Board of Trustees Meeting Recap: Feb. 23, 2021

Montgomery ISD Trustees Adopt Board Resolution on COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

Trustees urge state to prioritize school district employees in next round of vaccine distribution

Montgomery ISD Trustees adopted a Board Resolution during their regular February meeting urging Texas Governor Greg Abbott to prioritize employees of school districts as COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available statewide.

The Resolution requests that the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP), which is a state-appointed panel of subject matter experts charged with developing vaccine allocation strategies, include school district employees in the definition of “Frontline Workers” for purposes of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. It also acknowledges the critical role school district personnel across Texas have played to ensure in-person instruction, which has been a state requirement during the 2020-21 school year, could occur during the pandemic. Currently, nearly 95% of Montgomery ISD students have selected in-person instruction as their preferred learning method.

“Since day one of this challenging school year, our teachers and school district staff have been heroes for our students,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “Safely opening schools for traditional in-person learning was a priority for many Montgomery ISD families, and our entire district staff has answered the call-to-action to make this possible. We are asking our state leaders to acknowledge the efforts of school district personnel by providing them the option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The Resolution states that the district would respect the personal rights of its employees to make their own decision to take the vaccine should it become available to them. Montgomery ISD joins school districts across Texas that have made similar requests to the Governor, either through a letter or official Board action. The full Board Resolution can be read here.

February 1-5, 2021 was School Counseling Week, which is recognized across the nation as a week to celebrate and appreciate the contributions of school counselors.  Montgomery ISD’s school counselors were recognized by trustees for their hard work and dedication to students during this year. Trustees were also shown a video highlighting the work of the district’s school counselors. The video can be viewed here.

“The vital role our counselors play on campuses has been magnified during this unprecedented school year, which has presented many new challenges for students,” Board Trustee Shawn Denison said. “The duties of our school counselors have expanded well beyond the traditional academic guidance role. School counselors also support the social and emotional well-being and development of students. We were excited to recognize them for their dedication to our students.”

During the meeting, trustees also approved a Resolution approving employee compensation during the district’s inclement weather closure from Feb. 16 through Feb. 19.

“Last week was extraordinarily challenging for our families and district staff,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “Many of our staff members are still dealing with the aftermath of the inclement weather we experienced in our region. Ensuring they are properly compensated while the district was closed provides at least some peace of mind during this difficult time.”

Morrison applauded district and City of Montgomery personnel who made it possible for Madeley Ranch Elementary School to serve as a warming shelter for local families. He also expressed appreciation for district maintenance staff who worked through the weekend to ensure schools would be ready to open for in-person instruction on Monday, Feb 22.

“Our MISD Police Department staff, Maintenance team and City of Montgomery rose to the occasion last week for our families,” Morrison said. “We were thankful that we could offer the community a warm and safe place to stay at Madeley Ranch Elementary School during the severe weather, and, we were grateful we could safely re-open all schools on Monday. This was a team effort.”