Midland ISD talks teacher retention & reopening plans amid COVID-19

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"What I’m sharing right now is most likely going to change, the degree to which it changes will depends upon the mitigation efforts that are in relation to COVID-19.”

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Midland Independent School District’s Board of Trustees met in-person Monday evening for its monthly meeting. This was the first in-person meeting since the pandemic began. There, the trustees discussed a number of big-ticket items.

One of the items up for discussion was teacher retention and retirement. Chief of Human Capital Management, Woodrow Bailey, says the district is cautiously optimistic. While the deadline for teachers to notify their retirement is still a few weeks out, 90% of needed teachers are filled as of now. This time last year, it was only 75%. Bailey attributes this improvement to better pay, benefits and school culture.

“We have proposed a three thousand dollar increase for all teachers. So that means beginning teacher salaries are $56, 500, which is a three thousand dollar increase,” explained Bailey.

Next on the agenda was the district’s plan on reopening, amid the coronavirus pandemic, come Fall. Currently the hope is to return fully in house, but just in case, three different options were presented to the board tonight: Open, Hybrid, and Closed. To read more about these plans, click here. Each of these plans would entail its own set of guidelines and extra resources, such as community-wide Wi-Fi.

At this point in time, I think it is too far to say, ‘This is what we’re going to do, it’s going to be just this, and it’s not going to change.’ I think that would be an irresponsible plan,” said Katie Atkins, the Chief of Staff. “That would show that it’s not responding, and it’s not paving to the needs. So what I’m sharing right now is most likely going to change, the degree to which it changes will depends upon the mitigation efforts that are in relation to COVID-19.”

Atkins encourages parents and students to stay updated, and involved in the conversations, as the first day of classes near. She says the best place to voice your concerns is during their weekly, Thursday Facebook lives.

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