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730: Sturgeon Public Schools Employee Absences/Leaves - All Staff

Responsible Administrator: Associate Superintendent Human Resources



Sturgeon Public Schools has the right to expect employees will attend work regularly and diligently fulfill the responsibilities they were hired to provide.

Where circumstances arise, Sturgeon Public Schools recognizes the responsibility of employees to report absences in accordance with established administrative procedure and employment agreement provisions.

All employees are required to be present according to the terms of their Collective Agreement, General Employment Conditions, or their individual contract.


The Associate Superintendent Human Resources is responsible for maintaining a process for managing employee absences.


1. Application for Leaves

1.1 The Associate Superintendent Human Resources shall approve all requests for leaves (except unanticipated sick leave) under the A.T.A. Collective Agreement, the CUPE Collective Agreement and General Employee Conditions.

1.2 The Associate Superintendent Human Resources will verify the effect of the leaves on the school with the Principal before rendering a decision.

1.3 The Principal shall approve all requests for conference/in-service leaves, which are to be charged to school accounts.

1.4 The appropriate Department Supervisor shall approve all requests for conference/in-service leaves, which are to be charged to Department accounts.

2. Reporting Absences

2.1 All employee absences be reported.

2.2 All absences shall be reported accurately by employees in the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and verified by the Principal or appropriate supervisor.

2.2.1 When it is evident that an employee is unable to be at the workplace for an operational day, they shall enter the absence into the HRIS before 6:30 a.m. to ensure arrangements can be made to provide a replacement if required.

2.2.2 Emergency absences that occur after 6:30 a.m. require employees to contact their Principal/supervisor as soon as possible and to enter the absence into the HRIS.

2.3 Principals/supervisors shall verify employee absences weekly through the HRIS.

2.4 Principals shall communicate their absences to the Superintendent according to leaves provided within the ATA Collective Agreement.

2.5 Vice Principals shall communicate their absences with the Principal according to the leaves provided within the ATA Collective Agreement.

2.6 Employees with advance notice of a leave shall report the absence(s) at minimum three (3) working days beforehand. Absences with advance notice include, but are not limited to, professional development, medical appointments and meetings.

2.7 Employees should make all best efforts to schedule routine medical/dental appointments to avoid disruptions to assigned duties.

2.8 Teachers and other salaried employees shall enter absences in the HRIS according to half or full days.

2.9 Hourly paid employees shall enter absences in the HRIS based on actual time absent from work and sensitive to the nearest 30-minute increment.

2.10 If emergency absences arise, the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Principal/supervisor shall be contacted as far in advance as possible.

3.0 Inclement Weather

3.1 Employees shall make all best efforts to attend the workplace on inclement weather days as schools remain open even if buses are not running.

3.2 Employees who have difficulty arriving to work on time due to inclement weather must contact their Principal/supervisor.

3.3 Employees shall make multiple attempts in the morning and afternoon to attend work on inclement weather days.

4.0 Replacement Plans

4.1 Support Staff and General Employment Conditions employees shall provide a routine plan to a replacement that must include important safety information, work routines, timetable and a description of duties.

4.2 Teachers shall provide lesson plans on days they are absent so productive work may continue with the substitute teacher. Lesson plans should be prepared for absences of up to five (5) days. All lesson plans shall include the following information:

4.2.1 Timetable: Include bell times, period changes, dismissal time, and support staff schedule in the classroom if applicable.

4.2.2 Room locations: Provide room numbers and times aligned with the timetable.

4.2.3 Resources: Provide location of photocopier(s)/printers and other applicable materials along with guest login information if required.

4.2.4 Supervision: Provide a copy of the supervision schedule.

4.2.5 Lesson design: Provide copies of the lesson design for the classes the substitute teacher will be responsible for teaching.

4.2.6 Class list: Provide copies of the class list(s).

4.2.7 Seating plans: Provide a copy of seating plan(s) if applicable.

4.2.8 Safety: Provide relevant school and classroom information to support fire evacuation and/or lock down.

4.2.9 Medical needs: Provide information on student medical alerts including student name, medical consideration/fragility, contact name and number (especially if sub has no access to student information system).

4.2.10 Discipline needs: Provide information on special discipline alerts including student name, student discipline considerations, parent/guardian contact name and number (especially if sub has no access to student information system). Special consideration for providing a substitute teacher with a copy of a behaviour plan if applicable.

4.2.11 Inclusive Education needs: Provide a list of students identified with inclusive education needs and provide instructions for the sub to access Individual Program Plan(s) and/or Learning Plan(s).

