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COVID-19: Teachers and Staff

Contents

For all details concerning the Leander ISD response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit our COVID-19 webpage.

Updates to the LEADS guidelines for teachers, now available here.

Please note that these FAQ responses apply to general situations, and answers will be updated as needed to provide additional information as it becomes available. Should you have specific questions or concerns regarding any of these questions, please consult with your supervisor to address individual circumstances.

This section has been revised as of April 01, 2020

Teachers and Staff

Thanks to our Board of Trustees, we are proud to continue payroll for all full-and-part time employees while our buildings are closed. We are moving all operational functions to a remote capacity, with the exception of essential functions such as child nutrition services, custodial, and maintenance.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions – Employees

Will LISD staff work remotely during the summer?

In light of ongoing concerns about public health and the closure of our school buildings,  most LISD staff will work remotely in June. Staff working on-site at a district location must complete health protocols in line with Texas standards for all on-site employees.

Will ALL employees be paid while the District is closed?

Yes, ALL District employees will continue to receive their normal compensation/paycheck based on their regularly scheduled work hours per day and established salary/hourly compensation rate. Long-term substitutes that are serving in a long-term position will receive their daily rate for scheduled jobs accepted by March 13, 2020.

For the period between March 23 – April 3, all non-exempt or hourly employees received premium pay, which is 1.5 their normal rate. All other hourly employees will receive their normal paycheck.

The Payroll Department plans to maintain the normal schedule of paychecks for bi-weekly and monthly employees barring any unforeseen conditions.  In order to minimize disruptions to direct deposit, we ask that no changes to existing direct deposit accounts be made until further notice. Please contact the Payroll department at Payroll@leanderisd.org for any questions or concerns regarding payroll.  

I receive stipends during the school year, will I still receive them since the District is closed?

Employees that currently receive annualized stipends that are part of your regular paycheck will continue to do so. 

What are the expectations for employees during the District closure?

Nonexempt employees generally should not be working during the closure.  Certain nonexempt positions have been designated to work during the closure and will receive premium pay for this work.  The actual work schedule for these employees must be approved by the supervisor. The list of these positions is:

  • Custodial 
  • Maintenance and Grounds
  • Payroll/Benefits processing payroll or benefits
  • Technology – directed by supervisor
  • CNS
  • Staff meeting state and federal timelines
  • Other hourly staff required to work by their supervisor 

All exempt employees are expected to be ready and available for virtual meetings and any work required during regular work hours.  

Am I expected to work from home during the closure? 

Yes, exempt employees are to be available to work at home during regular work hours and to do work as your supervisor.  From March 17 – April 5, nonexempt or hourly employees are not expected to work from home unless they are required by their supervisor and on the premium pay list.

After April 5, all employees are expected to be available for work at their normal pay rates. Please review our Remote Work Protocol document (internal only).

Am I allowed to go to work to get materials I need in order to work remotely from home March 23 – April 3, 2020?

LISD has shut down campus facilities and they have been thoroughly cleaned so at this time we are not allowing employees to return to campuses to retrieve items.  Please contact your supervisor for more information on how to get any resources at your campus or office. You must have approval prior to physically reporting to any District facility.

As a reminder, our buildings will be closed for the rest of the 2019–20 school year. The card readers for badge access has been turned off. If we’re going to minimize the spread of this disease and flatten the curve, we want to do our part to limit access to shared spaces and allow our custodial staff the time, space, and ability so they can deeply clean our facilities. 

Am I expected to physically report to work?

A limited number of exempt and nonexempt employees may be asked to physically report to work to provide services during closures. Supervisors will provide employees with additional information.

From March 17 – April 5, nonexempt employees that physically report to work will be compensated at a premium which is one and a half the hourly rate for the hours that employees are physically at work. Supervisors will contact employees with more information.

All employees are expected to be available for work starting April 6. Review our Remote Work document for more details (internal only, en Espanol).

Is overtime allowed for nonexempt employees during the District closure?

All nonexempt staff will be paid for the number of hours in their currently established work schedule. Overtime is not permissible during closures. It is the responsibility of supervisors and nonexempt employees to ensure that overtime is not accrued. 

If I am required to remotely work from home, may I decline?

