Personnel (Section 6000)

Table of Contents

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Code of Ethics for Board Members and All District Personnel  (Policy 6110)

General Provisions

Officers and employees of the Schoharie Central School District hold their positions to serve and benefit the public, and not to obtain unwarranted personal or private gain in the exercise of their official powers and duties. The Board of Education recognizes that, in furtherance of this fundamental principle, there is a need for clear and reasonable standards of ethical conduct. This policy establishes those standards.

The provisions of this policy are intended to supplement Article 18 of General Municipal Law and any other law relating to ethical conduct of District officers and employees, and should not be construed to conflict with those authorities.

Standards of Conduct

The following rules and standards of conduct apply to all officers, including Board members, and employees of the Schoharie Central School District.

Gifts

No person may directly or indirectly solicit, accept, or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended or expected to influence the individual in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on the part of the individual. This prohibition applies to any gift, including money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form.

Confidential Information

No person may disclose confidential information acquired by him/her in the course of his/her official duties or use this information to further his or her personal interests.

Conflicts of Interest

Except as permitted by law, no person may have an interest in any contract with the District when he/she, individually, or as a member of the Board, has the power or duty to: negotiate, prepare, authorize, or approve the contract or authorize or approve payment under the contract; audit bills or claims under the contract; or appoint an officer or employee who has any of these powers or duties.

Likewise, unless permitted by law, no chief fiscal officer, treasurer, or his/her deputy or employee, may have an interest in a bank or trust company designated as a depository, paying agent, registration agent, or for investment of funds of the District.

“Interest,” as used in this policy, means a direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a District officer or employee as the result of a contract with the District. A District officer or employee will be considered to have an interest in the contract of: his/her spouse, minor children and dependents, except a contract of employment with the District; a firm, partnership or association of which he/she is a member or employee; a corporation of which he/he is an officer, director or employee; and a corporation in which he/she owns or controls directly or indirectly 5% or more of the outstanding stock of the corporation.

The provisions of the preceding three paragraphs should not be construed to preclude the payment of lawful compensation and necessary expenses of any District officer or employee in one or more positions of public employment, the holding of which is not prohibited by law.

Representing Others in Matters Before the District

No person may receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services rendered in relation to any matter before the District. Likewise, no one may receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services rendered in relation to any matter before the District, where the individual’s compensation is contingent upon any action by the District with respect to the matter.

Disclosure of Interest in Contracts and Resolutions

Any District officer or employee who has, will have, or later acquires an interest in or whose spouse has, will have or later acquires an interest in any actual or proposed contract, purchase agreement, lease agreement, or other agreement, including oral agreements, with the District must publicly disclose the nature and extent of that interest in writing. The disclosure must be made when the officer or employee first acquires knowledge of the actual or prospective interest, and must be filed with the person’s immediate supervisor and the Board of Education. Any written disclosure will be made part of and included in the official minutes of the relevant Board meeting.

Investments in Conflict with Official Duties

No person may invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial, or other private transaction, that creates a conflict with his/her official duties, or that would otherwise impair his/her independence of judgment in the exercise or performance of his/her official powers or duties.

Private Employment

No person may engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when that employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her official duties.

Future Employment

No person may, after the termination of service or employment with the District, appear before the District in relation to any case, proceeding, or application in which he/she personally participated during the period of his/her service or employment or which was under his or her active consideration.

Notice of Code of Ethics and General Municipal Law Sections 800-809

The Superintendent will ensure that a copy of this code of ethics is distributed to every District officer and employee, and that a copy of General Municipal Law Sections 800-809 is posted conspicuously in each District building. The failure to distribute this code of ethics or to post General Municipal Law Sections 800-809 will have no effect on either the duty of District officers and employees to comply with their provisions, or the ability of the District or other relevant authorities to enforce them.

Education Law § 410
General Municipal Law Article 18 and §§ 800-809
Adopted: 2/2/05
Revised: 4/19/16

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Equal Employment Opportunity (Policy 6120)

It is the policy of this District to provide, through a positive and effective program, equal opportunities for employment, retention and advancement of all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability.

Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.

The term “military status” means a person’s participation in the military service of the United States or the military service of the state, including but not limited to, the armed forces of the United States, the army national guard, the air national guard, the New York naval militia, the New York guard, and such additional forces as may be created by the federal or state government as authorized by law.

Provisions will be provided for the publication and dissemination, internally and externally, of this policy to ensure its availability to interested citizens and groups.

Additionally, administration shall establish grievance procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination. Those intending to file a grievance due to alleged discrimination must follow the grievance procedure as established by the District.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621
Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d, et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
New York State Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.
New York State Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, or marital status.
New York State Military Law Sections 242 and 243
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (Policy 6121)

The District is committed to maintaining a discrimination-free work environment. Sexual harassment is one form of workplace discrimination. This policy addresses sexual harassment in the workplace and is one component of the District’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment. The District will provide this policy to all employees in writing. The District will post this policy prominently throughout the District to the extent practicable.

Sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct, a violation of District policy, and unlawful. Employees of every level who engage in sexual harassment, including supervisory personnel who engage in sexual harassment, who knowingly allow such behavior to continue, or fail to report suspected sexual harassment will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action by the District. Sexual harassment may also subject the District to liability for harm to targets of sexual harassment. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability.

This policy applies to all instances of sexual harassment perpetrated against a “covered person,” regardless of immigration status, by anyone in the workplace, including a co-worker, supervisor, or third-party such as a non-employee, paid or unpaid intern, vendor, building security, visitor, volunteer, parent, or student. For purposes of this policy, a “covered person” includes:
a) Employees;
b) Applicants for employment;
c) Paid or unpaid interns; and
d) Non-employees, which include anyone who is (or is employed by) a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, consultant, or other person providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. Unlawful sexual harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. Sexual harassment can occur on school grounds, school buses or District vehicles, and at school-sponsored events, programs, or activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises. It can also occur while employees are traveling for District business. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from school grounds, on personal devices, or during non-work hours.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:
a) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
b) Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
c) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.

A sexually harassing hostile work environment includes, but is not limited to, words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Any covered person who feels harassed should report the conduct so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

The following describes some actions that may constitute unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:
a) Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
1. Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another person’s body or poking another person’s body; and
2. Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
b) Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
1. Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments; and
2. Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
c) Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment.
d) Sex stereotyping, which occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people’s ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
e) Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
f) Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and the status of being transgender, such as:
1. Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
2. Sabotaging an individual’s work; and
3. Bullying, yelling, or name-calling.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Whistle-Blower Protection)

Unlawful retaliation can be any action that could discourage a covered person from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation (e.g., threats of physical violence outside of work hours).

The District prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. The New York State Human Rights Law protects any individual who has engaged in “protected activity.” Protected activity occurs when a person has:
a) Made a complaint of sexual harassment, either internally or with any anti-discrimination agency;
b) Testified or assisted in a proceeding involving sexual harassment under the Human Rights Law or other anti-discrimination law;
c) Opposed sexual harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint of harassment to a supervisor, building principal, other administrator, or the Civil Rights Compliance Officer (CRCO);
d) Reported that another employee has been sexually harassed; or
e) Encouraged a fellow employee to report harassment.

Even if the alleged harassment does not turn out to rise to the level of a violation of law, the individual is protected from retaliation if the person had a good faith belief that the practices were unlawful. However, the retaliation provision is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Preventing sexual harassment is everyone’s responsibility. The District cannot prevent or remedy sexual harassment unless it knows about it. Any covered person who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor, building principal, other administrator, or the CRCO. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment should report such behavior.
Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is posted on the District website, and all covered persons are encouraged to use this complaint form. Persons who are reporting sexual harassment on behalf of another person should use the complaint form and note that it is being submitted on another person’s behalf.
Any person who believes they have been a target of sexual harassment may also seek assistance in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.

Supervisory Responsibilities

All supervisors, building principals, and other administrators who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to the CRCO. In the event the CRCO is the alleged harasser, the report will be directed to another CRCO, if the District has designated another individual to serve in that capacity, or to the Superintendent.
In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors, building principals, and other administrators will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue.
Supervisors, building principals, and other administrators will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.

