Staff Reopening Information
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our organization, we have not lost sight on the impact it has also had on our staff, students, and community. We know that each individual may be impacted in different ways and that everyone has different feelings on how we should return to school. This plan will be used as a guide to help steer our direction as the COVID-19 landscape changes. We will continue to follow health authority guidelines, and as the guidelines adjust, so will our direction and communication. We will continue to adapt to our environment and provide the best support to our students, staff, and community.
To our employees, we want to say thank you! Thank you for your flexibility, resilience, dedication, and grace. You continue to be the cornerstone of our District. We support our students in so many ways: we educate them, we nourish them, we provide emotional and physical support, we provide an environment for them to feel safe and secure. All of our employees continue to be critical to our success. As we prepare for school reopening, and what that educational setting may look like, our staff is needed now, more than ever. Thank you again for your support and collaboration during this time.
This section will be updated regularly with answers to staff questions to ensure we have a consistent approach to a variety of staff needs.
Staff Absences and Responsibilities
As we begin to open our doors and continue to educate children in traditional and non-traditional means, we will have a requirement for staff to report and assist with this goal. The District will do its best to prepare a plan for reopening that will need to remain flexible in order to respond to the changing restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All plans will be based on local health department guidance. If your position is required to report to work, you will be expected to report in order to keep up with the essential operations of the District.
Employee Wellness Check
The health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, school and community has always been the highest priority for the Platte County R-3 School District. Employees should not come to work under any circumstances if they are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19. To that end, if an employee starts to feel ill at work, they should inform their supervisor and leave work immediately. The supervisor should contact Human Resources for guidance.
If an employee needs to use an Annual Leave Day for an approved reason, not related to COVID-19, the employee should submit the request to their supervisor within 48 hours of the leave, if possible, in accordance with the short term leave policies GCBDA/GDBDA.
Responsibilities for Communication and Dignity
It is the employee’s responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of medical information regarding staff and students. If an employee suspects a student or staff member is exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms, or any medically related symptoms, this information should not be shared with others. The District does not promote gossip or discourteous treatment of staff, as stated in Board Policy GBCB Staff Conduct.
In response to staff leave requests related to the coronavirus, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Emergency Family Medical Leave Act provides employees with paid sick leave and expanded family leave for reasons directly related to COVID-19.
The new legislation went into effect April 1, 2020, and will run through December 31, 2020. Although the new legislation provides additional leave, it also potentially reduces the employee's pay over the given time period. It is important to point out, these two new leave laws only apply if an employee is not able to work or telework and the District has work for the employee to do.
The FFCRA Leave Request Form can be found here. Documentation may be requested from your healthcare provider or your child’s daycare provider. The qualifications for both types of leave have been summarized below.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Under the law, employees are eligible for paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework and the District has work for the employee to do. This leave provides pay for two weeks (up to 80 hours) with a capped amount of daily pay. Part time employee pay is determined on an average number of hours taken from a normal two week period.
*Paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons:
- Employee is subject to quarantine orders (federal/state/local).
- Employee is subject to a self-quarantine order by a healthcare provider.
- Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis.
- Employee is caring for an individual under quarantine or who has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
- Employee is caring for their child due to school or daycare provider closures related to COVID-19.
- Employee is experiencing similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary of Labor.
Compensation for the approved sick leave:
*If leave is for reasons 1-3, leave will be paid at employee's regular wage, not to exceed $511/day.
*If leave is for reasons 4-6, leave will be paid at two-thirds of the employee’s regular wage, not to exceed $200/day.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – Expanded Family Medical Leave
The FFCRA Family Medical Leave Expansion allows employees to care for a child (under 18 years of age), whose school or child-care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
- FFCRA provides up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds pay. Employees must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days, are unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for other related reasons to COVID-19.
- Employees cannot use the leave intermittently. This means that employees’ expanded FMLA leave regarding COVID-19 must be consistent with no breaks and will be paid at only two thirds (2/3) rate of their regular pay. Caps under the Expanded Leave Law are in place for payment.
- Employees using FMLA Expanded Leave related to COVID-19 will be entitled to 12 weeks total, 10 of which will be paid under the FFCRA.
- It should not be an additional 12 weeks to the 12 weeks provided by FMLA, but may be run concurrently by the district.
- Pursuant to Board Policy GBBDA, district-provided leave will be required to be used concurrently with expanded FMLA leave, except for when an employee is using emergency paid sick leave under the FFCRA concurrently with expanded FMLA during the first two weeks.
Please refer to the flowchart linked here for guidance on leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Workplace Accommodation Requests
Accommodations are for employees who desire to work, and the District has work to perform, but are requesting a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the assigned duties outlined in their job description. The District will review and determine if the accommodation request is reasonable. The District may request medical documentation from a medical provider. The Workplace Accommodation Request Form can be found here.
Staff Facility Use
To support the work of our custodial staff and their efforts to provide a safe environment for all students and staff, the District will ask all staff to follow the below protocol:
- At the end of each instructional day, teachers will be asked to leave school at a reasonable time to allow our custodial team to disinfect classrooms.
- Before teachers leave each day, we ask that they do the following:
- Clean desk areas of papers
- Stack chairs and clear floor areas
- Teachers should contact their building principal if access to the school if needed after hours or on weekends.
- Coaches and sponsors need to communicate to the Activities Director to determine the best spaces for meetings, practices, and competitions for each day, including weekend use.
- Coaches, sponsors, and participants will be limited to only the necessary spaces required for each activity.