Yes, if you use personal or sick leave days. If an employee is unable or unwilling to perform these duties as requested by their supervisor, they will need to use their leave days or consider filing for an approved leave.

It is critical that we all work together during this time to ensure that our District meets the needs of our students, parents, staff, and community. Please review our Remote Work Procedures.

Employee Leave Questions

Will my leave balance be reduced as a result of this closure? 

Employee leave balances will not be reduced for these two weeks while LISD is closed.  However, see below for more information on employees that were already on leave or need to go on leave during the closure.

If I was on FMLA during Spring Break and was scheduled to return anytime during March 23 – May 4, 2020, what do I do?

Contact the HR Department at leaverequest@leanderisd.org.  They will work with you regarding next steps and any additional information they may need. Employees should email their release to return to work from their doctor to leaverequest@leanderisd.org.  There will not be an exception to the requirement for employees to provide a return to work releases.

How do I apply for FMLA if I need it during this closure?

Contact HR at leaverequest@leanderisd.org. Be sure to contact your supervisor as well. 

If I am currently on FMLA and will be while the District is closed, am I expected to work remotely or physically report to work?

Employees on FMLA will not be asked to work remotely or otherwise as long as they are still on FMLA. During these two weeks of the closure, your time will not count towards your FMLA time.   Contact benefits at leaverequest@leanderisd.org for additional questions or concerns.

If I was scheduled to take personal or sick leave during March 23 – May 4, 2020, should I let my supervisor know if I will still be taking off?

Yes. During the District closure, employees are expected to be available during work hours and may be required to work from home remotely. If you are going to be unavailable during normal work hours, you will need to contact your supervisor and take a personal or sick leave day.

Employee Mental Health Questions

I’m personally struggling with the impact of COVID-19.  Are there any resources that could help?

All LISD employees and their dependents have access to counselors and online resources.  Go to https://www.awpnow.com/main/access-benefits/  The LISD registration code is AWP-LISD-4530.  Check out https://www.awpnow.com/main/coronavirus-cvid-19/

Call 1-800-343-3822 to speak with an EAP Intake Counselor. Teen Line: 1-800-334-TEEN (8336).

My family and I need something to help us stay calm and motivated during this time.  Any ideas?

The Headspace app is free to all LISD employees.  Go to Headspace for Educators and enter your Leander ISD email.  Click Get Started and you will receive an email invitation with next steps.

Also, during this time, Headspace is offering some of their resources for free to everyone.  So this might be a good resource for your family and friends! Visit Headspace – COVID-19

Miscellaneous/General Questions

As an LISD employee, what information do I need if anyone in my family should become ill? If I’m sick, are there other options to see a doctor?

If you have LISD medical insurance, you can visit your doctor – remember that in most cases, you do not need to go to the emergency room.

If you are enrolled in one of the LISD medical plans, you have the option to utilize MDLIVEMDLIVE allows you to speak with a doctor 24/7 in the comfort of your home. You can speak to a doctor immediately or schedule an appointment later.  Avoid the waiting room! (Cost: PPO Plan: $35 copay and CDHP: $44 copay until the deductible is met, then coinsurance).

Leander ISD provides all employees with EAP (Employee Assistance Program) benefits.  As you go through life, you may be faced with health, personal, family or work-related challenges. Any help you receive is completely confidential and not shared with LISD.  Your EAP benefits provide you and your household with valuable, 24/7, FREE confidential services.  To access the LISD EAP, follow the instructions below:

  • Call 1-800-343-3822 to speak with an EAP Intake Counselor
  • Select “Access Your Benefits” at www.awpnow.com.  Registration Code: AWP-LISD-4530
  • Questions? Reach out to Leander ISD Benefits Team at BenefitsDept@leanderisd.org

Can I share materials or read from books online?

Teachers should not read an entire book aloud unless the publisher and author gave permission. There are lots of websites, authors, and publishers providing links, permissions, and access to their materials. Please try to limit the use of materials to those approved.

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Will teachers who have their own children in ELE be charged for these weeks that the district has suspended normal school operations?

Tuition will be charged through March 13. Deductions will be made for amounts owed through that time and then deductions will be discontinued.

Updated on June 23, 2020

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