for Certified Employeesas of 13 August 2001
updated 19 Nov 2003 Change 2
updated 19 Aug 2006 Change 3
updated 18 Dec 2006 Change 4
updated 22 Apr 2008 Change 5
Table of Contents
2. Equal Employment Opportunity / Non-Discrimination Policy
3. Goals and Objectives
4. Employment Policies and Requirements . . . Change 2 added para G1
6. Termination or Non-Renewal of Contracts . . Change 2 added para D (5.) and H (1.-4.)
7. Personal Leave
8. Sick Leave and Wellness Policy . . . . . . . . . . Change 3 and 4 added to / revised para D.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Change 5 added para I.
11. Salary, Benefits, Travel, and Payroll. . . . . . . Change 5 added para D.(2).
12. Daily Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Change 2 added para A
13. Teachers Instructional Workload
14. Faculty Meetings
15. Extracurricular Duties
16. School Trips and Travel Policy . . . . . . . . . . Change 4 added para B
17. Purchasing Supplies
18. Fund Raisers
19. Grading Scale
21. Personnel Policy Committee
22. Professional Behavior
23. School Documents and the Freedom of Information Act
24. Public Relations
25. Drug Free Workplace and Abuse Policy
26. Grievance Procedures
27. Enclosures, Attachments, and Appendices . . . . . Change 2 added Attachment 7
29. Computer and Network Policy . . . . . . . . . . Change 2 added para's A-L
30. Standards and Compliance Policy . . . . . . . Change 2 added this policy
31. Violence Behavior Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Change 2 added this policy
32. Teacher / Parent Communication Policy . . . Change 2 added this policy
33. Parental Involvement Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . Change 2 added this policy
34. Professional Development Policy . . . . . . . . Change 3 added this policy
The purpose of the policies of the Norfork School District is to present the educational philosophy of the Norfork School District so that the School Board and the certified district personnel have a common understanding of values, mission, goals, objectives, and expectations. Classified personnel policies are addressed elsewhere. The contents of these policies are binding upon contracted employees and will remain in effect as policy until changed by the Norfork School Board or superceded by Arkansas State Law.
2. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY / NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY
It shall be the policy of the Norfork School District that no person be subjected to discrimination in its services or programs on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age, disability, or religion. It shall be the policy of the Norfork School District to abide by both Arkansas and U.S. Civil Rights statutes, including but not limited to:
Title VI, Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
Title IX, Section 901 of the Education Amendment of 1972;
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The High School Counselor of the Norfork School District shall serve as the district's Civil Rights and Equity Coordinator. The school office address is 44 Fireball Lane, Norfork, Arkansas 72658. The telephone number is (AC 870)-499-5228.
3. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
A. To provide a school atmosphere that is conductive to developing each student to his/her fullest potential; to base the educational program on the needs of the student with a program that acknowledges individual differences and provides opportunities for each student to develop his/her physical, emotional, mental, and social capabilities to their maximum.
B. To provide a sound educational program for all groups, stressing basic subject matter areas and allowing innovative programs, extension courses, and special courses on all levels.
C. To provide opportunity for the student to study the culture and heritage of American Democracy, achieve an understanding of it's doctrines and a pride in it's attainments, and allow for an appreciation of the privileges and duties of citizenship.
D. To help each student achieve his/her own vocational and career objectives; to help them become informed as consumers and develop basic economic understandings; all consistent with the resources of the school community.
E. To continue development of a respect for the rules of health and safety.
F. To help each student develop and cherish high moral, ethical, and aesthetic values, and to foster an appreciation of the fine arts.
G. To encourage creativity.
H. To provide educational leadership for the community, specifically in such areas as after school programs and adult education; to work with supplementary educational agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce, the School-Community Recreation Program, and the Co-Operative Extension Service.
4. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND REQUIREMENTS
A. All teachers are required to have the following materials on file in the Office of the Superintendent of Schools:(1.) A statement of health as required by the Arkansas Department of Education.
(2.) A copy of the transcript of college work.
(3.) A signed IRS W-4 form for deductions and an Arkansas 4EC form for state withholdings.
(4.) A Social Security Administration Number.
(5.) A valid Arkansas Teaching Certificate.
B. The Norfork School District certified staff (excluding the Superintendent) shall be employed by the School Board upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools. Should a person recommended by the Superintendent be rejected by the School Board, it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Schools to make another recommendation.
C. It shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Schools to see that persons recommended for employment to the School Board meet all qualifications established by law or by the School Board for the type of position for which the recommendation is made.
D. The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for the assignment of all certified personnel to include the development of reduction-in-force procedures, in accordance with Arkansas State Law, should such become required by decreased enrollment, cut-backs federal / state funding, or for any other reason deemed necessary in the best interest of the Norfork School District. Every effort shall be made to accomplish any such anticipated action by attrition, retirement, or consolidation of functions. That withstanding, the seniority rule will be used. The seniority rule is established by the employee's continuous service in the district and their eligibility to each within the bounds of their teaching certification.
E. Teachers are subject to transfer from position to position at the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools. The following factors shall be considered in the transfer of teachers:(1.) When transfers are made, a conference of all employees concerned shall be held with the Superintendent. Reasons for the transfer shall be discussed. The disposition of the case shall be in writing by the Superintendent to all parties involved. The Superintendent's decision shall be final.
(2.) When teachers are transferred for reasons of decreased enrollment, consideration shall be given to the length of and to the quality of service these teachers have rendered in the system, with the quality of service taking precedence over the length of service.
(3.) Teachers may request transfer following the procedures outlined in 3.E.(1.) above.
