Leave of Absence Approval
For a leave of absence not covered elsewhere in this Regulation, employees shall request a leave of absence in writing through their principal/manager; the superintendent/designee shall then consider the request. If the leave is not granted, employees will be notified in writing.
Those employees granted a leave of absence for one (1) year or less will return to the same building, unless there is a reduction in staff in the District.
A leave of absence is defined as five (5) or more consecutive days of absence with or without pay.
Refer to Policy and Regulation 4540 GE for insurance coverage during a leave of absence.
Leave for Civic Duty
All employees who are selected for jury service or subpoenaed to testify for non-personal purposes during work hours will:
1. be required to notify the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Director of Human Resources and their principal/manager of this service;
2. be paid at their regular daily or hourly rate;
3. not be charged for personal or sick leave;
4. submit to the District money paid to the employee for jury service; money received for mileage and expenses will be retained by the employee; and
5. when serving as an expert witness, either remit to the District the money paid to the employee for the service, or retain the money paid to the employee and be charged a dock day.
In extenuating circumstances, a review and determination by the superintendent/designee may be requested.
If, after appearing for jury selection, the individual is not selected as a juror, the employee must present evidence of service to the Chief Human Resources Officer or Director of Human Resources in order to be paid for the time absent. Employees excused from jury duty and/or court appearance by 11:00 a.m. are expected to report to work as soon as is practical, except if they have prior approval from their principal/manager to be away from work to conduct school business.
For purposes of this regulation, “work day” is defined as greater than four (4) hours per day. “Half work day” is defined as any work period less than four (4) hours in length.
Regular and part-time benefits-eligible employees (as defined in Regulation 4510 CR, LO, FD, ES and SU) shall receive eleven (11) sick leave days per school year. Part-time benefits-eligible employees working twenty (20) hours per week (four  hours per day) or less will receive five and a half (5.5) sick days. Usage of four (4) hours or less per day will be recorded as a half day in SubFinder.
These days will be maintained in an individual sick leave account for each employee. Unused days will roll over each year as sick leave days for the next year.
Sick leave time will be credited on July 1 of each school year. Employees may accumulate up to a maximum of one hundred (100) days in their individual sick leave account at any one time. For employees hired after the beginning of the school year, sick leave days will be prorated. However, except as may be otherwise explicitly required by law, employees who are granted District-approved leave without pay, and who therefore are not in an active, paid status on July 1 of a school year, shall not be credited with sick leave or personal days for the school year on July 1. Employees shall be granted a proportional share of any leave to which they are entitled upon their return to an active, paid status. For the purposes of this regulation, “active, paid status” shall mean the employee is providing services to, and is receiving compensation from, the District.
Days may be used from the employee’s sick leave account in half-day increments for personal illness, immediate family illness (for parent, spouse or child as defined by FMLA) or for personal leave as defined in this policy under Personal Days. For a qualified personal illness, sick leave days and other eligible paid days will be used until coverage under short-term disability begins and again at the end of short-term disability until paid time off is exhausted. For qualified illness in the immediate family, all sick and vacation time must be exhausted prior to using unpaid time.
For all Non-Certified staff (ES, FD, LO, SU), sick leave days will be awarded consistent with this Regulation in every respect, with the exception that only one (1) paid sick leave day will be available during the probationary period.
For non-certified employees moving between sick time benefit eligible and ineligible positions:
Sick leave time can only be used by employees currently occupying a sick leave time eligible position.
Should a non-certified employee move from a sick leave time eligible position to a non-sick leave time eligible position (including SubFinder), sick leave time hours that may exist in the employee’s sick leave bank will be frozen. Upon the employee’s return to a sick leave time eligible position, such sick leave time will be reactivated for use not withstanding any other Board of Education policy.
The District will award $75/day for unused sick days upon retirement for certified and all full-time non-certified employees. Part-time non-certified employee’s award will be pro-rated based upon the number of hours of their normal work day. The maximum number of days bought back will be equal to 75 days.
For employees who leave employment with the District for reasons other than retirement, sick leave time is not a terminal benefit.
Any accrued sick leave hours forfeited upon ending employment by former employees who are later rehired by the District are not available to be re-awarded.
Benefits eligible certified teachers, Local 1, FHESPA and General Support Staff employees may take up to three (3) personal days with pay per school year to be deducted from their sick leave allowance, or from the accumulated days in their sick leave account if their annual sick leave allowance has been depleted. All other benefits-eligible employees working more than four (4) hours per day may take up to two (2) personal days with pay per school year to be deducted from their sick leave allowance, or from the accumulated days in their sick leave account if their annual sick day allowance has been depleted. Teachers working four (4) or less hours per day may take up to one and one-half (1-1/2) personal days per school year. All other benefits-eligible employees working four (4) or less hours per day may take up to one (1) personal day per school year. These days will be available upon request to the principal/manager and limited by the following conditions:
The employee will request the personal day from the principal/supervisor at least three (3) days before the proposed absence, except in cases where the circumstances requiring the absence makes this impossible.
