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Belpre BOE votes to reduce RIF

BELPRE – The Belpre City Schools Board of Education last week approved a reduction in its reduction-in-force and a roof replacement project.

The board met Thursday and the meeting was broadcast through YouTube. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no members of the public were allowed to attend the meeting in person.

Superintendent Jeff Greenley said the school board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Belpre Education Association concerning a reduction-in-force, or RIF, which took effect Monday, Greenley said.

“We reduced the reduction-in-force by three-and-a-half custodial positions,” he said. “Those are positions now that are not being RIF’d.”

Greenley said since the RIF took effect Monday, any further action by the board to restore positions would be considered a “recall” where an employee is asked to come back to work. Greenley said as the district moves toward the fall, more personnel changes are likely to occur.

“We’ll continue to make adjustments to our staffing levels as we approach the fall depending on our budget and our needs,” he said.

Those needs will rely heavily on state and federal guidance concerning the reopening of schools. Ohio and West Virginia, along with states throughout the U.S., ended their school years several months early to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. While most states have begun implementing reopening plans, a rise in coronavirus cases is forcing some to pause or even roll back such plans.

“At this point we still haven’t received official guidance from the state on reopening,” Greenley said. “I have been working closely with the other superintendents in Washington County and with the public health department to understand what we need to do. I think the board’s commitment is to get as many students back to school as possible. We have to make an announcement in the near future.”

Greenley said the board Thursday also addressed needed repairs at Belpre High School’s Lawton Building.

“The is a portion of the roof on the Lawton Building that is leaking, and it is just not problem that can wait,” he said. The school board approved about $100,000 for the repair.

Greenley said while last year his focus was on a revamp of academics for Belpre City Schools, this coming year will focus more on brick and mortar.

“This year you’ll see me pivot and talk a lot more about our facilities,” he said. “We’ve definitely got some issues that need addressed.”

Contact Michael Erb at merb@newsandsentinel.com.

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