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CRITICAL

 

PROFESSIONAL STAFF LONG-TERM LEAVES AND ABSENCES

 


The Board of Education recognizes that the personal welfare and the professional growth of its employees may require occasional extended absences from duty. Therefore, the Board may grant the following long-term leaves of absence under specified conditions.


Sabbatical Leaves of Absence


The Board of Education may grant sabbatical leaves of absence to full-time certificated employees for full-time educational study to obtain a doctorate degree at an institution and in a field of learning approved by the superintendent, or for the purpose of full-time research in a field approved by the superintendent and shall be subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The leave of absence shall be based upon an application by the employee and the recommendation of the superintendent and shall not be granted for a period longer than one year. In making decisions on requests for sabbatical leave, the following factors will be considered, providing that no single factor shall be controlling:

 

            a.         Quality of teaching performance.

 

            b.         Nature of district service.

 

            c.         Staff availability.

 

            d.         Other factors relevant to the instructional programs of the district.

 

2.         An applicant must be in at least his or her seventh consecutive year of full-time employment with the district in order to be eligible to apply for sabbatical leave.

 

3.         The teacher shall request the leave six months in advance of the beginning of the next school year.

 

4.         The Board of Education will not grant a sabbatical leave of absence unless the district is able to find a satisfactory replacement for the teacher.

 

5.         The number of leaves granted in any one year shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Education.

 

6.         Upon the staff member's return to the school system, the employee shall be reinstated at the proper position on the salary schedule, losing only that time during which regular duties were not performed. The Board retains the right to reassign the teacher.

 

7.         The sabbatical leave of absence shall be with pay on the basis of one-fourth of the annual salary paid to the employee during the school year immediately prior to the leave. Teachers on sabbatical leave will be eligible to participate in the district’s group health, life, and dental insurance programs available to certified full-time employees of the district. However, the employee on sabbatical leave is responsible for paying the premiums and other costs associated with their participation in the programs.

 

8.         The acceptance of other employment in teaching by the employee during the period of the sabbatical leave, except with the written approval of the superintendent, will be grounds for revocation of the leave and termination of the employee/employer relationship between the employee and the district.

 

9.         The leave of absence shall not impair the tenure of the employee. The leave, when granted, will permit the employee to advance on the salary schedule in the following manner:

 

            a.         Upon completion of the three year period following return from sabbatical leave, employees shall be placed on the salary schedule at the step they would have been on had they remained in continuous teaching service to the district.

 

            b.         Employees will receive professional growth increases as indicated in the salary schedule.

 

Except as provided above, time spent on sabbatical leave shall not be counted for length of service or for purposes of the salary schedule.

 

10.       An employee who is granted sabbatical leave must return from the leave to employment with the district for a minimum of three years thereafter. On return from sabbatical leave, employees will be guaranteed assignments within the areas of their certification. An employee who fails to return from leave and remain in such employment for the three year period thereafter will be required to reimburse the school district for the amount of salary paid during the sabbatical leave. The employee’s obligation in this regard will be expressed in an appropriate promissory note to be canceled at the end of such three year period.


Military Leaves of Absence


The Board of Education will grant military leave as required by law and as described in Board policy.

 

1.         Pursuant to federal law, employment and re-employment rights shall be maintained for periods of service up to five years or more as required by statute.

 

2.         Pursuant to state law, employees taking military leave are entitled to up to 120 hours of paid leave for military duty. Pay will only be available for hours of military leave that occur at a time when the employee would otherwise have been required to be at work.

 

3.         Leaves for military service will not be counted as continuous full-time service when computing tenure but shall not impair tenure previously acquired nor affect any credit toward tenure previously earned.

 

4.         After initial employment with the district, time spent on military leave shall be counted in determining placement on the salary schedule. Sick leave accumulated prior to the military leave shall be credited in full to the employee upon reinstatement and assignment.

 

5.         Upon completion of a military leave of absence, any employee who reports to or submits an application for re-employment to the district pursuant to federal law will be placed in a position in accordance with the person’s certifications and qualifications. Depending on the length of the military leave, and subject to federal law, the person will be placed in the position the person would have occupied had employment been uninterrupted or in a similar position of like seniority, status and pay.


One-Year General Leaves of Absence


The Board of Education may grant a one-year general leave of absence for qualifying reasons. If applicable, the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will be followed as required by law. General leaves are subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The leave of absence shall be based upon application by the teacher, unless the leave is for military service. The leave will coincide with the school year and will last no longer than one year. Military leave may last longer than a year and will be granted as required by law. Leaves will not be counted as continuous full-time service when computing tenure, but shall not impair tenure previously acquired, nor affect any credit toward tenure previously earned.

 

2.         Full-time employees are eligible for this leave if they have been employed for at least one year and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours. Qualifying reasons for this leave are:

 

            a.         Care of an employee’s child.

 

            b.         Care of an employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition.

 

            c.         A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job.

 

            d.         Pursuit of an advanced educational degree. In the case of this reason, the employee agrees to remain with the North Kansas City School District a minimum of one full academic year beyond the leave of absence.

 

3.         Written application must be made to the director of human resources by March 1 for the following academic year.

 

4.         The Board of Education shall be able to make satisfactory arrangements for the performance of the ordinary duties of the applicant during the period for which the leave of absence is requested.

 

5.         The number of leaves granted in any one year shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Education.

 

6.         A certificated employee on a long-term voluntary leave for one academic year must notify the director of human resources in writing no later than January 1 prior to the completion of the leave that he or she is available for full-time employment for the next year. Upon receipt of this notification, the staff member’s name shall be placed on a list of certificated employees eligible for re-employment.

 

7.         A certificated staff member returning from a long-term voluntary leave shall be assigned to the first available comparable position for which he or she is qualified by training, experience and/or certification. In the event that two or more staff members similarly qualified have leaves beginning on the same date, the employee with the greatest length of service shall be offered the first available position. In the event that the district places certificated staff members on involuntary leave of absence, such staff members will be given priority for re-employment over staff members desiring to return from voluntary leaves. The determination of qualifications and available positions shall be within the sole discretion of the director of human resources. All decisions shall be final and non-grievable.

 

8.         If a non-tenure employee is not placed in a position within one year (365 calendar days), or if a tenured employee is not placed in a position within two years (730 calendar days) following the date of the completion of his or her leave, the employee’s name will be removed from the list of staff members eligible to return from leave. The district’s obligation to that staff member shall then cease.

 

9.         The leave of absence shall be without pay or benefits by the school district. Certificated staff members approved for voluntary long term leave may elect to participate in the district’s health and dental insurance programs at the COBRA rate. If an employee chooses not to retain health and/or dental coverage during leave, he or she is entitled to receive coverage once he or she returns to work at the same level that is available to other employees in the position he or she is placed in upon return, pursuant to Board policy.

 

10.       An employee approved for long-term voluntary leave shall retain sick leave and vacation accrued on the date on which the leave begins. Upon return from leave, the employee’s basic placement on the salary schedule will be the regular movement from his or her contract prior to the leave. Time on the eligibility list shall not constitute any further adjustment in benefits and/or the salary schedule.


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Note:  The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.

 

Adopted:         02/11/2003

 

Legal Refs:     §§ 105.270 - .271, 168.122, 169.595, RSMo.

16 C.S.R. 10-4.014

Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301 - 4333


North Kansas City School District, Kansas City, Missouri

 

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For Office Use Only: GCBDB-C.NKC (07/02)

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