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3 days off, bonus for teachers on DISD board agenda

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Denison Independent School District is considering creating three new days off during the current school year to give students and educators needed time off.

Denison teachers and students may soon get to enjoy a few extra days off this school year and teachers may get one-time pay bonuses after the Denison Independent School District Board of Trustees made a decision on these items at Tuesday's meeting.

The board is expected to consider adjustments the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year that would create three days off for students, and in a separate item, they will consider a one-time $1,000 bonus for all full-time employees.

The group  meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the DISD administration building.

The decision to create three additional days off in the year comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when many educators have had to adjust to turbulent times, including the transition to online education and other new safety measures.

"Denison ISD recognizes the extra efforts given this school year by our employees and our students," the district said in documents for Tuesday's meeting. "Navigating instruction and learning during the midst of a pandemic is not an easy task."

In response, the district is proposing what it described as a "pause for applause" — three additional days where students and teachers will not report to class.

The first day would come on Dec. 18, effectively adding an additional day to the Christmas break. Teachers and students would  also not report to class on Feb. 12, effectively making President's Day a four-day weekend.

The final day would come near the end of the semester on April 16.

In other matters, the board will also consider a one-time $1,000 bonus payment to all full-time employees, and a $500 payment to all part-time employees. District officials said this is in gratitude to employees and their continued work during the pandemic.

This payment follows similar action by other Texoma districts, including the Sherman Independent School District, who approve a similar resolution in late October.