District praised for COVID-19 procedures
BIRTHRIGHT—The North Hopkins ISD school board approved during their regular meeting Thursday night a $7.7 million udget for the 2020-21 school year that includes budgeted funds for a new greenhouse and student buses.
“We can put it [the greenhouse] in there, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to do it,” board vice president Brian Lewis said.
The funds budgeted for the buses are under the same provision.
Business manager Jan Vaughn said she feels comfortable with the budget but added she wanted to see attendance trends during the first six to nine weeks of school to truly know where the district lies.
“I feel good that the revenue looks as good as it does right now,” Vaughn said.
According to campus reports, the Thursday attendance was at 98.57% of enrollment, which is 560 students. Last year’s average attendance rate was around 96%.
The board also approved a total tax rate of $1.2550, the same rate as last year, according to Vaughn.
As of press time Friday, NHISD is the only county school to not be exposed to COVID-19, and Lewis praised the administration that had “taken it seriously.”
“Now our numbers speak to what we’re doing compared to some of the other schools that maybe weren’t as strict,” Lewis said.
Last weekend, the district installed new technology, and according to Superintendent Dr. Darin Jolly, the teachers were trying to learn how to properly operate the equipment this week. A staff training day will be held Monday to work out any difficulties.
“Yesterday [Wednesday], they [the teachers] were just down,” Elementary Principal Kodi Wright said. “That’s when Mr. [Brian] Lowe and I went to Dr. Jolly and said we have to give them some time.”
The board also approved an agreement with Hopkins County to not invoice for the use of school land. The county installed a 450-foot tower on that land which houses the district’s radio repeater. The county does not charge for that space, however, the district charged about $750 a year for the land use.
“If they were to charge us for the tower, it would be a lot more than $750 for a year,” Jolly said. “It would be $300-$400 a month.”