Pine Tree ISD teachers and some paraprofessionals will get a one-time $250 stipend for using their personal internet and phone services during the COVID-19 closure.

The board met for its regular monthly meeting Monday.

Superintendent Steve Clugston said the district thought the stipend is the right thing to do because so many employees had to use their personal internet and phones for distance learning.

The district still is calculating costs, but Clugston said the expected cost is about $104,000 for the stipends.

The board also approved a policy that cut off class rank calculations at the end of the fourth six-week grading period right before the schools closed.

Clugston said the district believes ending calculations at that time is fair because it was the last time students were in school.

Two assistant principals were hired at the meeting, Clugston said. Golf coach Beeper Krause was promoted to a high school assistant principal position, and Luke McBeath was hired from Spring Hill ISD to be junior high assistant principal.

Clugston also updated the board on graduation and prom plans.

Graduation will be the morning of June 27 at Pirate Stadium.

"We felt putting a little time in it allows for some lightening of some of the restrictions and allows everyone to get used to the reopening and feel more comfortable," Clugston said. Some adjustments could be made to the plan based on social distancing requirements.

In the evening, Clugston said the district has planned some resemblance of a prom, based on whatever social distancing rules are in place.

While the school probably will not be able to have a traditional dance, he said students will have some way to dress up, be recognized and take photos.

"So much has been taken from our seniors, and it’s nobody’s fault, but we want to give back to them as much as we can," he said.

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Kristen is the News-Journal's education reporter. A Longview native, she got a journalism degree and a graduate certificate at Texas Tech University. She covers a variety of issues, including school finance, board meetings and happenings at local schools.