Montgomery ISD trustees approve district strategic plan

Montgomery ISD trustees approved a new district strategic plan during their regular monthly board meeting for June. 

The strategic plan, named the “Pathway to Premier”, is the product of a six-month-long districtwide effort to collaborate with all district stakeholders and identify existing district strengths and areas for improvement. The strategic plan focuses on the Board of Trustees’ five district goals and contains measurable key performance indicators in targeted areas. The plan also lists initiatives and strategies the district will use to meet or exceed targets outlined in the key performance indicators. 

The board-approved district goals are: 1) Academic Achievement; 2) School Safety; 3) Finance and Operations; 4: Human Capital; and 5) Communication and Customer Service.

Dr. Heath Morrison, who is entering his second year as the superintendent of Montgomery ISD, emphasized the district’s intense focus on developing the strategic plan through collaboration with the community. 

“My time of entry as superintendent of Montgomery ISD was spent doing a significant amount listening and learning,” Morrison said. “Conversations with hundreds of district stakeholders identified many strengths we have as a district, but also opportunities to improve. It was a priority for us to ensure the development of the strategic plan authentically represented all voices in our community. Hundreds of voices were involved in this process.”

To develop the strategic plan, the district formed a large task force consisting of five committees, each focused on one of the goals. The task force committees were comprised of district leadership, principals, teachers, counselors, parents, students and community members. The task force committees spent several months examining district functions and developing key performance indicators and district initiatives and strategies to be included in the final strategic plan. The district also issued a communitywide survey and held three town hall meetings during the strategic plan development process to gather public input. 

“As a Board, our vision for the district is clear: We want Montgomery ISD to be the Premier School District in the state of Texas,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “We are excited about the direction of our district with this strategic plan as our guiding document. I would like to thank all staff, parents and community members who participated in this process.”

In total, the strategic plan consists of 66 key performance indicators addressing various areas within the five district goals. The task forces identified 121 initiatives and strategies during the development of the plan. Increasing and enhancing Career and Technical Education opportunities is a district initiative under district goal one.

“This strategic plan is comprehensive, starting with ensuring strong academic programs are in place for our youngest learners all the way up to our students ready to take on college, career or military opportunities,” Trustee Shawn Denison said. “I’m especially excited about the increased focus on expanding CTE options and programs for our secondary students.”

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, the Board of Trustees will receive monthly updates from task force leaders and department directors regarding the district’s progress in various areas of the strategic plan.

“With the strategic plan, our board and community will have a clear understanding of where the district is excelling and where there are growth opportunities,” Trustee Linda Porten said. “This not only brings about greater transparency into district functions, but it also provides guidance on academic, operational and financial aspects of district decision-making.”

Morrison emphasized the district’s desire for the strategic plan to reflect the values, wishes, and desires of the entire Montgomery community. 

“Our Board of Trustees and community expect consistent greatness from Montgomery ISD, and our students deserve nothing less.” Morrison said. “We are a very good school district. However, we cannot let ‘good’ be the enemy of ‘great’. This strategic plan truly serves as our pathway to being the premier school district in Texas.”

The Pathway to Premier can be read here.

The MISD Minute – May 7, 2021

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

May has arrived, end of the year banquets and celebrations are taking place and graduation planning is in full swing. The end of the 2020-21 school year is right around the corner.

It is Teacher Appreciation Week! And I would never allow this week to end without a special message to the amazing professionals educating our students in the classroom. In a year like no other, teachers have stepped up for our students and families like never before. They have approached the historic challenges thrown our way this year with patience, perseverance, dedication and even a bit of creativity. When our students needed compassion – that’s what they gave them. When our students needed additional help – they were there to lend a hand. And, when students needed some inspiration to reach the finish line, teachers were there to provide them with that final boost. Teachers, you are the heart and soul of our school district. You are the incredible heroes who inspire me each and every day.

Teachers, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your kindness, generosity and love for our students. While teachers are worthy of year-round celebration, please join me in showing your appreciation to them this week.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Update on 2021-22 secondary campus schedules

For the 2021-22 school year, all secondary campuses will shift back to a straight 8-period schedule. Additionally, no secondary teacher will be required to instruct in a “hybrid” model with both in-person and remote learners.

I want to acknowledge the excellent collaboration between our secondary administrators and counselors on the decision to move back to the 8-period schedule next year. When I first arrived as superintendent, I heard a number of concerns from teachers regarding the process and lack of input prior to shifting to a block schedule this school year. Our team committed to a collaborative process in the development of next year’s secondary campus schedules. Earlier this spring, we convened administrators and counselors from all secondary schools to explore options. Campus leadership teams went back to their schools, and the consensus was for the district to return to the 8-period day (the schedule prior to the pandemic). I appreciate all of the work that went into this decision.

We will always examine the best instructional options for our students and schools and involve staff in those decisions. I hope this decision, along with knowing that teachers will not be required to implement a hybrid model next year comes as welcome news to our secondary teachers.

2020-21 District Award Winners Celebrated

This week we celebrated our district teachers of the year, counselors of the year, District MVPs and Spirit of Montgomery Award winners during a reception at Lake Creek High School. It was only fitting that this celebration take place during Teacher Appreciation Week. So, it was a special honor to recognize our district winners during this reception. Again, thank you to all of our district winners. Your contributions to our district were magnified during this unprecedented school year.

You can view more photos from the district awards reception here.

Montgomery ES Principal Search Underway

This week the district held meetings at Montgomery ES with campus staff and parents regarding the search for their new principal. Before starting the process of screening and interviewing candidates, it was important to us that we receive input from MES staff and parents regarding their next campus leader. We asked staff and parents for qualities, skills and characteristics they believe are important for the next principal to possess and to share what procedures, programs or other school areas they want the new principal to maintain or continue to grow. It was made very clear to us that the existing work and academic expectations that have been put in place at Montgomery ES under Carrie Fitzpatrick’s leadership is viewed as strong by the staff and parents. We look forward to identifying candidates who can build upon the solid foundation at Montgomery ES.

Next week, we will continue our process to identify the new principal of Montgomery ES. Our goal is to recommend a candidate for approval to the Board of Trustees during a special board meeting in May.

