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Marble Falls Independent School District employees will receive end-of-the-year stipends as part of an Employee Retention Incentive resolution approved by the board of trustees at its May 17 meeting. The board allocated $750,000 to be divided up into $250, $500, or $1,000 stipends based on individual positions and number of days worked. 

According to the adopted incentive resolution, qualifying full-time employees will receive $1,000 “in appreciation for staff’s dedication and commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the hope that staff will return for next school year.” Substitute employees will receive either $250 or $500, depending upon the percentage of school days they worked during the past year. 

“When you talk about loving and inspiring students, that doesn’t work if you don’t pair that with the unyielding commitment that our staff was able to demonstrate this year,” MFISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen said during a May 18 presentation to the Marble Falls City Council. 

In August 2020, the district reopened schools after navigating distance and online learning because of the coronavirus pandemic. Once reopened, in-person attendance rose to at least 70 percent, Allen said. 

To help meet the needs of students and their families during the pandemic, the school board previously moved to provide free meals to students within the district as well as free rapid COVID-19 testing to students, parents, and employees.

Throughout the pandemic, the district hosted in-person events such as a prom, high school band and theater competitions, and sporting events, and in-person graduations both last year and this year. All of this was only possible because of the dedication of district employees, Allen said.  

“For as difficult as the pandemic has been, we’ve actually learned quite a bit from it, and what we’ve learned, we intend to implement in a way that makes us better moving forward,” Allen continued. “I don’t want to go back to where we were. I want to move forward into being better.”