CERTIFICATED STAFF PERSONNEL HANDBOOK 2017-2018
817 West Main Steelville, MO 65565
PHONE: (573) 775-2175
FAX: (573) 775-2179
OUR MISSION STATEMENT….
The Mission of the Steelville R-3 School District is to graduate and provide all students a quality educational opportunity that prepares them to be responsible individuals, life-long learners, and competent workers in an ever-changing society.
OUR VISION STATEMENT….
The Steelville R-3 School District, in partnership with families and the community, will be a district of excellence.
ARTICLE 1: EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES & PROCEDURES……………………………………...3
Section A: EMPLOYMENT………………………………………………………….……………………3
Section B: BACKGROUND CHECKS……………………….………………………………………….3
Section C: ASSIGNMENT………………………………………………………………………………..3
Section D: SEPARATION OF EMPLOYMENT………………………………………………………...3
ARTICLE II: JOB RULES AND REGULATIONS……………………………………………………….4
Section A: PAYMENT POLICIES………………………………………………………………………..4
Section B: PROMOTION & TRANSFER………………………………………………………………..4
Section C: EMPLOYMENT EVALUATION……………………………………………………………..4
Section D: STAFF CONFLICT OF INTEREST…………………………………………………………4
ARTICLE III: EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS………………………………………………………………5
Section A: REQUEST FOR TIME OFF…………………………………………………………………5
Section B: LEAVE………………………………………………………………………………………….5
Section C: MEDICAL LEAVE (FMLA)…………………………………………………………………...6
Section D: RETIREMENT AND INSURANCE BENEFITS…………………………………………….7
Section E: OTHER BENEFITS…………………………………………………………………………...7
ARTICLE IV: DISTRICT REGULATIONS………………………………………………………………..9
Section A: POLICIES………………………………………………………………………………………9
Section B: MANDATORY TRAINING……………………………………………………………………21
Notice Regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness…………………………………………………. 21
This handbook is a collection of some of the basic policies governing the support staff of Steelville Public Schools. A complete volume of these policies is on file in the Superintendent’s office and on the District’s website, http://steelville.k12mo.us
ARTICLE 1 – EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
Section A: EMPLOYMENT
The term “new employee” includes those who are being employed for the first time by the Steelville Public Schools.
Section B: BACKGROUND CHECKS.
1. Effective January 1, 2005, it is mandatory that all new hires submit to an FBI fingerprint background check. The fee for the background check is to be paid by the employee. Appointment for background check must be scheduled and/or must have been completed before the first day of employment. Continued employment with the District is contingent on favorable background clearance.
Section C: ASSIGNMENT
1. Experienced teachers who are new to the school district may receive credit for all years of experience, pending verification. No one can advance more than one step vertically and three columns horizontally per year. The salary a teacher will receive will be determined at the time the teacher contracts with the district or by June 1 for tenured teachers. A teacher cannot progress on the salary schedule after entering into a contract for a school year, unless authorized in the contract.
2. Salary increases are normally granted only at the beginning of each fiscal year, contingent upon the approval of the Board of Education.
Section D: SEPARATION OF EMPLOYMENT
1. Any employee may be dismissed at any time, subject to the provision of the law.
2. If an employee is terminated, the employee must report immediately to the Central Office to make arrangements for final compensation unless instructed otherwise. This check will not be issued until all District property issued to the employee has been returned or accounted for by the District.
3. Any employee wishing to resign shall submit a dated letter of resignation to the Superintendent.
ARTICLE II – JOB RULES AND REGULATIONS
Section A: PAYMENT POLICIES
1. Payment Dates. Employees will be paid on the 25th of every month. If that date falls on a holiday or weekend, payroll will be distributed on the business day prior to the 25th.
Section B: PROMOTION AND TRANSFER
The Superintendent shall post notices on the District’s website and/or via email when an opening occurs within the District. Those employees desiring to be considered for the position listed shall request a transfer with their immediate supervisor. Employees of the District shall be given first consideration for reassignment to another position if their ability, training, and experience are equal to that of new applicants. If the desired qualities for certain positions do not exist in the present personnel, it is sometimes advisable to seek qualified personnel outside the district staff.
Section C: EMPLOYEE EVALUATION
The principal of each school is charged with the evaluation of all certificated personnel working within his/her school. This responsibility may be delegated to a director or supervisor; however, the principal will review all evaluations.