Process for Identifying New District Leaders

I wanted to shine some light on the extensive process that we have been utilizing to identify district leadership. The district hiring process includes the following:

  • Every job opening in Montgomery ISD is posted on our district website for at least 10 days. We also place the openings on industry-specific job boards like the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Business Officials.
  • Applicants are pre-screened by a group of two to three staff members and select up to eight internal and external candidates for a first round of interviews.
  • A panel of staff members (senior leadership, principals, other district and campus employees) conduct a first round of interviews.
  • After the first round of interviews has been completed, the panel will select candidates to advance to a second round of interviews. My charge to every first round interview panel is to identify at least one person they believe could successfully take on the role for which they are interviewing. If this is not accomplished, then the process stops and we will continue to search for candidates.
  • Next, a second round of interviews occurs. The second round interview panel will include me, members of the senior leadership team, and at least one individual who served on the panel for the first round of interviews to ensure consistency.
  • After conducting a second round of interviews, the senior leadership team deliberates and selects a candidate to recommend to the board of trustees for final approval during a regular or special board meeting. If necessary, we will hold a third round of interviews.

When I joined as your superintendent in June 2020, concerns, with how we were sourcing and hiring employees were shared with me by many in our community. An external review of our Human Resources Department by the Texas Association of School Boards confirmed that this is an area where improvement is needed. This new process of sourcing, interviewing and selecting leaders in our district is intended to provide an unbiased and fair opportunity to all who desire to either join or advance their career in Montgomery ISD.

Masks and facial coverings to become optional beginning May 31

As we prepare for a more normal school year in 2021-22, and consistent with the MISD Board of Trustees’ action during the March Regular Board Meeting, the use of masks or facial coverings will become optional in all district schools and facilities beginning Monday, May 31.

We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 conditions in Montgomery County and seek advice from public health officials. And, as I have stated many times this year, all decisions are “subject to change”. However, we are very encouraged by the improving positivity rates, increased number of fully vaccinated individuals and predicted continued progress across Texas and the nation in the fight against the virus.

I want to thank you all for your patience, understanding and flexibility as it relates to the district’s COVID-19 protocols this year. Due in large part to health protocols in place, and your adherence to them, we were able to minimize the spread of COVID-19, safely open and operate schools beginning in August and provide traditional in-person instruction to over 94% of our more than 9,000 students this school year. I could not be more proud of the resilience and determination of our students and staff this year. We will continue to provide updates on district health protocols as we prepare for the 2021-22 school year.

Superintendent Shout-Out: District Teachers of the Year, MVP and Spirit of Montgomery Winners

We were excited to announce our Elementary Teacher of the Year, Secondary Teacher of the Year, District MVP Winner and Spirit of Montgomery Winner during the district 2020-21 awards reception this week.

The 2020-21 winners are:

  • Elementary Teacher of the Year: Lauren Coughlin, Keenan ES
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year: Wendy Jebousek, Oak Hills JH
  • District MVP: Shara Phillips, Special Education Department
  • Spirit of Montgomery: Nikki Taylor, Keenan ES

The district winners were selected based on their responses to questions provided to all district finalists by the human resources department. Each finalist’s name, department and campus were redacted, and responses were scored by members of the senior leadership team based on a rubric, also developed by the human resources department.

Congratulations to our 2020-21 district winners, and thank you for your dedication to Montgomery ISD students and families!

The MISD Minute – April 30, 2021

Staff Announcements

Earlier this week, we announced the appointment of Carrie Fitzpatrick as our new Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education. I am excited about the leadership Carrie will bring to this role and confident that she will build upon the outstanding work in our district.

I’m also excited to welcome four additional talented leaders to Team MISD! We have identified four outstanding candidates to lead technology and digital learning, human capital, 504 and Dyslexia services and career and technical education.

A little bit about each of them is below.

Amanda Davis-Summerville – Director of Technology and Digital Learning

Amanda Davis-Summerville is joining us as Director of Technology and Digital Learning to provide strategic oversight of districtwide IT activities, continued development of instructional technology programs, and further enhance customer service to campuses.

Amanda brings 12 years of combined experience in the field of information and educational technology and teaching. She has a diverse background in both classroom and district level systems administration and service delivery, with extensive experience in systems analysis, instructional, and enterprise computing, as well as copyright compliance, curriculum evaluation and instructional design. Amanda will be responsible for the Information Technology department as well as setting guidelines and coordination of services for infrastructure and instructional technology service delivery across all the campuses within the district.

Previously, Amanda served as an Educational Technologist and Systems Administrator for Houston Independent School District, where she had a direct role in systems and service delivery as well as responsibility for identifying and developing educational tools, curriculum and classroom technologies.

Amanda has Masters of Education in Educational Technology from Texas A&M University and a bachelors degree in business administration from Tarleton State University and is a certified educator in the State of Texas.  

Amanda will begin the role on May 3.

Alayna Siemonsma – Coordinator, 504 and Dyslexia Services


Alayna Siemonsma is joining us as Coordinator of 504 and Dyslexia Services. She is a native South Dakotan who began her 24-year teaching career as an elementary educator serving students in Wyoming, Arizona, and South Dakota. In 2015, her family relocated to Conroe where she continued teaching in an intermediate school setting as a 5th grade ELA/SS teacher and most recently as a teacher of students with Dyslexia and/or Dysgraphia. She is an active and founding member of the Texas National Board Coalition for Teaching and is a member of Texas Association for Literacy Education.

Alayna is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early and Middle Childhood/Literacy: Reading-Language Arts who holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction and Reading Specialist from Northern Arizona University, and a Principal Certification from Lamar University. Alayna was honored with the Milken Educator Award and has had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with educators from all over the country through the exceptional work of the Milken Foundation and National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Amy Vance – Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Amy Vance has been named as our new Director of CTE. Amy is joining us from Waxahachie ISD, where she has spent the previous four years as District CTE Program Access Coordinator. In this role she was responsible for growing student, parent and community stakeholder involvement in the district’s CTE programs. Amy previously served as a teacher in Chapel Hill ISD, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Mount Vernon ISD.

