As school ends, many teachers are beginning to prepare to become parents this upcoming summer as some teachers have just come back from parental leave.
Parental leave at Malvern Prep encompasses six weeks of paid leave and an additional six weeks without pay if needed. Also, teachers and faculty members are able to keep their jobs if something prolongs their leave of absence and will be able to continue their work the next year, according to Human Resources Director Mrs. Neha Morrison.
Teachers are quick to accept this benefit and enjoy their time spent at home with their newborns and other family members.
Physical education teacher and strength coach Mr. Erik Miller has been able to go on parental leave twice so far.
“You apply for the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). Malvern just started offering this and I was actually the first person to take advantage of it that next year. You get 6 weeks paid, full salary, mother or father,” Miller said.
“This is a benefit that isn’t necessarily widespread to other organizations, so the fact that Malvern does that and allows for that six weeks of pay where it is not affected is a really generous benefit that we offer here.” -Mrs. Neha Morrison
“This is a benefit that isn’t necessarily widespread to other organizations, so the fact that Malvern does that and allows for that six weeks of pay where it is not affected is a really generous benefit that we offer here.”
-Mrs. Neha Morrison
One of the biggest struggles for most families is taking care of their other kids when a new child is born. Malvern hopes to help their staff deal with this issue.
“Some people have family who live very close, so grandparents can help out, aunt or uncles as well, but our parents do not live close, Miller said, “So being able to take those six weeks were a great advantage.”
Science teacher Mrs. Anna Geider, took maternity leave at the beginning of the year for her newborn twins. She took her 12 weeks and was planning to come back until she became hospitalized.
“I was sick for like a month and Malvern was very good in that regard that I was still paid for that time,” Geider said, “I was hospitalized and out for three weeks, I think if it had been another job I would have used up all my sick time and possibly lost some of my pay.”
Geider used to teach at Stone Ridge, Bethesda MD, and it had different policies back when Geider taught there.
“Some schools do not have parental leave. Stone Ridge had no parental leave for teachers. I guess it’s because we don’t teach all year round, so some schools don’t provide paid parental.”
Other schools and corporations sometimes have the ability to “bank” or save sick days. A person can save these sick days and use them for parental leave or vacation. Malvern does not offer this, but is much more flexible with absences.
Morrison is in charge of overseeing those on parental leave. She checks in with them to see that they are on schedule to come back to school on time.
“We are so family oriented here at Malvern we want to take care of our own. So if a faculty member or teacher are in need of taking additional time, we are amenable to doing that,” she said. “We also want to allow for continuity for our students, so if a teacher is not going to be back for three months and is asking for additional time and we have a sub in place, let’s not disrupt our students either.”
Preparing for the parental leave and absence of the teacher all depends on what the doctor says. A long term substitute is needed for a teacher or faculty member who is going to miss three to four months of work. Teachers who are going on parental leave can provide a school plan for their sub, but do not need to interact with the school during their leave.
“The only thing that they need to do is just check in with me, to give me an update that they are still preparing to return at the end of their leave,” Morrison said. “We want to prepare the incoming substitute teacher or whoever is covering for their class as much as possible but that is before they go on leave, not during.”
“This is a benefit that isn’t necessarily widespread to other organizations, so the fact that Malvern does that and allows for that six weeks of pay where it is not affected is a really generous benefit that we offer here,” Morrison said.