Trustees Talk COVID Protocols, Elect New VP

Highland Park ISD trustees said during a board meeting this week that an increasing number of students in the district are choosing in-person learning over remote learning. 

Trustee Tom Sharpe said fewer than 6% of students in the district’s elementary schools are remote, and around 9% at McCulloch Intermediate and Highland Park Middle School. Highland Park High School also has a hybrid option as well as a five-day-per-week option with a cap on how many students can choose to attend in person five days per week.

“This committee (the reopening committee) and all the people on it have done, in my opinion, a fantastic job over the last seven months, and they continue to look for ways to improve instruction and education of our kids and they’re doing it at all different levels, they’re not utilizing one size fits all,” Sharpe said. 

He acknowledged that COVID case counts in the district are higher than they were in October and November, but he’s confident that “very few” of the cases are a result of transmission in the classroom.

“We still have a very high conviction that very few and possibly none, of the last few months have any of those cases been the result of in-class transmission,” Sharpe said. “I really applaud all the staff for continuing to adhere to the safety protocols that are currently in place.”

Trustee Lee Michaels said the safety protocols will remain in place for the near term.

In other news, the board:

  • Elected trustee Tom Sharpe to serve as vice president of the board. Sharpe replaces Kelly Walker in the role. Walker retired from board service Dec. 31.
  • Approved a resolution requesting Gov. Greg Abbott to include public school district employees in the state’s expert vaccine allocation panel’s definition of “frontline workers” – in phase 1B rather than 1C -and be given the appropriate priority to receive vaccines as they’re available.
  • Approved a resolution authorizing providing additional paid leave for regular employees sick or in isolation during the pandemic.
  • Approved the district’s 2019-2020 comprehensive annual financial report.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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