Stevensville School District
Table of Contents
Business Office Hours
Community Use of Building
Sick Leave Donations/Bank
Personal and Emergency Leave
Family and Medical Leave Act
Jury Duty and Court Absences
Admission to District Extracurricular Activities
Address and Contact Information
Automated External Defibrillator
Care/Use of District Property
Cash in District Buildings
Work Day Checkout
Child Abuse Reporting
Communicable Disease/Bloodborne Pathogens/Infection Control Procedures
Contracts and Compensation
Criminal Background Checks/Fingerprinting
Discipline and Discharge
Email and Electronic Communications
Severe Driving Conditions
Emergency Procedures and Disaster Plans
Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination
Evaluation of Staff
Fair Labor and Standards Act
Gifts and Solicitations
Guest Speakers/Controversial Speakers
Overtime (Non-Certified Staff)
Participation in Political Activities
Pay Periods and Deposits
Pupil Instruction Related Days (PIR)
Release of Staff Information
Research/Copyrights and Patents
Resignation of Staff
Special Interest Materials
Staff Dress and Grooming
Staff Health and Safety
Supervision of Students
Teaching about Religion
Tobacco Free Environment
Use of Private Vehicles for District Business
CLASSROOM AND STUDENT LEVEL OPERATIONS
Academic Freedom and Controversial Issues
Administering Medicines to Students
Communicable Diseases/Students with HIV, HBV, AIDS
Contests for Students
Dismissal of Class
Field Trips and Special Events
Media Access to Students
Moving Class/Holding Classes Outdoors
Release Time for Religious Activities
Student Activity Funds
Student Transportation in Private Vehicles
Student Withdrawal From School
Welcome to the Stevensville Public School District
The material covered within this employee handbook is intended as a method of communicating to employees regarding general District information, rules, and regulations, and is not intended to either enlarge or diminish any Board policy, administrative regulation, or negotiated agreement. Material contained herein may, therefore, be superseded by such Board policy, administrative regulation, negotiated agreement, or changes in state or federal law.
Any information contained in this employee handbook is subject to unilateral revision or elimination, from time to time, without notice, consultation, or publication, except as may be required by contractual agreements or law.
No information in this document shall be viewed as an offer, expressed or implied, or as a guarantee of any employment of any duration.
In this handbook, bolded policy codes indicate related Board policies. Please direct any questions to the Stevensville Public Schools superintendent.
Equal Education/Employment Opportunity Policy
As required by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1971, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Boy Scouts Act, the Stevensville School District #2 is committed to equal access and a program of equal opportunity for education employment, and participation in school activities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, age, handicap or national origin.
For more information regarding Section 504, Title II, Title IX and the Age Act, or to file a complaint, contact District Superintendent, Dr. Robert Moore.
The Stevensville Teachers’ Association is the bargaining unit for all certified staff. Association officers and building representatives are as follows: Chyrle Wohlman, President.
The Paraprofessional/Secretaries Association is the bargaining unit for all para-educators and secretaries. Association officers and building representatives are as follows: Jennifer Conley, President.
The Custodians and Maintenance workers bargaining unit is the Laborers’ Union. Association officers and building representatives are as follows: Cliff Wallace, President.
The Legislature of the State of Montana delegates to the Board responsibility for the conduct and governance of district schools.
Board members, as elected by residents of this district, are as follows:
Greg Trangmoe – Board Chairman (2019)
Cathi Cook – Board Vice-Chairperson (2021)
Sarah Armijo – Trustee (2021)
Michele Brunson – Lone Rock High School District Trustee (2021)
Billy Donaldson – Trustee (2019)
Sean Lenahan – Trustee (2020)
Lucas McCormick – Trustee (2019)
Vacant – Trustee (2020)
Unless otherwise specified, all meetings will be held in the Music Center (Bldg. D). Regular meetings shall be held at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, or at other times and places determined by a majority vote. Except for an unforeseen emergency, meetings must be held in school buildings or upon unanimous vote of the Trustees, in a publicly accessible building located within the District. If regular meetings are to be held at places other than the place stated above or are adjourned to times other than the regular meeting time, notice of the meeting shall be made in the same manner as provided for special meetings. When a meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held on the next business day.
BUSINESS OFFICE HOURS
The district office is open between the hours of 8AM – 4:30PM weekdays during the school year.
During summer months and other times during the school year when school is not in session, the office is open between the hours of 8AM and 4PM daily.
COMMUNITY USE OF BUILDING
School facilities are available to the community for education, civic, cultural, and other uses consistent with the public interest, when such use does not interfere with a school program or school-sponsored activities. Use of school facilities for school purposes has precedence over all other uses. Persons on school premises must abide by the district’s conduct rules at all times. Contact the District office for more information.
The district’s high school is a member of the Montana High School Association (MHSA) and participates in recognized activities in the Southwestern “A” Conference within the Western “A” Division with schools comprised of comparable enrollments and activity programs.
2019-20 Conference schools include: Hamilton, Corvallis, Butte Central, Dillon, Frenchtown, and Stevensville.
The high school participates in the following MHSA-recognized activities: football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, volleyball, girls’ and boys’ cross country, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ basketball, track, softball, boys’ and girls’ tennis, boys’ and girls’ golf, band, choir, and speech & debate.
Certified employees shall be granted sick leave according to the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement.
Classified employees shall be granted sick leave benefits in accordance with § 2-18-618, MCA. For classified staff, “sick leave” means a leave of absence, with pay, if available, for a sickness suffered by an employee or his or her immediate family. The district in accordance with Policy 5321 and the governing collective bargaining agreements will judge each request.
Sick Leave Bank
Certified employees sick leave bank time shall be granted according to the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Classified employees sick leave donation is intended to allow colleagues to donate sick leave time to a fellow employee who has exhausted all leave due to an extended illness. To qualify, the employee must have an extended illness and must have exhausted all leave.
Employees will only receive donations to cover lost work time and accrued leave time during the absence will be used prior to sick leave donation time. This leave does not extend or affect the Family Medical Leave Policy. Sick Leave Donation request forms are available in the district office and must be approved by the superintendent. Donations of sick leave will be accepted for two weeks from the time of approval. Sick leave donation time will only be approved for up to three (3) months.
All professional leave is granted at the discretion of the school administration and must be approved by building administration or the superintendent.
