Austin ISD board preview: Teacher retention bonuses, Norman-Sims grand opening and school calendar options

Norman-Sims Elementary School on Tannehill Lane in East Austin will hold a virtual grand opening celebration for its new school campus Feb. 11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Norman-Sims Elementary School on Tannehill Lane in East Austin will hold a virtual grand opening celebration for its new school campus Feb. 11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Norman-Sims Elementary School on Tannehill Lane in East Austin will hold a virtual grand opening celebration for its new school campus Feb. 11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Austin ISD board of trustees will meet for its monthly board work sessions and a special voting meeting Feb. 11, the first time in 2021 the district will meet on a Thursday night. Here is what to expect Feb.11.

Trustees could approve staff bonuses for March

According to a Feb. 8 news release by the district, trustees could vote to approve a retention incentive benefit, or bonus, for current AISD teachers and staff at the upcoming meeting. The recommendation is the one action item listed on the Feb. 11 meeting agenda.

If approved, full-time staff with salaries under $150,000 would receive a $1,000 bonus in March, while part-time employees would receive $500, according to the district. According to the news release, Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde is recommending the bonus to thank staff for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trustees looking at academic calendar options for next two school years


Trustees will receive a presentation about 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic calendar options at the district’s Feb. 11 meeting.

According to the meeting’s agenda packet, two options are being considered for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Draft A—which was favored by 60% of respondents in a district survey last month—includes 177 student days and would have one extra day off for students during winter break compared to Draft B, although Draft B would have a day off on April 18 after Easter Sunday. Trustees could approve a calendar later this month.

Modernized Norman-Sims Elementary School campus officially opening

AISD will host a virtual grand opening Feb. 11 at 10:45 a.m. for the newly modernized Norman-Sims Elementary School, located on Tannehill Lane in East Austin.

Norman-Sims was modernized with $25 million from the district’s 2017 bond program and will be the home campus for families that previously attended both Norman and Sims elementary schools. Sims Elementary—which will be permanently closed in 2021—was temporarily the home campus for both groups during construction.

Those interested in watching the celebration can register here.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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