Pandemic prompts ECISD enrollment loss

District will partner with health officials to offer COVID vaccines

Ector County ISD has lost more than 2,000 students, in terms of enrollment, during the pandemic.

There was some speculation that Bonham Middle School, for example, had fewer students due to regular immunization requirements.

“We know early on that we had some families that moved away from our area. The economy changed and some of our families left, but many of those families simply pulled their children out of school and are home schooling because of the pandemic,” Superintendent Scott Muri said during his media call Wednesday.

Scott Muri

“… We have not noticed that one school is more affected than another, so Bonham Middle School has not been more or less affected by the pandemic than any of the other schools in ECISD. It’s really all of our kids — north, south, east and west. We’ve seen an affect of a fewer number of students this year because of the pandemic. But, again, that is not isolated to a singular area,” Muri added.

There are vaccines the state requires.

“Those immunizations occur every year of our students. Typically those are in the elementary grades, and in order for a child to enter school at the age of 4 or 5, certain immunizations must … be in place.”

“But I’m not aware of any immunization requirements causing families to not have their children attend school,” Muri said.

Muri also was asked about Ector College Prep Middle School. Asked if the district monitors the campus, he said Third Future is the organization that runs it.

“We partner with them. We do monitor them, but Third Future is the company that really runs the school,” Muri said.

Muri said part of the contract between ECISD and Third Future is an evaluation piece.

“… So every year, we conduct an evaluation on their progress and then we share that information with the board. They aren’t required to present to the board. What’s required is that we evaluate their academic performance every year,” he said.

Tonight, there is a Virtual Family Picnic where people can log on to the ECISD website under Empower and find activities to do as a family.

Muri reminded parents that there is an early release day Nov. 11.

He noted that four ECISD nurses were identified in the top 25 in the Permian Basin.

“Our nurses have been incredibly busy for the last year and a half, really in response to COVID-19. Just the volume of visits to our clinics, the volume of visits due to kids and adults and COVID-19 has been overwhelming. The Permian Basin each year recognizes 25 outstanding nurses.

This year, four of our nurses are among the 25 that are being recognized … so we’d like to congratulate four of the many ECISD nurses that have lifted up this year and being recognized for their incredible work supporting students,” Muri said.

He added that nursing always has been a very busy and time consuming job.

“But on top of their regular duties, they’ve had to add all the responsibilities (that) come along with dealing with a worldwide pandemic, so we lift up all our nurses for going well above and beyond the call of duty in the last couple of years …,” Muri said.

Asked about COVID shots being available for 5 to 11 year olds, Muri said they have already had conversations with local hospitals to figure out “how we can make it as easy as possible for our families. Some families will want to go to their family doctor. Certainly our pharmacies will be available. Hospitals will certainly have opportunities, but if we can make it easy for our families by providing it at school then we certainly want to partner with our medical community and make that opportunity available for our families,” Muri said.