Section G: Personnel

GA: PERSONNEL POLICIES GOALS

The goal of the employment policies and practices of the Smyth County School Board is to promote the employment and retention of highly qualified personnel to effectively serve the educational needs of students.

No employee, contractor or agent of the Smyth County School Board may assist a school board employee, contractor or agent in obtaining a new job, apart from the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files, if the employee, contractor or agent knows, or has probable cause to believe, that such school employee, contractor or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of law. This prohibition does not apply if the information giving rise to probable cause

    1. has been properly reported to a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the alleged misconduct and
    2. has been properly reported to any other authorities as required by federal or state law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) and the regulations implementing it and
    1. the matter has been officially closed or the prosecutor or police with jurisdiction over the alleged misconduct has investigated the allegations and notified school officials that there is insufficient information to establish probable cause that the school employee, contractor or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor in violation of the law;
    2. the school employee, contractor or agent has been charged with, and acquitted or otherwise exonerated of the alleged misconduct; or
    3. the case or investigation remains open and there have been no charges filed against, or indictment of, the school employee, contractor or agent within 4 years of the date on which the information was reported to a law enforcement agency.

Adopted: September 8, 2008
Revised: May 10, 2010
Revised: July 29, 2013
Revised: July 10, 2017

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GAA: STAFF TIME SCHEDULES

Work Schedules

The workday for full-time licensed and professional staff is a minimum of seven hours and thirty minutes and continues until professional responsibilities to the student and school are completed. Elementary teachers are provided at least an average of thirty minutes per day during the students’ school week as planning time. Administrative meetings, curriculum development, pupil supervision, assigned duties, parent conferences, group or individual planning and extra-curricular activities may require hours beyond the stated minimum. Work schedules for other employees will be defined by the superintendent or superintendent’s designee, consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the provisions of this policy.

Workweek Defined

Working hours for all employees not exempted under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including secretaries, bus drivers, cafeteria, janitorial and maintenance personnel conform to federal and state regulations. The superintendent ensures that job positions are classified as exempt or non-exempt and that employees are made aware of such classifications. Supervisors make every effort to avoid circumstances which will require non-exempt employees to work more than 40 hours each week. For purposes of compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the workweek for school district employees will be 12:00 a.m. Saturday until 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Overtime and Compensatory Time

The Smyth County School Board discourages overtime work by non-exempt employees. A non-exempt employee will not work overtime without the express approval of the employee’s supervisor. All overtime work must be expressly approved in writing by the superintendent or superintendent’s designee unless it is provided for in the employees’ contract. All supervisory personnel must monitor overtime on a weekly basis and report such time to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee. Principals and supervisors monitor employees’ work, ensure that overtime provisions of this policy and the Fair Labor Standards Act are followed and will ensure that all employees are compensated for any overtime worked. Principals or supervisors may need to adjust daily schedules to prevent non-exempt employees from working more than 40 hours in a workweek. Accurate and complete time sheets of actual hours worked during the workweek must be signed by each employee and submitted to the Payroll Office. The Payroll Office reviews work records of employees on a regular basis to make an assessment of overtime use.

In lieu of overtime compensation, non-exempt employees may receive compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1.5) hours for each one hour of overtime worked, if such compensatory time:

  1. is pursuant to an agreement between the employer and employee reached before overtime work is performed, and
  2. is authorized by the immediate supervisor.

Employees will be allowed to use compensatory time within a reasonable period after requesting such use, but in no event no later than the end of the contract term during which the compensatory time is earned, and if the requested use of the compensatory time does not unduly disrupt the operation of the school division. Employees may accrue a maximum of 30 hours of compensatory time before they will be provided overtime pay at the rate earned by the employee at the time the employee receives such payment. In addition, upon leaving the school division, an employee will be paid for any unused compensatory time at the rate of not less than the higher of

  1. the average regular rate received by the employee during his/her last three years of employment, or
  2. the final regular rate received by the employee.

Non-exempt employees whose workweek is less than 40 hours are paid at the regular rate of pay for time worked up to 40 hours or receive compensatory time off at a rate of one hour for each hour worked above their contracted time but less than 40 hours per week. All additional overtime worked in a contract year shall result in compensation at one and one-half the employee’s regular rate of pay. Any accrued compensatory time not used by the end of the contract term during which such time was earned shall be extinguished by payment at the regular rate earned by the employee at the time the employee receives such payment at the end of the contract term.

Employees are provided with a copy of this policy and are required to sign this policy to acknowledge their understanding of overtime and compensatory time provisions. Such signed policy constitutes the written agreement required in this section. Any employee who is unwilling to receive time off in lieu of overtime pay shall indicate such at the beginning of the employee's contract term in writing and submit to his/her supervisor.

Attendance Expectations

All employees are expected to be present during all work hours. Absence without prior approval, chronic absences, habitual tardiness or abuses of designated working hours are all considered neglect of duty and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Adopted: May 11, 2009
Revised: May 12, 2014

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GAB/IIBEA: Acceptable Computer/Network System Usage

The Smyth County School Board provides a computer/network system consisting of computers, servers, printers, IP phones, wireless phones, handheld devices, software, network access including the Internet, and other components and services. All use of the Division's computer/network system shall be consistent with the School Board's goal of promoting educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. Each Division employee, student, and parent/guardian of each student shall sign this Acceptable Computer/Network System Usage Policy to indicate their agreement to comply with the policy.

The Division Superintendent shall establish administrative procedures, for the School Board's approval, containing the appropriate uses, ethics, and protocol for the computer/network system. The procedures shall include:

  1. A prohibition against use by division employees and students of the division's computer/network system for sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading illegal material via the Internet;
  2. Provisions, including the selection and operation of an Internet filtering system, to filter or block Internet access to:
    1. Child pornography as set out in Va. Code § 18.2-374.1:1 or as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2256;
    2. Obscenity as defined by Va. Code § 18.2-372 or 18 U.S.C. § 1460; and
    3. Material that the school division deems to be harmful to juveniles as defined in Va. Code § 18.2-390, material that is harmful to minors as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 254(h)(7)(G), and material that is otherwise inappropriate for minors;
  3. Provisions establishing that the Internet filtering system is enforced during any use of the Division's computers by minors;
  4. Provisions establishing that the online activities of minors will be monitored;
  5. Provisions designed to protect the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  6. Provisions designed to prevent unauthorized online access by minors, including "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  7. Provisions prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
  8. A component of Internet safety for students that is integrated in the division's instructional program.

Although our filtering software and monitoring efforts are designed to make the Internet an educational and safe experience, they cannot completely eliminate the risk that students will be able to access inappropriate material. Therefore, parents/guardians may choose to opt their children out of accessing the Internet at school by completing an opt-out form and returning that form to their child's school.

The Division Superintendent shall submit to the Virginia Department of Education this policy and accompanying regulation biennially.

Computer/Network System Usage Terms and Conditions

Acceptable Use

Access to the Division's computer/network system shall be:

  1. For the purposes of education or research and be consistent with the educational objectives of the Division; or
  2. For legitimate school business.

Privilege

The use of the Division's computer/network system is a privilege, not a right. The Division's computer/network system is not a public forum. Any communication or material used on the computer/network system, including electronic mail or other files stored on the system (including deleted files), may be monitored or read by school officials.

Unacceptable Use

Each user is responsible for his or her actions on the computer/network system. Prohibited conduct includes:

Computer/Network System Code of Conduct

Each user shall abide by generally accepted standards of computer/network system conduct, including the following:

Liability

The School Board makes no warranties for the computer/network system it provides. The School Board shall not be responsible for any damages to the user from use of the computer/network system, including loss of data, non-delivery or missed delivery of information, or service interruptions. The School Division denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the computer/network system. The user agrees to indemnify the School Board for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the School Board relating to or arising out of any violation of these procedures.

Security

Computer/network system security is a high priority for the school division. If any user identifies a security problem, the user shall notify the building principal or system administrator immediately. All users shall keep their passwords confidential and shall follow computer virus protection procedures.

Vandalism

Intentional destruction of any part of the computer/network system through creating or downloading computer viruses or by any other means is prohibited.

Charges

The School Division assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or fees as a result of using the computer/network system, including telephone or long-distance charges.

Electronic Communications

The School Board provides a number of electronic communications systems, including email, Voice Over IP, voice mail, and online discussion boards. The School Division's electronic communications systems are owned and controlled by the School Division. The School Division may provide email and/or other electronic communications services to aid students and staff in fulfilling their duties and as an education tool. Email and other electronic communications systems are not private. Students' email and electronic communications systems will be monitored. The email and electronic communications systems of staff may be monitored and accessed by the School Division. Unauthorized access to an email or other electronic communications system account by any student or employee is prohibited. Users shall be held personally liable for the content of any electronic message they create. Downloading any file attached to an electronic message is prohibited unless the user is certain of that message's authenticity and the nature of the file.

Preventing Unauthorized Disclosure, Use, and Dissemination of Personal Information

Federal and state laws govern the disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding students and school board employees. Because much of that information is contained in computer databases, School Board employees must take precautions to ensure the integrity of that data.

Enforcement

Software will be installed on the division's computers having Internet access to filter or block internet access through such computers to child pornography and obscenity. The online activities of minors may also be monitored manually. Any violation of these regulations shall result in loss of computer/network system privileges and may also result in appropriate disciplinary action, as determined by School Board policy, or legal action.

Adopted: October 13, 2008

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GAD: ACCESS TO EMPLOYEE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

The Smyth County School Board does not require current or prospective employees to disclose the username or password to the employee’s personal social media accounts or to add an employee, supervisor or administrator to the list of contacts associated with the employee’s personal social media account.

