R-2 approves policy suspension resolution

Includes withholding excess time payout until 2021

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 6/24/20

BELLE — The Maries County R-2 Board of Education on May 28 approved a Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) “resolution on suspending policy to align with COVID-19 emergency …

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R-2 approves policy suspension resolution

Includes withholding excess time payout until 2021

Posted

BELLE — The Maries County R-2 Board of Education on May 28 approved a Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) “resolution on suspending policy to align with COVID-19 emergency legislation and waivers.”

“MSBA is asking us to suspend all policies that don’t align with the COVID-19 policy,” Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham told the board. “This allows us to withhold money from people who have excess vacation during the school year.”

The policy allows districts to rollover hours of vacation or personal time to the following school year and only pay out anything over 500 accumulated hours.

“We are not paying it out,” Basham told the board. “In June they get anything over 500 hours that they have accumulated. We are not paying you out because you have not had to take sick leave. We are going to wait until next year and see what you have left.”

Director Tom Kinsey asked for clarification.

“We are not taking it away, it will roll over? And that is part of the resolution,” Kinsey asked.

Basham said that is correct and the emergency resolution affects about eight people in the district.

“We don’t know what is going to happen and half-a-million is already being withheld next year,” Kinsey said.

According to the resolution that was passed with a 7-0 vote, the following changes will be in place:

The district will implement the new federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) as enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for all eligible employees.

All board policies and administrative procedures are hereby suspended to the extent that any policy or procedure of this school district conflicts with new state and federal laws enacted relating to the COVID-19 pandemic or the waiver, suspension or amendment of an existing law or regulation made by the federal government, the Missouri governor or state agencies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board expects the superintendent to keep the board informed of changes made pursuant to this resolution.

The board reserves its authority over decisions relating to the school year calendar.

This resolution will continue until the state of emergency in Missouri ends, as declared by the governor, or the board revokes the resolution in whole or in part.

A second suggested board policy change was made to move the monthly board meetings from every fourth Thursday of the month to every fourth Tuesday. No action was taken as this was the second reading.

Kinsey said he is for the change because there are so many sporting events on Thursday nights that he hopes Tuesday will be less of a conflict.

Anyone who is opposed to the change should contact the administration building.

The board also received and approved bids for the 2020-21 school year.

Three companies responded to the district’s request for propane bids: MFA at .94 cents “through June 30”; Three Rivers Propane at .82 cents, “through May 2021”; and Capital Energy at .919 cents “for the year.”

The board awarded the bid to Three Rivers Propane with a 7-0 vote.

They also accepted a bid for auditor. The board received two responses: Gerding, Korte and Chitwood for the following: $8,000 in 2020; $8,200 in 2021; and $8,400 in 2022.

The second bid from their current auditor Graves and Associate included $7,878 for 2020; $8,150 for 2021; and $8,550 for 2022.

The board awarded the bid to Graves and Associate with a 7-0 vote.

Following discussion at the April meeting about the prices and increases to the school breakfast and lunch menus and the board’s determination to find another provider for the 2021-22 school year, Basham contacted their meal-provider, Opaa!

“They have modified our extension for 2020-21,” Basham told the board. “They will not increase our cost for this year. They will hold the prices until we can see what the expenditures/revenues are at the end of this year since the CACFP snack program was added and our middle school became a CEP building for free lunch and breakfast.”

The board approved the cost decrease with a 7-0 vote.

They also approved the 2020-21 graduation date for May 19. Basham told the board when they approved the calendar, a graduation date was not included. Students’ expected last day in 2021 is set for May 16 without snow days.

The board approved the suggested graduation date with a 7-0 vote.

The following staff resignations from those who have already signed their 2020-21 school year contracts came to the board for approval”

David (Butch) Gehlert, assistant baseball coach for fall and spring; Tina Donehue, drama; Nicole Golden, assistant girls basketball coach and assistant high school volleyball coach.

The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on June 25 at the administration building.

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