Throughout her work in CTE, she served as a department head and in many campus and district leadership roles. Amy has a passion for and success in growing the number of student obtaining industry certifications. She will be an asset in our efforts to build meaningful business partnerships throughout our community that will grow and enhance our CTE programs and provide practicum and internship opportunities for our students.

There has been significant interest and desire across the district expand and enhance CTE programs and we are excited for the vision and leadership Amy will bring to this new position. Amy is highly trained and experienced in CTE and I am thrilled to be adding her knowledge and expertise to our team.

Amy is a currently a candidate for a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Stephen F. Austin University, holds a Master of Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin University, a Master of Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development.

Denise Miner – Executive Director of Human Capital

Denise Miner has been named Executive Director of Human Capital. In this role, Denise will oversee all aspects of the Human Resources Department, including recruiting, hiring, evaluating retaining staff and enhancing professional development opportunities across the district.

Denise has over two decades of experience in education, including several years of experience in school district human resources. She joins us from Cypress Fairbanks ISD, where she has served the previous three years as Assistant Director of Human Resources. Prior to this, Denise was the Director of Personnel and Technology in the :Lake Havasu Unified School District in Arizona. Denise has also served as a high school principal, assistant principal and teacher. She holds a bachelors degree in Arts from Prescott College and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.

Denise will begin the role on May 10.

I am excited about the skills and expertise each of these talented individuals will bring to Montgomery ISD as we continue our work to become the Premier School District in Texas!

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

MISD Counselors of the Year Announced

For the first time, MISD staff has voted on district counselors of the year! The votes have been counted, and you selected the following amazing individuals as our District Counselors of the Year!

  • Deanna Peterson – Elementary Counselor of the Year
  • Barbara Gagliano – Junior High School Counselor of the Year
  • Laureen Thompson – High School Counselor of the Year
  • Kerri Gilchriest – All-Level School Counselor of the Year

Our winners will be submitted to Region 6 where they will be considered for regional recognition against their regional peers. At Region 6, our nominees will be judged on school counseling innovations and further development of programs to support the career, social/emotional and academic development of all students. Other criteria include leadership, advocacy and collaboration in their work in addition to promoting equity and access to opportunities and rigorous educational experiences for all students to maximize student achievement.

I am thankful for the incredible counselors we have in Montgomery ISD!

Montgomery Junior High Takes First in District UIL

Montgomery Junior High School has won first place in District Academic UIL!

The Bears took the top spot among seven other schools in the region! The District Academic UIL competition requires a significant amount of time and effort, both from students and coaches. I am incredibly proud of the MJH UIL students and coaches for being the District Champions this year! Go Bears!

Montgomery ES Destination Imagination invited to Globals!

Montgomery Elementary School’s Destination Imagination Team has received an invitation participate in the global DI tournament! This is the first time Montgomery Elementary School has had a team advance to this level! Way to go, Bearcats!

Superintendent Shout-Out – Child Nutrition Department

This week’s Supetintendent Shout-Out goes to our dedicated, hard working Child Nutrition team! The Child Nutrition Department recently received their second inspection from the Montgomery County Health Department (MCDH), with all 10 campuses receiving a 100 score!

MCHD inspects a minimum of 47 different items in each kitchen.  Receiving a 100 for all campuses shows the dedication for food safety and sanitation our Child Nutrition have for students and staff of Montgomery ISD.

Thank you for your service and dedication to Montgomery ISD!

First or Second COVID-19 vaccine doses available on Monday

The Montgomery County Public Health District is offering free first or second COVID-19 vaccine doses on Monday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Woodforest Stadium. You can register for an appointment at http://www.mcphd-tx.org/. Information on COVID-19 vaccines is shared as a courtesy to employees. They are not required as a condition of employment.

The MISD Minute – April 23, 2021

A Journey to Improve District Compensation

This week the MISD Board of Trustees approved a compensation plan containing raises for the 2021-22 school year for all Montgomery ISD employees. I want to thank the many employees who reached out with kind comments and to express their gratitude about the board’s actions. While we intend to do more for our employees in future years, the work behind this compensation plan has truly been a journey, beginning with the 2% raises approved by the board in October.

When looking at making additional salary increases across the district, we needed several items to make informed decisions, including data and your input. Since October, we conducted an internal study of how our salaries compare to neighboring districts, engaged a third party to review how we staff campuses and district offices and provide options to become more efficient, brought in all campus principals to assist in our decision-making, visited with staff at all 10 campuses and the district office and held two budget Town Hall meetings. Having the necessary data to make decisions and receiving feedback from employees were extremely important to us as we developed this compensation plan.

On top of the 2% raises approved in October, we’re excited to have had the opportunity to put forward a proposed compensation plan with an additional $3,300 for teachers (about a 5% raise), and an additional 3% pay raise for all other district employees. While there still work to be done to make Montgomery ISD salaries in the region, we hope this shows our commitment to prioritizing staff compensation in our budgeting.

I wanted to point out a few additional important points about the compensation plan.

First, the compensation plan adopted by the board takes effect upon the start of your 2021-22 school year contract or beginning of the next fiscal year, depending on your contract length and type of employment. What this means is that you will begin to see the raises and increased stipends reflected in your paycheck at the start of your 2021-22 duty schedule, depending on the number of work days in your contract. For at-will employees, the raises will begin at the start of your work schedule beginning in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Second, we have received some questions regarding the adjusted teacher hiring schedule. The hiring schedule salaries have been increased to become more competitive in the region. The teacher hiring schedule was also extended from 22 years to 30 years. I wanted to clarify a few items on this. First, with the adopted raises, a current Montgomery ISD teacher’s salary is designed to be – at a minimum – higher than what is reflected in the new salary schedule. The hiring schedule salaries reflect what a teacher entering Montgomery ISD would be compensated. For example, a teacher with two years of experience, entering Montgomery ISD during their fifth year of teaching would now have a starting salary of $55,875. This figure was increased from the $52,242 outlined in the previous 2020-21 hiring schedule. Current fifth year Montgomery ISD teachers received the 2% raise in October and will have also received the additional $3,300, bringing their salary to start their sixth year of teaching in Montgomery ISD above the $55,875 listed in the teacher hiring schedule.

