February 2021
Board Takes Action to Minimize Impact of Winter Weather

At its February meeting, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved paying employees during the five days the district was closed due to severe weather, power outages and issues with water and internet connectivity.

They also approved submitting a "Missed School Days" waiver to the Texas Education Agency for those days. The waivers, if approved by TEA, waive the requirement to make up missed instruction time for Feb. 16-19 and Feb. 22.

The Board also voted to submit an additional waiver to claim credit for instructional minutes on Feb. 12, which the district deemed a virtual learning day.
Student Showcase - BHS Marching 100 Ensemble
The Student Showcase featured a Belton High School Marching 100 ensemble under the direction of Shannon Gill. "Just for Show" was performed by a saxophone quartet with sophomore Brandon Bechtel, senior Joshua Krieg and Juniors Alex Rendon and Michael Summers.
Fanning Hired to Lead Health Services
At February's meeting, the Board approved the hiring of Marylisa Fanning as director of health services. Fanning currently serves as the school nurse at Belton High School and previously worked for three years at Southwest Elementary. Her 24 year nursing background also includes a stint in the U.S. Army Reserves and experience with home health and mental health care as well as in medical-surgical and NICU care.

Fanning replaces Charlotte Smith, who will retire in April after a 40 year nursing career. Smith has spent the last nine year working as Belton ISD’s director of health services.
Board Recognition - Superintendent's Student Advisory Council
Members of our first-ever Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council were introduced to the Board. This group of 16 high school students was selected from over 60 applicants from Belton High, New Tech and Lake Belton High. They will meet monthly via Zoom with Dr. Smith to give input and feedback on issues impacting students in Belton ISD.
Board Evaluates Goal 1 Progress
Community Summits set for March 2-4
During the February workshop, Board members evaluated the progress the district is making toward Goal 1 to "Engage the community in setting the direction for the future of BISD." They reviewed a draft of values and beliefs statements that will be brought to them at the March Board meeting for approval. They also discussed the six attributes identified in the district's Journey of a Graduate and the importance of instilling them in all Belton ISD students.

The district's Community Summits have been rescheduled. The forums are now scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on March 2 and March 3 through a Zoom meeting and a Spanish version on March 4 at Charter Oak Elementary, 8402 Poison Oak Rd. in Temple.

Each of the two-hour events will follow the same agenda, so the public is invited to attend the summit that works best with their schedule. Zooms links for the virtual meetings are available at bisd.net/strategicplan.
Board Recognition - TMEA All-State Choir
BHS student vocalists Rachel Schiller, Jouper Muring and Daniel Holcomb were selected as members of the Texas All-State Choirs with Sarah Millington being selected as 1st alternate. All four vocalists completed three rounds of auditions that involved over 50,000 student entries to achieve this high honor. Tonya Lovorn is the BHS head choir director.
Board Committee Reports

Policy: The policy committee met on Feb. 1 and continued discussions on revising CW(LOCAL), which outlines details for naming district facilities. The committee also studying EIC(LOCAL) and how academic achievement/class ranking impacts a student's learning experience.

Facilities: The facilities committee did not meet this month.
Board Recognition - Academic UIL State CX Debate Qualifiers
Two Belton High School teams recently took top honors at the District 12 UIL Cross Examination (CX) debate. The team of junior Mykaela Johnston and senior Charles Evans achieved first place at district and qualified for the state tournament in March. Senior Anthony Jones and junior Hayden Kerr placed second in district and are first alternates for state. This was the first year that Belton claimed the two top spots in the CX District competition, which was held virtually. The Academic UIL Debate Coach is Wayne Delso and this year, Speech teachers Kathy Person and Hannah Bryant stepped up in a big and special way to prepare the two teams.
Superintendent's Report

  • Enrollment Update: The district has 12,806 students as of Feb. 11, which is 18 more than reported at the last Board meeting.
  • Highlights from Smith's month included seeing students "in their element" at the Bell County Youth Fair and surprising teachers with BEEF grants.
  • Smith reported that district held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Feb. 13 for employees. He's proud of how quickly staff pulled this event together.
  • February storm update: Seven campuses plus Transportation Services lost power; significant water damage was found on multiple campuses; restoration efforts began almost immediately; assessment is now underway.
  • The district continues to hold steady in Scenario 3 of the COVID-19 Response Plan. Smith reported that the data show the district's mitigation strategies are working and that cases in Bell County are down. Leaders continue to monitor the situation closely.
Board Recognition - Temple Rotary Club's Educator of the Month
Christy Truitt, a third grade teacher at Sparta Elementary, was recognized for earning the designation of Temple Rotary Club's Educator of the Month. She is in her 15th year in education and her fifth year with Belton ISD. "Christy is such a joy to work with," said Julee Manley, principal at Sparta. “She brings a calm presence with her wherever she goes which creates an amazing classroom environment and contributes to the overall positive school climate.”
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the mont ending Jan. 31, 2020
  • Gift, grants and bequests
  • Budget amendment #5 for 2020-2021
  • Supply, equipment and service bids
  • Several RFPs for various equipment, supplies and technology
  • Election judges, alternate judges and early voting ballot board for the Board of Trustees May 1, 2021, general election for Area 2 and Area 4

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.
Board Recognition - Belton Rotary Club's Educator of the Quarter
Jessica Settle, a teacher at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow, was recognized for earning the designation of Belton Rotary's Educator of the Quarter. She is in her seventh year in education and her fourth year with Belton ISD. Her principal, Jennisty Thomason, said, “Mrs. Settle is willing to do anything she can to make a difference in students’ lives. She is a great mentor and role model. Her willingness to help in any way and positive attitude make her a great candidate for Educator of the Month.”