Section D: STAFF CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Employees of the Board will not engage in, or have direct financial interest in, any activity that raises a reasonable question of conflict of interest with their duties and responsibilities as members of the Steelville Public Schools staff by adhering to Board Policy GBCA.
ARTICLE III – EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
Section A: REQUEST FOR TIME OFF
All advance notice requests for time off should be submitted through the use of a Staff Absence Report. This report should be sent to your building principal or supervisor for approval. Upon approval, a copy of the leave request will be sent to the Central Office where employee balances will be kept up-to date in SISfin and reflect on your check stub.
Section B: LEAVE
1. Notification. It is the responsibility of the employee, when absent, to notify his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor reserves the right to require a return to duty work release statement from your physician
2. Sick leave. All personnel are granted seven (7) days at the beginning of each fiscal year. Sick leave may accumulate if not used. All sick leave must be exhausted before an employee can go on unpaid leave. If an employee is out five (5) or more days, the District may require a “Physician’s Certification of Medical Necessity for Extended Absence” form to be completed by the employee’s physician. The physician should supply the employee with a “Return to Duty Certification” when the employee is able to return to full duty.
Three (3) days of sick leave may be used by an employee for the birth or adoption of a grandchild. If an employee has available any personal leave and/or vacation leave, it may be used at this time.
Any staff member who resigns or retires with ten (10) or more years of service with the Steelville School District shall be reimbursed for all of their unused sick leave. See policy GBBE in the Steelville School District Board Policy Manual.
Any staff member with ten (10) or more years of service with the Steelville School District and has accumulated 100 plus days over the course of the fiscal year, shall be reimbursed for any days over 100. All days over 100 will be paid back to the employee annually. See policy GBBE in the Steelville School District Board Policy Manual.
3. Personal Leave. All personnel are granted four (4) days of personal leave at the beginning of each fiscal year. Unused personal leave is absorbed into sick leave if not used by the end of the fiscal year.
Whenever possible, it is expected that a request for leave will be made in writing to the designated supervisor at least 48 hours in advance of time the leave is requested. The supervisor will deny requests for personal leave that would extend a scheduled school vacation unless specific written reasons warrant special consideration.
4. Bereavement Leave may be used for death in the immediate family. The staff member may use three (3) consecutive days for bereavement leave for a death in the immediate family without a deduction from sick leave or salary. Any days missed in excess of three (3) will deducted from sick leave. Bereavement leave is not cumulative.
5. Military Leave. The Board shall grant military leave as required by law.
6. Jury Duty Leave. Employees who miss school as jurors will not have their salary deducted for days missed.
7. All absences not approved according to the stipulations shall have one (1) day’s pay deducted for each day’s absence.
8. The Central Office will maintain records of sick leave and vacation leave.
Section C: MEDICAL LEAVE (FMLA)
The District recognizes that a leave of absence from active employment may be necessary for family or medical reasons. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to twelve (12) work weeks unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. See policy GBBDA in the Steelville School District Board Policy Manual.
Section D: RETIREMENT AND INSURANCE BENEFITS
1. Retirement contributions are withheld from your salary while you are working in covered employment. Those contributions, currently 14.5% of salary and medical insurance benefit, are matched by the District and remitted monthly to the retirement system. All extra duty pay earned while in employment of Steelville R-3 School District is subject to retirement. Your contributions, while being tax deferred, are credited to your individual account, and can be withdrawn (at a 10% penalty and applicable state and federal taxes) and only if you cease covered employment. You cannot borrow against your account funds, nor can they be garnished, attached, assigned or subjected to any other claim. The retirement law allows a certified employee of a school district the option to obtain service credit while on unpaid leave under the district’s sick leave policy or under Workers’ Compensation. To acquire the credit, the employee must remit through the district during the leave, the contributions which would have been withheld from salary had the employee been on active status. The District is required by law to match the employee contributions and send them to the retirement office as part of the regular monthly remittance.
Certified teachers working in a non-teaching covered position will pay into Social Security and 9.67% into retirement.
RETIREMENT BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION. Your beneficiary listing should be reviewed each time there is a change in your life, change of address, marriage, birth, adoption, separation, divorce, non-dependency of children, death of a beneficiary, etc. if a change is needed, obtain the beneficiary designation form from the Central Office or the retirement office, and send the new listing to PSRS. It will be acknowledged soon after receipt.
