Staff FAQs

Due to rapid changes in nation, state, and district ordinances and operations, this site will be updated with the most recent information. Please check back each day for resources! Thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the district continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation, this page will be updated with additional information. If you have questions not answered below, please submit them via Let's Talk.


If you are experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, have been denied entry to a district facility using the COVID-19 Screen-and-Go Mobile App, or have tested positive, please follow these steps:

  • Do not report to work.
  • Contact your supervisor to let them know you will not be coming to work and to receive further instructions.
  • Enter your absence in KRONOS as either Personal or Sick leave, and, if you are a classroom teacher, request a substitute.
  • Contact your physician.
  • See FAQs for more information

 

Click to expand sections below

What will the phase-in plan look like for campus staff?

As of Oct 5 2020: On Oct 5, the district began transitioning small groups of our student population from remote instruction to on-campus learning. The phase-in plan for families who want their children on campus for in-person learning during the first four weeks can be found on the AISD website.

We know that our team is stronger together, and it’s important that all staff return to work to support teaching and learning for our students. Campus-based staff who have not been granted an approved accommodation through the Employee Relations Office or on an approved leave through the Benefits, Leave, and Wellness Office are expected to return to campus on Oct 5, as we believe it is a best practice to teach from the classroom whether it be remote or in-person.

What options are available for staff who need childcare?

As of Sept 18, 2020: As part of the phase-in, school-aged children of our teachers and staff that are enrolled in Austin ISD will receive priority for returning to the campus at which they are enrolled beginning October 5. 

For children not enrolled in an AISD school, the district has partnered with local childcare providers to support students and families, with priority given to AISD staff. Please visit our AISD Staff Child Care webpage to see a list of AISD-operated programs available at certain campuses across the district, or our Community Learning Spaces webpage to get information regarding the Community Learning Spaces facilitated by community organizations, groups of parents, faith-based organizations, or public entities that provide in-person support.

 

My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances?

As of Sept 10, 2020: FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not eligible for FFCRA paid leave. 

 

If I don't pass the Screen & Go pre-screen, what are the next steps?

As of 10/10/2020: The protocol for staff members who fail the COVID-19 pre-screener states that an employee should stay home from work, report their absence as sick or personal as they would with other illnesses or personal reasons, and notify their supervisor of their absence. Since distributing the protocol, we have received questions and requests to provide further clarification. See the attached updated FAQs around leave, FFCRA, and more regarding the Screen & Go mobile app.
 

I am considered higher risk for severe illness under COVID-19 due to my medical condition, because I am 65 years or older, or pregnant. What are my options?

Updated 9/29/2020 for clarity: We understand that the current situation can be unsettling. When possible, the District will provide flexible work options for those needing a medical accommodation. If you fall under CDC’s higher risk category, which includes certain medical conditions, age 65 and over, or pregnancy, and are requesting a flexible work option under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please submit a Let’s Talk Request to the Office of Employee Relations. Those Employees who are at an increased risk per CDC guidance are given priority consideration, followed by those with underlying health conditions that may put them at increased risk. Employees must personally qualify to receive an accommodation. If an employee has a family member over 65 or immunocompromised, the employee may request to use any available Leave option. Please note that ADA accommodations must be requested and approved through the Office of Employee Relations and not through a supervisor. To submit a formal accommodation please email covid19accommodation@austinisd.org.

If a flexible work arrangement is not an option for you or you do not qualify for a flexible work arrangement under the ADA, please complete a leave request form and provide supporting medical certification to leaveoffice@austinisd.org.

 

If I request a flexible work option through an ADA accommodation because of a medical condition, my age, or pregnancy, what are the next steps?

As of July 16, 2020: Once you’ve submitted your Let’s Talk Request to the Office of Employee Relations, a staff member will contact you to complete an intake and engage in the interactive process.  Employee Relations will review each request on an individual basis and determine whether it is a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

 

Is there a deadline for employees to request an accommodation to work from home?  

As of August 7, 2020 (updated for clarity): Employees may request an accommodation at any time. An accommodation is assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do his or her job despite having a disability. Accommodations are also available to conform to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In June, Human Capital released a survey to learn about employees’ anticipated needs for accommodations as early as possible. Human Resource Services is processing requests for accommodations for employees who have a medical condition, are 65 or older, or are pregnant.

In order to plan for our in-person reopening, any requests for accommodations for campus reopening and supporting documentation must be received by Employee Relations by September 23, 2020. Staff who have not received an approval are expected to report to campus on October 5.

 

What is the timeline for Human Resource Services to respond to an employee’s request to work remotely?

