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Seen and Heard at the January 2021 School Board Meeting

Posted Date: 02/19/2021

Seen and Heard at the January 2021 School Board Meeting

January 20, 2021 – At the School Board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, Board members received goodie bags filled with ‘swag’ from AISD schools in honor of School Board Recognition Month, celebrated every year in January across Texas. Superintendent Loomis took a minute to express appreciation on behalf of the Amarillo ISD family for trustees’ dedicated service to our schools.

The Board gave high-fives to a team of AISD educators and members of the Communications Dept. for winning a regional Emmy Award for The Secret Classroom, a TV show conceived, written, developed and produced solely by AISD employees to give our youngest students educational content to watch at home during the pandemic. 

The Board heard a report summarizing plans for a summer reading academy for teachers, and later in the meeting they approved a $400 daily stipend for teachers who choose to participate in the July academy. The state now requires all teachers and principals in kindergarten through third grade to attend a teacher literacy achievement academy by the 2022-2023 school year. Mr. Loomis said conducting the reading academy in the summer will allow teachers to minimize time away from the classroom and lost instructional time. However, teachers who cannot or do not wish to complete the academy in the summer can utilize staff development days built in to next year’s calendar for the training.

The Board adopted the school calendar for 2021-2022. Next year, school will begin on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 and will end on Friday, May 27, 2022. The calendar includes the following student and staff holidays:  Labor Day, three days at Thanksgiving, 2 1/2 weeks at Christmas (3 weeks for students), Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, a week at Spring Break and Good Friday. The calendar has staff development/student holidays on August 6 – 16, October 8 and 11, December 20 and 21, and February 18 and 21. The 2021-2022 calendar provides for 173 instructional days for students and meets all the requirements for the number of minutes in a school year. The calendar provides for 187 teacher contractual days. 

Trustees adopted an order calling for a Board of Trustees election on Saturday, May 1, 2021. This year, four out of seven school board positions are up for election, all four-year terms. These positions are currently held by Doyle Corder, Robin Malone, Kayla Mendez and David Nance.

In other business, the Board approved additional bond construction work at Bowie Middle School to make improvements to the front façade of the building and to replace sidewalks around the campus. They also approved asking for a waiver from the Texas Education Agency for a portion of this year’s teacher and principal appraisal process to give some relief to educators.

Finally, trustees accepted gifts and donations totaling $16,770, given to the District and various schools by Neal Carpenter, Warren CAT Equipment Rentals, American Legion Auxiliary, Jerry and Janie Hensley, Sprouse Shrader Smith, PLLC, Veatrice Johnson, Sherry Slover Danklefs, Wienerschnitzel at 45th and Bell, Amarillo College Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Debbie Auburger, Kristell Kotara, Genevieve Morgan, Terry, Betty and Shana Collins, Eric Anderson and the Amarillo Hockey Association, Marci Reid, the Amarillo Association of Realtors, Happy State Bank, and Match MG US, LLC.