A. All contracts for instructional personnel employed by the Board of Education, with the exception of substitutes, shall be in writing and signed by officers as provided by law.
B. With the exception of Superintendent, all contracts shall be for annual periods or fractions thereof.
C. Personnel employed for the first time in the district will be issued a contract only after they have been officially employed by the School Board. All contracts for new instructional personnel that are not considered probationary teachers as defined by the "Teacher Fair Dismissal Act of 1983" shall be employed on a probationary status for one year.
D. The School Board will consider rehiring certified personnel no later than March 31st of each year. Final decisions on contracts will be made by May 1st of each year.
E. All contracts will be issued at the earliest feasible date after approval. All offers to renew annual contracts shall expire if the completed contract is not signed and returned to the Superintendent's Office within ten (10) days of issuance.
F. The Norfork School Board will not consider nor honor a request for release of contract from personnel unless such request is made prior to the regular school board meeting in July of each year, unless the request involves unusual or special circumstances, or these requests are of an emergency or medical nature.
G. Only credit hours accumulated toward an advanced degree, or certification hours will be used to determine advancement on the salary schedule. The principal or superintendent must approve in writing, all credit hours taken for advancement on the salary schedule. This approval will be maintained in the individual's personnel file for future reference. Hours taken in an academic year must be verified with a transcript by July 1, or at the end of the first summer term, in order for the individual to be compensated for an advancement on the salary schedule for the coming academic year. Individuals requesting approval for hours taken towards an advanced degree must have an approved degree plan from a college or university on file with the superintendent.
6. TERMINATION OR NON-RENEWAL OF CONTRACTS
A. Each succeeding administrative official shall review the case when a dismissal or non-renewal is recommended. If any administrative official feels that the dismissal or non-renewal is unjustified, he(she) shall attempt to work the matter out with the teacher concerned. If he(she) favors dismissal or non-renewal, he(she shall present his/her reasons to his/her immediate superior and to the teacher being considered for dismissal.
B. The Board of Education shall make the final decision on all dismissal or non-renewal cases, in accordance with state and federal laws. A notice of non-renewal shall be mailed by registered or certified mail to the teacher at the teacher's residence address as reflected in the teacher's personnel file. A teacher who has completed three (3) successive years of employment in Norfork School District is deemed to have completed the required probationary period. The notice of recommended non-renewal of a teacher who has completed the probationary period of employment shall include a statement of the grounds for such recommendation.
C. A teacher may be terminated during the term of any contract period for any cause that is not arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory. The Superintendent shall notify the teacher of the termination recommendation. Such notice shall include a statement of the grounds for the recommendation of termination and shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the teacher at the teacher's residence address as reflected in the teacher's personnel file.
D. Whenever the Superintendent has reason to believe that cause exists for the termination of a teacher and that the immediate suspension of the teacher is necessary in the best interest of the district, the superintendent must give verbal explanation and suspend the teacher without a hearing. The superintendent shall notify the teacher in writing of the suspension. Such written notice shall include a statement of the grounds of suspension and/or recommended termination, and shall state that a hearing before the Board of Directors is available to the teacher upon request, provided such request is made in writing within thirty (30) days after the written notice of proposed termination is received. Such written request for a hearing shall be sent by certified or registered mail to the president of the school board, with a copy to the superintendent, or may be delivered in person by the teacher. Upon receipt of such request for a hearing, the Board of Directors shall grant a hearing in accordance with the following provisions:(1.) The hearing shall take place not less than five (5) and not more than ten (10) days after the written request has been served upon the Board, except that the teacher and the Board may, in writing, agree to a postponement of the hearing to a later date.
(2.) The hearing shall be private unless the Board or the teacher shall request that the hearing be public.
(3.) Legal counsel may represent the teacher and the Board.
(4.) It shall not be necessary that a full record of the proceedings at the hearing be made and preserved unless:(a.) The Board shall elect to make and preserve a record of the hearing at its own expense, in which event a copy thereof shall be furnished to the teacher, upon request, without cost to the teacher.
(b.) A written request is filed with the Board by the teacher at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the time set for the hearing, in which event the Board shall make and preserve, at it's own expense, a record of the hearing, and shall furnish a copy thereof to the teacher, without cost to the teacher.
(5.) Teachers Right to Witness &endash; In accordance with the provisions of Arkansas Law enacted in 2003, teachers are granted the right to be present and witness to any hearing or meeting discussing their employment.
(Added as Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
E. Upon conclusion of its hearing with respect to the termination or non-renewal of a teacher contract to a teacher who has been employed as a full-time teacher by the school district for less than three (3) continuous years, the Board shall take action on the recommendations by the Superintendent with respect to the termination or non-renewal of such contract. Any certified teacher who has been re-employed continuously by the school district for three (3) or more years may be terminated or the Board may refuse to renew the contract of such teacher for any cause which is not arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory, or for violating the reasonable rules and regulations proclaimed by the School Board. Upon completion of such hearing, the Board may, within ten (10) days after the holding of the hearing in regard to the termination or non-renewal of the contract of a teacher who has been employed continuously by the school district for three (3) or more years:(1.) Uphold the recommendation of the Superintendent to terminate or not renew the teacher contract or
(2.) may reject or modify the Superintendent's recommendation to terminate or not renew the contract of the teacher or
(3.) May vote to continue the contract of such teacher under the restrictions, limitations, or assurances as the school board may deem to be in the best interest of the school district.
Said decision shall be reached by the School Board within ten (10) days from the date of the hearing, and a copy thereof shall be furnished in writing to the teacher involved, either by personally delivering a written copy of the decision to the teacher or by addressing the same to the aggrieved. The decision of the School Board may be appealed to the Baxter County Circuit Court within thirty (30) days of the date of written notice of the action of the School Board.
