District looks to update staff attendance policy

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Dallas ISD is looking to simplify its employee leave and absence policies.

In an effort to make the policy easier to understand, the administration presented for a first reading a revised DEC (Local) leave and absence policy at the Oct. 8 Board of Trustees Briefing. The recommended updates more clearly define district attendance requirements, benefits and types of leave employees may take. In addition to making the policy easier to understand, Dallas ISD is placing an emphasis on improving the overall staff attendance rate.

District staff attendance rates for the 2013-2014 school year averaged between 92-95 percent among campus and central office staff.

“Most of our staff meet attendance expectations already,” says Chief of Human Capital Management Carmen Darville. “But we want to stretch our expectations and grow staff attendance rates to an average of 97-98 percent over the next several years. To do that we need to set clear attendance expectations.”

As part of Dallas ISD’s commitment to strengthening a common culture built on compassion, administration is also asking the Trustees to consider expanding the policy to include staff attendance incentive options.

Potential incentives that could be considered within the policy update include an annual unused local day buy-back option, various campus-based incentive programs, and increasing the number of issued local days from three to four days per year. Local days are personal days that can be used at the employee’s discretion. State issued days would not be impacted and would continue to remain at five days per year.

District administrators will use feedback provided by the Board of Trustees at the briefing to develop a detailed incentive proposal. That proposal, along with the recommended policy updates, will be considered for approval at the November 2014 meeting of the Trustees.

Dallas ISD believes the policy changes and possible staff attendance incentive program are important to the district’s Destination 2020 strategic plan and vision to successfully prepare students for the future.

“Our goal is to prepare college-and career-ready students,” says Superintendent of Schools Mike Miles. “In order to do that effectively, we need every classroom to be staffed every day with a highly qualified teacher and we need support staff present every day to ensure teachers can focus on instruction.”

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