Conroe ISD approves emergency resolution to operate during coronavirus closure

The Conroe ISD board of trustees approved an emergency resolution at its March 17 meeting. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Conroe ISD board of trustees approved an emergency resolution at its March 17 meeting. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Conroe ISD board of trustees approved an emergency resolution at its March 17 meeting. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Conroe ISD approved an emergency resolution at its March 17 meeting granting Superintendent Curtis Null expanded powers, including to continue paying staff and alter policy, during the districtwide closure.

The resolution comes after the district announced it would remain closed until April 10 due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Carrie Galatas, the administrative general counsel, said the resolution allows Null the ability to continue paying employees throughout the closure.

“We do have expectations that they will be working and they will be serving children as they do every day throughout the school year,” Null said. “It will just look differently.”

Students will still be expected to learn throughout the closure as the district begins transitioning to a new form of curriculum and instruction in the coming weeks. Null said students who do not have access to the internet will be given other means of instruction.

The resolution also allows Null to alter the school calendar or declare an emergency without board approval. Galatas said districts across the state are adopting similar resolutions in case the outbreak prevents the board from meeting in person.

Trustee Ray Sanders asked Null to report back to the board if he makes policy changes that would allow them to answer constituents’ questions.

Vice President Skeeter Hubert clarified all employees who work for the district on a daily basis will be paid regularly. Null agreed and said some employees who are not full time will also be paid.

“There is no distinction based on job title with this. This is all employees of the district we are making this request for,” Null said.

The Texas Education Agency has told CISD it will continue its funding at the level it currently receives, but the district must make an effort to continue instructing students, according to Null.

Null said the district will also continue to distribute meals. On its first day of distribution, he said volunteers handed out more than 20,000 meals.

“I know we’ll have volunteers to make these distributions work over the next few weeks,” Null said.

Null said the district will host another Facebook livestream on March 19 at 6 p.m. to share both a general update as well as tips for dealing with stress.
By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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