Updated Dec. 10 at 6:45 p.m.

Following the Nov. 5 public hearing regarding the distribution of one-time retention stipends to employees of Cy-Fair ISD, the board of trustees approved the plan at their Dec. 10 meeting. Officials said employees can expect to see the payments Dec. 17.

The board also approved an amendment to include a longevity stipend, for which about 1,400 substitutes and temporary workers could be eligible at the end of the spring semester.

Originally posted Nov. 13 at 11:35 a.m.

Cy-Fair ISD employees could see a one-time stipend on their Dec. 15 paychecks for the additional efforts they have made so far in the 2020-21 school year.

At a public hearing Nov. 5, trustees expressed their support for the district’s $8.3 million plan to give full-time employees a $500 stipend and part-time employees a $250 stipend.

“I understand it’s not enough,” Superintendent Mark Henry said. “But it is an effort to say 'thank you' from the administration and the board of this district—[to say] we know that you’ve gone above and beyond.”

The revised staff compensation plan will be brought before the board for final approval at the December board meeting, according to Leslie Francis, assistant superintendent for communication and community relations.

Chief Financial Officer Karen Smith said all employees hired by Oct. 31 who are still employed as of Nov. 30 would be eligible for the one-time stipend, which is intended to address morale and retention.

Donna Lord, president of the Cy-Fair Texas State Teachers Association, thanked district officials Nov. 9 for proposing the stipend and for establishing remote learning days. She asked the board to continue listening to employee concerns and addressing morale.

“On behalf of our members, I want to take this opportunity to thank the board and senior administration for beginning to take small steps forward in recognizing the efforts made by the staff and the additional burdens being placed on the teachers this school year,” Lord said.

This is not the only step taken since the start of the school year to show staff they are appreciated, Henry said.

District officials have also implemented monthly remote learning days for students, providing teachers additional planning time.

Henry said the district also has fewer benchmarks in place this year, which has decreased the amount of time campuses will spend on testing.

Other efforts include minimizing district meetings and trainings, allowing principals to hire more long-term substitute teachers and designating funds for employee appreciation initiatives, Henry said.

On Nov. 9, the board unanimously approved waiving comprehensive evaluations for eligible teachers for one year to alleviate anxiety and stress amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texas Education Code states teachers may be evaluated less than annually if the teacher was rated at least proficient in their most recent evaluation as long as they are evaluated at least once during each period of five school years, CFISD Director for Professional Learning Glenda Horner said.

Teachers may decline the waiver and opt to be evaluated anyway. All first-year teachers and teachers with documented deficiencies will be evaluated as normal.