Next, I want to be clear that while the teacher hiring schedule has been extended to 30 years, employees with 30+ years of experience still receive the $3,300 raise, and any salary increases approved each year by the board. Again, the hiring schedule reflects the salary of an individual entering the district for the first time, not existing Montgomery ISD employees, whose salaries will be – at a minimum – higher than what is outlined in the updated teacher hiring schedule. It’s also important to note that, while uncommon, a 30+ year teacher entering Montgomery ISD would receive a higher salary than what is listed at the 30-year mark in the hiring schedule. A 30-year range is common across many school district teacher hiring schedules.

Finally, I want to point our that professional, administrative, and auxiliary salary scales were all increased in the newly-adopted compensation plan. Many of you have inquired about raises being based on the midpoint of your salary. With the increased midpoints, the adopted raises for employees will actually be greater than they would have otherwise been without this adjustment. An adjustment to the salary scales is not something that has occurred when raises were approved in the past. Increasing the salary scales is an important component of making all district salaries more competitive.

Again, highlights of the Montgomery ISD 2021-22 Compensation Plan include the following:   

  • Current MISD teachers receive a $3,300 pay raise (about 5%), for a total increase of approximately 7% over 18 months when factoring in the 2% raise provided in October – for a total raise of $4,055.   
  • All other district employees receive a 3% pay raise, for a total of 5% over 18 months when factoring in the 2% raise provided in October.   
  • The teacher salary schedule has been extended from 22 to 30 years.
  • Salary scales have been increased (Minimum, Midpoint, Maximum). Raises are calculated based on the increased salary midpoint.   
  • Stipends reduced in summer 2020 have been restored to their previous amount.  

In the coming weeks, employees will receive a letter containing their projected salary for the 2021-22 school year. The Human Resources and Finance teams are working diligently to produce individualized letters to all employees. This is an enormous effort being put forward, and I want to express my sincere gratitude for their hard work on behalf of all district staff!

You can read the adopted 2021-22 compensation plan here.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Recognizing our Assistant Principals

(Masks removed for photo)

It was truly a pleasure to recognize our outstanding assistant principals during the Board of Trustees meeting this week. Our district is blessed to have this amazing group of leaders who play a key role in providing all students with a high-quality education. They work so hard each day to keep our campuses running efficiently and effectively, attend after-school and extracurricular events and always go the “above and beyond” – especially this year – to serve the needs of students and families.

Here’s a short video featuring Oak Hills JH principal Tim Williams and Montgomery HS Principal Dr. Andria Schur expressing their gratitude for our assistant principals!

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The final meeting in our MISD Strategic Plan Town Hall series will take place next Tuesday, April 27 from 6-7:30 pm at Montgomery Jr. High School.

As you may know, we are developing a three-year Strategic Plan in alignment with the MISD Board of Trustees’ five adopted district goals:

  • Academic Achievement
  • School Safety
  • Finance & Operations
  • Human Capital
  • Communications & Customer Service

The Strategic Plan is being developed by a district Task Force comprised of parents, MISD staff, students and other district stakeholders. The final Strategic Plan will consist of measurable key performance indicators surrounding the board’s district goals and will contain district initiatives and strategies intended to meet targets in the performance indicators. The final strategic plan will be adopted by the Board of Trustees in June and take effect at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

If you would like to provide your input regarding the areas addressed in the district’s goals, please join us for this important discussion!

Lake Creek HS VEX Robotics Team advances to global competition!

There was some great news over at Lake Creek HS this week that I want to “shout out”! This week, the Lake Creek HS VEX Robotics Team advanced to the global competition!

Lake Creek’s robotics teams began the school year with one goal in mind, return to the VEX Robotics World Championship. Throughout the year, students competed in virtual and in-person tournaments, and after each of these tournaments, teams would refine their robot and code to improve their world rankings. On Monday, team 2854Y, which is comprised of Garrett Denley, Niko Howell, Aiden Suarez, Colin Nerren, Colton Bailes, and Colton Jenkinson, accomplished their goal, and received their invitation to “Worlds”!

The VEX Robotics World Championship will take place over the course of a week starting on Sunday May 16th and running through Saturday May 22nd. Team 2854Y has been one of the top performing robotics teams across the globe throughout the whole season and has received much praise from other teams and coaches on the design of their robot. 

Final Rankings:

World – 144th

United States – 101st

Texas – 7th

Gulf Coast Region – 4th

Way to go, Team 2854Y!

Pictured from left to right: Garrett Denley, Aiden Suarez, Niko Howell

Early Voting underway for MISD Board of Trustees May 1 Election

Early voting for the MISD Board of Trustees election kicked off this week! Two seats on the MISD Board are up for election on May 1.

Running for Board of Trustees Position 4:

Trey Kirby

Christina Sato

Jay Grimes

Running for Board of Trustees Position 5:

Linda Porten

Early voting dates and times are:

  • Monday, April 19 – Saturday, April 24 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 26 – Tuesday, April 27 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For a list of early voting locations, visit the Montgomery County Elections website at www.elections.mctx.org.

MISD Education Foundation’s ‘Together we Grow’ is Saturday!

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation’s inaugural Together We Grow community fundraiser tomorrow evening, April 24 at 7 p.m.!

Together We Grow promises to be a wonderful evening, all in support of the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation, which is essential to our work as a district. The Foundation provides students with college scholarships and funds innovative, forward-thinking classroom and campus projects and provides teachers with tools needed to enhance their ability to educate our students.

I want to thank all, especially MISD parents and Foundation board members Jessica Grace and Shannan Reid who worked “overtime” to make Together We Grow a reality. We’ll see you all on Saturday!

Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees adopts 2021-22 District Compensation Plan 

Trustees approve raises for all district employees, including additional $3,300 for teachers 

The Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees adopted a compensation plan for the 2021-22 school year containing across-the-board salary increases for all district employees during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 20. In total, the compensation plan includes an additional $3.8 M in salary and stipend increases across all employee groups.   

