Breckenridge Texan

BISD Board lifts mask requirements for students and staff, announces Bus Driver of the Year

BISD Board lifts mask requirements for students and staff, announces Bus Driver of the Year
March 16
19:20 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

When they return to school after this week’s Spring Break, Breckenridge Independent School District students, teachers and staff will not be required to wear masks, shields, or other face coverings, following a decision by the Board of Trustees at their meeting last week.

When they met on Monday, March 8, the BISD Board of Trustees voted to update the district’s COVID-19 Response Plan after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate. BISD’s new rule officially went into effect last week.

Masks and face coverings will be optional, and any staff member or student wishing to continue wearing one can certainly do so, Superintendent Bryan Allen said in a letter on the BISD website.

Additionally, the trustees voted to allow parents to decide whether or not to quarantine their children due to “close contact” with other students who test positive for COVID-19. The district will continue to honor any quarantining mandated by medical professionals or local health authorities, Allen said in the letter.

The district will continue the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures that have been implemented this year. Along with maintaining the health and safety protocols, the district also has plans to offer free COVID-19 tests for all students and staff (more information on the COVID-19 testing program will be provided at a later date).

In the meeting, Allen told the Board members that he had been in contact with other school superintendents, as well as BISD administrators and parents in the community.

“I know it’s been brought up to me on several different occasions about (how) this really needs to be a parent issue, that maybe we’re taking decisions out of the parents’ hands. And that may be,” he said. “I think a lot of parents are offended by this in that, you know, they think either TEA or the school or CDC or whoever’s making this decision is saying, ‘We know what’s better for your kid than you do.’ And certainly, that was never our intention as a district. But I think I people are just sick and tired of this and kind of ready to move on.”

BISD Enrollment

In his Superintendent’s Report, Allen said that enrollment in Breckenridge schools continues to drop. At the time of the meeting, the BISD enrollment was at 1,384 students, down 10 from the previous month’s report.

Declining enrollment has been a problem throughout the school year for school districts across Texas, with many of the larger districts experiencing even steeper declines, Allen said.

One of the problems that arises from fewer students is less funding from the State of Texas, since the funding is tied to enrollment. However, earlier this month, Gov. Abbott announced a “hold harmless” provision for the state’s school districts. Although the details of the provision had not yet been announced, the general gist is that school districts will not be held responsible or punished with reduced funding because of a drop in enrollment this year, Allen explained.

Bus Driver of the Year

BISD Maintenance and Transportation Director Mark Wilcox announced that Richard Grisham was voted on as the Bus Driver of the Year by BISD staff members. Grisham, who also is an instructional aide at South Elementary, drives the longest bus route in the district, 68 miles long.

“I wish we had more people like him all through the district…dedicated, fun to be around,” Wilcox said. “We just want to honor Mr. Grisham and look for several more years of him serving our district.”

Students of the Month

The elementary school and junior high principals presented the students of the month. At East Elementary, the March Student of the Month is kindergarten student Raileigh Stinnett; the South Elementary Student of the Month is fifth-grader Delilah Garcia; and, the Breckenridge Junior High Student of the Month is seventh-grader Nicholas DeLaCruz. (See the photos below; Jonathan couldn’t be at the meeting.)

Other business

Ronnie Langford with Graham Savings & Loan, presents a donation of $1,500 to BISD Superintendent Bryan Allen. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

During the meeting, Ronnie Langford with Graham Savings and Loan presented a check to the school district for $1,500 that was raised through a benefit program.

“We started a program a little over a year ago where every transaction that comes to the bank on a Buckaroo debit card – if it’s online or at the gas pump, in person or any transaction across that card number – five cents is donated to the school district here,” Langford said. “(There’s) no cost to the customer whatsoever, no strings attached. All you have to do is come into the bank and say, ‘Hey, I want to get on a Buckaroo card,’ if you have a checking, a business account, anything.”

In other business, the board approved the following items:

  • The 2021-22 BISD school calendar
  • The engagement of Merritt, McLane and Hamby, PC, for the 2020-21 audit of BISD

East Elementary Principal Barbara Collinsworth presents the March Student of the Month, kindergarten student Raileigh Stinnett, at last week’s school board meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Kenna Rainey, South Elementary Principal, presents the March Student of the Month, fifth-grader Delilah Garcia, at the recent BISD Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Since BISD Board President Graham Reaugh couldn’t be at the March 8 meeting, Board Secretary Carrol Kanady, pictured here with Superintendent Bryan Allen, led her first meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: BISD Maintenance and Transportation Director Mark Wilcox, center left, presents Richard Grisham with the Bus Driver of the Year award, as chosen by the BISD staff members. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan) 

 


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