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Board approves COVID relief days for teachers, talks issue with federal cutoff date

St. Clair Schools

Mike Howard, superintendent of St. Clair County Schools, left, and Scott Suttle, school board president, during a meeting of the board of education

ODENVILLE — The St. Clair County Board of Education approved a motion for teachers and staff to receive COVID-19 relief days during its regular  meeting Monday. These days will be used in place of sick days retroactive from July 6 to Sept. 30. 

The board agreed, however, the timeline was not sufficient as COVID is still seen to be an issue past the cutoff date. These dates were put in place by the federal government per the C.A.R.E.S. Act.

Board Member Mike Hobbs said he felt it necessary to do whatever possible to get the COVID relief days extended for teachers and staff

“I definitely want to vote yes on this because it's better than nothing, but I also don’t think COVID is going to be over by Sept. 30 and I think we need to figure out the right way to reach out to whoever we need to reach out to, to extend that date,” he said, later suggesting that the board could even go as far as to reach out to a state senator to try and fight to resolve the issue. 

“We’re encouraging them to come to work sick,” Hobbs said. “I would just like for us to be a leader in extending that date beyond Sept. 30.”

Superintendent Mike Howard said he agreed, however, that the only way to change it would be if the federal government would change the C.A.R.E.S. act to allow COVID relief days to be used past that date.

“We’re still fighting for it on our end because (COVID) is not going away,” Howard said. 

The board unanimously agreed to pass the resolution with the intention of extending the days if allotted by the government at a later date.

In other matters, the board:

—Approved out-of-state travel for Moody Elementary EdSTREAM for selected faculty and students to visit the Atlanta Zoo and for Moody High School selected faculty and students with the Beta Club and student council to Orlando, Fla., for Walt Disney’s World Youth Leadership program contingent upon any changes in COVID-19 policies;

—Tabled a recommendation from Howard for a supplement for the federal program’s administrative assistant/bookkeeper and coordinator to be provided compensation for recent overtime and additional workload to be paid with ESSER funds;

—Approved a bid for a new metal roof at Moody High School from Alabama Roofing and Sheet Metal Co. at $659,000;

—Approved a bid for partial roofing at Ruben Yancy Alternative School and St. Clair Board of Education Office from Alabama Roofing and Sheet Metal Company at $25,000;

—Approved an independent contractor agreement with T.E.A.M. Rehabilitation; 

—Approved an agreement with ExploreLearning for a online subscription to reflexmath.com;

—Approved an agreement with CiNTAS to provide water break units along with service and maintenance for a 36-month period to be paid for with ESSER funds;

—Approved a contract for purchase of services with Glenwood Inc;

—And, approved facility requests for IKF Karate Albertville to use Moody Elementary on Tuesday and Friday afternoons for karate classes and for the St. Clair Athletics Boosters Club to use St. Clair County High School parking lot for a motorcycle/jeep ride fundraiser event Oct. 16.

Assistant Editor Josie Howell: 205-884-3400