Happenings In Panther Nation - August 2020
I wanted to take this opportunity to recap the major points that I shared during convocation:
We are not quick to drink or eat buttermilk, butter, and flour separately, but when they are mixed together and baked, they create delicious biscuits. Independently, our days can be like the ingredients and can cause us stress, heartache, and disappointment. But when we take all the days together, they can create a wonderful life!
As we journey through life, it can feel as if life is a dark room, and we are continually feeling our way as we move forward. We are always wishing for a light that will illuminate our entire journey when, in reality, we need to walk in faith and realize that we have enough light to take one step forward today!
We have the opportunity to choose to be Architects or Archaeologists during the upcoming school year. An architect designs buildings and, in most cases, is instrumental in the construction of the building. An archaeologist studies history through the excavation of sites and analysis of physical remains. As Westwood Panthers, we can choose to continually dig up the past and wish for things to return to what we had before, or we can design, create, and build what we desire to have in both our professional and personal lives!
Our School Board faced a daunting challenge as they began developing the 2020-2021 budget. The State of Texas is projecting a massive shortfall in revenue over the next several years, and school funding is uncertain at this time. The board members had a desire to honor the hard work of all employees in the District. Still, they were concerned with giving a traditional raise that could expose the District to substantial financial liability if the revenue shortfall projection comes true. The Board made the tough decision to freeze our traditional salaries, but in true architectural fashion, they became creative and designed a Recruitment and Retention Incentive program for every employee of the District! The incentive program has the following criteria:
$1,400 per employee
Divided into two equal payments (November and June)
Employee must be employed in November for 1st payment
Employee must complete the Spring Semester for 2nd payment
The District and School Board will analyze this incentive program each year and will make it a priority to continue the program. The District and Board are also committed to revisiting traditional raises next year.
As a staff, designing and developing relationships will be our focus for the first three days of school. We will center our efforts on reconnecting and learning about our students on August 19, 20, 21, and will not focus on TEKS until Monday, August 24. This will be our first step in our architectural journey of developing the instructional climate and culture that we desire.
As individual employees and as a District, our global focus for the year will be to strive for organizational excellence and creating a better normal. This will be a challenging journey, but it will be well worth it when we look back at all of our progress on May 20th!!
School Board Update
During the August Board Meeting, the following items came before the School Board:
Kyle Johnson presented an update on the 2019-2020 budget and the development of the 2020-2021 budget.
The School Board acknowledged the 2020-2021 Employee Handbook as presented.
The School Board reviewed the End-of-Year fundraiser summary for 2019-2020.
Tiffany Carwell presented the 2019-2020 Federal Programs update.
Wade Stanford presented an overview of Policy Update 115 as a First Read. This will be presented as an action item in the September Board Meeting.
The School Board unanimously approved the UIL Resolution that prohibits students voluntarily participating in all-remote instructional method from participating in any extracurricular activity, practice, or performance or elective course open only to students participating in a particular UIL activity for the grading period in which the student is receiving all-remote instruction.
The School Board unanimously approved the 2020-2021 Asynchronous Attestation Summary as presented.
Teacher contracts were acknowledged as presented.