ALBERT LEA, Minn.- According to federal data, 1 in every 4 teachers are chronically absent from the classroom each school year.
“Teachers have the number one impact of students in our schools,” said Kathy Niebuhr, Director of Secondary Programs.
That’s why when they’re absent, it can take a toll on the students. The Federal Data shows that 25% of full-time teachers miss more than two weeks of classes each school year.
“Being in front of kids on a consistent basis with a licenses teacher is the most effective way for them to learn,” said Jim Quiram, Executive Director of Administrative Services for Albert Lea Schools. “So if they’re not there and they’re missing 10, 15, 20 days of the year it impacts the kids.”
Teachers in this district receive 96 hours of sick leave, which equals 12 work days and to make sure the teachers are in their classrooms as much as possible, the district offers alternatives for when they need to go to the doctor.”
“We have that Well at Work here and I think that’s one thing that if a teacher has an appointment, they can come over here instead,” said Quiram “This way they will just miss an hour or two of work as opposed to not really sure how long it’ll take at a hospital.”
When the district sees a teacher taking too much time off, they work toward a solution.
“When a teacher is gone a significant amount of days, then we want to take a deep look into that,” said Niebuhr. “Is it health reason? Is it a reason that we can help that teacher with? It’s at our forefront and we take a look at that.”