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Sun, Sept. 19

Leave sharing gets WUSD approval
WUSD board members vote on new policy

The Williams Unified School District's (WUSD) Governing Board met for their regular meeting April 9 at Williams High School. Members discussed and approved the district's new leave sharing policy, designed for district employees to donate leave to other employees. Questions were raised, however, regarding technical aspects of the policy, such as physicians' forms, after the policy was adopted.

The new policy is designed for WUSD employees to donate their personal leave to other employees in the wake of serious illnesses or incapacitating injuries, as well as other qualifying issues. The matter was tabled in March after questions were asked as to whether or not portions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should be included in the new policy. Members of the Williams Education Association (WEA) believed the FMLA portion, which included pregnancy and adoption, should remain in the plan.

Board member Ron Stilwell told those at the April 9 meeting that he was relieved to see the issue settled.

"I'm glad we finally got this settled. It worked for the city, so I'm sure it will work for the school district," Stilwell said.

Board member David Nenne said the addition of the leave sharing policy would help the WUSD when it comes to offering additional benefits to school employees.

"That gives us another benefit that we're providing employees in addition to, or in lieu of, a lot of benefits that we are unable to," Nenne said.

He suggested that the new policy could be revised if it proves problematic.

"We can always change it if it's not working," he said.

WEA President Ann Wells commended the governing board for their decision to pass the policy.

"On behalf of the WEA, we'd like to thank the school board for passing this policy," Wells said. "This kind of fosters staff unity and support of each other - when we can support other staff members in need."

Board members also approved a regulation for policy for the district's sex education and abstinence education's opt in, opt out plan. Board members approved the abstinence and sex education class during their regular meeting Feb. 13 as recommended by the WUSD's Sex Education Advisory Committee. The program, according to school officials, will be instructed to students in grades six through 12. The class will delve into a number of topics, which includes family health issues, education and abstinence education. The program is offered via a grant funded through the Arizona Youth Partnership Group.

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