Policy 5280PTermination of Employment
1. Probation and Non-renewal or Termination
Certificated staff, except “provisional employees,” whose performance does not meet minimum requirements based upon the specific categories for evaluation shall receive written notice any time after October 15th. The administration shall exercise the following steps:
When an administrator determines on the basis of the specific categories for evaluation that the performance of a staff member does not meet minimum requirements, the administrator shall report the same in writing to the superintendent. The report shall include the following:
A. The evaluation report; and
B. A specific and reasonable plan for improvement.
Establishment of Probationary Period
If the superintendent concurs with the administrator that the staff member’s performance does not meet minimum requirements, the superintendent shall place the staff member in a probationary status any time after October 15th, and for a period of sixty school days. The staff member shall receive written notice of the action which shall contain the following information:
A. The specific area of deficiency;
B. A specific and reasonable plan for improvement which gives the staff member the opportunity to demonstrate improvement in any area of deficiency;
C. The duration of the probationary period;
D. The right of the staff member to have representation and/or counsel in any subsequent meeting between the staff member and the administrator.
Evaluation During the Probationary Period
A. When appropriate, the administrator may utilize district resource persons (e.g., coordinator, consultant, and other staff) who shall observe the staff member’s performance and offer suggestions for improvement. During the probationary period the evaluator shall meet at least twice monthly with the staff member to determine progress made and make a written evaluation.
B. The staff member may be removed from probationary status at any time.
Administrator’s Post-Probationary Report
At the end of the probationary period the administrator shall submit a written report to the superintendent. The report shall identify any improvement in the area of deficiency and shall specify that the staff member has or has not demonstrated sufficient improvement in the stated area of deficiency to justify removal from probationary status.
Action by the Superintendent
Immediately after the superintendent determines that the completed probationary period did not produce the performance changes detailed in the initial notice of deficiencies and improvement program, the employee may be removed from his or her assignment and placed in alternative assignment for the remainder of the school year. The reassignment may not displace another employee or adversely affect the probationary employee’s compensation or benefits during the balance of the contract year. If such a reassignment is not possible, the superintendent may place the employee on paid leave for the balance of the contract term.
Prior to May 15th, when the superintendent has determined that the staff member has not demonstrated sufficient improvement in the stated area of deficiency, the superintendent shall make a determination of probable cause for non-renewal of the staff member’s contract and shall provide written notice to the staff member by May 15 or June 1 if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the legislature by May 15. Such notice shall contain notice of any appeal rights the staff member may have and notice of the appeal processes.
Any certificated staff member, except “provisional employees,” so notified shall be granted an opportunity for a hearing to determine whether or not there is sufficient cause(s) for nonrenewal. The hearing may be “open” or “closed” depending on the wish of the staff member. Selection of the hearing officer and conduct of the hearing shall be in accordance with RCW 28A.405.310. Should the hearing officer’s decision uphold the district’s non-renewal action, the certificated staff member may appeal to the superior court (RCW 28A.405.320).
Any certificated staff member who does not request a hearing shall be adversely affected as specified in the written notice.
“Provisional employees” whose performance does not meet minimum requirements shall receive written notice from the superintendent by May 15, or June 1 if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the legislature by May 15, that the district does not intend to renew the employment contract. Such notice shall cite the reason for such determination and shall contain notice of any appeal rights that the employee may have and notice of the appeal processes.
Within 10 days of receiving such notice the “provisional employee” may request (in writing) the opportunity to hold an informal meeting with the superintendent. The superintendent shall submit his/her recommendation for non-renewal to the board (RCW 28A.405.220). The “provisional employee” shall be notified in writing of the superintendent’s decision at least three days prior to a meeting of the board. The board shall consider any written communication prior to rendering a decision.
The board shall notify the “provisional employee” of its decision within 10 days following the meeting. Such decision shall be considered final.
Any “provisional employee” who does not request an informal meeting shall be adversely affected as specified in the written notice.
