Chesterton Tribune



Duneland School employees will be paid during closure

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The Duneland School Board approved a resolution to pay all of its employees during its closure aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The Board unanimously adopted a resolution that ensures all Duneland employees, including those who are paid hourly or by stipend, will continue to be paid for the duration of the closure at an emergency meeting Friday afternoon.

Duneland Superintendent Dr. Chip Pettit said he's thankful the board greenlit pay for all Duneland employees during a difficult time. "Everybody that was receiving a paycheck from Duneland Schools prior to the closure will continue to receive one," he said.

The Board also approved an emergency powers resolution to allow Pettit or his designee to conduct business on the Board's behalf during the closure. The resolution authorizes Pettit to continue essential business in consultation with Board leadership without calling a meeting for the duration of the emergency. Routine business such as personnel reports and claims will still be brought before the full board for review once the situation improves, and the Chesterton Tribune will be kept in the loop about any major moves, according to Pettit.

Board president Brandon Kroft said he's talked to attorneys in two other school districts that are passing similar resolutions, and “This is a resolution that's being addressed by school boards across the state.”

Kroft also took a moment to thank Duneland employees who are still working during the closure for stepping up and carrying on in difficult times. “The leadership is really shining right now, and I appreciate it,” he said. Other staff and board members agreed.

The Board met using Gov. Eric Holcomb’s directives on public meetings considering COVID-19 that allow board members to participate virtually while at least one member is present. The BoardDocs scoreboard, which allows online viewers to track votes and agenda items in real time on the Duneland Schools website was available, as it always is, for those who wanted to participate while practicing social distancing. The public was welcome to attend, though Duneland Schools said in advance that no more than 10 people would be admitted to the meeting in-person.

Present Friday were six people: Pettit, Kroft, Board Vice-president Ron Stone, Assistant Superintendent Robert McDermott, Duneland CFO Lynn Kwilasz, and this reporter. The rest of the board members, Corporation Secretary Melissa Jaeger, and DSC IT Director Kevin Wilson joined via conference call.


Posted 3/23/2020




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