The adopted Montgomery ISD Compensation Plan for the 2021-22 school features an additional $3,300 raise (approximately 5%) for current MISD teachers and an additional 3% raise for all other employee groups. These increases are in addition to the 2% across-the-board pay raises approved by the Board for all district employees earlier this school year. With the adoption of this compensation plan, in 18 months, current Montgomery ISD teachers will have received an approximate 7% total pay increase, or a total of $4,055, with all other employee groups receiving a 5% total raise. Additionally, employee stipends that had been previously decreased or eliminated during the previous budget cycle have been restored in the adopted compensation plan.   

“Our dedicated employees in Montgomery ISD have stepped up in so many ways during this challenging year,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “I could not be more thankful for their tireless efforts this school year, and, while I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do even more for our employees, I’m excited that the compensation plan adopted by the board tonight provides them with well-earned raises entering the next school year.”  

The compensation plan also increases the pay scale on the district’s teacher salary schedule. A first-year teacher entering Montgomery ISD will now have a starting salary of $54,450. The previous salary for a first-year teacher in Montgomery ISD was $51,000.  

In addition to approving the district’s compensation plan, trustees also approved teacher contracts for the 2021-22 school year. 

“The raises provided to teachers and district staff are not only well-deserved but also exercise the fiscal responsibility needed to ensure we have the opportunity to approve a balanced district budget heading into the next school year,” Board Vice-President Gary Hammons said. “For the first time, our board has simultaneously adopted a compensation plan along with teacher contracts. This approach to budgeting displays an ability to manage the district’s budget responsibly while prioritizing our valuable employees.”  

Trustees are expected to adopt the district’s annual operating budget during its monthly Board meeting in June.  

“Our school district budget should always be aligned with our priorities,” Trustee Trey Kirby said. “I’m pleased with how this compensation plan adopted by the board recognizes the hard work of our teachers and staff this year through a targeted, data-driven approach to providing increases to district salaries.”  

Highlights of the Montgomery ISD 2021-22 Compensation Plan include the following:   

  • Current MISD teachers receive a $3,300 pay raise (approximately 5%), for a total of 7% over 18 months when factoring in the 2% raise provided in October – for a total raise of $4,055.   
  • All other district employees receive a 3% pay raise, for a total of 5% over 18 months when factoring in the 2% raise provided in October.   
  • The teacher salary schedule has been extended from 22 to 30 years. (Employees on the teacher pay scale with more than 30 years still receive annual pay increases approved by the Board)   
  • Salary scales have been increased (Minimum, Midpoint, Maximum). Raises are calculated based on the increased salary midpoint.   
  • Stipends reduced in summer 2020 have been restored to their previous amount.  

The 2021-22 Montgomery ISD Compensation Plan can be viewed here.  

“Earlier this school year, after approving an ongoing 2% raise for all district employees, the board and superintendent made a firm commitment to seek additional pay increases for our teachers and district staff,” Board Secretary Linda Porten said. “I’m hopeful and excited about the path we are headed as it relates to compensating our wonderful employees in Montgomery ISD. They truly represent the heart and soul of this district, and we must continue to prioritize their compensation.”  

During the meeting, MISD trustees also approved a Request for Proposal from Cenergistic, an award-winning energy management consultant firm. Cenergistic will advise the district on energy management and consult on best practices for energy efficiencies across all campuses and facilities. The district anticipates realizing a net savings of at least $300,000 in the first year of the partnership and continued significant savings over the following five years.  

Seeking responsible efficiencies through energy management is one of the strategies the district will continue to engage in when identifying financial savings across the district. Earlier this school year, the district also engaged with the Texas Association of School Boards to conduct a comprehensive review of district staffing across all levels and provide options to increase efficiencies. The district implemented options in the TASB study to identify $2.4 M in savings without a reduction in force. 

“The work behind balancing the district’s budget and seeking efficiencies necessary to provide our amazing teachers and district employees has truly been a journey,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “This was a deliberative, input-driven process. We still have work to do relating to compensation. But I hope the effort put forth in this compensation plan is a strong illustration of our commitment to prioritizing employee pay through transparent and responsible fiscal management.” 

The MISD Minute – April 16, 2021

Teacher of the Year and Spirit of Montgomery Award Winners

The final campus votes are in! I am excited to announce the Teacher of the Year and Spirit of Montgomery Winners!

I could not be more thankful for the incredible leadership each of our Teacher of the Year and Spirit of Montgomery award winners has provided to their campuses during this challenging school year. I always say that true leaders rise to the top during the most difficult of times. In a year like no other, which has presented unprecedented challenges and has required innovative, bold problem solving, these leaders have stepped up to the call to serve our students and families. Each represents the values, characteristics and qualities that makes Team Montgomery ISD such an amazing and special group of public servants.

The full list of 2021 Teacher of the Year and Spirit of Montgomery winners is below:

Montgomery ISD Teachers of the Year

  • Keenan ES – Lauren Coughlin
  • Lincoln ES – Patty Barfield
  • Lone Star ES – Stacy Ritchie
  • Montgomery ES – Kelli Kojis
  • Madeley Ranch ES – Emily Larson
  • Stewart Creek ES – Marianne Elias
  • Montgomery Jr. HS – Tamara Lumpkin
  • Oak Hills Jr. HS – Wendy Jebousek
  • Lake Creek HS – Alison Rice
  • Montgomery HS – Deborah Vierkant

Spirit of Montgomery Winners

  • Keenan ES – Nikki Taylor
  • Lincoln ES – Dana Kuciemba
  • Lone Star ES – Monica Lemke
  • Montgomery ES – Niki Manceaux
  • Madeley Ranch ES – Kristi Miller
  • Stewart Creek ES – Linda Bailey
  • Montgomery Jr. HS – Courtney Buckner
  • Oak Hills Jr. HS – April James
  • Lake Creek HS – Stacy Brown
  • Montgomery HS – Sandra Farris

Please join me in congratulating and thanking our 2020-21 Teacher of the Year and Spirit of Montgomery award winners!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Superintendent

Montgomery ISD

MISD Board of Trustees Monthly Meeting

The Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees will meet for their regular monthly board meeting next Tuesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. in the Board Room of the District ESC. I’m excited to share that on Tuesday, we will be presenting to the Board for their consideration an updated district compensation plan containing across-the-board teacher and staff raises for the 2021-22 school year.