As of August 7, 2020: Every request is important and our team is committed to thoroughly reviewing needs and options with every team member.  Employee Relations begins processing requests as soon as a request is received and required documentation is provided by the employee.  Due to the volume of requests, response times vary and typically can take up to 2 weeks.

See Leave and Accommodations Request Flowchart for more informatio

 

Can I take leave or work remotely if one of my family members is over 65 or immunocompromised?

As of July 16, 2020: Employees are only able to request accommodations if they are personally over the age of 65 or immunocompromised. If an employee has a family member over 65 or immunocompromised, the employee may request to use any available Leave options.

 

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

As of July 16, 2020: As of April 1, 2020 FFCRA was enacted to provide leave options for employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons.  FFCRA will expire on 12/31/20.  The chart below explains the leave reasons and pay rates:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. The Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. The employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Reasons 1, 2, and 3: 100% of regular rate

Reasons 4, 5, and 6: ⅔ of the employee’s regular rate, at a maximum of $200/day ($2,000.00 total)

 

I am thinking of homeschooling my child on a full-time basis in the fall.  Am I eligible for FFCRA?

As of September 15, 2020: Choosing to withdraw a child when schools physically reopen and begin full-time homeschooling is not a qualifying reason for Expanded Family Leave. FFCRA leave only applies if the parent must care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to a COVID-19 related reason.

 

My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances?

As of Sept 10, 2020: FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not entitled to FFCRA paid leave. 

 

Can I take FFCRA leave during the summer when school is out of session for childcare purposes?

As of July 16, 2020: Yes, if summer childcare arrangements, including a camp, recreational program, day care center, or individual provider, are closed or unavailable because of COVID-19, you may be eligible to take FFCRA leave. Documentation of the closure is required and may include a closure notice or statement from the facility or individual who provides the care.

 

Can I take FFCRA leave intermittently?

As of September 16, 2020: Intermittent leave for FFCRA is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  While some instances may be granted, not all requests are eligible.  All leave requests should be sent via email to leaveoffice@austinisd.org or Fax to: (512) 414-9976.

 

What happens if I don’t qualify for leave or have exhausted my accrued leave and I am still unable to return to work?

As of July 16, 2020: An employee must return to their work assignment. If an employee is unable to return after exhausting all available leave options, separation from the district may occur.

 

Are employees required to use their accrued leave when they are asked to quarantine? How is pay affected when employees are asked to quarantine multiple times?

As of July 27, 2020: If employees are asked to quarantine, they do so for up to 14 days (10 of which are work days).  Currently, AISD is paying for those 10 days of quarantine at regular pay (100%) outside of Families First Coronavirus Response Act requirements. Employees are not required to use their accrued leave during the initial 10 work days. The district will provide employee pay regardless of how often a district quarantine occurs until further notice.

 

What should an employee do when they have been diagnosed with or presumed positive for COVID-19?

As of July 27, 2020: Employees who have been diagnosed as having COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms should not report to work. They should contact a physician, inform their supervisor, and contact the Benefits, Leave and Wellness Office to learn about leave options. 

 

Can employees file a Workers' Compensation claim if they believe they have been infected in the workplace? 

As of August 10, 2020:  Whenever an employee has been injured in the workplace, the employee has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers' Compensation claims should be submitted to Angelica Surita at angelica.surita@austinisd.org.  

 

What medical expenses are covered if an employee is symptomatic? 

As of July 27, 2020: COVID-19 testing is covered at 100% for all employees and their dependents under all AISD Health plans. Each employee should review their benefits coverage at www.austinisdbenefits.com.

For testing locations, please see:

 

 

What health and safety measures are being implemented for staff returning to facilities?

As of 8/6/2020

  • Facial coverings will be mandatory for all students, staff, and visitors to wear while on Austin ISD grounds.
  • Austin ISD will implement social distancing measures at all schools and district facilities.
  • All staff, students, and visitors (excluding a parent/guardian that is picking up/dropping off their student) will be required to screen upon arrival to AISD grounds. 

 

When staff returns to facilities, what is the reporting protocol for presumed positive cases?

As of 10/10/2020

If a student or staff member does not pass their health screening or begins to experience COVID-19 symptoms at any time on campus, they will need to be sent to the Health Room to be evaluated by health room staff. Supervisors will need to be notified immediately.

If you are experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, have been denied entry to a district facility using the COVID-19 Screen-and-Go Mobile App, or have tested positive, please follow these steps:

  • Do not report to work.
  • Contact your supervisor to let them know you will not be coming to work and to receive further instructions.
  • Enter your absence in KRONOS as either Personal or Sick leave, and, if you are a classroom teacher, request a substitute.
  • Contact your physician.
  • See FAQs for more information

 

Do AISD staff get free COVID-19 testing?

