Employee Handbook

Dr. Jeff McDaris, Superintendent
225 Rosenwald Lane | Brevard, NC 28712
Telephone 828.884.6173 | Fax 828.884.9524 |
www.tcsnc.org

NOTE: The Board Policy Manual is currently undergoing a complete revision. References to policies are subject to change as the conversion continues. 

Last Update: July 7, 2015

Table of Contents

1. General Information

        Non-Discrimination

        Introduction

        Our Mission and Values

        Board of Education

        Organization

        

2. Employment

        Academic Calendar

        Background Checks

        Drug-Free/Tobacco-Free Workplace

        Employment and Transfer Processes

Job Status/Classifications

                -Position Types

                -At-Will Employees

-Contract Employees

        Salary

         

3. Policy Information and Employee Responsibilities

ADA

Attendance and Work Schedules

Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Conduct

Duty to Report

Electronic Resources and Acceptable Use Policies

Employee Grievance Policy

Harassment/Bullying

Reporting Criminal Charges

Relationships with Students

Seclusion and Restraint

Security/Safety

Social Media

Use of School or School System Property/Resources

Weather-related closings or delays

        

4. Compensation and Benefits

        Payroll

Pay Day/Payroll Procedures

                Time Reporting

                Compensatory Time and Overtime

                Paystub (Timekeeper)

                Direct Deposit

                        

Benefits

                Health Insurance

                Disability

                Unemployment

                Workers’ Compensation

                Episode of Violence

                Retirement

Other Insurance Benefits/Flexible Benefits

                

5. Leave and Absences

        Annual Leave (Earned Leave)

        Sick Leave

        Extended Sick Leave

        Voluntary Shared Leave

Personal Leave

        Holidays

        Compensatory Time

Other Leave Types

-Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

                -Extended Leave of Absence

                -Parental Involvement Leave

                -Other Types

6. Licensure

        Licensure Requirements

        Beginning Teacher Support Program

        

7. Appendices

        Annual Notifications

                -Title IX

                -Section 504

                -Bloodborne Pathogens/Abestos Control/Occupational Health

Electronic Registrar Online (CEU Tracking)

        SmartFind Express (Substitute Teacher Management System)

        Directory

NOTE 1: The information found in any printed version of the Handbook may not be as current as the online version. Please check the online version and/or contact Human Resources with any questions.

NOTE 2: Any information found in this document that is in conflict with current federal law, state statutes, State Board of Education policy, or Transylvania County Board of Education policy shall be considered out-dated or inaccurate and is not to conflict with any law, statute, or policy therein. 


1. General Information

Non-Discrimination

Policy ACR (excerpt): It shall be the policy of the Transylvania County Schools to be non-discriminatory with respect to race, color, religion, political affiliation or belief, sex, national origin, age, handicap, marital, or parental status in admissions, participation in classes, participation in sports and other activities, and employment, except age limitations for student attendance and participation in school activities as set forth by the laws of North Carolina and the various Boards charged with the governance of student activities. Regulations of the North Carolina State Board of Education are to be followed in the application of this policy.

Policy ACB (excerpt): Students, school system employees, volunteers, and visitors are expected to behave in a civil and respectful manner. The Board expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying. All persons, agencies, vendors, contractors and other persons and organizations doing business with or performing services for the school district must comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination.

Introduction

The Employee Handbook is designed to provide information and address questions regarding required Board of Education policies and procedures so that every school system employee is able to perform his or her job more effectively.

Every employee must take time to read the Employee Handbook. The Employee Handbook is available on the school system’s website at any time by visiting www.tcsnc.org or by contacting your principal or site supervisor. It is important to note that the handbook is both selective and general in its coverage of school system policies and procedures. In accordance with Board Policy, each employee is responsible for knowing and complying with the policies of the Transylvania County Board of Education.

Copies of the Transylvania County Board Policies are available to employees online at the school system’s website (www.tcsnc.org) or from principals and supervisors. Since this handbook only summarizes many detailed provisions about employment and benefits and other related matters, the official policies, regulations, and procedures will always govern when questions arise. Nothing in this handbook is intended to create or imply any contract rights. It is the policy of the Board of Education to comply with the benefits and employment policies promulgated by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction in the most current edition of the North Carolina Public Schools Benefits and Employment Policy Manual. You may find these policies in their most current version and additional information on the school system website and/or at www.ncpublicschools.org/work4ncschools/ .

        

Our Mission, Values, and Strategic Plan

The mission of Transylvania County Schools is to prepare students to become caring and productive citizens in an ever-changing society through the shared responsibility of students, parents, educators, and the community.

Toward that end, we believe that:

Board of Education

The Transylvania County Board of Education is the governing body for the school system. The five-member board is elected in a non-partisan election for four-year terms in even-numbered years, alternating three seats open in one election and then two seats open in the following election. Members are elected at-large and not based on any specific geographical districts. Each year the Board holds an organizational meeting to elect a chair and a vice chair from among its own membership.

Tawny McCoy, Chair                Term Expires Dec. 2016                 tmccoy@tcsnc.org        

Cindy Petit, Vice Chair                Term Expires Dec. 2016                 cpetit@tcsnc.org        

Marty Griffin, Board Member        Term Expires Dec. 2018                martyg@tcsnc.org

Ron Kiviniemi, Board Member        Term Expires Dec. 2016                rkiviniemi@tcsnc.org 

Betty Scruggs, Board Member        Term Expires Dec. 2018                bscruggs@tcsnc.org

Organization

See the school district’s website for departmental and school contact/organizational information at www.tcsnc.org .