If the School Board or a School Board employee inadvertently receives an employee's username and password to, or other login information associated with, the employee's personal social media account through the use of an electronic device provided to the employee by the School Board or a program that monitors the School Board's network, the Board will not be liable for having the information but will not use the information to gain access to the employee's social media account.

This policy does not prohibit the School Board and its agents from viewing information about a current or prospective employee that is publicly available.

This policy does not prohibit the School Board from requesting an employee to disclose the employee’s username and password for the purpose of accessing a personal social media account if the employee's social media account activity is reasonably believed to be relevant to a formal investigation or related proceeding by the Board of allegations of an employee's violation of federal, state or local laws or regulations or of the Board's written policies. If the Board exercises its rights under this paragraph, the employee's username and password will only be used for the purpose of the formal investigation or a related proceeding.

Adopted: July 13, 2015

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GAH: SCHOOL EMPLOYEE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

A. Purpose

The State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (the Act), applies to public school employees and officials. The Act creates uniform standards of conduct for all public employees and officials. The Act also defines and prohibits inappropriate conflicts of interest and requires disclosure of economic interests in some circumstances. The purpose of this policy is to provide an introduction to the Act for employees. Additional information regarding the Act may be obtained from Policy BBFA Conflict of Interests and Disclosure of Economic Interests and from the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council (the Ethics Council) which assists with compliance with the Act.

B. Compliance

School board employees are required to read and be familiar with the Act. The superintendent provides employees with information regarding how to access the Act and how to contact the Ethics Council. The website with additional information regarding the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council is ethics.dls.virginia.gov. The Act’s provisions are complex and their application is fact-specific. A violation of the Act could result in civil or criminal penalties. Therefore, if an employee has any question whether an interest the employee has in a contract or transaction involving the school division is prohibited under the Act, the employee should contact the superintendent’s office or the Ethics Council for assistance.

C. Areas of Regulation

The Act prohibits school employees from having a “personal interest,” as that term is defined by the Act, in certain contracts and transactions that involve the division and from engaging in other specified conduct related to the schools. The prohibited personal interest also may be that of the school employee’s immediate family (a spouse or any other person who resides in the same household as the employee and who is a dependent of the employee).

Under the Act, an employee may be considered to have a prohibited conflict arising from:

Examples of prohibited conduct include:

D. Advisory Opinions

Employees may seek written opinions regarding application of the Act from the local Commonwealth’s Attorney, the local Smyth County attorney or the Ethics Council. Good faith reliance on a written opinion of the Commonwealth’s Attorney or the Ethics Council bars prosecution for a knowing violation of the Act provided the opinion was made after a full disclosure of the facts. An opinion of the local Smyth County attorney may be introduced at trial as evidence that the employee did not knowingly violate the Act.

Adopted: July 10, 2017

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GB: EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/NONDISCRIMINATION

I. Policy Statement

The Smyth County School Board is an equal opportunity employer, committed to non-discrimination in recruitment, selection, hiring, pay, promotion, retention or other personnel actions affecting employees or candidates for employment. Therefore, discrimination in employment against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, gender, age, marital status, genetic information or disability is prohibited. Personnel decisions are based on merit and the ability to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The Smyth County School Board provides facilities, programs and activities that are accessible, usable and available to qualified disabled persons. Further, the Smyth County School Board does not discriminate against qualified disabled persons in the provision of health, welfare and other social services.

The statement, "Smyth County School Board is an equal opportunity employer," is placed on all employment application forms.

II. Notice of Policy/Prevention

This policy is: (1) posted in prominent areas of each school division building, (2) included in employee handbooks and (3) provided to any employee or candidate for employment upon request. Training to prevent prohibited discrimination is included in employee in-service training.

III. Complaint Procedure

A. File Report

Any person who believes he has not received equal employment opportunities should report the alleged discrimination to one of the compliance officers designated in this policy. The alleged discrimination should be reported as soon as possible, and the report generally should be made within fifteen (15) school days of the occurrence. Any employee who has knowledge of conduct which may constitute prohibited discrimination shall report such conduct without unreasonable delay to one of the compliance officers designated in this policy.

The reporting party should use the form, Report of Discrimination GB-F, to make complaints of discrimination. However, oral reports and other written reports will also be accepted. The complaint must be filed with one of the compliance officers designated in this policy. Any complaint that involves the compliance officer shall be reported to the superintendent.

The complaint and the identity of the complainant and the person or persons allegedly responsible for the discrimination will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to fully investigate the complaint and only when such disclosure is required or permitted by law. A complainant who wishes to remain anonymous will be advised that anonymity may limit the school division's ability to fully respond to the complaint.

B. Investigation

Upon receipt of a report of alleged discrimination, the compliance officer shall immediately authorize or undertake an investigation. The investigation may be conducted by school personnel or a third party designated by the school division. The investigation shall be completed as soon as practicable, which generally should be not later than 14 school days after receipt of the report by the compliance officer. Upon receiving the complaint, the compliance officer will acknowledge receipt of the complaint by giving written notice that the complaint has been received to both the complainant and the Superintendent. If the compliance officer determines that more than 14 school days will be required to investigate the complaint, the complainant and the Superintendent will be notified of the reason for the extended investigation and the date by which the investigation will be concluded.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the person(s) alleged to have violated the policy and any others who may have knowledge of the alleged discrimination or the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation will consider witnesses and evidence from both the complainant and the person(s) responsible for the alleged discrimination. The investigation may also include the inspection of any documents or information deemed relevant by the investigator. The school division shall take necessary steps to protect the complainant and others pending the investigation.

Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a case by case determination based on all of the facts and circumstances revealed by a complete and thorough investigation.

The compliance officer shall issue a written report to the superintendent upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint alleges the superintendent has violated this policy, then the report shall be sent to the School Board. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations are substantiated, whether this policy was violated and recommendations for corrective action, if any.

All employees shall cooperate with any investigation of alleged discrimination conducted under this policy or by an appropriate state or federal agency.

C. Action by Superintendent

Within 5 school days of receiving the compliance officer's report, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall issue a written decision regarding (1) whether this policy was violated and (2) what action, if any, should be taken.

If the complaint alleges that the superintendent has violated this policy, the School Board's standing Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination Committee shall make the decision and determine what action should be taken. If the School Board does not have such a standing committee, at its next scheduled meeting it shall appoint a committee consisting of three of its members to handle the matter. The committee shall issue a written decision within 14 calendar days of the time the School Board receives the compliance officer's report or the time a committee is appointed, if there is no standing committee. The written decision shall (1) state whether this policy was violated and (2) recommend what action, if any, should be taken.

The written decision must be mailed to or personally delivered to the complainant within five calendar days of the issuance of the decision. If the superintendent, superintendent's designee, or committee concludes that prohibited discrimination occurred, the Smyth County School Division shall take prompt, appropriate action to address and remedy the violation as well as prevent any recurrence. Such action may include discipline up to and including dismissal.

D. Appeal

If the superintendent, superintendent's designee, or committee determines that no prohibited discrimination occurred, the person who was allegedly subjected to discrimination may appeal this finding to the School Board within 5 school days of receiving the decision. Notice of appeal must be filed with the superintendent, or with a member of the committee which issued the written decision, who shall forward the record to the School Board. The School Board shall make a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving the record. The School Board may ask for oral or written argument from the aggrieved party and the superintendent, superintendent's designee, or the committee, whichever issued the written decision, and any other individual the School Board deems relevant. Written notice of the School Board's decision will be given to the complainant, except to the extent limited by other applicable laws.

Employees may choose to pursue their complaints arising under this policy through the relevant employee grievance procedure instead of the complaint procedure in this policy.

E. Compliance Officer and Alternate Compliance Officer

The Smyth County School Board has designated:

Cole Spencer
Director of Human Resources
121 Bagley Circle Suite 300
Marion, VA 24354
(276) 783-3791

as the Compliance Officer responsible for identifying, investigating, preventing and remedying prohibited discrimination. Complaints of discrimination may also be made to the Alternate Compliance Officer:

Kim Sturgill
Director of Pupil Personnel
121 Bagley Circle Suite 300
Marion, VA 24354
(276) 783-3791

The Compliance Officer shall:

All employees shall be notified annually of the names and contact information of the compliance officers.

IV. Retaliation

Retaliation against employees who report discrimination or participate in the related proceedings is prohibited. The school division shall take appropriate action against any employee who retaliates against another employee or candidate for employment who reports alleged discrimination or participates in related proceedings. The compliance officer will inform persons who make a complaint, who are the subject of complaints, and who participate in investigations of how to report any subsequent problems.

V. Right to Alternative Complaint Procedure

Nothing in this policy shall deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse to address concerns relating to prohibited discrimination including initiating civil action, filing a complaint with outside agencies or seeking redress under state or federal law.

VI. Prevention and Notice of Policy

Training to prevent discrimination is included in employee orientations and in-service trainings.

This policy is (1) displayed in prominent areas of each school division building in a location accessible to school personnel, and (2) included in employee handbooks. All employees are notified annually of the names and contact information of the compliance officers.

VII. False Charges

Employees who knowingly make false charges of discrimination shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Adopted: October 13, 2008
Revised: June 30, 2009
Revised: January 14, 2013
Revised: July 13, 2015

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GBA/JFHA: PROHIBITION AGAINST HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION

I. Policy Statement

The Smyth County School Board is committed to maintaining an educational environment and workplace that is free from harassment. In accordance with law, the Board prohibits harassment against students, employees, or others on the basis of sex, gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law or based on a belief that such characteristic exists at school or any school-sponsored activity. The Smyth County School Board is an equal opportunity employer.

