From the November 16, 2021 Board of Education meeting School-District Updates:
Staff COVID Response Stipend: The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grants (ESSERs I, II and III) funds have been granted to address the impact of COVID-19 on schools. In total, these grants will fund $6,198,028 of costs associated with the pandemic, supporting students, and stabilizing staffing over four fiscal years (FY21, 22, FY 23, and FY24). The ESSER funds have been and are being directed toward purposes such as:
● Increased supervisory staffing to support social distancing, bus attendance, lunch
and recess protocols,
● Increased paraprofessional staff to provide academic intervention services to K-5 students,
● Established district-led out of school time programming to support the social-emotional needs of students impacted by the pandemic
● Expanded summer programming to address learning loss
● Purchase of supplies, materials, and technology devices
● Purchase of PPE, cleaning supplies, additional furniture to accommodate single
person usage, and payment for storage facilities to remove excess furniture
● Transportation services for in-person appointments during remote learning
● Capital expenditures related to indoor air quality assessment, HVAC testing/balancing and capital upgrades to HVAC equipment
Additionally, the administration is recommending that a portion of ESSER III funds be allocated to a one-time non-compounding COVID response stipend payment of $1,000 to each employee as part of an effort to stabilize staffing. Similarly, earlier this fall, the State of Illinois provided a one-time $1000 stipend to non-public school childcare workers throughout the state that was designed to stem high turnover, ease the staffing crunch, and stabilize the field. The COVID Response Stipend allows the Board to recognize and reward our staff for consistently going above and beyond over the past two years, and recognizes the impact of ongoing staffing shortages on the entire system.
A resolution is included in the consent agenda, and if approved by the Board, the one-time grant funded payment will be deposited in staff accounts on November 23rd just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
There are seven staff members who are a part of the retirement incentive program and are ineligible for the COVID stipend. The administration is recommending that each of the staff members in the retirement program be granted 2 personal days for use in any school year between now and the date of retirement, in lieu of the stipend.