Personal and Emergency Leave
Teachers may be granted personal and other types of leave according to the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement. Teachers hired after the start of the school year will have sick and personal leave pro-rated.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees who have made the request to the Superintendent, filed proper forms, and meet the established required qualifications are eligible if they have worked for the District for at least one (1) year, and for one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours over the previous twelve (12) months, and if there have been at least fifty (50) District employees within seventy-five (75) miles for each working day during twenty (20) or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
Length/Purpose of Leave
In accordance with provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), a leave of absence of up to twelve (12) weeks during a twelve-(12)-month period to, which the district counts forward, may be granted to an eligible employee for the following reasons: 1) birth of a child; 2) placement of a child for adoption or foster care; 3) a serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform functions of the job; 4) to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; 5) because of a qualifying exigency (as the Secretary shall, by regulation, determine) arising out of the fact that the spouse or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.
Service member Family Leave
Subject to Section 103 of the FMLA of 1993, as amended, an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member shall be entitled to a total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of leave during a twelve-(12)-month period to care for the service member. The leave described in this paragraph shall only be available during a single twelve-(12)-month period.
(Refer to policy 5328 & 5328P)
Jury Duty and Court Absences
Employees summoned for jury duty or required to testify in legal or court matters beyond their personal interests, will be granted leave with pay. The employee must provide notice to the District Office and must refuse jury duty pay or submit jury duty pay to the District Office as the employee may not receive jury duty pay and pay from the District for the same time period. Employees are eligible for court provided mileage reimbursement for jury duty. Employees will not be granted paid leave for personal court and legal matters.
The classified and 12-month administrative employees shall accrue annual vacation leave benefits in accordance with §§ 2-18-611, 2-18-612, 2-18-614 through 2-18-617 and 2-18-621, MCA.
ADMISSION TO DISTRICT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
ALL District Employees will be allowed free entrance into Stevensville extracurricular activities by presenting their school identification card.
ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
All staff are required to keep current mailing and contact information on file with the District Office and their immediate supervisor. A change address/contact information is required upon any change in contact information.
AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR (AED) GUIDELINES
Stevensville Public School District recognizes that from time to time emergencies may arise that justify the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The school district has 6 AED units strategically placed and easily accessible throughout the campus. The placement of the units allows for response time of 3-5 minutes from the time a cardiac emergency is identified to the time the first AED shock.
The school district has a designated AED team which is to be notified via a campus-wide all call in the event of a cardiac emergency. Staff on the AED team have current certification in CPR/AED. If the AED team is called to an emergency, they will bring an AED unit to the scene, and take over care from whomever initiated care in the emergency situation.
It is the responsibility of each staff member to know where each of the AED units is located throughout campus in the event they are asked to get one.
AED Units are located as follows:
- K-3 Building – On wall in Office
- Elementary Gym – on wall near PE Office
- 4-8 Lobby – North wall
- Multi-Purpose Room (MPR)/Lunch Room on the west wall just inside the south door
- High School Gym – Just inside the main entrance on north wall
- High School Hallway – On wall outside the staff restrooms of the main office
- One unit is portable and is located in the equipment building at the football field during fall and spring sports and in the Athletic Directors Office during the winter season.
CARE/USE OF DISTRICT PROPERTY
All staff members are encouraged to exercise continuous and vigilant care of all district-owned property. Such items as computer and video equipment, and musical instruments are priority items for theft and damage.
Incidents of theft or willful destruction of district property through vandalism or malicious mischief should be reported immediately to the building principal and/or direct supervisor.
Staff may check out certain district-owned equipment. Such equipment may not be used for personal financial gain. An equipment-use form must be submitted and approved. In the event of loss or damage to the equipment, the District will assess a fee according to the repair or replacement costs.
Forms are available in the District Office.
CASH IN DISTRICT BUILDINGS
Money collected by staff as a result of fund raisers or other school-related purposes is to be deposited in the Business Office whenever the sum accumulated in any one day, by a class, staff member, or others, exceeds $25. Do not use cash to purchase items. Follow district purchasing procedures at all times. At no time are substantial amounts of money to be kept overnight or held during holidays or for long periods of time in classrooms.
Staff members are asked to emphasize to students the importance of promptly depositing money collected with appropriate school officials.
Work Day Checkout
Teachers may leave the building and district grounds during lunch as necessary. The building principal must approve departures during preparation periods.
Classified staff are permitted to leave the building and district grounds during their lunch break.
All staff are required to check out/in with the building principal. This will enable office staff to respond appropriately in the event of message and emergency situations that may arise.
All staff must complete a checkout at the conclusion of the school year with the building principal. All grades, forms, and required work must be completed prior to the issuance of final paychecks.
CHILD ABUSE REPORTING
Any staff member who has reasonable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that any child under 18 years of age with whom he/she has come in contact has suffered abuse or neglect, or that any adult with whom he/she is in contact has abused a child, shall immediately orally report to the Department of Family Services or local law enforcement agency. The building principal is also to be immediately informed. Hot Line # 866-820-5437
Written documentation of this report must be completed using District Policy 5232F and submitted to the building principal. Forms are available in the office or via the school website for electronic submission to the superintendent.
Failure to report suspected child abuse is a violation, punishable by law and by district disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
A staff member who, based on reasonable grounds, participates in the good-faith making of a child abuse report shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as provided by law.
When leaving the classroom, locker room, or other work areas between classes or at the end of the day, teachers are expected to turn out the lights, including SmartBoards, and secure all doors. Windows should also be secured at day’s end.
All staff are asked to refrain from keeping personal items of value in or about their desks. Purses should never be left unsecured. Students should be instructed to leave valuables at home. The district will not be responsible for the loss of, or damage to, personal property due to such causes as fire, theft, accident, or vandalism.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASE/BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS/INFECTION CONTROL PROCEDURES
The district provides for the reasonable protection against the risk of exposure to communicable disease to all staff while engaged in the performance of their duties. Protection is provided through immunization and exclusion in accordance with Montana Code Annotated and the Administrative Rules of Montana. Infection control procedures, including provisions for handling and disposing of contaminated fluids, have also been established through Board policy and administrative regulations for staff and student protection.
All staff shall comply with measures adopted by the district and with all rules set by the Montana State Health Department and the county health department.
Staff members have a responsibility to report to the district when infected with a communicable disease unless otherwise stated by law.
The district recognizes that complaints regarding staff performance, discipline, grades, student progress, and homework assignments will be made by students and parents from time to time. Every effort will be made to ensure that such complaints are handled and resolved informally and as close to their origin as possible. Students, parents, and others with complaints will be encouraged to discuss the complaint directly with the staff member. All such meetings should be held in confidence and not in the presence of others.
