At the Monday night (4/11) school board meeting for the Western Dubuque Community School District, a $1,000 retention payment agreement was approved.

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An email sent to employees stated that, “due to current systemic staff shortages across the state, staff vacancies within our district, the additional responsibilities being asked of staff due to the pandemic, and to reinforce our desire to retain our employees, the board intends to pay all staff of the district (except the teachers who already received the Governor’s retention payment,  staff who coach only, and substitutes) a one-time stipend of $1000.00.”

This retention payment will be available to apply for, for any staff who were on contract as of October 1st of 2021, and agree to fulfill the remainder of their 2021-2022 employment contract.

The district plans to use federal ESSER Funds to pay this retention bonus. Originally, the governor’s retention payment only went to full-time classroom teachers. Now Western Dubuque Community School District staff is to be paid (full or part-time) which includes: bus drivers and mechanics, clerical, food service, interpreters, maintenance, paraprofessionals, custodians, teachers who did not receive the governor’s retention payment, instructional coaches, district office staff, administrators, and all other staff.

The board has said “they want to acknowledge the extra work that everyone has done these past two years and to say thank you for your efforts to keep our schools open for our kids. Your time and energy are greatly appreciated.”

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I think this is a great announcement for all those involved across the Western Dubuque Community School District. It gives a much deserved thank you to not just the educators, but to all people involved in our children’s development and growth.

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