2. RETIREMENT. An employee is vested in the retirement system after 5 years of service. Disability retirement or service retirement information may be obtained by contacting:
Public Education Employee Retirement System
P.O. Box 268
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Questions can be referred to 1-800-392-6848.
3. Social Security Protection Act. The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 requires the district to provide a statement to employees hired January 1, 2005 or later in a job not covered under Social Security. The statement explains how a pension from the district could affect future Social Security benefits to which you may become entitled.
4. Medicare Withholding. All extra duty pay for certified staff members and salary for all certificated employees hired after March 31, 1986, will also be subject to Medicare FICA withheld at 1.45%. For questions or information please contact your local Social Security Office.
5. Workers’ Compensation. All school employees will be covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance and are eligible for compensation for an injury incurred in the performance of their job. Any accident resulting in injury, no matter how minor, must be reported immediately to the supervisor who in turn will notify the Central Office. The supervisor or school nurse will fill out a Report of Injury form by asking the injured person for details of the accident. The injured employee will then come to the Central Office for paperwork to take to Missouri Baptist Steelville Medical Office. DO NOT GO TO YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN FOR A WORK RELATED INJURY UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY ALL FEES.
6. Medical Insurance. All certified staff employees working twenty (20) or more hours per week are eligible to participate in the District’s support staff medical insurance plan. Employees become eligible after thirty (30) days of employment with coverage beginning the first day of the next month. The District pays 100 % of the premium for the base plan for the employee.
Each Spring there is an open enrollment period during the month of April for coverage July 1st through June 30th of the following year. If you miss this opportunity, you will not be able to enroll until the following year open enrollment period, with the only exception being a significant life change.
7. Life Insurance. All employees working twenty (20) or more hours per week under the age of 65 are covered by a life insurance policy in the amount of $50,000. This coverage is provided by the District at no cost to the employee.
8. OPTIONAL GUARDIAN INSURANCES:
Life. Employees can purchase Guardian Life Insurance through a payroll deduction. The coverage will remain in effect for one (1) year. Employees can purchase or drop coverage during open enrollment period only.
Dental. Employees can purchase Guardian Dental Insurance through a payroll deduction. The coverage will remain in effect for one (1) year. Employees can purchase or drop coverage during open enrollment period only.
Vision. Employees can purchase Guardian Vision Insurance through a payroll deduction. The coverage will remain in effect for one (1) year. Employees can purchase or drop coverage during open enrollment period only.
9. COBRA COVERAGE. The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created and is governed by federal law, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA is available if the employee’s health coverage under the plan would otherwise terminate due to employment separation or other qualifying events. Please refer to the “General Notice of COBRA Continuation Coverage Rights”, provided through your payroll department.
10. Retiree Coverage. Retirees may elect to remain on District medical, dental, vision and life insurance by paying the premium.
11. GUARDIAN VOLUNTARY WORK-SITE BENEFITS. There are additional supplemental insurance plans available for purchase through a payroll deduction. These plans will be discussed with you during open enrollment.
Section E: OTHER BENEFITS
1. Home athletic events. All District employees and one guest will be admitted free of charge to all home activity events. This includes home athletic events (excluding district or tournament games). You must present the current year district issued GVC Card at the gate or door.
2. Expense Reimbursement. Reimbursement will be granted for professional travel that is approved in advance by the Administrator who supervises the staff member requesting the reimbursement. Travel must be beneficial to the Steelville School District to be approved. In all cases of professional travel, personnel will be expected to be as economical as is practical.
The following is a list of amounts that will be reimbursed for employee travel. Original itemized receipts must accompany the reimbursement form. The form must include where the person traveled, the date and the purpose of the travel. The form must indicate what budget code is being utilized and have appropriate administrative approval. The employee may choose to utilize the maximum daily allowance of $36 in combination on meals (with overnight travel only).
Registration & Banquet Tickets: Actual
Personal Vehicle Mileage: $ .42
Commercial Vehicle Actual
*Meals (maximum allowed):
Breakfast $8.00 maximum
Lunch $12.00 maximum
Dinner $16.00 maximum
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Reimbursement of meals is subject to prior approval and financial condition of the district.
