By Tony Farkas
SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers on Thursday gave its blessing for the district to begin the process of creating an early learning/daycare center on a Shepherd ISD campus.
At its regular meeting, the board discussed creating a center in five unused classrooms at the Primary School. SPS Principal Alisa Lott said the facility will not just be a daycare center, but will focus on development while providing activities both inside and outdoors.
The center should house about 20 infants and 28 toddlers, mostly coming from the teachers in the district.
Assistant Superintendent DeAnna Clavell said the district will need about $100,000 to $150,000 to prepare the area, which will include enhancing security, constructing an awning and sidewalks, installing a play area and acquiring the proper state licenses.
Clavell also said that Workforce Solutions will partner with the center and provide funds for salaries and some training, and there are other grants available for training and building needs.
The center would employ six infant care and four toddler care specialists, as well as a director, all of which will need to be licensed.
The center would charge a tuition, and Clavell said after a few years they should realize $269,000 in revenue; however, the center most probably would operate at a loss, but the center should be viewed as an investment in the district’s staff and students.
However, she said that only district staff would be eligible to use the facility, and it would not be open to the general public.
Clavell said that if the building is ready and passes any necessary inspections for licensing, it’s possible to have a soft opening by July 10.
In other business, the board:
•discussed a concern from a Little Dribbler coach about padding on the walls behind the goals in the Middle School gym, as he injured both his wrists running into a wall during a game;
•discussed the collection of delinquent tax payments for the 2021-22 year, which amount to around $248,000 of $587,000 in delinquencies;
•discussed setting workshop to set board operating procedures; and
•approved the purchase of replacement Chromebooks.