MISD no longer in “disaster” mode, but questions surround 2020-2021

During a specially called school board meeting on April 30, the Marlin ISD Board of Directors considered a resolution for administrative response concerning COVID-19. 

The resolution was originally to end disaster pay for certain hourly employees not being exposed to contagion while on the job, but due to Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement in previous weeks that Texas schools would remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year, it was changed to discontinuing disaster pay overall. 

According to Interim Superintendent Dr. Jean Bahney, this is because the status is no longer considered an immediate disaster.

“This is a new way of operation,” she said. “It’s no longer a disaster-type situation. This is how we’re doing school now.”

Though the district is prepared for how to move forward with the 2019-2020 school year, the question stands as to if MISD will have a  2020-2021 instructional year. Officials are still awaiting results from the informal review currently underway by the Texas Education Agency.

According to Bahney, the last informal review specifically stated that the decision would come with the next round of “test scores.”

Considering the mandated lack of standardized testing during the current year in combination with the fact that the TEA has stated that all school districts in Texas will receive the same accreditation status as previous years, it is promising that Marlin ISD’s status will remain under conditional terms.

There has been a demonstration of improvement from the Targeted Support and Improvement Plans throughout the year with district testing initiatives, which may help support the idea of renewing the current abatement program. 

As the Board continues operations as normal, the question stands: 

“Why would the Texas Education Agency allow Marlin ISD to hire new employees if the district will be closed?”

On May 7, the School Board renewed a number of employee contracts and approved additional positions for the coming year. Just seven days later they also approved the addition of Samuel Long, Band Director and Kimera Turrubiante, ELA teacher for MHS.

The district is also just days away from signing a contract with Dr. Darryl Henson as incoming Superintendent, who says he is ready to conquer Marlin’s unique needs and will be leaning on those below him to ensure team members are working together.

“There is no one specific path for learning,” he said.

“It’s about the culture of the district,” he continued.  “I plan to get parents involved with every step of the process.” 

The Marlin ISD Board of Directors plans to continue business as usual until informed otherwise. More information will be provided as it is available. 

To keep up to date with Marlin Independent School District, head marlinisd.org.

The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
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