Investigating Complaints

All complaints or information about sexual harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in verbal or written form. Investigations will be conducted in a timely manner, and will be confidential to the extent possible.
An investigation of any complaint, information or knowledge of suspected sexual harassment will be prompt and thorough, commenced immediately and completed as soon as possible. The investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Disclosure may, however, be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges and/or notify law enforcement officials. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged harassers will be accorded due process, as outlined below, and in accordance with any applicable collective bargaining agreements to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation.
The District will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who files complaints, supports another’s complaint, or participates in an investigation regarding a violation of this policy.

While the process may vary from case to case, investigations should be done in accordance with the following steps:
a) Upon receipt of a complaint, the CRCO will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and take any interim actions (e.g., instructing the respondent to refrain from communications with the complainant), as appropriate. In the event that the CRCO is the alleged harasser, the complaint will be directed to another CRCO or District designee for investigation.
b) If a complaint is verbal, encourage the individual to complete the complaint form, which is available on the District website, in writing. If he or she refuses, prepare a complaint form based on the verbal reporting.
c) If documents, emails, or phone records are relevant to the investigation, take steps to obtain and preserve them.
d) Request and review all relevant documents, including all electronic communications.
e) Interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses. If a student is involved, the District will follow all applicable District policies and procedures regarding questioning students.
f) Create written documentation of the investigation (such as a letter, memo or email), which contains the following:
1. A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
2. A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
3. A timeline of events;
4. A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported; and
5. The basis for the decision and final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).
g) Keep the written documentation and associated documents in a secure and confidential location.
h) Promptly notify the individual who reported and the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made of the final determination and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document.
i) Inform the individual who reported of the right to file a complaint or charge externally as outlined in the next section.

If an investigation reveals that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the District will take immediate corrective action as warranted. This action will be taken in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as any and all relevant codes of conduct, District policies and administrative regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and/or third-party contracts.

Annual Training

The District will provide a sexual harassment prevention training program to all employees on an annual basis. The training will be interactive and will include:
a) An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
b) Examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
c) Information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
d) Information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
e) Information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.

Legal Protections and External Remedies

Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by the District but is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law.
Aside from the District’s internal process, individuals may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, an individual may seek the legal advice of an attorney.
In addition to those outlined below, individuals may have additional legal protections.

State Human Rights Law (HRL)

The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects covered persons, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file with DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.

Complaining internally to the District does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of harassment.
Individuals do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.

DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. Individuals may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 USC § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
An individual alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at info@eeoc.gov.
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
For more information about how to file a complaint, contact OCR at 800-421-3481 (TDD 800-877-8339) or visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html. The website contains information about filing the complaint online, by mail, or by email.

Local Protections

Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists.

Local Police Department

If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC § 1681 et seq.
29 CFR § 1604.11(a)
34 CFR Subtitle B, Chapter I
Civil Service Law § 75-B
Executive Law Article 15
Labor Law § 201-g
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the District
#6122 — Employee Grievances
#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students

Adoption Date: 11/15/18

Schoharie Central School District Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

New York State Labor Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy that includes a complaint form to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment.
If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you are encouraged to complete this form and submit it to Sarah Blood, School Business Administrator.  You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
If you are more comfortable reporting verbally or in another manner, your employer should complete this form, provide you with a copy and follow its sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the claims as outlined at the end of this form.
For additional resources, visit: ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace

COMPLAINANT INFORMATION
Name:
Work Address: 
Work Phone:
Job Title: 
Email:
Select Preferred Communication Method: 
Email 
Phone 
In person

SUPERVISORY INFORMATION
Immediate Supervisor’s Name:
Title:
Work Phone: 
Work Address:

Adoption of this form does not constitute a conclusive defense to charges of unlawful sexual harassment. Each claim of sexual harassment will be determined in accordance with existing legal standards, with due consideration of the particular facts and circumstances of the claim, including but not limited to the existence of an effective anti-harassment policy and procedure.

COMPLAINT INFORMATION
1. Your complaint of Sexual Harassment is made about:
Name: 
Title:
Work Address: 
Work Phone:
Relationship to you: 
Supervisor 
Subordinate 
Co-Worker 
Other
2. Please describe what happened and how it is affecting you and your work. Please use additional sheets of paper if necessary and attach any relevant documents or evidence.
3. Date(s) sexual harassment occurred:
Is the sexual harassment continuing? 
Yes 
No
4. Please list the name and contact information of any witnesses or individuals who may have information related to your complaint:
The last question is optional, but may help the investigation.
5. Have you previously complained or provided information (verbal or written) about related incidents? If yes, when and to whom did you complain or provide information?
If you have retained legal counsel and would like us to work with them, please provide their contact information.
Signature:   
Date:   

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Complaints and Grievances by Employees (Policy 6122)

In accordance with the provisions of General Municipal Law and the collective bargaining agreements, all District personnel shall have the opportunity to present their complaints or grievances free from interference, coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. The District shall provide at least two (2) procedural stages and an appellate stage for the settlement of any grievance.

Complaints or grievances not covered under employee contracts shall be handled and resolved, whenever possible, as close to their origin as possible. The Superintendent is responsible for implementing regulations for the redress of complaints or grievances through proper administrative channels.

Complaints and Grievances Coordinator

Additionally, the Board shall ensure compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The Superintendent shall designate a District employee as the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator; and regulations and procedures shall be implemented to resolve complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.

Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District shall issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents/guardians, employees and the general public of the District’s established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability. Included in such announcement will be the name, address and telephone number of the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator.

The Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator shall also be responsible for handling complaints and grievances regarding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, military status, veteran status, or marital status.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e, et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d, et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
The Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
New York State Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
New York State Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, or marital status.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621.
Military Law Sections 242 and 243
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Employment of Retirement Persons (Policy 6125)

A retired person may be employed and earn compensation in a position in the School District, without any effect on his/her status as retired and without suspension or diminution of his/her retirement allowance subject to the conditions enumerated in Retirement and Social Security Law Section 211(1). However, there shall be no earning limitations on or after the calendar year in which any retired person attains age sixty-five (65).

No retired person may be employed in the District except upon approval of the Civil Service Commission or the Commissioner of Education unless otherwise authorized in accordance with law.

Such approval may be granted only on the written request of the District giving detailed reasons related to the standards forth in Section 211; and on a finding of satisfactory evidence by the Civil Service Commission or the Commissioner of Education that the retired person is duly qualified, competent and physically fit for the performance of the duties of the position in which he/she is to be employed and is properly certified where such certification is required.

The District will prepare a detailed recruitment plan to fill such vacancy on a permanent basis when the need arises and will undertake extensive recruitment efforts to fill the vacancy prior to making a determination that there are no available non-retired persons qualified to perform the duties of such position.

Approvals to hire retired individuals may be granted for periods not exceeding two (2) years each, provided that a person may not return to work in the same or similar position for a period of one (1) year following retirement.

Reporting Requirements and Disclosure

  1. The School District shall report all money earned by a retired person in its employ in excess of the earnings limitation outlined in Retirement and Social Security Law Section 212 to the retirement system administered by the State or any of its political subdivisions from which the retired person is collecting his/her retirement allowance.
  2. The School District, when employing a retired person who is eligible to collect or is already collecting a retirement allowance from a retirement system administered by the State or any of its political subdivisions, shall report on an annual basis to the retirement system paying such retirement allowance and to the State Comptroller. This report shall consist of the re-employed retiree’s name, date of birth, place of employment, current position, and all earnings.

Public Record

Any request for approval of the employment of a retired person, including the reasons stated, and the findings and determination of such request shall be a public record open for inspection in the Office of the Civil Service Commission, the Commissioner of Education, or the Board of Education making such findings and determination as specified in Retirement and Social Security Law Section 211.

Education Law Section 525
Retirement and Social Security Law Sections 111, 211, 212, 217, and 411
Adopted: 8/5/09

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Evaluation of Personnel: Purposes (Policy 6130)

The administration shall undertake a continuous program of supervision and evaluation of all personnel in the School District in order to promote improved performance and to make decisions about the occupancy of positions. Evaluation of teachers providing instructional services or pupil personnel services as defined pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations will be conducted in accordance with the District’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR).

