Highland, Lone Tree OK emergency powers for school superintendent

Posted 4/1/20

The Highland and Lone Tree school boards passed resolutions giving Superintendent Ken Crawford broad authority to take actions, if necessary without board approval, to implement state or federal …

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Highland, Lone Tree OK emergency powers for school superintendent

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The Highland and Lone Tree school boards passed resolutions giving Superintendent Ken Crawford broad authority to take actions, if necessary without board approval, to implement state or federal guidelines for dealing with COVID-19.

The Highland board approved the resolution on Monday, March 23, and the Lone Tree board approved a near-identical resolution on Wednesday, March 25.

Crawford is the shared superintendent for the two districts.

The resolution requires the superintendent to “consult with and report to the board as feasible and appropriate.”

Crawford now has the authority to close any school facility and to decide when to reopen them.

Other authority provided to the superintendent in the resolution:

• Deciding which staff members are essential and must report to work.

• Placing classified employees – associates, custodians, food service workers and secretaries – on paid administrative leave for up to four weeks. This guarantees they will be paid through the current school shutdown that ends April 10.

Teachers and other certified staff will remain employed during the school closure and until the number of days identified in their contract have been fulfilled.

Crawford said that the boards will meet after the initial four weeks to determine how to proceed with regards to reopening the schools and continuing to pay staff.

“After those four weeks, we have a decision to make,” he told the Highland board March 23.

He told the Lone Tree board that the payments approved in the resolution are in the budget.

“These are the payments we were going to make any way,” Crawford said.

When school resumes, Crawford told the Lone Tree board he wants to have teachers return a couple of days early to clean and disinfect classrooms.

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