More than 100 teachers interested in getting certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards attended a dinner Tuesday night to gain information and insight.
Superintendent Scott Muri said the teachers were invited, along with people from central office and the human capital team to encourage them to go through the National Board process.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification is considered the gold standard for teacher certification.
Muri said they also invited a group of people from around the state of Texas and the nation. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards had staff members on site.
“We’ve been working on this for several years. (We) have many teachers that are currently pursuing their certification, but we are ready for the next cohort and so last night was a great opportunity to encourage teachers to move from being a good teacher in the classroom to being a great, or accomplished, teacher in the classroom,” Muri said in his media call Wednesday.
He added that teachers who attended were excited about the chance to improve their craft, hone their skills and become the best teachers they can possibly be.
In Texas, teachers who become board certified earn extra compensation through the Teacher Incentive Allotment.
“ECISD is one of the districts in Texas that is a part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment program, so a teacher that earns their board certification automatically qualifies for that money and that is between $3,000 and $9,000 in additional compensation on top of their regular salary, so there is a financial benefit to a teacher earning their certification,” Muri said.
However, the primary reason is that educators are lifelong learners and they are constantly striving to be better, he said.
“This process is by far the most effective form of professional development in the country,” Muri added.
Muri congratulated the Bookworms program that was one of the award winners at the Beacon Awards from the Nonprofit Management Center Tuesday.
“The center every year has an annual Beacon Award ceremony where they highlight various programs throughout the Permian Basin,” Muri said. “This year, the Bookworms program was highlighted for the collaboration that ECISD has with the Education Foundation. We do this work together in ECISD … The Foundation provides books for students at the elementary level. Then our curriculum and instruction team provides lesson plans, so teachers teach a lesson that is aligned to the book and then the Foundation provides that very book free of charge to every single student that is a part of that lesson. It is a win-win opportunity — a win for the Foundation for that partnership with us; a win for us because of the collaboration we have with the Foundation.”
“But ultimately the big winners are the students. They get to take these books home and they become a part of their home library,” Muri added.
He also reminded everyone of the $436,109,000 bond election coming up on Nov. 7. The bond will not require a tax increase.
The district website says since 2020, ECISD has made early payments of about $37.3 million dollars on existing bonds, and by prepayments and refinancing, saved taxpayers $26.9 million in future interest payments. Based upon the district’s existing tax base, the district will not need to increase the total tax rate of $1.014 to pay the $436,109,000 of bond projects.
“We have worked diligently — a group of community residents — educators as well as citizens throughout the community — in developing a bond proposal,” Muri said. “This summer, the board of trustees adopted that bond proposal and called an election. On Nov. 7, voters will see three different proportions. Proposition A is the largest of the three propositions. It focuses upon capital maintenance items on every campus throughout ECISD. The construction of a middle school in the western portion of Ector County; construction of a new career and technical education facility which will meet the needs of all our CTE students throughout the high school programming in Ector County; investments in our JROTC programming … investing in fine and performing arts; investments in athletics. A lot of other opportunities that can be found in Proposition A.”
Proportion B is the Ratliff Stadium investment, Muri said.
“We’ll be providing a concrete overlay. The stadium is approximately 40 years of age and the concrete is beginning to crack, so we’ll be placing an overlay over the concrete to make sure it can withstand another 40 years of us enjoying that Friday Night Lights experience in that stadium,” Muri said.
“We’ll also be adding some lights to the parking area. Sometimes Friday Night Lights turn into Friday Night Darkness once we enter the parking lot, so we’ll be adding some lights to the stadium area,” he added.
Proposition C focuses on Odessa and Permian high schools. At OHS, it will fund an indoor practice facility.
At Permian, it will replace the turf currently in their existing indoor practice facility.
To participate in the election, you have to be a registered voter. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 10. Early voting for this year’s bond runs from Oct. 23-27, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Meetings are being scheduled at each of the 45 schools in ECISD, as well as every department and division within the organization to make sure that all 4,200 members of the team know and understand the bond.
Externally, Muri said, they are scheduling a variety of different meetings.
“I’ve already been to Rotary clubs throughout Ector County. Next Tuesday, I have a meeting coming up with the Information and Discussion group. There’s another meeting on Monday night, so there are a variety of different community events that are taking place to make sure that our community is well informed of what’s happening in the bond,” Muri said.
If there are community groups interested in hosting a meeting, he encourages them to reach out to the district and let them know.
“We’d be happy to arrange an individual or someone from the team to come out and provide information,” Muri said.
In addition, bond information can be found on the ECISD website at ectorcountyisd.org; click on the Bond 2023 button and it will take you to all the information.
ECISD’s social media campaign is starting, so anyone connected with the district on Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or whatever social media you choose, the district will be posting information about the bond.
That started this week.
“You will also be receiving mailers. We’ll use telephone, print media, as well as television,” Muri said.
Muri also reminded the community that the biggest game of the year is coming up Oct. 6 with OHS and PHS facing off at Ratliff Stadium.
Tickets went on sale Wednesday and they are expected to go fast.
If you haven’t purchased tickets, information is available at ectorcountyisd.org. Once there, visit the athletics area and find out more about purchasing tickets.