The primary purposes of this evaluation are:

  1. To encourage and promote self-evaluation by personnel;
  2. To provide a basis for evaluative judgments by school administrators.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 80-1.1 and 100.2(o)(2)
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Health Examinations (Policy 6140)

All staff initially appointed to probationary positions shall obtain a physical examination. When such examination is made by the school physician/nurse practitioner the cost of such examination shall be borne by the District. A staff member, however, may elect to have a health examination at his/her own expense by a physician of his/her own choice.

The Board reserves the right to request a health examination at any time during employment, at School District expense, in order to determine whether the employee can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Support staff initially appointed to positions may be requested to obtain physical examinations at the expense of the School District. The physical examination is to be obtained from the school physician/nurse practitioner.

All bus drivers and substitute bus drivers shall have yearly physical examinations. Each bus driver initially employed by the School District shall have a physical examination within the four (4) weeks prior to the beginning of service. In no case shall the interval between physical examinations exceed a thirteen-month period.

Annual or more frequent examinations of any employee may be required, when, in the judgment of the school physician/nurse practitioner and the Superintendent, such procedure is deemed necessary.

The final acceptance or rejection of a medical report with reference to the health of an employee lies within the discretion of the Board. The decision of the physician designated by the Board as the determining physician shall take precedence over all other medical advice.

All medical and health related information will be kept in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Education Law Sections 913 and 3624
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 156.3(2)
10 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Part 14
15 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Part 6
Adopted: 2/02/05
Revised: 6/7/06

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Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances (School Personnel) (Policy 6150)

The Board of Education, recognizing that students are often influenced by teachers and other members of a school’s staff, impresses upon staff members the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism appropriate to their position, which, in turn, shall set a positive example for students.

The Board, therefore, prohibits the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs or alcoholic beverages in the workplace, or when the effects of such drugs and/or alcohol use may impair an employee’s job performance.

Information about any drug and alcohol counseling and/or rehabilitation programs shall be made available to employees. Data will also include the range of penalties, (consistent with local, state and federal law), up to and including termination of employment and referral for prosecution that will be imposed on employees who have transgressed the terms of this policy.

Additionally, confidentiality shall be ensured as required by state and federal law.

The Superintendent/designee shall periodically review the drug and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine its effectiveness and support appropriate modifications, as needed.

Education Law Sections 913, 1711(2)(e), and 3020-a
Civil Service Law Section 75
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#6560 — Employee Assistance Program
#7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)
District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Drug-Free Workplace (Policy 6151)

It shall be the general policy of the Board of Education to affirm that all programs in the District that receive Federal funds shall guarantee that their workplaces are free of controlled substances. “Controlled substance” means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 812) and as further defined in regulation at 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1308.11-1308.15. An acknowledgment form shall be signed by the Superintendent indicating that the District is in full compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. This policy shall guarantee that not only Federally funded programs, but the entire District is free of controlled substances.

“Workplace” is defined as a school building or other school premises; any school-owned vehicle or any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property during any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the School District.

The Board of Education directs the administration to develop regulations to comply with this policy, and further supports such actions and activities of the administration as shall be required to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Drug-Free Workplace Act
20 United State Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.
21 United State Code (USC) Section 812
21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
1308.11-.15
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 85
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#6150 — Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances (School Personnel)
#6560 — Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
#7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)
District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Professional Growth/Staff Development (Policy 6160)

It is the policy of the District that attention be given to in-service, pre-service, and other staff development programs which are believed to be of benefit to the School District and its students. The Superintendent, in consultation with the appropriate administrative staff and/or teacher committees, is directed to arrange in-service programs and other staff development opportunities which will provide for the selection of subjects pertinent to the curriculum in the schools, to build from these subjects those topics or courses for in-service or staff development which will help employees acquire new methods of performing their job responsibilities or help staff improve on those techniques which are already being used in the schools, with the objective of improving professional competencies.

It is recommended that administration develop meaningful in-service and/or staff development programs which will achieve the following:

  1. Contribute to the instructional program of the schools;
  2. Contribute to improved education for students;
  3. Achieve state mandates;
  4. Enhance the professional competencies and/or instructional abilities of staff members.

The Board of Education, therefore, encourages all employees to improve their competencies beyond that which they may obtain through the regular performance of their assigned duties. Opportunities should be provided for:

  1. Planned in-service programs, courses, seminars, and workshops offered both within the School System and outside the District.
  2. Visits to other classrooms and schools, as well as attendance at professional meetings, for the purpose of improving instruction and/or educational services.
  3. Orientation/re-orientation of staff members to program and/or organizational changes as well as District expectations.

Attendance at such professional development programs must be directly linked to the duties and responsibilities comprising the job description of the employee. Consequently, employees are encouraged to participate in the planning of staff development programs designed to meet their specific needs.

Members of the staff are also encouraged to continue their formal education as well as to attend their respective work-related workshops, conferences and meetings.

Funds for participating at such conferences, conventions, and other similar professional development programs will be budgeted for by the Board of Education on an annual basis. Reimbursement to District staff for all actual and necessary registration fees, expenses of travel, meals and lodging, and all necessary tuition fees incurred in connection with attendance at conferences and the like will be in accordance with established regulations for conference attendance and expense reimbursement.

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee has authority to approve release time and expenses for staff members’ attendance at professional training conferences, study councils, in-service courses, workshops, summer study grants, school visitations, professional organizations and the like within budgetary constraints.

A conference request form/course approval form must be submitted by the employee and approved by the designated administrator prior to the employee’s attendance at such conference or other professional development program.

Mentoring Programs for First Year Teachers

First year teachers must participate in a mentoring program as a component of the District’s Professional Development Plan. The purpose of the mentoring program is to increase the retention of new teachers and improve their ability to assist students in attaining State Learning standards. The mentor’s role is to provide guidance and support to a new teacher. However, additional mentor responsibilities may be negotiated and reflected in a collective bargaining agreement.

Education Law Section 1604(27)
General Municipal Law Sections 77-b and -c
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 52.21(b)(3)(xiv), 52.21(b)(3)(xvii),
80-3.4(b)(2), 80-5.13, 80-5.14 and 100.2(dd)

Adopted: 3/15/06

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Conference/Travel Expense Reimbursement (Policy 6161)

All conference travel must have a completed Travel Conference Request Form on file which has been approved by the appropriate supervisor. The Superintendent/designee approves those Travel Conference Requests which have reimbursable employee expenses greater than one hundred dollars ($100). Travel Conference Request Forms are only to be used by District employees.

All conference reimbursement requests must be submitted using a Travel Conference Reimbursement Form.

Expenses for overnight-approved travel will be reimbursed when accompanied by original receipts for lodging and other reimbursable expenses. Meal expenses for overnight travel will only be reimbursed based on the Board approved per diem rates which are modeled after the United States General Services Administration per diem rates which can be found at http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/home.do?tabId=0

New York State sales taxes for lodging and meals cannot be reimbursed. A Sales Tax-Exempt Form can be obtained prior to travel for hotel accommodations.

Original receipts are required when submitting for parking and tolls, however “EZ Pass” statements may be substituted with the appropriate charges highlighted.

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5323 — Reimbursement For Meals/Refreshments

Adopted: 2/15/06

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Fingerprinting of Prospective School Employees (Policy 6170)

Unless otherwise authorized in accordance with law and regulation, the District shall not employ or utilize a prospective school employee, as defined below, unless such prospective school employee has been granted a “full” clearance for employment by the State Education Department (SED). The School District shall require a prospective school employee who is not in the SED criminal history file to be fingerprinted for purposes of a criminal history record check by authorized personnel of the designated fingerprinting entity. For purposes of this provision of law, the term “criminal history record” shall mean a record of all convictions of crimes and any pending criminal charges maintained on an individual by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The District shall utilize SED’s Web-based application known as TEACH for instantaneous access to important information about certification and fingerprinting. Through TEACH, SED provides an individual with the ability to apply for fingerprint clearance for certification and/or employment and view the status of his/her fingerprint clearance request. Through TEACH, the School District is able, among other applications, to submit an online request for fingerprint clearance for a prospective employee, view the status of a fingerprint clearance request, and determine whether a subsequent arrest letter has been issued.