It is a violation of this policy for any student or school personnel to harass a student or school personnel based on sex, gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, marital status, genetic information, or any other protected by law or based on a belief that such characteristic exists at school or any school sponsored activity. Further, it is a violation of this policy for any school personnel to tolerate harassment based on a student's or employee's sex, gender, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, genetic information, or any other protected by law or based on a belief that such characteristic exists at school or any school-sponsored activity, by students, school personnel or third parties participating in, observing or otherwise engaged in school sponsored activities.

For the purpose of this policy, school personnel includes school board members, school employees, agents, volunteers, contractors or other persons subject to the supervision and control of the School Division.

The school division

II. Definitions

A. Harassment Based on Sex

Harassment based on sex consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet, of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining or retaining employment or education; or
  2. submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment or education; or
  3. that conduct or communication substantially or unreasonably interferes with an individual's employment or education, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment (i.e. the conduct is sufficiently serious to limit a student's or employee's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program or work environment).

Examples of conduct which may constitute harassment based on sex if it meets the immediately preceding definition include:

B. Harassment Based on Race, National Origin, Disability or Religion

Harassment based on race, national origin, disability or religion consists of physical or verbal conduct, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet, relating to an individual's race, national origin, disability or religion when the conduct:

  1. creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment; or
  2. substantially or unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or education; or
  3. otherwise is sufficiently serious to limit an individual's employment opportunities or to limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the education program.

Examples of conduct which may constitute harassment based on race, national origin, disability or religion if it meets the immediately preceding definition include:

C. Additional Prohibited Behavior

Behavior that is not unlawful may nevertheless be unacceptable for the educational environment or the workplace and subject to corrective action. Such unacceptable behaviors include demeaning or otherwise harmful actions, particularly if directed at personal characteristics including, but not limited to, socioeconomic level, sexual orientation, or perceived sexual orientation.

III. Complaint Procedure

A. Formal Procedure

1. File Report

Any student or school personnel who believes he or she has been the victim of harassment prohibited by law or by this policy at school or any school-sponsored activity by a student, school personnel or a third party should report the alleged harassment to one of the compliance officers designated in this policy or to any school personnel. The alleged harassment should be reported as soon as possible, and the report generally should be made within fifteen (15) school days of the occurrence. Further, any student who has knowledge of conduct which may constitute prohibited harassment should report such conduct to one of the compliance officers designated in this policy or to any school personnel. Any school personnel who has knowledge that a student or other school personnel may have been a victim of prohibited harassment shall immediately report the alleged harassment to one of the compliance officers designated in this policy.

The reporting party should use the form, Report of Harassment, GBA-F or JFHA-F, to make complaints of harassment. However, oral reports and other written reports are also accepted. The complaint should be filed with either the building principal or one of the compliance officers designated in this policy. The principal shall immediately forward any report of alleged prohibited harassment to the compliance officer. Any complaint that involves the compliance officer or principal shall be reported to the superintendent.

The complaint, and identity of the complainant and alleged harasser, will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to fully investigate the complaint and only when such disclosure is required or permitted by law. Additionally, a complainant who wishes to remain anonymous shall be advised that such confidentiality may limit the School Division's ability to fully respond to the complaint.

2. Investigation

Upon receipt of a report of alleged prohibited harassment, the compliance officer shall immediately authorize or undertake an investigation. The investigation may be conducted by school personnel or a third party designated by the school division. The investigation shall be completed as soon as practicable, which generally should not be later than 14 school days after receipt of the report by the compliance officer. Upon receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint by giving written notice that the complaint has been received to both the person complaining of harassment and the person accused of harassment. Also upon receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall determine whether interim measures should be taken pending the outcome of the investigation. Such interim measures may include, but are not limited to, separating the alleged harasser and the complainant and, in cases involving potential criminal conduct, determining whether law enforcement officials should be notified. If the compliance officer determines that more than 14 school days will be required to investigate the complaint, the complainant and the accused shall be notified of the reason for the extended investigation and of the date by which the investigation will be concluded. If the alleged harassment may also constitute child abuse, then it must be reported to the Department of Social Service in accordance with Policy JHG, Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the alleged harasser, and any others who may have knowledge of the alleged harassment or the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation will consider any witnesses and evidence from both the alleged harasser and the person allegedly harassed. The investigation may also consist of the inspection of any other documents or information deemed relevant by the investigator. The school division shall take necessary steps to protect the complainant and others pending the completion of the investigation.

In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the division shall consider, at a minimum: (1) the surrounding circumstances; (2) the nature of the behavior; (3) past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior; (4) the relationship between the parties; (5) how often the conduct occurred; (6) the identity of the alleged perpetrator in relation to the alleged victim (i.e. whether the alleged perpetrator was in a position of power over the alleged victim); (7) the location of the alleged harassment; (8) the ages of the parties and (9) the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a case by case determination based on all of the facts and circumstances revealed after a complete and thorough investigation.

The compliance officer shall issue a written report to the superintendent upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint involves the superintendent, then the report shall be sent to the School Board. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations are substantiated, whether this policy was violated and recommendations for corrective action, if any.

All employees shall cooperate with any investigation of alleged harassment conducted under this policy or by an appropriate state or federal agency.

3. Action by Superintendent

Within five (5) school days of receiving the compliance officer's report, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall issue a decision regarding whether this policy was violated. This decision must be provided in writing to the complainant and the alleged perpetrator. If the superintendent or superintendent's designee determines that it is more likely than not that prohibited harassment occurred, Smyth County Public Schools shall take prompt, appropriate action to address and remedy the violation as well as prevent any recurrence. Such action may include discipline up to and including expulsion or discharge. Whether or not the superintendent or superintendent's designee determines that prohibited harassment occurred, the superintendent or superintendent's designee may determine that school-wide or division-wide training be conducted or that the complainant receive counseling.

4. Appeal

If the superintendent or superintendent's designee determines that no prohibited harassment occurred, the employee or student who was allegedly subjected to harassment may appeal this finding to the School Board within five (5) school days of receiving the decision. Notice of appeal must be filed with the superintendent who shall forward the record to the School Board. The School Board shall make a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving the record. The School Board may ask for oral or written argument from the aggrieved party, the superintendent and any other individual the School Board deems relevant. Written notice of the School Board's decision will be given to both the alleged harasser and the person allegedly harassed, except to the extent limited by other applicable laws.

If the superintendent or superintendent's designee determines that prohibited harassment occurred and discipline is imposed, the disciplined person may appeal the disciplinary sanction in the same manner as any other such sanction would be appealed.

Employees may choose to pursue their complaints under this policy through the relevant employee grievance procedure instead of the complaint procedure in this policy.

5. Compliance Officer and Alternate Compliance Officer

The Smyth County School Board has designated:

Cole Spencer
Director of Human Resources
121 Bagley Circle Suite 300
Marion, VA 24354
(276)783-3791

as the Compliance Officer responsible for identifying, investigating, preventing and remedying prohibited harassment. Complaints of harassment may also be made to the Alternate Compliance Officer:

Kim Sturgill
Director of Pupil Personnel
121 Bagley Circle Suite 300
Marion, VA 24354
(276)783-3791

The Compliance Officer shall:

B. Informal Procedure

If the complainant and the person accused of harassment agree, the student's principal or principal's designee may arrange for them to resolve the complaint informally with the help of a counselor, teacher, or administrator.

If the complainant and the person accused of harassment agree to resolve the complaint informally, they shall each be informed that they have the right to abandon the informal procedure at any time in favor of the initiation of the Formal Procedures set fort herein. The principal or principal's designee shall notify the complainant and the person accused of harassment in writing when the complaint has been resolved. The written notice shall state whether prohibited harassment occurred.

IV. Retaliation

Retaliation against students or school personnel who report harassment or participate in any related proceedings is prohibited. The School Division shall take appropriate action against students or school personnel who retaliate against any student or school personnel who reports alleged harassment or participates in related proceedings. The compliance officer will inform persons who make complaints, who are the subject of complaints, and who participate in investigations, of how to report any subsequent problems.

V. Right to Alternative Complaint Procedure

Nothing in this policy shall deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse to address concerns relating to prohibited harassment including initiating civil action, filing a complaint with outside agencies or seeking redress under state or federal law.

VI. Prevention and Notice of Policy

Training to prevent harassment prohibited by law or this policy should be included in employee and student orientations as well as employee in-service training.

This policy is (1) displayed in prominent areas of each school division building in a location accessible to students, parents and school personnel, (2) included in the student and employee handbooks; and (3) sent to parents of all students within 30 calendar days of the start of school. Further, all students, and their parents/guardians, and employees are notified annually of the names and contact information of the compliance officers.

VII. False Charges

Students or school personnel who knowingly make false charges of harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action as well as any civil or criminal legal proceedings.

Adopted: October 13, 2008
Revised: January 14, 2013
Revised: July 29, 2015

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GBB: STAFF INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING

Employees are encouraged to communicate their ideas and concerns in an orderly and constructive manner to the School Board and/or administrative staff. A system of two way communication shall be established by the superintendent to hear from and respond to all employees.

Adopted: September 8, 2008

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GBD (Also BG): BOARD-STAFF COMMUNICATIONS

The Smyth County School Board supports and encourages the concept of two-way communication between the board and employees. The superintendent is the official representative of the School Board as its chief administrative officer in its relations and communications with its employees. A description of the two-way communication system shall be included in this policy manual.

The School Board desires to develop and maintain the best possible working relationship with the employees of the school division. The Board welcomes the viewpoints of employees, and it shall allow time at its meetings for employees to be heard.

