ATLANTIC – Atlantic Superintendent Steve Barber proposed Wednesday offering a retention stipend from COVID funding to staff in the district based on years of experience to recognize their hard work during the pandemic.

The board took no action on the proposal, but members agreed it was a worthwhile proposal and should be implemented. If approved, approximately $350,000 of the district’s COVID funds would be used to pay for the bonus.

Barber said the breakdown for years of experience would be as follows: one to four years- $1,000; five to nine years: $1,250; and 10 and more years: $1,500. Staff are eligible if they worked this school year, and will work next school year, and will receive the incentive on Sept. 1.

“I think it will be well received,” Board member Nick Hunt said.

“I think it’s a great way to use this money,” Board President Jenny Williams said.

Atlantic School officials have used COVID funding for a number of items, including cleaning materials, personal protective equipment, software, rapid COVID tests, nursing supplies, HVAC system improvements and learning programs. The district received approximately $442,156 in COVID funding for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and has approximately $2,961,172 for fiscal year 2022. Approximately $825,340 of the 2022 funds are earmarked for HVAC system improvements, and approximately $425,099 needs to be spent on learning programs, including summer school and after school programs.

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