STOCK: Canyon High School

Canyon High School MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeintung

Comal Independent School District trustees approved a $300 million budget for 2020-21 during its final session of the school year last Thursday.

Comal ISD’s new budget totals $299.9 million. It designates $219.3 million for operations; $69.4 million to debt service and $11.2 million for child nutrition programs and goes into effect today, July 1. The district has until Sept. 30 to adopt the 2020 combined tax rate, proposed at $1.2845 per $100 property valuation.

Trustees also approved a bond defeasance measure to retire a minimum of $10.59 million of debt associated with outstanding series 2012A bond notes before June 30, 2021. They also approved a bond refunding for $119.535 million of outstanding bond debt at a time best suited to market conditions.

The board also discussed Texas Education Agency guidance what allows districts to provide instruction to students via three methods due to COVID-19. 

In-person instruction is delivered in the classroom or face-to-face; remote synchronous instruction, which 

is two-way, live virtual instruction between teachers and students; and remote asynchronous instruction, which could offer several forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons and pre-assigned work. 

“We know we will offer in-person and remote lessons,” said Steve Stanford, the district’s executive communications director. “How it will be delivered will be determined by the course. Of course, all of this is up in the air right now — we just know we will offer both options.”

Earlier in June, trustees approved maintaining current salary schedules with no increase to teacher step scale or other salary schedules. On Thursday they discussed plans for up to $1.606 million in federal reimbursement for COVID-19 instructional costs.

Board members also discussed guiding principles for when school resumes on Aug. 25. 

They address “the new normal” of realities and constraints for learning during COVID-19, which includes proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of staff and students; a monitoring and feedback system to respond to new cases; and ensuring mental well-being of students, parents and staff through intentional, timely communication methods.

Trustees also approved Hill Country Prep High School as the name for the district’s second school of choice on the Spring Branch Middle School campus. Falcons was selected as mascot for the facility, which opens in August to students participating in college-level courses and project-based STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and math – programs. 

For more, visit the district’s website at www.comalisd.org.

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