Safety of Students

The District will develop internal building and/or program procedures to help ensure the safety of students who have contact with an employee holding conditional appointment or emergency conditional appointment. Such procedures will address the safety of students in the classroom, students attending off-campus activities under the supervision of the School District, and students participating in extracurricular and/or co-curricular activities (including sports and athletic activities).

Safety procedures to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: supervision of the employee holding conditional appointment/emergency conditional appointment as determined appropriate by the applicable building/program administrator; and periodic visitations by the building/program administrator to the classroom, program and/or activity assigned to the employee holding conditional appointment/emergency conditional appointment.

“Sunset” Provision for Conditional Appointments/Emergency Conditional Appointments

The provisions in law which permit the conditional appointment and/or emergency conditional appointment of employees pending full clearance from SED shall terminate, in accordance with legislation, on July 1, 2010; and shall be rescinded as Board policy and procedure as of that date (unless subsequent revisions to applicable law provide otherwise).

Access to TEACH

Information regarding fingerprinting of new hires, including relevant laws and regulations, frequently asked questions (FAQs), an up-to-date chart for “Who Must be Fingerprinted”, and instructions on the fingerprinting process are found on www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ospra. To request access to TEACH, e-mail TEACHHELP@mail.nysed.gov.

Correction Law Article 23-A
Education Law Sections 305(30), 305(33), 1604, 1709, 1804, 1950, 2503, 2554, 2590-h, 2854, 3004-b, 3004-c and 3035
Executive Law Section 296(16)
Social Services Law Article 5, Title 9-B
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 80-1.11 and Part 87
Adopted: 11/18/09

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Identification Badges (Policy 6171)

The Schoharie Central School District is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students and employees. The District will issue Identification (ID) Badges to all full-time and part-time employees. The identification badge serves the dual purpose of allowing access to secured areas as well as readily identifying school District employees and other authorized personnel. In addition, the identification badges will provide measured protection against unauthorized personnel and intruders from entering District buildings.

Employees and Temporary Staff

Identification Badges will be issued by the Business Office to all existing and new employees. The badges will include the employee’s name and photo, together with building and/or District information. Badges shall be worn during the school day and when advising or chaperoning school-sponsored activities.

Long-term substitute teachers and student teachers, who are assigned to District buildings for an extended period of time, may be issued a regular ID badge by the Business Office. Short-term substitute teachers, other temporary employees and contract staff will be required to sign in each time they enter a District building. A non-picture ID badge (visitor or other temporary badge) will be issued to staff members in this category and it will be their responsibility to return the badge upon leaving the building each day.

The ID badge is the property of the School District and may only be used by the individual to whom it was issued. Employees may not loan their ID badge to anyone for any reason. Upon separation from employment, employees are required to return the ID badge.

Visitors

Visitors, including approved volunteers and vendors, will wear a “Visitor” identification badge after signing in and gaining permission to be on the premises during school hours. The badge must be worn in a highly visible manner while in District buildings and shall be surrendered when exiting the building.

Administrative regulations shall be developed to implement the terms of this policy.

Refer also to Policy #3210 — Visitors to the Schools

Adopted: 5/21/13

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Employee of the Year Award Guidelines (Policy 6180)

Guidelines

  1. The Nomination and Selection Committee for the Board of Education’s Employee of the Year Award will be made up of the Presidents of the Employees’ Association, Teachers’ Association, Administrators’ Association and Confidential Employees. The President of the Board of Education will serve as the Chairperson;
  2. The Committee will advertise and accept nominations from members of the campus community. Nominations, to be submitted no later than May 24, must be signed and supported with a statement not exceeding two pages. The Committee will review appropriate documentation as may be deemed necessary to select a candidate from the nominees;
  3. The Committee will make its report in the form of a recommendation to the President. Recommendations will be forwarded to the President by June 1;
  4. A supporting file will be sent to the President with the recommendation. The deliberations of the Committee will be final;
  5. The President will review the nomination and announce the award.

Eligibility

  1. All employees (full and part-time) are eligible for the Employee of the Year Award.

Criteria

The following criteria will be used in making nominations and recommendations for the award:

  1. There must be positive evidence that the candidate performs superbly in fulfilling the position held. The nominee must give evidence of flexibility and adaptability to institutional needs.
  2. Specific or unusual evidence of the candidate’s excellence must be demonstrated.
  3. Particular emphasis should be placed on those individuals who not only meet the above criteria, but who have exceeded these standards in a creative and innovative fashion which is of outstanding quality.

The evaluation of candidates will be done on the basis of substantive evidence included in the nomination. Descriptions of capabilities, accomplishments, recognitions, initiation of ideas, development of proposals, etc. are both germane and necessary.

Adopted: 2/02/05

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Certified Personnel (Policy 6210)

The Board of Education shall, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, create, abolish, maintain and/or consolidate positions involving certified persons as necessary for the proper and efficient achievement of its goals.

All assignments and transfers shall be made in accordance with the provisions of law, Board of Education policies, and the employee’s negotiated agreement.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 30
Education Law Sections 2510 and 3013
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Recruitment (Policy 6211)

The District will attempt to employ the best qualified personnel for any position.

Professional personnel shall be recruited and selected by, or at the direction of, the Superintendent of Schools, who shall recommend appointment to the Board of Education.

The District shall provide equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons in accordance with Federal and State legislation.

The American With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d et seq.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Education Law Section 3012
Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Military Law Sections 242 and 243
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Certification (Policy 6212)

  1. In accordance with applicable statutes, Rules of the Board of Regents, and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, each employee whose employment requires certification or other licensure shall inform the Superintendent of Schools immediately of any change in the status of his/her certification or licensure. The changes shall include, but not be limited to, the granting, revocation, upgrading, expiration, conversion and/or extension of these documents as to their periods of validity or their titles.
  2. The original certificates and/or licenses must be presented for examination and copying in the office of the Superintendent of Schools as soon as they are available to the employee. The copies will be maintained in the Superintendent’s files in support of the legitimate employment of each affected employee. The failure of any such employee to possess the required certification or other licensure may result in the discharge of that employee.
  3. Whether or not the District verifies an individual’s certification or licensure does not waive the responsibility of the employee to maintain what is required for his/her assignment.

Education Law Sections 3001 and -a, 3004, 3006, and 3008
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Subparts 80-1, -2 and -3
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Incidental Teaching (Policy 6212.1)

The Superintendent may assign a teacher to teach a subject not covered by such teacher’s certificate or license for a period not to exceed five (5) classroom hours a week, when no certified or qualified teacher is available after extensive and documented recruitment efforts, and provided that approval of the Commissioner of Education is obtained in accordance with the requirements as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.

Not later than twenty (20) business days after such an assignment, the Superintendent shall submit for approval an application, in a form satisfactory to the Commissioner, containing the following information:

  1. Evidence of extensive recruitment of a teacher certified in the appropriate area;
  2. The name and certification status of the teacher given such assignment;
  3. The subject which the teacher is being assigned to teach on an incidental basis and the total number of classes in the subject being taught on an incidental basis;
  4. The qualifications of the teacher to teach such subject on an incidental basis;
  5. The specific reasons why an incidental assignment is necessary;
  6. The anticipated duration of the incidental teaching assignment; and
  7. The number of applications, approved or pending, for authorization to make incidental teaching assignments in the same certification area for which the current authorization is being sought.

To be approved, the application shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that an incidental teaching assignment is necessary, that the teacher assigned is the best qualified to teach the subject on an incidental basis, and that the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations have been met.

The Commissioner will issue a determination within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the District’s application.

In the event that the application is disapproved, the Superintendent, within seven (7) business days of receipt of the notice of disapproval, shall terminate the incidental assignment. In the event that the application is approved, such approval shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of the incidental teaching assignment and shall terminate on the last day of the school year for which it is granted.

