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Emergency policy suspension allows Waterloo Schools staff continue being paid during COVID-19 shutdown

Emergency policy suspension allows Waterloo Schools staff continue being paid during COVID-19 shutdown

From the Coronavirus update Northeast Iowa series
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Kingsley Botchway II

Botchway

WATERLOO — Waterloo Community Schools’ employees will continue to be paid while classes are not in session during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Education Monday approved emergency suspension of policies that may conflict with the guidance of state and federal agencies in response to the pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus.

Kingsley Botchway, chief officer for human resources and equity, said the resolution would be in effect until Gov. Kim Reynolds recommends schools are no longer closed, which is April 13 currently. Because she waived instructional time requirements until that date, staff and students won’t have more time added to the end of the school year related to the next three weeks.

Employees will receive their “regular compensation” during the shutdown even if they’re not working full-time hours, according to the resolution.

Waterloo provides electronic access for council meetings

The board’s approval also limited the number of people who can physically attend a board meeting. The resolution allows the district to limit public participation to written comments. People are being encouraged to listen to the meetings on video conference or through a Facebook live stream.

Both digital options were in play during Monday’s meeting. Only board president Shanlee McNally was physically present in the meeting with Botchway and Superintendent Jane Lindaman while other board members joined by video conference. Tara Thomas, director of school and community relations, live streamed the meeting.

During comments at the end of the meeting, Lindaman answered some questions coming up from viewers during the live stream.

She noted no decisions regarding requirements for the senior class will be made “until we know when we’re coming back. We’re obviously preparing for multiple scenarios on that.” This district is also holding off on any commencement ceremony decisions.

“At this point, we have done nothing with graduation,” said Lindaman.

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Staff Writer

After 18-plus years reporting on local education, I’ve graduated to covering the city of Cedar Falls. Family and church commitments keep me busy outside of work along with lots of biking, rowing and skiing – pretty good for a guy with fake hips.

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