Frequently asked questions regarding procedures for staff during the Extended Emergency Leave
Will ALL employees be paid while the district is closed?
All active employees of Dallas ISD will be placed on an approved extended emergency leave for the duration of the district closure. All active district employees will receive their normal compensation/paychecks with no deductions to their paid time off (PTO). Some staff may be required to perform limited duties remotely, working from home to maintain key functions of the district, such as instruction, lesson development, curriculum development, staff support and business office functions such as payroll, etc.
The Payroll Department will maintain the normal schedule of paychecks for bi-weekly and monthly employees. For questions and concerns related to payroll please contact email@example.com. Any employee not set up for direct deposit will have checks mailed by Treasury until the district returns to normal operations.
Will my PTO be impacted if the district is closed for months?
Employees will be granted Extended Emergency Leave for all school days that the district is closed to normal operations. There will be no impact to an employee’s PTO balance while on this approved Leave. No deductions will be made from their paid time off during this leave as long as the conditions of the emergency leave are met by the employee.
What if I don’t do work that can be performed from home? Will I still be paid?
Yes, all employees will be granted paid Extended Emergency Leave. Part of the compensation granted and paid during this leave is for performance of critical duties that may be required through working remotely to maintain key functions of the district. If an employee on paid emergency leave is unable or unwilling to perform these duties as requested by their supervisor, they will need to use PTO or consider filing for an approved leave and may face negative employment consequences.
It is critical that during this emergency all employees work together to maintain essential district functions to the highest level of delivery possible for our students, parents, staff and communities.
What action is required if I am now on leave and scheduled to return to work after spring break?
Update the Benefits department at firstname.lastname@example.org concerning your leave status as you would normally. If your leave status is changed from an approved leave to active, the district will update your employment status, and you will qualify for Extended Emergency Leave on your first active day. Benefits will coordinate with the Payroll Department. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
What if I need to go on leave to care for a sick family member not related to COVID-19?
Contact the Benefits department at email@example.com to file for an approved leave.
If I have vacation planned later this spring, should I to let my supervisor know I plan to take vacation during the time the district is closed?
Yes. Employees on approved Extended Emergency Leave as we are now during the COVID-19 closure may have required duties and responsibilities. Active exempt and non-exempt campus-based staff and all exempt and non-exempt central staff employees may be required to work remotely/work from home. Employees may be asked to perform work determined by supervisors to meet the needs of our students and the District. This work will be limited to essential functions as determined by an employee’s supervisor, but it is required when requested. All district employees on Extended Emergency Leave should be available during their normal work hours. If you plan to take vacation during this time, you will need to notify your supervisor and utilize existing PTO.
Will teachers who work in the At-Home Learning program receive extra compensation?
No. All active district employees will be granted paid Extended Emergency Leave during the time the district is closed because of COVID-19. Employee compensation during this time covers performance of critical duties required of teachers and other staff working remotely or from home to maintain key district functions. These include instruction, lesson development, curriculum development, etc. These duties should not extend past an employee’s normal work day.
Which groups of employees are considered essential personnel?
- Essential personnel are district employees who are called in to work to perform essential tasks that cannot be performed remotely due to the nature of their job scope/duties.
- Essential personnel may be exempt or non-exempt employees.
- Essential personnel may include, but are not limited to, the following: Police and Security and Operations
- Essential personnel must be requested by their supervisor to report to the work site during the closure and must have prior supervisor approval prior to reporting.
- All essential staff who report to the work site following their supervisor’s request will need to clock in and out on bio-clocks for all time worked.
- Essential personnel will be requested to report to the work site andwill receive flex time, overtime or compensatory time for hours worked based on their employment status.
- When the superintendent of schools or designee declares the District reopened, employee compensation will revert to standard practice in accordance with the District’s Compensation Manual.
How will my work/assignments expectations be defined?
Your supervisor can clarify your work assignments and any expectations during Extended Emergency Leave. Please reach out to your direct supervisor via email for clarification.
What do I need to submit to show I am working on my assignments if I am expected to work remotely?
Your supervisor can clarify any expectations during Extended Emergency Leave. Please reach out to your direct supervisor via email for clarification.
Will teachers report at all during the online instruction period?
Teachers are not anticipated to need to report to the campus during the Extended Emergency Leave, in general; however, there will be some need for periodic ways to compile, distribute and grade hard copies of lessons for those students without tech access. Thus, some very limited physical reporting will be needed. It is a fluid situation that rapidly changes and the district will provide any further necessary updates as they develop.
If we move toward online learning, are teachers expected to collect grades?
Yes. A plan is coming soon.
Teachers with their own children at home will have to balance home life and online learning. Is that being taken into consideration?
