Report on education programs, contracts before Board of Ed tonight

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A report on educational programs which now include a shift to plans for fully remote learning at the start of the 2020-21 school year, plus a proposed approval of one employee union contract and extension of another, are among Board of Education topics tonight.

The board's meeting is at 6 p.m. today including administrative department reports for educational programs and for people operations, followed by the regular meeting agenda.

The session at the school district office, 409 Bell Road, will be not open to public attendance due to the COVID-19 situation. It can be viewed through a Zoom meeting link at https://E2CCB-GST.zoom.us/j/96647598721 online.

On the agenda:

• The educational programs report, part of ongoing administrative reports at board meetings, comes in the wake of district Superintendent Peter C. Blake's announcement Wednesday about plans to reopen schools with fully remote learning arrangements.

Previously, the Rome district's reopening plan that was filed at the end of July had called for a mix of in-person and remote instruction, with potentially full in-person instruction for pre-K to grade 6 pending parent responses to an instructional request form. But Blake said Wednesday the obstacles to providing in-person learning were growing exponentially, including COVID-related health and safety considerations; instead, a fully remote plan now is to be used through at least the first six weeks of the 2020-21 school year whereupon the overall situation would be reviewed.

• A resolution calls for approving a memorandum of agreement between the Rome Administrators Association (RAA) and the school district, dated July 28, regarding a one-year extension of a collective bargaining agreement that expired June 30. That agreement had been for three years.

The RAA has about 20 members, including school principals and assistant principals plus some other administrators.

• A proposed new contract with Local 200 United Service Employees International union that was tabled at the board's July 23 meeting is back on the agenda with a resolution for approval.

It had been tabled at the request of board member John Nash who was seeking more information from the administration. The proposed contract, covering from July of last year to June 30, 2023, calls for raises of 3.5% retroactive to July 1, 2019; 2.75% effective July 1, 2021; and 2.75% effective July 1, 2022. It calls for 0% increases for the one-year period effective July 1 this year.

About 80-90 custodial, maintenance and transportation employees are in the bargaining unit.

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