MIDLOTHIAN

All Midlothian ISD staff members will have simple, affordable access to healthcare by next year.

The Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution during their meeting on Monday that states the board plans to enter into a contract with the Methodist Health System, which will be signed by MISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter upon agreement from both parties.

The contract approves the creation of a Methodist healthcare clinic for Midlothian ISD employees and their dependents.

“This actually started over the summer in conversations between the Methodist group about what we could do for our employees that would be a reasonable cost to the district, a reasonable cost to the employees and provide what I think is a genuine benefit for all the people that work here,” said Jim Norris, assistant superintendent of finance.

The clinic is part of a partnership between the city and the Methodist Health System, which is developing a 190,000 square-foot, five-story medical center on 67 acres of land on U.S. Highway 287 near Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium. Norris said the MISD healthcare clinic would be developed concurrently with the hospital office right alongside the highway.

Norris said the clinic would be made available to any MISD staff members and their dependents. They do not need health insurance to use the clinic, but it would require a $10 payment to use the service. Norris said the clinic is going to be equipped and contracted for a three-year use.

“It’s going to be in place for the next few years,” Norris remarked. “I think it’s going to be one of the best things we’ve ever done here for our employees.”

Board president Matt Sanders said the board has worked to get a healthcare option like this for their employees for a long time now and expressed his gratitude to the Methodist Health System for working with the district on this clinic.

“We’ve talked about healthcare for our employees forever,” Sanders said. “Long before I got on. How we could get our own medical professional to help with some of the absenteeism and general wellness. It’s going to be wonderful.”

“I think back through the years of things we’re trying to do for our personnel,” Place 1 trustee Carl Smith said. "I think it’s a great idea. To me, this is one of the best opportunities I have seen probably ever for our staff.”

The board of trustees unanimously approved the resolutions. The clinic is scheduled to open in early 2019.

ELEMENTARY ATTENDANCE ZONES

The board also unanimously approved the elementary attendance zones first proposed during their Oct. 15 meeting. The proposal rezones the Autumn Run, Hunters Glen, Hawkins Run, Bluegrass, Cotton Creek Ranch and Old Town East neighborhoods into the new J.R. Irvin campus.

Ledbetter said that the district received 19 parent emails when the proposal was initially announced an additional six emails since the last board meeting. Since they elicited feedback, the board proposed to keep the Creek Bend and Mount Zion neighborhoods at Miller Elementary, while Apple Lane and Apple Court would remain at Mt. Peak.

“When we did have the committee meetings and we did listen, we made some adjustments to those boundaries,” Ledbetter said. “I think people very much appreciated that.”

For parents who are dissatisfied with the rezoning, Ledbetter reminded parents that demographics are studied every year. And if they change, so do the zonings.

“We are in such a growth point from 550 kids a year that we have to look at our boundaries each year,” Ledbetter said. “Boundaries will be looked at next year, they will be looked at the following year, and especially as we open the next elementary, they will definitely be evaluated. It’s something that’s continually on our mind in terms of the capacity of our buildings.”

Place 7 trustee Andrea Walton said growth is what is making these rezonings happen, and she pointed out that this growth isn’t centralized to one area.

“When we have 112 square miles, we’re growing at all four corners and still bulging in the middle and on the sides,” Walton remarked.

“Every single family’s story matters,” she reminded. "Each person that has a story I think has been listened to with sincerity and genuine concern, and I believe I speak for all of us when I say that we care about what that sounds like. It’s not just a number. It’s not just a rooftop. It’s a family with how many kids, what grade, and how it affects them with this elementary, with future growth, with future buildings, because each family matters.”

The new J.R. Irvin Elementary campus will open next August. The board also approved a one-time supplemental pay of $500 for all full-time employees and $250 for all part-time employees, which they will receive on Friday, Nov. 16.

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David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX

469-517-1456