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Toolbox for the job! Kittie Gibson Roxane Greer Rusty Baldwin Joe Stanaland Leticia Flores Marta Alvarez.

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Presentation on theme: "Toolbox for the job! Kittie Gibson Roxane Greer Rusty Baldwin Joe Stanaland Leticia Flores Marta Alvarez."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toolbox for the job! Kittie Gibson Roxane Greer Rusty Baldwin Joe Stanaland Leticia Flores Marta Alvarez

2 ABC’s – Athletics, Band, and Cheerleading Kittie Gibson

3 A. - Athletics Are extracurricular activities a protected right or property interest?

4 No – The Texas Supreme Court affirms that there’s no fundamental right. However, a school district may not prevent a student from participating in extracurricular activities because of the student’s race, religion, or marital status.

5 A. Athletics I am a parent of a home school child and I demand that you allow my child to play on the football team or I will contact my lawyer!

6 Have them contact away…. Why? Kaptein v. Conrad Sch. Dist., 931 P.2d 1311 states that there is no constitutional right of a non- enrolled student to participate in public school program or other activity. Thus, the freedom of educational choice is not burdened; once a choice has been exercised to attend a private school a complaint many not be made that public school opportunities are denied.

7 B. Band Mom, I know I failed for the six weeks, however, I will get to go to the game Friday. I cant perform at half time but I will sitting with them!!

8 DADADAAAAAA………. TEA v. Preston, Comm’r Dec. No. 276-TTC-592 (1992) states that this student would be in violation of the “no pass, no play statue.” Commissioner of Education ruled that participation in out of school events such as traveling with the team, sitting in the stands with team, or appearing in uniform constitutes participation in extracurricular activities.

9 C. Cheerleading “Cheerleaders since this week is homecoming week we will be practicing every night Sunday through Thursday. We will need about 50 hours of practice time to be prepared.”

10 Rah Rah Ree……. This is a violation, cheerleading and drill teams do not come under UIL rules, but the regulations regarding no pass, no play, practice limitations, athletic periods, one contest during the school week, and extracurricular absences are applicable.

11 Disciplinary Alternative Education Program Roxane Greer

12 What are some examples of mandatory placement for DAEP?

13 Section 37.006 of the T.E.C. calls for a mandatory DAEP placement if the student “engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of assault under Section 22.01(a)(1), Penal Code.” To prove that the student has committed this offense you need some evidence of the student’s state of mind (intentional, knowing, reckless) and some evidence of “bodily injury.” Chapter 37 also calls for placement if the student “engages in conduct involving a public school that contains the elements of the offense of… terroristic threat under Section 22.07, Penal Code.”

14 Is Due Process required for DAEP placement?

15 There are no “due process” requirements for placing students in the DAEP under either the U.S. or the Texas Constitution. There are procedural requirements imposed by statute. Section 37.009 of the T.E.C requires the principal to hold a “conference” not later than the third class day after the student’s removal. The principal should provide an opportunity for the student and parent to participate in a conference that is both fair.

16 How long can a student be assigned to DAEP?

17 To answer this question, the Code of Conduct must be followed. The law requires the district to adopt “guidelines for setting the length of a term” of DAEP removal. When you deviate from the guidelines, you must say so in your DAEP Placement Order. The board shall set a term for a student’s placement in a DAEP.

18 In Hollingsworth v. Hackler the Court of Appeals granted immunity to two school administrators who were sued personally after a student with a disability was placed in the DAEP. The parent argued that the placement decision was made by the administrators and should have been made by the ARDC. The ARDC had met and made the manifestation determination. After that meeting, the administrators informed the parents that the student would be assigned to DAEP for 45 days. The court held that there was no violation of IDEA here. The court concluded that the role of the ARDC is to make the manifestation determination. If the behavior is not a manifestation, then the school administrators are authorized to imposed the customary disciplinary penalty. This case was reported in TSALD March, 2010.

