Student in front of dais

A student talks about mask mandates during a Denton school board meeting Tuesday. The board approved additional sick leave for employees who come down with COVID-19.

Denton ISD employees now have a dedicated stock of 80 sick hours if they receive a COVID-19 diagnosis.

That change came after a unanimous school board vote during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Derrick Jackson, a Denton ISD spokesperson, said Wednesday that the policy update, while similar, is not exactly a continuation of the sick leave policy from the previous school year.

“It’s not like a continuation of that plan because that plan had an expiration date,” Jackson said Wednesday.

It was the final item of business Tuesday night before a lengthy open forum saw nearly 30 speakers address the board either in favor of or in opposition to the district’s fresh decision to mandate the wearing of face coverings in some instances.

Some speakers shouted into the microphone. Some cried. Others angrily threatened to unseat every board member seated before them, and many more alternately cheered, booed and shouted over fellow speakers.

Students, employees and visitors on Denton ISD campuses will be required to wear face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible indoors. It is possible to receive an exemption for medical and/or other reasons, but the exact criteria weren’t clear Wednesday afternoon.

Denton ISD employees had a similar extended sick leave policy in place for much of the 2020-21 school year but it remained expired until Tuesday night’s meeting.

The just-approved sick leave was effective immediately Tuesday night for contract employees until June 30, 2022.

Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and exceed the allotted 80 hours will be required to dip into their personal sick time allotment.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

Recommended for you

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!