director Jason Hodde, also spoke on how athletic events have taken place with the new COVID-19 regulations. She said attendees have been good so far about wearing masks and socially distancing. The Burton ISD football stadium holds a total of 350 fans—175 home and 175 visiting—at 50 percent capacity, while the volleyball gym holds 52 fans—26 home and 26 away—at 50 percent. Dr. Kennedy said the district is preparing to roll out online ticket sales potentially next week, and will release more information about that soon.
Following an executive session, trustees approved one-time annual stipends for teachers teaching University of Texas On-Ramps college courses, along with staff members in the “Guardian Program”, which allows certain district employees to carry handguns on school grounds. Three UT On-Ramps teachers will receive a $500 stipend, while the select staff members confidentially designated as Guardians will receive a $1,000 stipend.