19 10 Important Facts Before you decide what to charge the student with, be sure you can prove what you charge. Provide due process. Provide the process that is fair. Be sure your Code of Conduct includes guidelines for the length of a DAEP assignment. Get familiar with the written Placement Order your district uses for DAEP assignments. Make the DAEP placement for a specific maximum length of time. Become aware of any problems in your district with overrepresentation, attendance, and dropouts. Make sure you are providing instruction in the foundation curriculum courses, and an opportunity for the student to complete the courses they were enrolled in before the beginning of the next school year. Make sure you are in compliance with length of school day and student/teacher ratio. Remember that “zero tolerance” is history. Make sure those special education students are getting the services they need. The DAEP must adjust to the student’s needs – not the other way around.

20 Keeping Schools Safe During Tight Budget Times Rusty Baldwin

21 We will eventually recover from this economic crisis, but there are things school leaders can do to keep schools safe during tight budget times.

22 Focus on What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t Do Uncertainty leads to fear, panic and hopelessness. Anxiety and depression associated with budget cuts can become contagious. Conversation on what can be done must be a priority.

23 Engage Affected Parties in Cost-cutting Decisions School safety for students must be the focus. Avoid making arbitrary cuts. Get input from affected staff and stakeholders. Decisions may look good for the budget, but may not the best for long term.

24 Expect Community Agencies to be Partners, But Not Take On the Whole Load Set realistic expectations. Seek partnerships in the community. Influence parent and community confidence.

25 Conduct an Internal Assessment of School Safety Strengths and Needs Tap into building and district-level safety committees for ideas. Conduct safety surveys of students, parents, and staff.. Get input from community health workers and stakeholders. Create prioritized lists of what is working well and what is needed to guide funding needs.

26 Follow a Strategic Plan Developed By School Safety Professionals Consider using school or district funds for outside consultation. Produce a three to five year strategic plan to build upon the internal needs assessment. Cost paid up front for an assessment by a quality professional could save the school money later.

27 Avoid Knee-jerk Reactions to Specific Security Incidents School boards and superintendents should not cave in under pressure to install unnecessary big cost items in response to a high profile incident. Use the strategic plan after a high profile incident or threat to avoid costly knee-jerk reactions.

28 Proactively Communicate With Your School Community Communicate about existing school safety programs. Highlight plans for strengthening school safety. Update the community periodically on recommendations and strategies.

29 Communicate School Safety Funding Needs to State and Federal Legislators Boards and superintendents should let their state and national education staffs know of the need for greater advocacy for school safety. Make sure advocacy messages stand separate from lobbying efforts for other education programs and resources.


31 Can an Employee be Disciplined for Misuse of District Technology? Taking personal use of school technology too far Acceptable Use Policy A school district employee was terminated for multiple reasons, including using a district computer to keep track of accounting data for his personal business, using a district computer to visit inappropriate Internet sites, and for installing a telephone recording device in his office without authorization. Alejandro v. Robstown Indep. Sch. Dist., Dkt. No. 053-R2-1199 (Comm’r. Dec. Sept. 2000); Alejandro v. Robstown Indep. Sch. Dist., 131 S.W.3d 663 (Tex. App.— Corpus Christi 2004, no writ)

32 Accessing Pornography or Other Inappropriate Sites Stave off challenges to adverse employment actions Establish that an employee inappropriately accessed pornography at the workplace Be Careful to Avoid Mistaken Identity As a starting point of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate computer use, school districts must first confirm that the employee is actually the individual that created the Internet page

33 Tips For Investigating Personal Use and/or Access to Inappropriate Websites Obtain concrete evidence. Determine the frequency, date, time, and length of time that a website was visited or opened on the computer. Ascertain whether the information was accessed using a particular password assigned to the employee. Document and print out the evidence, including samples of the content. Consider whether the questionable use is occurring during class time or when other duties should be performed. Depending on the severity of the conduct, take steps to ensure the employee is unable to interfere with obtaining the evidence by disabling his ability to log-in. Question the employee, provide him or her with copies of the evidence obtained, and obtain a written statement.

