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Belton ISD Board of Trustees Celebrates Students and Staff and Approves Policy

During the May 13 Special Meeting, the Board of Trustees canvassed the results from the May 4 election. At their regular meeting, Erin Bass was sworn in for Place 2, having run unopposed. Chris Flor was also sworn in for Place 4 following his win.

As the meeting began, over 375 students and staff members received recognition from the Board of Trustees for their exceptional achievements throughout the district, including local, state, and national honors.

“This was incredible. Something special is happening in Belton ISD,” Chris Flor remarked.

Later during the regular meeting, the Board voted to approve updates to EFB(LOCAL) and EFB(EXHIBIT), the policy that addresses library materials. The policy has been under revision since the beginning of the 2023-24 school year due to the impact of House Bill (HB) 900, also known as the Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources (READER) Act, which was passed in 2023 by the Texas Legislature. Although HB 900 faces an injunction, the Texas School Library Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the State Board of Education used it to guide library standards for districts. These standards informed revisions to BISD’s policy.

BISD has been refining its practices, including its collection development guidelines, in alignment with standards written by TSLAC. The policy allows an employee, a parent or guardian of a student, or a resident of the district to request reconsideration of library materials.

“I’m a parent. The values of our community should be represented in our library collections,” Trustee Rucker Preston stated.

Trustee Janet Leigh echoed similar thoughts, “We are parents and even grandparents. It has been our desire from the get-go that our students have access to library materials but are also protected from harmful content.”

The updates to the policy require that current library collections be regularly updated based on age, relevance, and diversity and that materials be repaired, replaced, and removed as needed.

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Gabi Niño noted that parents, guardians, and community members have access to all Belton ISD campus library collections online via the district website ( and that parents may restrict their own child's access to materials at any time.

“Our commitment to transparency to our entire community is demonstrated by the fact that anyone can access our online library catalog,” Flor added.

Later in the meeting, Mike Morgan, recently named deputy superintendent for BISD, gave an update on the 2022 Bond projects. The district’s newest elementary school, Hubbard Branch Elementary, is scheduled to open in August. Morgan said Hubbard Branch Elementary is now substantially complete and furniture has been delivered.

Other projects in active construction include the Belton High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) addition and its band hall/fine arts areas; renovations and interior finishes at BHS; existing CTE upgrades at BHS; Lake Belton Middle School fine arts expansion; the addition at Southwest Elementary; the Delta Program facility construction; and the BISD Ag Barn expansion. Key safety projects have been completed, specifically playground fall protection and equipment, exterior lighting upgrades, and the installation of shatter-resistant film.

May 13, 2024