Need to Request an Absence?
Simply put, it is inevitable that an employee will need to be absent from work. The DPS109 Board of Education is very generous with extensions of various leave options to employees beginning with a simple sick day and up to and including the consideration of requests for an extended leave of absence. This website will address options available to all categories of employees and the steps necessary to make a request to be absent from work.
The information included below is NOT comprehensive of all verbiage or options afforded in DPS109 collectively bargaining agreements, administrator contracts, and/or at-will employees. Please refer to your contract for exact language and application if any question should arise.
Sick leave shall be interpreted to mean personal illness, quarantine at home, or serious illness, or death in the teacher’s immediate family or household, or birth, adoption, or placement for adoption. “Immediate family” shall include parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, persons residing in the same household and legal guardians.
All full-time teachers shall be granted sick leave in the amount of twelve (12) work days at full pay during each year. Teachers who have completed ten (10) years of full-time service in the District shall be granted one (1) additional sick leave day per year for a total normal annual allotment of thirteen (13) work days at full pay beginning the eleventh year. Teachers who have completed twenty (20) years of full-time service in the District shall be granted one (1) additional sick leave day per year for a total normal annual allotment of fourteen (14) work days at full pay beginning the twenty-first (21st) year and each year thereafter. If the full amount of annual sick leave thus allowed is not used, the unused amount shall accumulate to an unlimited maximum.
Full-year employees shall receive thirteen (13) days of sick leave per year. Full-year employees who have completed fifteen (15) years of full-time service in the District shall be granted one additional sick leave day for a total allotment of fourteen (14) sick leave days per year. Employees who have completed twenty (20) year of full-time service in the District shall be granted one additional sick leave day for a total allotment of fifteen (15) sick leave days per year. Part-year and part-time employees shall receive these additional days on a pro-rated basis.
School-year employees shall receive twelve (12) days of sick leave per year. Part-year and part-time employees shall receive prorated sick leave days. School-year employees who have completed fifteen (15) years of full-time service in the District shall be granted one additional sick leave day for a total allotment of thirteen (13) sick leave days per year. Employees who have completed twenty (20) years of full-time service in the District shall be granted one additional sick leave day for a total allotment of fourteen (14) sick leave days per year. Part-year and part-time employees shall receive these additional days on a pro-rated basis.
Q – When is a doctor’s note required?
We call it the 3 + 1 guideline. Anytime an employee uses three consecutive sick days the first minute of the fourth day of absence requires a doctor’s note to be provided to the Department for Human Resources. This requirement is standard across all industries as it triggers the federal requirement that the employer offer FMLA to protect an employee’s position due to an extended period of absence from work.
Q – I am sick but it is the day before a long weekend, vacation, or inservice. Do I need to take a dock day?
This is a common misunderstanding. The provisions mentioned in the FAQ above apply to a personal day. Although inconvenient due to subbing issues, a sick day can be requested and honored on the the days mentioned above.
A personal day may be used for any purpose at the discretion of the teacher and no reason need be given. However, a teacher shall make the request forty eight (48) hours in advance of the time he/she expects to be away except in the case of an emergency.
Personal Leave shall not be used during the first or last week of the school year nor the day prior to or immediately following holidays except in the case of an emergency or significant life event. Examples of significant life events include:
- Taking children to and from college
- Family weddings
- Bar Mitzvah (Bat Mitzvah) in the family
- Graduations in the family
- Baptisms, confirmations, and similar religious rites in the family
At the beginning of the school year, each teacher shall be credited with two (2) days to be used for personal reasons. A personal day may be used for any purpose at the discretion of the teacher.
If the full amount of personal leave thus allowed is not used it may accumulate to ten (10) days. Unused amounts of accumulated days in excess of the ten (10) shall be placed in the individual’s sick leave account, except that such excess days accumulated prior to the 1987-1988 school year shall remain in the teacher’s personal leave account. A teacher may transfer his/her accumulated personal leave to accumulated sick leave at any time.
At the beginning of the school year, each employee shall be credited with two (2) days to be used for personal reasons. A personal day may be used for any purpose at the discretion of the employee.
If the full amount of personal leave thus allowed is not used it may accumulate to ten (10) days. Unused amounts of accumulated days in excess of the ten (10) shall be placed in the individual’s sick leave account. An employee may transfer his/her accumulated personal leave to accumulated sick leave at any time.
Q – Can a personal day be denied?
Yes but it is rare. In both collective bargaining agreements, it states that the number of persons allowed to be absent for personal leave on a given day shall be determined by the number of staff serving that building. Buildings with forty (40) or less will be allowed five (5) absences on a given day. Any buildings with forty-one (41) or more will be allowed six (6) absences on a given day. In the event of an emergency, this limitation shall be waived. Teachers in such a situation may be required to give the reason for the emergency.
