December 2020
Trustees Approve Changes to Spring Calendar
to Support Learning

At its December meeting, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved changes to the district’s spring calendar with the intent of better supporting teachers - and thus students - during this most unusual school year.

The changes include adding three teacher in-service/student holiday days on Jan. 5, March 1 and April 26 to allow for more teacher planning and professional development.

In October, district leaders gathered feedback from teachers through a ThoughtExchange survey and Zoom meetings on the challenges they are facing as they work to provide exceptional learning experiences for all students, both in person and virtually. Teachers voiced concern that to continue delivering the quality education that Belton ISD is known for, they needed more time to plan together and further develop their skills.

Making adjustments to the calendar is just one way the district is supporting teachers. Other supportive efforts include protecting the dedicated time on early release Wednesdays for planning, clarifying expectations for At-School and At-Home learners and increasing the personnel support on individual campuses from the district’s Teaching & Learning department.

One other change to the calendar is the addition of an early dismissal day for secondary students on Jan. 22 to coincide with the previously revised finals testing schedule. The newly approved calendar keeps in place the early release days on most Wednesdays that the Board adopted in the fall.
Board Recognitions -
Lake Belton High School Stampede Marching Band
The Board celebrated the Stampede's advancement to the UIL 4A State marching competition by pausing the meeting to watch a livestream of the group's Monday night performance at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Trustees Lay Out Timeline to Fill Vacant Board Position

Board members accepted the resignation of Trustee Dr. Rosie Montgomery at the December meeting and solidified plans for appointing a new member by the January meeting.

"Serving on the Belton ISD Board of Trustees has been one of my greatest honors," Montgomery said in a statement about her decision to step down. "The Belton community has been blessed with an incredible school district, and the current leadership will lead the district to greater heights. My board term will end in May 2021; however, after careful consideration, I believe my increased caretaking responsibilities will not allow me to continue my service on the board adequately. I want to extend a sincere thank you to the current board and the administration. Working with this team has made me a better person." 

Community members interested in serving as an appointed member of the Board of Trustees for Area 2 must be at least 18 years old, reside in Area 2 and be registered to vote. The appointee will serve until the next scheduled election on May 1, 2021.

For more information about the process to fill this board vacancy, click here.
Big Red Community Partner - Crossroads Church
The Board recognized Crossroads Church as a Big Red Community Partner for its significant generosity and support of Belton ISD students. Through its "Take a Tag, Bless a Child" campaign, the church will be filling the Christmas wish lists and clothing needs of more than 170 or the 308 homeless, foster and host family children participating in the district's Project Heartbeat Angel Project. Thank you, Crossroad Church!
Elementary Playground Improvement Project Completed

During the regular meeting, the Board celebrated the completion of efforts to improve playground amenities for students across all elementary campuses. The improvements included 76 new swings, 13 new playscapes, 17 new shade structures and 33,876 square feet of synthetic fall protection. The project’s initial phase, which provided accessible routes to all facilities, was completed last year.
Board Committee Reports

Policy: The policy committee met on Dec. 7 and discussed several topics that will warrant additional conversations in the coming months. These included: how students are ranked for graduation purposes and how valedictorians and salutatorians are selected; the process of naming new facilities or requesting new names for existing facilities; and the implications the Journey of a Graduate profile may have at the district and campus levels on decision making.

Facilities: The facilities committee did not meet this month.
Board Recognitions -
Temple Rotary Club's
Educator of the Month
Heidi Morgan, an intervention teacher at Tarver Elementary, was recognized for earning the designation of Temple Rotary Club's Educator of the Month. Ms. Morgan is her 13th year in education and her ninth with Belton ISD. Her principal, Aubrey Itz, said, "Heidi embodies and emulates the ideas of service and grace. Tarver is a better place because of her."
Superintendent's Report

  • Enrollment Update: The district has 12,702 students as of Dec. 9, which is 51 more than reported at the last Board meeting.
  • Three of the four virtual meetings for Journey of a Graduate have been held. Smith is thrilled with the participation and discussions the meetings have spurred.
  • Smith thanked athletic coaches and Fine Arts directors for their role in creating learning opportunities for students despite limitations brought on by the pandemic.
  • The district is currently holding steady in Scenario 3 of the COVID-19 Response Plan but is closely monitoring the situation around the state, in Bell County and within Belton ISD schools. Adjustments could be necessary after the winter holiday, but any announcements would come through the district's official communication channels.
Board Recognitions -
Belton Rotary
Educator of the Quarter
Molly Kacal, an early childhood special education teacher at Belton Early Childhood School, was recognized for being name the Belton Rotary Club Educator of the Quarter. Mrs. Kacal is in her eighth year in education and her second with Belton ISD. Courtney Brewer, the assistant principal at BECS, said, "Molly enters our building each morning with a smile and a go-getter attitude. I appreciate the consistent environment and love she provides each day to her students."
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Budget amendment #3 for 2020-2021
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (Maxim Healthcare)
  • Supply, equipment, and service bids (Swim Center Exterior Membrane Repair, RCSP #2010-600-240)
  • New courses for 2021-2022 school year
  • 2020-2021 interlocal agreement with the City of Temple for use of tennis facilities at Crossroads Park
  • Appointment of concussion oversight team
  • Appointment of representation to the City of Temple Reinvestment Zone No. 1 Board of Directors

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.