Sunsets Coming Soon

A herd of cows graze under a colorful sunset north of  Wharton earlier this week. Weather forecasters anticipate a massive Saharan dust cloud heading toward the U.S. could bring extraordinary sunsets to the Gulf Coast next week.

El Campo ISD trustees will discuss the upcoming school year’s calendar, renovations to district facilities and more when they meet Tuesday.

The board has narrowed the options to two 2020-2021 calendars with flex days allowing the district to switch to online learning in the case of a fall COVID-19 outbreak. At a special June meeting and in the regular May meeting, district officials and the board discussed how to structure the school year so that the required 75,600 instructional minutes can be met.

Due to statewide school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the Texas Education Agency released guidance on adapting 2020-2021 school year calendars to help districts prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks.

To change the semester start date, districts can obtain a designation as a District of Innovation, which ECISD already has. Another option is to opt for a year-round designation, where school districts operate a minimum of 11 months out of the year.

The board agreed in a 7-0 vote on June 4 that the district will not start school before Aug. 12.

Trustees will also consider whether to proceed with plans to renovate the Ricebird weight room at El Campo High School. In an evaluation of district facilities, a district committee identified the weight room among one of the areas in greatest need of renovation.

Other items on the agenda are:

The board will consider approving Wharton County Junior College dual credit courses.

The general operating budget for the 2020-2021 school year will be reviewed by trustees.

The district’s workers compensation contract with Claims Administrative Services, Inc. is up for renewal and will be reviewed Tuesday.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held in-person at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23 in the ECHS Seminar Room, 600 W. Norris.

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