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School Board swears in newest member

A new member was sworn into the Poplarville School Board of Trustees Monday night during the regular Board meeting.

Heather Holliday was sworn in after being appointed to the School Board by the Poplarville Board of Aldermen. Holliday replaces School Board member Jason Baker.

Holliday said she is looking forward to serving on the Board and was surprised to be offered the opportunity.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and I thank the Aldermen for giving it to me,” she said.

In a separate matter, the Board approved adjusting a district policy to extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave to March 31. The federal government gave permission to extend that offer of leave until March, said Superintendent Konya Miller.

The policy offers 10 days of emergency paid sick leave to full time employees if they are unable to work due to COVID. District employees will not get an additional 10 days, but the extension allows people who have not used the leave yet or have only used part of it to use those days.

“We definitely want to extend that,” said Miller. “We feel like we aren’t at the end of COVID among our employees.”

The FFCRA required employers with 500 or more employees to offer the leave in 2020. That requirement expired in December, but Congress gave employers the opportunity to voluntarily extend the paid leave offer. Employers will be reimbursed by tax credits or refunds.

The Board also updated a fiscal management policy to add a dollar limit for any expenditures the district pays prior to the Board meeting, such as payroll or activity funds. At times those expenses are made prior to the monthly Board meeting and then the Board approves those expenses at meetings.

Any payments without an existing contract will now be limited to $50,000. The state auditor wanted a limit added, Sandifer said.

The change will not affect payroll, which has an existing contract, but might affect activity funds.