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Waynesville schools add leave time for families of deploying soldiers
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 24, 2009) — Teachers and staff members of the Waynesville R-VI School District who have spouses or family members deploying for military duty will now be able to take military leave time without first using up personal leave days, school board members decided Monday night.

That’s a change from the original rules in the 2009-10 certificated and classified personnel handbooks which were presented by Joe Petrich, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources, for review at last month’s school board meeting.

“When a person takes armed forces leave for a spouse, son or daughter deploying overseas for a military conflict, it used to be under the old policy that they would have to take personal business leave if they had personal business days,” Petrich said. “Say you have three personal business days, and say your deployment was very early in the school year. You start school in August, your spouse deploys in September, and you want to spend a little time with them, that’s district-paid leave, but you would be required to actually use your three days of personal business leave before your armed forces leave was actually granted. You could have someone whose spouse might deploy later in the year and they’ve already used their three days of personal business leave. They would still also get their armed forces leave and that appeared to be a fairness issue.”

Board members approved that change unanimously.

Petrich said the two handbooks had been extensively reviewed by building principals and central office staff and also had been placed on the district’s website for review.

“I didn’t receive a great deal of feedback from our staff, but nonetheless, I appreciate everybody’s efforts,” Petrich said.

In other personnel matters:

• Petrich said he’s recommending four additional full-time elementary classroom teachers, one each for sixth grade at Freedom, fourth grade at Partridge, second grade at East and fifth grade at Thayer, as well as considering two certificated positions and one classified position. A decision won’t be made on Petrich’s recommendation until the April school board meeting.

“We’re basing this, of course, on MSIP standards of proper and appropriate student teacher ratios,” Petrich said, noting that the plan could change if the school district changes its attendance areas.

• Board members approved revised job descriptions for guidance counselor and alternative school guidance counselor, as well as deletion of the early childhood coordinator position; all had been presented by Petrich at the February school board meeting for review. Petrich also presented job description revisions for approval in April for the positions of instructional support service specialist, district school psychological examiner, educational diagnostician, and special education teacher. Specific job descriptions will be deleted for teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, visually handicapped students, behavior disorder students and EMR students.

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