If employees of the Maple School District plan to leave the country during spring break, they’ll need to use their own sick time to quarantine when they return.
The employee handbook was revised to address international travel in the midst of the pandemic during the Monday, Feb. 8, Maple School Board meeting.
“While we cannot forbid an employee to travel outside the country, it is concerning to us as school employers when a school employee does so during the pandemic to a country where the federal, state, local or local government has a travel advisory in effect,” district administrator Sara Croney told the board prior to the vote.
If a staff member travels to a country the Centers for Disease Control has flagged as level 4, or high risk, the recommendation is to stay home and self-quarantine for at least seven days, longer if they become ill or test positive for COVID-19.
Maple staff would have to cover that time with their own sick leave, per the revision made Monday. The extended emergency paid sick leave offered by the district to staff who need to quarantine at home due to COVID-19 exposure could not be used.
The revision applies only to international travel to level 4 countries, which as of Wednesday, Feb. 10, included all but a handful of countries, according to a CDC map. It does not apply to travel within the United States, even though the United States is listed as a level 4 country.
The board also approved a change to its COVID-19 mask protocol. A doctor’s note will now be required to exempt students or staff from wearing a mask in school. The revision would not affect students and staff who have current exemptions; they would be grandfathered in.
And the board made note of a number of resignations of long-time employees, some of whom have been working in the Maple School District for more than 30 years. In all, board treasurer Mike Granlund said, the district was losing almost 300 years of service.
Croney said among the resignations are six bus drivers, most of them retiring after working at Maple for decades. The district is seeking bus drivers to fill the seats for the 2021-2022 school year. Croney encouraged those interested to apply early.
“We would go ahead and start training them now. Get them ready, get their license,” she said.