Budget shortfalls, post-pandemic virtual learning options, vaccine distribution and more education news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Lake Travis ISD employees were able to obtain COVID-19 vaccines in January. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)
Lake Travis ISD employees were able to obtain COVID-19 vaccines in January. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)

Lake Travis ISD employees were able to obtain COVID-19 vaccines in January. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)

Here is a roundup of recent education news from the Lake Travis-Westlake region, which includes Eanes, Lake Travis and Leander ISDs.

Two Eanes ISD board places up for election in May

Eanes ISD trustees Jennifer Campagne and James Spradley will be up for re-election May 1. The positions are three-year, at-large places, meaning the trustee will represent the entire EISD community. The deadline to file for a place on the ballot is Feb. 12. Read the full story here.

Eanes ISD faces budget constraints heading into 2021-22 school year

The coronavirus pandemic and state funding challenges have created a significant budgetary impact for Eanes ISD. This is according to a fiscal year 2021-22 budget presentation made during a Jan. 26 board meeting. The district could end the current school year with a budget shortfall upward of $2 million. Read more about how district leaders will tackle this challenge here.

Leander ISD may expand permanent online learning options for high schoolers

High school students at Leander ISD may have access to online learning post-pandemic. If approved, students could transfer from their assigned high school to an online academy. Read more about the proposed option here.

LISD committee provides 7 action steps to ensure equity, diversity in district

Leander ISD’s Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee made recommendations to the board of trustees Jan. 28 in an effort to ensure equity and diversity within the district. Those recommendations include listening sessions, trustee training and professional learning, among other initiatives. Read more about the district’s diversity goals here.

Lake Travis ISD begins preliminary budget discussions featuring tax rate reductions, enrollment projects

Lake Travis ISD kicked off budget planning for the 2021-22 school year during a January board of trustees meeting. Early estimates are projecting a balanced budget, enrollment increases and a compressed tax rate. Read more details here.

Staff at Eanes, Lake Travis ISDs obtain COVID-19 vaccine

Through partnerships with local health providers, more than 300 staff members at Eanes and Lake Travis ISDs received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January. Both districts have advocated for the early distribution of vaccines for school district employees to create a safe and sustainable learning environment. Read about current vaccine eligibility here.

Taylor Girtman contributed to this report.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Bee Cave City Council approved April 13 constructing trails to connect the Ladera neighborhood in west Bee Cave with commercial areas at RM 620 and Ladera Boulevard. (Courtesy city of Bee Cave)
Next phase of Bee Cave hike and bike trails receives council approval

At its April 13 meeting, Bee Cave council members also approved funding a regional emergency management coordinator.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Photo of hands holding a vaccine vial
After Austin Public Health appointments go unfilled, officials call for new distribution model

On April 12, APH filled 3,400 out of 14,000 available COVID-19 vaccine appointments in a registration window.

Masking continues to be required, with some relaxed circumstances for fully vaccinated residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin extends COVID-19 health rules through May 18, updates guidance for vaccinated residents

Masking continues to be required, with some relaxed circumstances for fully vaccinated residents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Work could begin on the Bee Creek Sports Complex by mid-April. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Construction on Bee Creek Sports Complex could begin in April

Bee Creek Sports Complex, located on 70 acres at 4400 Bee Creek Road in Spicewood, will include seven synthetic multiuse fields, restrooms, team meeting facilities, playground areas, trails, hundreds of parking spaces and a maintenance building.

Expansion of the city of Bee Cave's hike and bike trail will be a topic of conversation at the April 13 Bee Cave City Council meeting. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bee Cave council to discuss growth of its hike and bike trail system April 13

Bee Cave city staff are expected to discuss funding the construction of a second phase of projects.

Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine wait after receiving their shot at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin on March 13. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
National supply issues with Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect Austin-area shipments

After a manufacturing error ruined 15 million doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the supply will not increase until the plant in Baltimore is once again allowed to participate in production.

Eanes ISD will hold a special meeting April 13. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD returns to in-person board meetings April 13, but attendance will be limited

Eanes ISD community members will again have the opportunity to attend in-person board meetings, according to an April 12 update from the district.

River Place is located in the northwest region of Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Featured neighborhood: Austin's River Place community

Get to know April's featured neighborhood, River Place.

Bee Cave city maintenance crew members are rebuilding the existing median at Bee Cave Parkway and Bee Cave Road to make room for a longer left-turn for eastbound motorists heading north on Bee Cave Road. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Median reconstruction underway at Bee Cave Parkway and Bee Cave Road

Construction will lengthen a left-turn lane to accommodate more vehicles.

Work crews from the the Texas Conservation Corps remove fallen and dead tree debris from Hamilton Greenbelt. The team is under the direction of Lake Travis Fire and Rescue and the City of Lakeway. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Preventing wildfires in west Travis County an ever-present effort

Community activity takes many forms to prevent spread of destructive wildfires.