4.2.12 Routines: Provide a description of routines including opening of the day, attendance, announcements, agendas, classroom incentives, list of privileges the substitute teacher can provide to students and end of the day description.

4.2.13 Other: Provide other important information applicable to classroom routines, including but not limited to, volunteers, school events, job sharing details and student teacher specifics.

4.2.14 Confidentiality: Plan for substitute teacher will clearly read – “Confidential information – not to be copied or removed from the school premises. This plan is property of the school”.

4.3 Schools may collaborate on a package of information that is attached to teacher lesson plans which satisfy some of the relevant replacement plan requirements in 4.2.12.

4.4 Teachers shall prepare in advance an emergency plan which will include lesson plan information for emergency absences of up to one (1) day. These plans shall be submitted to the school Principal within ten (10) working days of the operational school year starting.

4.4.1 High school teachers on a semester schedule shall submit emergency plans within ten (10) working days of school start for each semester.

4.4.2 New teachers and other teachers with modifications to their schedule due to assignment changes or semester changes shall submit an emergency plan within ten (10) working days of a new assignment or schedule modification.

4.5 Teachers in specialized classes (including but not limited to music and CTS) shall provide two (2) sets of lesson plans which include theory work (i.e. research, tests, exercises) and plans for the substitute teacher to continue with the regular program. Qualified substitutes may continue regular program work with approval of the Principal.

5.0 Attendance Management

5.1 Principals/supervisors shall discuss the importance of consistent attendance at the beginning of each school year with all employees.

5.2 Principals/supervisors shall ensure all employees are aware of the availability of the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).

5.3 Attendance concerns may be identified by a Principal/supervisor or by Human Resources.

5.4 The Principal/supervisor will bring the attendance concern to the attention of the employee during an initial coaching meeting. This initial coaching meeting is supportive and is not intended to be disciplinary:

5.4.1 Describe with the employee the impact their absences have had on the workplace and students.

5.4.2 Provide support and identify services that are available to the employee, including but not limited to, the Employee and Family Assistance Program, Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan and the division’s Human Resources Department.

5.4.3 The initial coaching meeting shall include a summary note of the discussion, shared with the teacher and kept by the Principal for a full school year.

5.4.4 If attendance does not show improvement, a follow-up coaching meeting shall be held to review the items discussed in the initial coaching meeting. The Principal/supervisor and employee will determine together other supports or strategies that may serve to improve attendance.

5.4.5 The follow-up coaching meeting shall include a written letter summarizing the discussion with a copy of the letter shared with the teacher and a copy kept by the Principal for a full school year.

5.5 If attendance continues to be a concern, the Associate Superintendent Human Resources shall schedule a verification meeting with the employee and the Principal/supervisor.

5.5.1The Associate Superintendent Human Resources will review the strategies discussed and completed thus far in the attendance management process.

5.5.2The Associate Superintendent Human Resources may request employees provide medical verification of absences and medical confirmation of their inability to maintain regular work attendance.

5.5.3 The Associate Superintendent Human Resources may request the completion of an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by a physician named or approved by the employer as additional verification the employee is unable to maintain regular work attendance.

5.5.4 The Associate Superintendent Human Resources shall provide a written letter summarizing the verification meeting.

6.0 Culpable Absences

6.1 By definition, culpable absences are absences within the employee’s ability to control.

6.2 Where early intervention of attendance concerns is ineffective and where absenteeism is deemed to be culpable, a process involving discipline is the appropriate response.

7.0 Non-Culpable Absences

7.1 By definition, non-culpable absenteeism is not the employee’s fault. These absences usually relate to illness or injury and include concerns that the employee cannot control.

7.2 Where attendance issues have been identified as non-culpable absences, the employer will take into consideration a number of factors in determining an appropriate accommodation for an employee. Accommodation considerations for employees will include, but are not limited, to the following factors:

7.2.1 Disruption to student learning;

7.2.2 Financial costs associated with the accommodation;

7.2.3 Interruption to operations and/or provisions of service;

7.2.4 threat to the health and safety of the employee, colleagues and students;

7.2.5 capacity of facilities for successful accommodation, and

7.2.6 The impact on an applicable Collective or Labour agreement.



Labour Agreements (ATA, CUPE and General Employment Conditions)

Education Act: Section 220 Salaries and Absences

Education Act: Section 226 Medical Examination

Admin Procedure: 714 Progressive Discipline for Support Staff

Sturgeon Public Schools Guide to Growth and Supervision


2020 Jan 29 Initial Approval