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Trustees Approve Extension of FFCRA, Request Priority Vaccination Status for Educators
Denton ISD Trustees approve an extension of Family First Coronavirus Act
During their December 15 meeting, the Denton ISD Board of School Trustees approved an extension of the Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) for all employees.
The extension gives approval and authorization for the Superintendent to add up to eighty (80) hours, or ten additional local leave (sick) days, to Board policy DEC (Local) for employees for COVID quarantine and isolation for the spring 2021 semester. This extension provides employees with leave time similar to that of the expiring FFCRA Trustees approved last July.
“As we continue to navigate pandemic, it’s important for staff to know that we are there for them, “ said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “We do not want staff members concerned about pulling from their accumulated sick leave bank should the need to isolate or quarantine arise. By extending this act, it alleviates those concerns allowing them to focus on taking care of themselves and preparing for their safe and healthy return to the classroom when healthy and recovered.”
The approval protects employees during the pandemic by limiting the number of sick individuals reporting to work which will hopefully diminish the spread of COVID-19 and the worry of employees regarding their excessive absenteeism.
The criteria for qualification follows the guidelines that exist under the FFCRA and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
“We as a board appreciate all that our teachers are doing in a very difficult school year,” said Barbara Burns, Board President. “The work they’re doing is exhausting and we know and recognize that and we applaud them for their resolve.”
Board Resolution calls for state to make vaccines available to educators sooner
At aforementioned meeting, the Denton ISD Board of Trustees also unanimously passed a resolution calling for Governor Greg Abbott to place priority status on designating COVID-19 vaccinations for “Non-Healthcare Frontline Workers” that would include Texas public educators.
The resolution states, “having a substantial public interest in protecting the health and safety of its students, staff, and community, therefore, desires to ensure that the School District and community be prepared to the fullest extent possible in light of COVID-19.”
The action references the Governor of Texas, the Texas Commissioner of Education, and the Texas Education Agency directives to currently make available live instruction to those students who request it and to continue to aggressively phase in live instruction for all students.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the work that our medical professionals are providing during this pandemic, there’s no doubt they need the vaccine first,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent. “In communities across this state, public schools are vital. Keeping our staff and students healthy and virus-free continues to be a critical driver in everything we do moving forward and we are asking our state leaders to help us protect them.”