A25. Delegation of Authority During State of Emergency Due to Covid-19 Pandemic


    Policy Code: A25

    First Reading: August 18, 2020
    Adopted: September 1, 2020
    Rescinded: August 17,2021


    It is the policy of the Essex Westford School District to comply with the Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Schools, Fall 2020 issued jointly by the Agency of Education and Department of Health (“Joint Guidance”), the Agency of Education’s COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools (“AOE Guidance”) and the Executive Orders issued by the Governor of the State of Vermont regarding the State of Emergency due to COVID-19.

    Delegation of Authority to Superintendent

    Due to rapidly changing conditions and guidance during the pandemic, the Essex Westford School District hereby delegates authority to its Superintendent to make decisions regarding the reopening and operation of schools, including but not limited to the instructional modes that will be provided during the 2020-2021 school year.

    Implementation and Communication

    The Superintendent shall implement the Joint Guidance and AOE Guidance and shall report to the school board at least monthly on the status of such implementation. 

    A.     Implementation shall be consistent with existing District policies, including the Non-Discrimination Policy, the Harassment, Hazing and Bullying Policy, confidentiality of student records and other relevant policies.

    B.     The Superintendent is authorized to temporarily suspend provisions of the Board’s policies and/or whole policies (limited to those policies which are not required by law), as determined by the Superintendent in the Superintendent’s sole judgment, if such suspension is necessary to implement the Joint Guidance and AOE Guidance.  In the event that the Superintendent suspends provisions of Board policies, in whole or in part, the superintendent shall provide prompt notice to the Board of that action. 

    C.     Access to the District’s grounds and buildings may be limited as directed by the Superintendent.

    D.     The superintendent is authorized to close any school in the District without further action by the Board. Such closure shall continue until such time as the superintendent or the Board, in consultation with appropriate health and government authorities, deems it in the best interests of the District and its students to open schools.

    E.     The superintendent is authorized, based upon the needs of the District and guidance from health and/or government agencies, to direct staff assignments during District closure for in person instruction, including but not limited to employees who must report to work, employees who may be reassigned, and employees whose services are not needed. 

    F.      Implementation of the Joint Guidance and AOE Guidance shall comply with labor master agreements, established District employment practices for the State of Emergency and any applicable federal, state, and local law.

    Duration of Policy

    This policy shall be in effect for the duration of the State of Emergency due to COVID-19 and shall terminate automatically when the State of Emergency is lifted.

    VSBA Version:
    Legal Reference(s):
    20 V.S.A. § 9

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