With schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Mississinewa Community Schools Board discussed Monday night how to address paying classified staff.

Classified employees include custodial staff, transportation staff, food service staff, building secretaries, central office personnel, including the superintendent’s and business offices, paraprofessionals and technology staff determined by the director of technology and superintendent.

According to Superintendent Tab McKenzie, these staff members could be required to work during the closure and will receive the same daily pay as they currently receive.

The board voted unanimously to approve the motion.

While classified staff pay was unclear at first, pay for certified staff like teachers and administrators went unchanged. According to McKenzie, their pay will continue as normal.

McKenzie also said some of the school corporation’s summer construction projects could be on hold, as changes in property taxes have school officials waiting to pursue more expensive projects.

In an executive order last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb said while property taxes are still due May 11, counties should waive any penalties or fees for late payments for up to 60 days after the deadline.

“We’re a little bit concerned with spending money that we haven’t received yet,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said the school system might postpone work on the HVAC system in the Northview Elementary School gym, which is estimated to cost approximately $200,000.

He said they will try to proceed with that portion of the project when the property tax money comes in and if there’s enough time left before the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

While the corporation might not pursue the HVAC project yet, officials are looking at a number of smaller projects, like improving the high school parking lots, landscaping at RJ Baskett Middle School and more.

The board will officially vote on these items at the April 20 meeting. The April 13 meeting has been canceled.

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