The Superintendent may renew an incidental teaching assignment, in accordance with the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations, for any subsequent school year. In addition to submitting to the Commissioner the information noted above for initial approval of an incidental teaching assignment, a renewal application must provide a number of assurances, including that the teacher assigned a course on an incidental basis has completed, or has agreed to complete, within the prescribed time period, at least three (3) semester hours of credit or the equivalent leading to certification in the subject area of the incidental assignment.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 80-5.3
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Probation and Tenure (Policy 6213)

Probation

Certified staff members shall be appointed to a probationary period by a majority vote of the Board of Education upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools.

Full-time certified staff members shall be appointed to a probationary period of three (3) years. However, the probationary period shall not exceed two (2) years for teachers previously appointed to tenure in this or another school district or BOCES within the state, provided the teacher was not dismissed from the former district. Additionally, up to two (2) years of service as a regular substitute teacher may be applied towards probationary service. This is sometimes referred to as Jarema Credit.

During the probationary period, a staff member shall be given assistance in adjusting to the new position, but the essential qualifications for acceptable performance shall be assumed because of the possession by the staff member of the required certification or license.

Tenure

Certified staff members successfully completing a probationary period in the Schoharie Central School District may be recommended (by the Superintendent of Schools) to the Board of Education for tenure appointment.

The Board will follow all applicable statutes regarding tenure.
Education Law Sections 3012 and 3031
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Disciplining of a Tenured Teacher or Certified Personnel (Policy 6213.1)

Tenured teachers and certain certified personnel may be subject to disciplinary charges that are set forth in Section 3012 of the Education Law.

Procedures for a hearing regarding these disciplinary measures will be in accordance with Section 3020-a of the Education Law and/or in accordance with applicable contractual provisions.

Education Law Sections 3012 and 3020-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 82-1
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Separation: Professional Staff (Policy 6214)

If the Superintendent will be submitting to the Board a negative recommendation for tenure or a recommendation to discontinue the services of a probationary professional staff member, the Superintendent must give the probationary employee thirty (30) days notice prior to the board meeting at which such recommendation will be considered. If a majority of the Board accepts the recommendation and votes to dismiss, the professional staff member must then be given a written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of termination of services. The District will adhere to all other statutory timeframes.

The Board shall expect any professional staff member desiring to terminate his/her services to provide the Board with a minimum of thirty (30) days notice before the effective termination date.

When possible, a professional staff member shall make every effort to terminate employment at the end of the school year. Resignations must be in writing and include the effective date.

Education Law Sections 2509, 3012, 3019-a, and 3031
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Employment of Relatives of Board of Education Members (Policy 6215)

The appointment of a teacher who is related by bloodline or legal process (including marriage) to any member of the Board of Education shall be subject to the consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Education to be determined at a Board meeting and to be entered upon the proceedings of the Board.

The Board shall take the same stance in the hiring of professional staff other than teachers.

Education Law Section 3016
General Municipal Law Sections 800-809
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Teacher and Teaching Assistant Seniority (Policy 6216)

In establishing a seniority list for the instructional staff, the following will be used to determine the length of service at Schoharie Central School District:

  1. Seniority will be based upon the number of months employed in the current appointed tenure area;
  2. The number of months will be rounded off. If the employee serves more than fifteen calendar days in a month, then a full month’s credit will be given;
  3. If the employee serves less than fifteen calendar days in a month, then no credit will be given for that month;
  4. Leaves of absence without pay will not be counted toward service, but leaves with pay will be counted;
  5. There will be no credit for part-time service;
  6. In the event of a tie in length of service, the tie will be broken in the following descending order:
    1. Effective date (the date the teacher/teaching assistant commenced teaching);
    2. Appointment date (board resolution of appointment);
    3. Regular full-time substitute service at Schoharie Central in same tenure area;
    4. Date of receipt of application for appointment by the teacher/teaching assistant;
    5. Highest degree status of the teacher/teaching assistant;
    6. Number of graduate hours after the degree.

Education Law Sections 2510(2), 2585(3) and 3013(2)
Adopted: 8/12/10

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Temporary Personnel (Policy 6220)

District’s needs may sometimes require temporary appointments. The terms of these appointments shall be defined by the Board of Education on a case-by-case basis.

Student Teachers

The Schoharie Central School District shall cooperate with teacher training institutions in the placement of student teachers in order to provide beginning teachers with the best possible student teaching experience.

Student teachers shall be protected from liability for negligence or other acts resulting in accidental injury to any person by the School District, as provided by law.

Substitute Teachers

A substitute teacher qualified to teach in the Schoharie Central School District shall be employed, whenever possible, by the Superintendent of Schools in the absence of a regular teacher. It is recognized that fully certified persons will not always be available for employment as substitute teachers.

The Board of Education shall annually establish the ordinary rate for per diem substitute teachers.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 80-5.4
Education Law Section 3023
Adopted: 2/02/05

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Appointment – Support Staff (Policy 6310)

The probationary period for all new civil service employees shall be for the maximum period established by the local Civil Service Commission.

The time, place and conditions of employment shall be assigned by the Superintendent of Schools. The duties for each Civil Service employee shall be clearly defined.

Civil Service Law Section 63
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Employment of Teacher Aides (Policy 6320)

In accordance with Regulations of the Commissioner, the Board of Education may employ aides to assist in the daily operation of the school through non-teaching duties.

The duties and responsibilities to be assumed by aides shall be outlined by the Superintendent of Schools.

Persons employed as aides shall be responsible to the building principal and/or his/her designated representatives.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 80-5.6
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Separation: Support Staff (Policy 6330)

Support staff members may be dismissed according to the provisions of applicable Civil Service Laws and/or collective bargaining agreements.

The Board shall expect any support staff member desiring to terminate his/her services to provide the Board with a minimum of two (2) weeks notice before the effective termination date.

When a resignation is accepted by the Board, it will be understood by the person resigning that the acceptance is final. Re-employment may be sought only through the District’s regular hiring procedures.

Civil Service Law 75
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Maintaining Discipline and Conduct (Policy 6410)

All personnel employed by the District are responsible for maintaining student discipline and appropriate conduct during school hours or at extracurricular events.

Adopted: 3/15/06

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Employee Personnel Records and Release of Information (Policy 6420)

Personnel Records

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy to maintain a personnel file for each teacher, administrator and support staff member employed by the District.

Regulations and procedures will be developed addressing the inspection by District employees of their personnel files.

Release of Personnel Information

All steps should be taken to protect the privacy of the employees of the Board of Education. To ensure the individual’s privacy, directory or confidential information should not be shared with a third party except in the following situations:

  1. When members of the Board of Education need information from the employee’s personnel record to aid them in performing their legal responsibilities in such matters as appointments, assignments, promotions, demotions, remuneration, discipline, dismissal or to aid in the development and implementation of personnel policies.
  2. When the employee grants permission.

Procedures for obtaining consent for release of records to third parties shall be developed by the administration.

Release of Information Concerning Former Employees

The District shall not release information concerning the employment records, personnel file or past performance of a former employee, unless such information is required to be disclosed by law. Only the initial and final dates of employment and the position held shall be provided through a written response to a written request. The former employee may authorize the release of any additional information.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 84
Public Officers Law Section 87
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Letters of Recommendation and Other Releases of Information Concerning Current or Former Employees (Policy 6421)

Any and all official letters of recommendation must be reviewed and approved by the District Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. Any letter of recommendation on Schoharie Central stationery, bearing the school’s return address or including a designation of the author’s school position or title, shall be considered an official letter of recommendation. It is understood that recommendations written by elementary staff members shall be done on the Elementary School letterhead stationery and recommendations written by secondary staff members shall be written on Jr./Sr. High School letterhead stationery. For those recommendations written by Central Office staff members, the District’s letterhead stationery will be used.

Any and all disclosures of information, regarding the job performance and/or conduct of any current or former employee, shall be either made or expressly approved exclusively by the District Superintendent or his/her designee.

