The Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board approved a resolution at its March 17 meeting that guarantees district employees will be paid through the current shutdown period of March 16-27.
This item wasn’t originally on the agenda but district staff added it as part of a March 16 amendment. The item passed 4-1 with Board President Allyson Beckham dissenting, saying while she appreciates and respects the work staff put in the resolution, she still had concerns.
“I am just not personally comfortable with the language in the use of the resolution document to achieve the purpose and intent of defining the employee pay and I’m just not comfortable with the differential in pay that is outlined so I will be opposing the resolution as presented,” she said during the meeting.
Although the national and state emergency declarations have closed schools, the work of educating children continues, Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard said.
“We understand the hardship that school closures create for employees and their families, as well as our students’ families, and we want to stress that we are diligently working to best meet the needs of all,” Dr. Kriekard said in a prepared statement.
According to the resolution, the SUSD Administration will make determinations on which employees are required to work and which employees will be assigned to home.
Hourly classified employees who are deemed essential and must work during the closure will be paid time and a half for hours worked during this closure, according to a press release.
The Governing Board and district administration will revisit this matter as the end of the closure period approaches.
District administration will make recommendations to the board about whether and how to extend the terms of the resolution, taking into consideration updates from federal and state authorities and budgetary constraints.
The closure of schools has not meant the closure of the district. Members of the SUSD cabinet, all administrators and the Incident Command Team, along with essential staff, worked through Spring Break and this week to ensure actions needed to enable remote student learning happen.
SUSD will move to an online instructional model starting Monday, March 23. As for SUSD employees, Dr. Kriekard had one message.
“We appreciate you and thank you for all that you do for our students, for the District and for our entire community,” he said.
As the SUSD response to the COVID-19 situation evolves, updates are posted on the district’s website at www.susd.org/COVID19.