5:250 Professional Personnel Leaves of Absence

Leaves of Absence

Each of the provisions in this policy applies to all professional personnel to the extent that it does not conflict with an applicable collective bargaining agreement or individual employment contract or

benefit plan; in the event of a conflict, such provision is severable and the applicable bargaining agreement or individual agreement will control.

Sick and Bereavement Leave

Each full-time professional staff member is granted 10 days sick leave each school year at full pay. Unused days are allowed to accumulate to 180 days. Sick leave is defined in State law as personal illness, mental or behavioral health complications,  quarantine at home, serious illness or death in the immediate family or household, or birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or the acceptance of a child  in need of foster care.

As a condition for paying sick leave after three days absence for personal illness or as the Board or Superintendent deem necessary in other cases, the Board or Superintendent may require that the staff member provide a certificate from: (1) a physician licensed in Illinois to practice medicine and surgery in all its branches, (2) a mental health professional licensed in Illinois providing ongoing care or treatment to the staff  member, (3) a chiropractic physician licensed under the Medical Practice Act, (4) a licensed advanced practice registered nurse, (5) a licensed physician assistant who has been delegated the authority to perform health examinations by his or her supervising physician, or (6) if the treatment is by prayer or spiritual means, a spiritual adviser or practitioner of the employee’s faith. If the Board or Superintendent requires a certificate during a leave of less than three days for personal illness, the District shall pay the expenses incurred by the employee.

Staff members are entitled to use up to 30 days of paid sick leave because of the birth of a child that is not  dependent on the need to recover from childbirth. Such days may be used at any time within the

12-month period following the birth of the child. Intervening periods of nonworking days or school not being in session, such as breaks and holidays, do not count towards the 30 working school days. As a condition of paying  sick leave beyond the 30 working school days, the Board or Superintendent may require medical certification.

For purposes of adoption, placement for adoption, or acceptance of a child in need of foster care, paid sick leave may be used for reasons related to the formal adoption or the formal foster care process prior to taking custody of the child or accepting the child in need of foster care, and for taking custody of the child or accepting the child in need of foster care. Such leave is limited to 30 days, unless a longer leave is  provided in an applicable collective bargaining agreement, and need not be used consecutively once the formal adoption or foster care process is underway. The Board or Superintendent may require that the  employee provide evidence that the formal adoption or foster care process is underway.

Family Bereavement Leave

State law allows a maximum of 10 unpaid work days for eligible employees (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 20 U.S.C. §2601 et seq.) to take family bereavement leave. The purpose, requirements, scheduling, and all other terms of the leave are governed by the Family Bereavement Leave Act. Eligible employees may use family bereavement leave, without any adverse employment action, for: (1) attendance by the bereaved staff member at the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a covered family member, which includes an employee’s child, stepchild, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-inlaw, father-in-law,  grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent (2) making arrangements necessitated by the death of the staff member’s covered family member, or (3) grieving the death of the covered family member, or (4) absence from work due to a Significant Event, which includes: (i) miscarriage, (ii) an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure, (iii) a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party, (iv) a failed surrogacy agreement, (v) a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility, or (vi) a still birth. An employee qualifying for leave due to  a Significant Event will not be required to identify which specific reason applies to the employee’s request.

The leave must be completed within 60 days after the date on which the employee received notice of the death the covered family member or the date on which an event under item (4) above occurs.

However, in the event of the death of more than one child covered family member in a 12-month period, an employee is entitled to up to a total of six weeks of bereavement leave during the 12-month period, subject to certain  restrictions under State and federal law. Other existing forms of leave may be substituted for the leave provided in the Family Bereavement Leave Act. This policy does not create any right for an employee to take  family bereavement leave that is inconsistent with the Family Bereavement Leave Act.

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave may be granted in accordance with the School Code.

Leave to Serve as an Election Judge

Any staff member who was appointed to serve as an election judge under State law may, after giving at least 20-days’ written notice to the District, be absent without pay for the purpose of serving as an election  judge. The staff member is not required to use any form of paid leave to serve as an election judge. No more than 10% of the District’s employees may be absent to serve as election judges on the same Election Day.

