The Shenandoah County School Board is expected to vote Thursday on changes to the division's employee sick and personal days use policy.

The School Board discussed the policy at its November meeting.  Superintendent Mark Johnston said the wording of the policy was being misinterpreted to mean that that each day missed would require a note from a health care provider. That was never the intent by the administration, he said, and as a result, changes will be made.

The policy that will be presented and voted on at Thursday’s meeting reads:

“Employees are eligible to use paid sick leave in accordance with this policy. Any employee that is sick and will not be able to attend work on a scheduled workday shall contact their immediate supervisor as early as possible and enter the leave in the electronic leave management system. In any case in which an illness causes absence from work in excess of three working days, the employee will be required to provide certification from a health care provider that they have been seen by the provider. Absences of more than ten consecutive workdays will be counted as leave under the FMLA.”

Johnston said the policy is nothing new and only formalizes in writing what has been practiced, adding they want to be consistent.

Jeff Rudy, president of the Shenandoah County Education Association, said he was pleased that the language causing concern was removed.

The group, however, is still asking that the division adopt a “Paid Time Off Policy” as seen in other counties. Under a “Paid Time Off Policy” there is no designation of “sick” or “personal” days. It allows teachers and staff to use their days at their discretion, Rudy stated.

Johnston said that is a much more substantive change and it has never been the district’s practice but it is something that can be discussed.

He said he anticipates that the Personnel Committee will discuss that suggestion.

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