2. Employment

Academic Calendar

The school calendars for Transylvania County Schools can be found on the system’s website. http://www.tcsnc.org

Background Checks

Board of Education Policy GBN establishes the process for the system to conduct criminal record checks for potential employees. A criminal background search shall be conducted on all final candidates who will be recommended for employment to the Transylvania County Board of Education and on independent contractors under consideration for roles that may require them to work directly with students.  Criminal background searches shall be conducted in accordance with applicable state law, policies of the North Carolina State Board of Education, and any local procedures established by the Superintendent.  Criminal background searches required by this policy shall be conducted at the school system’s expense.  Any candidate, who refuses to consent to a criminal background search, including an independent contractor, shall not be considered for employment or awarded a contract for services.

Drug-Free/Tobacco-Free Workplace

It is the policy of the Transylvania County Board of Education that a drug-free workplace shall be maintained. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance on any property owned by the Board and at any time in which an individual employee is acting in the course and scope of his/her employment with the Board is prohibited. Responsible use of legal drugs, prescriptive and over-the-counter, is expected of employees. See BOE Policy GBCC/GBP Drug-Free Workplace

No student, staff member or school visitor is permitted to use any tobacco product at any time, including non-school hours: In any building, facility, or vehicle owned, leased, rented or chartered by the Transylvania County Schools; On any school grounds and property - including athletic fields and parking lots - owned leased, rented or chartered by the Transylvania County Schools; or At any school-sponsored or school-related event on-campus or off-campus. In addition, school district employees, school volunteers, contractors or other persons performing services on behalf of the school district also are prohibited from using tobacco products at any time while serving in an official capacity, either on or off school grounds. See BOE Policy GBK/KGC Tobacco Free Schools

Employment and Transfer Processes

Any employee of the Board who desires a transfer of assignment shall complete an internal application through the school district employment application interface indicating on it the reason(s) for the requested transfer, the grade level or position sought, and the school or department to which he or she wishes to transfer.  Upon completing the application, the employee shall notify his/her current supervisor of the request.  The Superintendent / designee shall maintain a current list of employees requesting transfers of assignment and make it available for review by the appropriate supervisory personnel during the screening of applications for vacancies.  Only those employees who have a completed internal application on file in the district’s employment application system may be considered for a voluntary transfer of assignment.  An internal application must be submitted for each vacancy an employee wishes to pursue. See BOE Policy GCI Employee Assignments and Transfers

Equal Opportunity

It is the policy of the Board of Education to provide all applicants for employment with equal employment opportunities and to provide current employees with training, compensation, promotion, and other attributes of employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or citizenship status, except where sex, age, or physical requirements are essential occupational qualifications. All candidates will be evaluated on their merits and qualifications for positions.

Job Status/Classifications

Employee Classifications for Benefits Purposes

This section defines the classification of school system employees to determine certain benefits afforded when employed.

• Permanent Employee

A permanent employee is an employee who is employed to fill a position that is to be permanent if needs and funds continue or is employed for at least six full consecutive months either to replace one or more employees who are on an approved leave of absence without pay or to fill a vacancy until a qualified replacement is employed. A person employed for at least six full consecutive months is eligible to receive full or pro-rata benefits. Therefore, the eligibility for benefits must be determined at the time of the initial assignment, or when the assignment status changes. Permanent employees may be employed full-time or part-time. The regular workweek of a permanent employee must be at least 20 hours per week. Permanent employees who work at least 30 hours per week must be enrolled in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and must receive employer-paid medical insurance for self.

Permanent employees do not lose permanent status during any period of temporary or interim assignment to another position in the same school system when it is anticipated that the employee will be returned to the permanent position.

• Part-time Employee

A part-time employee is an employee who regularly works at least 20 hours per week, but less than the number of hours set as full time for that class of work. Any permanent employee who works at least 30 hours per week must be enrolled in the Retirement System and receive employer-paid medical insurance for self.

• Full-time Employee

A full-time employee is an employee whose regular workweek is the number of hours established as full-time for the class of work assigned, but not less than 30 hours per week. Two or more part-time assignments with the same LEA may be combined to satisfy requirements to become a full-time employee. An employee working in two or more positions may not earn more benefits than those allowed for a single, full-time position.

• Temporary Employee

A temporary employee is a person who is either employed to fill a position whose work week is less than 20 hours per week, or is employed for less than six full consecutive months of employment. Temporary employees may be classified as full-time or part-time. They are not eligible to earn paid leave and do not participate in the retirement system. They do not receive nor can they purchase health benefits through the State Health Plan. Temporary employees may not use leave earned during any previous employment.

• Interim Employee

An interim employee is a person employed to fill a position that is temporarily vacant and is being held for an incumbent who is expected to return.

• Instructional Personnel

Instructional personnel are classroom teachers and teacher assistants. Instructional personnel who require substitutes are prohibited from using annual vacation leave on student attendance days, except as provided in Policy.

• Substitute Employee

A substitute employee is a person employed to fill in for a permanent employee who is using paid leave. Substitute employees are considered temporary employees and are not eligible to earn leave; do not participate in the retirement system; do not receive nor can they purchase health benefits; and may not use leave earned during any previous employment while assigned as a temporary employee.

At-Will Employees

Employees who are not required to be employed under contracts or who are not offered contracts by the Board’s prerogative are at-will employees. Examples include most non-certified personnel such as custodians, bus drivers, teacher assistants, clerical staff, maintenance supervisors, and transportation coordinators. Administrators not required by statute to be employed under contract are also at-will employees (unless the Board has chosen to offer contracts).

