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What does it look like when you call off at your school? While I haven’t needed to use a sick day if we don’t use them we lose them. Is a mental health day a sick day?

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Hello, Each district is different. We only get five sick days and 1 personal day, but with COVID guidelines, they’ve had to be more flexible (we just have to get tested or provide documentation of why we have to quarantine). As far as using sick days for mental health, I agree with others that mental health and stress are appropriate reasons to rest. It is a lot of work to be absent (lesson plans), but using your sick days for rest and restoration is an appropriate choice, especially now. Since I have children of my own who can get sick too, I don’t actually practice this any more (I need to be able to stay home with them and care for them), but if that weren’t the case, I would probably use mine. At my jobs (now and in the past), there were restrictions about travel/holidays/open house/parent-teacher conferences and when we could use our days off. For example, a teacher this year wanted to travel for a “babymoon” with her husband and it conflicted with our February parent-teacher conferences. She ended up having to meet with the superintendent in person to explain and get permission. He did end up approving it, but in reality could have made her meet with the school board (according to our contract).

We have an online system. We simply log in, enter the absence, and click save. They then take care of finding the sub and all of that. If it's not planned (i.e. I didn't leave sub plans in my room), then I email them to my dept. head to print off for the sub.

And a sick day can be used whenever and for whatever reason (so yes, mental health days are fine if you have the days left to use). In fact, they've even told us that if we're planning such a thing in advance, to go ahead and enter it in the system ahead of time to give subs more time to claim it. They really don't care much about the reasoning -- the only time I've ever been asked was during Covid, and that was just because they needed to know if I'd be out/quarantined for an extended period.

The only exception is that the Fridays before major holidays or breaks are 2:1 days. Which is to say: if you call out on say, the Friday before Spring Break, it will cost you 2 sick/personal days instead of 1. But our days all carry over from year to year, also (the personal days convert to sick days, and the sick days carry over directly). So if you're not out very often, you kind of end up stockpiling days over time.

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Yes! A mental health day is a sick day!

likefunny

Some states are now offering these as NOT being a sick day. Many states are in talks to offer these in the near future. Take a day, YOU deserve it.

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I just take a day off whenever I feel like it, and sometimes I am just taking time off to myself, catching up with grading, or just enjoying a sunny day out. This year I planned a road trip and am taking 3 days off Monday-Wednesday right before, during, and after Open House. 🤷‍♀️ I won’t miss it one bit 😂

As far as I’m concerned it’s none of their business what I do on my days off since we’re allowed to that time off and it’s built into our yearly paid salary, 10 days of sick leave.

likeupliftingsmart

Yup I won’t even go to the grocery store for fear that I’ll see someone.

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Step 1, in order to take a sick day you need to write lesson plans. Don’t forget all of those details that only you know about! Step 2, Find a sub…Step 3, it’s just easier to come into work! For reals though, don’t lose your sick day. Use it!

likesmarthelpful

If the secretary/administration knows that I know I’m going to be out, I leave lesson plans. We were to leave generic plans at the beginning of the year. At this point in the year, if I’m out, I’m out.

Take a day for yourself, it's part of your benefits.

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Ours roll over from year to year. We get 10 each year, and if we don’t use them, they get added to the 10 for the next year. My district also has a policy that if you use less than 7 sick days in a year, you get 11 sick days the next year. There is no limit to how many days we can roll over through our career in the district, so if we can rack up enough days for a full school year, we can retire a year early and get active teacher pay and benefits for that year.

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Must be nice! If we don’t use them by retirement, we can use 50 to purchase a year of service for the days plus about 17K. No thanks—I’ll take my days. I’d even be ok if the leftover state days would be paid out at the end. Anything to screw teachers, the legislature approves.

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Definitely…

likesmart

I say to myself, "I am sick of school." I take a sick day.

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We have no subs , so we drag ourselves in anyway .

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That sounds like a district problem; use your days

likesmart

For me it is. We just have “leave days” our contract doesn’t specify sick and personal.

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In my district, you can take up to three days off for any reason. "I'm sick" is a reason. So is mental health. More than that and you need proof of a doctor visit or an actual illness (doctor's note.) Personal days can also be taken for any reason, but require approval. They can also be sold back at the end of the year at your daily rate. I have never taken a personal day. I prefer the cash.

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Mental health day = sick day!!!!

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My son surprised me with a visit last night. I will be off tomorrow!

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We use Frontline. Our sick days roll over year to year as well.

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Yes that counts and use your sick days!

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I normally plan them ahead and give notice to my administration so that I don’t feel as if I’m leaving them with no plan

We would be ripped to shreds if we didn’t leave plans. We are constantly reminded to have a binder with emergency sub plans and have to send a photo of the location to the secretary.

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Mental health is DEFINITELY a sick day. Use it if you need it.

If you're not feeling well physically, you are not effective and it's not good for you to be in school. The same applies if you're not feeling well mentally. It's ok for you to take some time for your body to heal itself. It only took 18 years of teaching for me to realize this.

They should be viewed as health days, whether it’s to recover/rest or seek preventative care or simply recharging. This includes anything involved with attending to your overall “health”; physical, mental, dental, etc.

It is ridiculous to lose a sick day! You should be able to save your sick days and add them to your retirement. I have 47 sick days from one school and 110 sick days from my current school. I will apply them to my retirement at the end of this school year!

In mine you get to keep the schools health insurance after retirement until you run out of sick days.

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