Superintendent Dr. Patrick SheltonEDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 has recently attracted attention for Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton’s sick day policy.

Shelton has a bank of 108 paid sick days. This is in addition to 25 vacation days and four personal leave days. Additionally, the contract reads, “Any sick days that are not used during a Contract year shall accumulate without limit.” This contract is effective July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2028.

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The 108 paid sick days is an increase from Shelton’s previous contract, which went into effect on July 1, 2021. Shelton previously had 18 days of paid sick leave.

The ECUSD7 Board of Education noted that the new compensation package is “align[ed]” with districts of comparable sizes in Illinois.

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“The District 7 Board of Education supports the work Dr. Shelton has done and continues to do in District 7,” the Board of Education said in a statement. “After analyzing the superintendent packages of nearly 20 different schools, both locally and all south of Chicago, and with similar demographics, the board was able to align his total compensation package with comparable-sized districts.”

Shelton can cash out 200 sick days at a rate of $60 per day, if and when he retires from the district. The accumulated sick days can also be put toward Illinois’s Teachers’ Retirement System.

The contract was signed last summer but recently raised a lot of questions when screenshots were shared on social media. Edwardsville residents questioned the reasoning behind the increased sick days.

However, Shelton noted that he has a “strong attendance and work ethic” and plans to continue his work to support ECUSD7.

“As a newer employee to District 7, I appreciate the Board seeing the value of my benefits in my compensation package, which allows me to build a bank of sick days,” Shelton said. “I’ve always prided myself on strong attendance and work ethic and will continue to work hard every day for students, staff and the District 7 community.”

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