7 questions parents are asking about the Geneva teachers strike
Daily Herald staff report
Here are answers to some questions parents are raising about the Geneva teachers strike.
Q. When will the days lost to the strike be made up?
A. The district has not yet announced a decision. The school calendar has five built-in "emergency days" that can be used for weather-related or other unexpected reasons. Geneva took one on Nov. 26 due to snow. If it designates the strike days as emergency days and makes them up at the end of the school year, classes would extend into the first week of June.
Q. What about sports?
A. High school sports teams cannot play games during a strike. Teams also cannot practice unless the school board votes to allow them to do so and such practices would have to be supervised by certified educators. It's up to the schools involved to decide if games and matches will be rescheduled.
Q. Will the days lost to the strike affect graduation?
A. It remains to be seen. Geneva doesn't have to worry about rebooking a space such as the Sears Centre, because it still holds its ceremony at the high school. The district's calendar doesn't list the 2019 ceremony, but it usually is held the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Q. Do teachers get vacation days?
A. Under the previous contract, teachers were expected to be in school 181 days of the calendar year (school is in session 175 days this year). They receive 10 paid sick days a year, unless they have accumulated 100 or more unused days, in which case additional days received are reduced. They also receive two to four paid personal leave days, depending on how long they have worked for the district.
Q. What's their work day like?
A. Employees are to be in school during the 8-hour school day, plus 15 minutes before and after the school day. They are to get a duty-free lunch break. They are also to get daily time for planning: at least 30 minutes for elementary school teachers, two periods for middle school teachers (one of which may be for team planning) and two periods for high school teachers.
Q. What about extra duties?
A. Teachers receive stipends for out-of-classroom duties, including coaching sports teams and serving as club advisers.
Q. Do all teachers -- even bad ones -- get raises?
A. Teachers' performance is evaluated annually. A teacher who receives a grade of "Unsatisfactory" remains at their current salary until they successfully complete a remediation plan.
• Sources: Geneva school district budget; Geneva 2015-2018 contract; Geneva school district calendar; Illinois State Board of Education; Illinois High School Association