Getting a Substitute During Distance Learning

Working from home doesn’t mean you should have to work while you are sick.

Educators need to take care of themselves, and nothing has changed about your access to contractual leave in Comprehensive Distance Learning. Remember that you cannot offer the best of yourself to students if you are not able to “be your best” due to illness.

Please utilize substitute educators when you need to take a leave. Doing so ensures that you are able to provide for yourself, your family, and your students. In addition, utilizing substitute educators provides much needed work for our PAT substitute colleagues. 

This summer, PAT defended our substitute educator colleagues through a long and difficult Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claim. We were able to force PPS to reopen the absence management platform so that classroom educators could access substitutes, and to train all substitute educators in how to access and present material using Google, Canvas, Seesaw, and other platforms. Substitutes have taken this training and are ready to work with your students.


Substitute educators are able to provide full-class instruction, small group instruction, attend your office hours, and provide support to students for asynchronous learning activities.

While we know it is not a perfect process (and PAT is working to have the District improve it), a classroom educator needs to follow these three steps to obtain a substitute educator:

  1. Put the absence into Absence Management and notify their school.
  2. Connect directly with the substitute educator so that the job can be assigned to them and so you can provide access to the Google classroom.
  3. If possible, put substitute lesson plans into Absence Management.
    (It is recommended that the educator also share these plans with the Principal’s Secretary or Building Administrator.) 

Take care of yourself and utilize your colleagues who are substitute educators!