MCISD approves pay, distributes lunches

Posted 3/24/20

The Madisonville Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) Board held a special meeting Friday and passed a resolution authorizing the district to continue wage payments to all contractual and non-contractual, salary and non-salary employees during time missed due to coronavirus concerns.

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MCISD approves pay, distributes lunches

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The Madisonville Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) Board held a special meeting Friday and passed a resolution authorizing the district to continue wage payments to all contractual and non-contractual, salary and non-salary employees during time missed due to coronavirus concerns.

The resolution cited the importance of maintaining morale, reducing turnover and ensuring continuity of district staffing when school resumes.

“I think it is important we recognize the fact that (all district employees) have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child,” said Superintendent Keith Smith during the Friday meeting. “It means a lot to them and it means a lot to me.”

Smith also touched on the roles of district employees outside of the classroom during the hiatus.

“We need to be brave, we need to lead and we do not need to panic,” said Smith. “If we are expected to be good role models for children during the school day, we really need to be good role models for our community at this point in time.”

The district will continue to offer instruction during the time missed, as required by the state. While much of the instruction will take place online, they acknowledged the fact that not all students have access to the internet.

“Most of our kids have access to the internet, but not all of them,” said Smith. “That is going to be a challenge but we are going to meet the letter of the law.”

Some of the ‘low tech’ solutions could include workbooks or homework packets for students to complete at home.

Some states, such as Michigan, for example, do not allow online classes to go toward student credits.

The district will also continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students during canceled instruction days. Officials are setting up outside the high school cafeteria from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on applicable days. Students can pull up to the area and retrieve their meals while remaining in their cars.

The service was offered during the canceled week prior to spring break and will resume Monday.

“We want to get the word out,” said Kelley Terry, Director of Child Nutrition at MCISD. “If there is anybody you know in need that we are not reaching, please reach out and contact me so we can make sure those children get fed.”

The district has already made arrangements with locations and individuals in the community to ensure its students will be able to access food despite not having means of transportation to the high school.

Food will be accessible for MCISD students at the Bedias Civic Center as well as the New Life Church in Midway.

The district was informed by the Texas Department of Agriculture that, if they wished to continue offering food to their students during the closure, they could apply and follow procedures similar to their summer lunch program.

The main differences are the allowance to include breakfast as well as the ability to pick it up and go, rather than eating the meal at the district.

Both Terry and Smith expect the number of students served daily to continue to grow when the program resumes Monday.

The food itself will consist of a variety of grab and go items such as pop tarts, muffins, donuts and juice for breakfast and sandwiches, cheese sticks, chips, a fruit or vegetable and milk for lunch.

Each day, child nutrition workers from one of the district’s campuses will work to put the meals together in the high school cafeteria. Numerous district officials also assist in the distributing process itself.

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