ARTICLE IV - DISTRICT REGULATIONS
The Steelville Public School’s Board of Education policies are developed and maintained through assistance from the Missouri School Board’s Association. For your reference and convenience, all District policies, regulations, and procedures can be found on the District’s website at http://steelville.k12.mo.us
As an employee of the District, it is your responsibility to review, become familiar with, and adhere to all District policies. As part of the annual mandatory requirements (see Section B below), your electronic receipt of this handbook is included as part of these requirements. By acknowledging receipt of this handbook online (or in some instances, by signature), you agree to all procedures, policies and regulations in place.
Section A: POLICIES
1. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE. Staff members are expected and required to report to work on time and in appropriate mental and physical condition for work. It is the District’s intent and obligation to provide a drug-free environment.
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on District premises is absolutely prohibited. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and may have legal consequences.
The District recognizes drug dependency as an illness and a major health, safety, and security problem. Employees needing help in dealing with such problems are encouraged to use our health insurance plan, as appropriate. Conscientious efforts to seek such help will not jeopardize any employee’s job, and will not be noted in any personnel record.
Employees must, as a condition of employment, abide by the terms of this policy and report any conviction under a criminal drug statute for violations occurring on or off District premises while conducting District business. A report of conviction must be made within five (5) days after the conviction. This requirement is mandated by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE (GBEBA CRITICAL):
Student and employee safety is of paramount concern to the Board of Education. In recognition of the threat to safety posed by employee use or possession drugs or alcohol, the Board of Education commits itself to a continuing good-faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace. The Board of Education shall not tolerate the manufacture, use, possession, sale, distribution, or being under the influence of controlled substances, alcoholic beverages or unauthorized prescription medications by district employees on any district property; on any district-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or district activities; off district property at any district- sponsored or district-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the supervision of the school district; or during any period of time such employee is supervising students on behalf of the school district or in otherwise engaged in school district business.
When it is evident that an employee has consumed alcoholic beverages or controlled substances off school property before or during a district activity, the staff member will not be allowed on school property or to participate in the activity and will be subject to the same disciplinary measures as for possession or consumption on district property.
Staff members will be tested for alcohol and controlled substances if the district has reasonable suspicion that the staff member has violated this policy. In addition, staff members who operate district transportation must submit to alcohol and drug testing as otherwise required by law. All testing will be conducted in accordance with Board policy, administrative procedures and law.
Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension, termination and referral for prosecution. Employees may be required to satisfactorily participate in rehabilitation programs.
Each employee of this school district is hereby notified that, as a condition of employment, the employee must abide by the terms of this policy and notify the superintendent or designee of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in or on the premises of this school district, or while engaged in regular employment. Such notification must be made by the employee to the superintendent or designee in writing no later than five (5) calendar days after conviction. The superintendent or designee will provide notice in writing of such violation to the United States Department of Education or other appropriate federal agency within ten (10) calendar days after the superintendent or designee receives such notification if the district receives any federal grants directly from such agency, as opposed to federal grants received through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
The District will take appropriate disciplinary action within 30 days.
The District will institute a drug-free awareness program to inform employees of the dangerous and harmful nature of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace, of this policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace, of available counseling and rehabilitation, and of the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations occurring in the workplace.
The Board of Education recognizes that employees who have a drug abuse problem should be encouraged to seek professional assistance. Although the District will not assume financial responsibility, an employee who requests assistance shall be referred to a treatment facility or agency in the community if such facility or agency is available.
Upon the request of DESE or any agency of the United States, the district shall certify that is has adopted and implemented the drug prevention program described in this policy. The district shall conduct a biennial review of this policy to determine its effectiveness, implement necessary changes and ensure that the disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
This policy shall be communicated in writing to all present and future employees. Compliance with this policy is mandatory.
Adopted: 12/17/1997; Revised: 10/25/2005
2. DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION. The School District is committed to providing an environment free from intimidating, hostile or offensive behavior; unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communication constituting sexual harassment. Sexual harassment by an employee, student or other person in the district against any person is prohibited.
Allegation of sexual harassment shall be investigated and, if substantiated, corrective or disciplinary action taken, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion of the student or suspension and/or termination of the employee.