At-will employees serve at the pleasure of the Board of Education. An at-will employee may not be dismissed or demoted for illegal reasons. Appeals of dismissals are available for at-will employees through the Employee Grievance Policy (3900/4900).

Contract Employees

Probationary Teachers

A probationary teacher is defined as a certificated person, other than a local superintendent, associate superintendent, or assistant superintendent, who has not obtained career-teacher status and whose major responsibility is to teach or to supervise teaching. An individual who holds an emergency permit to practice, alternative entry license, temporary permit, or lateral entry license is not eligible to be classified as a probationary teacher.

Probationary teachers may not be discharged during the school year except on the same grounds and by the same procedures that apply to the dismissal of a tenured (career status) teacher. See N.C.G.S. 115C-325(e). The local board of education, upon recommendation of the local superintendent, may refuse to renew the contract of any probationary teacher or to reemploy any teacher who is not under contract for any cause it deems sufficient. However, the cause may not be arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory or for personal or political reasons. A probationary teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the next school year must be notified by June 15th. A probationary teacher who has been employed by the school system for four consecutive school years is eligible for career status. A year for tenure purposes is a least 120 workdays as a fulltime, permanent teacher within the 215 day school year. Workdays do not include days absent for holidays, annual vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, or non-paid leave. If a probationary teacher in a full-time, permanent position does not work for at least 120 workdays in a 215 day school year because the teacher is on sick leave, disability leave or both, that school year shall not be deemed to constitute a consecutive year of service for the teacher or a break in the continuity of consecutive years of service for the teacher. Former probationary teachers rehired within 3 years after resigning or being non-renewed due to decreased funding or enrollment, or district reorganization, may be entitled to credit for past years of service if written notification to Human Resources is made within 60 days of rehire.

Career Teachers

• Obtaining Career Status

The summary in this section is intended as an overview of career status. It does not in any way alter the requirements of General Statute 115C-325 or relevant court decisions concerning career status.

Teachers are eligible for career status if they meet each of the following criteria outlined in

G.S. 115C-325:

1. are employed in a permanent, full-time position;

2. hold a current, not provisional or expired, Class A certificate issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, or who holds a regular, not provisional or expired, vocational certificate issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction;

3. have a major responsibility to teach or supervise teaching, or are paid as a classroom teacher, or are classified by the State Board of Education as a teacher; and

4. must have been employed for four consecutive years of at least 120 workdays each in a normal school year in the same school system. ("Workdays" does not include days absent for holidays, annual vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, or non-paid leave.)

Teachers who have previously been awarded career status in the same or another North

Carolina school system serve a probationary period of no longer than one year as outlined in

G.S. 115C-325(c)(2).

• Positions Eligible for Career Status

Only those teachers who are in the following positions are eligible for career status: audiologists, classroom teachers, guidance counselors, media specialists, school psychologists, school social workers, speech-language pathologists, and vocational education teachers. Principals, assistant principals, directors, and supervisors may or may not be eligible for retaining career status based on certain criteria as found in the Administrator

Term Contract Law (Board Policy 3800 §14.2.5 and 14.3).

• Positions NOT Eligible for Career Status

The following positions are not eligible for career status: local superintendents, assistant superintendents; associate superintendents; classified employees; eligible positions but the individual has an alternative entry license, emergency permit, expired license, lateral entry license, provisional license or temporary permit; eligible positions but the individual is not employed in a full-time, permanent position; school finance officers; school nurses; and teacher assistants.

• Removal from Career Status

A career employee loses career status only through one of the following:

1. resignation of the employee;

2. a request by the employee to reduce employment to part-time;

3. a request by the employee to be employed in a non-tenured position (this includes waiver of tenure by a career administrator who wishes to be employed under contract as defined in G.S. 115C-287.1);

4. when the teacher no longer performs the responsibilities of a teacher as defined in G.S.

115C-325(a)(6);

5. if a teacher or administrator is convicted, pleads guilty, or pleads nolo contendre to a serious offense described in G.S. 115C-296(d); or

6. pursuant to the due process in G.S. 115C-325 for the reasons set forth in G.S. 115C-325(e).

School Administrators and Administrator Contracts

School administrators (supervisors or directors) and school-based administrators (principals or assistant principals), whose major function includes the direct or indirect supervision of teaching or of any other part of the instructional program, and who are not eligible for career status, must be employed on contracts. The initial contract between the local board of education and a school administrator or school-based administrator must be for two to four years ending on June 30th of the final 12 months of the contract. In the case of a subsequent contract between a principal or assistant principal and the local board of education, the contract shall be for a term of four years. In the case of an initial contract between a school administrator and the local board of education, the first year of the contract may be for a period of less than 12 months provided the contract becomes effective on or before September 1. The local board of education may, with the written consent of the school administrator, extend, renew, or offer a new school administrator’s contract at any time after the first 12 months of the contract so long as the term of the new, renewed, or extended contract does not exceed four years. Rolling annual contract renewals are not allowed. Nothing in the statute shall be construed to prohibit the filling of an administrative position on an interim or temporary basis.

During the term of the contract, the school administrator cannot be dismissed or demoted except for the grounds and by the procedures in N.C.G.S. §115C-325 for which a career teacher may be dismissed or demoted. Extensions or renewals of the contract may be offered for a period of up to four years.

This policy does not apply to the Superintendent, any Assistant or Associate Superintendent, or any administrator whose major function does not include the direct or indirect supervision of teaching or of any other part of the instructional program.