COVID-19 testing is recommended for those who:

  • have COVID-19-related symptoms
  • have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • have traveled in the last 14 days

COVID-19 testing is covered at 100% for all employees and their dependents under all AISD Health plans. Each employee should review their benefits coverage at www.austinisdbenefits.com.

For testing locations, please see:

FREE COVID-19 Testing is also available through Austin Public Health (APH)

 

How is pay affected when employees are asked to quarantine multiple times?

As of July 27, 2020: If employees are asked to quarantine, they do so for up to 14 days (10 of which are work days).  Currently, AISD is paying for those 10 days of quarantine at regular pay (100%) outside of Families First Coronavirus Response Act  requirements. Employees are not required to use their accrued leave during the initial 10 work days. The district will provide employee pay regardless of how often a district quarantine occurs until further notice.

 

What is the most recent change to School and Staff Calendars?

El español está disponible abajo.

As of Aug 7, 2020: The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted to revise the first day of school on the current board approved calendar to September 8, 2020. The calendar begins with four weeks of remote learning and an opportunity for face-to-face instruction during the first four weeks for students who do not have access to technology or connectivity.  Pending approval from the Texas Education Agency, there will be an additional four weeks that will serve as a period where students who selected on-campus instruction may return to on-campus learning in phased-in smaller groups. These plans are subject to change based on the guidance of local, state and federal health authorities and the Texas Education Agency.

The school calendar change has implications for the staff Starting and End Dates calendar. Revising the start and end dates for certain staff allows us to:

  • ensure that we build a calendar that provides more time for professional learning and academic readiness;
  • ensure that all employees are compensated for the time they are working and that compensation is not reduced in any way;
  • minimize financial impacts to changing the start of school;
  • and ensure we have staffing support at the end of the year.
     

What has changed in the board approved calendar?

  • The school year start date for students has been revised to September 8, 2020, and the end date has been revised to June 3 with additional instructional minutes added per day to ensure students receive the required amount of instructional time. 
  • The work start date for teachers has been revised to August 18, 2020. The work end date for teachers has been revised to June 4, 2021. Teachers will still be under 187-day contracts.
  • The original work start date will remain the same for all other staff. The work end dates for other staff may be revised. Please see the calendars linked below for any revised dates.

Please click here to view the revised 2020-2021 Employee Start and End Dates.

If you have questions regarding your duty days, please contact your supervisor.

 

Will employee pay be affected by this change?

  • Employee’s compensation will not be reduced and employees will continue to receive their regularly scheduled pay. The number of scheduled work days for all employees will not be reduced.

  • There are some classified positions that will have additional compensated duty days added to the end of their calendar. 

  • When necessary, other non-classified staff members will have duty days added to their calendar in the form of calendar adjustment days.

 

What are calendar adjustments days?

  • The work calendars for some Professional and Administrative Employees have been extended by 1-5 days.  To ensure that the current number of work days are not exceeded and campuses are supported until the end of the school year, these employees have been granted 1-5 Calendar Adjustment Days that should be used on the designated days.
  • The annual base salary and overall number of work days have not changed for these employees.
  • Calendar Adjustment Days must be taken on Friday, August 14th, Friday, August 21st, Friday, August 28th, Friday, September 4th, and/or September 11th.
  • Unlike a summer efficiency schedule, these employees are not required to work extended hours from Monday through Thursday.

 

Will employee benefits be affected by this change?

  • Employee benefits will not be affected.

Anoche, la Mesa Directiva del Austin ISD votó para modificar el primer día de clases del calendario aprobado por la mesa directiva actual al 8 de septiembre de 2020. El calendario comienza con cuatro semanas de aprendizaje remoto y la oportunidad de instrucción cara a cara durante las primeras cuatro semanas para los estudiantes que no tengan acceso a tecnología o conexión a internet. Pendiendo la aprobación de la Agencia de Educación de Texas, habrá otras cuatro semanas que servirán como un periodo en el que los estudiantes que seleccionaron la instrucción en el plantel podrán regresar al aprendizaje en el plantel por etapas en grupos más pequeños. Estos planes están sujetos a cambios con base en las recomendaciones de las autoridades de salud locales, estatales y federales y de la Agencia de Educación de Texas.

 

La modificación también tendrá implicaciones para las fechas inicial y final en los calendarios del personal. La modificación de las fechas inicial y final de cierto personal nos permite:

  • garantizar la creación de un calendario que proporcione más tiempo para el aprendizaje profesional y la preparación académica;
  • garantizar que todos los empleados sean compensados por el tiempo que están trabajando y esa compensación no se reduzca de ninguna manera;
  • minimizar los impactos financieros al modificar el inicio del ciclo escolar;
  • y garantizar que tengamos el apoyo del personal al final del año.