In October 2020 after the Board adopted a 2% raise for all district employees, I committed to you that we would work diligently to seek ways to provide additional salary increases for the 2021-22 school year. Our proposed compensation plan will include additional across-the-board salary increases and other adjustments that I believe will represent a significant step in the right direction in terms of making Montgomery ISD salaries more competitive in the region. We will share additional information about the 2021-22 compensation plan at the Board meeting and communicate more details after it is considered by trustees.

Second Round of COVID-19 vaccinations at the District ESC

If you received the first round of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at the District ESC on Monday, March 22, you may schedule an appointment for your second round on Friday, April 30 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the District ESC. Any individual who received the first round of the vaccine should have received an email from the Montgomery County Health District this week with instructions on how to sign up for an appointment on April 30. If you did not receive your email, please check your “spam” folder. Per the CDC, second doses can be administered 24 days and up to 42 days after the first dose. As always, this is being provided as a courtesy to employees. The COVID-19 vaccine is not required.

Superintendent Shout-Out – MHS Senior Reid Turner and Laurie Zuehkle

I want to give a special shout-out this week to MHS Senior Reid Turner and College & Career Coordinator Laurie Zuehlke.

For the past year, Reid and Ms. Zuehkle have represented MHS and MISD as the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) President School! This weekend, during a state and caucus convention that will include over 2,000 students from across the country, Reid will give one final speech before “passing the gavel” on to a new leader.

I am so proud of Reid for representing MHS and MISD in this capacity. Reid served on my MHS Student Advisory Council and has a bright and successful future ahead! I also want to thank Ms. Zuehlke for her leadership, guidance and dedication to cultivating the next generation of leaders. Next year, Ms. Zuehlke will be serving the TASC District 7 (Houston Area) as the District Coordinator and will be on the State Board of Directors as the Past President school.   

Strategic Plan Town Hall Meeting – April 27 at Montgomery Jr. HS

This is a reminder that the third and final Strategic Plan Town Hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Montgomery Jr. HS.

Over the past several months, a strategic plan for our district has been under development by five task force committees containing stakeholders from all over the district. Each task force is focused on one of the Board’s adopted goals: Academic Achievement; School Safety, Finance & Operations; Human Capital; and Communications & Customer Service. Each task force has held a number of meetings, conducted SWOT analyses and has developed proposed district initiatives and strategies intended to make marked improvements in areas addressed by the board’s goals.

The district Strategic Plan will ultimately consist of a set of key performance indicators intended to measure the district’s growth in areas addressed by the board’s five goals. District initiatives and strategies designed to meet the key performance indicators will be included as part of the Strategic Plan.

I’m proud of the public input that has gone into the development of the Strategic Plan, and I hope anyone who has an interest in one of the topics covered by the board’s adopted district goals will attend on April 27. A draft Strategic Plan will be presented to the Board in May and trustees will adopt the Strategic Plan along with the 2021-22 district budget in June.

National Administrative Professionals Day is April 21

Wednesday, April 21 is National Administrative Professionals Day! Our administrative staff across Montgomery ISD play a vital role in our work to serve and educate the over 9,000 students in our district. I am grateful for their dedication to our district and students – we could not operate successfully as a school district without their service. Please join me in recognizing and thanking our amazing administrative professionals next week!

The MISD Minute – April 9, 2021

Important Update on High School Graduation Ceremonies

I wanted to provide you with an update on high school graduation ceremonies.

The date of our graduation ceremonies are scheduled for Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. for Lake Creek HS and Tuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. for Montgomery HS.

After consulting with both campus principals, and taking into consideration the desire of our graduates to have flexibility in the number of guests they may invite, we have decided to adjust our plans and move forward with an outdoor graduation ceremony at the Montgomery ISD Athletics Football Stadium. 

District administration had been working with the principals and administration teams at both high schools to plan indoor graduation ceremonies at Sam Houston State University that would allow graduates to invite multiple guests. However, we were recently informed by the university that capacity at the ceremonies would be limited to 25% attendance with strict social distancing measures in place. As a result, continuing with the ceremonies at Sam Houston State University would limit guests to no more than three per graduate and restrict other graduation features like having bands in attendance. Throughout this year, seniors at both high schools expressed to me that flexible attendance and having traditional graduation ceremony features in place, like the bands, were top priorities for them.

The dates and times of our graduation ceremonies are unchanged.

Moving the graduation ceremonies to the Montgomery ISD Football Stadium will allow for much greater flexibility in the number of guests our graduates may invite. We firmly believe that although outdoors, a graduation ceremony at the MISD Athletics stadium will provide our graduates and their families with the memorable experience they deserve.

We’re excited to plan an exciting graduation ceremony for our seniors More details, including a contingency plan should weather impact the outdoor ceremony will be shared by each campus in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued flexibility.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Superintendent

MISD Master Teacher Cohort Celebrates Completion

This week, the MISD Master Teacher Cohort Class of 2018 celebrated the completion of the two-year program!

The pandemic delayed a few of the activities involved, but these persistent teachers refined their skills in the areas of content, pedagogy, and technology.  The cohort sessions included in-person trainings, virtual experiences, book studies, and peer observations, and each member earned additional technology for their classroom. It was a valuable learning experience for all, and we are proud of their accomplishments!  

Congratulations to the MISD Master Teach Cohort Class of 2018!

Heather Brown, Cheryl Hartner, Katye Hight, Matthew Monk, Robin Riley, Cindy Siple, Leah Taska, Carolyn Veillon, Sarah Wieghat, Tanya Gardner, Kerrie Johnson, Melissa Nordstrom, Nicole Petillo, Kristin Stevenson, Sheradon Sullivan, and Jennifer Gerbrecht

Superintendent Shout-Out – Montgomery HS Choir Earns National Recognition

This week’s Superintendent Shout-Out goes to Heather Orr and the Montgomery HS Choir!