Salary

Transylvania County Schools uses the state salary schedule for positions where such a schedule exists. Where no such state schedule exists, TCS uses locally-developed salary schedules to determine pay amounts for employees.  Teachers and other licensed staff (e.g. media specialists, psychologists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, counselors and social workers) are paid on state-adopted salary schedules based on licensure, years of experience, and degree held. Assistant principals are paid on a state-adopted salary schedule based on licensure, years of experience, and degree held. Principals are paid on a state-adopted salary schedule based upon years of experience in education, years as a school administrator, and number of state-funded teachers supervised. Salaries for all other public school employees are determined by the position. Contact the Human Resources Department to obtain salary information or click here to view additional state salary schedule information.

Local Salary Supplement

All permanent teachers and other non-contract staff members in school-based positions which require a teaching certificate receive a local supplement equal to 8.5% of their base salary (effective July 1, 2014). The supplement is paid in 2 installments, one in the fall and one in the spring. The Board of Education has a plan to increase the local supplement to 10%. All teacher assistants and office support professionals receive an annual local salary supplement equal to 2% of their base salary each year as well paid once each year.


3. Policy Information and Employee Responsibilities

ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against people with disabilities. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitation of a qualified applicant or employee, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. For more information, visit www.ada.gov or contact the Office of Human Resources.

Attendance and Work Schedules

Regular attendance and appropriate arrival or departure times for employees are critical for the successful and safe operations of school sites. Several Board of Education policies govern employee work schedules and attendance. Those policies are listed below but as a reminder the principal and all school staff members have a duty to provide a safe and secure environment for the students we serve which may require changes from established routines or schedules to be sure that appropriate supervision is provided.

Policy Links:

Policy GCJ Certified Staff Time Schedules and Policy GCJ-R

Policy GDJ Classified Staff Time Schedules and Policy GDJ-R

Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Conduct

Policy GBA Professional Standards of Conduct and Performance for Teachers

The Transylvania Board of Education (“Board”) is dedicated and committed to providing all teachers with opportunities and resources to further their growth as professional educators.  To that end, the performance of every teacher is assessed and the teacher is provided with constructive feedback through a formal evaluation and review process targeted to enhance professional growth.  In addition, it is the Board’s expectation that all teachers, regardless of their years of experience, are capable of and must adhere to certain minimum professional standards of conduct and performance as set forth in this policy.

Therefore, all teachers employed by the Transylvania County Board of Education shall comply with and adhere to the following professional standards of conduct and performance:

  1. Adhere to the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators.
  2. Comply with all Board policies regarding appropriate and/or prohibited behavior with students, including electronic communications with students directly or through the Internet.
  3. Direct all complaints regarding the work environment to the appropriate supervisors and/or file grievances (See Policy GBM “Staff Complaints or Grievances”).
  4. Act in a professional manner toward co-workers and/or supervisors, which includes but is not limited to avoiding actions, conversations, or confrontations which undermine or diminish their authority or result in an instructional disruption.
  5. Manage students' classroom behavior to minimize disruption to the educational environment and refer students, when necessary, to the administration for disciplinary action.
  6. Respond to all parent inquiries, complaints and/or concerns in a timely and professional manner.
  7. Comply with all administrative directives in a timely and professional manner, including written directives regarding specific issues or behaviors.
  8. Perform all assigned and/or accepted extracurricular and non-instructional duties in a timely and professional manner.
  9. Participate in and complete any required professional development activities.
  10. Participate in all required staff meetings and student academic meetings, including required meetings for students with special needs, in a professional manner.
  11. Complete and transmit all required reports and other documentation in a timely and professional manner.
  12. Arrive at school each day at an appropriate time designated by the principal ready and prepared to complete all assigned duties.
  13. Dress in a professional manner appropriate to their assignments, and at no time violate the student dress code established by Board policy JFCE.

The failure or unwillingness of a teacher to comply with the professional standards of conduct and performance listed herein may result in disciplinary action.  This disciplinary action may result in contract non-renewal or other action up to and including dismissal from employment.  In all matters concerning a teacher's compliance with this policy, consideration shall be given to the impact on the education of a student or group of students and on the overall educational environment of the school.

Statutory Authority:  G.S. 115C-47(1), (4), (9), (12), and (18); G.S. 115C-325(e)(3); 16 NCAC 6C.0601.

SEE ALSO: The Code of Ethics for NC Educators 

Duty to Report

School personnel are in a position of trust working with the youth of the community. Any condition that presents a potential danger to a student or students should be reported. Employees should direct concerns to supervisory personnel. Please consult the BOE Policy Manual or contact your supervisor with questions about your duty to report certain circumstances under policy or law.

NCGS§ 115C-400.   School personnel to report child abuse. “Any person who has cause to suspect child abuse or neglect has a duty to report the case of the child to the Director of Social Services of the county, as provided in Article 3 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes. (1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1998-202, s. 13(bb).)”

Under NC law, you are encouraged to report to your principal/supervisor if you have evidence of activity by any school employee that violates a state or federal law, is fraudulent, involves the misappropriation of resources, or endangers public health or safety. If you report such activity in good faith, you cannot be dismissed, demoted, or subjected to any form of discrimination for having made such a report.

Electronic Resources and Acceptable Use Policies

BOE Policy IIBG: Technology Acceptable Use governs both employee and student use of the district’s electronic resources. The full policy file is available via this link or by navigating to the district’s online policy manual. School system technological resources are provided for school-related purposes only.  Acceptable uses of such technological resources are limited to activities that support learning and teaching.  Use of school system technological resources for other purposes, including commercial gain or profit, is prohibited.