34 Depending on the nature of the conduct, consider placing the employee on administrative leave with pay pending further investigation as necessary. When faced with the possibility of adverse employment action, many employees will claim that they inadvertently clicked on a link or attachment in an e-mail. Routinely monitoring computer usage will help show that the conduct was more than an isolated, inadvertent accident. Be consistent in responding to and disciplining employees. If an employee submits a resignation by e-mail, the district should require the employee to either submit a formal, written and signed letter of resignation, or print out the e-mail and have the employee sign it. Tips For Investigating Personal Use and/or Access to Inappropriate Websites

35 Acceptable Use Policies Use is a privilege, not a right. AUP's should clarify that the use of school computer resources is a privilege, not a right, that can be revoked for violating the AUP. Explain the risks of encountering inappropriate material. Educate parents about their children’s use of the Internet and the risk of encountering questionable material when surfing the Net at school. Safety—AUP's should protect users from being approached inappropriately through e-mail, and instruct users how to proceed should they receive inappropriate communications at school.

36 Acceptable Use Policies Guidelines for Communications—AUP's should encourage polite and civil communication, and discourage profanity, obscenity, or pornography. Harassment—AUP's should remind users that school policy prohibits sexual harassment and other forms of discriminatory harassment, including harassment communicated through school technology resources. Efficiency—AUP's can help control costs by limiting storage space needs and other network costs. Hacking and Misuse of Networks, Hardware, or Software— AUP's should attempt to protect the school networking equipment and software from danger. Users should be informed that tampering with software protections or restrictions placed on computer applications or files is prohibited.

37 Acceptable Use Policies, continued Safeguard Accounts and Passwords—advise users that the disruption or unauthorized use of accounts, access codes, or identification numbers is prohibited. Copyright and Related Issues—AUP’s should discourage copyright infringement, software piracy, and plagiarism. Illegal Uses—AUP’s should encourage ethical behavior, but also identify and discourage criminal behavior. Advertising, Profit, or Solicitation—the use of school computers and networks for profit should be discouraged.

38 Acceptable Use Policies, continued Caution About Public Disclosure—the AUP for employees should caution users that their Internet activity may be subject to public disclosure in response to a PIA request (Privacy Impact Assessment. Personal Use—the AUP should indicate whether personal use of school computers and e-mail is permitted and to what extent. Monitoring—a school district can avoid an invasion of privacy or illegal search claims by simply having the user agree that they understand that there are no privacy rights in the use of district computer equipment. Provide Training—a fool-proof AUP will not do much good if students and employees are unfamiliar with its guidelines. Consider conducting a training session to discuss the AUP rules and keep records of who attended.

39 Can School District Employees Befriend students on Social Networking Sites? Refer to your district’s DH(LOCAL) policy. Addresses employ use of electronic media: texting, instant messaging, e-mail, blogs, chat rooms, video-sharing sites, landlines, cell phones, and web-based communications. Allows for limited communications with students. Certified or approved employees may communicate with currently enrolled students through electronic media about matters within the scope of the employee’s professional responsibilities (e.g. assignments, projects). Professional standards of conduct apply to electronic media use.

40 Sources Walsh, J., Anderson, D., Brown, J., Gallegos, E., & Green, D.A. (2008) Employee Misuse of Technology. Presentation by Walsh, J. 1-10. Texas Association of School Boards. Vantage Points: A Board Member’s Guide to Update 88. TASB Policy Service, 1-9.


42 Superintendent’s Contract Why? Don’t we all have the same common goal?

43 Superintendent’s Contract Importance Provides the groundwork between the board and the superintendent to function as a TEAM Clear expression of the intent to define the employment relationship of the superintendent and the board A declaration of performance expectations for the superintendent, along with policy and regulations adopted by the board

44 Protection The Superintendent’s employment contract is the first line of defense in any situation involving a deteriorating relationship between Superintendent and Board of Trustees. Constitutional Protection-  Protection under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution and  Article 1, Section 19 of the State of Texas Constitution in connection with the Superintendent’s employment contract

