(BEDFORD) – The North Lawrence Community Schools Board met Thursday night with school Attorney Greg Pittman to discuss how the school board will be operating during the Coronavirus health emergency.
In keeping with the recommendation of the Public Access Counselor, the Open Door Law, and Governor Holcomb’s Emergency Orders, only one board member has to be present during the meeting and the remaining can view the meeting by electronic means. The rules for a quorum are suspended, and the amount in attendance is limited to 50 people, with the press being allowed access to the meeting. Members of the public who have questions can ask them prior to the board meeting by emailing them to Communications Director Andrew Clammpit.
In other business:
- The North Lawrence School Board approved the bid from HFI to replace the air handling system at Oolitic Middle School. The project will cost $353,689.
- Transfer forms for the upcoming school year have been approved. The school corporation wants transfer requests to start as quickly as possible.
- The Kindergarten Early Entrance Appeals Policy was approved. Any parent whose child was born between August 2nd through August 30th can appeal to have their child attend school if they feel their child is ready.
- Updated the public on the coronavirus, as well as orders by Governor Holcomb to close schools until May 1, 2020. The school board passed a resolution for Superintendent Mungle to act on behalf of the school corporation during the emergency. The resolution follows the guidelines given to school corporations across the state. The resolutions cover pay, benefit, and leave policies. It also covers buses in regards to the processes of hiring, contracts, reassigning, altering schedules, advertising, receiving, negotiating and awarding routes on behalf of the school corporation. This resolution gives Dr. Mungle the authority to act prior to a board meeting, with the board being updated as soon as possible.
The persons coming before the board included Tim Morrow, of Springville, He questioned the language in teacher contracts, asked about teachers without any work rules, and asked who has the power to negotiate those contracts on behalf of the teachers.
Kaya Hoffman, of Needmore, questioned the board on how they would operate under the coronavirus emergency. She also asked why the meeting could not be streamed to the public.
Hoffman also asked about the transfer of Bedford Middle School Counselor Joanna Cobb from Bedford Middle School to be an Oolitic math teacher.
Hoffman then shared concerns over the students who are affected by the consolidation and the school corporation to consider rescinding their vote on the consolidation during the coronavirus emergency.
Duane Brown, an employee of the corporation, asked questions in regards to employment concerns during the coronavirus emergency. Dr. Mungle advised the board that staff will continue to be paid up to April 15th.
According to Dr. Mungle, after April 15th officials will determine what adjustments will have to be made. This will also depend on the amount of revenue that comes into the corporation which includes state reimbursement, motor vehicle taxes, and sales taxes.
Officials are looking at prom and graduation dates. Officials will try to have these events but it will depend on the guidance from local and state health officials.