WISD stopping virus' spread, board told

District nurse coordinator says campuses aren’t causing large spread of COVID-19

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
The Waxahachie Independent School District Administration Building at 411 North Gibson Street.

Schools in the Waxahachie Independent School District do not appear to be huge vectors of spread for the COVID-19 virus, the WISD board of trustees were informed during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting.

WISD nurse coordinator Melissa Bousquet told trustees that campuses appear to be among the safest places for students to be, as strict district-wide measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Even though case numbers are on the rise right now, at a pretty alarming rate really, it’s not at school that they’re getting it,” Bousquet said. “All these hard-working teachers and support staff and administrators and board, all of your hard work is really paying off.”

Vaccines for school staff, however, are still a ways off. Bousquet said under the Texas Department of State Health Services’ vaccination plan, the state is currently still in Phase 1B, in which people 75 and over have priority. Essential workers, including teachers, will be in the next phase, 1C.

Once vaccines for staff become available, Bousquet said the district has developed its own hierarchy for who gets vaccinated first, starting with high-risk employees first. Bousquet added that once three pending new vaccines gain approval for use, it will open up shots for just about everyone.

The district had 148 total cases of COVID-19 between Dec. 18 and Jan. 7, which includes 53 staff and 95 students, Bousquet told trustees.

Other items

• The board approved the hiring of four teachers and a custodial night supervisor.

• The board approved a modification to the pay structure scale to add an advanced placement stipend, and approved the contract abandonment of teacher Alisa Marshall.

• Waxahachie ISD security officer Trey Marsh was recognized for assisting a stricken student at Marvin Elementary School on Nov. 17. Coleman Junior High teacher Robin Woodley was recognized for starting the “SPEAR” initiative at the school. Kindergarten teacher Shanna Thomas was recognized as the district’s Difference Maker of the Month; and Challenge Academy’s Tammy Willoughby was recognized with the 212 Award.

• The board received a report on early childhood literacy and math goals. Assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Dr. Susan Holt said the district is setting modest growth goals at first and will be more aggressive in the future as growth takes hold.

• The board granted a permanent easement to Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC on approximately 0.216 acres along Washington Avenue and the northern boundary of the property where Simpson Elementary School is located. Also part of the consent agenda, previous minutes and monthly financial reports were accepted.

• Trustees approved a resolution to nominate former Waxahachie mayor Kevin Strength to fill a vacancy on the Ellis County Appraisal District board of directors.

• The board extended the ability for employees to utilize the Families First Coronavirus Response Act protected sick leave to the end of the 2020-2021 school year.