The district received proposals July 20 for facility and bus cleaning services, which were drafted in response to new requirements for keeping students, staff and visitors safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the meeting agenda item information sheet. Officials in the transportation, facility services, maintenance and purchasing departments reviewed unit prices per square foot for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing typical school buses, classrooms, corridors, restrooms, kitchens, dining rooms and entire buildings.
The bus disinfecting service will be used daily, and the other services will be employed on an as-needed basis, officials said. Three companies—All Clean Services, Bio-Safe Tech and CP Enterprises—will receive a contract award for an estimated total value of $1.25 million.
In an Aug. 10 media release, Superintendent Greg Smith detailed some of the other pandemic-related expenditures in which the district has invested. Two dozen custodians have been added, aides have been hired at every campus to assist each school nurse, and additional bus drivers are being hired, he said in the release. The district has also placed a $5 million order to provide K-3 students with laptops in the event there is a need to move to remote learning, which brings CCISD to a complete 1:1 device program for its K-12 students.
Board President Laura DuPont encouraged parents to get involved with their children’s routines and help set them up for success.
“Parents, you can help your students figure out how they can best set their own schedules and routines this year to ensure they achieve the best learning and support possible,” she said.
Other business: Delayed in-person opening, superintendent search
CCISD will extend the final phase of its back-to-school transition plan, bringing the rest of the district’s in-person students back to campus beginning Sept. 14 instead of Sept. 8 to adhere to county health guidelines, Smith said in the Aug. 10 release. The delay to in-person instruction spurred peaceful protests from a group of parents and citizens, some of whom submitted public comments to the Aug. 10 workshop.
DuPont addressed the public comments after they were read and said that the board has complete trust in Dr. Smith’s ability to assess the information given to him by public health experts and state education officials. County health departments can impose control measures on specific schools in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, including closing a campus entirely, she added; because of this, the district must act with an abundance of caution to keep doors open.
Smith and district administrators have spent significant time since March working on recommendations and procedures, DuPont said, and feedback from community members is welcome as the procedures are enacted.
“Don't be afraid to present your concerns and ideas,” she said. “We all need to hear that.”
Smith said during the meeting that students returning to in-person education must request a waiver from campus administrators if they have a medical reason not to wear a face covering during the school day. A positive case of COVID-19 was recently confirmed among attendees of the district’s fine arts camps, and the district will adhere to the same procedures it followed over the summer when six students tested positive during strength and conditioning camps, he said.
Smith’s time as superintendent concludes Dec. 31, and the board decided in July to seek the guidance of a search firm in choosing his successor. DuPont said during the Aug. 10 meeting that board members are reviewing proposals from superintendent search firms. The board gained access to the proposals Aug. 7, DuPont said.