45 Elements of a Superintendent’s Contract Identifications of the parties Length of the employment term of the contract General description of qualifications, duties and responsibilities of the superintendent Specific description of salary, adjustment of salary and benefits and other compensation

46 Other Provisions The development of educational goals for the district Evaluation of the superintendents’ performance Reference to the extension, non-renewal and termination of the contract Miscellaneous-Controlling Law, Complete Agreement, Conflicts and Savings

47 Extension, Non-Renewal and Termination Extension-Can happen at anytime, must be in writing. Non-renewal-Texas statutory law requires board to give written notice 30days before the last day of contract term. If not the contract term is automatically renewed for an additional year. Termination- Mutual agreement between superintendent and board Superintendent may resign 45days before the first day of instruction of the following school year Dismissal for “good cause” authorized by state law TEC 21.104(a).

48 Miscellaneous Provisions Controlling Law Clause- ensures the contact will be governed by Texas Law and enforceable in the county were the district is located. Complete Agreement Clause- declares final expression of the parties’ intent with respect to the superintendent’s employment and ensures contract cannot be verbally modified by the district or superintendent. Conflict Clause-assures the agreed upon terms throughout the term of the contract. Savings Clause-assures that if a provision of the contract is found to be illegal, then the remaining provisions of the contact will remain in effect.

49 Provisions That Should Not Be In Superintendent’s Contract Reassignment Clause-not appropriate or lawful Reduction in Force Termination Clause-board does not have the legal authority to eliminate the position of superintendent of schools Consolidation of School Districts Termination Clause Golden Parachute Clause- “buy out” provision that provides for a lump sum payment by the district to terminate the contract without the superintendent’s written consent or without due process protection

50 Superintendent Highlights 5 years is maximum allowed length of a contract under Texas law. 3 year contracts are the average contract length. TASB released Superintendent Survey highlights which is based on 2009-10 salaries, average salaries ranged from a low of $81,985 in the smallest districts, to $277,223 among those with 50,000 or more students.highlights Superintendent Salaries can be found at: superintendent- salaries/?appSession=744184810298150. superintendent- salaries/?appSession=744184810298150


52 Local Superintendent’s Salaries 2008-2009 Data District Base Pay Enrollment $ per student Austin ISD 276,276 83,483 3 El Paso ISD 230,000 62,322 4 Lubbock ISD 210,000 28,980 7 Alpine ISD 120,000 1,032 116 Kermit ISD 112,300 1,287 87 FT Davis ISD 95,353 345 276 Leakey ISD 86,400 249 347


54 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS I. Granting Authority The Texas Constitution (Article I, Sec. 27) and the Texas Government Code ( 617.005) require government entities to provide employees with an opportunity to have their complaints and concerns heard by those in positions of authority. In school districts, administrators and school boards are the persons with authority to hear those grievances.

55 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS II. Grievance Defined. A grievance is a complaint concerning an employee’s wages, hours of employment or condition of work. This definition has been defined broadly by the Attorney General to include the following: Evaluations Salary disputes Grading policies Sick leave Any other matter which is appropriate for communications from employees to their employer concerning an aspect of the relationship

56 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Exceptions: Complaints alleging discrimination (gender, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability) Complaints alleging certain forms of harassment, including harassment by a supervisor and violations of Title VII Complaints concerning retaliation relating to discrimination and harassment Complaints concerning instructional materials Complaints concerning a commissioned peace officer who is an employee of the district Complaint arising from the proposed nonrenewal of a term contract Complaints arising from the proposed termination or suspension without pay of an employee on a probationary or term contract

57 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS III. Guiding Principles. The School Board encourages employees to discuss their concerns and complains through informal conferences with their supervisor, principal, or other appropriate administrator. Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level. If an informal conference regarding a complaint fails to reach the outcome requested by the employee, he or she may initiate the formal process. Even after initiation of the formal complaint process, employees are encouraged to seek informal resolution of their concerns. An employee whose concerns are resolved may withdraw a formal complaint at any time.