In the absence of written authorization from a current or former employee, Schoharie Central shall generally not release or disclose information from a person’s employment or personnel records, unless such disclosure is either required or authorized by law.

Either the Board of Education, the District Superintendent, or his/her designee may make an exception to the foregoing provisions, if it is determined that circumstances warrant such an exception.

No term or provision of this policy shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure (by the District Superintendent or his/her designee) of information that is considered disclosable under Article Six (6) of the Public Officers Law (the Freedom of Information Law).

The District Superintendent shall have authority to administer this policy, and to promulgate any rules, regulations, guidelines, or forms pertaining to the administration of this policy.

Adoption Date: 3/4/09

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Employee Personal Identifying Information (Policy 6422)

In accordance with Section 203-d of the New York State Labor Law, the District shall restrict the use and access to employee personal identifying information. As enumerated in law, “personal identifying information” shall include social security number, home address or telephone number, personal electronic mail address, Internet identification name or password, parent’s surname prior to marriage, or driver’s license number.

The District shall not unless otherwise required by law:

  1. Publicly post or display an employee’s social security number;
  2. Visibly print a social security number on any identification badge or card, including any time card;
  3. Place a social security number in files with unrestricted access; or
  4. Communicate an employee’s personal identifying information to the general public.

A social security number shall not be used as an identification number for purposes of any occupational licensing.

District staff shall have access to this policy, informing them of their rights and responsibilities in accordance with Labor Law Section 203-d. District procedures for safeguarding employee “personal identifying information” shall be evaluated; and employees who have access to such information as part of their job responsibilities shall be advised as to the restrictions on release of such information in accordance with law.

Labor Law Section 203-d
Adopted: 4/8/09

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Employee Activities (Policy 6430)

Political Activities

The Board of Education recognizes the right of its employees, as citizens, to engage in political activities and to exercise their constitutionally-protected rights to address matters of public concern.

However, a District employee’s constitutional rights to raise matters of public concern are limited when the speech or action occurs on school grounds and/or during school times. When such speech or action occurs on school grounds and/or during school time, the Board of Education can impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of the speech or action, and can further regulate the content of such speech when it materially imperils the efficient operation of the school.

Teachers may not use their classrooms or school surroundings as a means to promote their personal political views and beliefs. However, teachers are encouraged to address issues of current events for their instructional and informational value to students, to invite public and/or political figures to visit the classroom as a community resource, and to motivate students to participate in the political process.

Solicitations by Staff

Staff members shall not be engaged in advertising or commercial solicitations on school time, except as authorized by the Superintendent and/or designee.

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5560 — Use of Federal Funds for Political Expenditures

Adopted: 3/9/05

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Negotiations (Policy 6440)

Legal Status

The legal status for negotiations is the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Law (Taylor Law), Article 14 of the Civil Service Law.

Organizations recognized for the purposes of collective bargaining include:

  1. Schoharie Central School District Teachers’ Association;
  2. Schoharie Central School District Unit of Civil Service Employees’ Association;
  3. Schoharie Central School District Administrators’ Association.

Adopted: 3/9/05

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Theft of Services or Property (Policy 6450)

The theft of services or property from the District by an employee will result in immediate disciplinary action that can lead to dismissal or other penalty, and shall not preclude the filing of criminal or civil charges by the District.

Adopted: 3/9/05

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Jury Duty (Policy 6460)

A District employee called for jury duty shall receive his/her full day’s pay from the School District plus mileage from the State. No employee shall be entitled to receive the per diem allowance for any regularly scheduled workday on which jury duty is rendered if on such a day his/her wages are not withheld on account of such service.

Judiciary Law Section 521(b)
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Staff Use of Computerized Information Resource (Policy 6470)

The Board of Education will provide staff with access to various computerized information resources through the District’s computer system (DCS hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks, wireless networks/access and electronic communication systems. This may include access to electronic mail, so-called “on-line services” and the “Internet.” It may also include the opportunity for staff to have independent access to the DCS from their home or other remote locations, and/or to access the DCS from their personal devices. All use of the DCS and the wireless network, including independent use off school premises and use on personal devices, shall be subject to this policy and accompanying regulations.

The Board encourages staff to make use of the DCS to explore educational topics, conduct research and contact others in the educational world. The Board anticipates that staff access to various computerized information resources will both expedite and enhance the performance of tasks associated with their positions and assignments. To that end, the Board directs the Superintendent or his/her designee(s) to provide staff with training in the proper and effective use of the DCS.

Staff use of the DCS is conditioned upon written agreement by the staff member that use of the DCS will conform to the requirements of this policy and any regulations adopted to ensure acceptable use of the DCS. All such agreements shall be kept on file in the District Office.

Generally, the same standards of acceptable staff conduct which apply to any aspect of job performance shall apply to use of the DCS. Employees are expected to communicate in a professional manner consistent with applicable District policies and regulations governing the behavior of school staff. Electronic mail and telecommunications are not to be utilized to share confidential information about students or other employees.

Access to confidential data is a privilege afforded to District employees in the performance of their duties. Safeguarding this data is a District responsibility that the Board of Education takes very seriously. Consequently, District employment does not automatically guarantee the initial or ongoing ability to use mobile/personal devices to access the DCS and the information it may contain.

This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage. Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate staff conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.

District staff shall also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and rights of privacy protected by federal and state law.

Staff members who engage in unacceptable use may lose access to the DCS and may be subject to further discipline under the law and in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements. Legal action may be initiated against a staff member who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District.

Social Media Use by Employees

[*This sample language is meant to be used as a “framework” for Districts as they develop their own Social Media Policy for staff to meet their unique standards and needs. This Policy assumes that the District encourages the use of District-owned approved social media tools, but may also permit limited communication or contact between staff and students on non-district based SNS (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with prior approval and authorization. For example, a District may choose to allow a SNS such as Twitter to relay class assignments, homework, scheduling reminders and school notices only.]

The School District recognizes the value of teacher and professional staff inquiry, investigation and communication using new technology tools to enhance student learning experiences. The School District also realizes its obligations to teach and ensure responsible and safe use of these new technologies. Social media, including social networking sites, have great potential to connect people around the globe and enhance communication. Therefore, the Board of Education encourages the use of District approved social media tools and the exploration of new and emerging technologies to supplement the range of communication and educational services.

For purposes of this Policy, the definition of public social media networks or Social Networking Sites (SNS) are defined to include: websites, Web logs (blogs), wikis, social networks, online forums, virtual worlds, video sites and any other social media generally available to the School District community which do not fall within the District’s electronic technology network (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vine, Instagram, SnapChat, blog sites, etc.). The definition of District approved password-protected social media tools are those that fall within the District’s electronic technology network or which the District has approved for educational use. Within these internal forums, the District has greater authority and ability to protect minors from inappropriate content and can limit public access.

The use of social media (whether public or internal) can generally be defined as Official District Use, Professional/Instructional Use and Personal Use. The definitions, uses and responsibilities will be further defined and differentiated in the Administrative Regulation. The School District takes no position on an employee’s decision to participate in the use of social media or SNS for personal use on personal time. However, personal use of these media during District time or on District-owned equipment is *prohibited/discouraged/allowed on a limited basis. In addition, employees are encouraged to maintain the highest levels of professionalism when communicating, whether using District devices or their own personal devices, in their professional capacity as educators. They have a responsibility to address inappropriate behavior or activity on these networks, including requirements for mandated reporting and compliance with all applicable District Policies and Regulations.

Confidentiality, Private Information and Privacy Rights

Confidential and/or private data, including but not limited to, protected student records, employee personal identifying information, and District assessment data, shall only be loaded, stored or transferred to District-owned devices which have encryption and/or password protection. This restriction, designed to ensure data security, encompasses all computers and devices within the DCS, any mobile devices, including flash or key drives, and any devices that access the DCS from remote locations. Staff will not use email to transmit confidential files in order to work at home or another location. Staff will not use cloud-based storage services (such as Dropbox, GoogleDrive, SkyDrive, etc.) for confidential files.

Staff will not leave any devices unattended with confidential information visible. All devices are required to be locked down while the staff member steps away from the device, and settings enabled to freeze and lock after a set period of inactivity.

