Ask SAM

Q: I have heard that If school teachers in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System request a personal day off (not a sick day) they have to pay the school system $50 to assist with covering the cost of a substitute teacher for that day. Is this true?

T.G.

Answer: “That is not just a WS/FCS policy, it is a state policy that we must abide by,” said Brent Campbell, chief marketing and communications officer with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

To be specific, section 5.1.2 of North Carolina Public Schools Policy states:

(a) Personal leave may be used only upon the authorization of the immediate supervisor.

(b) A teacher shall not take personal leave on the first day the teacher is required to report for the school year, on a required teacher workday, on days scheduled for State testing, or on the day before or the day after a holiday or scheduled vacation day, unless the request is approved by the principal.

(c) A teacher who requests personal leave at least five days in advance shall be automatically granted the request subject to the availability of a substitute teacher.

A teacher making the request cannot be required to provide a reason for the request if the request is made at least five days in advance.

(d) Personal leave may be used on any instructional day or workday except as noted in paragraph (b) above.

(e) Teachers using personal leave receive full salary less the required substitute deduction, except for teachers using personal leave on teacher workdays.

Teachers using personal leave on teacher workdays shall receive full salary.

Teachers may use up to their accrued amount of personal leave on teacher workdays in accordance with paragraphs a, b, c and d above.

“That current deduction it mentions is $50 if a teacher takes a personal leave day on a student/instructional day,” Campbell said. “If it is a non-student day, there is no deduction.”

Q: There is a bow that has stayed on a bridge crossing Silas Creek Parkway for many, many years, and I was wondering what it represents. When it gets ragged, it then gets replaced. It is near Country Club Road.

S.M.

Answer: That familiar bow on the Nottingham Road Bridge commemorates Jane Roscoe Tucker, a 46-year-old woman who was killed in 1997 when she was forced off the road and into a bridge abutment by two cars that were darting in and out of traffic. Bows have been placed there by her family since the late 1990s.

Q: I noticed a sign on the largest pumpkin at the fair that said it would be donated to Brenner Children’s Hospital. What in the world will they do with such a gigantic pumpkin?

M.M.

Answer: “Every year, the largest pumpkin is taken to Brenner Children’s Hospital and carved for Halloween,” said a spokeswoman for the Dixie Classic Fair. “It’s a tradition.”

This year’s blue ribbon-winning pumpkin, weighing just over 1,226 pounds, was grown by Robert Burchette.

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Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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