It is the policy of the School Board not to discriminate against any employee by reason of his or her membership in an employee organization, or participation in any lawful activities of the organization.

Adopted: September 8, 2008

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GBE: STAFF HEALTH

As a condition of employment every new employee of the School Board shall submit a certificate signed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse stating the employee appears free of communicable tuberculosis. Volunteers may be required to provide such a certificate.

After consulting with the local health director, the School Board may require the submission of such certificates annually, or at such intervals as it deems appropriate, as a condition to continued employment.

Physical Exams for School Bus Drivers

No person shall be employed as a bus driver unless he or she has a physical exam of the scope required by the Board of Education and provides the School Board the results of the exam on the form prescribed by the Board of Education. Such exam and report may be provided by a licensed nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

The School Board may also require alcohol and drug testing in accordance with Policy GDQ: School Bus Drivers.

Adopted: January 12, 2009
Revised: June 28, 2011

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GBEA: UNLAWFUL MANUFACTURE, DISTRIBUTION, DISPENSING, POSSESSION OR USE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

The Smyth County School Board is committed to maintaining a Drug Free Workplace.

Prohibited Conduct

Employees may not unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use a controlled substance on school property, at any school activity, or on any school-sponsored trip. It is a condition of employment that each employee of the Smyth County School Board will not engage in such prohibited conduct and will notify the Smyth County School Board of any criminal drug conviction for a violation occurring on school property, at any school activity, or on any school-sponsored trip no later than 5 days after such conviction. An employee who is convicted of criminal drug activity for a violation occurring on school property, at any school activity, or on any school-sponsored trip will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination, or required to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Discipline

The superintendent and School Board will take appropriate personnel action up to and including dismissal of any employee found to have engaged in prohibited conduct listed above. Such personnel action will include the imposition of a sanction on, or the requiring of the satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program by, any employee who is convicted of a violation occurring on school property, at any school activity, or on any school-sponsored trip.

Distribution of Policy

All employees shall be given a copy of this policy.

Drug-Free Awareness Program

The Smyth County School Board shall establish a drug-free awareness program to inform its employees about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, the Board's policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace, any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs, and the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for violations of laws and policies regarding drug abuse.

Adopted: August 9, 2010
Revised: April 11, 2011

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GBEB: STAFF WEAPONS IN SCHOOL

The Smyth County School Board is committed to maintaining a safe and secure working and learning environment. No one may possess or use any firearm or any weapon, as defined in Policy JFCD Weapons in School, on school property (including school vehicles), at any school-sponsored activity, on that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place or on any school bus without authorization of the superintendent or superintendent’s designee.

Violation of this policy by an employee will result in appropriate personnel action up to and including dismissal.

Illegal conduct will be reported to law enforcement officials.

Adopted: July 28, 2009
Revised: July 29, 2015

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GBEC: TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOL FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS

The use of tobacco including smoking, chewing, dipping, or any other use is prohibited on school property at any time including non-school hours. In addition the use of tobacco is prohibited at any school-sponsored or school-related event on-campus or off-campus. The use of electronic cigarettes or other electronic smoking devices is also prohibited.

"School Property" shall mean all property owned, leased, rented, contracted for or otherwise utilized by the school division. This includes any building, facility, grounds, athletic field, parking lot, or vehicle used by the school division.

For purposes of this policy, "tobacco" shall include cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and all other kinds and forms of tobacco prepared in such a manner as to be suitable for smoking, chewing, or dipping. "Tobacco" also includes cloves or any other product packaged for smoking.

For purposes of this policy, "smoking" means the carrying or holding of any lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind, or any other lighted smoking equipment, or the lighting, inhaling, or exhaling of smoke from a pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind.

Employees found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Adopted: August 9, 2010
Revised: May 13, 2013

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GBEF/JHCL: LACTATION SUPPORT

The superintendent shall designate a non-restroom location in each school as an area in which any mother who is employed by the Smyth County School Board or enrolled as a student in the division may take breaks of reasonable length during the school day to express milk to feed her child until the child reaches the age of one. The area must be shielded from public view.

Adopted: July 31, 2014

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GBG: STAFF PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

The Smyth County School Board recognizes the right of its employees to engage in political activity as private citizens. Employees may not advertise, display or solicit support or opposition for political candidates or political issues when in the presence of students on school property during regular work hours or at school-sponsored activities.

No employee shall use his or her position or school division funds, supplies, facilities or equipment to promote or oppose a political issue or candidate or to engage in political activities or displays that disrupt the workplace or educational mission of the school. Employees may not suggest in any manner that the school division or any component of it supports or opposes a candidate for election to any office.

These restrictions are not intended to limit the rights of school division employees to support or oppose any political candidate or party on their own time. They are intended to minimize distractions from the mission of the school division, to assure that no funds are used to support any candidate for public office, and to assure that the public is not given the false impression that the school division supports or opposes any political candidate or party. School division employees who engage in political activities on their own time must make it clear that their views and actions represent their individual positions and do not represent the views of the school division.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, political issues, candidacy and advertising may be discussed and displayed to the extent the issues, candidacy or advertising are part of a legitimate instructional, curricular or extra-curricular exercise and appropriate for discussion and study by the students participating in the exercise.

Adopted: April 24, 2012

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GBI: STAFF GIFTS AND SOLICITATIONS

Exchange of gifts between students and staff is discouraged.

No school division employee shall solicit goods or services for personal use or for student use during school hours on school property without written authorization from the superintendent.

Adopted: October 13, 2008

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GBL: PERSONNEL RECORDS

Present and past employees have access to their personnel information maintained by the Smyth County School Division. No separate employee files shall be maintained which are not available for that employee's inspection.

If information relative to employment is requested by banks or other establishments or individuals, written permission from the employee to release such information is required, except to comply with a judicial order, a lawfully issued subpoena, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Va. Code § 2.2-3700 et seq.), or other law or court order. The employee will be notified of the request for records.

The superintendent or superintendent's designee is responsible for maintaining a system of personnel records for all employees of the School Board. Personnel files of all school board employees may be produced and maintained in digital or paper format.

Teacher performance indicators, or other data collected by or for the Virginia Department of Education or the School Board or made available to and able to be used to judge the performance or quality of a teacher, maintained in a teacher's personnel file or otherwise is confidential but may be disclosed, in a form that does not personally identify any student or teacher, (i) pursuant to court order, (ii) for the purposes of a grievance proceeding involving the teacher, or (iii) as otherwise required by state or federal law. Nothing in this policy prohibits the release of or limits the availability of nonidentifying, aggregate teacher performance indicators or other data.

Adopted: August 9, 2010
Revised: July 29, 2013
Revised: July 11, 2016

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GBLA: THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINTS AGAINST EMPLOYEES

Any parent or guardian of a student enrolled in Smyth County Public Schools or any resident of Smyth County may file a written complaint regarding an employee of the Smyth County School Board. Such complaint should be filed with the superintendent or superintendent’s designee. If the complaint involves allegations that an employee of Smyth County School Board has abused or neglected a child in the course of his employment, the complaint will be investigated in accordance with Va. Code §§ 63.2-1503, 63.2-1505, and 63.2-1516.1.

Allegations that do not involve the abuse or neglect of a child will be reviewed by the Superintendent to determine the extent to which an investigation/review will occur. Information determined to be unfounded after a reasonable administrative review will not be maintained in any employee personnel file, but may be retained in a separate sealed file by the administration if such information alleges civil or criminal offenses. Any dispute over such unfounded information, exclusive of opinions retained in the personnel file, or in a separate sealed file, notwithstanding the provisions of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, Va. Code §§ 2.2-3800 et seq., will be settled through the employee grievance procedure as provided in Va. Code §§ 22.1-306 and 22.1-308 through 22.1-314.

Individuals lodging a complaint will be notified in writing that the complaint has been received and is being investigated/reviewed.

The complaint should be filed as soon as possible after the alleged incident, usually within 15 school days, and will be processed promptly, usually within 15 school days.

Adopted: July 28, 2009
Revised: May 12, 2014

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GBM: PROFESSIONAL STAFF GRIEVANCES

The School Board adopts the most recent version of Procedure for Adjusting Grievances promulgated by the Virginia Board of Education based on current statutory provisions.

Adopted: February 9, 2009

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GBMA: SUPPORT STAFF GRIEVANCES

The School Board has adopted Procedures for Adjusting Grievances of Classified and Support Staff in accordance with state law to afford a timely and fair method of resolution of disputes regarding dismissal, or other disciplinary actions arising between the School Board and employees who have completed the probationary period set forth in policy GDG, except the division superintendent and those employees covered under the provisions of Article 2 (§ 22.1-293 et seq.) and Article 3 (§ 22.1-306 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 22.1 of the Code of Virginia. Such procedure is consistent with the Virginia Board of Education's procedures for adjusting grievances.

Adopted: February 9, 2009
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GBN: APPLICATION FOR POSITIONS

Application for employment in the Smyth County Public Schools shall be in writing and on forms provided by the Personnel Office. A personal interview is required of all applicants as prerequisite to employment.

It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to furnish accurate information, and any falsification of either information or credentials shall be cause for dismissal or refusal to employ.

It is the desire of the Smyth County School Board to recruit and retain the best possible qualified applicants. Qualified applicants within the division will be given an opportunity to apply for positions in which they are qualified. Vacancies within the division will be advertised on the school division website.

Adopted: February 9, 2009

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GBO: VIRGINIA RETIREMENT SYSTEM

All eligible employees must be members of the Virginia Retirement System. Employee retirement benefits are governed by the rules and regulations established by the Virginia Retirement System.

