When: Lampeter-Strasburg School board meeting, Feb. 16.
What happened: The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the district teachers union — the Lampeter-Strasburg Education Association — allowing teachers to use personal sick days as family sick days if they need time off due to a family member in quarantine.
Background: The district’s former policy provided teachers with eight family sick days per year. When a teacher’s child needs to quarantine because of a COVID-19 exposure, the teacher can use family sick days to stay home with their child. Since some children have needed to quarantine multiple times, the eight days per year was not enough for some teachers.
New policy: The agreement does not give teachers additional time off but gives them more flexibility in how they can use their personal and family sick days. If teachers have a child in quarantine and have previously used their eight family sick days and all personal leave days, they will be permitted to use up to 12 unused personal sick days as family sick days. The policy is temporary and will expire at the end of the this school year.
Quotable: “The only other option after utilizing personal days would be days without pay, which would be significant and we felt it would not be the right thing to do given they have the days sitting as sick,” Superintendent Kevin Peart said of the new policy.
Other business: Jeffrey Smecker, principal of Hans Herr Elementary School, provided the board with a mid-year update on the school’s health and safety plan and other initiatives. Smecker highlighted small class sizes, student transportation changes, and the hard work of teachers and support staff as reasons why the school has been able to successfully reopen.