Classified staff whose performance does not satisfy the needs of the district shall receive written notification from the administrator. Such written notice shall contain the following information:
A. Subject to the action of the board of directors, the final date of employment with the district.
B. The right to request a pretermination meeting within five (5) working days following notice.
C. Notice of any appeal rights that the employee may have and notice of the appeal processes.
At the pre-termination meeting, the staff member shall be entitled to be advised as to the reason(s) why the month-to-month employment agreement is being terminated and an opportunity to respond to any of the reasons presented. Upon the request of the staff member who is being recommended for termination, the board shall meet with the staff member to determine if termination action shall be taken.
2. Reduction in Force Administrative Procedures
This reduction in force policy is prepared with special consideration to the size of the school district and the fact that both staff and program offerings are substantially more limited than is the case in larger school districts within the state of Washington.
The following administrative procedures shall be used to implement the policy set forth above:
A. Guidelines for reduction in programs and services:
1. In its efforts to provide an educational program within the district’s financial resources, the board shall, as much as practicable, make reductions in expenditures such as: travel, supplies, and materials and equipment before the reduction in staff.
2. If the educational program and services of the school district must be reduced due to a reduction in state basic education funds and or drop in enrollment, legislative or Superintendent of Public Instruction actions, or other legitimate reasons, the following guidelines shall be taken into consideration in determining the program and services to be retained, reduced or eliminated:
a. The program to be retained shall attempt to minimize the consequences of program reductions upon the student.
b. Health and safety standards will be maintained.
c. Priority will be given to those books and supplies used by students in fulfilling basic classroom objectives.
d. When revenues are categorical and depend upon actual expenditures rather than budgeted amounts, every effort will be made to maintain these programs to the limit of the categorical support.
B. Certificated staff reduction: In the event that it is necessary to reduce the number of certificated employees pursuant to the provisions hereof, those certificated employees who will be retained to implement the district’s reduced or modified program and those certificated employees who will be terminated from employment will be identified by using the following procedures.
1. Determination of vacant position: By May 15 or June 1 if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the legislature by May 15, of each year the district will determine, as accurately as possible, the total number of certificated staff to be retained. The following reasons for leaving the district will be taken into consideration: retirement, family transfer, normal resignations, discharge or non-renewal.
2. Certification: Possession of a valid Washington state teaching certificate which may be required for the position(s) under consideration shall be a prerequisite for retention.
3. Retention by employee: Certificated staff member will, in accordance with the criteria set forth below, be considered for retention in any grade level in which actual teaching experience has been gained. For the purposes of this paragraph, actual teaching experience, shall mean teaching that grade level full time for at least one (1) full year. Experience in combination grade teaching will also be considered.
4. Selection for retention: Certificated employees shall be considered for retention in available positions within their grade level for which they qualify.
a. Provisional employee: Those employees who are provisional, as that term is used in RCW 28A.405.220 shall be released first.
b. Academic progress: Consideration will be given for post graduate credits earned beyond the BA.
c. Years of experience: Years of actual full time classroom teaching experience recognized by the state will be given consideration.
C. Affirmative action: Affirmative action principles shall be considered in implementing the reduction in staff.
D. Action by board: Recommendations for certificated staff reduction developed in accordance with these procedures shall be presented to the board prior to May 15 or June 1 if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the legislature by May 15 for further action by the board.
E. Employment pool: Those certificated employees released under the reduction in force program shall be placed in an employment pool for a period of one (1) year. In the event a vacancy occurs, those certificated employees in the employment pool, will be rehired in the order in which they entered the pool if qualified, in accordance with the provisions of the above policy. Any employee released under the reduction in force program will, in writing, keep the superintendent advised of their current address and availability for reemployment. Notice of vacancies will be mailed to their last known address. Employees in the employment pool may participate in group insurance plans for a period of one (1) year, if the carrier so agrees. The district will not contribute premiums for such employees.
La Center School District Adopted: September 25th , 2007