Update: 10:36 p.m.
The KISD board approved the names of the Pershing Park/Sugarloaf consolidation project and the East Ward/West Ward consolidation project.
The Pershing Park and Sugarloaf project will be named Pershing Park Elementary School and the East Ward and West Ward project will be named Killeen Elementary School.
The Killeen Independent School District’s central administration office will reopen for work beginning Monday, Superintendent John Craft told school board members Tuesday during a virtual board meeting.
By the end of May, many of the district support staff can be back at campuses to support the community, Craft said. However, he said that will not be mandatory if individuals are not comfortable with returning to work.
The district has guaranteed pay through the month of May regardless of whether employees return, according to Craft.
This information came out during the board’s discussion of planned virtual graduation ceremonies this spring in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.
The district announced the virtual graduation schedule for all of the district’s high schools last week. The virtual ceremonies will cost the district $12 per graduating student.
“We felt like this was prudent to do … it’s just not feasible to provide a traditional graduation at this time,” Craft said.
The superintendent said he wants to host traditional graduations and understands how important it is to seniors, parents and family members, but given the current public health situation, it is not something the district can do in the coming weeks. He added that the district is looking at dates around July 21 for a possible graduation, but that is up in the air.
The virtual graduations for the district’s five high schools will be broadcast on channel 17, the district’s website and social media. Students will upload pictures of themselves in their cap and gown by May 8 and graduation speakers will be pre-recorded by KISD-TV. Herff Jones will edit the graduation slides and speeches into a timeline for KISD-TV to stream.
The graduation dates and times are as follows:
Early College High School: 1 to 3 p.m. on May 29
Ellison High School: 3 to 5 p.m. on May 30
Harker Heights High School: 8 to 10 p.m. on May 30
Shoemaker High School: 2 to 4 p.m. on May 31
Killeen High School: 7 to 9 p.m. on May 31
Prior to graduation, the district will continue to provide education through the Continued Learning Center on its website. Education will continue into the summer as well, according to Craft. He also said the district has provided over 92,000 meals during the coronavirus closure and will continue to provide meals through May and June.
Later in Tuesday’s board meeting, trustees voted 6-0 to approve the Instructional Materials Allotment and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Certification for the 2020-2021 school year. Minerva Trujillo, the board vice president, was not present for the vote.
Passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature, Senate Bill 6 provides a fixed-dollar allotment to order instructional materials.
The current Instructional Materials Allotment balance is about $11,915,540.
Also Tuesday, the board approved, with a 7-0 vote, the staffing allocations for the 2020-2021 school year that includes changing the maximum class size capacity from 23 students to one teacher to 26 students to one teacher. Craft said he does not think the district will be able to support a staff with a 23:1 ratio.
The district will subtract 32.5 teachers at the elementary level, 57 at the middle school level and 65.5 at the high school level.
Also during the meeting, the board approved, with a 7-0 vote, the guaranteed maximum price for the new elementary school being built on Clear Creek Road that was part of the 2018 bond program. Voters approved two construction bonds with a total of $426 million in projects in May 2018.
The price is set at just over $29.7 million and the district has budgeted $33 million for the project. The new school is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2021.