If the complaint is not informally resolved, staff should advise the complainant that he/she may submit the matter directly to the building principal or immediate supervisor, as appropriate. The complainant will be provided with necessary formal complaint procedure guidelines in accordance with Board policy 1700 and applicable provisions of negotiated agreements.
When a complaint is made directly to the Board as a whole or to an individual Board member, it will be referred to the superintendent for appropriate building administrator follow-up.
All staff members should familiarize themselves with Board policy and applicable provisions of administrative regulations and negotiated agreements regarding the handling of complaints.
Staff member complaints contending a violation, misinterpretation, or inappropriate application of district personnel policies and/or administrative regulations should be directed to the building principal or immediate supervisor for informal discussion and resolution.
If the complaint is not resolved informally, staff in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulations may initiate formal complaint procedures.
This complaint procedure may not be used to resolve disputes and disagreements related to the provisions of any negotiated agreement.
CONTRACTS AND COMPENSATION
Contracts for certified staff members will be initiated when hired.
Salaries, including compensation for extracurricular assignment over and above the duties associated with a staff member’s regularly assigned duties, will be determined in accordance with salary schedules and salary placement guidelines established by the Board and/or policies adopted by the Board which are consistent with salary schedules and salary placement provisions of negotiated agreements.
It is the staff member’s responsibility to provide all information necessary for placement on the salary schedule to the office in accordance with timelines established by the district and negotiated agreements.
Extra duty contracts are available through the Business Manager, to an extra-duty employee, upon approval by the Board of Trustees. The stipend contract amount will be paid in two installments. The first installment of fifty percent (50%) of the stipend will be paid two weeks after commencement of duty if the employee has signed the completed contract. The final fifty percent (50%) of the stipend is paid upon satisfactory completion of duties as verified by building administration.
Building administration will notify the business manager that all stipend duties are complete and the Business Manager will release the check upon receipt of notice.
In the event extra duty employment occurs after the start of an activity, the first installment will be paid in the pay cycle following employment approval by the Board of Trustees.
A variety of machines and equipment for reproducing materials to assist staff in carrying out their educational assignments is available to staff in both the school and home setting.
Infringement on copyrighted material, whether prose, poetry, graphic images, music, audio tape, video, or computer-programmed materials, is a serious offense against federal law, a violation of Board policy, and contrary to ethical standards required of staff and students.
All reproduction of copyrighted material shall be conducted strictly in accordance with applicable provisions of law. Unless otherwise allowed as “fair use” under federal law, permission must be acquired from the copyright owner prior to reproduction of material in any form. Permission forms are available in the office.
“Fair use” guidelines are as follows:
- Printed Materials
- Permissible uses — district employees may:
- Make a single copy of the following for use in teaching
or in preparation to teach a class:
- A chapter from a book;
- An article from a periodical or newspaper;
- A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
- A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.
- Make multiple copies for classroom use (not to exceed
one copy per student in a course) from the following:
- A complete poem, if it has fewer than 250 words and does not exceed two printed
pages in length;
- A complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words;
- Prose excerpts not to exceed 10 percent of whole or 1,000 words, whichever is less;
- One chart, graph, diagram, cartoon, or picture per book or per issue of a periodical;
- An excerpt from a children’s book, containing up to 10 percent of the words found in the text.
- All permitted copying must bear an appropriate reference. References should include the author, title, date, and any other pertinent information.
- Prohibited uses — district employees may not:
- Copy more than one work or two excerpts from a single author during one class term;
- Copy more than three works from a collective work or periodical volume during one class term;
- Copy more than nine sets of multiple copies for distribution to students in one class term;
- Copy to create or replace or substitute for anthologies or collective works;
- Copy “consumable” works, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, and answer sheets;
- Copy the same work from term to term;
- Copy the same material for more than one particular course being offered (may not copy every time a particular course is offered) unless permission is obtained from the copyright owner.
- All sound recordings, including phonograph records, audiotapes, compact discs, and laser discs, will be treated under the same provisions that guide the use of print materials unless as may otherwise be excepted by regulations governing the reproduction of works for libraries/media centers.
- Sheet and Recorded Music
- Permissible Uses — district employees may:
- Make emergency copies to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not
available for an imminent performance, provided purchased replacement copies will be substituted in due course;
- Make, for academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies (one per student) of excerpts not constituting an entire performance unit such as a section, movement, or aria, but in no case no more than 10 percent of the whole work;
- Make, for academic purposes other than performance, a single copy of an entire performable unit such as a section, movement, or aria if confirmed by the copyright holder to be out of print or the “unit” is unavailable except in a larger work. The copy may be made solely for the purpose of scholarly research or in preparation to teach a class;
- Edit or simplify printed copies which have been purchased, provided the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist;
- Copy complete works, which are out of print or unavailable, except in large works and used for teaching purposes;
- Make a single copy of a recorded performance by students to be retained by the school or individual teacher for evaluation or rehearsal purposes;
- Make a single copy of a sound recording, such as a tape, disc, or cassette, of copyrighted music owned by the school or an individual teacher for constructing aural exercises or examinations and retained for the same purposes.
- Prohibited uses — district employees may not:
- Copy to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works;
- Copy works intended to be “consumable”, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, and answer sheets;
- Copy for the purpose of performance, except as noted above (A. 1.) in emergencies.
- Copy to substitute for purchase of music except as noted above (A. 1., 2., and 3.);
- Copy without inclusion of the copyright notice on the copy.
III. Television-Off-the-Air Taping
- Permissible uses — district employees may:
- Record a broadcast program off-air simultaneously with the broadcast transmission, including simultaneous cable or satellite retransmission, and retain the recording for a period not to exceed the first 45 consecutive calendar days after the date of the recording.
A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers. Each additional copy will be subject to all provisions governing the original recording.
Unless authorized by the library/media supervisor, at the conclusion of the retention period, all off-air recordings shall be erased or destroyed immediately.
Individuals who wish to retain programs beyond the 45-day period need to complete and return the preview portion of the “Request for Off-Air Video Taping” form to the library/ media specialist for each program videotaped. The library/media specialist will coordinate requests for permission to use or retain copyrighted television programs beyond the 45-day retention period.
