Claycomb Associates, Architects

Worker’s Compensation & COVID-19

August 0308:41 AM

The question is, does a local school district’s worker’s compensation cover coronavirus and related illnesses?  The answer is found in this month’s Insurance Newsletter by Bob Reim, President of  Robert V. Reim Company. -   Read today’s School Insurance NewsLetter for more information. - js -  read more arw

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Fire crews have left the scene of a fire at the Tyler Independent School District Career and Technology Center.  The Tyler Fire Department was called to the campus, located on Earl Campbell Parkway, around 6:52 p.m. Monday.  According to Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley, the fire started in a hydroponic plant box in a second floor science classroom.  A large amount of smoke set off a single sprinkler head in the immediate area, but caused some water damage in other rooms, Findley said. view article arw

Athens ISD will pay $50,000 to return school district data after a criminal ransomware attack against its servers. Because of the attack, the first day of school will have to be delayed by a week. The attack encrypted all of the data on school district servers, including multiple data backups and a few hundred district computers, which caused all access to data like teacher communications, student schedules, grades and assignments to be blocked, according to a statement from Athens ISD. view article arw

A Deer Park man has been arrested and charged after police said he stole thousands of dollars worth of iPads from a school in the Deer Park Independent School District. Alexander Garcia was arrested earlier in July after detectives determined he stole over $41,000 worth of iPads from Deepwater Junior High School and listed them for sale on eBay, police said. view article arw

Lloyd’s estimates the Covid-19 “underwriting losses will hit $107 billion…the largest loss on record for insurers”. Texas property insurance premiums are expected to increase, because insurers only retain a small portion of the total risk; the rest is laid off to reinsurers view article arw

The Rotan ISD Softball Field was vandalized last week when a vehicle spun doughnuts through grass and dirt Wednesday night, causing roughly $7,500 and has community members pooling money to offer a substantial reward for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest. view article arw

Plano ISD is preparing two simultaneous educational tracks for the fall that will each cover the same curriculum after the Texas Education Agency provided additional guidance this week on the upcoming semester.   Superintendent Sara Bonser told trustees June 23 that parents will have the option to allow their kids to continue remote learning even as the district prepares for a return to classrooms under Texas Education Agency guidelines.  The district will not be able to require a student to stay home under the new state guidelines, Bonser said. The state has yet to offer final guidance to districts on what in-person instruction and public health measures must look like during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

Texas government is going in two directions at once, with Gov. Greg Abbott blowing a whistle on rising COVID-19 numbers while top education officials detail plans to open public schools for in-person classes this fall. Abbott met news of rising coronavirus alarms with some positive spin at the beginning of last week: “The bottom line is this, and that is the increased capacity of hospital beds, it does raise concerns, but as shown today, there is no reason to be alarmed.”  Later in the week, the governor told lawmakers that schools will open in the fall. He left the details to the Texas Education Agency.  At the beginning of this week, Abbott changed the key from major to minor at a sobering Monday news conference. His tone was glum: “To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled.” view article arw

Texas School districts are still without guidance from the state on reopening this fall, after an already-delayed meeting scheduled to address those issues Tuesday did not include that information.  Districts across Southeast Texas and the state have been awaiting specific guidelines on how reopening will work since last week, when state leaders signaled a return to in-person classes was likely.  The agency did provide details on how districts would receive funding for students who choose to attend school remotely next year as a precaution against the coronavirus, but the briefing, and the information provided, left district leaders in Southeast Texas with many questions.    (24) view article arw

The optional in-person graduation ceremonies scheduled for Fort Worth ISD's Carter-Riverside High School and Success High School have been postponed due to potential thunderstorms. The ceremonies were originally scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday.  Both celebrations have been rescheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. Seniors from Carter-Riverside High School will still have their celebration at Farrington Field. The Success High School celebration will still occur at Clark Stadium.  Currently, no other graduations are expected to be impacted by weather. However, the district said it would continue to monitor National Weather Service forecasts and make changes as appropriate. view article arw

More than half of responding parents felt at least somewhat comfortable having their children return to Denton ISD classrooms in the coming school year.  That information comes from a survey of roughly 13,900 parents that will be discussed during Tuesday’s regular school board meeting.  Community responses help inform school district planning and decisions, but there is plenty of time for assessment and adjustment before campuses open back in August. view article arw