PROHIBITION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION (AC CRITICAL):
The Steelville R-III School District Board of Education is committed to maintaining a workplace and education environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, services, activities and facilities. In accordance with law, the district strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students, or others on the basis of race, color religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law. The Steelville R-III School District is an equal opportunity employer.
The Board also prohibits:
1. Retaliatory actions including, but not limited to, acts of intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination against those who:
a. Make complaints of prohibited discrimination or harassment.
b. Report prohibited discrimination or harassment.
c. Participate in an investigation, formal proceeding or informal resolution, whether conducted internally or outside the district, concerning prohibited discrimination or harassment.
2. Aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling or coercing discrimination, harassment or retaliatory actions.
3. Discrimination, harassment or retaliation against any person because of such person’s association with a person protected from discrimination or harassment in accordance with this policy.
All employees, students and visitors must immediately report to the district for investigation any incident or behavior that could constitute discrimination, harassment or retaliation in accordance with this policy. If discrimination, harassment or retaliation that occurs off district property and that is unrelated to the district’s activities negatively impacts the school environment, the district will investigate and address the behavior in accordance with this policy, as allowed by law.
Additional Prohibited Behavior
Behavior that is not unlawful or does not rise to the level of illegal discrimination, harassment or retaliation might still be unacceptable for the workplace or the educational environment. Demeaning or otherwise harmful actions are prohibited, particularly if directed at personal characteristics including, but not limited to, socioeconomic level, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.
Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act
As required by law, the District will provide equal access to District facilities and related benefits and services and will not discriminate against any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America or any other youth group designated in applicable federal law.
When a report is made or the district otherwise learns of potential discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the district will take immediate action to protect the alleged victim, including implementing interim measures. For example, the District may alter a class seating arrangement, provide additional supervision for a student or suspend an employee pending an investigation. The District will take immediate steps to prevent retaliation against the alleged victim, any person associated with the alleged victim, or any witnesses or participants in the investigation. These steps may include, but are not limited to, notifying students, employees, and others, that are protected from retaliation, ensuring that they know how to report future complaints, and initiating follow-up contact with the complainant to determine if any additional acts of discrimination, harassment or retaliation have occurred.
Consequences and Remedies
If the district determines that discrimination, harassment or retaliation have occurred, the district will take prompt, effective and appropriate action to address the behavior, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
Employees who violate this policy will be disciplined, up to and including employment termination. Students who violate this policy will be disciplined, which may include suspension or expulsion. Patrons, contractors, visitors or others who violate this policy may be prohibited from school grounds or otherwise restricted while on school grounds. The superintendent or designee will contact law enforcement or seek a court order to enforce this policy when necessary or when action may constitute criminal behavior.
Students, employees and others will not be disciplined for speech in circumstances where it is protected by law.
In accordance with law and district policy, any person suspected of abusing or neglecting a child will be reported to the Children’s Division (CD) of the Department of Social Services.
Remedies provided by the District will attempt to minimize the burden on the victim. Such remedies may include, but are not limited to: providing additional resources such as counseling, providing access to community services, assisting the victim in filing criminal charges when applicable, moving the perpetrator to a different class or school, providing an escort between classes, or allowing the victim to retake or withdraw from a class. The district may provide additional training to students and employees, make periodic assessments to make sure behavior complies with district policy, or perform a climate check to assess the environment in the district.
Compliance Officer – The individual responsible for implementing this policy, including the acting compliance officer when he or she is performing duties of the compliance officer.
Discrimination – Conferring benefits upon, refusing or denying benefits to, or providing differential treatment to a person or class of persons in violation of law based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law, or based on a belief that such a characteristic exists.
Grievance – A verbal or written report (also known as a complaint) of discrimination, harassment or retaliation made to the compliance officer.
Harassment – A form of discrimination, as defined above, that occurs when the school or work environment becomes permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive enough that is unreasonably alters the employment or educational environment.
Behaviors that could constitute illegal harassment include, but are not limited to, the following acts if based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law or based on a belief that such characteristics exist: graffiti; display of written material, pictures or electronic images; name calling, teasing or taunting; insults, derogatory remarks or slurs; jokes; gestures; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; physical acts of aggression, assault or violence; theft; or damage to property.
