Local school districts in Bell County are shouting their appreciation for their trustees this month, as January marks School Board Recognition Month by the Texas Association of School Boards.

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The Belton Independent School District saved taxpayers more than $4 million after refinancing a series of existing bonds in December — a move that trustees OK’d this past fall in the hope of securing a lower interest rate.

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The Temple ISD school board voted 6-0 to approve the realigning of its seven single-trustee districts on Tuesday — a process that the district’s legal counsel began collaborating on after 2020 U.S. Census data was released last year.

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Temple ISD, a district whose residential population has grown unevenly since the 2010 U.S. Census, could finalize the realigning of its single-trustee boundaries on Tuesday.

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A federal lawsuit filed in Illinois over the weekend accuses 16 private universities — including Rice University in Houston — of using a shared formula to calculate the financial needs of student applicants in a way that unfairly limits aid to students who need it.

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Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened its recommended quarantine period for individuals infected with COVID-19 to five days, Temple ISD will return to a required 10-day quarantine period next week.

To fill remaining staff positions for the spring semester, the Belton Independent School District will hold a job fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at the Pittenger Fine Arts Center.

Several school systems in Bell County, including the Belton, Salado, Killeen and Academy independent school districts will welcome students back to campus on Wednesday.

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Mask requirements are returning in some school districts that had dropped them. Some are planning to vastly ramp up virus testing among students and staff. And a small number of school systems are switching to remote learning — for just a short while, educators hope.

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More than four dozen Killeen Independent School District teachers resigned or retired just prior to Christmas break, but district officials are hopeful upcoming job fairs will help bridge the gap.

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Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow is continuing to honor its namesake, Capt. Henry Waskow, with the soon-to-be stand-alone campus opting for red and purple as its official colors.