F. If a teacher quits or refuses to teach in accordance with his/her contract without just cause, or otherwise breaks or violates the contract between the teacher and the school district, and enters into a contract with another district or accepts employment in a position requiring a teaching certificate with another district during the term of the contract violated or broken, the Norfork School Board may, at it's discretion, petition the State Board of Education to revoke or suspend the certificate of the teacher for the remainder of the period of the broken contract in order to prohibit such teacher from teaching elsewhere during the time for which he(she) has been employed under the contract.
H. Reductions In Force: Should any number of factors such as declining enrollment, lack of sufficient finances, or program changes result in a decision of the Board to conduct a reduction in force, the following procedures will be performed. A program change is defined as any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of a curriculum offering, school operation, or consolidation of two or more individual schools. (Added as Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)(1.) Every effort will be made to limit such activities to voluntary retirements, resignations, and voluntary transfer of duties. Should such be inadequate, the Board shall endeavor to accomplish these reductions by non-renewal at the end of a contract period. Only under exigent conditions shall such reductions be accomplished by dismissal or termination during the contract period.
(2.) Teachers not holding a proper Arkansas Teachers Certificate will be terminated first, provided that there are other fully qualified and certified teachers to replace and perform all the assigned duties of the terminated teacher.
(3.) If the joint effect of the above does not eliminate the necessary reductions, then teachers with the least number of years of continuous teaching experience in the school district will be terminated, or their contracts not renewed, provided there are fully qualified and certified teachers to perform all the needed duties of the terminated teacher. These duties may be absorbed by existing staff who will be assigned to perform such tasks. In cases where two or more teachers were employed in the same year, the dates of the first contract shall be used to determine seniority.
(4.) The terms and conditions, including due process, cited elsewhere in these policies and the continuing contract law, shall apply in cases of reductions in force; just as in any other reason(s) for termination of employment.
7. PERSONAL LEAVE
All Norfork certified employees are granted two personal leave days per contract year. These days are in addition to contracted sick days. If unused, personal leave days may be accumulated up to five (5) days. Any and all personal days in excess of these five (5) accumulated days may be voluntarily transferred to another employee's sick leave account or added to their own sick leave account up to the limit established for that account. Personal leave may be scheduled with the approval of the building principal. When claiming personal leave, each employee must complete a leave request and file it with his/her immediate supervisor.
8. SICK LEAVE and WELLNESS POLICY (revised by changes 3 & 4)
A. A full-time employee under contract shall be allowed one (1) sick leave day for each month or major portion thereof that the individual is employed. A maximum upper limit on the accumulation of sick leave days is one hundred and twenty (120) days. Any sick leave days in excess of this number may be cashed in at the rate of "substitute teacher pay" at the end of each contract year. Part-time teachers working more than 20 hours per week shall receive sick leave as agreed upon when employed.
B. Sick leave is to be used for personal illness or illness in the immediate family. The superintendent and/or the building principal will have the discretion to define "immediate family" beyond those relatives currently living in the same household.
C. A record of sick leave used and accumulated shall be established and maintained by the district for each of its teachers. A copy of this record will be given to each employee at the beginning of each school year. A teacher who qualifies for sick leave may use any amount up to his/her total accumulated amount. For all absences in excess of the total amount earned, a proportional salary amount will be deducted. This amount will equal the number of excess days times the employee's daily rate of pay. When claiming sick leave, each employee must complete a leave request and file it with his/her immediate supervisor.
D. Sick Bank and Wellness Policy
- With the approval of the Superintendent, any school employee may elect to donate sick day(s) to another employee who has exhausted their sick and personal leave accounts. Both parties must sign an affidavit declaring their intentions at such a time. Copies will be maintained in both employee's files as well as the Superintendent or bookkeeper's files. Added / Deleted by Change 3, the following is added.
Norfork School District will administer two sick leave banks, Elementary and High School, for all full time certified personnel who wish to participate. Participation shall be on a voluntary basis. In addition,
a "Well-ness Program" will be established in which certified staff receives $200 for not using any sick days during the school year.Norfork Schools will establish a Wellness Program to reward it's staff for not using sick days authorized each year. Staff members that miss no student interaction or inservice days during the year will be paid $200 at the end of the year. Staff members that miss just one day will earn a $100 Wellness Program payment. Personal days are not considered sick days for the purpose of this Wellness Program dividend. (strike-through revised by Change 4)
Each participant shall contribute one (1) day of sick leave per year. The participant must submit, no later than the 15th of September, a signed agreement to the District Treasurer's Office authorizing the contributed day. After the election to participate in the sick leave bank has been made, the participation shall be continuous, unless the District Treasurer receives a written request from the participant by September 15th for withdrawal of membership in the sick leave bank. Days contributed to the sick leave bank by signed authorization cannot be returned to the participant. Furthermore, transfer of sick days is no longer available. Requests or questions need to be directed to the Sick Bank Committee.
Days from the sick leave bank may be used by any contributing member in the event of a catastrophic illness or accident. The catastrophic illness or accident will be determined by a special committee of contributors elected by participating members and the administration. Participating members must use up accumulated sick days and personal days before requesting from the sick leave bank. Sick leave bank days will only be granted for circumstances which require five (5) or more full school days of consecutive absence. All requests must be submitted in writing.