- Retain videotapes of commercial programs only with written approval of appropriate copyright holders;
- Use off-air recordings once for each class in the course of relevant teaching activities and repeat once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary and only within the first 10 consecutive school days of the 45-consecutive-calendar-day retention period;
- Use off-air recordings for evaluation purposes only, after the first 10 consecutive school days, up to the end of the 45-consecutive-calendar-day retention period. Evaluation purposes may include use to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum;
- Use off-air recordings made from a satellite dish, if they conform to the 45-consecutive-calendar-day retention period established for broadcast or cable programming and are not subscription channels;
- Use copies of all-air recordings, as stipulated in these guidelines, only if the copies include the copyright notice on the broadcast program;
- Request that a library/media center record and retain for research purposes commercial television news programs from local, regional, or national networks; interviews concerning current events; and on-the-spot coverage of news events. Documentary, magazine-format, and public affairs broadcasts, however, are not included in the definition of daily newscasts of major events of the day.
Requests for retention of programs recorded off-air will be directed to the producers of those programs directly through the network (not affiliate).
- Prohibited Uses — district employees may not:
- Tape off-air programs in anticipation of an educator’s requests;
- Request that a broadcast program be recorded off-air more than once for the same educator, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast;
- Use the recording for instruction after 45 consecutive calendar days;
- Hold the recording for weeks or indefinitely because:
- Units needing the program concepts are not taught within the 45-day use period;
- An interruption or technical problem delayed its use; or
- Another teacher wishes to use it, or any other supposedly “legitimate” educational reason;
- Record programs off-air without written permission from the author/producer/distributor when a special notice is provided specifically prohibiting reproduction of any kind;
- Alter off-air programs from their original content. Broadcast recordings may not be
physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or
derivative works. Off-air recordings, however, need not be used in their entirety;
- Exchange program(s) with other schools in the district or other school districts without the approval of the media/library specialist;
Programs will be used for the specific curriculum application for which the request was intended. No other curriculum application is authorized.
- Use the recording for public or commercial viewing.
- Copy or use subscription programs transmitted via subscription television cable services, such as HBO or Showtime. Such programs are licensed for private home use only and cannot be used in public schools.
“Pay” programs received via satellite dish are also subject to these prohibitions.
- Rental, Purchase, and Use of Videotapes
- Permissible uses — district employees may:
- Use purchased or rented videotapes such as feature films as part of a systematic course of instruction, in accordance with district policy. Such use shall be for direct instruction and must take place in a classroom or similar area devoted to instruction;
- Use only rented, lawfully-made videotapes;
- Arrange for the local school to transmit videotapes over their closed circuit television systems for direct instruction;
- Use off-air videotapes made at home for classroom instruction and only in accordance with television-off-air guidelines and district policy.
- Prohibited uses — district employees may not:
- Use rented or purchased videotapes where a written contract specifically prohibits such use in the classroom or direct teaching situation;
- Use rented or purchased videotapes such as feature films for assemblies, fund raising, entertainment, or other applications outside the scope of direct instruction without public performance rights.
- Permissible uses — district employees may:
- Make a copy of an original computer program for the purpose of maintaining the availability of the program should it be damaged during use. Either the copy or the original may be retained in archives. Only one, either the original or the copy, may be used at any one time;
- Make a copy of a program as an essential step in using the computer program as long as it is used in conjunction with the machine and in no other manner;
- Make a new copy from the archival program in the event that the program in use is damaged or destroyed;
- Use a purchased program sent from a manufacturer labeled “archival”, simultaneously with
the original copy of the program, provided its use is permitted (not excluded) by the terms
of the sales agreement;
- Make an archival copy of a rightfully owned disk that is labeled “archival” by the software
- Load a software program from a single disk into a distribution network or to individual
stand-alone computers for simultaneous use when the distribution network is only
accessible to the owner-user, if not otherwise prohibited by terms of a sales agreement;
- Adapt a copyrighted program from one language to another for which it is not
commercially available, or add features to a program to better meet local needs.
- Prohibited uses — district employees may not:
- Load the contents of one disk into multiple computers at the same time, in the absence of a
license permitting the user to do so;
- Load the contents of one disk into local network or disk-sharing systems in the absence of a
license permitting the user to do so;
- Make or use illegal copies of copyrighted programs on district equipment;
- Allow any student to surreptitiously or illegally duplicate computer software or access any
data base or electronic bulletin board;
- Make copies of software provided by a software publisher for preview or approval;
- Make multiple copies of copyrighted software (or a locally produced adaptation or modification), even for use within the school or district;
- Make replacement copies from an archival or back-up copy;
- Make copies of copyrighted software (or a locally-produced adaptation or modification) to
be sold, leased, loaned, transmitted, or even given away to other users;
- Make multiple copies of the printed documentation that accompanies copyrighted software.
- With permission from the copyright holder, prohibitions may be significantly modified or removed altogether.
- Reproduction of Works for Libraries/Media Centers
- Permissible uses — district employees may:
- Arrange for interlibrary loans of photocopies of works requested by users, provided that copying is not done to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of a work;
- Make for a requesting entity, within any calendar year, five copies of any article or articles published in a given periodical within the last five years prior to the date of the request for the material; Make single copies of articles or sound recordings or excerpts of longer works for a student making a request, provided the material becomes the property of the student for private study, scholarship, or research;
- Make a copy of an unpublished work for purposes of preservation, of a published work to replace a damaged copy of an out-of-print work that cannot be obtained at a fair price; Make off-the-air recordings of daily television news broadcasts for limited distribution to researchers and scholars for research purposes;
- Make one copy of a musical work, pictorial, graphic, sculptural work, motion picture, or other audiovisual work, if the current copy owned by the library/media center is damaged, deteriorated, lost, or stolen, and it has been determined that an unused copy cannot be obtained at a fair price.
- Prohibited uses — district employees may not:
- Make copies for students, if there is reason to suspect that the students have been instructed to obtain copies individually;
- Copy without including a notice of copyright on the reproduced material.
- Permissible uses — district employees must:
- Contact the copyright holder, in writing, for permission when copyrighted works such as plays and musical numbers are to be performed. This is particularly important if admission is to be charged or recordings of the performance are to be sold.
Planned conferences between teachers and parents are essential to the district’s efforts to further understanding and close cooperation between the home and school. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled each fall and spring. The student may be included if the teacher or parent so desires.
Conferences should be treated as an opportunity for constructive, mutual exchange of information and ideas for the welfare and continued academic growth of the student.
Occasionally, teachers or parents may arrange for conferences outside regularly scheduled conference dates, to meet more immediate student needs. Teachers should be prepared to provide after-school or pre-school time to meet with students as necessary.
CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS/FINGERPRINTING
Any finalist recommended for hire to a paid or volunteer position with the district, involving regular unsupervised access to students in schools, as determined by the Superintendent, shall submit to a name-based and fingerprint criminal background investigation conducted by the appropriate law enforcement agency prior to consideration of the recommendation for employment or appointment by the Board. The notification of the name-based check shall be presented to the Board concurrent with the recommendation for employment or appointment. Any subsequent offer of employment or appointment shall be contingent upon results of the fingerprint criminal background check, which must be acceptable to the Board, in its sole discretion.
The following applicants for employment, as a condition for employment, shall be required, as a condition of any offer of employment, to authorize, in writing, a name-based and fingerprint criminal background investigation to determine if he or she has been convicted of certain criminal or drug offenses:
- a certified teacher seeking full- or part-time employment within the district;
- an educational support personnel employee seeking full- or part-time employment within the district;
- an employee of a person or firm holding a contract with the district, if the employee is assigned to the district;
- a volunteer assigned within the district who has REGULAR unsupervised access to students.
- Substitute teachers
Any requirement of an applicant to submit to a fingerprint background check shall be in compliance with the National Child Protection Act and Volunteers for Children Act of 1998 and applicable federal regulations.
Curriculum guides are available for all courses taught in the district. Curriculum guides reflect a consistent and coherent structure for the education of district students.
The curriculum established for the courses and grade levels of this district provides the flexibility necessary to meet the individual needs of students and their divergent learning rates and styles.
Deviations from established curriculum, textbooks, and instructional materials are not permitted without building principal approval. Teachers with questions should contact the building principal.
Though teaching methodology may vary, classroom instruction is expected to reflect “best practices” consistent with research on effective instruction.
DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE
Discipline and dismissal of staff will follow due process, administrative regulation, relevant provisions of negotiated agreements, and applicable law. Employee discipline will follow progressive discipline steps (verbal reprimand, written reprimand(s), plan of improvement, and termination). Any of these steps may be skipped if the actions of the employee are deemed by the superintendent to rise to a level of a stricter disciplinary action.
No staff member engaged in work in connection with a direct federal grant or contract shall unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use on or in the workplace any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, or any other controlled substance or alcohol, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and as further defined by regulation at 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15.
“Workplace” is defined to mean the site for the performance of work done in connection with a federal grant or contract. That includes any school building or any school premises; any school-owned vehicle, or any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property during any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event, or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the school district where work on a federal grant is performed.
Each staff member engaged in work related to a district federal grant or contract must notify his/her supervisor of his/her conviction of any criminal drug statute based on conduct occurring in the workplace, as defined above, no later than five days after such conviction. See District policy 5226.
EMAIL AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
The District email and internet systems are owned by the District and are intended to be used for educational purposes only. While occasional personal use is allowed, employees should have no expectation of privacy when using the electronic mail or Internet systems for any purpose. All email/Internet records are considered District records.
Illegal and improper uses of District email and Internet systems including but not limited to pornography, obscenity, harassment, solicitation, gambling, and violating copyright or intellectual property rights are prohibited. Abuse of email or Internet systems through excessive use, or use in violation of the law or District policies, will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. See District Policy 5450.
In the event of hazardous or emergency conditions, all district schools or selected schools or grade levels may be closed or schedules altered to provide delayed openings of school and/or early dismissal of students as appropriate.
When a late start is called school will start exactly two hours later than the usual time and buses WILL operate. All staff is expected to be at school at the regular time. If an individual staff member feels the roads are not safe, please contact your principal and come to school when the conditions allow. Employees will then be directed to complete an absence slip and use personal leave or vacation time.
Severe Driving Conditions
The Montana Department of Transportation no longer uses the term “Emergency Travel Only”, but rather “Severe Driving Conditions (SDC). When the MDT issues a SDC staff is not required to come to work until the SDC has been lifted. Employees are then directed to complete an absence slip and indicate “other” and then list the time of the SDC and the road for which it was issued. For example, SDC 7-9 am Highway 93. Staff will be allowed one hour from the end of the SDC to travel to work. The time lost due to a Severe Driving Condition situation along with the one-hour travel time will not be charged against the employee. There are three ways to keep informed about a SDC, through the local TV and radio stations, www.mdt.mt.gov or call 511.
The above guidelines are only for daily travel to work. These do not apply to returning home from a weekend trip, Christmas or Thanksgiving Holidays.
There are three ways to keep informed about school closures, through local television and radio stations, our school website, and the district’s automated telephone system.
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES AND DISASTER PLANS
All staff will be provided with a copy of the district’s emergency procedures plan detailed staff responsibilities in the event of such emergencies as disorderly behavior, unlawful assembly, disturbances at school activities, natural disasters, fire, illness or injury of a student or staff member, and the authorized use of force on school property. All staff are expected to actively supervise and assist in emergency situations.
Copies of the emergency procedures will be available in the business office and are supplied to staff members on laminated color-coded cards.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
The Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The District does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, race, national origin, religion, sex, or veteran status, as required by law. Reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities will be made as required by law. If considerations of sex, age or disability have a bona fide relationship to the unique requirements of a particular job or if there are federal or state legal requirements that apply, then sex, age or disability may be taken into account as a bona fide occupational qualification, provided such consideration is consistent with governing law.
If you have questions concerning District compliance with state and federal equal opportunity employment laws, contact the District’s Non-Discrimination Coordinator, Dr. Robert Moore OR Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Nate Fry; Title IX Coordinator, Brian Gum; and Age Discrimination Coordinator Dr. Robert Moore at the Stevensville Public Schools (406)777-5481. For additional information, please see Policy 5010.
EVALUATION OF STAFF
The district’s evaluation program is designed to provide an opportunity for staff to set goals and objectives, including plans for professional growth and career opportunities, and receive administrative responses to them; to have formal and informal observations of the teaching of licensed staff and the performance of assigned duties and job responsibilities of all other staff; to receive verbal and written comments and suggestions for improvement from supervisors; and to have clear opportunities to make improvement within specific timelines.
The evaluation program also provides a tool for administrators who are responsible for making decisions about promotion, retention, dismissal, and discipline.
Certified probationary staff will be formally evaluated at least twice a year. All other licensed staff will be formally evaluated at least annually or as the collective bargaining agreement allows.
Classified staff will be formally evaluated at least twice during their first year of employment with the district and annually thereafter.
Copies of the district’s evaluation procedures will be provided to all staff. Evaluation of all staff will be conducted in accordance with established Board policy and applicable district evaluation procedures, negotiated agreements, and Montana Code Annotated.
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
Regular working hours for all classified staff will be set by the building principal. Classified staff are not to work before, beyond, or outside their established working hours and are not to work overtime without prior authorization from the building principal.
