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FAQ - Leaves of Absence

In our contract we have several different types of leaves of absence defined for all different reasons.  The most important point to keep in mind is that if you run out of sick or personal leave, you stop getting paid.  Our office can help with any of these leaves.  Here is a summary:

Sick Leave – to be used when you or a family member is sick.  Sick leave should not be used for medical appointments that can be made outside of work hours. Sick leave is a great insurance policy; it should be conserved and used wisely. In fact, abuse of sick leave can result in termination of employment. For a more extensive essay on sick leave click here

Medical Leave – if you run out of sick leave and you or a family member are ill, you will be placed on unpaid medical leave.  Medical leave ends when the member is able to return to work or be approved for disability retirement.  Contact our office for help navigating this type of leave.

Pregnancy Leave – We set up pregnancy leaves all the time.  Call for an appointment if you are pregnant and expect to need time off.  

Paternity Leave – is a legitimate use of sick leave.  You can use up to 20 days if the leave starts within three weeks of delivery.  Call our office to help set this up properly.

Adoption leave – leave without pay under certain circumstances for 30 days at most (within 31 days of the child becoming a resident if your house and under age 5).

Personal Leave – for business that cannot be conducted at any other time or emergencies.  Going on a family vacation that could happen at any time is not an acceptable use of personal leave, but going out of town to a wedding or other special event that has been planned may be acceptable.  The best advice may be not to tell anyone why you are using personal leave, but to use the simple criteria in the first sentence.  If personal leave abuts a school vacation then contact our office to help with needed paperwork.   

Religious/Holy Day Leave – if an absence is required because of a religious holy day and you have no personal leave, then this type of leave is needed.  Under this provision you will still be paid, but will have to pay the cost of the substitute.

Professional Leave – when you go to an approved workshop during school time you are using professional leave.  Make sure it is pre-approved.

Jury Duty – Pay continues while serving on juries and you can keep the measly stipend from the court. Documentation from the court must be submitted upon completion of jury duty. 

Compulsory Leave – if a teacher receives a subpoena for a school related matter than no sick or personal leave will be charged and the teacher will still get their regular pay.  If the court date is during a vacation and you have to go, then there is a small stipend for going.

Assault Leave – We have it.  Please contact our office.


Child Care Leave – will be granted for a full school year at a time or from delivery until the end of the year. Two full years in addition to an initial partial year are granted per contract, additional years may be approved by the Board. Teachers are unpaid during full year leaves.

Professional Study (with/without compensation) – Teachers may apply for leaves for professional study.  Rarely (if ever) has the Board granted these leaves with compensation.  There is an essay to write addressing 6 prompts that requires approval.

Foreign Assignment – teachers may apply for and be granted leaves for foreign assignment.

Other non-professional leave – after 10 years as a District employee teachers may apply for an unpaid leave to accomplish something they are interested in.  These leaves can be for a variety of reasons.  The District is not required to approve them.

For year-long leaves, teachers need to let the Board know they are returning to work the following year by April 1.

Catastrophic Leave – under very limited circumstances we have the ability to give a member sick days.  Members may donate to the sick leave bank, but may not give sick days to a particular person.  The bank can be used for members have a catastrophic, long-term, life threatening illness or accident and have exhausted all accumulated sick leave, and has applied, but not yet been approved for STRS or SERS disability.  There is a specific list of catastrophic illnesses that apply.  Although it would be great to donate to particular people who have exhausted sick leave for one reason or another, it puts everyone in a difficult position.  Sick leave accumulation is your insurance plan if something goes wrong.  Sharing such an asset should be taken very seriously.


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