• June 3, 2020

ECISD Facebook Live to focus on seniors - Odessa American: Education

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ECISD Facebook Live to focus on seniors

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Posted: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 3:01 pm

Focused on seniors, the latest Ector County ISD Facebook Live is aimed at answering questions about transitioning to college during the time of COVID-19.

The broadcast is set for 7 p.m. Thursday and will be on the ECISD Facebook page.

“We’re going to be talking about everything from graduation to senior activities to college and … next steps, how do I transition out of this unusual environment into college. We’ll talk about scholarships, but (there will be) a lot of information for our seniors on Thursday night,” Superintendent Scott Muri said.

Along with Muri, the broadcast will feature two college counselors and have representatives from Odessa College and University of Texas Permian Basin on the chat.

UTPB President Sandra Woodley said in a separate interview that the university is temporarily waiving SAT and ACT scores and other admissions requirements since many students didn’t have access to them.

“First, I applaud the colleges and universities for thinking differently about the enrollment process this year. I know that OC and UTPB have both been really good to our kids about waiving some of the traditional requirements because our kids did not have an opportunity to experience SAT or ACT due to the virus and then providing scholarship opportunities,” Muri said. “I know that UTPB has provided some interesting scholarship opportunities, again, for kids who are struggling financially right now because they may be the only family member with a job. Mom and dad may have lost their jobs and so our college (and) university system as a whole have been very thoughtful.”

In the event Thursday night, Muri said the district has asked UTPB and OC to have some representatives in the chat area, along with several school district counselors so that families and students can have their questions readily answered.

“We want to able to answer as many of those questions as we can. We’ll have multiple people in the chat session responding to questions, and then the questions that seem to be getting a lot of attention, we’ll bring those to the forefront and respond to those, as well,” Muri said.

On a separate topic, Muri said Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement regarding business and industry in Texas does not impact the school districts.

Asked if this could provide a chance for many mini graduation ceremonies, Muri said the district couldn’t gather that many people together.

“With 2,000 students, there would be lots of mini graduation ceremonies. At this point, we still can’t gather that many people together. We have three high schools that have smaller numbers of seniors, less than 100 seniors. We have two high schools that have over 700 seniors. That’s just a lot with family and friends. That’s an overwhelming gathering of human beings to have in one place right now,” Muri said.

On the subject of daycare for the medical community planned for Zavala Elementary School, Muri said ECISD’s license was approved Monday. In that capacity, it will provide care for children birth to 10.

When school is open, the campus provides care for children birth to school age.

“Part of our challenge has been that we are a licensed childcare provider and the emergency orders that were released several weeks ago were for school districts that were not childcare providers. None of those affected us because we are a licensed child care provider. The guidance that was given made our license a bit more restricted. It’s as if we went in reverse. It made it more difficult for us to actually offer child care because we were licensed already. That doesn’t sound logical, but that’s exactly what happened so we’ve been caught in the middle of this because of our license. So today (Monday), we were licensed to become an official emergency childcare provider. … So we’ll talk with our hospitals again and then talk with our employees. Then we’ll be releasing that opening date shortly,” Muri said.

“Now that we have this license, we’ll combine our emergency license with our existing license and see what we’re able to do and then get our employees in shape and organized and then we’ll be ready to launch. Hopefully, I’ll have a date for you in the next couple of days,” Muri said Monday.

To staff the childcare center, Muri said ECISD needed the emergency license because it allows them to use existing employees without having to run them through a licensing process to be licensed.

“It requires pretty extensive background checks and those background checks cannot happen locally because our local office that does that is closed. And so our local folks were going to have to drive for quite a distance to have the background check done, so we’ve been able to resolve some of those issues with this license that we received today (Monday) …,” Muri said.

He added that there are companies that conduct background checks all across Texas, but the local office was closed and the next closest one has limited hours because of the coronavirus.

“Once we reopen as a school we will no longer need the emergency license. We will resume operating our regular daycare facility, which took care of children from birth up to school age the age of 4 or 5,” he said.

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