Personal days may only be used for activities which cannot be attended to except during school hours. These days may not be used for time off based upon local weather conditions, for work stoppage, or for recreational purposes. Personal leave is not granted for activities which fall into the following categories: pleasure/recreational trips, operation of a private business or business meeting, out-of-school employment, business trips with spouse or other, or interviewing for positions outside the District.
Personal days will not be granted the day before or the day after a holiday or student vacation, except when the Board-approved calendar has been changed with less than eight (8) weeks’ notice and such change revised the days which fall before or after a vacation. Exceptions for personal days before or after a holiday or student vacation may be granted if they otherwise follow the provisions of this policy and have prior written approval of the superintendent/designee.
Personal days may not be used on a day of professional development, a day scheduled for parent/teacher conferences or on an orientation day.
Personal days shall be charged against the employee’s sick leave account.
No more than two (2) or ten percent (10%) of the employees in a particular job category in a building, whichever is more, may be granted personal leave at the same time. The absences will be granted in order of request. In case of extreme emergency, the Superintendent of Schools may grant absences in excess thereof.
Personal leave must be taken in one-half (1/2) day increments.
Request for the personal day shall be made by completing the proper authorization form available in the principal’s/manager’s office. The teacher's signature on the request form indicating that the personal leave request is in compliance with Board policy is all that is necessary, except in cases where the request is to use a personal day immediately before or after a paid holiday or school break; these requests will require approval by the Superintendent of Schools.
In cases of extreme emergency, the superintendent/designee may approve same day requests.
There may be special circumstances where an employee desires to use more than the typically allotted number of days of personal leave in a year. The employee may make a request to the Superintendent of Schools to approve a request for additional paid personal leave. The Superintendent of Schools has sole discretion to approve said request.
Employees may use Bereavement Leave if a death occurs in the family. A husband is related by marriage (affinity) to his wife’s relatives in the same way that she is related to them by blood (consanguinity) and she to his in the same manner. Half relationship is the same as whole relationship. Step relationship is the same as blood relationship.
Immediate Family is defined as parent, spouse or child. (5 days allotted)
Extended Family A is defined as grandparent, grandchild or sibling. (3 days allotted)
Extended Family B is defined as aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. (1 day allotted)
Employees may use up to five (5) days per occurrence for immediate family. Up to three (3) days per occurrence may be used for Extended Family A. One (1) day per occurrence may be used for Extended Family B. Additional unpaid time may be granted by the Superintendent of Schools if needed for travel. The employee may be required to provide written verification of attendance and family relationship of the deceased from the funeral home upon returning to work if abuse is suspected.
Supplemental days for bereavement may be used from the employee’s sick leave bank to cover additional time as needed or for bereavement of individuals not defined by policy. When possible, twenty-four (24) hours advance notification to principal/manager is requested. Employees should report a supplemental bereavement day to SubFinder as a sick day. If abuse is suspected, the superintendent/designee may request verification of absences.
An employee who is a member of the National Guard, or an organized military service of the United States, and who is required by laws of the United States or the State of Missouri to report for military duty, including training, shall be eligible for a grant of military leave.
Application for Military Leave shall be made in advance, as soon as practicable after employees become aware of their obligation to report and immediately upon the employee’s receipt of official notice to report. A copy of the official order must be added to the leave application. The superintendent/designee may request that the employee seek a change in military orders if such a change appears to be in the best interest of the District.
Employees shall receive leave with full District pay for the first fifteen (15) days of military leave in each federal fiscal year (which begins October 1). Additional military leave shall be without pay, except as required by federal and state law. Provided, however, that an employee who is called to active military duty during a time of war (as declared by Congress or so denominated by the President of the United States) shall, following the employee’s first fifteen (15) days of military service in any federal fiscal year and for a period not to exceed eighteen (18) months from the date on which such active duty commenced, be paid the amount by which the employee’s compensation from the District exceeds the employee’s base pay for military service. No employee shall be paid under this provision an amount in excess of the total annual salary, or portion thereof, the employee would have received while fulfilling the employee’s regular assignment with the District.
Each employee shall furnish a copy of the employee’s military payroll voucher or voucher(s), so that the necessary salary adjustments can be made. Failure to provide appropriate documentation may result in the delay of compensation otherwise available under this policy.
Employees on active military duty for less than thirty (30) days will automatically continue to receive Board of Education paid health insurance. Employees on active military duty for more than thirty (30) days may choose to continue to receive Board paid health insurance if they have spouse or dependent coverage they want to maintain. District medical insurance excludes the employee from coverage while on active military duty; however, the employee will be covered by TRICARE, the military insurance program.
An employee on active military duty must submit to the Benefits Office the employee-paid premium for spouse and dependent coverage by the 25th of each month. When employees return from active duty, they are immediately covered by the District insurance plan.
Employee eligibility for reinstatement after military duty is completed shall be determined in accordance with federal and state law.
