The Pella School Board received an update about the impact of COVID-19 on the district since the pandemic started at their meeting Monday.
District Business Manager Mary Bogaard shared the financial impact of the schools’ response to the virus, which as of Monday, totaled close to $219,810 for required leave, virtual learning, office partitions, PPE, and cleaning equipment, and $457,879 more on additional staff for the entire school year.
The district expects to receive nearly $245,000 from state and federal sources, but no additional funding unless FEMA, the U.S. Congress or Iowa Legislature approves more resources. Superintendent Greg Ebeling anticipates covering all of this year’s expenses with a nearly $1 million surplus carried over from the previous fiscal year and this current academic session, but any long-term spending at this level without more aid would likely cause significant financial issues in the near future.
An enrollment count from the first day of school was shared, which showed a decline of 116 students from the same tally taken last September. Certified enrollment will be finalized on October 1st, which is how schools’ are funded on a per pupil basis for the next fiscal year.
The board also reviewed improvement goals at the work session. A discussion was held regarding academic and social-emotional learning benchmarks for students. The board also reviewed their Title IX policy, with a focus on sexual harassment and how concerns should be addressed as it relates to potential abuse.