With less than half of the spring semester remaining, El Campo ISD trustees discussed facility renovations and planned for the new school year in their monthly March meeting.

Trustees unanimously approved time warrants and maintenance tax notes totaling $2 million at their monthly meeting on March 23. Bids for the time warrants and maintenance tax notes were due on March 22, and the district will receive the money by April 20, according to District Financial Advisor Lewis Wilks.

The money issued from the time warrants is designated for the construction of the Ricebird Weight Room Project, currently being built by Polasek Construction of El Campo.

The maintenance tax notes money is designated for renovating a Northside Elementary special education classroom, buses and more, according to the superintendent’s Jan. 26 meeting agenda.

The board first discussed the time warrant and maintenance tax notes at their Jan. 26 meeting. Both agreements are serviced by the district’s Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Budget. When the district took out maintenance tax notes in 2014, the final amount paid on the $1 million note was $1.73 million, according to the superintendent’s March 23 agenda.

In previous years, students were released early from school on Fridays, but in February, trustees approved next year’s calendar, which features 2 p.m. early release on Mondays for students. At the March meeting, more context on the change to Mondays was provided.

“It’s pure and simple mathematics,” Callaghan said. “If it’s on any other day of the week, it requires about three additional days of student instruction, because there’s more Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays than there are Mondays.”

Mondays are where many holidays fall throughout the school year, he added. 

Monday training for district employees will be held after students are released. The district’s 2021-2022 calendar was approved on Feb. 23, and has a 7:50 a.m. start time, a start date of Aug. 11 and a May 26 end date. Any parents who are unable to pick up their kids on early release days should reach out to their campus principal, district leaders said.

With at least four days of school missed, and one day of employee training, due to February’s winter storm, district leaders requested a waiver for the lost class time so that it doesn’t need to be made up later in the school year. Students missed Feb. 16 through 19, and employee training, scheduled for Feb. 15, was canceled due to the storm.

The waiver was approved, Callaghan announced at the meeting, and district employees will be compensated for the missed days. The Feb. 15 training day will be made up on June 1.

The board unanimously approved a business owner’s request for permission to build a convenience store at 1708 W. Jackson, which falls within 1,000 feet of district property. The business will be located down the street from the district’s maintenance and transportation facilities, and since the business will sell alcohol, once open, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission requires trustees’ approval. The business will not be located within 1,000 feet of any ECISD schools.

Other meeting highlights:

• As a part of the consent agenda, which is voted on with one motion, trustees approved new instructional materials for ECISD Pre-K classes.

• Trustees approved a bid from Russell Skiba and Garland Insulation to insulate the district’s bus barn for $19,000

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