Right after the start of the 2021-22 school year, at an Aug. 19 special meeting, the board approved remote learning for students under age 12 during the first grading period of the school year, according to the one-time stipend resolution. Teachers who taught remotely returned to the classroom for the second grading period.
The first grading period took place from Aug. 18 to Oct. 8, said Anthony Tosie, Northwest ISD executive director of communications. The second grading period began Oct. 12.
With remote teachers now back to in-person instruction, the board approved the stipends “to improve teacher morale and encourage teacher retention,” the resolution stated.
Each teacher who taught 100% remote will get $500, those who taught 50% remote will get $250 and teachers who were 33% remote will get $165, according to the resolution. Tosie said there are 45 classroom teachers in kindergarten through sixth grade receiving stipends, along with an additional 44 special education teachers or interventionists.
The one-time stipends will impact the budget by $23,495, according to the resolution's cover sheet. However, Northwest ISD Superintendent Ryder Warren said the board won’t have to amend its budget.
“We do have funding through our operational budget from positions that we have either hired later in the school year or had not yet hired,” Warren said.
The decision behind allowing remote learning for kids under 12 was made because Denton and Tarrant counties, along with the entire state, “were experiencing a spike in infections and hospitalizations from COVID-19,” the resolution stated. Further, a COVID-19 vaccine hadn’t been approved for children under the age of 12 at the time the decision was made.