Staff data files and electronic storage areas shall remain District property, subject to District control and inspection. The Technology Coordinator may access all such files and communications without prior notice to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations. Staff should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

Implementation

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy, addressing general parameters of acceptable staff conduct as well as prohibited activities so as to provide appropriate guidelines for employee use of the DCS.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5672 — Information Security Breach and Notification

#7243 — Student Data Breaches
#7316 — Student Use of Personal Technology
#8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy
Adoption Date 3/09/05
Revised Date 10/16/13

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Health Insurance (Policy 6510)

Health insurance for certified and support staffs shall be in accordance with their respective negotiated agreements.

Continuation of Medical Insurance Coverage at Termination of Employment

Under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), employees and their dependents are eligible to continue their insurance coverage for up to eighteen (18) months when termination of their insurance is due to a reduction in their hours worked, or upon termination of their employment.

Dependents of employees are eligible to continue their insurance for up to thirty-six (36) months upon occurrence of one (1) of the following events:

  1. Death of the covered employee; or
  2. Divorce or legal separation from the covered employee; or
  3. An employee becomes eligible for Medicare and ceases to participate in the employer-sponsored plan; or
  4. The dependents of a covered employee reach the maximum age for dependent coverage.

Those who are eligible to continue coverage have up to sixty (60) days to complete the Continuation of Coverage Election Form. They must pay the full cost of their premium plus administrative costs incurred by the District.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Workers’ Compensation (Policy 6520)

Employees injured in the performance of their duties are covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Employees shall report work-related injuries immediately to their immediate supervisor. Delay in reporting, if necessary, must be justified to the satisfaction of the Board of Education and/or the insurance agency.

Reimbursement for Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefits shall be in accordance with their respective negotiated agreements.

Education Law Sections 1604(31), 1709(34), and 2503(10)
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Payroll Deductions (Policy 6530)

Payroll deductions may be made when authorized by employees or when required by law or negotiated agreements.

Education Law Sections 1604 and 1709
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Defense and Indemnification of Board Members and Employees (Policy 6540)

Liability Protection Pursuant to Education Law

The Board of Education recognizes its statutory obligation to indemnify School District employees (and in certain circumstances, Board of Education members and volunteers) pursuant to the provisions of Sections 3023, 3028 and 3811 of the Education Law. For the purposes of this policy, the term “employee” shall be as defined in the applicable statute(s).

The District shall not be subject to the duty to defend unless the employee, within the time prescribed by statute, delivers appropriate notice of the claim to the Board of Education.

  1. For purposes of Education Law Section 3811, the employee must give written notice within five (5) days after service of process upon him/her. The statute mandates only written notice of the claim to the Board of Education; however, submission of relevant legal documents by the employee to the Board is also encouraged.
  2. For purposes of Education Law Sections 3023 and 3028, the employee must deliver the original or a copy of the relevant legal documents to the Board within ten (10) days after service of process upon him/her.

The District will provide legal defense and/or indemnification for all damages, costs, and reasonable expenses incurred in the defense of an action or proceeding if authorized pursuant to statute and provided that the alleged action or omission which occurred or allegedly occurred is covered by the appropriate statute(s). Furthermore, the District will not be required to provide indemnification protection and/or legal defense unless the employee was, at the time of the alleged incident, acting in the discharge of his/her duties within the scope of his/her employment or authorized volunteer duties and/or under the direction of the Board of Education.

Public Officers Law Section 18

The Board of Education hereby also confers the benefits of Section 18 of the New York State Public Officers Law upon the “employees” of the District, as defined in Section 18 of the Public Officers Law; and the District assumes the liability for the costs incurred in accordance with the provisions of Section 18. The benefits accorded to District employees under Section 18 of the Public Officers Law shall supplement and be available in addition to defense or indemnification protection conferred by other enactment or provisions of law.

The term “employees” shall include members of the Board of Education; the Superintendent; District officers; District employees; volunteers expressly authorized to participate in a District sponsored volunteer program; or any other person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the District, whether or not compensated. The term “employee” shall also include a former employee, his/her estate or judicially appointed representative.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, and upon compliance by the employee with the requirements of this statute, the District shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding, state or federal, arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or allegedly occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his/her public employment or duties. Furthermore, the District shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in a state or federal court, or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or claim arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his/her public employment or duties. However, in the case of a settlement, the duty to indemnify and save harmless shall be conditioned upon the approval of the amount of the settlement by the Board of Education.

The duty to defend and/or indemnify and save harmless, in accordance with Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, shall be conditioned upon the delivery by the employee to the School District attorney or to the Superintendent a written request to provide for his/her defense, together with the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within ten (10) days after he/she is served with such document. Pursuant to Section 18, the full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in the defense of any action or proceeding against the District based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal, shall also be required as a condition for the District’s duty to defend and/or indemnify and save harmless to exist.

Exceptions to Liability Coverage

Indemnification coverage and/or provision of legal defense by the District will not apply unless the actionable claim is of the type covered by the statute(s) and/or is not otherwise exempt from coverage pursuant to law. Additionally, indemnification coverage and/or the duty to provide a defense shall not arise where such action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the School District.

Paul D. Coverell Teacher Protection Act of 2001, as authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 United State Code (USC) Section 6731 et seq.
Public Officers Law Section 18
Education Law Sections 1604(25) and (31-b), 1709(26) and (34-b), 2560, 3023, 3028, and 3811
General Municipal Law Sections 6-n and 52
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Leaves of Absence (Policy 6550)

The Board of Education recognizes through Board Policy, and through contractual agreements with employee organizations that various personal circumstances give rise to the need for both paid and unpaid leave from time to time. Provisions are made for:

  1. Sick Leave
  2. Leave for family illness or death
  3. Personal business leave
  4. Religious observance leave
  5. Court leave
  6. Association leave
  7. Sabbatical leave
  8. Maternity leave
  9. Long-term leave of absence
  10. Annual Leave

Short Term Leave

The Board of Education recognizes that in unusual circumstances an employee may be in need of short-term leave time not covered by any of the above cited categories. When such occasions arise, the Board of Education reserves the right to grant or deny such a request. The Board of Education is reluctant to grant “other” short-term leave from classroom assignments, in view of the limited number of teaching days and its belief that continuity of instruction is of paramount importance.

The Superintendent is authorized to act within the intent of this policy on unpaid leaves up to five (5) days and to report to the Board of Education on a quarterly basis.

Long Term Leave

The Board of Education will consider long-term leaves on an individual basis. Leaves of absence, with or without pay, may be granted by the District at its discretion. The Board will not consider a leave of absence request after other employment has been secured.

Military Leave

The District will comply with state and federal laws regarding military leave and re-employment.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)
38 United States Code (USC) Sections 4301-4333
Civil Service Law Sections 71-73
Education Law Sections 1709(16), 3005, -a and -b
Military Law Section 242 and 243
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Family and Medical Leave Act (Policy 6551)

Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Schoharie Board of Education recognizes the right of eligible employees to unpaid family and medical leave for up to twelve (12) weeks during any twelve (12) month period. The Board shall ensure that all eligible employees who use such leave shall have their health benefits continued and shall be returned to an equivalent position according to established Board practices, policies and collective bargaining agreements.

To be eligible for family or medical leave an employee must have been employed for at least twelve months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the prior twelve months.

Family leave shall be provided when a son or daughter is born to the employee or one is placed with the employee for adoption or foster care. Medical leave shall be provided in order for the employee to take care of a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition or when the employee has a serious health condition rendering him/her unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job.

The District may require an employee to use accrued paid vacation, personal or family leave for purposes of a family leave. The District may require, an employee to use accrued vacation, personal, or medical/sick leave for purposes of a medical leave.

The employee shall notify the District of his/her request for leave, if foreseeable, at least thirty (30) days prior to the date when the leave is to begin. If such leave is not foreseeable then the employee shall give such notice as is practical. The District may require a certification from a health care provider if medical leave is requested. When an employee returns following a leave, he/she must be returned to the same or equivalent position of employment. The Superintendent of Schools or designee may reassign a teacher to a different grade level, building or other assignment consistent with the employee’s certification and tenure area.