Adopted: October 13, 2008
Revised: November 12, 2012

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GBR: VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT SAVINGS PROGRAM

The Smyth County School Division offers its employees the opportunity to participate in a defined contribution retirement plan, also known as a tax sheltered annuity or 403(b) program. This program is maintained and operated pursuant to a written plan.

The written plan contains all the material terms and conditions for eligibility, benefits, applicable limitations, the contracts available under the plan, and the time and form under which benefit distributions may be made.

The written plan also addresses any optional features, including hardship withdrawal distributions, loans, plan-to-plan or annuity contract-to-annuity contract transfers, and acceptance of rollovers to the plan, which are included in the Division's program.

The written plan may:

Every employee of the school division will annually be notified about the program.

Adopted: July 31, 2008
Revised: July 29, 2015

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GC: PROFESSIONAL STAFF

No teacher is regularly employed by the School Board or paid from public funds unless such teacher holds

If a teacher employed under a provisional license is activated or deployed for military service within a school year, an additional year will be added to the teacher's provisional license for each school year or portion thereof the teacher is activated or deployed. The additional year or years shall be granted the following year or years after the return of the teacher from deployment or activation.

The Virginia Board of Education prescribes, by regulation, the requirements for the licensure for teachers and other school personnel required to hold a license.

Adopted: February 9, 2009
Revised: May 10, 2010
Revised: July 11, 2016

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GCB: PROFESSIONAL STAFF CONTRACTS

The School Board shall enter into written contracts with teachers, principals, assistant principals, and supervisors as defined in 8 VAC 20-440-10 before such employees assume their duties except as noted below. Contracts will be in the form permitted by the Virginia Board of Education, with special covenants added by the Smyth County School Board as appropriate. Contracts shall be signed in duplicate, with a copy furnished to each party.

Written contracts are not required with persons who are temporarily employed. A temporarily employed teacher, is:

  1. one who is employed to substitute for a contracted teacher for a temporary period of time during the contracted teacher's absence, or
  2. one who is employed to fill a teacher vacancy for a period of time, but for no longer than 90 teaching days in such vacancy, unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction on a case-by-case basis, during one school year.

Coaching contracts and contracts for extracurricular activity sponsorship assignments where a monetary supplement is paid shall be separate from the employee's primary contract and termination of the separate contract shall not constitute cause for the termination of the primary contract.

For purposes of this policy, "extracurricular activity sponsorship" means an assignment for which a monetary supplement is received, requiring responsibility for any student organizations, clubs, or groups such as academic teams, athletic teams, cheerleading squads, and visual and performing arts except those that are conducted in conjunction with regular classroom, curriculum, or instructional programs.

Adopted: March 9, 2009
Revised: June 28, 2010
Revised: January 28, 2013

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GCBA: STAFF SALARY SCHEDULES

The School Board shall annually establish and approve salaries for all school employees.

Adopted: October 13, 2008

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GCBB: PROFESSIONAL STAFF SUPPLEMENTARY PAY PLANS

The Smyth County School Board will approve all categories of athletic coaching and other extracurricular activity sponsorships for which supplemental pay will be provided. The Board will also establish the amount of compensation for employees who coach or supervise such activities.

A separate contract in the form permitted by the Virginia Board of Education shall be executed by the School Board with an employee who receives supplemental pay for any athletic coaching assignment or extracurricular activity sponsorship assignment. All such contracts will require a party intending to terminate the contract to give reasonable notice to the other party before termination thereof will become effective. This contract shall be separate and apart from the contract for teaching.

For purposes of this policy, "extracurricular activity sponsorship" means an assignment requiring responsibility for any student organizations, clubs, or groups except those activities that are conducted in conjunction with regular classroom, curriculum, or instructional programs.

Adopted: March 9, 2009
Revised: April 24, 2012

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GCBC: STAFF FRINGE BENEFITS

The Smyth County School Board recognizes the need for fringe benefits in order to promote the employment and retention of the highest quality personnel and effectively serve the educational needs of students. Accordingly, fringe benefits shall be provided pursuant to regulations established by the Board.

Adopted: December 8, 2008

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GCBD/GDBD: PROFESSIONAL/SUPPORT STAFF LEAVES AND ABSENCES

All employee leaves and absences shall be subject to school division policy and regulations. The superintendent shall establish any regulations necessary for the application of the division’s policies regarding leaves and absences.

Sick Leave

Full-time professional and support personnel with contracts of 185 days or greater, are granted one (1) sick leave day per month of employment. (10 month contract = 10 sick leave days, 11 month contract = 11 sick leave days, 12 month contract = 12 sick leave days). Full-time personnel with contracts of 184 days or less are granted nine (9) days of sick leave per year.

Sick leave days are to be credited on the first working day of a contract year. Employees who resign prior to completion of their contract will earn a prorated share of their sick leave days. Unused accumulated sick leave will not be paid out upon leaving employment through resignation or termination. However, if an employee has a break in service with Smyth County Public Schools and they have accumulated sick leave available upon leaving the school division, the sick leave may be reinstated if the employee returns to full-time employment within ten (10) years.

Sick leave accumulation will be unlimited for all Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Retirement Plan 1 and Plan 2 employees. For employees under the VRS Hybrid Plan, sick leave accumulation will be limited to 90 days. At retirement, employees may receive a reimbursement for accumulated unused sick leave payable at the rate set by the Smyth County School Board.

Sick leave shall be used in one-half (1/2) day or full day increments.

Sick leave shall be allowed for personal illness, for illness of immediate family, or death in the immediate family, and allowed for up to five (5) days per occurrence. The immediate family shall be defined as natural parents, foster parents, step-parents, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, spouse, children, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparents-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunt, uncle, or any other relative living in the household of the employee. Paid sick leave shall be used prior to workers compensation determination. If approved for workers compensation leave, the employee has the option to buy back used sick leave.

The Smyth County School Board reserves the right to request that an employee provide medical documentation for an absence of more than five (5) consecutive days or if absences occur on a routine and/or frequent basis. Employees may be entitled to additional unpaid leave. Request should be made in writing to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee requesting such an extension.

The Smyth County School Board will accept the transfer of accumulated sick leave from an employee who has been employed in another public school system in Virginia.

Personal Leave

Full-time professional and support personnel with contracts of 185 days or greater, are granted three (3) personal leave days per year. Full-time personnel with contracts of 184 days or less are granted two (2) days of personal leave per year.

Personal leave days are to be credited on the first working day of a contract year.

Personal leave may accumulate to a maximum of five (5) days. Unused personal leave exceeding five (5) days will be carried forward as accumulated sick leave. Employees who resign prior to completion of their contract will earn a prorated share of their personal leave days. Unused accumulated personal leave will not be paid out upon leaving employment. However, the unused personal leave will be converted to sick leave and then all applicable sick leave portions of the policy would apply.

Personal leave shall be used in one-half (1/2) day or full day increments.

Scheduling of personal leave must receive prior approval from the immediate supervisor unless such leave is taken due to an emergency situation. If an emergency situation does not exist and the use of personal leave will substantially interfere with the effective operation of the school system, request for personal leave may be denied.

Vacation Leave for Twelve-Month Employees

Vacation leave for all full-time, twelve-month employees shall be determined as follows:

Years of ExperienceDays of Leave
0-1012
11-1515
16+18

For this purpose, experience shall be defined as full-time, twelve-month employment in administrative, supervisory, or support positions.

Vacation leave days are to be credited on the first working day of a contract year.

Vacation leave may accumulate to a maximum of thirty (30) days. Unused vacation leave exceeding thirty (30) days will be carried forward as accumulated sick leave. Scheduling of vacation leave must receive prior approval from the immediate supervisor.

Employees who resign prior to completion of their contract or transfer to a position that is not eligible for vacation leave will earn a prorated share of their vacation leave days. Unused accumulated vacation leave will not be paid out upon leaving a position or upon leaving employment. However, the unused vacation leave will be converted to sick leave and then all applicable sick leave portions of the policy would apply. If an employee transfers to a position that is not eligible for vacation leave, the vacation leave will be converted to sick leave and transferred to the employee's sick leave balance.

Vacation leave shall be used in one-half (1/2) day or full day increments.

At no time may an employee take paid vacation leave in excess of the existing balance of accrued vacation leave.

Holiday leave will be determined by the superintendent and the School Board. The following paid holidays will be granted to all full-time, twelve-month employees:

If school is in session on Memorial Day, an additional day will be granted in conjunction with Independence Day. Should it be necessary for a full-time, twelve-month employee to work on a designated holiday, such employee shall be granted a compensatory day off.

VRS Hybrid Employees

Full-time employees hired on or after January 1, 2014 will be coded on the Hybrid Plan for retirement in the Virginia Retirement System unless they qualify for VRS Plan 1 or Plan 2. These employees are automatically enrolled in the Short-term (STD) and Long-term (LTD) disability program, with the monthly enrollment fee paid by Smyth County Public Schools.

Employees in this Hybrid Plan will continue to earn leave at the same rate as Plan 1 and Plan 2 employees with the following regulations included:

Adopted: June 30, 2009
Revised: March 10, 2014
Revised: September 12, 2016

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GCBEA: LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

Employee's Debilitating or Life-Threatening Illness or Injury

A leave of absence, without pay, may be granted to employees of the school division who have a debilitating or life-threatening illness or injury and who are not eligible for Family and Medical Leave as described in Policy GCBE Family and Medical Leave because they have not worked for the division for 12 months or have not worked at least 1250 hours according to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.