A McKinney ISD task force is helping the district prepare for the 2020-21 school year by examining three different learning options.  These options are face-to-face instruction, a hybrid of in-person and at-home learning, and 100% virtual instruction.  Members of the task force presented their findings to the MISD board of trustees at its June 23 meeting. Earlier that day, the Texas Education Agency released guidelines mandating school districts to offer some form of on-campus instruction during the 2020-21 school year.  Superintendent Rick McDaniel said his preference for an educational environment is face-to-face instruction, but he said that parents will have the option to allow their children to continue remote learning, even as the district prepares for a return to classrooms under TEA guidelines. view article arw

BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — School districts across Texas have a big challenge ahead of them, trying to figure out if, how and when they can reopen classrooms, but in one Texoma town, that task is magnified as they also have to try and get a school ready that was hit by a tornado.  Bowie Independent School District Superintendent Blake Enlow has been busy figuring out how they are going to get all of the damage repaired after a tornado struck the high school in May. view article arw

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas school districts are developing their plans for the fall.  “We’re going to get creative,” said Wylie ISD Superintendent David Vinson. ”Educators always are, and we’re going to make sure our kids are safe and healthy when they’re at school.”  Wylie is one of several area school districts waiting to make concrete announcements.  While they don’t have firm plans yet, they do have three proposals for parents: an in-person model, a virtual model and a hybrid model.  Like Wylie, Dallas ISD is waiting for more information from the Texas Education Agency and the CDC. view article arw

A special meeting of the Cuero ISD board of trustees was called on Tuesday, June 9. Following a short open meeting, the board went onto approve four items. The open meeting was a notice from the school board of a proposed contract for legal services with Pearson Legal, P.C. There was no deliberation from the public during the open meeting portion. view article arw

HOUSTON — Houston ISD police are trying to identify three burglars accused of breaking into an HISD building and stealing a safe.Investigators said the burglary happened at 12:55 a.m. May 12 at a facility in the 300 block of Berry Road.  Police said the suspects broke in, took the safe and then left on foot.  The safe was later found in a field behind the building, but it had been damaged. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — In an email to parents, the Austin Independent School District shared it is considering what it calls a "blended learning approach" as district leaders decide how to move forward for the beginning of the new school year.  That means when classes begin on Aug. 18, learning will likely take place both on campus and at home, according to the district. view article arw

A vandalism case from Memorial Day weekend that left more than $300,000 in damages at a Montgomery Independent School District campus has led to two teenage girls being charged this week.  Both girls are 16. One is being charged with criminal mischief, a felony, and is in custody at the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center. The second girl is being charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, according to Montgomery ISD Police Chief Marlon Runnels. view article arw

The effort to obtain federal assistance for Dallas County in the wake of October's tornadoes "became a bureaucratic game," Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said Wednesday after FEMA denied Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's appeal for a major disaster declaration.  Abbott appealed in late April the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to reject the request for the declaration after destructive tornadoes in Dallas and Erath counties in October.  Wednesday, FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor wrote to Abbott to deny the request. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD is continuing to seek stakeholder feedback and develop plans for next school year, Superintendent Charles Dupre and district staff said at the June 8 board of trustees meeting.  “For the board and anyone listening I just have to [say], I cannot adequately express how complex this planning effort is,” Dupre said during the meeting.  Stephanie Williams, FBISD’s executive director of organizational transformation, said the district is still planning for three possible formats school might take in the fall: traditional, online or hybrid.   “In defining these models, we recognize that there's no real going back to normal,” Williams said. view article arw

FORNEY, Texas — The Forney Independent School District issued a statement Tuesday after the tragic loss of two Forney High School students on Monday.  "Today, we learned of the tragic loss of two of our Forney High School students, and our hearts are broken," read the district's statement. "We extend condolences to Natasha and Alexa Haydel’s family and to our Forney Family." view article arw

This newsletter is important because many schools are purchasing % deductibles without understanding the possible ultimate costs. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - The Superintendent of Southside Independent School District is assisting a grandmother raising nine grandchildren after they lost everything in a house fire. According to a press release, Ms. Sylvia Rios and her grandchildren were home last Saturday afternoon, when an overloaded circuit sparked a fire, which caused their home to go up in flames. Fortunately, all the children were able to make it out of the home safely, but in Rios' rush to make her way out of the home, wound up breaking her toe. view article arw

