By Melissa McCaghren
The City of Slaton and Slaton Independent School District conducted special meetings Monday afternoon (March 26) at their respective locations to address local issues that would be affected by a Gov. Greg Abbott’s declaration of disaster.
Trustees met at 1 p.m. to address the modifications.
City Administrator Mike Lamberson reported the open hours for City Hall have now changed, and will be from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closed Friday and the weekends for the next two weeks. This will allow for billing, and the city secretary. It would remain in place unless changes were made by the State again.
Police and Fire will work their normal schedules.
Currently, several businesses will be closed until April 6. These are the library, senior citizens center, municipal court, recycle center, museum, game rooms and hair and nail salons.
The City also unanimously voted to move the May 2 general election to Nov. 3, which is the next uniform Election Day.
Lamberson said it would save money and would meet with what others were doing.
The Commissioner Ward II position has two candidates, Jim Taliaferro and Doyce Field. The Commissioner Ward IV position is running unopposed, with Dr. Charlie D. Haynes holding the seat for his first full term.
For more information, call City Hall at 828-2020.
SISD Trustees met at 3 p.m. Monday in a teleconference to approve amending the resolution to follow the new restrictions passed by the state.
Interim Superintendent Gary Harrell said the new resolution, valid for 45 days, will allow more flexibility and open funds to help pay teachers who may or may not be at the school. “It ensures everybody gets paid,” he said.
They too approved unanimously to move the election to Nov. 3, as they usually conduct joint elections with the City.
SISD announced March 17 they would be extending school break until April 3.
Harrell said Friday (March 20) the decision was made by Abbott as to when classes would resume. That said, teachers would report or their normal working time March 23, and develop a program for report learning curriculum. “We are taking this action in order to activate and train educators in our remote learning curriculum protocols,” he said in a statement Thursday (March 19).
He also announced that attendance would be optional afterward while the public health emergency was in place. “Families will not be penalized if they choose to keep their children at home,” he said in a press release. “We will require tha parents and guardians inform the Distric of the decision and commit to remote learning provided by each campus.”
In addition, they reiterated they would provide sacked breakfasts and lunches for all students, which began Tuesday (March 24). These would be done in front of specific cafeterias and at bus stops, a few cases even home delivery.
Those who do attend class in the school buildings would along with staff deal with social distancing practices such as staggering cafeteria periods and seating assignments. They would also place sanitizing stations out and the nurses would watch for students who may be ill. “If a child begins to exhibit symptoms of illness while at school, they will be sent home,” Harrell added. Students and parents who may have to travel between now and April 6 outside the region are also asked to let the district know, as it is a case-by-case basis.
For more information, visit the Slaton ISD Facebook page or the school district website, slatonisd.net.