April 13, 2020 Minutes

NORTH FAYETTE VALLEY COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

BOARD OF EDUCATION 

Minutes, Regular Meeting of the North Fayette Valley Community School District Board of Education, Monday, April 13, 2020 in the NFV High School Library, 600 N Pine St, West Union, IA  52175

 

NFV Board of Education:    Julie Ahrens, Stacy Cummings, Emily Koch, LaCreasha McNeese, Carolyn Roys, Eileen Schlawin & Marc Rue 

    

Others:            Superintendent: Duane Willhite, Business Manager: Sue Thoms; Public: Megan Molseed – media, and others by Zoom

 

President Cummings called the Regular Meeting of the NFV Board of Education to order at 6:00 p.m. and led the board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Roll Call of Board members: Ahrens, Cummings, Koch, McNeese, Schlawin, Rue & Roys. 

 

The Board approved the agenda with the addition of City of West Union easement:   Ahrens/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0 

 

Motion to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

  • Minutes of the March 9, 2020 regular meeting
  • Minutes of the March 18, 2020 special meeting
  • Review/approve invoices
  • Approve Financial Reports
  • Approve Resignations: 
  • Approve New Hires: Ashley Becker – VE teacher, Jasmine Stocker – K-8 Special Ed, Kennedy Balk – HS Special Ed, John Bendt – HS vocal music
  • Approve Volunteer Coach:  
  • Receive and approve gifts:

Ahrens/McNeese  Motion carried 7-0

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Cassie Moss and Taylor Ney discussed their HS classes online.  Prom is currently scheduled for May 16th. A virtual awards night and graduation has been talked about.  

 

Principals and Curriculum Director reports were in board packets for review and discussion.  

Voluntary educational enrichment has been in place for a week.  

 

Superintendent’s report included an update on closure of buildings as of April 8 thru April 27.  The Governor has promised to give us a 2 week notice for reopening. Custodial building checks will be done, limited central office work for payroll and bill paying functions, technology department and cooks will continue to work.    

 

OLD BUSINESS

Public Hearing for the FY20 Budget Amendment:  President Cummings opened the Public Hearing at 6:16 pm.  Supt Willhite reviewed the proposed amendment due to increased capital projects spending.  No public comments were received and the public hearing was closed at 6:18 pm. Motion to approve the FY20 Budget Amendment: Roys/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0

 

Public Hearing for the FY21 Budget:  President Cummings opened the Public Hearing at 6:18 pm.  Supt Willhite reviewed the proposed budget for the FY21 school year.  No public comments were received and the public hearing was closed at 6:21 pm.  Motion to approve the FY21 Budget: Koch/Roys Motion carried 7-0

 

The Board approved the following budget guarantee for the FY21 school year:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the North Fayette Valley Community School District, will levy property tax for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the regular program budget adjustment as allowed under section 257.14, Code of Iowa.  Roys/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0 

 

NEW BUSINESS

Ahrens  moved that the Recommendation of the Superintendent be accepted and that the contract of Megan DeBack be terminated effective at the end of the contract year for the reasons that were set forth in the Superintendent’s Notice and Recommendation.  McNeese seconded. Roll Call vote: Ayes, Cummings, Roys, Ahrens, Schlawin, Koch, McNeese, & Rue, Nays: none. Motion carried 7-0 This program will be hired back at a 0.6 FTE position.

 

The Board received an update on planning for the Valley Day Care.  Principal Gearhart reported that a Fayette County Foundation grant was received and more grants are being applied for.  Bids have been received.

 

Supt Willhite reviewed the bids received on the Valley site roof repair.  The Board approved the low bid from Moss Roofing in the amount of $117,000.  Schlawin/Roys Motion carried 7-0

 

The Board approved the elementary Science curriculum materials proposal from Delta Education in the amount of $10,172.  McNeese/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0

 

The Board approved the AEA Purchasing Agreement for the FY21 school year.  Schlawin/Ahrens Motion carried 7-0

 

The Board approved the following resolution to waive the required days and hours as well as extending the pay for all staff.   Ahrens/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0



WHEREAS, Iowa Code Ch. 279.8 authorizes local school boards to govern their respective districts, including adopting policies for their own governance; and

 WHEREAS the Board may, by formal, action suspend or rescind board policy as deemed necessary, appropriate or in the best interests of the District; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national state of emergency and on March 15, 2020 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recommended closure of all public and private K-12 schools in Iowa until April 13, 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency under the authority granted through Iowa Constitut Iowa ion, Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(1), 135.140(6), and 135.144 and directed implementation of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Emergency Response Plan in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and

WHEREAS, most hourly non-exempt employees will be unable to report to work due to the District’s closure and certified contract employees may be asked to work at remote locations to help provide continuity in educational services; and  

