On Oct. 5, the Huffman board of trustees met to discuss expenditures for classroom technology in need of board approval and COVID-19 testing fees for staff members that may or may not have health insurance.

A special board meeting was called to first discuss needed technology equipment for the elementary school in the range of $75,000-$100,000. This needed amount is slated to cover $50,000-$75,000 worth of computers and an additional $25,000 for microphones and webcams/cameras. The district’s approval threshold is $25,000. Since this exceeded the mandated threshold, this item alone caused a special meeting to be called.

Dr. Benny Soileau, Huffman ISD superintendent, said, “These items are needed to ensure our students all have an equal opportunity to learn in the location or environment of choice.”

The board unanimously approved these expenditures.

The second order of business included COVID-19 ‘return-to-work’ tests for staff members. Previously, the district was quoted over $200 per test. However, a company has been secured that would allow COVID-19 staff tests to be pre-purchased in advance at the special rate of $85 per test for those that do not have insurance.

If a staff member has insurance, then the district would fund the deductible amount. All COVID-19 tests still need to be preapproved by human resources in advance to ensure eligibility and approval.

Soileau remarked, “It is important that we are able to put a process in place where we can get our teachers and all staff members returning to the classroom as quickly and efficiently as possible postpositive COVID-19 diagnosis. In addition to these procedures, any positive diagnosis would also subsequently require disinfecting and sanitation processes to be followed as well. Keeping our students and staffers safe is always at the forefront of our minds, regardless of any social-distancing orders or mandates in place or how our students are being counted for in terms of attendance.”

The unanimous approval of both items rounded out this specially called meeting. The next regularly scheduled meeting is set to take place in person Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Huffman Administration Building (unless stated otherwise on the website at huffmanisd.net).


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