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Sabbatical Leave

  1. Who is eligible for a sabbatical leave?

    Paid sabbatical leaves shall be offered to members of the BFT bargaining unit who have worked in the District for at least ten (10) years.

  2. What is the deadline for applying for a sabbatical leave? How do I get an application?

    March 1st. Applications are available on the BFT web site.

  3. Who decides whether my leave request will be granted?

    A Sabbatical Leave committee made up of five (5) faculty members (appointed by the Superintendent and the BFT President) makes a recommendation to the Superintendent.  This committee develops standards to guide the acceptance or rejection of proposals.

  4. When do I find out if my proposal has been accepted?

    The District is obligated to notify you by April 15th.

  5. What are the approved purposes for a sabbatical leave?

    Paid sabbatical leaves are to be restricted to the academic growth of the applicant AND must demonstrate a potential enrichment to the district’s curriculum or instructional programs.  It is important that your proposal clearly show how you will grow academically and how your new knowledge will benefit the district’s programs upon your return.

  6. What am I paid while on sabbatical leave?

    This is a question that cannot be answered definitively until the specific leaves of a given year are approved.  The salaries of all employees receiving sabbaticals, minus the total salaries of all replacement employees, divided by the number of sabbaticals being awarded, equals the salary for each sabbatical leave grantee.  For an example of this calculation, and for more information, please see Article 12.12 of the BFT/BUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement, available on the BFT web site, berkeleyfederationofteachers.org.

  7. What happens with my benefits while I’m on sabbatical leave?

    You can purchase District coverage under the BUSD medical/dental programs.  This means you pay the entire cost of the benefits (your normal contribution plus what the District normally contributes).  To find out how much your plan costs go to the BFT web site and click on "Schedules - Benefits" and look at the row labeled "rates".  Keep in mind those premiums will likely increase in January 2016.

    Also, keep in mind that unless you specifically terminate your BUSD coverage during Open Enrollment (usually the last two weeks of August and the first week of September) you will continue in BUSD coverage and will be responsible for the entire cost.

  8. Does my year of sabbatical leave count as an additional year of service for salary schedule advancement (“Step” advancement)?

    Yes.

  9. Do I have to return to BUSD employment after a sabbatical leave?

    Yes, teachers awarded a paid sabbatical leave are obliged to return to employment in BUSD for a minimum of two years, or less with prior approval from BUSD.

  10. Am I guaranteed to return to the exact same school and position from which I took a leave?

    No, unless you have express prior written approval of the Superintendent (see Article 12.1.10) you are not guaranteed to return to your exact school and position upon returning from leave.

  11. Do I have to make a report upon my return?

    Yes, a brief written report must go to your immediate supervisor and to the HR office.  In addition, you must make a brief oral report to a staff meeting (at BHS this means a small school, department or program meeting).

  12. What are some things to keep in mind in developing my proposal?

Here are some things to consider:

    • Be sure to address how your proposal will lead to your own academic growth.  Indicate what you will study and how.  Consider listing some of the research you hope to study.
    • Be sure to address how your proposal will lead to an enrichment of the district’s curriculum or instructional program upon your return.
    • Submit one well developed proposal (not more).
    • Be sure to include how you will share what you have learned upon your return.
    • Your proposal should be something that requires a leave from your present duties; it should not be something you can do while teaching in your current position. 
    • Make your proposal thorough and to the point.
    • Be sure your proposal makes clear that you are not just asking for “time off”.
  1. Does BFT have any examples of successful past proposals?

    Yes.  If you would like to see the examples we have gathered, please send an email to bft4tchr@lmi.net.