All time sheets must be a true reflection of all time worked, whether it is more or less than regularly scheduled work hours.
Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action in accordance with applicable provisions of Board policy, administrative regulations, and negotiated agreements.
Administrators, directors, and/or supervisors shall give written notification to non-exempt employees, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, of the Board’s following expectations:
– What constitutes non-exempt working hours;
– What constitutes normal working hours;
– That employees are not to work before, beyond, or outside their normal working hours and are not to work overtime without prior authorization;
– That employee time sheets be a true reflection of all time worked, whether it is more or less than normally scheduled hours;
– That a written corrective statement be given to employees not complying with established procedures.
Overtime is defined as time worked over 40 hours in one week. A week is defined as seven consecutive days covering Monday through Sunday.
Activities to raise money for a wide variety of school activities and equipment are held at various times throughout the course of the school year. All fund-raising activities must be conducted under the direct supervision of staff or other authorized individuals and approved by the building principal prior to the activity being initiated. Fund-raising requests must include an explanation or justification for the proposal, consistent with building and/or district goals. Fund-raising must not interfere with or disrupt school.
Fund-raising request forms are available in the Business Office. All money raised must be receipted and deposited with the district. No cash from fundraising can be used for purchases. All money must first be deposited with the District. Staff and students should take all reasonable precautions to provide for the security of any items/materials/products being sold. Staff members are directed to follow established building procedures for the depositing of funds collected. At no time should money collected be allowed to accumulate in classrooms, lockers, or other unsecured areas.
GIFTS AND SOLICITATIONS
Staff members are to avoid accepting anything of value offered by another for the purpose of influencing his/her professional judgment. No organization may solicit funds from staff members within the schools, nor may anyone distribute flyers or other materials related to fund drives through the school without building principal approval.
The solicitation of staff by sales people, other staff, or agents during on-duty hours is prohibited without building principal approval. Any solicitation should be reported at once to the building principal.
Refer to applicable provisions of certified and/or classified negotiated agreements, or board policy, as appropriate.
GUEST SPEAKERS/CONTROVERSIAL SPEAKERS
Guest speakers may be used by teachers from time to time, when such use is consistent with educational goals and with a demonstrable relation to the curricular or co-curricular activity in which the participating students are involved. Teachers are expected to inform the building principal of the date, time, and nature of the presentation whenever such use is planned.
Prior building principal approval is required whenever the guest speaker and/or presentation may be reasonably considered controversial.
Harassment of staff members is strictly prohibited on district property, including non-district property while a staff member is at any district-sponsored, district-approved, or district-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events, in which students are under the control of the district or where the staff member is engaged in district business.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, disability, and sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- The staff member’s submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition of employment;
- The staff member’s submission to, or rejection of, the conduct or communication is the basis for decisions affecting employment and assignment;
- The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance;
- The conduct or communication has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Other types of harassment may include, but not be limited to, jokes, stories, pictures, or objects that are offensive, tend to alarm, annoy, abuse, or demean certain protected individuals and groups.
Aggrieved employees who feel comfortable in doing so should inform the person engaging in harassment to stop immediately. The aggrieved employee should also contact the Title IX Coordinator or an administrator who will assist them in filing a complaint.
A staff member whose behavior is found to be in violation of Board policy may be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. A student whose behavior is found to be in violation of Board policy may be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion.
Any staff member who is subject to, or knows of, such harassment is directed to notify the building principal or superintendent immediately. If the complaint is not satisfactorily settled, the staff member may file a complaint directly with the Montana Human Rights Commission or with the U.S. Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Such complaints may also be filed with the appropriate enforcement agency, in lieu of the district’s complaint process, at any time, as provided by law.
There will be no retaliation by the district against any person who, in good faith, reports harassment.
See Board policies 5010, and 5012.
Coordinate with administrative regulations detailing staff responsibilities for inventory accounting through the Business Office. Remember, in case of fire or flood, items not inventoried equates to non-reimbursement and non-replacement.
Keys and electronic badges are issued to staff by the building principal and District Office respectively. In order to protect property, students, and staff and to ensure the building is adequately secured when no authorized personnel are present, all staff are expected to follow the following key/badge-control procedures:
- The duplication of keys is prohibited;
- Keys/Badges are not to be left unattended. Avoid having keys on desks, tables, in mailboxes, unattended coat pockets, etc.;
- Keys/Badges may not be loaned to students or to individuals not employed by the district. Under no circumstance should staff provide keys/badges to students to “run errands”, “unlock/lock” doors, etc.;
- Lost or stolen keys/badges must be reported to the building principal or direct supervisor within 24 hours of discovery of the loss or theft so that measures may be taken to protect district property. Three days will be allowed for the finding or recovery of keys before any charges are assessed;
- Upon completion of a lost-or-stolen-key report form, presentation of the broken or damaged key(s), and submission of assessed fees, replacement keys will be issued within 72 hours;
- Charges for lost or stolen keys/badges will be made to the staff member to whom the key(s)/badges have been issued.
- All keys are to be checked in at the end of the school year if required by administration. Staff with summer duties necessitating building access may make arrangements with the building principal to keep their keys as appropriate.
All leave requests will follow the respective collective bargaining agreements. It is the philosophy of the district that each teacher needs to be in the classroom as much as possible and classified staff are hired as the best employee for our students.
Teacher leave requiring salary deduction requests will go through proper procedures but will generally not be granted.
Classified staff leave requiring salary deduction request will go through proper procedures and will be handled on a case by case basis but in general will not be granted. In no way does approval of one salary deduction leave request set precedent to approve any other such requests.
The quality of the instructional program reflects the effort invested by teachers in developing lesson plans consistent with district curriculum and appropriate to the individual needs of students.
Teachers are expected to prepare lesson plans on a weekly basis. Copies of lesson plans are to be submitted to the building principal no later than 8AM on the first day of the school week, for the upcoming week.
Lesson plans should be of sufficient length and substance to allow a substitute teacher to carry on the course of study and to provide a means by which the building principal may monitor instruction to assure that the educational program in a particular class or activity is consistent with the district-approved course of study.
An up-to-date seating chart, class schedules, and information identifying any classroom student aides or other special student needs should be included in all lesson plan books and emergency lesson plans must be available for substitutes.
General plans, which cover the length of the course of study, should also be prepared and readily available for building principal and/or student and parent review.
Requests of staff by individuals or groups to distribute pamphlets, booklets, flyers, brochures, and other similar materials to students for classroom use or to take home are to be referred to the building principal. The materials and proposed method of distribution will be reviewed and a decision made based on the educational concerns and interests of the district.