Sexual Harassment – A form of discrimination, as defined above, on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct that occurs when a) benefits or decisions are implicitly or explicitly conditioned upon submission to, or punishment is applied for refusing to comply with, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature; or b) the school or work environment becomes permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is based on sex or is sexual in nature and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of participation in the district’s programs and activities or the conditions of employment. Sexual harassment may occur between members of the same or opposite sex. The District presumes a student cannot consent to behavior of a sexual nature with an adult regardless of the circumstances.
Behaviors that could constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
1. Sexual advances and requests or pressure of any kind for sexual favors, activities or contact.
2. Conditioning grades, promotions, rewards or privileges on submission to sexual favors, activities or contact.
3. Punishing or reprimanding persons who refuse to comply with sexual requests, activities or contact.
4. Graffiti, name calling, slurs, jokes, gestures or communications of a sexual nature or based on sex.
5. Physical contact or touching of a sexual nature, including touching of intimate parts and sexually motivated or inappropriate patting, pinching or rubbing.
6. Comments about an individual’s body, sexual activity or sexual attractiveness.
7. Physical sexual acts of aggression, assault or violence, including criminal offenses (such as rape, sexual assault or battery, and sexually motivated stalking) against a person’s will or when a person is not capable of giving consent due to the person’s age, intellectual disability or use of drugs or alcohol.
8. Gender-based harassment and acts of verbal, nonverbal, written, graphic or physical conduct based on sex or sex stereotyping but not involving conduct of a sexual nature.
Working Days- Days on which the district’s business offices are open.
The Board designates the following individual to act as the district’s compliance officer:
817 West Main
Steelville, MO 65565
In the event the compliance officer is unavailable or is the subject of a report that would otherwise be made to the compliance officer, reports should instead be directed to the acting compliance officer:
P.O. Box 339
Steelville, MO 65565
The compliance officer or acting compliance officer will:
1. Coordinate district compliance with this policy and the law.
2. Receive all grievances regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the Steelville R-III School District.
3. Serve as the district’s designated Title IX, Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator, as well as contact person for compliance and other discrimination laws.
4. Investigate or assign persons to investigate grievances; monitor the statues of grievances to ensure that additional discrimination, harassment and retaliation do not occur; and recommend consequences.
5. Review all evidence brought in disciplinary matters to determine whether additional remedies are available, such as separating students in the school environment.
6. Determine whether district employees with knowledge of discrimination, harassment or retaliation failed to carry out their reporting duties and recommend disciplinary action, if necessary.
7. Communicate regularly with the district’s law enforcement unit to determine whether any reported crimes constitute potential discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
8. Oversee discrimination, harassment or retaliation grievances, including identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems and reporting such problems and patterns to the superintendent or the Board.
9. Seek legal advice when necessary to enforce this policy.
10. Report to the superintendent and the Board aggregate information regarding the number and frequency of grievances and compliance with this policy.
11. Make recommendations regarding changing this policy or the implementation of this policy.
12. Coordinate and institute training program for district staff and supervisors as necessary to meet the goals of this policy, including instruction in recognizing behavior that constitutes discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
13. Perform other duties as assigned by the superintendent.
The superintendent or designee will continuously publicize the district’s policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation and disseminate information on how to report discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Notification of the district’s policy will be posted in a public area of each building used for instruction or employment or open to the public Information will also be distributed annually to employees, parents/guardians and students as well as to newly enrolled students and newly hired employees. District bulletins, catalogs, application forms, recruitment material and the district’s website will include a statement that the Steelville R-III School District does not discriminate in its programs, services, activities, facilities or with regard to employment. The district will provide information in alternative formats when necessary to accommodate persons with disabilities.
Students, employees and others may attempt to resolve minor issues by addressing concerns directly to the person alleged to have violated this policy, but they are not expected or required to do so. Any attempts to voluntarily resolve a grievance will not delay the investigation once a report has been made to the district.
Unless a concern is otherwise voluntarily resolved, all persons must report incidents that might constitute discrimination, harassment or retaliation directly to the compliance officer or acting compliance officer. All district employees will instruct all persons seeking to make a grievance to communicate directly with the compliance officer. Even if the potential victim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation does not file a grievance, district employees are required to report to the compliance officer any observations, rumors or other information regarding actions prohibited by this policy. If a verbal grievance is made, the person will be asked to submit a written complaint to the compliance officer or acting compliance officer. If a person refuses or is unable to submit a written complaint, the compliance officer will summarize the verbal complaint in writing. A grievance is not needed for the district to take action upon finding a violation of law, district policy or district expectations.