Employees with a debilitating or life-threatening illness who are entitled to leave under this policy may take up to thirty (30) days unpaid leave during their first year of employment with the school division. Leave may be taken only in full-day increments. Leave may be taken only when the employee has no other leave (such as sick leave) available.

Employees must submit medical documentation of their need for leave. Whenever possible, documentation must be provided prior to leave being taken.

Approval must be obtained prior to leave being taken.

All rights under this policy expire at the end of the employee's first year of service.

Other Work During Leave

Employees who are on unpaid leave pursuant to this policy or any other policy, except those on leave pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) (see Policy GCBEB Military Leave and Benefits), may not engage in work for which they receive pay or any other type of remuneration without the prior written approval of the Superintendent.

Adopted: January 11, 2010

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GCBEB: MILITARY LEAVE AND BENEFITS

Leave

All employees of Smyth County School Board who are members of the state or federal military reserves are entitled to leaves of absence from their duties on all days during which they are engaged in federally funded military duty, including training duty, or when called forth by the Governor.

Immediately upon receipt of official notice to report to duty, the employee will notify his or her supervisor of the need for military leave. A copy of the official orders must accompany the leave request.

Pay/Paid Leave

All employees on military leave will receive up to 15 days paid leave per federally funded tour of duty. When possible, military leave for employees on less than a 12 month contract will be arranged during non-duty hours.

An employee who is scheduled for a physical examination for military service during working hours, including but not limited to pre-induction physicals, will be given paid leave.

In addition, full-time employees of Smyth County Schools whose active duty service with the regular armed forces of the United States or the National Guard or other reserve component requires his or her absence from employment will receive supplemental pay for up to 12 months per tour in the amount of the difference between the military pay and pay as a Smyth County School Board employee if the employee's military compensation is less than the regular salary paid to the employee by the school division.

The employee will be permitted, upon request, to use any vacation, annual, or similar leave that had accrued at the time military leave began.

Except as outlined above, military leave is unpaid.

Benefits

Health Benefits

If the employee so desires, the employee and the employee's dependents may continue to participate in the division's group health plan for up to 24 months while the employee is on military leave. The employee must notify the Director of Human Resources if he or she wants to continue participation in the division's group health plan. Employees who elect to continue on the division's health plan will be responsible for the full monthly premium amount.

Retirement Benefits

An employee reemployed after military leave will be treated as not having incurred a break in service. The period of military leave will be considered service to the division for purposes of vesting and benefit accrual. The division is responsible for its pension plan funding obligation. The division is not required to make its contribution until the employee is reemployed.

The employee will be allowed, but not required, to make up his or her contributions to a contributory plan. The employee may repay his or her employee contributions for a period of up to three times the period of military service, but not to exceed five years. If the employee's retirement plan is contributory and the employee does not make up his or her contributions, he or she will not receive the employer match or the accrued benefit attributable to his or her contribution because the employer is required to make contributions that are contingent on the employee's contributions.

The employer and employee contribution will be calculated on the rate of pay the employee would have received but for the absence to serve military duty.

Reemployment

An employee who is entitled to military leave by reason of service in the federal military reserves is entitled to be reemployed by the School Board as long as he or she:

If the employee was absent from work for:

Employees who are entitled to military leave due to service in the Virginia military reserves must make written application for reemployment within:

  1. 14 days of release from duty or from hospitalization following release if the length of the employee's absence by reason of service in the uniformed services does not exceed 180 days or
  2. 90 days of his release from duty or from hospitalization following release if the length of the employee's absence by reason of service in the uniformed services exceeds 180 days.

Upon returning from duty, an employee will be restored to the same job he held before leaving or to a comparable job. The School Board is not obligated to reemploy persons returning from military leave in certain unusual situations specified by state and federal law.

Termination After Reemployment

A person who is reemployed after returning from more than 30 days of military duty will not be discharged except for cause

Discrimination Against Members of Military Reserves Prohibited

Members of the military reserves will not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment on the basis of that membership.

Adopted: February 14, 2011
Revised: April 13, 2015

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GCCA: POSTING OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF VACANCIES

Notices of employment vacancies within the Smyth County School Division shall be posted on our school division website. Where applicable, notice may be mailed to placement services of colleges and universities and professional publications.

Adopted: February 9, 2009

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GCCB: EMPLOYMENT OF FAMILY MEMBERS

The School Board may not employ or pay, and the superintendent may not recommend for employment, any family member of the superintendent or of a School Board member except as authorized below.

This prohibition does not apply to the employment, promotion, or transfer within the school division of any family member who:

A family member employed as a substitute teacher may not be employed to any greater extent than he/she was employed by the School Board in the last full school year prior to the taking of office of such board member or division superintendent or to the inception of such relationship.

No family member of any employee may be employed by the School Board if the family member is to be employed in a direct supervisory and/or administrative relationship either supervisory or subordinate to the employee. The employment and assignment of family members in the same organizational unit shall be discouraged.

Family members are defined as father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law or brother-in-law.

Adopted: January 26, 2009

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GCD: PROFESSIONAL STAFF HIRING

Procedures shall be developed for filling vacancies or new positions to ensure that all openings have been properly advertised to give all interested parties the opportunity to be considered and to expedite the selection process.

Application for employment in Smyth County Public Schools shall be in writing and on forms provided by the Central Office. A personal interview is required as a prerequisite to employment.

It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to furnish accurate information and any falsification of either information or credentials shall be cause for dismissal or refusal to employ.

Adopted: March 9, 2009

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GCDA: EFFECT OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION OR FOUNDED COMPLAINT OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT

The Board will not hire or continue the employment of any part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent personnel who are determined to be unsuited for service by reason of criminal conviction or information appearing in the registry of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect maintained by the Department of Social Services.

I. APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT

A. Criminal Convictions

As a condition of employment for all of its public school employees, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, the Smyth County School Board shall require on its application for employment certification (i) that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or any offense involving the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child; and (ii) whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

The Smyth County School Board shall also require on its application for employment, as a condition of employment requiring direct contact with students, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, certification that the applicant has not been the subject of a founded case of child abuse and neglect. Any person making a materially false statement regarding a finding of child abuse and neglect shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and upon conviction, the fact of said conviction shall be grounds for the Board of Education to revoke such person's license to teach.

As a condition of employment, any applicant who is offered or accepts employment, whether full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary with the Smyth County School Board shall submit to fingerprinting and provide personal descriptive information. The information and fingerprints shall be forwarded through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information on applicants who are offered or accept employment.

To conserve the costs of conducting criminal history record checks to applicants and school boards, upon the written request of the applicant, Smyth County School Board shall inform another school board with which reciprocity has been established and to which the applicant also has applied for employment of the results of the criminal history record information conducted within the previous ninety days that it obtained concerning the applicant. Criminal history record information pertaining to an applicant for employment by a school board shall be exchanged only between school boards in the Commonwealth in which a current agreement of reciprocity for the exchange of such information has been established and is in effect. Reciprocity agreements shall provide for the apportionment of the costs of the fingerprinting or criminal records check between the applicant and Smyth County School Board as provided by statute.

If an applicant is denied employment because of information appearing on his/her criminal history record, the School Board shall provide a copy of the information provided by the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant.

B. Founded Complaints of Child Abuse or Neglect

The School Board requires, as a condition of employment, that any applicant who is offered or accepts employment requiring direct contact with students, whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, provide written consent and the necessary personal information for the School Board to obtain a search of the registry of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect. The registry is maintained by the Department of Social Services. The School Board shall ensure that all such searches are requested in conformance with the regulations of the Board of Social Services. In addition, where the applicant has resided in another state within the last five years, the School Board requires as a condition of employment that such applicant provide written consent and the necessary personal information for the School Board to obtain information from each relevant state as to whether the applicant was the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse and neglect in such state. The School Board shall take reasonable steps to determine whether the applicant was the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse and neglect in the relevant state. The Department of Social Services shall maintain a database of central child abuse and neglect registries in other states that provide access to out-of-state school boards for use by local school boards. The applicant may be required to pay the cost of any search conducted pursuant to this subsection at the discretion of the School Board. From such funds as may be available for this purpose, however, the School Board may pay for the search.

If the information obtained pursuant to the preceding paragraph indicates that the applicant is the subject of a founded case of child abuse and neglect, such applicant shall be denied employment, or the employment shall be rescinded.

If an applicant is denied employment because of information appearing on his record in the registry, the School Board shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the registry to the applicant. The information provided to the School Board by the Department of Social Services shall be confidential and shall not be disseminated by the School Board.

II. EMPLOYEE CHARGES AND CONVICTIONS

An employee who is charged by summons, warrant, indictment, or information with the commission of a felony or a misdemeanor specified in Va. Code § 22.1-315 may be suspended in accordance with policies GCPD and GDPD.

If a current employee is suspended or dismissed because of information appearing on his/her criminal history record, the School Board shall provide a copy of the information provided by the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the employee.

The superintendent shall inform the School Board of any notification of arrest of a school board employee received pursuant to Virginia Code §19.2-83.1. The School Board shall require such employee, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the employee's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such employee. The contents of the employee's criminal record shall be used only to implement dismissal, suspension or probation in accordance with §§22.1-307 and 22.1-315 of the Code of Virginia.

For purposes of this policy, a court's placing an individual on probation pursuant to Va. Code section 18.2-251 shall be treated as a conviction and as a finding of guilt.

III. Costs of Fingerprinting, Criminal Record and Abuse and Neglect Checks

The applicant or employee shall pay for the fingerprinting, criminal record check and abuse and neglect check conducted pursuant to this policy.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: June 8, 2009

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GCE: PART-TIME AND SUBSTITUTE PROFESSIONAL STAFF EMPLOYMENT

Substitute Teachers

Part-time and substitute employees shall:

An exception may be made to the age requirement for substitute teachers if the substitute has either an associate degree or two years of college work leading to a teaching certification.

