Article V Personnel

ARTICLE V.       PERSONNEL

Section 1.        Administrative, Instructional and Non-Instructional Staff.

The Board shall employ qualified administrators as necessary for the management and operation of the District.  The Superintendent shall recommend qualified administrators to the Board for consideration.  The Board shall review and approve all administrative positions and contracts on an annual basis.

Board policies apply to all District employees, including those employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  If a Board policy conflicts with a provision of a current collective bargaining agreement, the collective bargaining agreement shall control that issue only.

Section 2.        Non-Discrimination.

The District shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation or sexual identity), age, religion, height, weight, marital or family status, disability, military status, genetic information, or any other legally protected category in its programs and activities, including employment.  Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and shall likewise not be permitted with respect to students or employees.  The District shall not retaliate against a person who reports or opposes improper discrimination or retaliation.  The District shall fully comply with all applicable federal and state civil rights statutes.

The Board shall designate not less than two compliance officers responsible for coordinating the District’s compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and for investigating reports of discrimination or harassment.  The Superintendent shall ensure that all required notices under the civil rights or other laws are provided to staff members.   

The Superintendent shall develop and implement administrative guidelines to enforce this policy.

Sexual Harassment

“Sexual Harassment” is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the District conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the District on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e. quid pro quo sexual harassment);
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the District’s education programs or activities; or
  3. Sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. §1092(f)(6)(a)(v)), dating violence, domestic violence or stalking (as defined in the Violence Against Women Act, 34 §U.S.C.12291(a)).

The District shall not retaliate against a person who reports or opposes sexual harassment.  The District shall fully comply with Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the accompanying regulations. 

The Superintendent shall designate not less than two Title IX Coordinators responsible for coordinating the District’s compliance with Title IX and its regulations, and for investigating reports of sexual harassment.     

A person who believes he or she has been or is the victim of sexual harassment should immediately report the situation to the building principal or assistant principal, the Superintendent, or a Title IX Coordinator.  A District employee who observes, has knowledge of, or learns that a person has been or is the victim of sexual harassment shall immediately report the situation to the building principal or assistant principal, Superintendent or Title IX Coordinator. Complaints against the building principal should be filed with the Superintendent or Title IX Coordinator.  Complaints against the Superintendent should be filed with the Board President or Title IX Coordinator.

The Superintendent shall develop and implement as an administrative guideline a Title IX Grievance Procedure.

Section 3.        Reasonable Accommodation.

The District will make reasonable accommodation(s) for applicants/employees with disabilities, to allow access to the District’s facilities and employment opportunities as required by Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (“PWDCRA”).

The ultimate decision regarding the “reasonable accommodation” to be implemented rests with the District. 

Section 4.        Criminal Background Checks and Unprofessional Conduct Checks.

The District shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding criminal history background checks and unprofessional conduct checks for all District employees and individuals who regularly and continuously work under contract with students,  in a school building or on District premises.

Section 5.        Relationships with Students Prohibited.

Sexual relationships, dating and deep emotional attachments between a staff member and a student are prohibited, regardless of the student’s age or sex.  Staff members are expected to recognize that adolescents may misinterpret comments of a personal nature and should ensure that their relationships with students are conducted at all times, including periods of school vacations or outside of school, in a professional and appropriate manner.

The extension of relationships between staff and students through social media should also be closely and carefully managed and should be limited to class/school specific sites intended to expand school learning opportunities, or provide classroom information to students.

District staff are prohibited from providing cell phones, computers, tablets, or other electronic devices to students for purposes of communicating with students outside of the classroom.  Staff members should not be alone with a student on school premises or off school premises except in appropriate, school-related circumstances.

Section 6.        Family Medical Leave Act.

The District shall comply with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),  and its corresponding rules and regulations.  The District shall use the rolling calendar method of calculating FMLA eligibility.  All FMLA leave will be without pay.  If the employee has paid leave time available under Board Policy, a collective bargaining agreement or individual contract, the employee will be required to use that paid leave time concurrent with the employee’s use of FMLA leave.

Section 7.        Paid Medical Leave Act.

The District shall comply with the requirements of the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) and its corresponding rules and regulations.  The Superintendent shall develop and implement legally compliant rules and regulations to implement and enforce the PMLA.

Section 8.        Leaves of Absence.

