Section 5 - Personnel

  • Professional Personnel

    Policy 5:250

    Leaves of Absence

    Each of the provisions in this policy applies to all professional personnel to the extent that it does not conflict with an applicable collective bargaining agreement or individual employment contract or benefit plan; in the event of a conflict, such provision is severable and the applicable bargaining agreement or individual agreement will control.


    Sick and Bereavement Leave
    Each full-time professional staff member is granted 13 days sick leave each school year at full pay. Unused days are allowed to accumulate to 340 days. Sick leave is defined in State law as personal illness, quarantine at home, serious illness or death in the immediate family or household, or birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.

    As a condition for paying sick leave after 3 days absence for personal illness or 30 days for birth or as the Board or Superintendent deem necessary in other cases, the Board or Superintendent may require that the staff member provide a certificate from: (1) a physician licensed in Illinois to practice medicine and surgery in all its branches, (2) a chiropractic physician licensed under the Medical Practice Act, (3) an advanced practice nurse who has a written collaborative agreement with a collaborating physician that authorizes the advanced practice nurse to perform health examinations, (4) a physician assistant who has been delegated the authority to perform health examinations by his or her supervising physician, or (5) if the treatment is by prayer or spiritual means, a spiritual adviser or practitioner of the employee’s faith. If the Board or Superintendent requires a certificate during a leave of less than 3 days for personal illness, the District shall pay the expenses incurred by the employee.

    The use of paid sick leave for adoption or placement for adoption is limited to 30 days unless a longer leave is provided in an applicable collective bargaining agreement. The Superintendent may require that the employee provide evidence that the formal adoption process is underway.

    Sabbatical Leave
    Sabbatical leave may be granted in accordance with The School Code.

    Personal Leave
    Professional staff members are granted two personal leave days per year. A personal leave day isdefined as a day to allow professional personnel time to conduct personal business (but not vacation, travel, or work stoppage), which is impossible to schedule at a time other than during a school day. Any unused personal leave day in a school year will be credited to the cumulative sick leave.

    The use of a personal day is subject to the following conditions:

    1. Except in cases of emergency or unavoidable situations, personal leave requests should be submitted to the Building Principal 3 days in advance of the requested date,
    2. No personal leave days may be used immediately before or immediately after a holiday unless the Superintendent grants prior approval,
    3. Personal leave may not be used in increments of less than one-half day,
    4. Personal leave days are subject to a substitute’s availability,
    5. Personal leave days may not be used during the first and/or last 5 days of the school year,
    6. Personal leave days may not be used on in-service and/or institute training days, and
    7. Personal leave may not be used by more than 10% of the teaching staff in each building at the same time.

    Leave of Absence Without Pay
    The Board may grant a leave of absence without pay to tenured professional staff members who have rendered satisfactory service and desire to return to employment in a similar capacity at a time determined by the Board.

    Each leave of absence shall be of the shortest possible duration required to meet the leave’s purpose consistent with a reasonable continuity of instruction for students.

    Child-Rearing Leave
    The Board shall grant a professional staff member’s request for a non-paid, child-rearing leave, not to exceed the balance of the school year plus one additional school year (but in no event shall such leave exceed 3 semesters), provided the request complies with this policy. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a professional staff member from using paid sick days as provided in this policy.

    A teacher must request, if possible, a child-rearing leave by notifying the Superintendent in writing no later than 90 days before the requested leave’s beginning date. The request should include the proposed leave dates. The leave shall end before a new school year begins or before the first day of school after winter recess.

    Subject to the insurance carrier’s approval, the teacher may maintain insurance benefits at his or her own expense during a child-rearing leave.

    A professional staff member desiring to return before the leave’s expiration will be assigned to an available vacancy for which the teacher is qualified, subject to scheduling efficiency and instruction continuity.

    Leaves for Service in the Military
    Leaves for service in the U.S. Armed Services or any of its reserve components and the National Guard, as well as re-employment rights, will be granted in accordance with State and federal law. A professional staff member hired to replace one in military service does not acquire tenure.

    General Assembly Leave
    Leaves for service in the General Assembly, as well as re-employment rights, will be granted in accordance with State and federal law. A professional staff member hired to replace one in the General Assembly does not acquire tenure.

    Leave for Employment in Department of Defense
    The Board may grant teachers a leave of absence to accept employment in a Department of Defense overseas school.

    School Visitation Leave
    An eligible professional staff member is entitled to 8 hours during any school year, no more than 4 hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences or classroom activities related to the teacher’s child, if the conference or activity cannot be scheduled during non-work hours. Professional staff members must first use all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the professional staff member, except sick, and disability leave. 

    The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures implementing this policy consistent with the School Visitation Rights Act.

    Leaves for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence
    An unpaid leave from work is available to any staff member who: (1) is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or (2) has a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence whose interests are not adverse to the employee as it relates to the domestic or sexual violence. The unpaid leave allows the employee to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning, and other assistance without suffering adverse employment action.

     The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act governs the purpose, requirements, scheduling, and continuity of benefits, and all other terms of the leave. Accordingly, if the District employs at least 50 employees, an employee is entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period. Neither the law nor this policy creates a right for an employee to take unpaid leave that exceeds the unpaid leave time allowed under, or is in addition to the unpaid leave time permitted by, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. §2601 et seq.).

    Leaves to Serve as an Officer or Trustee of a Specific Organization
    Upon request, the Board will grant: (1) an unpaid leave of absence to an elected officer of a State or national teacher organization that represents teachers in collective bargaining negotiations, (2) twenty days of paid leave of absence per year to a trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System in accordance with 105 ILCS 5/24-6.3, and (3) a paid leave of absence for the local associationpresident of a Stateteacher association that is an exclusive bargaining agent in the District, or his or her designee, to attend meetings, workshops, or seminars as described in 105 ILCS 5/24-6.2.


    LEGAL REF.:


    20 ILCS 1805/30.1 et seq.
    105 ILCS 5/24-6, 5/24-6.1, 5/24-6.2, 5/24-6.3, 5/24-13, and 5/24-13.1.
    820 ILCS 147/1 et seq. and 180/1 et seq.


    CROSS REF.:

     

    5:180 (Temporary Illness or Temporary Incapacity), 5:185 (Family and Medical
    Leave), 5:330 (Educational Support Personnel - Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays,
    and Leaves)


    ADOPTED:

     

    JANUARY 18, 2011