The Smyth County School Board shall seek part-time employees and substitute teachers, especially those engaged as long-term substitutes, who exceed these requirements whenever possible.

A substitute teacher, as used in this section, is:

  1. one who is employed to substitute for a contracted teacher for a temporary period of time during the contracted teacher's absence, or
  2. one who is employed to fill a teacher vacancy for a period of time, but for no longer than 90 teaching days in such vacancy, unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction on a case-by-case basis, during one school year.

Homebound Teachers

Homebound teachers may be employed on a part-time, hourly basis. They shall be selected from any active professional staff who may be interested, the active file of applicants in the Personnel Office or from the approved substitute teacher list. Homebound teachers should hold a valid teaching certificate.

Part-Time Employment

Substitute teachers, homebound teachers, summer school teachers, or other professional or support staff employees, excluding bus drivers and food service employees, working 35 (thirty-five) hours or less per week will be classified as part-time or temporary employees. Bus drivers working on a 90% contract will be classified as part-time or temporary employees. Food service employees working less than 30 (thirty) hours per week will be classified as part-time or temporary employees. Part-time teachers will meet the certification requirements of the Virginia Board of Education.

Summer School Teachers

Summer school teachers will meet all certification requirements.

Interns

Arrangements for the utilization of interns in the school division should be initiated through the superintendent or his/her designee.

Student Teachers

The school division shall accept student teachers only from accredited institutions. All student teachers shall meet the same health requirements as all other personnel. The superintendent or his/her designee will have the responsibility for the assignment and placement of student teachers in the school system. Student teachers will not be used as substitute teachers.

Adopted: November 8, 2010
Revised: January 28, 2013

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GCG: PROFESSIONAL STAFF PROBATIONARY TERM AND CONTINUING CONTRACT

Teachers

Probationary Term

A probationary term of service of five years in Smyth County Public Schools is required before a teacher is issued a continuing contract. Service under a local teacher license does not count towards satisfying this probationary requirement. A mentor teacher is provided to every first year probationary teacher to assist him or her in achieving excellence in instruction. Probationary teachers shall be evaluated at least annually in accordance with policy GCN Evaluation of Professional Staff. A teacher in his/her first year of the probationary period is evaluated informally at least once during the first semester of the school year. The Superintendent shall consider such evaluations as one factor in making recommendations to the School Board regarding the nonrenewal of such teacher's contract. If a probationary teacher's evaluation is not satisfactory, the School Board shall not reemploy the teacher.

In order to achieve continuing contract status, every teacher must successfully completed training in instructional strategies and techniques for intervention for or remediation of students who fail or are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments. The Smyth County School Board provides said training at no cost to teachers it employs. If such training is not offered in a timely manner, no teacher will be denied continuing contract status for failure to obtain such training.

Once a continuing contract status has been attained in a school division in this state, another probationary period need not be served unless such probationary period, not to exceed two years, is made a part of the contract of employment. If a teacher separates from service and returns to teaching service in Virginia public schools by the beginning of the third year, the person shall be required to begin a new probationary period, not to exceed two years, if made part of the contract.

If a teacher who has not achieved continuing contract status receives notice of re-employment, he must accept or reject in writing within 15 calendar days of receipt of the notice. Unless a conference with the Superintendent is requested as specified in the Code of Virginia, or in the case of reduction in force, written notice of nonrenewal of the contract must be given by the board on or before June 15 of each year. If the teacher requests a conference with the Superintendent, then written notice of non-renewal by the School Board must be given within thirty days after the Superintendent notifies the teacher of his intention with respect to the recommendation.

Continuing Contract

Teachers employed after completing the probationary period shall be entitled to continuing contracts during good behavior and competent service and prior to the age at which they are eligible or required to retire. Written notice of noncontinuation of the contract by either party must be given by June 15 of each year; otherwise the contract continues in effect for the ensuing year.

The School Board may reduce the number of teachers, whether or not such teachers have reached continuing contract status, because of decrease in enrollment or abolition of particular subjects.

Furthermore, nothing in the continuing contract shall be construed to authorize the School Board to contract for any financial obligation beyond the period for which funds have been made available.

As soon after June 15 as the school budget is approved by the appropriating body, the school board shall furnish each teacher a statement confirming continuation of employment, setting forth assignment and salary.

Within two weeks of the approval of the school budget by the appropriating body, but no later than June 1, the school board will notify any teacher who may be subject to a reduction in force due to a decrease in the school board's budget as approved by the appropriating body.

Principals, Assistant Principals, and Supervisors

A person employed as a principal, assistant principal or supervisor, including a person who has previously achieved continuing contract status as a teacher, shall serve three years in such position in the same school division before acquiring continuing contract status as a principal, assistant principal or supervisor.

Continuing contract status acquired by a principal, assistant principal or supervisor shall not be construed:

  1. as prohibiting the School Board from reassigning such principal, assistant principal or supervisor to a teaching position if notice of reassignment is given by the School Board by June 15 of any year or
  2. as entitling any such principal, assistant principal or supervisor to the salary paid him as principal, assistant principal or supervisor in the case of any such reassignment to a teaching position. No such salary reduction and reassignment, however, shall be made without first providing such principal, assistant principal or supervisor with written notice of the reason for such reduction and reassignment and an opportunity to present his or her position at an informal meeting with the superintendent, the superintendent's designee or the School Board. Before recommending such reassignment, the superintendent shall consider, among other things, the performance evaluations for such principal, assistant principal, or supervisor. The principal, assistant principal or supervisor shall elect whether such meeting shall be with the superintendent, the superintendent's designee or the School Board. The School Board, superintendent or superintendent's designee shall determine what processes are to be followed at the meeting. The decision to reassign and reduce salary shall be at the sole discretion of the School Board.

The intent of this section is to provide an opportunity for a principal, assistant principal or supervisor to discuss the reasons for such salary reduction and reassignment with the superintendent, his designee or the School Board, and the provisions of this section are meant to be procedural only. Nothing contained herein shall be taken to require cause for the salary reduction and reassignment of a principal, assistant principal or supervisor.

As used in this policy, "Supervisor" means a person who holds an instructional supervisory provision as specified in the regulations of the Virginia Board of Education and who is required to hold a certificate as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education.

Adopted: April 14, 2009
Revised: January 28, 2013
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GCI: PROFESSIONAL STAFF ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSFERS

Principals and other supervisory personnel may submit recommendations to the superintendent for the appointment, assignment, promotion, transfer and dismissal of all personnel assigned to their supervision.

Upon recommendation of the superintendent, the Smyth County School Board shall place all employees within the various schools and facilities located in the school division. The superintendent has the authority to assign such employees to their respective positions within the school or facility wherein they have been placed by the School Board.

The superintendent may also reassign any such employee for that school year to any school or facility within such division, provided no change or reassignment during a school year shall affect the salary of such employee for that school year. However, no one will be employed in or reassigned to a situation where a family member, as defined in Policy GCCB Employment of Family Members, is directly responsible for that employee's supervision.

Any employee seeking a transfer of assignment to another work location for the next school year must make a request in writing to the superintendent or the superintendent's designee, with copies to the current supervisor. The administration shall develop procedures for the handling of voluntary teacher transfer requests. Teachers may request a change of assignment within the areas of their certification. A change of assignment within an immediate work setting is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GCL: PROFESSIONAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT

The Smyth County School Board provides a program of high-quality professional development

  1. in the use and documentation of performance standards and evaluation criteria based on student academic progress and skills for teachers and administrators to clarify roles and performance expectations and to facilitate the successful implementation of instructional programs that promote student achievement at the school and classroom levels;
  2. li>as part of the license renewal process, to assist teachers and principals in acquiring the skills needed to work with gifted students, students with disabilities, and students who have been identified as having limited English proficiency and to increase student achievement and expand the knowledge and skills students require to meet the standards for academic performance set by the Virginia Board of Education;
  3. in educational technology for all instructional personnel which is designed to facilitate integration of computer skills and related technology into the curricula;
  4. for administrative personnel designed to increase proficiency in instructional leadership and management, including training in the evaluation and documentation of teacher and administrator performance based on student academic progress and the skills and knowledge of such instructional or administrative personnel; and
  5. designed to educate School Board employees about bullying and the need to create a bully-free environment.

In addition, the board provides teachers and principals with high-quality professional development programs each year in:

  1. instructional content;
  2. the preparation of tests and other assessment measures;
  3. methods for assessing the progress of individual students, including Standards of Learning assessment materials or other criterion-referenced tests that match locally developed objectives;
  4. instruction and remediation techniques in English, mathematics, science, and history and social science;
  5. interpreting test data for instructional purposes;
  6. technology applications to implement the Standards of Learning; and
  7. effective classroom management.

All instructional personnel are required to participate each year in professional development programs.

The board will annually review its professional development program for quality, effectiveness, participation by instructional personnel, and relevancy to the instructional needs of teachers and the academic achievement needs of the students in the school division.

Adopted: January 26, 2009
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GCN: EVALUATION OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Every employee of the Smyth County School Board will be evaluated on a regular basis at least as frequently as required by law.

The superintendent shall assure that cooperatively developed procedures for professional staff evaluations are implemented throughout the division and included in the division's policy manual. The results of the evaluation shall be in writing, dated and signed by the evaluator and the person being evaluated, with one copy going to the central office personnel file and one copy to the person being evaluated.

The primary purposes of evaluation are:

The procedures will be consistent with the performance objectives included in the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers and the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals. Evaluations shall include student academic progress as a significant component and an overall summative rating.

