Berryville board extends COVID-19 leave
The Berryville School District board last week voted to extend its COVID-19 Emergency Leave Resolution and recognized a group of board members for receiving advanced training.
According to superintendent Owen Powell, the extension was necessary because initial funding for the emergency leave expired at the end of the year.
“The state and federal government gave school districts money to give to teachers, to faculty for COVID leave and that expired on Dec. 31,” Powell said. “Our board approved the resolution to go ahead and continue giving those COVID days through the end of the school year, so it would actually expire May 31, or the end of the school year.”
The resolution is intended to provide relief to staff members who have either contracted the virus, who must be quarantined as a close contact or must take leave to care for a dependent.
“I felt like that was really important for our staff,” Powell said.
The board also gave special recognition to three of its members — LeeAnn Ashford, Kristi Howerton and board president Chad Hipps — for achieving master board member status.
“Once a board member has had 50 hours of school board development training, they’re considered a master board member,” Powell said.
In other business, the board voted to accept the monthly financial reports and to approve two fundraiser requests, one from Christy Skelton to allow the FFA to participate in the Carroll County Roughstock Benefit Rodeo and sell Blue & Gold Products, and the other from the Berryville Kiwanis Club to hold its Senior Trivia Night fundraiser.
After hearing a Buildings/Grounds/Facilities Report, the board accepted a bid from Kirk’s Excavation of Green Forest for the demolition of the old Technology Building.
In new business, the board received an update from David Ozment with The Barnabas Team on the district’s planned Solar Project.
“We’re still in contract negotiations,” Powell said, “and we’re probably about a year out before we actually get to start using solar power.”
After meeting in executive session, the board voted unanimously to extend Powell’s contract an additional year with a 1.5 percent increase in pay.
In addition, the board accepted the resignation of high school cafeteria manager Shawna Heithold.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, at the district administration building.