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WISD board to discuss learning gaps

Trustees will hear report on poor student performance amid pandemic

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees will hear a report on learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting.

Poor academic performance from some students has caused the WISD to take action in the new school year. Initially, because of a number of problems, hybrid learning was ended in the district at the end of the first six-week grading period, requiring students to choose between face-to-face and at-home learning.

Finally, effective this past week, the district ended all virtual instruction and required students to return to classrooms, with exceptions for medical or other reasons. WISD’s face-to-face attendance was already at more than 80 percent, superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain said during last month’s regular meeting.

Also at last month’s meeting, Waxahachie High School principal Tonya Harris cited a massive number of failing online students, saying 59.5 percent of those students do not have a passing grade. Harris said a large number of these students are simply not logging in, and lack of parental supervision at home is one reason.

Trustees will consider employment matters as well, including the addition of professional and paraprofessional positions and a modification to the 2020-2021 pay scale impacting mechanics.

In the consent agenda, trustees will consider an agreement with PowerSchool Group, LLC for records management software for the Human Resources Department; a partnership with the University of Texas-Tyler for course content for the Principal Resident Program; approval of Gifted and Talented policies and procedures; the declaration of vehicles as surplus; a local plan to identify students at risk of dropping out of school; and acceptance of reports and previous minutes.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Monday in the board chambers at the Waxahachie ISD Administration Building at 411 N. Gibson St. The board will meet in executive session at the beginning of the meeting before convening in public session.

Additionally, the board has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8:30 a.m. in order to canvass the results of Tuesday's election.