Sample Board Resolution: Pandemic Response and Emergency Suspension of Policy—
The sample resolution provides boards the method to suspend certain policies which may conflict with guidance being issued by state or federal agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It ensures the superintendent has authority to act to comply with public health directives. The sample resolution also includes language in red authorizing continued payment of wages to hourly employees to a date certain (such as four weeks). IASB recommends boards consider this action to ensure stability for employees, morale, and employee retention. Alternative language is also provided for placing hourly employees on furloughs, if deemed necessary.
Download the sample board resolution from March 19, 2020.
Download the sample board resolution from April 3, 2020, which includes updated language to reflect the latest extension of school closures, continuous learning guidance, and virtual learning.
FAQ on COVID-19 Related Issues: Employment Law, Virtual Learning and School Finance—
Get the answers to frequently asked questions about how school closures impact employment law, employee pay, collective bargaining, virtual learning and school finance.
Employment Law and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions—
This document contains general advice about employment laws and rights for employers to consider during the course of this global pandemic. Please note that this document does not constitute legal advice. It may be changed and updated as new information is released from various governmental agencies.
This PDF is the product of collaboration with member attorneys of the Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys group, who donated their time to this effort. Special thanks to Holland, Michael, Raiber and Sittig PLC; Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.; and Lynch Dallas, P.C. Updated on March 16, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Employee Leave Implications of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
—On March 18, 2020, the United States Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, this law introduced temporary emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family medical leave. This document provides a summary of the new employee provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Published March 27, 2020 at 11:15 a.m.
Conversations with IASB: Collective Bargaining During a Pandemic—
Watch this 10 minute video featuring ISEA Attorney Jay Hammond to learn about effective negotiations during the global health crisis.
How School Boards and Administration May Communicate Electronically
—School boards and administration are encouraged to use electronic communication methods when it is an efficient and appropriate means of communication, keeping in mind they must comply with the requirements of the Iowa Open Meetings Law. Read this document to learn about communicating via phone call/video chat, text messaging, and email. Updated March 20, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Q. What steps must boards take to hold their meetings electronically?
Q: Can a school board continue to hold regular open meetings and protect the community from the spread of coronavirus?
A. Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation on March 20, 2020 easing the restrictions of Iowa Code Chapter 21.8 during the course of the coronavirus public health emergency. Boards must post a notice on their agenda that the meeting will take place electronically and include a link or other information allowing the public to listen in to the meeting through electronic means. The requirement that boards have a physical meeting location where the public can congregate to listen to the meeting has been temporarily suspended. During this time period meetings me be hosted entirely through electronic means. Proper advance notice of the meeting in the form of an agenda is still required.
A: The Iowa Public Information Board sent a news release on March 11 detailing how to hold an electronic meeting when there are valid concerns that an in-person meeting is 'impossible or impractical'. Read the guidance from the Iowa Public Information Board
and contact your legal counsel to discuss how and when to hold an electronic meeting.
Q. Our district has to certify the annual budget by April 15. How do we hold a public hearing before that time?
A. The Governor’s proclamation on March 20, 2020 suspended the requirement that public hearings be held in person. You can provide for an electronic public hearing by creating an electronic meeting as you normally would, and give the public an opportunity to call in to provide comment. You must provide notice of the date/time of the meeting and the dial in number(s) associated with the meeting in your normal hearing notice.
COVID-19 - Maintaining a Productive Board/Superintendent Relationship—
Maintaining a strong board/superintendent relationship is critical during a pandemic. In these unusual circumstances, communication is critical. It is important for the board and superintendent team to strive for clarity on the roles of the board and the superintendent. This document contains key considerations for maintaining a productive board/superintendent relationship during the pandemic. Posted March 20, 2020
10 Ways to Continue (Digital) Board Learning During a Pandemic—
Schools may be closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you can't take time to invest in individual or board team learning. Now, perhaps more than ever, is a great time to brush up on essential skills and sharpen your knowledge. Consider these learning resources that you can participate in at your own desk, couch, kitchen table, or wherever you are working remotely from right now. Best of all, these learning opportunities are complimentary for members. Posted March 20, 2020
Track COVID-19 Expenses:
In anticipation of potential federal or state financial assistance, we are asking all school districts to track COVID-19 related expenses. When the legislature prepares to reconvene, IASB will conduct a survey of districts to gather this information. Examples of costs you should be tracking that were not budgeted may include: Meals for students (staff costs for delivery, mileage, additional costs to purchase/prepare meals); cleaning supplies; technology (costs to provide access for students/families to continue learning opportunities, costs for equipment or technology to provide online learning opportunities); personnel costs for overtime or personnel not included in your certified budget for the school year.
IASB Summary of Federal Stimulus Package
: Read a brief summary of the $3 trillion economic stimulus package, passed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, March 25.
Federal Stimulus Podcast:
Our newest episode of Capitol Chats features Chip Slaven and Deborah Rigsby from the National School Boards Association to provide a breakdown of what portion of the $2 trillion federal stimulus package is allocated for K-12 education and what schools can do with that money. Recorded on March 26.