Substitute teachers in the local school district are getting a pay raise – temporarily. Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District board of education held an emergency meeting on Saturday, Jan. 8, to increase pay for substitute teachers. Since the return of school from winter break on Jan. 4, the district has been experiencing an increase in teacher absences and an ongoing shortage of certificated substitute teachers due to the recent surge in local COVID-19 cases and quarantine requirements, the emergency agenda states. Concern about possibly having classrooms without teachers on Monday, Jan. 10, prompted the emergency meeting. The four board members who were able to attend the Saturday meeting all voted in favor of increasing substitute teachers’ pay to $200 per day from $150 through Feb. 28, when hopefully the COVID surge will be over or at least more manageable. President Patty Ingram, Clerk Sharon Bannister and board members Cathy Bogh Coate and Debbie Miller agreed to the temporary raise. Board member Mike Snellings was absent. Home COVID-19 tests Additionally, the school district is providing home COVID-19 testing kits for students. The kits, which include two tests per box, were distributed on a drive-through basis this week at school sites. If a student is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive, or has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or showing symptoms, the district is requesting parents/guardians use its contact tracing service at 1-909-790-9550.

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