The Huffman ISD Board of Directors met to discuss COVID attendance numbers and the variance from pre-COVID numbers. Additionally, the board adopted new substitute teacher pay for non-degreed, degreed, certified and long-term certified teachers.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Joel Nolte, reported on district goals and the attendance report for 9/27-11/05/2021. Several discussions took place surrounding ‘Goal 2: The District Will Provide Safe, Secure, and Student-Centered Environments’ and ‘Goal 5: Huffman ISD Will Update Its Five-Year Plan To Include a Study That Focuses On The Potential Need To Acquire Additional Campus Sites.’

Dr. Nolte added, “Typically, the district falls in the 95-96% percentile for overall attendance pre-COVID. However, during the recent attendance cycle, these numbers remain slightly lower than this range – although not completely unexpected given the times. Hargrave High School is currently sitting at 91.89%, which is below the desired average figure.”

Nolte expects to see progress made towards pre-COVID numbers by the end of the current 2021-22 school year.

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, many things – in addition to attendance – have evolved. One of the changes has centered around the substitute teacher pay. That is, the district, not unlike surrounding districts, is experiencing difficulty in filling substitute teacher positions. The hardest days of the week to fill are Monday and Friday.

The number of subs needed on any given day is dependent upon the number of teachers that are out sick, traveling to staff development conferences or training, and attendance at extra-curricular events.

The current daily rate is $75 a day for non-degreed teachers, $85 daily for degreed professionals, $100 for certified personnel and $125 for long-term certified subs. These numbers allow Huffman ISD to remain competitive with neighboring school districts.

The board recommended and approved an increase for all substitute rates by $5 per day with an additional $10 on Fridays. This would make the new daily rates $80 a day for non-degreed teachers, $85/daily for degreed persons, $105 for certified personnel, and $130 for long-term certified subs. All substitutes would then also receive an additional $10 per day on Fridays.

“While this will cause a slight increase to substitute expenditures for the year, I recommend these changes as presented. There are many competing initiatives and reasons for these challenges, and we want to hire the brightest and best teachers for our students,” added Tim Brittain, CFO for Huffman ISD.

Superintendent, Dr. Benny Soileau concluded, “We are a small district, but the teachers we employ at any level and any length of time truly love what they do and value the difference they make every day.”

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Huffman ISD Board of Trustees is scheduled for Jan. 24 in the Huffman Administration building.

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