 

¿Qué se ha modificado en el calendario aprobado de la mesa directiva?

  • La fecha de inicio del año escolar para los estudiantes se ha cambiado al 8 de septiembre de 2020, y la fecha de finalización se ha cambiado al 3 de junio, con minutos de instrucción adicionales agregados por día para garantizar que los estudiantes reciban la cantidad necesaria de tiempo de instrucción. 
  • La fecha de inicio del trabajo para los maestros se ha cambiado al 18 de agosto de 2020. La fecha de finalización del trabajo para los maestros se ha cambiado al 4 de junio de 2021. Los maestros estarán aún bajo contratos de 187 días.
  • La fecha de inicio de trabajo original seguirá siendo la misma para todo el resto del personal. Es posible que se modifiquen las fechas de finalización del trabajo para otros miembros del personal. Consulte los calendarios en los enlaces a continuación para obtener información acerca de alguna fecha modificada.

 

Haga clic aquí para ver las fechas de inicio y finalización modificadas de los empleados en 2020-2021.

 

Si tiene alguna pregunta en relación con sus días laborales, póngase en contacto con su supervisor.

 

¿Se verá afectado el pago del empleado por esta modificación?

  • No se disminuirá la compensación de los empleados, y los empleados seguirán recibiendo su pago regular programado. No disminuirá el número de días laborales programados de ningún empleado. 
  • Hay algunos puestos clasificados que tendrán días laborales adicionales compensados, agregados al final de sus calendarios. 
  • Cuando sea necesario, otros miembros del personal no clasificado tendrán días laborales agregados a su calendario en forma de días de ajuste de calendario (ver a continuación).

 

¿Qué son los días de ajuste de calendario?

  • Los calendarios de trabajo de algunos empleados profesionales y administrativos se han extendido en 1-5 días. Para garantizar que no se exceda el número actual de días laborales y que los planteles tengan apoyo hasta el final del ciclo escolar, a estos empleados se les han otorgado 1-5 días de ajuste de calendario que deben utilizarse en los días designados.
  • El salario base anual y el número general de días laborales no han cambiado para estos empleados.
  • Los días de ajuste de calendario se tienen que tomar el viernes, 14 de agosto, viernes, 21 de agosto, viernes,28 de agosto y viernes, 4 de septiembre y/u 11 de septiembre.
  • A diferencia del horario para conservar energía, estos empleados no tienen que trabajar más horas de lunes a jueves. 
  •  

 

¿Se verán afectados los beneficios del empleado por esta modificación?

Los beneficios del empleado no se verán afectados.

 

 

What training is available for staff?

In preparation for reopening, Austin ISD structured all professional learning into four main priorities to best support the safety, engagement, and success of all students and staff. The priorities for professional learning are:

  • Welcome Back and Health/Safety 
  • Whole-child, Trauma-informed, Social and Emotional Learning, Culturally Proficient and Inclusive Practices 
  • Learning Standards to Guide the Student Experience and Communicate Progress Toward Mastery
  • High-Quality Online Experiences, Interaction and Feedback

See more information on professional learning in the Open for Learning Staff Resource Guide.

 

 

When face-to-face instruction resumes, what are we providing to teachers and team members to keep them safe?

As of Aug. 5, 2020: AISD has been working hard to ensure that all students and staff are as safe as possible when face-to-face instruction begins. AISD will provide all necessary personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer and any other items necessary for our students and campus communities.

All teachers and team members will complete a comprehensive training course on the new safety protocols at their campus. This includes the proper use of personal protective equipment, health screening protocols and daily operations. 

They will have access to an extensive health, safety and operations library that details protocols, including transportation, food service, classroom layouts and site requirements. The library also has information about navigating AISD’s new mobile app to use the health screening feature.

Initially, all campuses will have a three-month supply of PPE, including masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Front offices will have plexiglass so that our team members can safely serve our community.  

The Service Center is checking HVAC systems across the district to confirm proper air circulation. Where needed, the district will add air movers and air filters to supplement the systems.

 

Will teachers and team members need to bring their own mask?

As of Aug. 5, 2020: Due to the national shortage of PPE, we are encouraging students and staff members to bring their own mask. However, a mask will be provided to anyone who needs one. 

 

There are PPE shortages, how are we able to ensure AISD will have adequate supplies?

