OTTUMWA — New Ottumwa Superintendent Mike McGrory will take part in his first school board meeting Monday night, but there is business to finish up with former Superintendent Nicole Kooiker.

As part of the consent agenda, board members will be asked to approve Kooiker’s accrued vacation payout of $57,404.42.

This is in accordance with her contract, which was renewed in June 2019. Details on vacation section state, “The Superintendent shall be entitled to 20 days of paid vacation per year. Unused vacation time may be carried over to be used in a subsequent year, and at no time shall the Superintendent’s vacation amount exceed the total of 75 days. In the event this contract is terminated or ended prior to the end of the contract year, the Superintendent shall receive pay for accrued but unused vacation days at the Superintendent’s per diem rate.”

Additional documents show 73.91 accrued vacation days for Kooiker at a per diem rate of $775.68, totaling the $57,404.42.

However, discussion may dominate the meeting with an update on the Return to Learn plan. McGrory is scheduled to give the board an update on where the district is currently at with its plans. Ottumwa’s fall start date is Monday, Aug. 24, and the district has shown a strong preference of returning to face-to-face learning.

As part of the Return to Learn, the district has also been surveying families about technology and internet needs in case there is a need for virtual learning should the COVID-19 pandemic worsen or re-emerge. Board members will vote on an agreement with Mediacom Monday night regarding providing internet access for families that don’t have it.

The contract is for 149 internet accounts with Wi-Fi router and modem service at $9.95 per month for one year. The total is $1,482.55 per month, for a yearly cost of $17,790.60.

The board will also vote on the second and final reading on a board policy limiting employment references. The agreement states, “Any school employee, contractor, or agent shall not assist another school employee, contractor or agent in obtaining a new job … if the individual or agency knows, or has probable cause to believe, that such school employee, contractor, or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of the law.”

The policy has an exception for transferring administrative personnel files. It does not apply if it has been reported to law enforcement or regulatory authorities and has been closed, the person is acquitted or otherwise exonerated, or more than four years have passed since the case was opened and no charges or indictment have been filed.

The board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the lower level conference room of the district offices, 1112 N. Van Buren Ave. Meetings have been held via Zoom during COVID-19 and have been streamed to the district’s YouTube page.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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