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.
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.
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.
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.