Sabbaticals are available to teachers to:

  1. Enhance their teaching skills
  2. Restore their health
  3. Achieve state certification in a shortage area

See the DOE's personnel memo for information on sabbaticals for the 2018-19 school year »

Regular Sabbatical Leaves for Study or Restoration of Health

Eligible teachers who want to study to enhance your teaching skills or restore their health if they are ill may request a sabbatical leave. For study sabbaticals, coursework must be rigorous and related to your teaching assignment. You must submit an official transcript or final research project upon completion of a study sabbatical.

If your superintendent does not approve your proposed course of study, you must be given the right to amend it. All sabbaticals for restoration of health must be approved by the medical director. If your application is denied, you may go to medical arbitration.

All teachers are eligible for a one-year sabbatical of either type after 14 years of service. (For your first 14-year sabbatical, you can claim up to three years of regular substitute service; the rest must be regularly appointed service.) If you are a junior high or high school teacher, you can also apply for a six-month study sabbatical for the spring semester only. After seven years of regularly appointed service, all teachers are eligible for a sabbatical leave for restoration of health that lasts for up to six months.

During a medical sabbatical, teachers earn 70 percent of salary during a full-year sabbatical and 60 percent of salary during a six-month sabbatical. During a study sabbatical, whether full-year or a six-month sabbatical, teachers earn 70 percent of salary.

Before retiring or leaving service, you are required to return to your position for one year after a six-month sabbatical and for two years after a one-year sabbatical. Other rules apply, as well. UFT borough offices hold sabbatical workshops in the fall and spring to guide prospective applicants.

School secretaries, laboratory specialists and technicians hired before July 1, 1985 are eligible for study and health sabbatical leaves. However, school secretaries, laboratory specialists and technicians hired on or after July 1, 1985 are only eligible for health sabbaticals effective September 1, 2007.

Special Study Sabbaticals to Achieve State Certification

Teachers who are regularly appointed may apply for a special one-year or six-month sabbatical leave of absence for study to meet certification requirements for a license designated as a shortage area license (see list of current shortage areas below).

Any applicant applying for the special study sabbatical must meet all other requirements for State Certification in addition to the 16 or less remaining credits required to achieve state certification. A minimum of eight credits are required for a six-month sabbatical and a minimum of 16 credits are required for a one-year sabbatical.

Shortage Area Licenses

Special sabbatical leave for study may be granted to complete certification in one of the following shortage license areas:

  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing – Monolingual and Bilingual (In Bilingual, only Spanish)
  • Limited Vision – Monolingual and Bilingual (In Bilingual, only Spanish)
  • Bilingual Special Education – (Spanish and Haitian Creole)
  • Spanish – Secondary
  • Mathematics – Secondary
  • General Science – Junior High Schools
  • Chemistry and General Science – High Schools
  • Earth Science and General Science – High Schools
  • Biology and General Science – High Schools
  • Physics and General Science – High Schools
  • Nursing – High Schools
  • Bilingual Mathematics – Secondary
  • Bilingual Sciences – Junior High & Day High Schools
  • Bilingual Social Studies – Secondary
  • Physical Education All Grades
  • Special Education
  • English as a Second Language – All Grades
  • Speech Improvement – Monolingual and Bilingual (In Bilingual, only Spanish and Haitian Creole)

Applicants will be required to provide a letter from the college or university that they are attending, or a statement from the New York State Education Department confirming that they have met all other requirements except the remaining 16 or fewer academic credits needed to achieve certification. The applicant also must submit the completed  Application for Special Study Sabbaticals to Achieve Certification. Individuals awarded special study sabbaticals will be required to submit their documented proof of enrollment in an appropriate academic program at an accredited college or university. Documentation must be submitted prior to the commencement date of the sabbatical, confirming that the employee has registered for 16 credits or less.

An individual who receives this special sabbatical leave of absence for study will commit to completing certification and will accept assignment to teach in the license area for a minimum of two years.

DOE Documents

Personnel Memorandum #3, 2017-18: Sabbatical Leaves of Absence

Guidelines governing UFT sabbatical leaves of absence for study for the 2018-19 school year.

Chancellor’s Regulation C-650: Sabbatical Leaves of Absence

This regulation sets forth the rules governing sabbatical leaves of absence applicable to all pedagogical personnel.

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