Submit the following items by April 1 of the year prior to taking leave to the Employee and Retiree Service Center (ERSC), Attn: Leave Adminstration Team.
Leave request (MCPS form 430-1), signed by your principal/director
Current acceptance letter from the college or university, including verification of full-time student status
Proposed program with list of course titles and their credit value for each semester
Written answers to the Academic Leave Questions for Candidates.
Not necessarily. Academic leave is a competitive process and limited funds are available for the leave, so, typically, only three or four candidates are granted leave each year.
Once the academic leave application deadline has passed, each member of the Academic Leave Committee reviews each candidate’s application materials and rates the candidate on several criteria. The candidate with the highest total ratings from the committee is the first candidate offered academic leave. Academic leave offers are made to the top candidates, in order of the total ratings, until the academic leave funds are exhausted.
Critical Field – will the proposed field of study lead to a degree and/or set of skills that meet a critical need of MCPS?
Time Remaining to Completion of Program – how soon will the candidate complete the degree and/or acquire the skills that will allow him/her to provide MCPS with the benefit of the completion of the program
Quality of Recent Performance Evaluations
Number of Years of Service with MCPS
The ERSC has created the document “Critical Shortage Areas” that identifies highest, second highest, and third highest fields of need. Generally speaking, candidates studying for degrees in the highest field of need receive the highest total ratings from the Academic Leave Committee.
If you are eligible for academic leave, but are not among those candidates granted academic leave:
(a) You may switch your leave request from academic leave to professional improvement leave. Professional improvement leave is similar to academic leave. Professional improvement leave is full-time study that is unpaid leave. This decision will need to be made as soon as you are notified that you have not been granted academic leave. Please have the answer to this option settled prior to April 1.
No, academic leave is only granted for one year. However, if you wish to remain on leave for an additional year to complete your program of study, you can apply for Unusual or Imperative Leave for Study. This type of leave is not paid, does not count as a year of service, and benefits will be charged to you at full cost, should you choose to continue your benefits.
Academic leave is for full-time study, therefore permanent employment is not allowed while on leave. You may engage in temporary employment, such as a teaching assistantship or substitute teaching, however, the total salary from your academic leave plus any salary from temporary employment cannot exceed the 100% salary you would have earned in your position if you did not participate in academic leave.
It is expected that decisions about academic leave will be made no later than the week of April 21. This will allow principals to identify the vacancies that will exist in their schools prior to the start of the teacher job fairs.
No. You do not earn leave while you are on academic leave. All leave balances are frozen as of the date your academic leave begins. Sick leave bank contributions are not required for the school year.
No. The pay option has no effect on the ratings that academic leave candidates receive – it is not one of the rating criteria used by the Academic Leave Committee.
The only difference between the two pay options is the amount of service that you will owe to MCPS upon returning from leave. With the 50% pay option, you are promising to continue to work for MCPS for two years following your return from leave. With the 60% pay option, you are promising to continue to work for MCPS for three years following your return from leave.
You will continue to receive biweekly paychecks while you are on leave, in accordance with the published schedule of paydays. Once you are put into a long-term leave status, your biweekly attendance will be controlled and reported by ERSC Payroll Process staff, rather than the timekeeper at your school/office
Yes, your direct deposit will continue while you are on academic leave.
Yes. If you have an anniversary/merit due during the school year, your biweekly academic leave salary will reflect this increase on the first day of the pay period when your anniversary/merit is effective.
If you qualify for a new salary schedule because of course work completed during your academic leave, you can use MCPS Form 475-1: Request for Advanced Salary Placement to request a salary change. YOU MUST REQUEST THIS CHANGE--THE CHANGE IS NOT AUTOMATIC. You also need to send your official transcripts to the Certification Unit in the Office of Human Resources to show successful completion of your courses before the salary change can be processed.
Yes! Upon completion of your academic leave, you must send an official transcript to the Certification Unit in the Office of Human Resources so that your leave can be cleared (i.e., confirm successful completion of your academic leave) and your salary adjusted properly.
If you fail to meet contractual obligations or complete required service upon return to MCPS you will be responsible for the full cost of your leave on a prorated basis. These costs include paid salary and MCPS contributions to your benefit plan and retirement.
If your leave status needs to be changed while you are on academic leave (e.g., sickness, injury, child care) and you will not be able to complete your academic leave courses or obligations, please notify the Leave Administration Team in the ERSC immediately to convert you to the appropriate leave status.
For example, if you were injured in an automobile accident and could not finish your courses, you would be converted from academic leave to personal illness leave so that penalties associated with failure to meet academic leave obligations can be avoided or reduced.
Prior to the completion of your academic leave, you will be contacted by MCPS regarding your return to active employment. There is no guarantee that you will return to your current position or location, or that you will be placed in a field related to your academic leave studies. When you are reassigned, you will be placed in a position of the same or higher salary than the position you held prior to going on academic leave. RESOURCE AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS COMPUTATION.
The Bulletin keeps employees informed of important events and initiatives within MCPS. A new issue of The Bulletin is available online each week.
Yes, union dues are deducted while you are on leave. Dues are deducted at 50% the normal rate for MCEA and MCAAP employees and 100% for SEIU (formerly MCCSSE) employees. If, for some reason, dues are not deducted while you are on leave and/or after your return from leave, you must contact your union.
Yes. Please see Estimating Academic Leave Pay