The Caldwell County School District Board discussed a resolution regarding emergency leave for COVID-19 issues at its meeting on Tuesday.
“The federal emergency leave option for staff dealing with COVID issues expired Dec. 31, leaving no option to provide leave for COVID-related issues” said Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright. “A resolution is requested granting the superintendent the ability to approve emergency leave, preventing the staff from having to use sick or personal days due to issues such as quarantines and isolations.
“This would also prevent staff from having to be docked pay in the event that they did not have enough sick days to cover a COVID isolation or quarantine.”
The resolution is based on a model proposed by the Kentucky School Boards Association, also using ideas presented by the Livingston County and McCracken County school districts.
Board Chair Tim Kennaday — who was re-elected to that position on Tuesday — asked Cartwright if the approval for leave is automatic.
“If somebody takes off, let’s say, and goes to Florida,” Kennaday said. “While they’re down in Florida, they contract (COVID-19). You would not have to approve (leave)?”
Cartwright said that was correct, that he would not have to approve leave in each case.
Cartwright added that the standard leave time would be 10 days or two weeks, adding that there is flexibility provided, depending on the situation.
The board approved the resolution by a 5-0 vote.
Cartwright thanked the board for its vote on behalf of all district staff.
“I think, for a lot of people, this is a stressful situation as they’re thinking about the limited number of sick days that they have, possible family planning that they may have in the near future,” he said. “This can provide some much-needed stress relief for some folks that are working really hard.”
Caldwell County School District employees were given Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Caldwell County Health Department on Thursday.
• The board approved entering a three-year contract with Tyler Technology for bus routing software.
“I‘ve been working with (CCSD Director of Transportation) Mr. (Bruce) McAlister,” Cartwright said. “He’s been reaching out with folks at the state as well as districts around us that are using bus routing software programs to see what their experiences are with it.
“He and I both came to the conclusion that we fell like it is something that would be beneficial for us to make an investment in, mainly due to some pretty severe transportation issues that we have with a limited number of bus drivers.”
The program would help the district determine if the current bus routes are the most efficient it could have. It would also create a communications opportunity to better inform families about transportation issues that arise.
Tyler Technology is also the company that the school district uses for its Munis financial progams.
“We have spoken with a neighboring district using this,” Cartwright said. “He speaks very highly of this software. We actually spoke with another district in western Kentucky today (Tuesday) who isn’t using it, but said that everything they have heard is that this is the premier software to get as far as what it can do for a reasonable price.”
The cost of the program is $7,100 for the first year and $3,234 for each of the subsequent years, totaling $13,568 for the three-year contract.
The board approved the three-year contract for the software.
• The school district got a clean audit report that was presented by Lindsey Thomas of Duguid, Gentry and Associates of Hopkinsville.
• Kim Cook was elected as the vice chair of the board.