As of Aug. 5, 2020: The AISD Service Center has done a great job forecasting needs—and is coordinating all district purchases and deliveries for personal PPE, including hand sanitizer, masks and gloves, as well as cleaning and disinfectant products. 

To ensure consistent safety standards and to maximize resource allocation, campuses and departments should not make any separate purchases.

To begin preparing for reopening, the Service Center has distributed the first round of supplies to schools and will maintain a regular replenishment schedule for campuses and facilities. Deliveries include:

  • touchless thermometers
  • masks and gloves
  • hand sanitizer, including refills, and disinfectant wipes
  • plexiglass for the counter areas in the front office
  • signs to support social distancing and
  • supplies for special needs (e.g. face shields and gowns).
  • AISD has an inventory of about:
  • 900 touchless thermometers
  • 3.2 million masks and 22,500 washable masks
  • 10,000 face shields and 
  • 5,700 cases of hand sanitizer bottles and 8,600 cases of refills.

The Service Center estimates initial deliveries will cover about three months of operations, including additional supplies for special needs, based on recent planning scenarios. As reopening plans continue to evolve, supply needs may change. Principals and departmental leads will work with the Service Center for additional supplies as needed.

 

How can families and school communities help Austin ISD in regard to PPE?

As of Aug. 5, 2020: We are asking all families and school communities to help prepare their students for the new safety protocols, especially wearing a mask. If students are comfortable and familiar with wearing masks, schools will be able to focus on creating a safe, educational experience for all students. We also encourage students to bring their own masks or PPE if they have them.

Family members and school community members should follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and wear a mask when dropping off or picking up students from schools or bus stops. 

Finally, the Austin Ed Fund continues to welcome donations to support AISD and our school communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Business & Operations

How can employees access facilities?

As of July 16, 2020: AISD continues to implement the Resting Building Initiative (RBI) to provide guidance to principals and district leaders on the process for school communities to safely and securely access campuses. This update is in alignment with the City of Austin’s Emergency Orders as well as AISD’s fall schedule. As such, the earliest face-to-face instruction can begin September 8. All custodians return to their home campus August 3. We will continue to manage access to facilities through the RBI process, outlined below. Teachers and support staff may now have building access with principal approval. Access is necessary to complete essential tasks, including campus registration support, student belongings pickup preparation efforts and classroom setup. Please see the linked memo below for more information, including checklists to support safety measures.

Updated Resting Building Initiative (RBI) 

How can team members order personal protective equipment?

Amid increased demand and limited supplies, AISD continues to manage and expand our inventory of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, masks and gloves, as well as cleaning and disinfectant products.

The service center is working with the contracts and procurement team to coordinate the districtwide purchase, delivery and distribution of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, masks and gloves. In addition to medical and washable masks, the district has a limited supply of N95 (aka surgical masks).

To request supplies for essential workers, please contact Linda Coronado, who leads the district’s housekeeping operations, at Linda.Coronado@austinisd.org.

What is the status of contracts with service providers?

AISD's contracts and procurement services team has requested that each campus and department immediately contact their respective contracted service providers to assess whether services are essential—and being provided under the remote learning environment to which the COVID-19 health crisis has restricted the district. In addition, teams must determine if the level of service can continue or be performed and validated remotely—in accordance with “stay home, work safe” order.

To guard against any claims that the district is paying vendors who are not providing services and not others, all campuses and departments must complete and document their analysis of all agreements. The contracts and procurement team has sent instructions to all principals and departmental leaders.

Can community members access AISD's recreational spaces, including playgrounds?>

AISD has re-opened tracks, fields and courts (including basketball and tennis courts, football and play fields). Community members accessing these spaces must practice social distancing. Playgrounds will remain closed until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What is the process to tend school gardens?

Some schools have active gardens that support food production or outdoor activity on district properties. The sustainability team has asked principals to share the district's School Garden Access Protocol with families, teachers and team members, as well as partners who wish to tend the garden at their school.

Do nurses have access to campuses?

School nurses should ensure coordination with campus administration for building access and medication return using the "Student Health Services Procedure for Returning Medication to Parents." Nurses also can perform end of year close-out protocols using the "Student Health Services 19-20 End-of-Year Instructions." The district has shared these instructions with all principals and departmental leaders.

What is the status of construction activities?

AISD construction activities continue, including site visits by district team members and consultants before campus construction is underway. Under city- and state-mandated protocols, construction continues on projects. AISD is reviewing contractors' COVID-19 safety plans and the construction management team is conducting site visits to monitor compliance.>

AISD also is working closely with the City of Austin to identify, review and address any potential issues with such items as permits, construction inspections and real estate.

Compensation

Will regular, full- and part-time employees receive compensation for the remainder of the school year?