The MHS choir has received the “Best Communities for Music Education” recognition from the NAMM Foundation! Through this recognition, MHS earned the 2021 Support Music Music Merit Award through the Best Communities for Music Education. 

What makes this award special is that there are only 80 high schools in the nation that earned the Music Merit Award. 

You can read more about this outstanding achievement here.

Way to go, MHS Choir!

MISD Board of Trustees Candidate Forum

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I want to send a special thank you to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce for hosting an outstanding Board of Trustees Candidate Forum on Tuesday evening at Lake Creek High School. This was an outstanding opportunity for our community to attend and hear first-hand from the individuals seeking to serve on our Board of Trustees. I’m thankful to all who participated in this event by attending in-person, submitting questions for the candidates, or watching it on Facebook Live.

You can watch the recording of the forum here.

Statewide STAAR Online Testing Issue

Thank you to our students, teachers and staff for their patience and flexibility on Monday when the Texas Education Agency’s online testing vendor experienced statewide outages. The issues experienced by TEA’s vendor did not affect students taking the STAAR on paper. Unfortunately, this was a statewide issue, and completely out of the district’s control. The TEA canceled testing on Monday while their vendor worked to resolve the issues. Campuses will keep you updated as it pertains to the re-scheduled test date.

The MISD Minute – April 1, 2021

“Budget Road Show” Complete

This week, we completed our “Budget Road Show”, having now met with staff from all 10 campuses as well as the district office to discuss our work to develop the district’s 2021-22 budget recommendation to the Board of Trustees. As I stated during each of these meetings, meaningful improvements to employee pay has been – and remains – our top priority as we work to finalize a budget recommendation to the Board. I want to thank each of you who asked questions, provided input and gave comments during these discussions. Your critical feedback empowers me and my leadership team to improve how we serve you and our students. You have my full commitment of continued transparency and collaboration through the budget process.

It is our plan to bring forward to the Board of Trustees a proposed district compensation plan at the April 20 Board meeting. Putting a compensation plan forward now, rather than at the conclusion of the budget process, allows employees to have an understanding of what their compensation will look like heading into the next school year. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss are plans regarding an enhanced district compensation plan beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

As a reminder, all schools and district offices will be closed on Friday, April 2.

Have a safe and relaxing weekend!

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Superintendent

Wendy Graves is retiring in August

It is with a wide range of emotions to announce that, after three decades of outstanding service to Montgomery ISD, Wendy Graves is retiring in August 2021. While we are sad to be losing a valued colleague, we celebrate her many accomplishments in the district and are excited about the next step in her leadership journey.

Wendy is in her 30th year with the district, having started her career in education as a teacher at Montgomery HS. She went on to become an assistant principal at Montgomery Intermediate School before being named principal of Montgomery Elementary School, a role she served in for 10 years. Wendy has achieve countless incredible accomplishments throughout her career, but perhaps the greatest was while a principal at Montgomery Elementary School. Under her leadership, MES became the district’s first ever Blue Ribbon School – a highly prestigious and coveted national honor awarded to schools for academic excellence and closing achievement gaps. Wendy was eventually named the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary, where she has spent the previous 10 years.

Over the past year, I have learned that Wendy’s knowledge, experience, selflessness and countless contributions to our district are what make her such an incredible leader in our district. She has been a trusted member of my leadership team and I am grateful for her many contributions during my first year as superintendent.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Wendy Graves for her service to Montgomery ISD. We wish her all the best as she enters her next chapter.

Efforts to re-open campuses

Over the last several weeks, district administration has been working with principals and campus leadership to bring back a sense of normalcy for students and families on campuses. During the March Board meeting, I announced to trustees that this work had been underway, and I’m excited to let you know that many pre-COVID activities are returning, including proms, field days, Kindergarten and 5th grade celebrations, and volunteers on campus. This school year continues to present unique, unprecedented challenges. As we work diligently to close out this school year strong, it’s important that we continue to find ways to safely restore student, family and volunteer activities in our district.

MISD Education Foundation’s Together We Grow Community Fundraiser

As a reminder, the MISD Education Foundation is holding its first community fundraiser, Together We Grow, on Saturday, April 24 from 7-11 p.m. The event will take place outdoors at the Old Community Center in Historic Montgomery. This is a casual, adult night out with live music featuring the band Rapture and a BBQ dinner catered by locally owned Jr’s.

Together We Grow is a remodeled version of the Foundation’s annual Gala. Our Foundation board members, especially Jessica Grace and Shannan Reid have worked tirelessly on behalf of our district to make this a successful fundraiser for their scholarship and teacher grant programs.

There is also a competition to award one Montgomery ISD Principal with a $2,000 grant for a campus “Hustle Project”. You can help a campus win by sharing the ticket link and encouraging people to buy campus sponsorship tickets for the “Hustle Project” they would like to receive the grant. A video of each campus “Hustle Project” can be viewed here.

I encourage all employees to show their support for the Foundation by attending this event on April 24! Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

Superintendent Shout-Out: Lake Creek HS Varsity Softball

The Lake Creek Varsity Softball team is turning heads attracting some serious statewide attention, having improved their record to 24-0 after defeating Caney Creek this past Tuesday. The Lions are currently ranked #1 in the Area, and #2 in Texas and #18 in the nation according to MaxPreps. I want to give Head Coach Michelle Rochinski and the entire team a Superintendent Shout-Out for the amazing run they have put together so far this season!

The Lions take on New Caney tonight (4/1) at 6:15 p.m. at Lake Creek HS. Get out and support the Lions as they go for 25 in a row!

The Lake Creek Varsity Softball team and all other spring sports schedules can be viewed here.

Thank You HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe!

I would like to send a special thank you to HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe and CEO Matt Davis for their generosity this week in providing every Montgomery ISD employee with a lunch from Joe’s Italian Restaurant in Conroe. On Monday and Tuesday, Matt Davis and his leadership team personally delivered the lunches to all schools and district offices! I am incredibly grateful for this kind gesture to our hard-working employees and appreciate our partnership with HCA Houston Healthcare.