It appears Texas will be spared a direct hit from Tropical Storm Cristobal, which is the third named storm just one week into what’s forecast to be an above-normal hurricane season  The center of Cristobal is expected to reach Louisiana and move inland late Sunday and Monday, with tropical storm-force winds likely arriving on Sunday morning ahead of the storm’s center. Heavy rains are possible in east Texas, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott and emergency management officials to unveil social distancing-compliant evacuation plans should they be needed. view article arw

BEAUMONT, Texas — Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to churn in in the Gulf of Mexico as the storm strengthens and moves toward the coast of Mexico, according to the 7 a.m. Wednesday advisory from the National Hurricane Center.  Southeast Texas remains in the 'cone of uncertainty' as the extended forecast with this storm remains questionable. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for all Texas counties Sunday, “in the midst of violent protests that endanger public safety and threaten property loss and damage.”  For Abbott, who has been governing since mid-March mostly on the basis of a disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic, this new disaster order came in response to protests across the state, some of which turned violent, protesting the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for all Texas counties Sunday, “in the midst of violent protests that endanger public safety and threaten property loss and damage.”  For Abbott, who has been governing since mid-March mostly on the basis of a disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic, this new disaster order came in response to protests across the state, some of which turned violent, protesting the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police.   (02) view article arw

Coronavirus is a risk for his students, Premont ISD Superintendent Steve VanMatre says, but so is seeing their educations stop cold. He's trying to safely address both while getting kids back in front of teachers.  When state leaders recently gave the green light for schools to slowly begin bringing students back into classrooms, south Texas school superintendent Steve VanMatre was one of the first to jump at the chance.  For weeks, VanMatre had been worriedly tracking how many of his Premont Independent School District students were logging into an online platform and completing assignments. Just under a third “had really dropped off the face of the earth,” he said, significant in a 600-student district where nearly all are low-income and Hispanic. (02) view article arw

Quotes from civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks have been invoked in the last week during protests in cities around the country that erupted after the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis at the hands of police. view article arw

Garland ISD’s Board of Trustees received a high-level planning overview related to health/safety, operations and teaching and learning updates related to reopening schools in the fall during Tuesday night’s regular board meeting.  Chief Leadership Officer Susanna Russell reported that in the first week of May the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a decision matrix to help school determine whether their campuses are ready to reopen. GISD is still at the “Do Not Open” stage.  Criteria to consider include: Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders? Is the school ready to protect children and employees at higher risk for severe illness? Are you able to screen students and employees upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure view article arw

For the third consecutive month, nearly every school campus in America remained closed in May, as districts continued to cope with the evolving coronavirus pandemic. As teachers fought to maintain some degree of remote instruction, and families tried their best to preserve some level of remote learning, high school seniors across the country saw their graduation festivities transition to group Zooms and drive-through ceremonies. And our new normal seems poised to continue into another school year. view article arw

Previously banned under state law, school days on Saturday are now a viable option for Oklahoma school districts because of COVID-19.  Public school districts in the 2020-21 school year could use Saturdays as an instructional day, if they wish to construct a school-year calendar with classes on the weekend.  The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday to grant waivers for a state law that prohibits regular classes on Saturdays.   (01) view article arw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC )- According to a recent USA-Today article, one in five teachers polled had serious reservations about returning to school in the fall, even if classrooms are reopened. Abilene ISD plans to use a new survey to find out what the community wants the school district to do moving forward.  During his weekly press briefing, Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young, discussed the importance of making students, parents, teachers, and other staff members, feel comfortable coming back for in-person classes this fall. view article arw

Midland ISD has released a survey to parents and teachers that includes questions about benefits and drawbacks of the current and alternative school district calendars.  District leaders said during their last board meeting that staff needed to gain input from parents and teachers about an alternative calendar that Superintendent Orlando Riddick and his staff are promoting. The alternative calendar has an earlier start date, later end date and allows for multiple weeks off in October and for spring break, along with traditional time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Midland ISD board earlier in the spring approved the current calendar that’s in place, but staff again made a presentation for the alternative calendar during the May board meeting. view article arw

WFAA reached out to districts to ask about their summer school plans and if there were any decisions made on the fall semester.  On June 1, school districts across the state have been given the green light reopen to schools for in-person summer school, but most North Texas school districts are sticking to online classes -- at least for June.  The Texas Education Agency says school systems may prioritize in-person summer school for students with academic gaps, students with disabilities or homeless students. view article arw