Change 2 to the Norfork Personnel Policy Manual adopted by Board action in November 2003
Arkansas Act 1120 of 2003 requires that personnel policies in all school districts contain several additional policies as "terms and conditions of employment" that are not currently addressed in sufficient detail. The following paragraphs are amended as follows:
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.
2. 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.
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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.
3. 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.
Additionally, several other policies were mandated and by public law and are added below:
4. Violent Behavior Policy &endash; Norfork School District prohibits all employees from engaging in violent behavior.
5. 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.
6. Parental Involvement Policy &endash; not a personnel policy but may be included here instead (or in lieu) of the Student Handbook. 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.
7. Teachers Right to Witness &endash; In accordance with the provisions of Act ______ of 2003, teachers are granted the right to be present and witness to any hearing or meeting discussing their employment.
8. Paragraph 27, attachment 3, Substitute Teacher Guidelines (added)
a. 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.
9. Norfork School District Computer and Network Use Policy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following uses are considered unacceptable:
a). Illegal Activities
(1.) 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.
(2). 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.
(3). 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.
b. Inappropriate Language and Sites
(1). Users of the school's network shall not use obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, inflammatory, threatening, or otherwise objectionable language.
(2). 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.
(3). Users shall not use procedures nor attempt to bypass the system's selected filtering software that precludes such unauthorized content access.
(4). Users shall not visit chat rooms or use internet messaging services from the school network.
(5). 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.
(6)). Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or group on the network.
(7). 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.
c. 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.
d. 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.
e. 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.
f. 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.
g. 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.
h. 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.
10. Standards Compliance Policy &endash;
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.