No participant shall receive more than thirty (30) days from the sick leave bank in any one (1) fiscal year. No more than thirty (30) sick leave bank days may be used per illness. The number of days that can be drawn by an individual is subject to availability. Newly hired employees will be able to enroll in the sick leave bank within thirty (30) days of their contracted service with the District. Sick leave days will not be granted for elective surgery that could be scheduled during designated vacation periods or for treatment plans that could be scheduled outside normal work hours. Any member who is receiving temporary disability payments from the Workers" Compensation Insurance Fund is not eligible to receive sick leave bank days.
The committee shall meet as necessary for the purpose of reviewing requests for withdrawal from the bank. The determination of the committee shall be final.
Sick Leave Bank Application Procedures:(1.) Employee shall complete an official request for sick leave bank form bearing the employee's signature. Sick leave bank forms are available from the immediate supervisor or the District Office.
(2.) Employees shall complete a release of medical information form to allow the members of the sick leave bank committee to review any medical documentation that they provide with the request for sick leave bank days.
(3.) The illness / injury must be medically documented with a statement bearing an original signature from the attending physician or signed by the attending nurse, office manager, etc.
The Sick Bank Application Form has been added as Enclosure 4 to this manual.
E. If a principal (or the Superintendent) has reason to believe that a teacher has violated or misused this sick leave policy, he/she may require a certificate signed by a duly licensed physician foe subsequent absences. The teacher shall be notified of this requirement in writing.
F. A teacher who is unable to teach because of personal illness or disability and who has exhausted all sick leave available may be granted, at the request of the teacher or principal, leave of absence without pay for the remainder of the school year. At that time, the teacher's health condition will be reviewed and a decision shall be made by the building principal to return the teacher to active duty, extend the leave of absence, or take other appropriate actions.
G. When a teacher is absent under the provisions of this policy, he/she is expected to have available to the substitute those materials necessary to conduct the activities of the day. In the event that the teacher is absent for less than one-half day for any reason, he/she will be reported absent for one-half day and the substitute will be credited with one-half day of service.
H. The provisions of section 6-17-130 of the Leave Due to Assault Act of 1997 are incorporated herein.
I. Sick Leave Reimbursement Prior to T-Drop - If an employee has completed the necessary 28 years of service and enters the T-Drop option to continue working, the employee may apply for reimbursement for unused sick leave accumulated by the employee for up to 90% of their total unused sick days at a rate of %50.00 per day. The application must be made to the Superintendent prior to June 30th of the current year. To become eligible for this benefit, the employee must have worked for Norfork School District for the last five (5) consecutive years. It must be understood that if an employee requests payment for unused sick days and continues to work, that these days must be removed from the accumulated total and future paid sick leave must be earned at the rate of one day per month, or greater portion thereof. Days of work missed in the absemce of credited sick leave results in the deduction of the employees pay at their daily rate. This option can only be exercised one time. Employees may still be reimbursed for accumulated days upon finishing their T-Drop participation, as long as the total reimbursement does not exceed 120 days total. (Added by Change 5 pursuant to Board action of 9 Feb 2007)
There is no mandatory retirement age in the Norfork School District. An employee that is eligible to retire and retires after ten (10) years of continuous service in the district, shall be compensated for the days of unused sick leave at the rate of "substitute pay" at the time of retirement. One hundred and twenty (120) days will be the maximum number of days that can be compensated upon retirement.
Full twelve (12) month certified employees receive twelve (12) vacation days per contract year. Vacation days are to be scheduled at least one week in advance of the intended vacation and when school is not in session. The Superintendent must approve all dates, times, and lengths of vacations. Unused vacation days may accumulate up to thirty (30) days and excess amounts may be compensated for as the School Board directs.
11. SALARY, BENEFITS,
(revised, Travel added, 13 Aug 2001 by School Board action, further revised on 18 Dec 2006, Change 4 - See Paragraph 16 below )
A. Certified employees are paid once each month. Paychecks will be distributed by the employee's supervisor or may be picked up at the Bookkeeper's Office on the 15th day of each month. Should the 15th fall on a weekend, payday will be the preceding Friday.
B. All certified staff (and substitutes) will be provided breakfast and lunch meals at no cost during the school year. Employees using this benefit must mark the headcount sheets at the time the meal is consumed.
C. Substitute pay is normally credited at the rate of $50 per day. In the event that a long term substitution is required, this rate will increase to $80 per day following the 30th consecutive day of substitution. In order to qualify for the long-term substitute pay rate, the individual must be certified or have a Bachelors Degree.
D. The Salary Schedule is approved annually by the School Board and is attached as Enclosure 1 to this policy manual. It will contain a listing of all pay steps and educational adjustments required by law, as well as all approved stipend rates for certified employees. A maximum of ten (10) years of credited service may be allowed for new teachers employed by Norfork Schools.
(1). In the event that a teacher is requested to give up a preparation to teach a required course, the teacher will be paid an additional $2000 stipend per contract year (to be prorated for semester periods).
(2). Norfork Public Schools will provide a $1500.00 stipend to any certified employee who receives National Board Certification. This stipend will be paid during the first year following completion of the process. Norfork Public Schools will also provide an additional $250.00 each year thereafter up to a maximum of $2500.00 per employee. This stipend will be included in the annual contract of the employee, and will be paid in addition to the bonus provided by the State in Act 1803 of 2003. (Added by Change 5, pursuant to Board action of 9 Feb 2007).
E. Reimbursement for expenses paid by certified staff include the following:(1.) Travel reimbursements will be limited to the rates established by the Superintendent for the destinations
cited in Enclosure 3 (Mileage Scale) to this policy manual (attached). The maximum meals rates approved by the School Board are as indicated in paragraph 11.F. below. Travel provisions amended by Change 4 - See Paragraph 16 below
(2.) Tuition, registration, and enrollment fees for course work where additional certifications are required by the school district. In the event that standardized tests are required for these additional certifications, such fees may also be reimbursed upon prior approval of the Superintendent.
