Unpaid is not unlimited
School Board limits unpaid leave to 5 days a school year
There’s a limit to how much school time Moffat County High School teacher Craig Conrad can spend spreading his anti-drug and alcohol message.
In response to what they termed “overwhelming” feedback, members of the Moff-at County School District Board of Education drafted a policy that limits unpaid leave to five days a school year.
They approved the policy unanimously on its first reading Thursday night.
Conrad approached the board last month, asking members not to limit the number of unpaid days teachers could take. He is a popular motivational speaker whose “Unstoppable You” is so in demand by other schools that he thinks he will exceed five days of leave allowed this year.
Board member Steve Hafey agreed that Conrad’s story should be told and decided there shouldn’t be a limit placed on the number of unpaid days allowed. But the overwhelming response from teachers, community members and administrators caused him to change his mind, he said.
“I was initially looking for a way to provide some latitude or flexibility for special situations teachers may need because of things that may affect them. But, looking at all the pros and cons, it seems the overwhelming majority of opinion was it was something that wasn’t broken, and the consensus was we’d be opening a big can of worms,” Hafey said. “Sometimes you go against what you really want to do, and this is one of those cases.”
He made the motion to accept the policy.
The policy requires all unpaid time off requests to be approved by the superintendent.
Conrad expressed concern about how often he might hear the word “no.”
“I would not deny any unpaid personal days,” Bergmann ass-ured Conrad. “I’m not going to deny it unless there’s a circumstance that’s not good for kids.”
One example given was a time when several teachers requested the same day off.
“We’ve historically worked with employees, and I believe we will continue to do that,” Berg-mann said.
Employees must give 10 days notice to take unpaid personal leave. The policy allows teachers two days of paid personal leave a year, six bereavement days and nine sick days, with an option for extended sick leave under special circumstances.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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