How many days can a teacher be absent each school year? In my opinion, teachers should NOT be allowed to take pre-arranged personal days (unless they are sick) during the month of mid-terms or final exams.

In accordance with State law, Board Policy and the Memorandum of Understanding between WCS and the WCEA the following leave is available for teachers: Teachers earn one sick leave day per school month of employment. The sick leave is cumulative and may be taken only for approved reasons. Teachers earn one personal leave day per semester for a total of two per year. If these days are not used at the end of the school year, they become available for sick leave. Teachers earn one local leave day per year and may have a balance of up to three local leave days whereby they may pay for the cost of a substitute in their classrooms if they need to be absent.

School Board Policy 5.303 states the following regarding the process for teachers to take leave:

Written application for professional/personal leave shall be filed with the Principal no less than 24 hours prior to the date of the proposed absence, except in cases of emergency. The approval of the Superintendent of Schools or designee shall be required for personal leave taken under the following conditions: the day prior to or after a holiday; during any prior established examination period; on a day scheduled on the calendar as a professional development or in-service day; on a day scheduled on the calendar as a parent-teacher day; or if more than 10 percent of the teachers request the same day.

There are also federally protected leaves of absence which apply to teachers when qualifying circumstances are present.

When a substitute teacher is needed, how does the administration ensure that the teacher is proficient in the course he or she will be substituting in?

Substitute teachers with the best training and most experience will be included on each school’s preferred substitute list. For planned absences, a substitute with a teacher’s certificate shall be selected from the preferred list, if possible. Each Principal shall have access to all approved substitute teachers.

The purpose of this section is to answer any questions parents, teachers or community members might have regarding the school district and to set the record straight in regards to any rumors that might be circulating.

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