Board approves emergency leave due to COVID-19

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The Longview Independent School District Board of Trustees approved extending the amount of time employees can use emergency paid sick leave for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, during their regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19th.

Board approves emergency leave due to COVID-19

Tue Jan 19, 2021

The Longview Independent School District Board of Trustees approved extending the amount of time employees can use emergency paid sick leave for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, during their regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19th.

Last year the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorized two temporary leave benefits, including expanded FMLA leave entitlement and up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Dr-James-HockenberryDr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District services explained that the administration is now authorized to continue offering employees emergency paid sick leave through June 30th, "thanks to the FFCRA, and is retroactive to Jan. 1st of the current year."

"This resolution includes, but is not limited to, determining compensation entitlements of any employee who uses district emergency paid sick leave, as well as the authority to determine the required documentation for eligibility," he said. "However, this resolution does not extend the Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act provisions of the FFCRA."

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

COVID vaccine for staff?

Dr-James-Wilcox-2020-MUGSHOTLongview ISD is developing a plan to offer free COVID-19 vaccines to district staff members, Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox announced Tuesday.

"These would be offered to Longview staff members who wish to take the vaccine, free of charge, and totally voluntary," he added.

Assistant Superintendent Mr. Dennis Williams said the district is partnering with Texas-based company Aurora Concepts, to bring a mobile unit to the administration building, at no cost to LISD taxpayers and no out-of-pocket expense to employees.

Click here to read the complete story on this new development and what it means for Longview ISD employees.
 

'SmartLab' for Ned

Board members also approved using Charter Grant Start-Up Funds to purchase a SmartLab for the Ned E. Williams campus.

At a cost of $189,859 the SmartLab engages learners in a hands-on, project-based learning approach in which STEAM disciplines are seamlessly integrated.

Melanie-Hamilton-headshotCampus principal Mrs. Melanie Hamilton explained that, in a SmartLab, learning is highly personalized and empowers students to shape their learning to meet their individual interests, abilities, and learning styles.

"The SmartLab will help our students develop the necessary skills to inquire, research, and take risks," she said. "Students will be equipped with 21st-century skills, such as problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking, and effective application of technology. This lab will prepare Ned's students for academic and career success."

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

$50k for JAG program

Trustees also approved a Memorandum of Agreement with Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) for the 2021-22 school year, thanks to a $50,000 grant from American Electric Power (AEP).

Janelle-DurayJAG Executive Vice President Ms. Janelle Duray said the primary goal of the program is to "increase high school graduation rates and employment successes among America's youth who face significant challenges that may prevent them from graduating high school, securing employment and/or enrolling in post-secondary education."

According to the terms of the agreement, the district will provide the additional resources necessary to hit all the various benchmarks of the program, including trained staff and facilities suitable for the program. JAG will also provide necessary training and other materials in order to help ensure the success of the program.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.
 

New incentive pay proposal

While-waiting-for-the-students-to-return-from-the-field-trip-the-mid-adult-female-school-bus-driver-Board members also discussed performance incentive pay for the district's maintenance and transportation departments.

Dr. Hockenberry presented a preliminary draft of how the program could work, with built-in bonuses for staff who meet performance goals.

These performance goals could include adherence to safety protocols, good attendance, on-time deliveries, loss-prevention of materials and equipment, as well as retention.

"This Performance and Incentive Matrix is a meaningful way for our maintenance, transportation, and garden workers to earn additional compensation, while providing a district expectation that high-performing employees are recognized for their successful contribution to the district's operation," said Dr. Hockenberry.

More details about this proposal remain to be developed, Dr. Hockenberry added, including specific criteria and markers for how the different aspects of various performance goals would be calculated.
 

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also: approved an Interlocal Agreement with Region VI to participate in a Purchasing Cooperative that will allow the district to purchase a variety of goods and services through its previously competitively-procured proposals; approved a donation of $20,000 from the Lobo Football Booster Club for new equipment, and a donation of $360 from local CPA Mrs. Carmela Davis for Judson girls athletics; approved a resolution stating review of Investment Policy and Investment Strategies for the district; approved Investment Reports for the Fourth Quarter of 2019-20 and the First Quarter of 2020-21; approved Time Use Tracker for the Dec. 14th Regular Meeting; approved Minutes from the Dec. 14th Regular Meeting; and approved Budget Amendment No. 6.
 

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district.

The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 8th, 2021.

Due to public health protocols currently in place, anyone wishing to attend the meeting in person must abide by COVID-19 guidelines, as only limited seating capacity is available. The meeting will be streamed online at LISD.org/BoardroomLive.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here