Q – What happens when I requested a personal day and a “snow day” occurs?
If an employee is on approved leave and school is cancelled due to weather or other acts of God then the teacher shall not have that day deducted from his/her leave account.
Q – How many personal days can I take in a row?
A personal leave of more than two (2) consecutive school days may be taken by an employee only once during any one school year and a personal leave of more than four (4) consecutive school days only once in any two (2) consecutive school years.
Bereavement is not an automatic option for employees in Frontline Absence Management (formerly AESOP). You will need to contact the Department for Human Resources via email and inform them of the circumstances involved. At the same time, you should enter your request for a bereavement day into Frontline Absence Management as a sick day to ensure you record the day and secure a Guest Teacher if needed . Because there is qualifying language to utilize allotted bereavement days, Dr. Fisher or Mrs. Holman will change the request in Frontline Absence Management from a sick day to a bereavement day if the qualifying language is met.
Each teacher shall receive a bereavement leave with pay for any death in the family not to exceed two (2) days per school year. Unused bereavement leave may not accumulate.
Any full-time employee shall receive bereavement leave with pay for any death in the immediate family not to exceed two (2) days per school year. Part-year and part-time employees shall receive prorated bereavement leave days. Unused bereavement leave may be accumulated up to four (4) days total in a given year.
Bereavement is not an automatic option for employees in Frontline Absence Management. You will need to contact the Department for Human Resources via email and inform them of the circumstances involved. At the same time, you should enter your request for a bereavement day into Frontline Absence Management as a sick day to ensure you record the day and secure a Guest Teacher if needed. Because there is qualifying language to utilize allotted bereavement days, Dr. Fisher or Mrs. Holman will change the request in AESOP from a sick day to a bereavement day if the qualifying language is met.
There are dozens of reasons that an employee will enter School Business as the absence reason into Frontline Absence Management (formerly AESOP). All of them center on the employee doing “something” for the district that takes them away from the classroom and requires them to secure a guest teacher. When entering an absence into Frontline Absence Management as school business, the employee MUST denote the reason for the school business in the Notes to Administrator section of the absence. This allows the Department for Finance and Operations the opportunity to code the absence to the correct line item for budgeting purposes. A daily review of school business absences occurs and staff will be contacted by building level administrators to correctly update the Notes to Administrator section of the absence. The absence won’t be approved until this step occurs.
DEA – Vacation days are not an option for DEA employees.
DESSA – 12-month employees earn days based on years of service.
-Completion of 1 year 10 vacation days
-Completion of 5th year 15 vacation days
-Completion of 10th year 20 vacation days
-Completion of 20th year 25 vacation days – With no more than three  weeks taken at one time
unless approved by the Principal or immediate supervisor.
Vacation time cannot be accumulated and unused days as of June 30th will be lost.
Vacation can be earned in the first year of employment but cannot be taken during the first year. Vacation shall be prorated equal to the portion of the fiscal year worked (i.e., after six (6) months, five (5) days will have been earned) and can be used on or after the following July 1 fiscal year start.
Dock days (approved absence without pay) are not included in either the DEA or DESSA collective bargaining agreement(s). Dock days are typically requested when a unique life event presents itself to the employee and other options for leave are not available at the time.
Approval of dock days is done at the sole discretion of the Superintendent or designee. To request a dock day, the employee will need to discuss the situation directly with the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.
Any employee called for jury duty, or who is subpoenaed to testify during work hours in any judicial or administrative matter, shall be paid his/her full compensation for such time with no loss of any leaves, seniority, or any other benefits. Any compensation the teacher receives beyond mileage or meal reimbursement shall be reimbursed to the District.
- An employee who has used all of his/her sick leave and personal days and needs additional leave may request to use donated sick leave by contacting the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. The employee will be asked to allow his/her name to be released to the members of the Association Bargaining Unit as part of the request for donations. The employee may choose to allow release of his/her name or not. Requesting a donation does not guarantee results.
- The Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources will send an email to all members of the either the DESSA or DEA Bargaining Unit soliciting donations. This email will identify the employee in need and ask potential donors to respond. No additional information regarding the nature of or reason for the request will be given.
- Employees willing to donate will respond by email indicating their willingness to donate either one (1) or two (2) days. If no number is indicated, it will be assumed to be an offer of one (1) day.
- The Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources will transfer leave from donor(s) to recipient in the order the offers are received, beginning with one (1) day each until the need is fulfilled. If necessary, a second round of transfers will be made from those offering a second day. The second round will also be executed in the order received.
- The Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources will notify each potential donor of the status of their donations: accepted, one (1) day transferred; accepted, two (2) days transferred; not needed at this time, no days transferred. The Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources will also notify the employee requesting the donation of the status of their request.
