Inclement Weather & Closing School Policies
| Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:30 PM|
After Considering Input from MTI, District Determines Make-Up Time for Snow Days
The District has experienced a record number of school closure dates this school year due to weather, with six (6) snow/cold days so far and another month of winter remaining. The extraordinary number of days that school was cancelled due to weather has resulted in a need to add instructional hours to meet DPI requirements (1,050 hours for Grades 1-6;at least 1,137 hours for Grades 7-12).
Under the terms of the MMSD Employee Handbook,the District is obligated to consult with MTI’s appointees to the Handbook Review Committee when make-up time is needed in order to consider educator input in the decision. That consultation happened last Tuesday (February 12) during our most recent snow day and while District Administration eventually accepted some of MTI’s recommendations, they rejected others and used their authority to make a final decision.
MTI’s Representatives advocated that in making up instructional minutes the District should consider student and teacher instructional needs first, and that in order to add the necessary instructional hours the District should: 1)convert the February, March, and April ALL STAFF/PD days to instructional days; 2) convert Monday PCT time at middle and high schools to student instructional time; and 3) add the remaining necessary minutes to the elementary instructional day. MTI Representatives reasoned that changing PD and PCT days to instructional time would provide far greater instructional value for students and teachers than adding a minute or two to each class.
The District considered MTI’s input and agreed to convert the February and March ALL STAFF/PD days to instructional days, but also concluded to maintain the April PD day and instead convert the June 12 ALL STAFF/PD day to an instructional day (which MTI opposed since there is little instructional value on the last day of school). The District also concluded against converting Monday PCT time at middle and high schools to instructional time and instead concluded to extend the instructional day at the elementary, middle and high schools accordingly. The District has shared a detailed communication with the specific changes, as well as the rationale to all stakeholders (parents, staff, and students).
Inclement Weather & Closing School Policies
Teacher bargaining unit: Should it become necessary to close or delay the opening of school due to inclement weather, power failures or other circumstances, notice shall be delivered prior to 6:30 a.m. over radio stations whose broadcast studios are located within the city limits of the City of Madison. Teachers shall be compensated for such day in their regular monthly payroll check.
Bilingual Resources Specialists: The Employee Handbook provides that employees who are tardy or absent due to inclement weather are allowed to receive compensation by using personal illness leave or electing to make up the time by performing their regular duties or participating in staff development/training opportunities offered by the District.
EAs/SEAs/NAs: The Employee Handbook allows the option of using personal illness leave to receive payment for time missed due to school closings, along with being able to be paid up-front, provided one makes up the missed time by attending District-provided staff development/training or by performing her/his regular duties within one week of the end of the school year.
Clerical/Technical: The Employee Handbook provides that when an employee is absent from work for more than one hour on a “snow day,” or other emergency school closing, in addition to vacation time and compensatory time, the employee shall have the option to use floating holidays or personal illness leave to receive compensation for such days. In addition, employees are provided the option of receiving pay for the snow day during the payroll period in which the snow day occurs (without utilizing any accrued time) provided the employee makes up the time by attending District-offered staff development/training opportunities by the end of the school year. Employees will also continue to have the option to make up the time by performing their regular duties provided they have their supervisor’s approval.
Security Assistants: The Employee Handbook provides the options of using personal illness or floating holiday time to receive payment for time missed, along with being able to be paid up-front, provided one makes up the missed time by attending District-provided staff development/training or by performing her/his regular duties within one week of the end of the school year.
Substitute Teachers: Receive no compensation on such days.