Port Arthur ISD keeping school spirit alive during trying times

Published 12:06 am Saturday, March 28, 2020

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The Port Arthur Independent School District is fighting to keep the Mighty Titan spirit alive while students remained cooped up at home.

Superintendent Mark Porterie said it’s important to maintain communication between the school district and its students.

“We want to make sure that our kids are engaged and know we have not forgotten about them,” he said. “We are finding ways to communicate with them and make sure we are meeting their needs.

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“In the same way parents try to keep communication between them and their children, we are wanting to do the same.”

High school, middle school and elementary campuses across PAISD are finding ways to fight boredom and cabin fever.

Travis Elementary School created a TikTok account Thursday to keep the public, and themselves, entertained.

Videos include teachers doing popular viral dances, showing proper hand sanitizing practices while dancing the Macarena and telling jokes.

On March 23 students on all levels started a two-week virtual Spirit Week celebration by dressing in their favorite jerseys, wearing camo, sporting pajama day, hat day and Titan day with the #stayhometexas and #PAISDfamily hashtags.

District officials are also planning a virtual online party through Facebook Live on April 3.

Porterie said the event will include a DJ, music and dances for parents and students to follow along to in the evening.

“It’s an oldies but goodies party,” he said.

Students are encouraged to dress up and dance the night away with friends and family.

Porterie also announced a boost to administration morale with a unanimous decision to continue paying all employees.

The decision came from Thursday night’s school board meeting.

“With everything going on, we don’t want our staff members worrying about income,” he said. “We want them to know that their checks will continue so they can continue to keep taking care of their families and themselves. This will allow them to continue focusing on the things they need to do.”

The plan includes paying teachers and off-site employees such as bus drivers, cross walk guards and maintenance.

Porterie extended a humbled “thank you” to school board members for voting on the decision.