Employees may be granted leave of up to three (3) days per school year for mandatory religious observance. To be eligible for paid leave under this policy, employees must submit a District religious observance request to their principal/supervisor at least thirty (30) days prior to the requested leave. In addition, leave under this policy will only be granted for religious observance when the leave requested is a day on which performance of work duties is prohibited by the employee’s religion.
Employees may apply for an unpaid educational leave through the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Director of Human Resources for Non-Certified Personnel. In order to qualify for an educational leave, employees must have been in a benefits-eligible position for two (2) years prior to the start of the leave. They must also be enrolled in a minimum of nine (9) semester hours for the semester for which leave is requested.
Educational leaves may be granted for the employee to complete student teaching requirements or for training required to become eligible for hard-to-fill positions. Hard-to-fill positions will be determined by the Human Resources Department and the department where the position exists. Leave may also be taken for the purpose of entering a summer school program on schedule or to remain in school until the close of the summer session.
An application for an educational leave of absence must be submitted to the principal/supervisor by mid-March for leaves which become effective the following summer or with the beginning of the next school year. Failure to comply with this provision may result in denial of the leave request. Prime consideration in planning a leave shall be to provide for the best possible continuation of the education program.
Employees with written disciplinary action within the last year will not normally be approved for educational leaves. Leaves may be granted for a maximum of two (2) semesters.
Employees on educational leave will continue to receive their District insurance benefit while on leave. If the employee fails to make the full required payment for the employee portion of an insurance premium, the benefit will be terminated due to failure to pay premiums.
Upon the employee’s return, all re-enrollment requirements must be satisfied, as per Regulation 4540 GE. Should an employee not return to active status in a benefits eligible position for a time frame equal to or greater than the time the employee was on educational leave, the employee will be required to repay the District for the Board-paid cost of the insurance premiums.
The principal/manager may grant an employee’s request to be absent without pay (other than leaves of absence). Employees shall request the dock day from their principal/supervisor at least three (3) days before the requested absence, except in emergency situations. Prior written approval is not required for teacher use of a dock day for medical emergencies; teachers who use a dock day for a medical emergency shall report their absence, communicate with their principal, and complete the required request form, following established procedures, as soon as possible. The principal/supervisor may not grant more than four (4) dock days per employee per school year (July 1 – June 30). Additional dock days may be granted with prior written approval by the superintendent/designee.
Teachers who return to work after being on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave within the current school year and are subject to dock days will be docked the regular sub rate for the first five (5) days of absence following their return to work. For teachers who have exhausted all personal sick leave for non-FMLA qualifying purposes, dock days will be assessed at the regular sub rate for the first five (5) days of absence due to personal or family illness. Additional days beyond the first five (5) days will be docked at the full per diem rate of pay for that teacher.
Effect of Leave on Tenure
Approved leaves of absence will not impair the tenure or the accrual of tenure of a teacher.
Permanent Teacher - To obtain a permanent contract, a teacher must have been employed as a teacher in the District in five (5) successive years and must continue to be employed thereafter. Any teacher who is employed under a part-time contract by the District shall accrue credit toward permanent teacher status (tenure) for whatever portion of the current standard teacher contract is served by the teacher. When a permanent teacher resigns or is permanently separated from employment with the District and afterwards is reemployed by the District, reemployment for the first school year does not constitute a permanent contract; but if the teacher is employed for the succeeding year, the employment constitutes a permanent contract.
Probationary Teacher - If a probationary teacher incurs a break of service, the teacher will not lose credit for past years’ experience. However, a teacher incurring a break of service will be required to begin again to satisfy the five (5) successive year requirement. An exception will be made when a probationary teacher has been granted a Board approved leave of absence.
In such cases, a probationary teacher will not receive credit for the time on leave, but will not incur a break of service. Probationary teachers employed in any other school system for the equivalent of two (2) or more years will receive one (1) year credit towards tenure in the District.
Qualified Absence from Work
1. An employee who is off work due to a qualified personal or family illness shall use available paid sick/vacation time during the first thirty (30) calendar days of an absence.
2. Short-term disability coverage begins on the twenty-ninth (29th) calendar day of a specific absence and may continue for up to nine (9) calendar weeks, if eligible.
3. FMLA coverage may begin on the twenty-first (21st) sick day (including personal sick, family sick, or care for an infant within twelve (12) months of birth) provided the employee is eligible and the event is covered. This coverage may continue for up to twelve (12) work weeks.
4. If an employee has purchased the Long-term Disability Insurance available through the District’s voluntary group plan, that coverage will begin immediately following short-term disability, if eligible. Employees must exhaust all eligible District-paid time before receiving payment from the Long-term Disability coverage.
5. The District insurance subsidy will continue until all eligible paid time and all FMLA coverage has been exhausted. For employees not eligible for FMLA but who are on a qualified leave of absence, the insurance will continue for up to sixteen (16) weeks of sick time in a rolling twelve (12) month period measured backward from the date the leave began.
Reviewed June 2013