Facebook Pinterest Muri: Certification means more opportunity EducationECISDLocal News WhatsApp Twitter By Digital AIM Web Support – December 17, 2020 Previous articleOAT122320 Christmas Salad2.jpgNext articleDAILY OIL PRICE: December 17 Digital AIM Web Support TAGS Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook The chance for teachers to participate in National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, COVID-19 testing and two early release days were the topics tackled by Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri during his media call Wednesday. “Today, the Permian Strategic Partnership made a multi-million dollar investment into the teachers of ECISD in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This partnership will allow right at 300 teachers in ECISD to undergo the process to become a National Board certified teacher,” Muri said. “These funds will allow us to provide coaching and mentoring and all the supports that our teachers need to go through that process. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has been around now for many years in the United States. They were developed in the late ‘80s and began certifying teachers in the early ‘90s,” Muri said. He said ECISD has no National Board certified teachers. Muri was certified in the ‘90s. In Texas, there are about 950 National Board certified teachers and about 150,000 nationwide. “It is by far the best professional learning experience that I’ve ever had in my career,” Muri said. “It made me a much better teacher and today a much better leader.” The certification process, he said will allow some 300 teachers to improve their skills and hone the “good work” that they are already doing to do even better work for students. Along with classroom teachers, counselors and media specialists can also go for certification. In the spring, Muri said the district will develop a support system for teachers who want to go through the process and identify the teachers who want to take the challenge. “This will also give us an opportunity to attract people to our area. ECISD is the only district in the state of Texas to receive this grant from the Permian Strategic Partnership and we’re excited about that,” Muri said. “We have a chance to create a really unique model of supporting the National Board process right here in the city of Odessa and in Ector County with our teachers and in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, so we’ll certainly be able to recruit some of the best teachers around the country to our area.” “… Our hope is that we can begin to draw those teachers here to the city of Odessa and we can see them as early as August of 2021,” he added. Because of House Bill 3 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019, ECISD teachers who become certified will receive additional compensation of between $3,000 to $9,000 “from the state of Texas.” “We’re excited about adding that additional compensation to our teachers that so deserve that additional compensation, especially today with all that they are doing in and amongst the pandemic,” Muri said. He noted that research shows the No. 1 factor that increases student achievement is the teacher. “Today’s investment in the teachers of ECISD will ensure that the students of ECISD win academically; they win socially; and they win emotionally,” Muri said. On COVID testing, ECISD was one of the districts that decided to take advantage of the COVID testing provided by the state. The district has started to test its 4,200 employees. If an adult comes to school feeling well but at some point in the day begins to display some of the symptoms of COVID-19, the rapid tests are available and they would know within 15 minutes if they are negative or positive. “… Then we can take appropriate measures as a school system to ensure the safety of our students and ensure the safety of our staff members,” Muri said. “Already this week we’ve had both positive and negative tests each day. When we return from the holiday break, we will continue to provide that opportunity for not only our staff members but we will then begin offering it to students. So any student prek through 12th grade that begins to display COVID-19 symptoms during the school day, we will be able to provide that test to our students along with parent permission. Moms and dads you have to give permission in order for us to provide that test for your children. It’s a pretty (non-invasive) test. It is a nasal swab, so (it’s) pretty easy to administer, and again, we have those results within 15 minutes. We’ve had great success with it this week and we look forward to offering again to students as well as staff members after the holiday break.” Muri also mentioned that the school board has approved early release days for Feb. 2 and March 2. Teachers will use the rest of those days for professional development.