The Park Rapids School Board extended the deadline Tuesday for employees to apply for leave under the U.S. Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act.

The FFCRA required employers to provide up to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave and up to 12 weeks of partially-paid, expanded family and medical leave through Dec. 31, 2020. However, the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act offered the option for covered employers to extend the deadline for eligible employees to take unused hours or days of leave through March 31, according to the resolution read by school board chair Sherry Safratowich.

Board member Stephanie Carlson moved to approve the resolution and extend the deadline to March 31. The motion passed by a unanimous roll-call vote.

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Heard a letter from the Minnesota School Boards Association recognizing Dennis Dodge for 30 years of service as a school board member.

  • Heard that decal lettering saying “Panther Pride: Living the Dream” has been placed in the Century Middle School office in honor of the late John Schumacher.

  • Approved the resignations of Mason Donohue as custodian, Matt Backmann as middle school gymnastics coach and Jamie Nordick as a middle school developmental and cognitive disabilities teacher.

  • Hired Amy Moors as a kindergarten and first-grade distance learning teacher and Backmann as assistant varsity gymnastics coach.

  • Approved the following teacher lane changes: Brianna Anderson, BA30/7 to MA/7; Todd Fritze, MA30/12 to MA45/12; Shane Graham, MA/12 to MA20/12; Molly Kaiser, MA20/7 to MA30/7; Kayla Kuhn, MA/5 to MA10/5; Savannah Lunak, BA10/3 to BA20/3; Jaime Morse, MA30/8 to MA45/8; Rebecca Penning, MA20/9 to MA30/9; Patrick Richard, BA/5 to BA20/5; Christine Sauer, BA30/8 to MA/8; Vicki Schroeder, MA/12 to MA10/12; and John Brumback, BA20/3 to BA30/3.

  • Approved the second-quarter Student Activities Account report. According to Fritze, income totaled $6,385, while expenses totaled $3,103.

  • Received an enrollment report showing that the schools’ K-12 enrollment declined by 22 students, from 1,562 to 1,540, from Dec. 17 to Jan. 13, although three additional early childhood students were enrolled during that period. Safratowich echoed Fritze’s concerns about enrollment, adding, “We need to keep our kids in school and garner up a few more, here and there.”

  • Acknowledged donations totaling $1,254 to the John Schumacher Scholarship fund, including $500 from Mary Schumacher, and a $3,000 donation from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to the Park Rapids Memorial Scholarship Fund.

  • Directed school administrators to recommend adjustments to curriculum, programs and staffing for the 2021-22 school year – an annual procedure.

  • Had a closed session for the annual performance review of Superintendent Lance Bagstad and the school board’s self-evaluation.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 at the Frank White Education Center.

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