Full-time and part-time classified employees are eligible to use up to 16 hours of school assistance and volunteer service leave per leave year. This type of leave may be used for reasons such as:
- Relief to physically or mentally challenged persons;
- Relief to victims of natural disasters or catastrophes (see Policy 4.17, Emergency/Disaster Leave);
- Volunteer fire department/rescue squad members responding to emergencies;
- Providing "hands-on" service to the community such as the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity projects;
- Community services which assist residents, including child and youth development;
- Health services, emergency relief and shelter, transportation and preparation or delivery of meals;
- Other direct health or welfare services for the economically disadvantaged;
- Participating in school activities including meeting with teachers or school administrators, attending school functions or performing volunteer work.
Schools for which this leave may be granted include any public pre-school, elementary, middle or high school. This term may include private schools, elementary, middle or high schools only if employees have children, stepchildren or children for whom the employee has custody attending the private school.
Pre-school in this policy is defined as an early childhood program that serves children for more than nine hours per week, at any time from their birth until their eligibility to enter elementary school.
While a pre-school may be home-based, like all other such programs, it must be registered, licensed or certified by the Virginia Department of Social Services, unless it is exempt from licensure under 63.1-96.3 of the Code of Virginia.
The policy on school assistance and volunteer service leave:
- defines community service organizations for which such leave may be authorized;
- requires prior approval for leave use;
- specifies that school assistance and volunteer service leave cannot be carried over from one year to the next or paid upon separation from state service;
- clarifies when this type of leave can be used for public schools, private schools, and home schooling.
Supervisors may require written verification from officials of the community service organization for use of school assistance and volunteer service leave. If the leave is used for school assistance, written verification should be from a school administrator or teacher.
Departments should attempt to approve school assistance and volunteer service leave at the time requested by employees, but have the discretion to disapprove leave if it would significantly impact their operations.