A Year of Resilience
It’s hard to believe that one year ago this week, our school district was forced to halt in-person instruction due to the spread of COVID-19 in our community. When I think back to one year ago, I recall the fear of the unknown and the impact the pandemic would soon have in school communities across the nation. I remember how difficult and painful it was for educators and students to miss nearly a full semester of in-person instruction. And mostly, I think about activities like graduation, prom, athletics and extracurricular activities that had to be canceled and the thousands of students who never had an opportunity to create a lifetime of memories. These were extraordinarily challenging times.
Fast-forward to today. There’s no doubting that things look a little different. Social distancing, hand sanitizer and masks are now a part of our daily routines – the new (temporary) reality. Yet, because of these adjustments and other health and safety protocols in place, we have been able to offer in-person learning and resume extracurricular activities this year with some normalcy. In fact, Montgomery ISD was one of the first school districts in Texas to re-open for in-person instruction. This community should take great pride in the resilience of Montgomery ISD students and staff.
As we head out for a much-needed Spring Break, lets take a moment to recognize how far we have come from one year ago today. From not knowing when we would be able to return to our campuses, classrooms, and sports fields – to where we stand now – with nearly 95% of students engaged with in-person learning, extra-curricular activities in full swing, and our sports teams on the field.
Nothing about this year has been easy. The challenges we have confronted during this school year have taken a toll on everyone – from a global pandemic, hurricanes and brownouts to a once in a generation winter storm in south Texas. I’m thankful that our community has continually put children first as we have navigated the challenges presented during this unprecedented school year. Let’s celebrate our resilience, take a week to rest, and finish this school year strong.
Below you will find a few important district updates. Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s MISD Minute to stay informed on important issues happening in the district.
Please enjoy a safe Spring Break. We’ll see you on March 22!
Dr. Heath Morrrison
COVID-19 Vaccine Opportunity on Monday, March 22 at the District ESC
On Monday, March 22, all MISD employees will have the opportunity to receive the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the MISD Education Support Center. All school district employees are now eligible for the vaccine.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please complete the questions in this link (also below – employee name, date of birth and employee ISD email address). The list will be submitted to the Montgomery County Health District (MCHD) and you will then receive an email to register for your appointment (check your spam folder if you do not get an email). An appointment is required to receive the vaccine on March 22. Appointment times will be between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Please choose a time slot that is during your scheduled conference period, if possible. If your conference time is in the morning, your campus administration will work with you so that you have the ability to leave campus for your scheduled appointment time. Please communicate this need so they can make arrangements.
MISD staff should complete this form by midnight on March 16th. Please park in the back parking lot and enter the doors for the Board Room area.
To view the prescreening checklist for the Moderna vaccine, click this link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/pre-vaccination-screening-form.pdf
As soon as the 2nd dose of Moderna is available, MCHD will send out an email with registration options. We plan to work with MCHD to open the MISD ESC as a vaccination site for the second dose, as well.
This opportunity is being provided as a courtesy to our employees – the vaccine is not mandatory.
Budget Road Show
This week, we completed three stops of our “Budget Road Show”, meeting with ESC staff and the faculties at Stewart Creek ES and Lone Star ES. Financial transparency and providing meaningful salary increases to district employees are our top priorities as we build a district budget for the 2021-22 school year. We’re also committed to developing a district compensation plan to present to the Board of Trustees for approval in April. With a district compensation plan, employees will have a much better understanding of their salaries going into the next school year. It has been exciting to share some of our initial budget development work and proposals for salary improvements with staff across the district. I have enjoyed answering your questions and taking input and feedback.
I look forward to continuing these discussions when we return from Spring Break.
Staff Survey Results – Mask Requirements
This week, we surveyed all staff to gather input on the district’s existing mask requirement. Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond and provide us with your feedback. Your input is important to us as we make important health and safety-related decisions at the district level.
You can see the results of the staff survey here.
Superintendent Shout-Out – Montgomery JH One Act Play
Congratulations to MJH Theater teacher Tammy Lumpkin and the Montgomery Junior High UIL One Act Play students, who were named district champions this week!
We are so proud of your hard work and dedication this year.
Way to go, Bears!