The Louise ISD school board tackled end-of-the-year topics at Monday night’s meeting, from whether to pass students who haven’t completed assignments during the district closure to ending the coronavirus-era feeding program.

Superintendent Garth Oliver, board members and LISD campus principals discussed how to fairly handle students with incomplete assignments or who haven’t completed at-home assignments since the district’s closure on March 16. Oliver estimated between one-third and one-half of students failed to meet the 50 percent completion requirement for at-home assignments.

“I think for a kid who’s absolutely done nothing, I would just like to say, ‘sorry,’” Oliver said. “‘You’re not even trying. You’re making no effort. So you get the grade that you get, and if that averages out to passing, then it averages out to passing.’”

LISD campuses will be accepting late work from students until May 29. Ultimately, the board did not issue a mandate on passing students, keeping final grade decisions in teachers’ hands. (Look to future editions of the Leader-News for more information).

The LISD COVID feeding program will continue until May 29, one week after classes end. District officials opted not to institute a summer feeding program due to the lack of community demand.

LISD Food Services Director Shae Barker reported 10 to 20 meals were picked up daily in May, while expenditures were $1,162 and reimbursements from the Texas Department of Agriculture covered about half of the expenses.

The last time LISD offered summer break meals was 2010.

I thought the feeding program “might be a good thing to do this summer, but not with this data,” Board President Linda Alderson said.

Since April 1, LISD cafeteria workers have provided free breakfasts and lunches to children below age 18, Monday through Friday. Children receiving lunches are not required to attend an LISD school or show proof of need.

District officials plan to post the LISD District of Innovation outline online for public comment for 30 days. The designation will allow the district to adapt the 2020-2021 school year calendar to account for the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 7, the Texas Education Agency released guidance for next school year’s calendar, including options to use a DOI calendar or a year-round calendar. The board did not select a calendar at this meeting, but Oliver said it will be unlikely the district adopts a year-round system.

Other meeting highlights include:

• The board voted unanimously to grant Oliver hiring power without board consent from May 19 until August 17.

•A 6-0 vote approved the purchase of 60 Chromebooks at $10,500 total with an instructional continuity grant from the Texas Education Agency.

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