Update as of March 31: At this time, the Board of Trustees has authorized the district to continue to compensate locally funded regular, active, full- and part-time employees while classes were canceled and campuses are closed due to COVID-19 precautions. This will continue as long as trustees authorize.

Will temp-hourly employees or substitutes receive compensation for the remainder of the school year?

Update as of March 31: Our context related to COVID-19 has impacted the manner in which we serve our school communities and greatly limits our need for temp/hourly and substitute services at this time.

 

  • Temp-hourly employees are paid only for work that is performed. The district has suspended assignments for Temp/Hourly employees in many cases, with minimal exceptions where those individuals support critical essential functions. Temp/Hourly employees include positions such as lunch monitors, tutors, student workers, etc.
  • Substitutes, including long-term substitutes, will be compensated for all worked assignments. The district has suspended assignments for substitutes in almost all cases, with minimal long-term assignments. Long-term substitutes that will be permitted include teachers and administrators.
    • Access to technology: Currently, AISD has limited supplies of hardware. However, long-term substitutes may be provided limited access to district systems (excluding internet) to support their work with school communities. Please request access from your campus principal.

Will part-time employees funded through Title (i.e. federal) dollars continue to be compensated?

Update as of March 31: Federally funded, part-time employees will be compensated if they provide documentation that the work performed aligns with the intent of the approved position.

For example:

  • administrators, coordinators or teachers who are contributing to lesson planning and the delivery of online instruction may continue to receive compensation and
  • part-time tutors will not receive compensation because students are not being tutored at this time.

Will substitutes and temp-hourly employees receive health benefits or unemployment benefits?

  • Update as of March 31: Substitutes and temp-hourly employees should contact the Texas Workforce Commission to inquire about their eligibility for unemployment benefits (https://twc.texas.gov).
  • Update as of March 31: If you are enrolled in an AISD benefits plan, your benefits end at the end of the month in which you are employed and/or for which the district is able to collect your portion of the premium. Upon termination of your coverage, Discovery Benefits will notify you of your rights to continue benefits under COBRA. Benefit information is accessible through the district benefits website.

Will employees who worked during the district-wide closure on March 13 or during spring break receive premium pay of time-and-a-half?

Update as of March 31:

  • Non-exempt employees who completed supervisor-approved work on Friday, March 13 will only be compensated at time-and-a-half. March 13 was not a scheduled holiday.
  • Non-exempt employees who completed supervisor-approved work during spring break will be compensated at time-and-a-half in addition to holiday pay. Please communicate with your timekeeper in a timely manner to ensure that time and a half pay has been recorded accurately.
  • Exempt employees are not eligible to receive premium compensation.

What is the rate of pay for employees who are called to physically report to work during class cancellations and school closures as part of COVID19 precautions?

Update as of March 31:

  • Non-exempt employees&emdash;The district is providing COVID-19 premium pay of time and a half to non-exempt employees who are called to physically report to work to support a critical, essential function. These employees should not exceed a 40-hour workweek.
    • For example, bus drivers who support the district’s work to provide WiFi/internet access will receive premium pay.
    • NOTE: The premium pay is time and a half for hours worked (1.5), not regular pay plus time and half for hours worked (2.5) during class cancellations and school closures as part of COVID19 precautions.
  • Exempt employees—Exempt employees are not eligible to receive premium compensation.
  • Non-exempt peace officers—Non-exempt peace officers are paid time-and-a-half for hours physically worked on-site or if they are required to report for duty on their scheduled day off. Additionally, non-exempt peace officers are paid a shift differential for hours worked during a scheduled night shift.
  • Exempt peace officers—Exempt peace officers are not eligible to receive premium compensation.

Do employees who work at school during campus closures receive premium pay?

Update as of March 31: To ensure the safety and security of our team members and facilities—and to comply with the city’s “stay home, work safe” order—campuses are closed. At this time, employees should not report to campus unless directed by their supervisor for essential work that is approved by human capital. This is a rare exception.

Any team members, including parent support specialists, teaching assistants, clerical staff, et. al., who work without this direction and approval will not receive premium pay.

Will teachers who work with students online after regular work hours receive overtime pay?

Update as of March 31: Teachers are exempt employees (administrative professionals who do not earn overtime). They are not eligible to receive overtime compensation (i.e. a pay rate of time-and-a-half).

Will teachers on PPfT Compensation have the ability to complete the evaluation process so they may receive additional compensation in the coming year?

Update as of March 31: The district is assessing the ability to continue with PPfT Compensation based on the Texas Education Agency’s recently released information about teacher evaluations. More information is forthcoming.

Timekeeping

How do non-exempt staff clock-in remotely when they are working from home?