The Board shall ensure that family and medical leave, consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act, is provided to all eligible employees, unless they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement which provides greater leave benefits than this Act.

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the Secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, including information concerning enforcement of the law.

Administration is directed to develop regulations to implement this policy, informing employees of their rights and responsibilities under the FMLA.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Public Law 103-3
29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 825
Adopted: 3/9/05

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Military Leaves of Absence (Policy 6552)

In accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) and State Law, the School District, upon advance notice by the employee, shall grant leaves of absence for service in the uniformed services and/or military duty (hereinafter referred to as “military service” or “military duty”) to its employees who are ordered to duty or volunteer for qualifying military service. The employee’s notice may be either verbal or written. No advance notice is required if military necessity prevents the giving of notice, or the giving of notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable under all the circumstances.

Employment Rights

Time during which an employee is absent pursuant to military leave shall not constitute an interruption of continuous employment in the School District and no such employee shall be subjected, directly or indirectly, to any loss or diminution of time service, increment, vacation or holiday privileges, or any other right or privilege, by reason of such absence; nor shall any employee be prejudiced by reason of such absence with reference to continuance in employment, reemployment, reinstatement, transfer or promotion.

Salary/Compensation

Every employee shall be paid his/her salary or other compensation for any and all periods of absence while engaged in the performance of ordered military duty, and while going to and returning from such duty. This payment of salary/compensation shall not exceed a total of 30 days or 22 working days, whichever is greater, in any one calendar year; and shall not exceed 30 days or 22 working days, whichever is greater, in any one continuous period of such absence.

The employee must be permitted, upon request, to use any accrued vacation, annual, or similar leave with pay during the period of military service in order to continue his/her civilian pay. The School District may not require the employee to use accrued leave.

The employee is not entitled to use accrued sick leave during the period of military service, unless the District allows employees to use sick leave for any reason or allows other similarly situated employees on comparable furlough or leave of absence to use accrued paid sick leave.

Employee Benefits

Health Plan Coverage

If the employee has coverage under a health plan in connection with his/her employment with the District, the employee must be permitted to elect to continue the coverage for a certain period of time designated in law.

When the employee is performing military service, he/she is entitled to continuing coverage for himself/herself (and dependents if the plan offers dependent coverage) under a health plan in connection with the employment. The plan must allow the employee an opportunity to continue coverage for a period of time that is the lesser of:

  1. The 24-month period beginning on the date on which the employee’s absence for the purpose of performing military service begins; or
  2. The period beginning on the date on which the employee’s absence for the purpose of performing military service begins, and ending on the date on which the employee fails to return from service or apply for a position of reemployment.

Health plan administrators may develop reasonable requirements addressing how continuing coverage may be elected, consistent with the terms of the plan and USERRA’s exceptions to the requirement that the employee give advance notice of military service. Further, health plan administrators may develop reasonable procedures form employee payment to continue coverage, consistent with USERRA and the terms of the plan.

Pension/Retirement Plans

While on military duty, any School District employee who is a member of any pension or retirement system may elect to contribute to such pension or retirement system the amount which he/she would have contributed had such employment been continuous. Upon making such contribution, the employee shall have the same rights in respect to membership in the retirement system as he/she would have had if the employee had been present and continuously engaged in the performance of his/her position. To the extent that such contributions are paid, absence while engaged in the performance of military duty shall be counted in determining the length of total service under such pension or retirement system.

Alternatively, employees will have an opportunity to make up contributions to the pension or retirement system upon return to employment in the District in accordance with law and the individual employee’s pension/retirement system.

Time during which an employee is absent on military duty shall not constitute an interruption of continuous employment, but such time shall not be counted or included in determining the length of total service in the pension or retirement system unless the employee contributes to the pension or retirement system the amount he/she would have been required to contribute if the employee had been continuously employed during the period of military duty.

Reemployment/Restoration Rights (“Escalator Principle”)

Per USERRA, as a general rule, the employee is entitled to reemployment in the job position that he/she would have attained with reasonable certainty if not for the absence due to military service. The position to which the returning service member should be restored has become known as the “escalator position.” The escalator principle requires that the employee be reemployed in a position that reflects with reasonable certainty the pay, benefits, seniority, and other job benefits that he/she would have attained if not for the period of military service.

Depending on the circumstances/intervening events, the escalator principle may cause an employee to be reemployed in a higher or lower position, transferred, laid off, or even terminated.

The employee must be qualified for the reemployment position. The District shall make reasonable efforts to help the employee become qualified to perform the duties of this position. The District is not required to reemploy the employee on his/her return from military service if the employee cannot, after reasonable efforts by the District, qualify for the appropriate reemployment position.

Per State law, an employee restored to his/her position after the termination of military duty shall be entitled to the rate of compensation he/she would have received had the employee remained in his/her position continuously during the period of military duty; and the employee shall be deemed to have rendered satisfactory and efficient service in the job position during the period of military leave of absence. Further, the employee shall not be subjected directly or indirectly to any loss of time service, increment, or any other right or privilege; or shall an employee be prejudiced in any way with reference to promotion, transfer, reinstatement or continuance in employment.

All other rights, benefits, and responsibilities of a District employee serving in the military shall be in accordance with law, regulations, and/or the applicable contract/collective bargaining agreement.

Probationary Service

Public Employees in General

If a public employee (with the exception of the probationary service of “teachers” as described below) enters military duty before the expiration of the probationary period in any position to which he/she may have been appointed, or to which he/she may thereafter be appointed or promoted, the time such employee is absent on military duty shall be credited as satisfactory service during this probationary period.

Teachers/Supervisory Staff

In any case where a “teacher” (as defined in State Education Law Section 3103, the term “teacher” encompasses a broad category of full-time members of the teaching and supervisory staff of the District, and is not limited to “instructional” employees) enters military duty before the expiration of the probationary period to which he/she may have been appointed, the time the “teacher” is absent on military duty shall be credited as satisfactory service during this probationary period. If the end of such probationary service occurs while the “teacher” is on military duty or within one year following the termination of military duty, the period of the probationary service may be extended by the Board of Education for a period not to exceed one year from the date of termination of military duty. However, in no event shall the period of probationary service in the actual performance of teaching services extend beyond that required by the School District at the time of the “teacher’s” entry into military service.

Collective Bargaining Agreements/Contracts/Plans/Practices

In accordance with USERRA, any State or local law, contract, agreement, policy, plan, or practice that establishes an employment right or benefit that is more beneficial than, or is in addition to, a right or benefit under USERRA, such greater employment right or benefit will supersede this Federal Law.

Notice of Rights and Duties

The District shall provide a notice of the rights, benefits and obligations of employees and the District under USERRA. The District may provide the notice by posting it where employee notices are customarily placed. The District may also provide such notice to its employees in other ways that will minimize costs while ensuring that the full text of the notice is provided (e.g., by handing or mailing out the notice, or distributing the notice via electronic mail).

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed and made available on its web site https://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/poster.htm a poster for use by private and State employers (including school districts) that can be posted in order to comply with the notification mandate.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)
38 United States Code (USC) Sections 4301-4333
Public Law 108-454
20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1002
Military Law Sections 242 and 243
Education Law Section 3101
Adopted: 10/4/06

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Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (Policy 6560)

The District will provide an Employee Assistance Program for employees who are experiencing personal difficulties. The purpose of the program is to assist employees in obtaining help to resolve such problems in an effective and confidential manner. This program recognizes that the primary obligation to seek assistance and to resolve the problem rests with the employee.

The Board recognizes that a wide range of problems that are not directly associated with an employee’s job function may have an effect on an employee’s job performance. The problems may involve physical illness, mental or emotional illness, alcohol abuse or alcoholism, drug abuse or dependency, tobacco abuse or personal problems such as those of a marital, family, or financial nature.

A joint District/employee organization committee will be established to assist in the implementation of this policy.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#6150 — Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances (School Personnel)
#6151 — Drug-Free Workplace
Adopted: 3/9/05

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