- Donations will be accepted up to ten (10) teacher work days following the distribution of the solicitation from Human Resources.
Supplemental sick leave is an additional type of sick leave intended as an added protection for full time tenured teachers who may become seriously ill or disabled. It is intended for catastrophic injuries or illness or severe medical problems which require hospitalization or extensive medical care. Supplemental sick leave differs from ordinary sick leave in that the teacher must be authorized to use this supplemental sick leave by the formal action and approval of the Board of Education on recommendation of the Superintendent.
Supplemental sick leave will not be allowed to be used until all accumulated ordinary sick leave has been used, and there exists a serious illness or disability on the part of the teacher that prevents the teacher from performing his/her duties for a period of five (5) or more consecutive school days. Employees who wish to apply for supplemental sick leave must make the request to the Superintendent in writing and the request must be accompanied by a signed statement from a licensed physician that documents the nature and extent of the illness or disability. If the Board of Education deems it necessary or desirable to obtain additional medical testimony or documentation, they may require a second opinion from a physician at the Board’s expense.
If a teacher has been denied temporary disability benefits under the Teacher Retirement System, such teacher shall immediately return to duty with the District. If the teacher does not so return to duty, the Board of Education will take the necessary steps to terminate the teacher’s employment.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
General Info – FMLA affords an employee up to 12 weeks of protected leave if the leave meets certain criteria. If you should inquire or if it should come to the attention of the HR Department that you have had a personal situation that has/may cause you, a child, or a parent to be incapacitated for 3 or more consecutive days and warrant continuing treatment by a health care provider or hospital OR if you are having a child, adopting a child, or requesting parental leave as the father of the child, then the Department for Human Resources is required by federal mandate to determine with certainty if your incapacity will qualify as FMLA.
What does it mean to be approved or denied for FMLA? Your certification form will be reviewed and a determination will be made regarding whether your leave qualifies as FMLA. If approved, your FMLA will be designated to start as of the first day of your recorded FMLA occurrence.
If your certifications results determine that your leave should not be designated as FMLA or you are denied then your leave type will be determined per other available leave options.
Do I have to accept FMLA? If your certification form determines that your leave qualifies for FMLA, then FMLA will be initiated. FMLA can run in a consecutive or an intermittent (sporadic) manner. If you have questions regarding these options, please contact the Human Resources Department.
Leave Etiquette – The Human Resources Department asks that all staff members on leave refrain from working or participating in work activities. We want you to have all the time necessary to dedicate to your recovery or the recovery of the person you are requesting time off to assist.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding FMLA, please contact the Department for Human Resources for assistance.
847-945-1844 Ext 7222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A: FMLA is a federally mandated benefit that an employer must inform their employee about and offer based on certain guidelines.
Fact: Did you know that to receive FMLA the following must be met?
• Your employer must qualify to offer FMLA
• You have to be eligible to receive the FMLA
• Your condition has to qualify as an FMLA recognized condition
A: Many things can qualify as a condition that would be protected under FMLA, conditions range from serious health conditions, military family leave and expanding your family.
Fact: Did you know that sometimes even something such as constant severe migraines or a severe cold could qualify you for FMLA if certain conditions are met?
A: Having available sick/personal leave only ensures that you will be paid while you are on leave, it does allow you to take an extended leave of absence, have job protection and keep your insurance protection. (See page 6 for descriptions on what FMLA can do for you).
Fact: Although FMLA is unpaid leave, DPS109 allows you to use your available leave to assist you in being paid while absent and maintain insurance. DPS109 runs FMLA concurrently with your leave time.
Fact: Did you know DPS109 can automatically designate your leave as FMLA? If an employee does not request FMLA, a leave can still be designated as FMLA once the cause of the condition is determined. The designation can also be applied retroactively to the first date of your absence.
A: If you fail to provide the requested medical certification, your FMLA could be denied. In the event that you need additional time to have the certification completed, please contact Dana Holman in Human Resources.
Fact: Did you know that DPS109 requires a doctor note in order for you to return from leave when using three or more consecutive sick days. This protects you. It gives the district notification of any inabilities that you may have in regards to your duties and it lets us know that you are healthy and able to return. DPS109 is always concerned with your health and safety and would not want you working with unknown restrictions and health concerns that could put you, other staff and students in danger.
Frontline Absence Management Information
The correct procedure to follow when securing a sub in Frontline Absence Management (formerly AESOP) is to enter the absence into Frontline Absence Management as soon as you are able to enter it, that’s it! You SHOULD NOT (ethically speaking) and CANNOT (legally speaking) contact any particular guest teacher to coordinate picking up your request for guest teacher coverage. All sick days, personal days, school business days, etc. are entered into Frontline Absence Management by the person requesting the day off. If you have any questions regarding using Frontline Absence Management, please review the link provided below.