Cave City to continue providing teachers with COVID sick leave as CARES Act funding expires

Cave City to continue providing teachers with COVID sick leave as CARES Act funding expires

CAVE CITY, Ark. (KAIT) - Many school districts around Region 8 have been meeting to decide the next steps as CARES Act funding is beginning to expire, answering the question of how potential sick days should be handled in the future, especially with COVID-19.

Cave City is one such school district in the area that has already adopted an updated policy when it comes to sick days. Superintendent Steven Green says he wants to take as many burdens off of the faculty’s shoulders as they can.

“We adopted a new policy,” Supt. Green said. “[We adopted the] Arkansas School Board Association model policy, we adopted this last board meeting that extends those days they had back in the fall and gives a fresh new 10 [days].”

Green says the plan is to use CARES Act funding to pay for the additional days now before it expires, and additional days will roll over to the next fall.

“We can have employees, right now, have as many as 20 days to be able to use for COVID-related absences,” Green said.

He says many circumstances can be used as a COVID-related absence, including being named a close contact or taking care of a family member who has it.

“We’re going to use that very generously to take care of the employees and I think that’s what the intent of it was,” Green said.

Supt. Green says his staff have had to juggle so much since the pandemic began and he says he wants to lighten the load as much as he possibly can.

“The workload and the stress I’ve seen on them, it just breaks my heart,” he said. “It’s comforting for me to know we can take some things off their mind like ‘hey, if I miss related to COVID, I’m not going to have to worry about my pay being docked or sick days being taken away,’ so it’s just one more little thing we can do to help morale and do the right thing.”

In addition to the extra sick days, nearly 100 COVID vaccines will be administered among faculty and staff over the next two weeks.

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