Yes. The district is aware that these types of challenges may be faced by many of our employees. The district is balancing the needs of our staff with the needs of our students and district.
Will the indefinite closure impact current hiring?
Continual hiring to ensure that classrooms and departments are set up for success will remain the top priority for Human Capital Management. HCM is developing a plan to schedule virtual/online interviews and job fairs. Once this plan is fully formulated, the specifics will be shared with principals and hiring managers as well as our applicants to fully engage all stakeholders in the selection process as applicable. If you have a position that needs to be posted to begin sourcing candidates, please follow the normal process. Your Human Capital Management Staffing Supervisor (Talent Partner) will be available to you via email with these posting steps if you need assistance.
A candidate was in the middle of the hiring process. Will that continue with HCM while we are closed?
Human Capital Management will continue the hiring process for all candidates that have been recommended by a Campus or Department. HCM will reach out to the candidate to let them know the next steps needed to be cleared for hire. Most hiring items are captured online through our Applicant Tracking System; therefore, we will process information electronically. If any pending items needed from a candidate require an in-person meeting for completion, Human Capital Management will contact the individual the week the District resumes normal operations and will schedule that meeting within three business days. Once the candidate is cleared for hire, the Principal/Hiring Manager will be informed via Human Capital Management with the candidate’s official start date. The new employee will need to work with their Supervisor to outline a plan for specific items to be completed remotely (if applicable).
How will I be evaluated now that the state has said there won’t be STAAR testing? Will my salary be affected?
Human Capital Management will partner with School Leadership and Evaluation and Assessment to ensure teachers are held harmless under TEI in 2019-20. Additional information regarding TEI compensation will be shared through district news as it becomes available.
How is DTR going to be determined?
The central review team will continue to score current DTR applications in Spring 2020 and, pending adjustments to TEI processes, DTR Snapshots released to teachers in June.
What will happen with TEI?
Human Capital Management will partner with School Leadership and Evaluation and Assessment to ensure teachers are held harmless under TEI in 2019-20.
If we are not at work, will we be evaluated with the same goals we have? If we are not there, how can we achieve them?
To ensure that employees are held harmless, the Performance Management team in HCM will provide additional guidance to supervisors and appraisers regarding employee evaluations in the coming days.
Will TEA and Dallas ISD consider gaps in instruction for next school year when evaluating teachers?
Human Capital Management will partner with School Leadership and Evaluation and Assessment to ensure (1) teachers are held harmless under TEI in 2019-20 and (2) student growth is appropriately captured in 2020-21.
Do employees have to report to supervisors on Monday? By phone call or email?
Employees do not need to report to work on Monday but should contact their supervisors by phone and/or email to identify what duties may be required to be completed remotely as part of the Extended Emergency Leave, as well as to provide updated contact information.
Can my supervisor ask that we come to the office to finish work?
This is allowed for staff that are identified as Essential Personnel per DEC (REGULATION) as determined by the Superintendent of Schools. If work can be completed remotely, then that is the desired method of completion. Essential Personnel are District employees called to duty to perform essential tasks when the District is closed, and may be exempt or non-exempt employees. Essential personnel may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Police and Security
- Campus leadership
- Leadership support staff, i.e., office managers
- Mental health staff, i.e., counselors
Essential personnel must be requested by their supervisor to report to the work site during the closure and must have supervisor approval prior to reporting. Essential personnel cannot perform their duties remotely as part of the Extended Emergency Leave, due to the nature of their job scope/duties. They will be compensated at a rate of time and a half for flex time, overtime or compensatory time, based on their employment status for the time worked. All essential staff who are willing to report to the work site as essential staff following their supervisor's request will need to utilize the bio-clock to clock in and out for all times reported.
I don’t have a computer at home. Will the district provide one so I can work remotely?
Please communicate this need to your supervisor via email. They will assist in securing any needed resources to complete assigned duties at the time they are assigned.
Will district email still work, and can we expect that people will be checking and responding to email while the district is closed?
The Dallas ISD IT department will maintain the functionality of the district email systems. As part of the duties associated with paid Extended Emergency Leave, all staff should check emails daily. This will not only facilitate communication between departments and staff members on essential day-to-day functions, but will also relay information and updates from the District related to the ongoing district emergency closure.
Are we supposed to be at home and available during business hours while the district is closed?
Yes. All district employees on Extended Emergency Leave should be available during their normal work hours. Active exempt and non-exempt campus-based staff and all exempt and non-exempt central staff employees may be required to work remotely/work from home to some degree as needed and determined by their supervisors to meet the needs of our students and the needs of the District as part of this compensation. This work will be limited to essential functions for students, staff and the District as determined by the employees’ supervisor.