All employees must use the school system network when communicating with students about any school-related matters.  Thus, employees may not use personal websites or on-line networking profiles to post information in an attempt to communicate with students about school-related matters. Employees are to maintain an appropriate, professional relationship with students at all times.  Employees are encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on employee personal websites or on-line networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could view materials that are not age-appropriate.  If an employee creates and/or posts inappropriate content on a website or profile and it has a negative impact on the employee’s ability to perform his or her job as it relates to working with students, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.  This applies to all employees, volunteers, and student teachers working in the school system.

Employee Grievance Policy

BOE Policy GBM Staff Grievances: Each employee of the Transylvania County Board of Education has the right to present for solution any problem related to employment and is encouraged to exercise this right without fear of recrimination.  For this purpose, a grievance procedure is established.  Within the procedure, progressive steps are provided for advancing the complaint to another level when it has not been resolved.  The purpose of this procedure is to secure, at the lowest possible level, equitable solutions to the problems that arise from time to time. Furthermore, the intent is to reduce potential areas of complaints and to establish and maintain recognized channels of communications between staff and administration.

See BOE POLICY GMB-R for the guidelines and procedures used for the employee grievance process.

Harassment/Bullying

BOE Policy ACB Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying: The Board of Education acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and employees and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring, and inviting school environment to facilitate student learning and achievement. The Board prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age and will provide equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law. The Board will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or bullying in any of its educational or employment activities or programs.

SEE BOE POLICY ACB-R for the guidelines and procedures used for filing a complaint under this policy.

Reporting Criminal Charges

Applicants for employment and current employees of the Board must immediately notify the Superintendent/designee if they are arrested, charged with, or convicted of a criminal offense (including entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere) other than a minor traffic violation (including speeding, parking, or lesser violations).  Notice must be made in writing, must include all relevant facts, and must be delivered to the Superintendent/designee no later than the next scheduled business day following the arrest, charge, or conviction, unless the applicant is hospitalized or incarcerated, in which case the applicant must report the alleged violation within twenty-four hours of his or her release.  Upon judicial action in the matter, the applicant or current employee must report the disposition and relevant facts in writing to the Superintendent/designee no later than the next business day following adjudication.

SEE ALSO BOE POLICY GBN

Relationships with Students

Both the Transylvania County Board of Education and State Board of Education have policies in place governing the professional conduct of employees when dealing with conducting oneself appropriately with students. All employees of the Board are expected to be appropriate role models for students and maintain a position of trust working with the community’s children. An excerpt from the Standards for Professional Conduct for NC Educators is included below and the Board expects all employees to take note of these expectations.

Conduct with students. The educator shall treat all students with respect. The educator shall not commit any abusive act or sexual exploitation with, to, or in the presence of a student, whether or not that student is or has been under the care or supervision of that educator, as defined below:

(A)        any use of language that is considered profane, vulgar, or demeaning;

(B)         any sexual act;

(C)        any solicitation of a sexual act, whether written, verbal, or physical;

(D)        any act of child abuse, as defined by law;

(E)         any act of sexual harassment, as defined by law; and

(F)         any intentional solicitation, encouragement, or consummation of a romantic or physical relationship with a student, or any sexual contact with a student. The term "romantic relationship" shall include dating any student. SEE ALSO BOE POLICY GBA

The Board expects all employees to maintain the highest professional, moral, and ethical standards in their interactions with students. Employees are required to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning through consistently and fairly applied discipline and established and maintained professional boundaries. Employees are expected to motivate each student to perform to his or her capacity while modeling the behavior expected of students in staff-student relationships. The interactions and relationships between staff and students should be based upon cooperation, mutual respect, and an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between adults and students in and outside of the educational setting. Employees are also expected to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their own conduct and in the conduct of others when interacting with students. Employees shall consult their supervisor any time they suspect or are unsure whether conduct is inappropriate. SEE ALSO BOE Policy 4040/7310 Staff-Student Relations

Seclusion and Restraint

All employees of the Board are expected to take notice of Policy JGB Seclusion/Restraint/Isolation both for the directives on behavior and reporting.

Security/Safety

Each school or work site has an emergency operations plan. Employees should direct questions to the principal/supervisor of their work site or to the district’s Director of Safe Schools.

Social Media

The Board recognizes the importance of incorporating current technology tools, including new methods of electronic communication, into the classroom to enhance student learning. It further recognizes the importance of employees, students, and parents engaging, learning, collaborating, and sharing in digital environments as part of 21st Century learning. The Board strives to ensure that electronic communication tools incorporated into the school curriculum are used responsibly and safely. As practicable, the Board will provide access to secure social media tools and Board approved technologies for use during instructional time and for school-sponsored activities. The Board acknowledges that school employees may engage in the use of social media during their personal time. School employees who use social media for personal purposes must be mindful that they are responsible for their public conduct even when not acting in their capacities as school system employees. All school employees, including student teachers and independent contractors shall comply with the requirements of BOE policy when using electronic social media for personal purposes.

Each employee should review BOE Policy 7335: Employee Use of Social Media in order to be sure that his/her legal obligations as a professional are met.

Use of School or School System Property/Resources

Staff members are expected to use any item that is the property of the Transylvania County Board of Education in an appropriate and job-related manner. The property of the Board is not to be used for personal gain. Any item bought in the name of a school within the district becomes property of the Transylvania County Board of Education.

Weather-related closings or delays

Each school may develop procedures on communicating information with staff members about closings or delays related to inclement weather. BOE Policy GCJA discusses procedures for staff related to inclement weather school schedules.


4. Compensation and Benefits

Payroll

Pay Day/Payroll Procedures

Please see your site supervisor for questions about payroll procedures. For specific payroll questions, you may contact Lisa Osteen in the Finance Office at losteen@tcsnc.org or 884-6173.

