Atlantic School Board approves resignations & extends face mask policy until March 10th


January 13th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education, Wednesday, approved the resignations of  Mike McDermott, Head H.S. Football Coach; School-to-work Coordinator JoAnn Runyon, and Achievement Center Custodian Lindsay Williams. Superintendent Steve Barber said Williams had served as a custodian and paraeducator for about 10-years, and is working on becoming a counselor.  McDermott has been the head football coach for five-years. And, JoAnn Runyon had served as School-to-Work Coordinator for a number of years. Barber said she has been “Instrumental in getting our Mock Trial interviews organized every year, and instrumental in trying to get the Career Fair going.”  Barber and the Board thanked those individuals for their hard work and determination.

The Board approved contract recommendations for: Laura Juhl, Preschool Paraeducator; Adam Smith, MS Wrestling Coach, Tracy Purkapile, Car Driver, and Avery Anderson, part-time bus driver.

The Atlantic School Board voted to continue the current mask mandate until March 10th, taking into consideration the likelihood school staff will have received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines by then. The Mask Mandate was first implemented Oct. 23rd and renewed three times thereafter, for approximately 30-days each. Superintendent Barber had recommended the policy be in-place until the end of the school year. The Policy states “Face coverings will be required when social distancing is not possible.”

On a related note, the Atlantic School Board approved Superintendent Barber’s recommendation with regard to Emergency Sick Leave for COVID-19, for the following reasons:

  • The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to the virus.
  • A health care provider has advised the Employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, or
  • the employee is experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

The COVID-related leave balances would not “start over” for those employees who have already used all or a portion of this leave. Sick leave can be used for those who have exhausted the 10-days of COVID leave. The Federal COVID -19 sick leaves expired on December 31, 2020.

In other business, the Board approved Mr. Barber’s recommendation to change the current school calendar to have a Professional Development day on Feb. 22nd, instead of a regular school day. The School board also approved February 10 as the date for a public hearing to amend the school calendar to allow for a Professional Development Day instead of a regular school day.