Even if a grievance is not directly filed, if the compliance officer otherwise learns about possible discrimination, harassment or retaliation, including violence, the district will conduct a prompt, impartial, adequate, reliable and thorough investigation to determine whether unlawful conduct occurred and will implement the appropriate interim measures if necessary.
Building-level administrators are in a unique position to identify and address discrimination, harassment and retaliation between students, particularly when behaviors are reported through the normal disciplinary process and not through a grievance. The administrator has the ability to immediately discipline a student for prohibited behavior in accordance with the district’s discipline policy. The administrator will report all incidents of discrimination, harassment and retaliation to the compliance officer and will direct the parent/guardian and student to the compliance officer for further assistance. The compliance officer may determine that the incident has been appropriately addressed or recommend additional action. When a grievance is filed, the investigation and complaint process detailed below will be used.
The district will immediately investigate all grievances. All persons are required to cooperate fully in the investigation. The district compliance officer or other designated investigator may utilize an attorney or other professionals to conduct the investigation.
In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the district will consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, the relationships between the parties involved, past incidents, the context in which the alleged incidents occurred and all other relevant information. Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances. If, after investigation, school officials determine that it is more likely than not (the preponderance of the evidence standard) that discrimination, harassment or other prohibited behavior has occurred, the district will take immediate corrective action.
Grievance Process Overview
1. If a person designated to hear a grievance or appeal is the subject of the grievance, the compliance officer may designate an alternative person to hear the grievance, or the next highest step in the grievance process will be used. For example, if the grievance involves the superintendent, the compliance officer may designate someone outside the district to hear the grievance in lieu of the superintendent, or the grievance may be heard directly by the Board.
2. An extension of the investigation and reporting deadlines may be warranted if extenuating circumstances exist as determined by the district’s compliance officer. The person filing the complaint will be notified when deadlines are extended. If more than twice the allotted time has expired without a response, the appeal may be taken to the next level.
3. Failure of the person filing the grievance to appeal within the timelines given will be considered acceptance of the findings and remedial action taken.
4. The district will investigate all grievances, even if an outside enforcing agency such as the Office for Civil Rights, law enforcement or the CD is also investigating a complaint arising from the same circumstances.
5. The district will only share information regarding an individually identifiable student or employee with the person filing the grievance or other persons if allowed by law and in accordance with Board policy.
6. Upon receiving a grievance, district administrators or supervisors, after consulting with the compliance officer, will implement interim measures as described in this policy if necessary to prevent further potential discrimination, harassment or retaliation during the pending investigation.
Grievance Process Overview
Level I: A grievance is filed with the district’s compliance officer. The compliance officer may, at his or her discretion, assign a school principal or other appropriate supervisor to conduct the investigation when appropriate.
Regardless of who investigates the grievance, an investigation will commence immediately, but no later than five working days after the compliance officer receives the grievance. The compliance officer or designee shall conduct a prompt, impartial, adequate, reliable and thorough investigation, including the opportunity for the person filing the grievance and other parties involved to identify witnesses and provide information and other evidence. The compliance officer or designee will evaluate all relevant information and documentation relating to the grievance.
Within 30 working days of receiving the grievance, the compliance officer will complete a written report that summarizes the facts and makes conclusions on whether the facts constitutes a violation of this policy based on the appropriate legal standards. If a violation of this policy is found, the compliance officer will recommend corrective action to the superintendent to address the discrimination, harassment or retaliation; prevent recurrence; and remedy its effects. If someone other than the compliance officer conducts the investigation, the compliance officer or acting compliance officer will review and sign the report. The person who filed the grievance, the victim if someone other than the victim filed the grievance, and any alleged perpetrator will be notified in writing, within five working days of the completion of the report, in accordance with law and district policy, regarding whether the district’s compliance officer or designee determined that district policy was violated.
Level II: Within five working days after receiving the Level I decision, the person filing the grievance, the victim if someone other than the victim filed the grievance, or any alleged perpetrator may appeal the compliance officer’s decision to the superintendent by notifying the superintendent in writing. The superintendent may, at his or her discretion, designate another person (other than the compliance officer) to review the matter when appropriate.