(3.) Any other product, equipment, or services may be reimbursed with the prior approval of the Superintendent.
F. Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy
(as revised by School Board action of 13 Aug 2001 and Change 4, 18 Dec 2006)(1.) Travel must be pre-approved by the building Principal.
(2.) Mileage will be figured from Norfork to the destination and back to Norfork according to the mileage scale
posted below. Revised by Change 4 - See Paragraph 16 below
Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate of 28 cents per mile figured according to the mileage scale. Deleted by Change 4 - See Paragraph 16 below.
Meals will be reimbursed on a $25.00 maximum per day when staying overnight. Employee must attach receipts to the travel form to be reimbursed. Deleted by Change 4 - See Paragraph 16 below.
(5.) Tips cannot be reimbursed.
(6.) Alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed.
Please do not turn-in receipts with such beverages on them.
(7.) On trips lasting less than a full day, meals will be reimbursed at the rate of (revised by Change 4 See Paragraph 16 below)
$6.00 for breakfast.
$8.00 for lunch
$11.00 for dinner
(8.) When the district purchases a school vehicle, it must be used when available. If the employee chooses not to use the school vehicle, mileage will not be reimbursed.
12. DAILY SCHEDULE
Teachers are expected to arrive at school no later than 7:40 AM daily and be in their room by 8:00 AM. Duty teachers are expected to arrive at school and be at their assigned duty station at 7:40 AM each day which coincides with the arrival of school busses. Each school day ends at 3:15 PM and teachers are expected to remain on campus until then.
A. Assignment of Teacher Aids: The schedule and assignment of teacher aids shall be at the discretion of each building principal. Changes to the schedules shall be kept to a minimum and affected teachers notified prior to such changes being made. (Added as Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
B. Not Used
13. TEACHERS INSTRUCTIONAL WORKLOAD
A. Teachers are required to attend at least thirty (30) hours of in-service professional development instruction annually or as otherwise required by state law. Scheduling of attendance is at the discretion of each teacher as long as the technology and workshop hour minimums are accomplished and no interference with teacher-pupil interaction time is anticipated. Records of content and attendance must be gathered and provided to each principal for proper documentation. Before scheduling or attending off-campus in-service professional development workshops, any funding and reimbursement issues must be approved by the building principals. Final approval of in-service professional development content rests with the building principals.
B. Teachers are provided a planning period or planning time during the school day. This time will be spent grading papers, counseling students, preparing lesson plans, maintaining records, or other school business. During the planning period, teachers will be available for conducting parent conferences. Scheduled Parent-Teacher Conference dates are established at the end of the first and third nine-week grading periods. All personnel will be required to attend these Parent-Teacher Conferences.
C. Teachers are required to have completed lesson plans available to their supervisor one week in advance, each week of the school year. Plan books are provided for teachers. Plans should be clear and organized in such a manner that a substitute can conduct class. Teachers will submit a copy of their completed lesson plans to their building principal by Friday of each week for the upcoming week. Teachers are required to have completed lesson plans available to their supervisor when they are on sick or personal leave. In addition, teachers are required to notify their supervisor in sufficient advance time so that lesson plans can be located, instructional materials can be organized, and a qualified substitute obtained.
D. Teachers are expected to supervise the students assigned to them at all times. Teachers should know where their students are and not allow them to roam the building or grounds. Teachers should not allow students to go see another student or teacher in another class unless an emergency exists. Teachers should use their own judgment in allowing students to leave the class to go to the restroom and should avoid having more than a single student in a restroom at once. Teachers are not to dismiss students early from class, club meetings, and other special activities; unless specific arrangements have been made with the building principal in advance. Students may not leave the classroom without a pass. Teachers may not vouch for a student sent out of class without a pass. It is the duty of all teachers to query all students seen out of class and report those who do not have passes.
E. Teachers will not leave their students unsupervised in their classrooms, on the grounds, in the cafeteria, or anywhere else that they have been assigned to monitor student activity. If an emergency exists that requires a teacher to leave his/her supervisory duties, a replacement supervisor must be in place.
F. Teachers will maintain their classrooms in a manner that reflects an environment for learning. Student work will be displayed to promote pride and self-esteem when appropriate. If necessary, teachers may spend the last few minutes of each period to tidy up the classroom, but always leave a neat room for the next class or group. When leaving the room for any significant period of time, adjust the thermostat, turn out lights, and close all windows / doors.
G. Teachers are evaluated in accordance with Arkansas State Law. The evaluations will consist of, but are not limited to Probationary - two formal and one informal observation, and Non-Probationary - one formal and one informal observation per contract period.(1. ) Methods of evaluation: The performance evaluation criterion and format shall be at the discretion of the building principal. Any and all forms or checksheets that are to be used shall be provided to each employee at the beginning of each school year. With the exception of unannounced visits, a schedule of any required informal (or formal) evaluations shall be made available to each affected employee prior to the conduct of any such evaluations. In addition, each employee shall be provided a copy of the results of any such performance evaluation.
(Added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
H. Teachers are required to report any evidence of abuse or neglect in accordance with section 12-12-507 of Arkansas State Law to their immediate supervisor.
14. FACULTY MEETINGS
Faculty Meetings will be scheduled monthly immediately after school with a twenty-four (or more) hour advance notice given. At times it may be necessary to call a special meeting. Teachers who are unable to attend should see their building principal or superintendent prior to the meeting. Meetings may be called or canceled at the discretion of the building principal.