The Superintendent may grant an employee a leave of absence, with a right to return to a vacant position in the District, if a vacant position is available at the time of the expiration of the leave of absence and the employee is qualified for the position.  The leave of absence and duration of the leave is at the Superintendent’s sole discretion unless the leave of absence is provided for by law, Board policy, or a negotiated contract.  The Superintendent shall develop and implement legally compliant leave of absence rules.

Section 9.        Medical Examinations.

Subject to any applicable laws, rules, regulations, collective bargaining agreements or contracts of employment, the Superintendent has the sole discretion to  require an employee to submit to a medical/mental health examination, at District expense, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the students, the employee, or the District staff; in the case of a decline in the employee’s work performance that may be attributed to a medical/mental health condition; or where there is a need for a second medical/mental health opinion in the case of an FMLA or other leave of absence. 

The employee to be examined shall sign a release authorizing the medical or mental health professional to submit a copy of the medical report to the Superintendent.  A copy of the medical report will be maintained in a separate, confidential medical file of the employee as required by law. 

If the employee refuses to submit to the District-mandated medical/health professional examination, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action, to and including termination.

Section 10.      Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The District shall comply with all of the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (HIPAA). The Superintendent shall develop and implement administrative guidelines to ensure the District’s continued compliance with the requirements of HIPAA.

Section 11.      Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

The District shall comply with all of the requirements of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), as amended, and its corresponding rules and regulations.

Section 12.      Omnibus Transportation Employees.

The District shall comply with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, as amended.  The Superintendent shall develop and implement regulations to conduct alcohol and drug testing of all employees working in safety transportation positions as required by law.

Section 13.      Probationary Teachers.

The terms and conditions of employment of a probationary teacher shall be in accordance with state law, rules and regulations.  A probationary teacher shall be employed by the District as an at-will employee such that his or her employment may be terminated at any time for any reason or no reason at all, or non-renewed in accordance with state law.  A probationary teacher shall be evaluated in accordance with state law, rules and regulations.

Section 14.      Staffing, Assignment, Layoff and Recall of Tenured Teachers.

Staffing, assignment, layoff and recall of teachers working for the District who fall within the definition of a tenured teacher, as defined by the Michigan Teachers’ Tenure Act, MCL §380.71 et seq., are governed by applicable state law.  All personnel decisions regarding staffing, assignment, layoff and recall of a tenured teacher shall be made based on the following factors, in order of priority:

            a.         individual performance;

            b.         significant, relevant accomplishments and contributions; and

            c.         relevant specialized training.

The Superintendent has the sole discretion to make personnel decisions.  Length of service or tenure status will not be a consideration in any personnel decisions unless the factors listed above are equal.  The decision of the Superintendent shall be final.

A teacher who has received an end of the year performance review rating of ‘ineffective” shall not be given preference that would result in that teacher being retained over another teacher who received an end of the year performance rating that is higher than “ineffective.” 

The Board has the sole authority to make decisions relative to prohibited subjects of bargaining.

Section 15.      Staffing, Assignment, Placement, Layoff and Recall of All Non-Tenured  Teaching  Staff.

Subject to any applicable collective bargaining agreements, individual employment contracts, or applicable laws, rules or regulations, the Superintendent has the sole discretion regarding the staffing, assignment, placement, layoff and recall of all administrators and staff other than tenured teachers.

Section 16.      Performance Evaluations.

Teachers and administrators shall be evaluated in accordance with state law using one of the evaluation tools allowable by the Michigan Department of Education.  The goal of the evaluation system is to improve teacher and administrator work performance, and to locate those teachers and administrators who are less than “effective.”  Evaluations shall be used as a factor in staffing, placement and layoff and recall decisions as permitted under state law.

Non-administrator and staff other than probationary and tenured teachers shall be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation process and procedures developed by the Human Resources Department and approved by the Superintendent, or where applicable, as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreements, or in an individual’s employment contract with the District.

Section 17.      Performance Based Compensation.

The Superintendent shall develop, for Board review and approval, a compensation system that includes a performance bonus as permitted or required by state law and as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreements, or in an individual’s employment contract with the District.

Section 18.      Discipline, Demotion and Discharge.

District employees whose employment is regulated by the provisions of the Michigan Teachers’ Tenure Act, MCL §38.71, et seq., may be disciplined, demoted or discharged for any reason that is not arbitrary or capricious. 

