The Guilford County Board of Education approved several agenda items during its meeting this week.
The school system approved a new transportation call center to address numerous concerns from families about issues ranging from drop off and pickup times to bus stops. North End Teleservices will operate the center for the remainder of the school year.
As far as face coverings in schools, the board voted to keep its mask requirement in place for students and staff. Under state law, school boards have to take monthly votes on their policy if they mandate them.
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for December 14.
Redistricting was also part of the discussion on Tuesday. The school board voted to adopt the same electoral district boundaries recently approved by the county commissioners. This comes less than a week after the school board voted to reject those same maps.
But a topic that took up a large portion of the meeting focused on extra compensation for staff.
The board is considering retention and recruitment bonuses for educators. The district says it has received a ton of emails asking for them. Several teachers also took to the podium to talk about the added stress and challenges they face during the pandemic.
In the end, the school board voted to direct Superintendent Sharon Contreras to come up with a bonus plan for staff. Contreras says it's a temporary fix to a statewide problem that lawmakers need to address.
“So for the minute we can bring some relief, some joy, $500, $1,000, something. But it doesn't fix the problem in January when you are struggling again or next year when not only have we blown out the ESSER money but there's no money in there anymore for supporting students,” says Contreras
Her recommendations are expected to be presented to the school board in the coming weeks.
Guilford County Schools employs nearly 10,000 people.
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