Update as of March 31: Non-exempt employees (classified team members, who are eligible to earn overtime with supervisor approval) can enter timeclock information via a web browser. No VPN client installation is required. Please access this link for time and attendance.

What code should timekeepers use to record time for their classified non-exempt employees?

Update as of 4/6/2020. SCHOOL LEAVE OTHER is no longer to be used in employee time. New codes COVID and WRK_COVID have been developed and should replace SCHOOL LEAVE OTHER.

New Timekeeping Procedures due to COVID.PDF

Do employees who clock in and out at a district location also earn “School Leave - Other” hours?

Update as of March 31: Yes. They will only earn SLO up to the amount to complete their full-time equivalent (FTE). Example:

Premium pay is attached only to the hours physically worked by a nonexempt employee. For example, if a custodian normally works 40 hours per week at $10 per hour, he would receive 40 hours of regular pay ($400) during closure if authorized by policy and/or resolution. However, if policy and/or resolution call for premium pay at time and one-half, and the employee physically works 10 hours, the employee's pay would be calculated as follows:

30 hours x $10 = $300
10 hours x $15 = $150
40 hours = $450

 

If I am unable to enter “School Leave - Other” because I did not have access to timesheets at the time, will my employees still get paid?

Update as of March 31: Yes. While it is best practice to approve timesheets each week, the payroll cutoff date for monthly payroll is April 10. Furthermore, you can make adjustments to correct timesheets until the close of business on Monday, April 13. Employee timesheets will need to be approved at that point to meet the April payroll deadline.

An employee clocked in from home using the web clock. Should I delete these hours and add School Leave - Other?

Update as of March 31: No. Do not delete employee punches. Use School Leave - Other hours to complete their weekly timesheet up to 40 or their FTE-allowed hours.

If I am unable to work due to personal and/or discretionary reasons, may I use my accrued personal, sick, state, or vacation leave time?

Update as of March 31: Yes. We recognize that families and individuals are faced with personal and/or discretionary challenges that lead them to request access to their accrued leave and supervisors should practice more flexibility to accommodate our employees. If employees have not accrued leave and decide not to report to work when called on, they will not receive compensation for that time.

Access to Facilities

How do I access my campus for essential tasks?

To ensure the safety and security of our team members and facilities, access to campuses is restricted. Exceptions are rare, limited to individuals who must address critical issues, including retrieving medicine for students, gathering items to work remotely or feeding animals. The principal must approve all requests for access to their school—and must work with their head custodian to ensure that all safety protocols are followed.

  • Campus Access Log: Principals must log access requests in the Campus Access Log before approving access. All applicable fields must be completed.This will ensure that the operations team knows who will be at each campus each day.
  • Process: Matias Segura, operations officer, or Nicole Conley, chief business and operations officer, will review the log daily and follow up as needed to ensure that principals and team members are supported.
  • Approval/Denial: Principals will approve or deny requests.
  • Access Protocols: Principals must contact their head custodian to coordinate access. The campus principal, head custodian or their designee must be available during access periods.
    • Access groups are limited to five team members.
    • Access should be limited to 30 minutes.
    • Only Austin ISD employees may enter a district facility.
    • Disinfectant sprays will be available. All visitors must wipe down their work surfaces—and all surfaces touched during the visit—prior to leaving campus.
  • Campus Site Visit Instructions: Staff members should plan their route so that they arrive at the campus on time. If they arrive early, they must stay in their vehicle. Staff is discouraged from entering the building before their designated time.
    • Upon arrival use only the main entrance.
    • Please go directly to the space requested.
    • Wipe down the work area and all surfaces touched during the visit.
    • Please exit the building the same way you entered.
    • Once complete, please update the ‘status’ section of the log to confirm completion.

How do I access Central Office for essential tasks such as laptop pick-up?

Updated Request Process: Request approval from your supervisor. If approved, fill out the HQ Access Request Form.

  • Requests will be reviewed by the operations team, as well as the human capital team as needed.
  • If approved, the district will send confirmation emails, acknowledging requests and providing instructions.
  • Guidelines:
    • Access to Central Office access is permitted only from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    • All visits are limited to 30 minutes.
    • If the number of requests exceed the available openings, the operations team will offer alternative times.
  • Central Office Site Visit Instructions: Plan your route so that you arrive at Central Office on time. If you arrive early, please stay in your vehicle. Staff will not be permitted to enter the building before their designated time.
    • Upon arrival, you may use the main entrance that faces Ben White Blvd. The other entrance remains in use exclusively for the construction team.
    • Please check-in on the first floor with the AISD Police officer who will be managing entry. Only team members who have completed the form and received confirmation will be granted access.
    • The operations team will provide a short orientation about best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Please proceed directly to your floor via the elevators or stairs.
    • Removal of furniture is not permitted.
    • Before leaving, wipe down the work area and all surfaces touched during the visit. Cleaning products will be provided on each floor to sanitize all areas of contact.
    • Please exit the building the same way you entered and check out with staff.