Time Reporting

All employees are expected to clock in each day using the Timekeeper system. Exempt employees (licensed instructional staff and administrators) do not clock out as they work until their professional obligations are complete. Non-exempt employees (office support, teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, and other support staff areas) must keep actual work time using the Timekeeper system and should clock in for work and clock out at the end of the work day. Employees should direct questions about time expectations and procedures to their site supervisor.

Compensatory Time and Overtime

Exempt employees (licensed instructional staff and administrators) are NOT eligible to earn compensatory time or overtime. There is not a set maximum weekly work schedule for such employees.

Non-exempt employees do accrue compensatory time in any workweek when over 40 hours are worked. Non-exempt employees must clear any overage beyond the 40-hour workweek with their supervisor in advance. The workweek for TCS begins at 12:00 AM Sunday and ends at 11:59 PM Saturday each week. If compensatory time is approved to be taken during the same week in which the additional hours were worked, the non-exempt employee is entitled to take 1 hour compensatory time for each hour additional time worked. If the compensatory time is approved to be taken on a week other than the one in which the additional hours were worked, the non-exempt employee is entitled to take 1.5 hours for each hour of additional time worked. The supervisor must approve, in advance, the dates and times an employee plans to take compensatory time off.

Overtime is not paid by Transylvania County Schools except in the most rare of circumstances. In such cases, those employees are informed directly of relevant procedures.

Paystub (Timekeeper)

Employees may access check stubs and leave balances at any time using their Timekeeper account. You do not need to be on the school system network to get this information as those parts of Timekeeper are available outside the network for you to access or view at any time.

Direct Deposit

All new employees are required to enroll in direct deposit. Electronic deposit of your paycheck gives you faster access to your money and eliminates the chance of lost or stolen checks.

Benefits

Note: Current information on NC Public School Employee Benefits is available by viewing the state Benefits and Employment Policy Manual available from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/district-humanresources/key-information/ on the NC Department of Public Instruction website.

State Health Plan

The State Health Plan administered by the State Health Benefits Office provides coverage for hospital and medical expenses. The employer pays the base amount for the individual coverage of any permanent full-time employee wishing to enroll. Health coverage for dependents and for part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week may be added at the employee’s expense. For information about the state health plan, including costs for adding dependents, please visit the State Health Plan website at www.shpnc.org .

Retiree Health Insurance

The 2006 Legislature changed the number of years of employment needed to qualify for retiree health insurance.  Previously, an employee who contributed to the retirement system at least five years was eligible for retiree health insurance.  All employees hired on October 1, 2006 or later must now contribute to the retirement system at least twenty years before being eligible for retiree health insurance.

Disability Income

The Disability Income Plan of North Carolina provides short- and long-term disability benefits at the employer’s expense for permanent employees who are members of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and who meet certain state service requirements. Short-term disability benefits are available to disabled employees with at least one year of contributory retirement service earned within the 36 calendar months preceding the disability. Short-term disability benefits generally begin on the 61st day of disability and provide monthly income equal to 50 percent of one-twelfth of the annual base salary including longevity and local supplements, if any, for up to 365 calendar days subject to a monthly maximum of $3,000. The employer’s part of the hospital/medical insurance is provided at the same level as during active employment provided the employee has contributed to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System for five years.

After exhausting short-term disability benefits, employees with at least five years of contributory retirement service earned within the 96 calendar months prior to the end of the short-term disability period may be eligible for long-term disability income benefits. In order to be eligible, the Plan’s Medical Board must determine that the disability has been continuous, likely to be permanent, and incurred at the time of active employment. Long-term disability benefits continue until the end of the disability or the earliest date a person becomes eligible for unreduced retirement benefits.

Benefits from the Disability Income Plan are subject to certain offsets or reductions for benefits received from other programs. The Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer can provide more information regarding benefits provided under the Disability Income Plan.

Unemployment Insurance

Public school employees are entitled to unemployment insurance. Benefit amounts are based on a percentage of a person’s earnings, up to the allowable maximum.

Workers’ Compensation

All public school employees are entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Employees must have suffered an accidental injury or contracted an occupational disease in the course of employment to be eligible for medical payments, compensation for lost salary or death benefits under this program. Contact Kelly Clark in the Human Resources office for Workers’ Compensation questions (all other benefit questions are directed to Lisa Kimzey in the Finance office)

Episode of Violence

Any permanent full-time employee who suffers an injury or disability while engaged in the course of his or her employment can receive full salary if the injury or disability arose from an episode of violence, as defined by General Statute 115C-338, and the employee did not participate or provoke the violence. Salary compensation continues for one year, the continuation of the disability or time during which the employee is unable to engage in his or her employment because of the injury, whichever period is shortest. While receiving the benefit, an employee is not eligible to receive workers’ compensation income benefits. However, the employee may receive medical, hospital, drug, and related expense payments from workers’ compensation. The employee is not required to use paid leave for absences due to an episode of violence.

 

Retirement Benefits

Permanent full-time employees are covered by the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System. Employees contribute 6 percent of their monthly salaries, and employers currently contribute nearly 14 percent of employee wages to the Retirement System. Employee contributions are paid with pretax dollars, thereby reducing current state and federal income taxes. Employees who are involuntarily terminated or who resign after five or more years of Retirement System membership may withdraw their retirement contributions, plus any statutory interest earned. Persons who voluntarily resign with less than five years of membership in the Retirement System may withdraw only the funds contributed by the individual. Persons leaving public school employment may elect to leave their contributions in the Retirement System. For a quick overview of retirement benefits as of April 2014, click here (pdf file).