Any teacher whose evaluation indicates deficiencies in managing student conduct may be required to attend professional development activities designed to improve classroom management and discipline skills.

Adopted: March 23, 2009
Revised: January 28, 2013
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GCPA: REDUCTION IN WORK FORCE–PROFESSIONAL STAFF

The Smyth County School Board shall, in its discretion, determine when and if a reduction in professional staff work force (RIF) is necessary. A RIF may be required and implemented because of any one or more of the following conditions affecting school division operations: a decrease in enrollment; insufficient student program demand; abolition of particular subjects; lack of sufficient funding by the appropriating body; declining revenues; a budget reduction or adjustment resulting in decreased or insufficient funds; the consolidation of schools; the phasing out of programs, departments or grade levels; expiration of special grants; and other conditions that may cause a reduction in the number of staff needed in a building, program or department, or in the entire school division. The School Board may reduce the number of teachers/administrators under this policy, whether or not such employees have attained continuing contract status.

In the event a RIF is necessary with respect to professional staff, the Superintendent shall develop a proposal and make a recommendation to the School Board to carry out such RIF in the manner deemed to be in the best interests of the division. Any reduction and redistribution of personnel within the school division shall be done in accordance with regulations adopted by the School Board.

Adopted: February 9, 2009

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GCPA-R: REDUCTION IN PROFESSIONAL STAFF WORK FORCE

If a reduction of professional staff is necessary, such reductions shall occur under the guidelines outlined below:

A. Definitions

Professional Employee
Those persons employed on a full-time basis in a position that requires them to hold a license as either a teacher, an administrator, a supervisor, and/or other related instructional position as defined by the State Board of Education under its rules and regulations.
Contract Status
Type of contract held, i.e., probationary or continuing.
Endorsements
Specific areas listed on a teaching certificate that authorize a person to teach specific subjects or grade levels in Virginia public schools.
Salary Classification
Classifications approved by the school board from which an employee's salary is derived.
Seniority
Seniority will be determined in the following order of priority:
  1. Total length of continuous service in an endorsement area as a professional employee with Smyth County Public Schools. For purposes of this provision, "continuous service" shall be defined as the period of continuous, uninterrupted service from the date the employee assumed employment duties in his/her current position in the endorsement area required for that position. While time off for approved leaves of absences shall not count for seniority purposes, such leaves shall not be considered as an interruption of continuous service;
  2. Total length of accumulated service in an endorsement area as a professional employee with Smyth County Public Schools. While an employee may be credited with service time in multiple endorsement areas, service credit will be earned only for actual service rendered in a given endorsement area;
  3. Total years of service as a professional employee in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and
  4. Total years of service as a professional employee in the United States.

For purposes of determining "seniority," for those professional employees who began employment with Smyth County Public Schools at the beginning of a school year, service shall be determined to have commenced on the date students first returned to school to begin the school year in which the professional employee was hired. For professional employees who began employment on a date after students first returned to school to begin the school year, service shall be determined to have commenced on the date the professional employee first reported to work.

B. Order of Reduction

If the School Board determines, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, that a reduction is necessary and should be accomplished through program elimination and/or the elimination of specific positions (either because the duties of the job shall be eliminated or combined with the duties of some other position(s)), then reduction shall occur by program and/or specific positions and professional employees employed in such eliminated program and/or specific positions shall be reduced based on seniority within contract status, and the procedures for reduction, as outlined in Section C of these regulations below, shall not otherwise apply.

If the School Board determines, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, that either a further reduction is necessary after eliminating one or more programs or one or more specific positions, or that a reduction is not best accomplished through program elimination and/or specific position elimination, then reduction shall occur division-wide by endorsement area based on seniority within contract status. In the event of equal seniority, the administration shall decide who will be reduced based on factors relating to the employee's job performance history and the employee's total contribution to school programs, both curricular and extracurricular. The contract status as of the date reduction is to be effective shall prevail. Continuing contract employees will be the last to be reduced within an endorsement area to be reduced. Probationary contract employees will be the first to be reduced within an endorsement area to be reduced. If a reduction is necessary and cannot be accomplished by program elimination or specific position elimination, then the procedures for reduction, as outlined in section C of these regulations below, shall be applied to all professional staff employees in the school division as a whole.

C. Procedures for Reduction

  1. Under the direction of the Smyth County School Board, the Superintendent shall determine areas which must be reduced based on the needs and best interests of the school division. In accordance with state statutory notice requirements, the Superintendent shall inform those professional employees who may be affected by the recommended reduction and of the reasons for such reduction.
  2. An employee who is reduced will be assigned to a vacancy within his or her areas of endorsement.
  3. An employee who is reduced and not assigned to a vacancy will be assigned to a position held by the employee with the least seniority within his or her endorsement area.
  4. The displacing employee shall be in the same or higher adopted salary classification as the employee to be displaced.
    1. Salary classifications shall be ranked by the amount of salary for minimum years of experience in the classifications in question, beginning with the lowest salary.
    2. All employees in an individual teacher salary classification, whether 10, 11, or 12 month employees shall be considered to be in a single classification, with years of experience as the only variable.
  5. When an employee is reduced into a lower salary classification, he or she will be credited with all of his or her previous Smyth County Public School experience in the assigned classification including previous Smyth County Public School experience in a higher salary classification.
  6. Employees who are reduced and cannot qualify for an existing vacancy or who are ineligible to be assigned to a displaced position based on seniority and licensure will be placed on the list of eligible substitutes and subject to call at the discretion of the particular principal or his or her designee. Group health and life insurance participation will be made available to a reduced employee during the recall period providing he/she pays the full cost of such insurance. When any position becomes available during the recall period for which a reduced employee qualifies, he or she will be offered the assignment. The recall period applies through December 31 of the year in which the RIF occurred.
  7. When there is no remaining assignment available for a reduced employee, and the recall period has expired, he or she may be released from employment.

D. Reapplication

Employees released under the above procedures, and those released through program elimination or specific position elimination, who wish to be considered for employment with Smyth County Public Schools must reapply for a vacancy within the school division.

Adopted: February 9, 2009

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GCPB: RESIGNATION OF STAFF MEMBERS

The superintendent is authorized to approve resignations of employees. Any resignation must be in writing.

A teacher may resign after June 15 of any school year with the approval of the superintendent. The teacher shall request release from contract at least two weeks in advance of the intended date of resignation. Such request shall be in writing and state the cause of the resignation. The teacher may, within one week, withdraw a request to resign. Upon the expiration of the one week period, the superintendent shall notify the School Board of the decision to accept or reject the resignation. The School Board, within two weeks, may reverse the decision of the superintendent. In the event that the Board or the division superintendent declines to grant the request for release on the grounds of insufficient or unjustifiable cause, and the teacher breaches such contract, disciplinary action, which may include revocation of the teacher's license, may be taken pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Board of Education.

Other employees who wish to terminate their employment must give notice at least ten school days prior to their desired separation date. Notice should be given to the employee’s immediate supervisor, who will inform the superintendent. The superintendent will inform the School Board of the resignation at its next regular meeting.

Adopted: October 12, 2009
Revised: November 12, 2012

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GCPD: PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBERS: CONTRACT STATUS AND DISCIPLINE

A. Probation and Dismissal

Teachers may be dismissed for incompetency, immorality, non-compliance with school laws and regulations, disability in accordance with State and federal law, conviction of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude or other good and just cause. "Incompetency" includes, but is not be limited to, consistent failure to meet the endorsement requirements for the position or one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

A teacher shall be dismissed if such teacher is or becomes the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse and neglect, pursuant to Va. Code § 63.2-1505, and after all rights to an appeal provided by Va. Code § 63.2-1526 have been exhausted. The fact of such finding, after all rights to an appeal provided by Va. Code § 63.2-1526 have been exhausted, shall be grounds for the School Board to recommend that the Virginia Board of Education revoke such person's license to teach.

In those instances when licensed personnel are dismissed or resign due to a conviction of any felony; any offense involving the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child; any offense involving drugs; or due to having become the subject of a founded case of child abuse or neglect, the School Board shall notify the Virginia Board of Education within 10 business days of such dismissal or the acceptance of such resignation.

If a current employee is dismissed because of information appearing on his/her criminal history record, the School Board shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the employee.

Administrative regulations shall be developed for the dismissal or placing on probation of continuing contract teachers and probationary teachers during the school year.

No teacher shall be dismissed or placed on probation solely on the basis of the teachers' refusal to submit to a polygraph examination requested by the School Board.

B. Suspension

Employees of the Smyth County School Board may be suspended as provided in Policy GCPF: Suspension of Staff Members.

C. Failure to Perform Nonemergency Health-Related Services

With the exception of school administrative personnel and employees who have the specific duty to deliver health-related services, no licensed instructional employee, instructional aide, or clerical employee shall be disciplined, placed on probation, or dismissed on the basis of such employee's refusal to:

  1. perform nonemergency health-related services for students or
  2. obtain training in the administration of insulin and glucagon. However, instructional aides and clerical employees may not refuse to dispense oral medications.

"Health-related services" means those activities which, when performed in a health care facility, must be delivered by or under the supervision of a licensed or certified professional.

D. Effect of Probation Pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-251

For purposes of this policy, a court's placing an individual on probation pursuant to Va. Code 18.2-251 shall be treated as a conviction and as a finding of guilt.

Adopted: April 14, 2009
Revised: January 28, 2013
Revised: July 29, 2013

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GCPF: SUSPENSION OF STAFF MEMBERS

Employees of the Smyth County School Board, whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, may be suspended for good and just cause