Trustees waive teacher appraisals and students’ semester exams, while approving $8.3 million teacher stipends

CYPRESS — The Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the 2020-2021 staff compensation plan to include the LEAD Safely Retention Stipend and Longevity Stipend during its committee-of-the-whole meeting on Dec. 10.

The LEAD Safely Retention Stipend will be paid to employees hired by Oct. 31, 2020 and who were still employed on Nov. 30, 2020 in the following amounts:

  • $500 for full-time employees; and
  • $250 for part-time employees.

At an estimated total district cost of $8.3 million, the stipend recognizes the enhanced procedures and duties added to all staff in order to meet the needs of students and staff for the LEAD Safely plan in 2020-2021. The stipend will be presented in a separate paycheck to employees on Dec. 17, 2020.

The Longevity Stipend is designated for employees who were not eligible for the LEAD Safely Retention Stipend but who are instrumental in the continuity of district operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This stipend will be paid at a later date to staff who are still employed June 4, 2021 and meet the established criteria for the number of days or hours worked:

  • 35-80 days worked – $150;
  • 81-122 days worked – $300; and
  • 123 or more days worked – $500.

During the Nov. 9 Board meeting, the trustees approved two additional waivers:

  • one authorizing the administration to waive 2020-2021 appraisals for eligible and designated teachers; and
  • one providing semester exam exemptions for students through a provision in EIA (LOCAL): Academic Achievement: Grading/Progress Reports to Parents.

The modification to the Cypress-Fairbanks Teacher Evaluation and Support System (CF-TESS) waives appraisals for teachers that:

  • have been employed by CFISD for one year or greater; and
  • received at least a “skilled” or the equivalent rating in all domains on the teacher’s most recent evaluation.

The goal of the waiver is to alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with the appraisal process amid a pandemic by leveraging the flexibility provided within 19 TAC Chapter 150 to adjust the district’s appraisal process, where needed, for the 2020-2021 school year.

The high school semester exam exemptions will no longer require students who take a high school course to take the final exam during the fall semester. The waiver enables students and teachers to dedicate time typically spent on preparing for and taking exams to re-teaching opportunities and make-up assignments.

Learn more about the retention stipend, appraisal waiver and semester exam waiver by viewing the presentations from the Nov. 5 Board of Trustees work session on the CFISD YouTube channel.

The CFISD Board of Trustees voted to approve staff stipends, waive teacher appraisals and provide high school semester exemptions during meetings in December and November. (CFISD Communications)

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