FAQs Related to JPS Employees & COVID-19 After January 2021

  • Will I have to submit a new JPS COVID-19 Reasonable Work Accommodation Request Form for the Spring Semester, or can I just carry over my previously approved request?

    Yes. All employees applying for a reasonable work accommodation request for the Spring semester of the 2020-2021 school year will need to complete the ADA Reasonable Accommodation Request Form, regardless of whether you were approved for a work accommodation during the Fall Semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Will I be able to apply for paid leave if I test positive for COVID-19, suspect COVID-19 exposure, or begin to exhibit COVID-19-like symptoms?

    After the First Family Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expires on December 31, 2020, employees can utilize the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please note that your accumulated sick time will be used.

    I heard I might not have paid leave after the winter break if I get sick or have to quarantine. Is that true?

    After the First Family Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expires on December 31, 2020, employees can utilize the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please note that your accumulated sick time will be used.

    What options do I have as an employee if I have already used my 80 hours of approved COVID-19 leave, but have to miss work due to COVID-19?

    After the First Family Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expires on December 31, 2020, employees can utilize the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please note that your accumulated sick time will be used.

    If I am caring for an adult family member that is classified as an individual at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, can I be approved for a reasonable accommodation?

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) only covers active employees, not family members. An employee is able to utilize the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if a period of leave is required to care for a family member.

    Where can I find the necessary forms needed to request a reasonable work accommodation?

    The ADA Reasonable Accommodation Request Form and all supporting forms are found on the JPS Employee Intranet Page under the "Forms and Documents" tab.

    When is the latest that I can apply for a reasonable work accommodation?

    Employees can submit a request for a work accommodation at any time once the application is active. All applications received prior to December 9, 2020, will be reviewed by the Accommodation Review Committee with a decision provided prior to the Winter Holiday Break. All applications received after December 9, 2020, will be reviewed with a decision provided after employees return to work on January 4, 2021.

    What do reasonable work accommodations consist of?

    All accommodations requests will be reviewed and assessed based on ADA guidelines, compelling personal need, job role and eligibility, and district staffing needs. Please note that the accommodations provided for employees during the Spring semester may look completely different from accommodations approved for employees during the Fall semester. Please refer to the JPS ADA Accommodations video for more details.

    What information will be considered when determining if I am eligible for a reasonable work accommodation?

    All accommodation requests will be reviewed and assessed based on ADA guidelines, compelling personal need, job role and eligibility, and district staffing needs. Please note that the accommodations provided for employees during the Spring Semester may look completely different from accommodations approved for employees during the Fall semester. Please refer to the JPS ADA Accommodations video for more details.

    I have a health condition that leaves me immunocompromised. I submitted a doctor’s letter in August, and my district granted me an accommodation, saying that I could work from home. I just received a letter from the district saying I now must return to the campus for in-person instruction. Can the district take away my accommodation after it has been granted?

    All employees applying for a reasonable work accommodation request for the Spring semester of the 2020-2021 school year will need to complete the ADA Reasonable Accommodation Request Form, regardless of whether you were approved for a work accommodation during the Fall Semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Can a staff member request to work remotely rather than returning to work in person if they are afraid of becoming infected?

    All accommodation requests will be reviewed and assessed based on ADA guidelines, compelling personal need, job role and eligibility, and district staffing needs. Teachers or school support personnel who request to work from home and are not disabled and/or do not meet one of the CDC high-risk categories will have their requests reviewed by the academic leadership team in partnership with the school principal based on the staffing needs within your school’s division. Please refer to the JPS ADA Accommodations video for more details.

    What leave options do I have if I am unable to return to in-person instruction, but cannot get an accommodation or because I get sick or need to quarantine?

    After the First Family Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expires on December 31, 2020, employees can utilize the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please note that your accumulated sick time will be used.

    What is an outbreak?

    An outbreak is defined as three or more connected cases of COVID-19 in a classroom or group (sports team, group activity, band, or other) within 14 days.

    At what point will JPS contemplate quarantining a classroom?

    In the event of a suspected outbreak, the entire class or group should be quarantined. In a classroom or group setting (such as a sports team, or other activity) when it is difficult to determine specific contacts, then consideration should be given for exclusion, quarantine, and testing recommendations for the whole group or classroom, rather than limiting to a few known close contacts.

    At what point will JPS contemplate closing a school?

    If three or more connected individual classroom settings, defined groups, or defined buildings are experiencing simultaneous outbreaks, or if multiple absentees or exclusions of students and staff are leading to disruptions in on-campus functioning and impacting the learning environment, then school closure may be considered.

    What provisions will be made for staff and students who have asthma and cannot wear a mask?

    Many people with asthma have questioned if it is safe for them to wear a mask. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there is no evidence that wearing a face mask can worsen your asthma. Being in public without a face mask may increase your chances of getting COVID-19 or passing it on to others. Some people (with or without asthma) might feel uncomfortable with the mask on, so they might request frequent breathing breaks. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing when wearing a mask, it is important to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to review your asthma control or seek emergency care. (For reference, see Why Face Masks Are Critical for People with Asthma and Allergies During the COVID-19 Pandemic.)

    Why can't the drill be on January 19 or 20 to not shorten the 14-day quarantine period?

    The period from January 4-13 is not a quarantine period. However, the District is designating this time for all students and staff to engage in distance learning. Virtual instruction will assist in reducing the spread of the virus. As a note,  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mississippi State Department of Health have provided additional guidance on the time frame for isolation and quarantine. The time frame has been shortened to 7-10 days. 

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Last Modified on February 11, 2021