The MISD Minute – Friday, March 26, 2021

Ready For a Strong Finish

I hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break with a chance to relax and recharge in preparation for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

This week, we were back in full swing at the District Office with a monthly Board of Trustees meeting, four “budget road show” meetings and a COVID-19 vaccination event for employees. I would like to send a special thank you to all who made this vaccination event opportunity possible for our employees.

I’m enjoying the opportunity to speak with campus employees during our budget update meetings. So far, I’ve had meetings at Stewart Creek, Lone Star, Keenan, Lincoln and Montgomery Schools, and Montgomery Junior High School. Next week, we’ll wrap up the meetings with stops at Oak Hills Junior High School, Madeley Ranch Elementary School, and Lake Creek and Montgomery High Schools. It has been a privilege to present to you the process we are going through to provide meaningful, across-the-board pay increases for employees. Your feedback during these meetings has been beneficial and improves our ability to better serve you.

Next week, all MISD employees will be provided a free lunch meal from Joe’s Italian Restaurant courtesy of HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe! We’re very grateful for this kind gesture from HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe and CEO Matt Davis, who is a parent in our district. I’m grateful for his organization’s partnership and generosity this year. Below is when each staff group will receive their meal next week:

Monday, March 29: Maintenance, Transportation (Liberty St. Location), Lincoln ES, Madeley Ranch ES, Montgomery ES, Montgomery Jr. HS, Montgomery HS, Stewart Creek ES

Tuesday, March 30: District office, Transportation (Bear Cub Dr. Location), Keenan ES, Lake Creek HS, Lone Star ES, Oak Hills Jr. HS.

Below you will find a few important updates on issues and events happening around the district. Please take a few moments to read this week’s MISD Minute to stay current on important district-related items. We have reached the “home stretch” of the 2020-21 school year, and I look forward to working together for ensure a strong finish!

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Superintendent

March Board of Trustees Meeting

On Tuesday, the MISD Trustees met for their regular monthly Board meeting.

The Board took action on a few important items, including the issue of district health protocols in response to Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34, which rescinded the statewide mask mandate and delegated authority over school district health protocols to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In response, TEA advised school districts that mask mandates should remain in place, but allowed a board of trustees to remove or modify a district’s mask-wearing policy through an official vote. TEA also urged school district’s to consult with local public health officials when making this decision.

The MISD board of trustees voted to keep the district’s current health protocols in place through the end of the 2020-21 school year and authorized me as Superintendent to remove the district’s mask-wearing requirement on May 31, 2021.

Following the Board meeting, Board President Fuller sent a letter to parents and staff outlining the decision and explaining how it was reached. There were several factors that drove this difficult decision, but the main focus of the board was ensuring that schools could remain open and student activities could continue to thrive for the remainder of the school year. If you have not yet read Board President Fuller’s letter, I strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to read it here.

Please know that this was not an easy decision for our trustees, or one they took lightly. In fact, the final decision had not yet been made as of Tuesday afternoon prior to the board meeting. Our students, staff and community all have very strong opinions on this issue, and I want to thank all who took the time to make their voices heard. I also want to thank our Board of Trustees for their continued leadership.

It goes without saying that, while our district health protocols have ensured that campuses have remained open and student activities have been able to occur, they have posed unique challenges in staff, students and their families. I urge you to continue to exercise compassion and grace when addressing health protocols and the topic of masks with your students.

Revision to 2021-22 Academic Calendar

In addition to addressing health protocols, the board also adopted a minor revision to the 2020-21 academic calendar.

After reviewing the operational minutes in the previously adopted 2021-22 calendar, we determined that an adjustment was necessary in order to account for the possibility of a school-day closure next year. Under the previously adopted calendar, we would not have had the necessary operational minutes to make up any canceled school days, meaning the school year would need to be extended should we need to close schools for any reason. This year alone, with hurricanes, brown-outs and other weather events, our school year would have needed to be extended into June had we not had additional operational minutes built into our academic calendar.

Restoring 15 minutes to the operational day for the 2021-22 school year resolves this issue. It’s important to note that these operational minutes are similar to what has been in place historically in our district, and that the number of staff work days – or daily duty hours – does not change with this revision.

The revised school hours for the 2021-22 school year are as follows:

Secondary: 7:15 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Elementary: 8:15 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.

The 2021-22 academic calendar can be viewed here.

The full video of the March Board of Trustees meeting can view watched below.

National Nutrition Month

At this week’s Board meeting, trustees and district administration gave a special recognition to our hard-working, dedicated Child Nutrition staff. March is National Nutrition Month, so this week’s board meeting was a great opportunity to thank our child nutrition employees for service to our children and families. The work they perform behind the scenes each day to keep children fed and well-nourished is a vital component to our efforts to ensure academic excellence for all students.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video below highlighting some of the great work of our Child Nutrition Department!

Superintendent Shout-Out: Montgomery High School Senior Kalani Hayden

This week I want to send a shout-out to MHS Senior Kalani Hayden!

Kalani, who is a member of my Superintendent’s Student Leadership Council at MHS, made her voice heard by speaking on the issue of district health protocols during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s board meeting. Kalani gave a heart-felt, passionate viewpoint of her opinion on district health protocols and impressed all who were in attendance. It took an incredible amount of courage for Kalani to speak publicly at the board meeting, and I could not be more proud of how she represented herself and her peers.

Kalani is a phenomenal leader who has a bright future ahead!

Final Strategic Plan Town Hall Meeting – April 27 at Montgomery Jr. High School

Please mark your calendars for the final MISD strategic plan town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Montgomery Junior High School. This is a final opportunity to provide your input on targeted items and issues the district should prioritize over the next several years in alignment with the Board’s five adopted goals: Academic Achievement, School Safety, Finance and Operations, Human Capital, and Communications and Customer Service.

The Montgomery ISD Strategic Plan will be finalized in May after we’ve had the opportunity to hold this town hall meeting on April 27.

The MISD Minute: Friday, March 12, 2021

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!

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrrison

Superintendent

Montgomery ISD

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.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=aNXioP38pUiOvteAor6fEImi0qrU-SFPuy0t6YL1d71UNTlRN1k2SktSN09YVlg5NDNKTkVCOU5KSC4u

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!