15. EXTRA CURRICULAR DUTIES
It is expected that each member of the staff will perform his/her assigned extracurricular duties. This includes class sponsorship, working ball games, attendance at school functions, etc. If for some reason a teacher cannot participate in these activities, they should consult with the building principal or superintendent prior to the scheduled time of the activity.
16. SCHOOL TRIPS / TRAVEL POLICY (modified by Change 4, December 2006)
A. All school trips necessary for fulfillment of academic curriculum will be provided by the school district. This includes the use of busses, bus driver, and fuel. The building principals and the superintendent will make the final decision on the necessity of such trips. School Trips for other than academic or athletic requirements shall be addressed to the School Board with the recommendation of the Superintendent.
B. Travel regulations are designed to reimburse the traveler for certain expenses within certain limits when traveling on official business from the Norfork School District. Please keep in mind that only official business expenses are reimbursable, and must be pre-approved by the Building Principal.(1). Meals Reimbursement- All meals will be paid for by the traveler and will be reimbursed on a per diem basis for approved travel according to the following chart.
(75% is $24.00 for first and last day)
On the day of departure and the day of return, as indicated on the travel request form, the traveler may only claim 75% of the per diem amount. Receipts for meals will not have to be provided, however, travel reimbursement forms with mileage, hotel receipts, and gas receipts for school vehicles must be submitted to the travel supervisor within five (5) working days. Meals that are provided during the trip must be reported and will be deducted at the above allowable rate. Please attach a copy of the registration form to the Travel Reimbursement (TR1) form.
(2). Mileage Reimbursement - The school vihicle must be used when available, for any trip. Please call and schedule the vehicle through the Superintendent's secretary. Priorities will be given to the longest trips and those trips that require taking the most individuals. If you contact the Superintendent's secretary and the school vehicle is not available, you will be reimbursed according to the mileage scale included in this policy. If you choose to use your own vehicle for the trip and the school vehicle is available, no reimbursement will be made without prior approval from the Superintendent. Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate of thirty five cents ($0.35) per mile according to the mileage scale provided in this policy. If the destination of your trip is not on the scale, mileage will be figured from Norfork to the destination and back to Norfork. Norfork Schools assumes no responsibility for any maintenance, operational costs, accidents, fines, or tolls incurred by the owner of the vehicle while on school business.
Destination (Alphabetic order)
allowable rate at $0.35/mile
(3). Lodging Reimbursement - Actual expenses for lodging will be reimbursed (with proper receipts) for motel costs approved by the Building Principal. Expenses for entertainment, room service, tips, valet services laundry, alcoholic beverages or other similar expenses are not reimbursable. When possible, the Superintendent's secretary will help with reservations and will reserve the school credit card for the traveler when it is available.
(4). Travel Not Requiring Overnight Lodging - Meal expenses incurred during approved travel for staff are considered reimbursable at the same rate as overnight travel. Only one meal shall be reimbursable for travel in which overnight lodging is not required. It will be the responsibility of the travel supervisor to determine which meal to reimburse at a rate equal to the allowable rate in this policy. (Note: According to an Arkansas Legislative Audit, any reimbursement received for meals not associated with an overnight stay is considered to be miscellaneous income and should be reported as such when filing income tax reports. The district has no responsibility in the reporting process.)
Travel Expense Reimbursement Form (TR1) in .pdf form is available at this link.
17. PURCHASING SUPPLIES
Employees are to complete a purchase order form and submit it to their supervisor for approval prior to purchasing any materials paid for with school funds. All other purchases will be the responsibility of the employee.
18. FUND RAISERS
A. No moneymaking project of any kind is to be undertaken by any class, group, individual, or club without the prior approval of the principal. Principals will consult with the superintendent prior to scheduling any fund-raisers. All fund-raisers held in the school's name and involving elementary school children must be conducted in accordance with Act 525 of 1993. All money raised shall be turned in to the school bookkeeper in charge of receipting the funds. All funds raised by any club or organization may be spent only by that club or organization.
B. A full accounting of any and all funds raised in the name of the school or any associated school event or activity will be supplied the superintendent on a monthly basis. This includes all groups or organizations other than in-school clubs and activities. This accounting shall consist of the location of all such funds, amounts raised, amounts spent, and a detailed listing of how all funds were disbursed.
19. GRADING SCALE
The grading scale to be used within this district is as follows:
A = 90-100 Superior
B = 80-89 Above Average
C = 70-79 Average
D = 60-69 Below Average
F = 0-59 Failing
I = Incomplete
Commercial solicitation of school employees or pupils during school hours by agents, solicitors, or sale is prohibited; however, individual teachers may confer with them on business at times when they are not engaged in school duties, provided that they have the approval of their principal.
21. PERSONNEL POLICY COMMITTEE
A. The Personnel Policy Committee will represent the certified employees of the district. Three representatives will be elected from each school building at the beginning of the year. Their responsibilities are as directed by Arkansas Statutes. Organizational guidelines for the conduct of committee business are as approved by vote of the certified staff. Minutes of all meetings will be posted in each school building.
B. A representative of the personnel policy committee will represent the certified staff at all regularly scheduled School Board meetings. Proposals affecting all personnel matters will be provided to the personnel policy committee for coordination as envisioned by state law. In conjunction with the superintendent, the personnel policy committee will develop a school calendar. Once approved by the School Board, the official school calendar will be maintained by the superintendent. Any additions and all subsequent approved activities must be brought to the attention of the building principals who in turn will forward these additions to the superintendent for inclusion as appropriate.
22. PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR
No school employee will under any circumstance use language, or comments, or gestures that demonstrate a lack of professionalism, or degrades / lowers a student's self-esteem or value of self. Employees are to follow the Grievance Procedure, herein described, when dealing with school problems. Failure to follow proper procedures can be considered insubordination and could result in a recommendation for contract non-renewal or termination.
23. SCHOOL DOCUMENTS AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
Many school documents are public information available upon request under the "Freedom of Information Act". Employees, clubs, organizations, private citizens, etc., may have copies made of any information available to the public, by written request, and at the rate of $0.25 a page.
24. PUBLIC RELATIONS
Faculty and Staff should always use education, experience, and "common sense" to look for areas where problems could arise, and take care of the situation before it becomes a problem.
25. DRUG FREE WORKPLACE AND ABUSE POLICY
The Norfork School District has established administrative procedures to implement a drug abuse and prevention program. The non-medical use of drugs is forbidden on school property or at school-sponsored activities away from school property. Employees determined to be using drugs shall be reported immediately to the Principal or other person in charge. The Superintendent shall conduct an investigation into the matter. Any evidence that the employee is involved with the distribution, possession, or is under the influence of drugs will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. Once it has been determined that the employee has violated the school drug policy, the Superintendent shall suspend the employee and recommend termination of contract to the School Board. Any certified employee who also drives a school bus must become familiar with the drug and alcohol testing procedures mandated by federal law. Copies are available at the bus shop.
26. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
The purpose of this procedure is to secure at the lowest level, equitable solutions to the problems which may occasionally arise affecting the staff which are not contractual or employment issues covered by the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act or Public Employee Fair Hearing Act. The employee shall have the right to present grievances and, in so doing shall be assured the freedom from restraint, interference, discrimination, and reprisal. At any point in the procedure, the complainant has the right to counsel. The following steps will be used in any complaint or grievance:
Step 1: Within ten (10) working days of the triggering event, the complainant must present the written complaint to the immediate supervisor. The supervisor will investigate and respond. The complainant must use Form A "Grievance Report" in relation to Step 1 (see Appendix for report forms).
Step 2: The supervisor has five (5) working days to investigate and respond in writing (see Grievance Response Form).
Step 3. If the complainant desires to further pursue the grievance, the grievance must be presented to the Superintendent within ten (10) working days from receipt of the immediate supervisor's response (use Form B for Step 3).
Step 4. Written response from the Superintendent must be received within five (5) working days (Form B - Superintendent's Response to Grievance).
Step 5. If the complainant is not satisfied at this level, an appeal may be made within ten (10) working days after receipt of the Superintendent's Response. The school Board will consider the complaint at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. Board hearings will be conducted so as to afford due process to all parties involved in the complaint.
Step 6. The Board will respond to the complainant in writing within five (5) working days after the hearing.
27. ENCLOSURES, ATTACHMENTS AND APPENDICES
Enclosure 1 - Salary Schedule for current school year.
Enclosure 2 - School Calendar for current school year.
Enclosure3 - Travel Reimbursement Rate Schedule.
Attachment 1 - Job Duties and Responsibilities of Equity Coordinator.
Attachment 2 - Job Duties and Responsibilities of Teacher.
Attachment 3 - Job Duties and Responsibilities of Substitute Teacher.
Attachment 4 - Job Duties and Responsibilities of Principal.
Attachment 5 - Job Duties and Responsibilities of Librarian.
Attachment 6 - Personnel Policy Committee Operating Guidelines
Attachment 7 - Substitute Teacher Guidelinesa. The objective of Norfork School District is to provide a challenging academic environment for students. When teachers are absent, it is impossible to expect that students are receiving the kind of rigorous education that we hope to provide unless these guidelines are followed. Thus, in an effort to minimize distractions, lessen classroom behavior problems, and to maximize educational efficiency the following will be applied in all cases.
b. Teachers whom are anticipating an absence will develop rigorous and detailed lesson plans for student work that will require at least 45 minutes of classroom time to complete. Any such work shall be graded and scored as part of the nine-weeks grade. Should a substitute teacher note any problems with student misconduct, teachers shall hold that student accountable for their behavior while the substitute was in the class.
c. Substitute teachers shall enforce the classroom rules as provided by the teacher. They shall record the progress made upon accomplishing the provided lesson plans and note any student misconduct by name. Disruptive students are to be reported immediately to the office as well as any student who fails to diligently pursue the assigned lessons for the day.
( entire attachment added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
Appendix 1 - Form A - Grievance Procedure (Download in acrobat.pdf format)
Appendix 2 - Form B - Grievance Procedure (Download in acrobat.pdf format)
This Personnel Policy Manual for the Certified Employees of the Norfork School District was approved by the Norfork School Board on 13 August 2001 and is being incorporated into all teacher contracts offered on or after that date.
29. COMPUTER AND NETWORK USE POLICY (Added as Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
A. In order to secure and yet make accessible this District's computer network and hardware for legitimate uses, the following policies and responsibilities are required under the terms of employment of this policy. Personnel are hereby informed of the expected standards of conduct as well as the punitive measures for not following them. This policy covers the use of all the school's equipment as well as data and files placed into the system from outside the school's physical boundaries. All users are required to abide by these policies before being granted access to the system or individual machines.
B. The Norfork School District has established the computer network within the district for educational purposes. The district's network, to include the internet access, is to be used for educational purposes only. Despite the presence of filtering software, access to only certain types of sites is restricted. All authorized users are granted access by userid and password to preclude unauthorized access, Such id's are to be protected from unauthorized access. No computer shall be left in a logged-in capacity unless an adult or other responsible individual is present. All users should know that all network activity is recorded by user and site visited.