Within ten working days, the superintendent will complete a written decision on the appeal, stating whether a violation of this policy is found and, if so, stating what corrective actions will be implemented. If someone other than the superintendent conducts the appeal, the superintendent will review and sign the report before it is given to the person appealing. A copy of the appeal and the decision will be given to the compliance officer or acting compliance officer. The person who initially filed the grievance, the victim if someone other than the victim filed the grievance, and any alleged perpetrator will be notified in writing, within five working days of the superintendent’s decision, regarding whether the superintendent or designee determined that district policy was violated.
Level III: Within five working days after receiving the Level II decision, the person filing the grievance, the victim if someone other than the victim filed the grievance, or any alleged perpetrator may appeal the superintendent’s decision to the Board by notifying the Board secretary in writing. The person filing the grievance and the alleged perpetrator will be allowed to address the Board, and the Board may call the presence of such other persons deemed necessary. The Board will issue a decision within 30 working days for implementation by the administration. The Board secretary will give the compliance officer or acting compliance officer a copy of the appeal and decision. The person who filed the grievance, the victim if someone other than the victim filed the grievance, and the alleged perpetrator will be notified in writing, within five working days of the Board’s decision, in accordance with law and district policy, regarding whether the Board determined that district policy was violated. The decision of the Board is final.
Confidentiality and Records
To the extent permitted by law and in accordance with Board policy, the district will keep confidential the identity of the person filing a grievance and any grievance or other document that is generated or received pertaining to grievances. Information may be disclosed if necessary to further the investigation appeal or resolution of a grievance, or if necessary to carry out disciplinary measures. The district will disclose information to the district’s attorney, law enforcement, the CD and others when necessary to enforce this policy or when required by law. In implementing this policy, the district will comply with state and federal laws regarding the confidentiality of student and employee records. Information regarding any resulting employee or student disciplinary action will be maintained and released in the same manner as any other disciplinary record. The district will keep any documentation created in investigating the complaint including, but not limited to, documentation considered when making any conclusions, in accordance with Missouri Secretary of State’s manuals and as advised by the district’s attorney.
The district will provide training to employees on identifying and reporting acts that may constitute discrimination, harassment or retaliation. The district will instruct employees to make all complaints to the district’s compliance officer or acting compliance officer and will provide current contact information for these persons. The district will inform employees of the consequences of violating this policy and the remedies of the district may use to rectify policy violations. All employees will have access to the district’s current policy, required notices and complaint forms. The district will provide additional training to any person responsible for investigating potential discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
The district will provide information to parents/guardians and students regarding this policy and will provide age-appropriate instruction to students.
3. TOBACCO-FREE DISTRICT. Employees must, as a condition of employment, abide by the terms of the following policy.
Please refer to the following District policy (AH Critical):
To promote the health and safety of all students and staff and to promote the cleanliness of district property, the district prohibits all employees, students and patrons from smoking or using tobacco products in all district facilities, on district transportation and on all district grounds at all times. This prohibition extends to all facilities the district owns, contracts for or leases to provide educational services, routine health care, daycare or early childhood development services to children. This prohibition does not apply to any private residence or any portion of a facility that is used for inpatient hospital treatment of individuals dependent on, or addicted to, drugs or alcohol in which the district provide services.
Students who possess or use tobacco products on district grounds, district transportation or at district activities will be disciplined in accordance with Board policy.
Section B: MANDATORY TRAINING & REQUIREMENTS
As a District, it is crucial that we ensure that all staff members are informed and educated in all aspects of student/staff behavior and workplace basics. Therefore, all new staff must complete the following requirements within 30 days of date of hire. All returning staff will be required to re-train at the beginning of each school year. It is our goal to work with all new hires to promptly complete this training upon the first day of employment as part of their orientation. Please contact the Central Office at 573-775-2175, should you have any questions.
The 2017-2018 mandatory requirements include the following:
· Technology Usage Policy
· Handbook Acknowledgement
· MUSIC: Smarter Adults –Safer Children
· MUSIC: Bullying Prevention
· MUSIC: Technology Safety & Security
Notice Regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness
In accordance with state law, the Steelville R-III School District is required to provide all new employees with information regarding eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Employees who work full-time in a public school district might be eligible for this program. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Student Loans for borrowers after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, as long as the borrower is not in default. For more information about the program and to determine whether you are eligible under this program, go the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s website at: