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Cumby ISD Nurse, Employees Receive Stipend For Extra Duties During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Cumby ISD nurse and school employees will be receiving a stipend for their extra duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. District trustees approved the extra pay and administrative contracts, recognized the school nurse for going above and beyond the normal call of duty this year, discussed Lone Star Guidance Quarterly Tracker actuals for February and April target gals, and heard updates regarding graduation, prom and an internet safety addendum during their regular February board meeting, held earlier than usual in order for trustees to consider a proposal calling for a school bond election.

Screen shot from the Cumby ISD Board of Trustees meeting conducted Feb. 12 and streamed over Zoom

Recognition

Each months Cumby ISD Board of Trustees designate time to recognize outstanding students, staff and supporters. On Feb. 11, CISD recognized Juliana Osornio her relentless dedication to Cumby ISD this year. In addition to serving as school nurse, she is also the school district health coordinator, which requires her to do all of the contact tracing for the district any time someone tests positive or a potential COVID-19 exposure has been reported, and doing the resulting reporting to the state as well. She is literally always on call as the health coordinator, Superintendent Shelly Slaughter noted.

“”This year has been crazy and you have just been relentless in what you’ve done for the district, the calls you’ve had to make, the decision you’ve had to make about things being our health contact for the district, and having to work with Hunt and Hopkins counties and several different entities,” Slaughter said.

Juliana Osornio

Osornio is also the district’s health science teacher and is also the junior high and varsity cheer sponsor. Slaughter expressed appreciation to Osornio for “the things that you do every day for us” and doing so with a smile on her face.

“You always lead with grace. You are a true example and we so appreciate you. Just thanking you tonight is not near enough. I don’t know if you how many people look up to you and appreciate you, but it was not hard finding lots of people who had nice things to say about you. You’re doing an amazing job. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you,” Slaughter told Osornio, who joined the meeting via Zoom on Thursday, a day in which class was not in session due to the hazardous icy road conditions.

Slaughter noted that students and staff planned to present her with a show of appreciation they would be presenting to her in the future as a small show of thanks for her many contributions.

“Thank you for all of your kind words. I really appreciate it,” Osornio said.

Stipends

First the school board was asked to approve a stipend for the school nurse to compensate her for her extra duties as district health coordinator. She began working in the summer, helped the district shape the COVID-19 health plan, often is required to put in hours on weekends and after hours, including contract tracing, and submits required information to TEA and other state agencies as required due to COVID-19.

Slaughter asked the board to consider paying her an extra stipend for 10 extra days outside her contract for the extra duties as health coordinator.

One board member noted Osornio’s job has certainly shifted, with many extra duties in addition to her traditional job description. The school board unanimously agree to give Osornio the stipend for this school year.

District administrators also asked the trustees to consider awarding a COVID-19 stipend to all CISD employees, extra duty pay for the extra hours put in on duties and responsibilities beyond the normal scope of their duties, particularly for virtual learning. Two options were recommended, either paying $400 for certified faculty and $250 for non-certified staff for a total of $25,150 extra to be allocated for the stipend, or paying a stipend of $500 to certified staff and $250 to non-certified staff for a total of $29,750 allocated for the stipend.

Trustee Marsha Krotky made the motion, seconded by Kyle Pettit to pay the 46 certified faculty members an extra $500 and the 27 non-certified staff $250. The motion passed. 6-0

Contracts

Cumby school board approved three administrative contracts at the Feb. 11 board meeting, for High School Principal Donna George, Elementary Principal Doug Wicks and Athletic Director Charles Boles. As recommended by Slaughter, each received a 2-year contract at their pay scale for the next school year on a 6-0 vote of the board, who offered thanks and appreciation to the administrators for all they do at Cumby ISD, including being instructional leaders and showing character education.

Reports

The school board members were reported to have seven hours of training, except Jody Jarvis, who had three hours. Additional training sessions are planned in the near future.

Cumby ISD Police Chief Tony Crouse submitted to the board a form exempting the school department from having to compile a racial profiling report. He and Slaughter explained that he does not as a normal part of his duties perform traffic stops, and therefore is exempt from having to compile the racial profiling report. The board must be notified of the exemption, which is submitted to the state and kept on file for legal auditing purposes. The trustees approved the report for the exemption as presented.

Slaughter also made a gave an update on LSG goal progress and the need to adjust the timeline a bit for a few April goals to better fit current progress and pace for attainability.

Adding an internet safety addendum outlining the school’s plan for children’s internet safety was also discussed.

The need to schedule a community meeting to discuss and answer questions related to the May 1 2-proposition bond election, which trustees called for during the meeting, was also discussed.

Announcements

Prom and graduation will be held at the school this year, High School Principal Donna George told the trustees.

Having graduation in Sulphur Springs was not an option. There had been some discussion of holding the graduation at Texas A&M University-Commerce, but doing so would mean very limited seating due to COVID-19. There are 34 students scheduled to graduate this year. There would only be room for 150 guests total in the A&M-Commerce Auditorium. The decision was made to host both prom and graduation in the school gym, which can host more than 150.

Superintendent Shelly Slaughter shows the board a photo student Michael Petty sent of him with his pig, Spots

Finding another location other than the school to hold the prom during COVID-19 can be problematic as many aren’t renting or scheduling their facilities. So, the decision was made to hold the prom at the school too instead of searching for a different venue.

The maintenance and police departments have been working together to plan and install fencing and security measures. More landscaping is also in the works.

The NETLA Livestock Show and Ag Mechanics competition are coming up at the end of the month. Cumby will have students competing in both. Third grader Michael Petty submitted a photo and letter inviting the school board members to come see him at the competition, where he shows his pig, Spots.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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