WHEREAS, it fulfills a public purpose to continue to pay District hourly and classified non-exempt employees during this closure to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19, to promote morale and to help retain current employees following the closure; and

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020 the Iowa Legislature passed and the Governor signed SF 2408 granting waiver of the instructional time requirements in Iowa Code Ch. 279.10 for all public school districts closing before April 12, 2020  in order to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19; and granting Governor Reynolds the ability to waive instructional time requirements for any public school district which closes on or after April 12, 2020 to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recommended extended closure of all public and private K-12 schools in Iowa until April 30, 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, the Iowa Department of Education, which has the authority to establish and interpret graduation requirements, and to oversee other crucial aspects of public education is providing written guidance to Iowa school districts on issues related to COVID -19, including but not limited to student attendance, distance/online learning, high school credit, meal distribution, and other issues; and

WHEREAS, the Iowa Department of Education issued COVID-19 Guidance: Provision of Continuous Learning. This guidance allows school districts to provide either voluntary educational enrichment opportunities to students or required educational services. Voluntary educational enrichment opportunities include educational opportunities provided to students where participation by students is not required and will not be graded other than voluntary completion of concurrent enrollment courses and credit recovery. Required educational services include educational services provided to students who are required to participate. Student work may be graded and credit may be awarded. Equity must be provided for and AEA services resume, to the extent possible, for required educational services. Competencies attained through either voluntary or required educational services may be considered; if done on a voluntary basis they may only be considered after school returns to session.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the North Fayette Valley School Board hereby suspends provisions of its board policies and/or whole policies, as identified by the District Superintendent or designee, if such suspension is necessary to implement written guidance from state or federal agencies relating to containing COVID-19 for the duration identified in the Governor’s State of Public Health Emergency declaration of March 17, 2020, or as otherwise determined by the Board. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent will consult with and report to the Board as feasible and appropriate regarding the emergency closure and efforts to implement written guidance from health and government agencies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent is authorized to close any school facility without further action by the Board of Directors. Such closure shall continue during the emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic until such time as the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate health and government authorities, deems it in the best interests of the District and its students to open schools.  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent is authorized, based upon the needs of the District and guidance from health and government agencies, to direct staff assignments during District closures, including but not limited to essential employees who must report to work, employees who may be reassigned, and employees whose services are not needed. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that access to public school grounds and public school buildings of the District may be limited as directed by the Superintendent during District closures. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified, exempt employees will remain employed during the school closure and until the number of days expressed on the contract have been fulfilled, unless otherwise approved by the Board. Days that contracted employees do not report for duty either onsite if deemed an essential employee; or from a remote location for all other employees due to closure, do not constitute a fulfilled contract day except to the extent those days are forgiven by the District.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District has elected to provide voluntary educational enrichment opportunities to students in the district during this period of school closures.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the interest of public health and/or to comply with federal or state health department recommendations or guidance, the Board encourages the public to attend or listen to its open public meetings via telephone or video conference and the Board may also limit public comment to written comments. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the board reserves the right to adjust board meeting dates, times, and locations during the district-wide emergency closure in a manner consistent with the Open Meetings law, and notes that any or all board members may attend board meetings electronically as permitted by law.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that execution of this Resolution is conclusive evidence of the Board’s approval of this action and of the authority granted herein. The Board warrants that it has, and at the time of this action had, full power and lawful authority to adopt this instrument. This resolution will remain in full force and effect until it is rescinded or amended by subsequent action of the Board.

 

Supt Willhite has proposed that the Food Service staff get an additional $2.50 per hour hazard pay for actual hours worked to prepare meals and serve them to the public starting March 23rd.  He is also recommending $2.50 per hour worked for the secretaries as well starting March 16th. This hazard pay will remain in effect until the COVID-19 proclamation ends. Schlawin/Mcneese Motion carried 7-0.  

 

Supt Willhite also proposed an extra 5 days of vacation for custodians to be used by June 30, 2021.  Roys/Koch Motion carried 7-0

 

The Board received the NFVEA proposal.  They are asking for a salary increase based upon the State Supplemental Aid increase, discussion on maintaining the full salary schedule with steps and lanes, and discussion on reinstatement of allowable language into the Master Contract.  

 

Supt Willhite presented the NFV Board initial proposal.  This includes a 2 year settlement, discussion of limited language proposal to be added, and abolishment of the salary schedule as it currently exists. The Board and NFVEA will meet in exempt session starting April 28th to continue the negotiations process.

 

The City of West Union has requested a permanent  easement for a bore line across school property in downtown West Union.  The Board approved the easement. Roys/Ahrens Motion carried 7-0.    

 

Discussion was held on internet access and computers for students.  

 

Motion to adjourn at 7:02  p.m. McNeese/Schlawin Motion carried 7-0




______________________________        _____________________________

Stacy Cummings, President                                      Sue Thoms, Business Manager