BISD renews MOUs, eyes recycling plan - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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BISD renews MOUs, eyes recycling plan

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:30 pm

The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday to renew 16 memorandums of understanding with a wide range of community organizations that provide services to the district, usually at no cost.

Trustees approved the memorandums at their regular monthly meeting, the first under Superintendent René Gutiérrez, who began work July 15.

A year ago the board decided to renew such memorandums on an annual basis rather than pass a new MOU individually for the organizations each time they expire because the language normally stays virtually the same from year to year.

The MOU between the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and BISD for the university to provide AmeriCorps mentors to assist high school students and their parents in the college application process was discussed.

Several trustees wanted to make sure the mentors that come to a BISD school attended that school. They were assured that this was the case so that mentors are familiar with the school and its culture.

The renewed MOUs covered such organizations as Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, Buckner Children & Family Services, the United Way of Southern Cameron County for a guided reading initiative, and with AVID, a college and career readiness program for all of the high schools, at a cost of $31,913.

The MOU with Texas A&M University to implement the Advise Texas College Advising Corps at each of the six BISD comprehensive high schools was approved at a cost of $10,000 per school. Under the program, degreed A&M advisers spend 40 hours a week at the campuses advising students on college entrance and readiness.

The board also directed the administration to study the feasibility of shrinking the current two-mile radius requirement for school busing. This regards new routes from Longoria to JT Canales Elementary and from Victoria Heights to Perez Elementary as part of school consolidation taking place this year.

Trustees also asked for an updated district recycling plan within 90 days. Several trustees said the point is to find ways BISD as a district can be less wasteful.

It also directed Food and Nutrition Services to conduct random-sample surveys and of students’ likes and dislikes regarding cafeteria meals. A complaint about previous surveys was that students were invited to tasting events. The food was great, but it didn’t taste the same in the cafeteria.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com

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