Belton ISD students to return to in-campus learning five days a week

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(file photo)

BELTON, Texas – Belton Independent School District students will soon begin attending classes in person five days a week.

The District’s Board of Trustees discussed next steps in its COVID-19 response plan Monday night at its regular monthly meeting in the Pittenger Fine Arts Center.

The district started school on September 8 in Scenario 4 of its plan, meaning all students learn from home on Wednesdays to allow for additional teacher planning. Under Scenario 4, the high schools operate on a hybrid schedule where students attend in person two days a week and learn from home three days a week. 

Based on the current health conditions in Bell County, Superintendent Matt Smith told the Board that the district plans to move into Scenario 3 beginning October 5.

In Scenario 3, at-school learners will attend class in person Monday-Friday with a one-hour early dismissal on most Wednesdays. Masks will still be required for all students and staff and other prevention and mitigation strategies will be continued.

Block schedules will also continue for secondary students in Scenario 3. While all students are back on campus five days a week, the A/B days lessen the number of transitions throughout the day.

At-Home learning will continue to be an option for students as the district shifts into Scenario 3. 

The uncertainties associated with the pandemic have not slowed the district’s continued growth. Smith reported that the district’s enrollment is at 12,500 as of September 21. This is an increase of 320 students from the same day last year.

During the meeting, the Board also adopted a decrease in the district’s tax rate for the second year in a row. The approved rate of $1.3651 is a 6.8 percent decrease compared to last year’s rate of $1.4651. 

Under the adopted tax rate, the total projected revenue based on a 98 percent collection rate is $55,019,321, a 5.3 percent increase from last year. This increase, however, does not equate to an increase in money for the district. Districts get the same amount of money per student each year, so the increase in total tax revenue means that the school district receives less money from the state.

In other news, Kristie Blattner was approved by the Board to serve as an assistant principal at the Leon Heights Elementary School. Blattner, who has 15 years of experience in public education, currently serves as the campus instructional coach.

Source: Belton Independent School District

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