Park City School District Working With Education Association To Address Quarantine Policy
The heads of the Park City Education Association met with District Administration Monday to explore options to cover the costs of teachers using time off when quarantining for COVID-19 illness or exposure.
Mary Morgan is co-president of the Park City Education Association, Park City’s biggest teacher's union. KPCW reported last week that three of the four Wasatch Back school districts are requiring district employees to use paid time off when they quarantine due to COVID.
Morgan said the meeting with Superintendent Jill Gildea and Human Resources Director Shad Sorenson was very productive. The education association is hopeful they will come to a resolution soon on funding sick days due to quarantine.
"There are a few options for federal grants that we are working on together so that teachers aren't having to take their own time off due to COVID absences. We are also looking at other school districts that are funding COVID leave for teachers and how those are funded. We do feel that there are some really positive options, and that we are really hoping that the some of those will become viable possibilities for funding COVID leave and are in the foreseeable future. In addition, we want to say that we are definitely grateful to district admin Dr. Gildae, Dr. Sorenson for working together with us to come up with some real solutions for teachers."
Morgan said the school district is considering a nearly $70,000 grant which she believes would go a long way to help cover absences caused by COVID-related quarantine.
"There was one grant I believe that was around $69,000, which would be a really good chunk of change to be able to use for that funding. But as far as a set amount we haven't really discussed the set amount.”
North Summit School District does not require staff to use PTO or Personal Time Off when for quarantining. Superintendent Jerre Holmes said his district hoped to be back on its regular sick leave contract this year but saw COVID was still an issue, so they decided to shift money to include more substitute funding.
"Obviously, when you do that, you cut somewhere else. But we just felt like, to honor what we're trying to do, stay home when we're sick, that we didn't want to punish teachers, especially if they have to quarantine for 10 to 14 days. That would wipe out their sick leave for the year, and it was just a matter of shifts that we made to try to send the message, not only to our teachers but to parents and students, that that's one of our biggest weapons in this, is to stay home when we're sick."
Morgan said a few grants need to be submitted quickly, and the district is hoping to have identified funding sources in the next few weeks.