All other District employees are considered at-will employees who may be disciplined or discharged based on the sole discretion of the District.  To the extent that this Policy conflicts with an individual employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement shall apply.

District employees whose conduct or work performance is inappropriate, unprofessional, involves unethical or immoral behavior, or fails to meet the District’ performance expectations, are subject to disciplinary action, to and including termination from employment, in the District’s sole discretion.   Except as  provided by law, an individual employment contract, or a collective bargaining agreement, all disciplinary decisions of the District are final and not subject to any grievance or arbitration procedure.

For purposes of this policy, discipline includes, but is not limited to: verbal and written warnings/reprimands, suspensions, and dismissal/discharge.  Discipline does not include verbal discussions, verbal or written directives, placement on a voluntary or involuntary leave of absence, or periodic performance evaluations. 

Section 19.      Resignations and Retirements.

The Superintendent is authorized to accept resignations and retirements on behalf of the Board.  A resignation must be in writing and is effective and irrevocable upon acceptance by the Superintendent. 

The resignation or retirement of the Superintendent must be provided to the Board President in writing and is effective and irrevocable upon acceptance by the Board.  The Board and the Superintendent may mutually agree upon a date of departure.

Section 20.        Professional Development.

The District shall provide professional development to staff as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations and as determined to be in the best interest of the District.  The Superintendent must approve all professional development costs and staff attendance at seminars, conferences and workshops.

Section 21.      Gifts to District Personnel.

Parents, students and other third parties are discouraged from giving gifts to District employees.  Gifts for staff appreciation, recognition and retirement may be appropriate.  The value of the gift or contribution toward a group gift should be nominal and must be voluntary.

District staff may not accept gifts of any type or value that has the purpose or appearance of influencing a decision or judgment, or that may be considered a conflict of interest or creating an appearance of impropriety.

Section 22.      Professional Appearance by District Staff.

District staff are role models for all students and reflect the educational environment of the District.  All staff be physically clean, neat and well-groomed, and dressed professionally in accordance with their job duties and responsibilities.

Section 23.        Outside Activities.

District employees are prohibited from engaging in activities that interfere with their District work and responsibilities or have an adverse impact on the District, students, other staff members or the school community.  Staff members shall not use school property, District staff, resources, or information to solicit or accept customers for private business or personal gain.

District employees are prohibited from using work time to engage in an outside interest, activity, or association.

Staff members may not receive pay for tutoring or working with students currently assigned to them or their classroom.  Staff members may only tutor or work with other students of the District with the permission of the Superintendent.  Staff members may not engage in private tutoring during the regular school day, on District property at any time, or use District equipment or supplies.

Staff members shall not use their position with the District to influence parents, students, volunteers, subcontractors or vendors to expend or contribute monies for goods, services, programs, fundraisers or the like.  Staff members shall also not solicit one another.

Section 24.      Political Campaigns and Ballot Proposals or Initiatives.

Staff members may not campaign for a candidate or ballot proposal on District property, in District buildings or during work hours.  Staff members may not use students outside of school hours to campaign for a specific candidate(s) or ballot proposal or initiative without written permission from the student’s parent or guardian.  Michigan law prohibits the use in any manner of District resources to advance political activities.

Section 25.      Proprietary Information.

Staff members are encouraged to prepare scholarly articles, educational publications, manuals, and other written, audio, musical, theatrical, animated, artistic, or digital materials or the like to be considered for publication or distribution.  Any works which reference the District require the prior written approval of the Superintendent.

Staff members who seek a copyright or patent interest in their work are subject to the following rules:

A.        Works developed within the scope of the staff member’s specific job duties and responsibilities, or developed, created, prepared or finalized during the staff member’s regular work hours or using District resources, data, facilities, technology, equipment, materials or supplies, are the exclusive property of the District.  The District shall retain all rights and privileges pertaining to the ownership of those works.

B.        Works developed, created, prepared, or finalized by a staff member outside of their specific job duties and responsibilities, the staff member’s regular work hours and without the use of District resources, data, facilities, technology, equipment, materials or supplies, may belong to the staff member. 

Section 26.        Confidentiality.

Federal and state laws, rules and regulations protect the confidentiality of student educational records, medical records, social security numbers and other student and family information.  Staff medical and personnel records and information, social security numbers, or financial and business records may also contain confidential information.  District employees have a legal duty to keep information confidential as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.

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