If you have questions regarding access protocols, please contact:

Budgets & Grants

Is the budget development and close-out process continuing as scheduled?

Our financial services team continues to develop school and departmental budgets for next year—while beginning to prepare to close our current year budgets.

Unless otherwise noted, please continue to follow AISD's standing processes and deadlines to help us continue this critical work in a timely manner.

Will funds from this year roll-over into campus and departmental budgets for next year

The district is working with the state and federal team to ensure that your unspent funds from the 2020 school will be rolled into your budget for the 2021 school year in July. However, given the economic fallout from COVID-19, we cannot guarantee funding commitments as agencies are trying to maintain job security for their employees.

Will AISD refund activity fees to families?

Field trips and activities throughout the district have been cancelled. The district will issue refunds from the Activity Funds on an ongoing basis. The finance team will send information about procedures to bookkeepers.

Please:

  • inform all bookkeepers and team members who sponsor activities and
  • remind families to update their contact information in the Parent Cloud to ensure checks are mailed to the correct address

Construction Projects

Is construction activity still permitted on campuses?

Austin ISD construction projects are exempt from the City of Austin’s “stay home, work safe” order. Based on city guidelines–which allow construction sites to remain open with a 10-person limit in a single space and additional safety measures–the district expects to continue construction work as scheduled.

For example, the district is working closely with construction teams to follow health and safety requirements and guidelines while keeping all bond projects on schedule. Not only does this work keep our fellow community members employed, it also ensures the district continues to use bond funds wisely and keep our promises to voters. Delaying modernization projects could have a significant negative impact on construction costs, as well as the carefully coordinated schedules that align school opening dates with the start of fall or spring semesters.

What is the protocol for construction teams to check-in and -out at campuses?

The district service center or construction management teams are reviewing and monitoring access to schools for maintenance improvements and campus construction.

Contracts & Purchasing

Can purchases be made at this time (via P-card or purchase order)?

AISD has placed a temporary moratorium on all campus and departmental purchases—with the exception of centralized ordering to enable distance learning and essential operational services.

Specifically, we are limiting purchases to only essential items coordinated and approved through the academics team to distribute supplies and materials to students for their online learning opportunities, as well as through the technology team for computer hardware and software.

This also can include necessary items such as the purchase of food for live animals at a campus. Note: All team members approved to access a campus by their principal must follow all safety protocols.

All requests for supplies and services should be routed for approval through your respective chief executive officer. For example, if you have an exceptional concern related to purchasing, please contact your associate superintendent.

  • All purchases, including P-Card, should be discontinued.
  • Pending purchase orders will be reviewed. If the requested services or goods are not essential at this time or approved by the chief executive officer, then we will hold the purchase order in queue and not release.
  • Request for proposals, bids and solicitations continue.
    • Please continue to work on request for proposals, bids, as well as other solicitations.
  • Please do not place orders for the 2020-21 school year. There will be sufficient time to begin to place orders for the next school year.

How do we process subscriptions or services set-up as recurring payments?

Delivery of physical items must be discontinued. For recurring payments for services received (e.g. cell phones), please contact Melissa Bishop to process P-Card payments.

Are services agreements, including for partners and professional development, on hold?

This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If services are approved by the chief executive officer for your division, please contact the contracts and procurement team to assist with the necessary contract or amendment.

Contracts for services that are completed during the spring in preparation for the next school year may still be able to continue if the work can be performed and validated remotely—in accordance with “stay home, work safe” order. Please contact your respective buyer on the contracts and procurement services team for assistance.

Deliveries & Mail Services

What is the process for mail services?

The U.S. Post Office is holding campus mail in Austin until April 15. AISD’s contract and procurement services team will provide information about the plan for mail services beyond that date (forthcoming).

What is the process for campus deliveries? Does this include items purchased by partners such as the PTA?

Discontinue all deliveries, regardless of funding source. Note: No deliveries to homes are allowed.

Examples:

  • Publications: For example, yearbook ordering should be suspended until schools reopen as the district is neither able to receive them at campuses nor deliver them to students.
  • Existing orders ready for pick-up: If the vendor will hold items until the stay-at-home order is lifted, there is no need to cancel the order. Note: The district cannot make payments until we have received the order

Other FAQs

State and Federal Accountability