The Louise ISD school board approved agenda items for the 2021-2022 school year last week. These items included renewing a 10-day COVID leave and additional drug testing for students from grades 6-12 who participate in extracurricular activities or drive to campus.
We wanted to make sure we were prepared for the coming year, so we took care of a lot of important items,” Louise Superintendant Garth Oliver said.
The board gave Oliver the power to purchase and install football field goalposts with a $28,000 cap. Oliver has received three bids, and all have come in under that price, he said.
The board approved an amendment to their student rights and responsibilities procedures adding a random drug testing policy for drivers and those participating in extra curricular activities.
“We have had issues in the past in Junior high and all the way up to high school,” Oliver said. “We live in a broken world, and we want to make sure all of our students who are voluntarily participating and representing our school are drug-free.”
The drug tests will be conducted randomly because Oliver wants to keep them effective and not allow students to find a way to work a system meant to keep people honest, he said.
“This isn’t about trust in our students because we know we have a great group of kids,” Board Vice President Chris Faas said. “We want to hold them to a higher standard so they can truly succeed in this school and as they go on into the real world.”
The school board renewed the 10 COVID days paid leave policy for staff
“Anyone who has tested positive for COVID or has to quarantine because of a close contact will be able to use this leave to help them get through it,” Oliver said. “We want to be able to help our staff in this time when things like this come up, and they aren’t wasting days that they may need if their kid gets sick.”
The Delta Variant of the COVID-19 Virus has become the dominant strain in Texas. This strain has caused a resurgence in hospitalizations, deaths and positive test results, leaving less than 100 ICU beds available for 6.6 million Texans in the Greater Houston area.
High School Principle Donna Kutac believes this is the best step moving forward for faculty.
“I am glad the board has approved this because our teachers have to be there for these kids every day,” Kutac said. “If a teacher or staff member has to be out because of COVID, it is because they were doing their job.”
The school board has set a date for a special meeting on Aug. 31 to adopt the proposed tax rate of 96.03¢ for the 2021-2022 school year.