The MISD Minute: Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

Building a Budget that Prioritizes Employee Compensation

Thank you to all who attended our first Budget Town Hall meeting this week at the District ESC. It was well-attended with highly engaged staff and stakeholders. Our budget development process for 2021-22 is in its early stages, and as I stated during the discussion, increasing employee compensation is our top priority.

Identifying the funds necessary to provide meaningful pay increases wont come without some challenges. The threat of a recapture – aka “Robin Hood” – payment to the state, inequitable per-student funding we receive when compared to our neighboring districts, and other factors like a limited fund balance are all challenges we need to overcome. Despite these challenges, District senior leadership and campus principals are working diligently together to identify areas of possible savings that could be allocated directly towards increasing employee compensation.

My commitment to you through the entire budget process is transparency and proactive, collaborative communication. In the coming weeks, we’ll share with you information on how the budget is being developed as well as specific budget-related items being discussed. We’re a long way from making any recommendations to the Board of Trustees, and even further away from a final decision and budget adoption in June.

I look forward to a transparent and collaborative budget development process.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

All Classes to be Remote on Tuesday, Feb. 16

Due to likely unsafe road conditions resulting from the forecasted inclement weather impacting our region, all Montgomery ISD schools will shift to remote instruction on Tuesday, Feb. 16. No in-person classes will be held on Tuesday.

Students will be contacted by their school regarding remote learning activities for Tuesday, Feb. 16. In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

A remote learning day on Tuesday, Feb. 16 rather than a closure, will ensure that we will not need to add additional instructional days to the 2020-2021 school year calendar.

Please know that weather-related decisions are not taken lightly. When making a decision to close or shift to remote learning due to weather, the district works closely and consults with county officials as well as neighboring superintendents. All decisions are made with the safety of students and staff as the top priority.

In making weather-related decisions, we attempt to provide as much advance notice as possible to our families. This decision was made early due to weather reports showing unusually cold and inclement conditions in our region early next week.

Please be safe and, if possible, adhere to the advice of local authorities regarding road travel in the area.

MISD Board of Trustees Meeting – Feb. 16

The MISD Board of Trustees is still scheduled to meet for its monthly regular meeting on Tuesday. Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Board Room of the District ESC.

During this meeting, trustees will give a special recognition to our school counselors in honor of National School Counseling week, which was Feb 1-5. Thanks to all who joined us in celebrating our amazing school counselors last week.

During this unprecedented year, the work of our school counselors has been especially heroic. In fact, over the years, the duties of school counselors has expanded well beyond the traditional “guidance counselor” role. School counselors now fill the critically important role of providing a comprehensive developmental school counseling program that focuses on student social and emotional well-being, in addition to academic success.

During the board meeting, Trustees will also consider adoption of a Board Resolution urging Governor Greg Abbott to prioritize school district employees in the next round of COVID-19 vaccinations. While we respect every individual’s right to make their own healthcare-related decisions, we believe that public school employees should be an eligible recipient of the vaccines, given the magnitude and importance of their roles.

Second Strategic Plan Town Hall Meeting

Mark your calendars for the next Strategic Plan Town Hall meeting at Lake Creek HS on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We’re thrilled with the level of excitement and participation in the work to develop the district’s strategic plan. At the next Town Hall, we’ll discuss possible district initiatives and strategies to be included in the final plan. The initiatives and strategies developed during this process will be designed to empower the district to meet the goals and performance objectives adopted by the Board of Trustees.

As a reminder, the five district goals adopted by the Board of Trustees are:

  • Goal 1: Academic Achievement
  • Goal 2: Safety
  • Goal 3: Operations and Finance
  • Goal 4: Human Capital
  • Goal 5: Communications & Customer Service

Thank you for your participation in the strategic planning process!

Superintendent Shout-Out: LCHS Principal Phil Eaton

This week, our own Lake Creek High School Principal Mr. Phil Eaton was recognized as one the 100 greatest high school basketball coaches in the history of the Texas University Interscholastic League!

Mr. Eaton coached for 17 years, amassing over 400 wins at stops in Humble ISD and Pasadena ISD. Please join me in congratulating Mr. Eaton for this remarkable, well-deserved recognition!

Congratulations, Coach Eaton!

(I hope you enjoy the photos in the slideshow of Mr. Eaton during his coaching “prime”)

BONUS Superintendent Shout-Out: Teresa Tipton

Earlier this month, I made a difficult announcement that Teresa Tipton would be leaving the district for a new professional opportunity.

Today, I’m excited to inform you that Teresa has decided to remain with us as our Benefits, Leave and Worker’s Compensation Specialist! Montgomery ISD is blessed to have a dedicated employee like Teresa.

Please join me in thanking Teresa for her commitment to Team MISD!

Schools and Offices Closed on Monday for Presidents’ Day

All schools and district offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15 in observance of Presidents’ Day.

In the history of our great nation, we’ve had many courageous and bold leaders occupy the White House. The president I admire most is Abraham Lincoln. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from him:

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

– Abraham Lincoln