C. The school network shall not be used for personal commercial activities. While certain procurement related functions may be authorized, prior approval of the necessary documentation is required. Otherwise you may not use the system to conduct personal or non-school related commercial activities.
D. Users shall refrain from excessive personal use of the internet during school hours. A record of time and site visited is made of all internet useage.
E. Faculty and staff will be allowed to post web pages to the school network with the permission of the building principal. Any such user posting shall be maintained as current and applicable to the school's mission. Maintenance is the responsibility of the posting teacher.
F. The following uses are considered unacceptable:
1). Illegal Activities(a. ) No user shall attempt to gain unauthorized access to the system or its components for any reason. This includes "hacking" as well as the use of another's login / password. Attempts to secure a higher level of privelege on the system are unauthorized and may result in a temporary or permanent revocation of access. The mere presence of "hacker" tools or software on a user's hard drive may be grounds for denial of user access to the system. This applies to unauthorized attempted access using these type of tools from off-site as well.
(b. ) No user shall attempt to, or cause deliberate damage to the system or its associated software by the introduction of viruses, worms, or any denial of service or other types of malicious software. Attempts to 'crash' the system are prohibited. Known infected software is not to be placed into system drives. This prohibition also includes the unintentional spread of viruses while doing prohibited or illegal activities on-line. Users may be held financially liable for such damages.
(c. ) The system shall not be used for illegal activities such as, but not limited to, drug trafficking, gang activities, communicating a threat, or other activities prohibited by law.
2). Inappropriate Language and Sites(a. ) Users of the school's network shall not use obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, inflammatory, threatening, or otherwise objectionable language.
(b. ) Users may not visit or download materials from any site that contains lewd, obscene, or offensive pictures or any other material inappropriate in an educational setting. Neither shall the user access material that advocates illegal acts, violence, or discrimination towards others (hate literature). No network technology or components are to be used in any immoral or unethical manner.
(c. ) Users shall not use procedures nor attempt to bypass the system's selected filtering software that precludes such unauthorized content access.
(d. ) Users shall not visit chat rooms or use internet messaging services from the school network.
(e. ) Users will not engage in harassment from the school network. Harassment is defined as persistently acting in a manner that causes distress or annoyance to another person. If you are told to stop sending messages to a person, and you continue sending them, that is harassment.
(f. ) Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or group on the network.
(g. ) If you mistakenly access an inappropriate site , immediately leave the site and inform your supervisor or the technology coordinator of the accidental access. This will protect you against a claim that you intentionally violated this policy.
G. Disrespect of Privacy - No user shall post or publish private information about another person without consent to do so. No such information shall be posted about a student without the permission of their parent.
H. Disrespect of System Resource Constraints - No user shall conduct any activity that could be interpreted as "spamming" from system hardware. Spamming is the mailing of annoying or unnecessary messages to a large number of people. Particular attention and discretion should be placed to posting messages to listings or list services. Never use lists to post messages that are personal or commercial in nature.
I. Search and Seizure of Data - Users should expect only limited privacy to the contents of any personal files on the District system. Any information on school computers is the property of the school district and is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests from the public. This includes all e-mail correspondence. Routine maintenance and monitoring of all school systems may lead to a discovery that you have violated this policy or law. A search will be conducted if there is a reasonable suspicion that you have violated this Policy or the law. If violations are discovered, the computer will be confiscated and held pending results of any administrative or other personnel actions.
J. Due Process - The District will cooperate fully with local, state, and federal authorities in any investigation concerning illegal activities conduct through its system. Users will be provided with a written notice of suspected violations and an opportunity to present an explanation before the appropriate administrator. Violations of this policy will be cause for discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
K. Limitations of Liability - The District is not responsible for any damages any user may suffer resulting from the loss of data or interruption of service. The District is not responsible for the accuracy of the information stored or obtained through the use of the system. The District will not be liable for any financial obligations arising from the unauthorized use of the network by any user.
L. Personal Responsibility - The use of the computer is a privilege, not a right, and misuse shall result in temporary or permanent revocation of this privilege and any other actions that are deemed as necessary. Acceptance of this policy is implied by your signature upon a certified employee contract and the subsequent issuance of a userid and password for system access.
30. STANDARDS AND COMPLIANCE POLICY
It is the policy of the Norfork School District to adopt and make policy every policy required by the Arkansas Department of Education, General Assembly, State Board of Education, federal regulatory authority, and any other regulatory authority. It is the policy of the Norfork School District to be in standards compliance with all required rules and regulations of the Arkansas Department of Education, General Assembly, State Board of Education, federal regulatory authority, and any other regulatory authority. This policy shall cover all policies, rules, and regulations that are currently required and may be required in the future without any additional Board action. (Added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
31. VIOLENCE BEHAVIOR POLICY
Norfork School District prohibits all employees from engaging in violent behavior.
(Added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
32. TEACHER / PARENT COMMUNICATION POLICY
Teacher / Parent Communication Policy &endash; The Norfork School District hereby adopts a policy requiring teachers to communicate personally with the parents/guardians of each student during the school year to discuss the student's academic progress and requires more frequent communication with the parents/guardians of students not performing at grade level. This communication shall be in the form of parent-teacher conferences, telephone conferences, or other written communication.
(Added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)
33. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT POLICY
The policy of the Norfork School District is to encourage parental involvement in the total educational experience of students in our school. Parents are encouraged to attend any and all school functions, academic or extracurricular. Parents are encouraged to visit their child's classroom, school activities, or pick their child up from school. In the interest of providing a safe environment for our students, parents are encouraged to check in at the building entry office before going to the individual classrooms.
(Added in Change 2 by Board action in November 2003)