Death Benefits

The designated beneficiaries are entitled to receive a lump sum payment equal to the employee contributions plus interest in the member’s account at the time of death. If the member dies while in active service (while being paid a salary or within 180 days from the last day of service) and if the member designated only one principal beneficiary; has attained at least 20 years of membership service, regardless of age; or was at least age 60 with five (5) or more years of membership service, the designated beneficiary may elect, in lieu of the lump sum return of contributions plus interest, a monthly benefit for life.

In addition to the return of contributions, members are covered by a death benefit if death occurs while in active service (while being paid salary or within 180 days from the last day of service) if the member has completed at least one calendar year as a member of the Retirement System. Upon the death of an active member, the beneficiary(ies) will receive a lump sum payment equal to the member’s highest 12 month’s salary in a row during the 24 months preceding death subject to a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

Supplemental Retirement Plans

State-sponsored supplemental retirement plans are available to school employees. The Deferred Compensation Plan and State 401(K) Plan allow school employees to save for retirement through tax sheltered programs. Other tax sheltering retirement plans are available in many school systems.

Social Security

School employees are members of the federal Social Security System and both employees and employers make contributions. Benefits include retirement income, disability payments, and survivor’s insurance. Social Security contributions have two parts, Social Security and Medicare. The 2001 rate for employees and employers for Social Security is 6.2% on salaries up to $80,400. The rate for Medicare is 1.45% and is paid by employees and employers on all salaries.

 

Payroll Deduction

Several tax-deferred investment options are available to employees through payroll deduction. Employees have complete control over which, if any, options they choose to invest in, and taxes are deferred until you withdraw the money. The Board also provides the opportunity to purchase, Roth IRA's, supplemental retirement plans, and life insurance through payroll deduction.

Flexible Benefits Plan

Our flexible benefits plan allows employees to customize their benefits package by choosing between receiving taxable compensation and one or more tax-free benefits.

Qualifying benefits available include:

Spouse and family health insurance

Accident insurance

Vision insurance

Dental insurance

Medical costs not covered by insurance

Qualified dependent care costs

Heart/stroke and intensive care insurance

Short-term disability gap insurance

Term and whole life insurance

 

Please direct all insurance, retirement, and benefits (non-salary) questions to Lisa Kimzey in the district’s finance office.


5. Leave and Absences

Annual Leave (Earned Leave)

Permanent full-time and part-time employees earn annual vacation leave. To earn vacation leave in a given month, employees must be working or on paid leave during one-half or more of the workdays in a monthly pay period. Eligible part-time permanent employees earn leave equal to their percentage of full-time employment. State regulations and policies established by local school systems govern when vacation leave may be taken. Unused vacation leave can be accumulated and a maximum of 30 days carried forward to the next fiscal year which begins on July 1st. On June 30th of each year, any accumulated days of vacation leave in excess of 30 days are converted to sick leave days. Teachers with accumulated annual vacation leave days in excess of 30 that are attributable to attending required workdays and who did not have the opportunity to use all of their vacation leave earned during the school calendar may opt to be paid for some of these days. When employees transfer among local educational agencies, vacation leave will also be transferred. Vacation leave may be transferred to a state agency if that agency is willing to accept it. Employees leaving the public schools will be paid for up to 30 days of accumulated leave. In case of death, the employee’s estate will receive payment for any accumulated vacation leave up to 30 days.

Employees earn leave based on years of service as follows:

Years of State Service

Days Earned Per Month

0 but less than 5 years

1.17

5 but less than 10 years

1.42

10 but less than 15 years

1.67

15 but less than 20 years

1.92

20 years or more

2.17

 

Sick Leave

Permanent full-time and part-time employees who are working, or are on paid leave for one-half or more of the workdays in a monthly pay period, earn sick leave at the rate of one day per month. Eligible permanent part-time employees earn sick leave equal to their percentage of full-time employment. Sick leave may be granted for the following:

-Personal illness, injury, or other temporary disability, or

-Illness in the employee’s immediate family that necessitates the employee’s attendance, or

-Death in the immediate family, or

-Medical appointments.

Sick leave may be accumulated indefinitely and is transferable among local school systems, and may be transferred to a state agency, community college or technical institute if the receiving agency is willing to accept the leave. Upon retirement accrued sick leave may be applied toward creditable state service. If an employee separates from service prior to retirement, sick leave will be held for 60 months.

Extended Sick Leave

Classroom teachers are provided up to 20 days each year of extended sick leave, less a $50 per day deduction to help defray the cost of substitutes. Extended sick leave may be used for personal illness, personal injury, or other personal temporary disability. Extended sick leave can only be used after all sick leave and available vacation leave have been exhausted. Unused extended sick leave does not carry forward to subsequent school years.

Voluntary Shared Leave

Voluntary shared leave is intended to provide economic relief for employees who face financial hardship due to a prolonged absence or frequent short-term absences caused by a serious medical condition. Voluntary shared leave may also be used during the required waiting period for short-term disability. An employee who is receiving benefits or is eligible to receive benefits from the Disability Income Plan is not eligible to receive donated leave.

Permanent full-time and part-time employees are eligible to receive donated leave. The employee must exhaust available sick leave and vacation leave before using donated leave. Employees who are approved by their superintendent to receive donated leave may receive annual vacation leave from any employee in their own school system. With the approval of the superintendent, annual vacation leave and/or sick leave may be received from an immediate family member in any school system or state agency. (For more information on voluntary shared leave, see the Benefits Manual section 04.3).

Public school employees cannot donate or receive leave from employees or family members in community colleges institutions or in county agencies of mental health, public health, social services or emergency management.

