Re: Maternity Leave, Teaching and Staff Dev.
Are you part of your education association? If so I would definately call your rep and talk with them they will be able to help you out a lot! When I left for maternity leave and then later sent in the letter that I was not returning for the 07/08 year my district tried to stop paying on my contract (and cheat me out of more than 3K) because the asst. superintendent felt that since I was not returning I had "quit" -- she failed to understand the fact that I was still a teacher for the 06/07 year and was simply on maternity leave. A few calls to our association rep and one call to our association lawyer and it was taken care of (I got my money because obviously they were in the wrong and had not read our teacher contracts).
Sorry for the long post -- moral of the story call your rep if you are a member (and even if you aren't our association still helped non-members to a point).
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Mary Kate - knitting mama to three girlies!