The Petersburg School Board at its last meeting approved a Memorandum of Agreement that allows staff more options for taking leave for COVID reasons.

The MOA gives staff the option of using five paid administrative leave days instead of sick leave for COVID exposure and infection. Staff could use the days if they contract COVID or if they are caring for a family member who has COVID or is a close contact and isn’t eligible to be vaccinated.

School Board President, Sarah Holmgrain, says recent leave scenarios have brought up the issue for staff that must take care of children who are in quarantine.

“It became far more complicated than we anticipated,” said Holmgrain. “And I think also it was just the understanding that a lot of this is beyond our control to manage time when we have to be home with our kids that are minors that cannot be home safely by themselves. So, that’s where it brought up this discussion of how do we handle this because it’s not your usual illness. In any given year, if we had the flu, you start feeling symptoms, you stay home. But in this case you have staff and children having to stay home because of a potential exposure when maybe they don’t even come down with it. So, it’s just a little different.”

The board approved the MOA unanimously.

The agreement would expire at the end of the school year.