Meals during school related events and activities will be reimbursed using a meal per diem reimbursement request available from the principals or district office. Receipts are not needed but the per diem request should be submitted in a timely manner. No per diem is provided when meals are provided by the workshop provider.
Breakfast – Only when staying overnight
Lunch – Departure before 11:30 with return after 1:00 pm
Dinner – Departure prior to 3:30 with return after 5:00 pm
(Per Diem guidelines can be adjusted with principal approval)
Rates: Staff $5 Breakfast Students $4 Breakfast
$6 Lunch $6 Lunch
$12 Dinner $8 Dinner
Staff meetings are scheduled for the purpose of organization and communication of business that typically cannot be handled through staff bulletins, departmental or committee structure. All staff are expected to attend staff meetings unless prior arrangements have been made with the building principal. Meetings sponsored or called by recognized collective bargaining units during contract hours are subject to prior approval of the building principal. Attendance of staff members at such meetings is left to the discretion of each employee.
OVERTIME (Classified Staff)
All hourly employees will not work more than 40 hours per week. Any overtime accrued must be approved by the immediate supervisor prior to the time worked. Comp time will be treated the same as overtime. Employees who work enough hours to earn a lunch break will take the break completely away from job duties to avoid a “working lunch.”
PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
Staff members may exercise their right to participate fully in affairs of public interest on a local, county, state, and national level, on the same basis as any citizen in public or private employment and within the law.
Staff members may, within the limitations imposed by state and federal laws and regulations, choose any side of a particular issue and support their viewpoints as they desire, by vote, discussion, or persuading others. Such discussion and persuasion, however, may not be carried on during the performance of district duties.
On all controversial issues, staff members are expected to make clear that the viewpoints they represent are personal and are not to be interpreted as the district’s official viewpoint (Policy 5224).
PAY PERIODS AND AUTOMATED DEPOSITS
Certified staff will be paid on the 18th of the month or on the last work day prior should the 18th fall on a weekend or holiday. Summer checks will be provided as hardcopy checks upon summer checkout.
Classified employees will be paid monthly on the last work day of the month.
All paychecks will be converted to automatic deposits beginning the 2019-20 school year with the exception of summer checks (June, July, August) for certified staff.
An official personnel file is established for each person employed by the district. A staff member’s personnel file may contain such information as applications for employment, references, records relative to compensation, payroll deductions, evaluations, complaints, and written disciplinary actions.
All records containing medical-condition information, such as workers’ compensation reports and release/permission to return to work forms, will be kept confidential, in a separate file from personnel records.
All personnel records are considered confidential and not open to public inspection. Access to personnel files is limited to use and inspection only by the following or as otherwise required by law:
- The individual employee. An employee or designee may arrange with the business office to inspect the contents of his/her personnel file on any day the business office is open for business;
- Others designated in writing by the employee;
- The comptroller or auditor, when such inspection is pertinent to carrying out their respective duties, or as otherwise specifically authorized by the Board. Information so obtained will be kept confidential. No files will be removed from their central location for personal inspection;
- A Board member, when specifically authorized by the Board. Information will be kept confidential. No files will be removed from their central location for personal inspection;
- The superintendent and members of the central administrative staff;
- District administrators and supervisors who currently or prospectively supervise the employee;
- Employees of the business office;
- Attorneys for the district or the district’s designated representative on matters of district business.
The superintendent may permit persons other than those specified above, to use and to inspect employee records when, in his/her opinion, the person requesting access has a legitimate official purpose. The superintendent will determine, in each case, the appropriateness and extent of such access.
In accordance with federal law, the district is required to release information regarding the professional qualifications and degrees of teachers and the qualifications of aides/paraprofessionals to parents upon request, for any teacher or aide/paraprofessional who is employed by a school receiving Title I funds, and who provides instruction to their child.
Release of personnel records to parties other than those authorized to inspect them will be only upon receipt of a court order.
Teachers are expected to report their students’ progress to the students and their parents. Progress reports are issued at the midway point of the first, second, third, and fourth quarter grading periods, indicating academic and citizenship progress to date.
Such reports may be issued at other times during the course of a grading period as deemed appropriate by teachers.
No grade of “D” or “F” should be issued without a written progress report having been sent home, notifying the student and parents of academic deficiencies.
PUPIL INSTRUCTION RELATED DAYS (PIR)
Teaching contracts are a 187-day contract with seven (7) PIR professional development training days. Two (2) of these PIR are reserved for the October MEA conference. However, teachers may choose other professional development to satisfy the requirement of these two contract days. Teachers electing this option must have the alternate professional training approved in writing by the building principal, must attend a minimum of 12 hours of training over a minimum of two days, and must not receive a stipend or salary from the district. Leave without pay will not be granted for this purpose.
Staff members may not incur fiscal obligations, unless that expenditure has been authorized in the budget or as may otherwise be permitted by Board action and/or Board policy.
No purchase – including purchases from student body funds – will be authorized unless covered by an approved purchase order. Forms are available in the Business Office.
RELEASE OF GENERAL STAFF INFORMATION
The district will not release a staff member’s address and personal phone number. Such information may be disclosed if a staff member authorizes the district to do so.
The district may also disclose information about a former employee’s job performance to a prospective employer, under the following conditions:
- Disclosure of information is upon the request of the prospective employer; or
- Disclosure of information is upon the request of the former staff member;
- The information is related to job performance;
- The disclosure is presumed to be in good faith.
The district will not disclose information that is knowingly false, deliberately misleading, rendered with malicious purpose, or is in violation of the staff member’s civil rights.
RESEARCH/COPYRIGHTS AND PATENTS
Staff members engaged in a research project during the work day or who use district resources or students, either for study toward advanced work or for use in classroom instruction, may do so only with the prior approval of the building principal.
Privacy rights of students or other individuals involved in such research projects must be maintained.
Publications, instructional materials, articles, models, and other devices prepared by staff members for district use with district time, money, and facilities, as part of the employee’s job responsibilities, remain the property of the district.
In the event that a staff member produces items described above partly on his/her own time and partly on district time, the district reserves the right to claim full ownership. The employee may petition the district for assignment of copyright or patent rights. Employees may not attempt to copyright or patent such items without the knowledge and consent of the district.
RESIGNATION OF STAFF
Certified and classified personnel will generally be expected to fulfill the terms of their contract unless there are clearly compelling, mitigating circumstances which prevent the certified or exempt individual from doing so.