Leaves for Service in the Military

Leaves for service in the U.S. Armed Services or any of its reserve components and the National Guard, as well as re-employment rights, will be granted in accordance with State and federal law.  A professional staff member hired to replace one in military service does not acquire tenure.

General Assembly Leave

Leaves for service in the General Assembly, as well as re-employment rights, will be granted in accordance with State and federal law.  A professional staff member hired to replace one or in the General Assembly does not acquire tenure.

Leave for Employment in Department of Defense

The Board of Education may grant teachers a leave of absence to accept employment in a Department of Defense overseas school.

School Visitation Leave

An eligible professional staff member is entitled to 8 hours during any school year, no more than 4 hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences behavioral meetings or academic meetings related to the teacher’s child, if the conference or meeting cannot be scheduled during non work hours.   Professional staff members must first use all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the professional staff member, except sick and disability leave.

The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures implementing this policy consistent with the School Visitation Rights Act.

Leaves for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Gender Violence or Other Crime of Violence

An unpaid leave from work is available to any staff member who: (1) is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or (2) has a family, or household member who is a victim of domestic, sexual violence, gender violence or any other crime of violence,  or (2) has a family or household member who is a victim of such violence whose interests are not adverse to the employee as it relates to the domestic violence, sexual violence, gender violence or any other crime of violence.  The unpaid leave allows the employee to see medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning and other assistance without suffering adverse employment action.

The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act governs the purpose, requirements, scheduling, and continuity of benefits, and all other terms of the leave. Accordingly, if the District employs at least 50 employees, an employee is entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period. Neither the law nor this policy creates a right for an employee to take unpaid leave that exceeds the unpaid leave time allowed under, or is in addition to the unpaid leave time permitted by, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq.).

Leaves to Serve as an Officer or Trustee of a Specific Organization

Upon request, the Board of Education will grant: (1) an unpaid leave of absence to a teacher who is elected to serve as an officer of a State or national teacher organization that represents teachers in collective bargaining negotiations,  (2) 20 days of paid leave of absence per year to a trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System to attend meetings and seminars as described in 105 ILCS 5/24-6.3,  and (3) a paid leave of absence for the local association president of a State teacher association that is an exclusive bargaining agent in the District, or his or her designee, to attend meetings, workshops, or seminars as described in 105 ILCS 5/24-6.2.

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave

During any time when the Governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency under 20 ILCS 3305/7, paid administrative leave is available to eligible employees if the District, State or any

of its agencies, or the local health department has issued guidance, mandates, or rules related to COVID-19 that restrict an employee from being on District property for a reason outlined in State law.

For an employee to be eligible for COVID-19 paid administrative leave, the employee must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined in 105 ILCS 5/10-20.83 (final citation pending).  The employee will receive as many days of administrative leave as required to abide by the public health guidance, mandates, and requirements issued by the Ill. Dept. of Public Health, unless a longer period has
been negotiated with the exclusive bargaining representative.

As a condition of being granted COVID-19 paid administrative leave, an employee shall provide all documentation necessary to substantiate the employee’s eligibility for the leave, as requested by the Superintendent or designee. An employee who is on COVID-19 paid administrative leave will receive the employee’s regular rate of pay; the leave will not diminish any other leave or benefits of the employee.  Employees may not accrue COVID-19 paid administrative leave.

Cross Reference: 

5:180 Temporary Illness or Temporary Incapacity

5:185 Family and Medical Leave

5:330 Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays, and Leaves

Legal Reference(s): 

10 ILCS 5/13-2.5

105 ILCS 5/24-6, 5/24-6.1, 5/24-6.2, 5/24-6.3, 5/24-13, and 5/24-13.1.

330 ILCS 61/, Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

820 ILCS 147/, School Visitation Rights Act.

820 ILCS 154/, Child Bereavement Leave Act.

820 ILCS 180/, Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act.

Date Adopted:  December 15, 2009

Date Amended: February 24, 2015

Date Amended:  June 20, 2017

Date Amended:  January 21, 2020

Date Amended:  January 25, 2022

Date Amended:  January 24, 2023