Personal Leave 

Teachers in permanent positions earn two days of personal leave during the ten-month school term (.2 days per month). When used, a salary deduction of $50 per day is assessed. These days can be accumulated to a maximum of five days and are transferable among school systems. Personal leave cannot be advanced and is granted upon authorization of an employee’s immediate supervisor. This type of leave is not normally provided on the first day of school, a required teacher workday, or the last day before or the next working day after a holiday or scheduled vacation day. In special situations, supervisors may approve leave which does not conform to these stipulations.

Holiday Leave

Twelve-month employees normally observe 11 holidays per year. Ten-month employees normally observe 10 holidays per year. When Christmas falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday an additional day of holiday leave is provided. Local boards of education determine when holidays are scheduled. Most local boards of education incorporate the holiday schedule adopted for state employees when developing the school calendar.

Compensatory Leave

Only employees classified as nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) who work more than 40 hours in a work week are eligible for overtime pay. Compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay may be given if agreed to by the employee and employer prior to the performance of the work. Compensatory time off is calculated at the rate of one and one-half hours for each hour of overtime worked. Compensatory leave may be accumulated to a maximum of 240 hours. When the maximum is reached, additional overtime work must be paid. If a nonexempt employee terminates employment, he/she must be paid for any unused compensatory leave.

 

Other Leave Types

 

Jury Duty

When permanent school employees are absent from work to serve on a jury, no deduction is made from their regular salaries. Employees are entitled to their regular compensation plus any fees received for jury duty.

Court Attendance

When employees are absent from work to attend court in connection with their official duty or because they were subpoenaed as a witness to a crime, no salary deduction is made. Except for travel reimbursement, any fees received in an official capacity must be returned to the local school system. If, however, an employee must be absent from work as a defendant, plaintiff, or witness in a case for personal matters, no salary is received unless the employee uses appropriate vacation leave or personal leave.

Parental Leave

Permanent full-time and part-time school employees may request a leave of absence using appropriate paid leave and/or leave without pay for up to one calendar year immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. The 12 months of leave may be extended for the remainder of the school year when this leave would otherwise end in the latter half of the school year.

Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides eligible employees with family and medical leave without pay for up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child; to care for a spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious medical condition; or a serious health condition of the employee. During the 12 weeks, the employer paid portion of health benefits will be maintained. The 12 weeks provided by FMLA are not in addition to the parental leave of absence. It is part of this leave if it is requested and approved. Special provisions in the federal legislation regarding instructional personnel should be discussed with your employer or the U.S. Department of Labor.

NOTE: The business rule TCS uses for FMLA used in connection with a childbirth is that the date of birth will be used as the date of the qualifying event and will begin the 12-week period covered by FMLA.

Military Leave

Leave with pay is granted to members of reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces for certain periods of active duty training and for state military duty. Leave with pay is extended to full-time or part-time permanent school employees, normally not to exceed 15 working days during the federal fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), for training and military maneuvers. Military leave without pay can be granted for one enlistment period of active service, not to exceed five years plus 90 days.

Leave of Absence without Pay

Public school employees may be granted leaves of absence without pay for periods determined by the local administrative unit. This leave should be requested in advance and must comply with regulations adopted by the local school system. Contact the Office of Human Resources with questions.


6. Licensure

General Information

Employees of Transylvania County Schools who fill certified positions must hold or be eligible to hold an active professional educator license issued through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  Additionally, those licensed employees who are assigned teaching responsibilities in core academic subject areas must be "highly qualified" pursuant to the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  

Licensure Services

Maintenance of a professional educator license is ultimately the responsibility of the individual license holder and is a contractual requirement for any licensed employee. The Office of Human Resources is committed to providing excellent administrative, clerical, and advisory support to licensed employees of the district.  The Office assists new employees with all facets of the license application process; manages all records of professional development activities for license renewal; facilitates license renewal, extension, reactivation, and other licensure transactions with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction on behalf of license holders; provides licensure review and counseling services to current employees; and, provides other licensure services as needed to support employees' ongoing professional licensure by the State Board of Education.  

Licensure Renewal Information

A detailed account of licensure renewal requirements is available on the TCS website under Human Resources or at the following link: http://www.tcsnc.org/Page/2954 .


7. Appendices

Annual Notifications

-Title IX OF THE EDUCATIONAL AMENDENTS OF 1972

“No person…shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

 The Title IX contact for Transylvania County Schools is Alan Justice.  He may be contacted for further information at 225 Rosenwald Lane, Brevard, NC 28712.  Office telephone: (828) 884-6173.  Email:  ajustice@tcsnc.org

-SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

“No otherwise qualified handicapped individual…shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The Section 504 contact for Transylvania County Schools is EC Program Director  He/she may be contacted for further information at 225 Rosenwald Lane, Brevard, NC 28712.  Office telephone: (828) 884-6173.  

-Bloodborne Pathogens/Abestos Control/Occupational Health

The coordinator for these program areas for TCS is Alan Justice.  He may be contacted for further information at 225 Rosenwald Lane, Brevard, NC 28712.  Office telephone: (828) 884-6173.  Email:  ajustice@tcsnc.org

Electronic Registrar Online (CEU Tracking)

TCS uses the ERO system to manage all licensed, professional CEU credit and licensure renewal credit information. Employees should contact the professional development contact at the school level for support in using the ERO system.

SmartFind Express (Substitute Teacher Management System)

TCS will begin to use the SmartFindExpress substitute management system in August 2014. Using this system, teachers will arrange absences online or via a phone system so that substitute teachers are employed by an automatic call-out system. For questions about SFE, please contact your school’s payroll secretary or Micki Guinn at mguinn@tcsnc.org or 884-6173.