Copperas Cove ISD board of trustees vote to increase substitute pay
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees met in person for their regular meeting Tuesday evening to approve several purchases exceeding $25,000 and to approve an increase in daily substitute teacher pay.
The board also approved a substitute pay increase for the 2020-2021 school year. CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns shared that there has not been a change to substitute teacher pay during his time with CCISD, since 2012.
With the pay increase, a non-degreed short-term substitute would see a daily pay increase from $68 to $75. Pay for a degreed short-term sub would go from $80 to $85. The pay for a short-term degreed and certified sub would go from $85 to $95 per day.
A long-term degreed sub would see an increase from $85 to $100. The daily pay for a long-term degreed and certified sub would remain at $150.
The board also approved a request to modify the professional dress code for CCISD employees, designating Fridays as jean and spirit shirt days.
Board President Joan Manning said the request “may be the most popular item on our agenda tonight.”
The action comes as an effort to improve morale and make sure all employees “feel supported, appreciated, and motivated to remain in CCISD,” according to the agenda packet.
The recommendation comes from the district’s Wellness Committee. Comparatively, Killeen ISD and Lampasas ISD each allow staff members to have a business casual jeans day each Friday when worn with a district approved spirit shirt.
“We certainly always want to reiterate that we want our staff always looking professional and presentable, always be those folks that when you see them in the community, you know they’re teachers and they’re not something other than that, or they’re educators, and so it is kind of an exciting thing, but it is a thing that we’re going to have to work on to make sure that we get it right and that we adhere to the guidelines that are adopted that the board so approves,” Burns said.
The board approved the hire of 34 new teachers, instructional coaches, a registered nurse for Copperas Cove Junior High School and an occupational therapist. The consent agenda also included several purchases exceeding $25,000, including the purchase of audio and video equipment and installation of said equipment at the new District Training Facility to be located at the old maintenance wood-shop, for a total cost of $42,477.40.
Another purchase is for a high-pressure laminate wall panel system at Fairview/Jewell Elementary for $57,538.71.
The final two purchases are for the purchases of 150 HP Stream Laptops to be used for Bulldawg University, for $45,841.50, through AYPYN grant, replacing two outdated carts and adding three more laptop carts, and another purchase of computer carts and 150 HP Stream Laptops through Perkins funds for online testing and CTE programs, for another $45,841.50.
The board approved a budget amendment to amend the FY 2019-20 Budget to move budgeted funds from function 11 (Instruction) to function 81 (Capital Improvements) to pay for audio/video project at the new DTF and cabling projects at Crossroads High School and the new DTF.
The board also approved a request for a Foreign Exchange Student Waiver for CCHS, with a maximum of five students to be accepted, for school years 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
The board approved a waiver for missed school days due to COVID-19. The District was “Closed-Preparing” on March 16, 2020 to prepare instructional material for remote learning. From March 17 - May 28, 2020 CCISD was “Closed-Instructing”, meaning the district ceased normal operations and students weren’t allowed to return to campus, while the district provided instruction at home/off-site.
In addition to the Missed School Day Waiver, CCISD will be submitting an “Instructional Continuity Attestation While Closed” stating the district has been supporting students’ instruction while campuses were closed due to COVID-19. The total number of days included on the waiver is one day Closed, Preparing and 51 days, Closed, Instructing. This waiver will result in ADA funding for the missed school days.
The board also approved the Communities in Schools (CIS) Contract for the 2020-2021 school year. The contract amount of $419,018 is an increase of $8,216.00 compared to the 2019-2020 contract, but CCISD will pay only 45 percent of the total contract cost, which is $188,558.00.
The board agreed to accept the work of STR Contractors, Ltd. for the Completion of the Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary school improvements and authorize the final payment of $252,942.50. With the final payment, the final cost for the project was $4,990,279.00.
The board also approved a cooperative program agreement with the University of Texas at Austin to implement OnRamps Distance College Courses through a dual-enrollment model and high school teacher training and professional learning.
OnRamps offers the opportunity for high school students to earn high school credit from their school district and to earn college credits from The University of Texas at Austin through a distance education course.