MCISD discusses campus plans

Posted 10/20/20

The Madisonville CISD board approved campus improvement plans presented by the district’s principals during their monthly meeting for October Monday, which largely pertained to their continuing efforts to navigate the countless challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MCISD discusses campus plans

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The Madisonville CISD board approved campus improvement plans presented by the district’s principals during their monthly meeting for October Monday, which largely pertained to their continuing efforts to navigate the countless challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the students who are still participating in the district’s asynchronous online learning plan outside of the physical classroom, which equates to roughly 10% of students across the district, over 60% are failing one or more classes.

The district is confident in their ability to bring students up to speed once they return to the classroom, and has procedures in place to do so, but acknowledged the number of complications in the process.

“It can lead to credit recovery issues, retention issues and even dropout issues (at the secondary level),” said Superintendent Keith Smith. “There are a myriad of other issues that fall upon that lack of engagement and that lack of face-to-face time. When that child is in front of us, we can see if they are physically doing well, mentally doing well and emotionally doing well. When they are not in front of us and we can’t lay eyes on them, we cannot see all of that.

“That is a big concern for our teachers because they love their children. They wouldn't be in this school district if they didn't love their kids”

14% of the student population at MHS is still currently learning outside of the classroom with 10% at the junior high, 6.3% at the intermediate campus and 9% at the elementary.

“Even on the university side, there are kids who just do not perform well in a virtual environment,” said board member Jason Cleere, who is also an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. “You can structure it as good as you can, but without the interaction and the physical presence, they just do not do well. We appreciate the principals and understand the frustrations when you try and try and still have those kids who do not succeed or are falling further behind.”

Madisonville principals include Heath Brown (high school), Rhonda Morgan (jr. high), Tawnya Nail (intermediate) and Dr. Rhodena Brooks (elementary).

Superintendent Smith, who has been openly critical of Texas Education Agency (TEA) policies in the past, reiterated these thoughts in a discussion regarding a continuation of updated mandates during the pandemic.

“We are working to better our kids but (TEA) is churning out the mandates right and left, as if everything is functioning as normal,” said Smith. “School district across the state, parents and school boards are very frustrated with them and their inability to grasp the obvious and offer workable solutions. That being said, (TEA) reports to the governor and the legislature. They are fixing to go into session, so that is our avenue to get some positive change pushed through that’ll help us better serve our children.”

During the board meeting, attendees heard a presentation regarding the beef processing industry from FFA Ag Issues Team members Rayce Hudson, Caleb Corley, Carly Stubblefield, Kate Hagaman, Taylor Barrett and Thomas Dean. The presenters wore masks and were socially distanced.

The district still awarded student and employee of the month honors despite the recipients not being present. The students of the month for October were Jocelyn Avalos (elementary), Da’Nerick Davis (intermediate), Samantha Martinez (junior high) and Julian Bastardo (high school).

MCISD employees of the month for October are Iris Bedolla and Katrina Whitten of the high school campus.

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