The Board of Education encourages opportunities for professional and service employees to develop increased competence, beyond that which they may attain through the performance of their assigned duties through attendance at professional meetings.
For purposes of this policy, a professional meeting shall be defined as any meeting that is directly related to the activities, duties, or responsibilities of professional and service employees as determined by the Principal, Program Director, Assistant Superintendent and/or Superintendent.
Approval of Professional Leave shall be contingent upon the correct completion of a Travel Authorization Request with a detailed brochure, agenda, or program attached that contains the date and schedule for the activity. The brochure, agenda, or program shall clearly describe the activity, and the person requesting leave shall demonstrate that it is directly related to their job duties. Professional Leave shall be limited to five (5) days per school year and will not be approved if it results in an absentee rate of fifteen (15) percent from any given school. If possible, requests should be submitted to the Central Office three (3) weeks prior to the event to assure efficient passage through the approval process and study of the budgetary and operational issues that may arise from release of personnel for the Professional Leave. Principals and Administrators are exempt from the five (5) day limit and the three (3) week advance notice. Principals, Coordinators, Program Directors, and the Superintendent reserve the right to deny, postpone, cancel or revoke the Professional Development Leave/Travel Authorization Request approval at any time based on budgetary and/or operational issues. Approval at the school level does not guarantee approval at the Central Office level.
Professional educators or service employees serving as mentor teachers, or serving on State and County Professional Staff Development Councils, school curriculum teams or professional or service support teams may be granted professional leave if required for performance of their duties during the instructional day, or extra duty compensation, if required at other times. Necessary board-approved expenses actually incurred in attending the meetings will be reimbursed per board policy.
Coverage of professional or service personnel’s regular duties during release time should be provided through the use of paraprofessional aides, coverage by instructional staff and other methods to avoid the interruption of instruction. Substitutes may be used only when the aforementioned methods are not possible.
Requests for professional leave to attend professional organization meetings (such as AFT, WVEA, NEA, WVFT and WVSSPA) will be limited to the county organization president or their designee. Any other employee who wishes to attend these organization meetings will not be granted professional leave, but may apply for personal leave.
Employees wishing to serve as chaperones for schools other than their home school will not be granted professional leave, and may apply for personal leave. Head coaches and assistants will be granted professional leave for the duration of the tournament only if their team participates in any part of the tournament.
Out-of-county professional leave will be limited to five (5) total days per year regardless of the type of professional leave requested (excluding administrators). Out-of-state travel requests must be presented to the board by the employee making the request prior to possible board approval.
Adopted: July, 1991
Revised: December 3, 2012