455: Conference Attendance

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

It is the policy of Independent School District 270 that employee attendance at educational conferences will be permitted when such attendance is deemed in the best interest of the District. Attendance at conferences at full or partial expense of the district shall be confined to the purposes of: performing ones duties, representing the district, improving the learning environment, seeking professional growth, and contributing to the achievement of district-wide goals.

Absence with pay shall be allowed for attendance at approved educational conferences. All requests to attend conferences shall be made in writing to the superintendent, or designee who is the approving agent, upon the Conference Attendance Request form, stating the purpose of the conference, the dates the person expects to be away, the potential value of the conference attendance to the School District, and the estimated conference expenses.

Approved conference expenses shall be paid by the School District upon proper evidence of expenses in accordance with rules and regulations 455-R.

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Adopted: June 17, 1993
Reviewed: February 20, 2018
Revised: September 7, 1995, May 17, 1996, January 9, 2014


REGULATIONS

This policy governs the conference attendance of District staff. It includes procedures for approval and for reimbursement of allowable expenses. Attendance at conferences at full or partial expense of the District shall be confined to the purposes of: performing ones duties, representing the District, improving the learning environment, seeking professional growth, and contributing to the achievement of District-wide goals.

An employee shall be permitted absence with pay for approved conference attendance, but no employee shall receive any additional compensation for travel time or services rendered while on a District-sponsored conference trip. Employees may be authorized expenses and leave time for travel the day prior to the conference.

A. Approval to Attend a Conference

Conference attendance by staff must be approved in advance by the superintendent, appropriate director, or the immediate supervisor. The Conference Attendance Request form is available for this purpose. This approval and the specific amount of allowable expense reimbursement are dependent upon the employment contract, budgetary limitations, and the purpose of the conference, its relationship to job performance, District goals, or student needs.

The Conference Attendance Request Form must be approved prior to incurring expenses related to the conference. The form must be presented with the agenda and registration information in order to estimate costs.

B. Expense Reimbursement Guidelines

The maximum amounts of conference expenses eligible for reimbursement are established through this policy. The amount of conference expense reimbursement shall be that which is approved by the supervisor on the Conference Attendance Request form.

Maximum Authorized Expenses are:

1. Receipts

Detailed receipts are required for all meals, registration, lodging, airfare, commercial transportation, and ground travel.

2. Authorized Transportation

Reimbursement for use of personal vehicles shall be limited to the mileage rate established by the Internal Revenue Service. The traveler must document using the mileage voucher to determine the total mileage for the trip less the normal commute to and from work (if traveling during the work week). An electronic version can be obtained from Business Services.

Reimbursement for use of airline travel shall be limited to the actual assigned seat cost of the commercial fare, coach class. Upgraded seat assignment costs will not be reimbursed.

Reimbursement for luggage shall be limited to one checked bag for conferences lasting less than 3 nights and 2 checked bags for conferences 3 nights or longer.

If the cost-free shuttle services are not available, mileage or commercial vehicle fares will be allowed for transportation to and from airports and between the places of lodging and the conference site. Gratuities to be reimbursed for taxi fare must not exceed 20% of the costs.

The cost of leasing a vehicle for ground transportation will not be reimbursed unless commercial transportation is unavailable or not cost effective in which case the District's maximum contribution shall be restricted to the pro-rated share of the total lease cost attributable to business travel.

Employees and representatives of the District are to use cost-effective measures whenever possible, for obtaining commercial transportation. In accordance with Minnesota statutes, frequent flyer miles resulting from District-paid airfare shall accrue to the benefit of the District.

3. Authorized Meals

a) Employees are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in incurring meal costs. Itemized receipts and the total cost of reimbursed meals shall not exceed $60 per day. Individual meal reimbursements are capped as follows: $12 for Breakfast, $18 for Lunch, and $30 for Dinner. Capped amounts include gratuity and tax. Individual amounts cannot be combined if one meal is excluded from the day’s reimbursement.

b) No reimbursements will be provided for meals that are included in the conference/event program.

c) Group meal purchases are not allowed. Individuals must have individual receipts and pay accordingly.

4. Authorized Lodging

The District will reimburse for lodging up to the actual reasonable costs paid. When a room is occupied by more than one person, the District's contribution shall not exceed the lower of the single rate for that room or the cost actually incurred by the employee.

The District will pay for lodging expense only tied to the event itself. Additional time spent on lodging is the responsibility of the participant. Lodging after the conference concludes will not be reimbursed by the District.

5. Authorized Registration

The District will pay up to the full cost of registration for the employee for attendance at a conference, convention, or meeting.

The District shall not pay that portion of a registration fee that is attributable to course credits provided by a college or university.

6. Credit Cards

A detailed invoice or statement must support any reimbursement voucher request for purchases made by credit card.

7. Personal Expenses

The District will not reimburse employees for personal expenses. Personal expenses include the following:

Alcoholic Beverages

Personal Property

Entertainment

Expenses for other than District Employee

Tobacco

Child Care Expenses

In-room Movies

9. Exceptions

Exceptions to allowed travel expenses must be approved by the superintendent or designee.

10. Expense Advance/Reimbursement Claims

The appropriate supervisor's office is responsible for the overall budget control of the conference funds allocated to that building, department or area. All advance or prepayment requests will be made on a Travel Advance Voucher Request form. All expense reimbursement claims are to be itemized in detail on a Voucher Request form or via a Check Request in Skyward. Reimbursement claims shall separate transportation, lodging, Board, meeting, and incidental costs. Meals must be itemized on a daily basis indicating the number of meals and the total amount. All forms are available from Business Services or school main offices.

Out-of-District conference expenses will be advanced or reimbursed at the employee's discretion.

Officers, employees, and agents must submit their reimbursement claims or, in the case of advances, their final accounting and refund, if any, within 30 days of the original purchase. Claims for reimbursement in excess of 45 days from the date of the original purchase will not be reimbursed. Said claims, final accounting, and refunds are to be submitted directly to the employee’s immediate supervisor.


HOPKINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 270

Hopkins, Minnesota

CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE REQUEST

Name: ______________________________ Date: ____________

School/Department: _________________________________

Name of Conference/Training: __________________________________ 

Location: __________________________________________

Dates of Conference/Training:__________________________

Time Conference begins___________ Ends_______________

Dates to be absent from duty: __________________________

Dates when a substitute is required: _____________________________

Budget Code:_____________________________________

Estimate of expenses to the District:

See Board Policy 455 for conferences out of the metro area.

Submit itemized receipts when you request reimbursement as per policy.

                                  Estimated Cost                     Amount Approved

Registration:              _____________                     ________________

Lodging:                    _____________                     ________________

Airfare:                      _____________                     ________________

Meals:                       _____________                     ________________

Mileage/Ground Transport __________________  ________________

Attach conference agenda and other relevant documents to support request.

Purpose of Conference: ______________________________________

Are you a member of a sponsoring organization? (Not essential for approval) _____________

How do you plan to share/use information with colleagues?

 

When did you attend a similar conference? ____________________

How many times have you attended in the past? ________________

Person submitting request: ______________________________________________________

(signature indicates staff has reviewed policy 455)

Signature of Approval: ______________________________ Date:_______________