From: Mike Tracy, Superintendent
To: RSU # 74 School Board
A. Current Legal Update:
II. Governance / Policy:
A. Current Local Update:
1. Next REGULAR RSU #74 Board meeting is scheduled for February 3, 2021
2. There is a School Board Workshop scheduled for January 20, 2021
3. There is a Building and Grounds Subcommittee meeting scheduled January 13, 2021 @ 4:30
4. There is a Policy Subcommittee meeting scheduled for January 13, 2021 @ 6:00
5. Academic Subcommittee scheduled for January 27th - cancelled
6. Finance Subcommittee (originally scheduled for January 27th (TBD?)
B. a. MSMA Updates: Earned Paid Leave law
The basics of the Earned Paid Leave (EPL) law:
Under the EPL law, Maine employers – including school units – with more than ten employees will be required to provide all employees with “earned paid leave” (EPL) which is accrued based on hours worked. Employees accrue one hour of EPL for every 40 hours worked, to a maximum of 40 hours in any designated year. Accrual begins on the first day of employment (i.e., the first day the employee performs work for the employer), but employers are not required to permit use of EPL until the employee has been employed for 120 calendar days (not days worked).
The law will have the most immediate impact on non-unionized administrators (e.g., principals, special service directors, business managers) and hourly non-unionized school unit employees, who will begin to accrue EPL hours January 1, 2021. For employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements that address paid time off, the law does not apply to them until the current collective bargaining agreement expires. The requirements of the law must be addressed when these contracts are renegotiated.
Employees can use EPL, in one hour increments for any reason, once they have met the 120 calendar day eligibility (waiting period) requirement. Employees who were employed by the school unit prior to September 1, 2020 will have already met the 120 calendar day eligibility requirement and can use EPL as soon as they have accrued it. Employers can require up to four weeks advance notice for EPL taken for non-emergency (planned) reasons. Employers can restrict the dates that can be used for non-emergency use so as to prevent an “undue hardship” for the employer, in this case to avoid a detrimental effect on the operations of the schools. Notice required for an emergency, illness, or other sudden necessity, must be reasonable under the circumstances, recognizing that advance notice may not be feasible.
Any notice requirements and/or restrictions need to be in writing. Employees may carry unused EPL over to the next year, but will have only 40 hours of EPL available, in total, in any one year.
EPL can be run concurrently with other paid leave provided for the same purpose.
C. Legislative Update:
The Maine State Legislature is headed back into session.
D. Policy Update:
The RSU #74 Policy Subcommittee is meeting on January 13th at 6 pm and will likely discuss policy relating to Earned Paid Leave, and the remainder of the ten year old policy revisions.
III. Budget and Finance:
A. State Level:
No new information.
B. Finance Local:
A. Facilities Department and Transportation:
Ms. Agren will be discussing playgrounds, signage, facility use of CRF monies, and winter projects.
V. Principal’s Reports: (GSS, Solon, CSS and CHS)
Building administrators to report.
VI. Mr. Tracy Updates and Board Meeting Information:
The Gallup Poll on Hope and Engagement:
Grades 6-12 will be participating in a Gallup Poll that looks at Hope and Engagement. Gallup provides analytics and advice to organizations around the world, and it launched the Gallup Student Poll in 2009. The Gallup Student Poll is a brief, 22-item survey available online for students in sixth through 12th grades. The Gallup Student Poll covers the following themes:
• Engagement is students’ involvement in and enthusiasm for school.
• Hope is the ideas and energy students have for the future.
• Belonging is feeling accepted and included as part of the school.
• Social and emotional learning is how people learn to understand and manage emotions and establish
positive relationships with others.
Regional Statistics with Community Partners:
RSU# 74 has teamed up with Somerset Public Health and the Somerset Sheriff’s office to examine the most recent regional statistics involving things such as domestic violence, suiside, drug use, and food insecurity and more. The idea is to see IF the COVID-19 Pandemic has influenced these issues in our community, and begin a discussion on how to help.
We believe we remain operational with staffing rates.
School Nurse and Admin continue to be vigilant.
No known cases in RSU #74.
No new information (due to vacation wee