58 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS IV. Procedures. There are no procedures specified by law for employee grievances. Procedures are specified in policy DGBA. Procedures must: Allow employees to present a grievance to someone in authority Permit an employee to make an audio recording of grievance meetings Allow guarantee employee the right to be represented at any level of the grievance by a representative including an attorney. Employee may designate a representative through written notice at any level of the process All time limits shall be strictly followed unless modified by mutual written consent.

59 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS General Provisions: Level I : Grievances must be filed within 15 (fifteen) days of the date the Employee first knew, or should have known, of the decision or action giving rise to the grievance. “Days” shall mean District business days. The day a grievance is filed is day zero. The following business day is day one. Must be filed with the lowest level administrator who has the authority to remedy the alleged problem (If the only administrator who has authority to remedy the problem is the Superintendent, the complain may begin at level II. Appropriate administrator must investigate complaint and hold a conference with the employee within ten (10) days after receipt of the complaint. The administrator shall provide the employee a written response with 10 (ten) days following the conference.

60 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Level II: If the employee did not receive the relief requested at Level I, the decision may be appealed on the form provided by the district The appeal must be filed in writing within ten (10) days of the written level I decision. After receiving notice of the appeal, the Level I administrator shall prepare and forward a record of the level I complaint to the Level II administrator ( the Superintendent). The employee may request a copy of the Level I record. The Level I record shall include: The original complaint form an any attachments All other documents submitted by the employee at Level I The written response issued at Level I All other document relied upon by the Level I administrator in reaching the Level I decision

61 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Level II continued… For the level II conference, the Superintendent shall hold a conference within ten (10) days after the appeal notice. The conference shall be limited to the issues presented by the employee at the level I. The Superintendent shall provide the employee a written response within ten (10) day following the conference. The written response shall set forth the basis for the decision. In reaching a decision, the Superintendent may consider the level I Record, information provided at the level II conference, and any other relevant documents or information the Superintendent believes will help resolve the complaint.

62 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Level III: If the employee did not receive the relief requested at level II, the employee may appeal the decision to the Board. The appeal must be filed in writing on the form provided by the district within ten (10) days of the written level II response. The Superintendent shall inform the employee of the date, time and place of the Board meeting at which the complaint will be on the agenda for presentation to the Board. The level II record shall include: The level I record The written response issued at level II and any attachments All other documents relied upon by the administration in reaching the level II decision The district shall determine whether the complaint will presented in open or closed meeting

63 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Level III continued… The Board shall hear the complaint and may request that the administration provide an explanation of the decisions at the preceding levels. The Board shall prepare a separate record of the level III presentation. The level III presentation, including the presentation by the employee or the employee’s representative, any presentation by the administration, and questions from the Board with responses shall be recorded by audio recording, video/audio recording, or court Board shall then consider the complaint. It may give notice of its decision orally or in writing at any time up to and including the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. If the Board does not make a decision regarding the complaint by the end of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the lack of response by the Board upholds the administrative decision at level II.

64 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Responding to Grievances District grievance procedures need only allow the employee to present concerns to someone in authority. There is no guarantee of a specific outcome. The grievance procedures only require that we “stop, look, and listen”. Practical steps that administrators should follow are: Observe local policy DGBA. Follow required deadlines and ensure the grievance is timely. Give all employees access to the grievance process and treat grievances consistently. Act professionally and in a business-like manner. If the grievance has merit, take steps to remedy it. Be aware that all notes taken are subject to disclosure Do not permit new or expanded grievances halfway through the process. Resolve the grievance at the lowest possible level. Consult legal counsel if necessary

65 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Although there are no requirements to do anything more than hear and consider the grievance, the following actions may occur: Deny the grievance - Under most school district grievance policies, taking no action upholds the lower level decision. Grant the grievance – Reverse the lower level decision. Grant in part or deny in part – Modify the lower level decision. Take no action – Uphold the lower level decision.

66 EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS Sources- Information used with permission from the SEISD Human Resources Director, Mr. Luz Estrada Information taken from Policies Online, SEISD- Public Information

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