Once the Superintendent has accepted the resignation, the employee may not withdraw it. The resignation and its acceptance should be reported as information to the Board at the next regular or special meeting.
To assist the district in its planning efforts, staff members considering retirement are encouraged to notify the district as early as possible and refer to dates contained in the collective bargaining agreement.
A building safety committee has been established to help implement the district’s safety program and as a part of an ongoing effort to help ensure the safety and health of students, staff, and others while on district property.
The building safety committee meets monthly and conducts workplace safety inspections monthly to locate and identify safety and health hazards, and makes recommendations for corrections as needed. All significant safety-related incidents are investigated to help prevent similar events from reoccurring.
All potential hazards are to be reported immediately to a safety committee member or to the office.
SPECIAL INTEREST MATERIALS
Supplementary materials from non-school sources require building principal approval prior to their use in school. This includes educational films and all video rentals secured from or through commercial sources.
Generally, materials that are of obvious educational quality, supplement and enrich instructional and reference materials for definite school courses, and are timely may be considered for approval.
Employees are expected to maintain high standards of honesty, integrity and impartiality in the conduct of district business (Policy 5223).
In accordance with state law, an employee should not dispense or utilize any information gained from employment with the district, accept gifts or benefits, or participate in business enterprises or employment which create a conflict of interest with the faithful and impartial discharge of the employee’s district duties. A district employee may, prior to acting in a manner, which may impinge on any fiduciary duty, disclose the nature of the private interest, which creates a conflict. Care should be taken to avoid using, or avoid the appearance of using, official positions and confidential information for personal advantage or gain.
Further, employees should hold confidential all information deemed to be not for public consumption as determined by state law and Board policy. Employees shall also respect the confidentiality of people served in the course of the employee’s duties and use information gained in a responsible manner. Discretion should be employed even within the school system’s own network of communication.
The Board recognizes the importance of continued educational experiences and other professional growth activities as a means to improve job performance. The District requires regular training for health and safety to include hazardous materials, blood borne pathogens, first aid, slips/trip/falls, lifting/back injuries and other topics as appropriate. All staff are required to complete suicide prevention training every five years.
Professional growth experiences may include, but are not limited to workshops, curriculum planning, individual research, travel, supervision of teacher trainees, and other such activities.
All requests for district payment of college course work tuition require prior administrative approval. Professional growth application forms are available in the school office.
All requests for release time from regular work duties for attendance at meetings or conferences will be decided based on such factors as availability of funds, consistency with district and building goals and job assignment. Requests require prior building principal approval. Forms are available in the office.
Meetings and conferences devoted primarily or exclusively to organizational or business affairs of staff member collective bargaining units, political workshops, training sessions for consultation committees, and like activities will not be considered as appropriate activities for the expenditure of district funds.
STAFF DRESS AND GROOMING
All staff are expected to be neat, clean, and to wear appropriate dress for work that is in good taste and suitable for the job at hand.
Blue jean or casual Friday is available for staff, but again, good taste is required of staff and determined by administration.
Teaching as a professional demands setting a good example for students in every possible way. As adults and professionals, teachers are expected to be guided in their grooming habits by what is most generally acceptable in the business and professional world. Business casual attire is expected except where this attire presents a hazard (i.e. industrial arts and agriculture).
STAFF HEALTH AND SAFETY
In order to assure the safety of staff and students, information and/or training, as necessary, is provided to assist all staff to recognize and to respond appropriately to the presence of hazardous materials in the workplace, including proper handling, labeling, storage, and disposal of such materials.
All staff members are expected to conduct their work in compliance with first aid and infection control procedures established by the district and the following safety rules of the district:
- All injuries shall be reported immediately to the person in charge or other responsible
representative of the district;
- It is the duty of all employees to make full use of safeguards provided for their protection. It shall
be the employee’s responsibility to abide by and perform the following requirements:
- An employee shall not operate a machine unless guard or method of guarding is in good
condition, working order, in place and operative;
- An employee shall stop the machine or moving parts and properly tag-out or lock-out the
starting control before oiling, adjusting, or repairing, except when such machine is provided
with means of oiling or adjusting that will prevent possibility of hazardous contact with moving
- An employee shall not remove guards or render methods of guarding inoperative, except for the
purpose of adjustment, oiling, repair, or setting up a new job;
- Employees shall report to their supervisor any guard or method of guarding that is not properly
adjusted or not accomplishing its intended function;
- Employees shall not use their hands or any portion of their bodies to reach between moving parts or to remove jams, hang-ups, etc. (use hook, stick, tong, jig, or other accessory);
- Employees shall not work under objects being supported that could accidentally fall (such as loads supported by jacks, the raised body of a dump truck, etc.), until such objects are properly blocked or shored;
- Employees shall not use defective tools or equipment. No tool or piece of equipment should be used for any purpose for which it is not suited, and none should be abused by straining beyond its safe working load;
- Employees shall not remove, deface, or destroy any warning, danger sign, or barricade or interfere with any other form of accident prevention device or practice provided on any machine, tool, or piece of equipment which they are using or which is being used by any other worker;
- Employees must not work underneath or over others, thereby exposing them to a hazard without first notifying the other employee(s) or seeing that proper safeguards or precautions have been taken;
- Employees shall not work in unprotected, exposed, or hazardous areas under floor openings;
- Long or unwieldy articles shall not be carried or moved, unless adequate means of guarding or guiding are provided to prevent injury;
- Hazardous conditions or practices observed at any time shall be reported as soon as practicable to the person in charge or some other responsible representative of the employer;
- Employees observed working in a manner that might cause immediate injury to either themselves or other workers shall be warned of the danger;
- Before leaving a job, workers shall correct, or arrange to give warning of, any condition which might result in injury to others unfamiliar with existing conditions;
- Good housekeeping methods shall be observed in all operations. Materials shall be so handled and stored as to minimize falling, tripping, or collision hazards;
- Working and storage areas and passageways shall be kept free of unnecessary obstructions. No loose object shall be placed in any area where its presence will necessitate employees crowding between such objects as moving machinery, steam pipes, or other objects with which contact would be dangerous;
- Any materials that might cause an employee to slip or fall shall be removed from floors and other treading surfaces immediately, or suitable means or methods shall be used to control the hazardous condition;
- All sharp, pointed, or otherwise hazardous projections in work areas shall be removed or rendered harmless.
The district encourages parents to be involved in their student’s school experience. Teachers are advised that unless otherwise ordered by the courts, an order of sole custody on the part of one parent does not deprive the other parent of certain rights. It is the responsibility of the parent with sole custody to provide to the district any court order that curtails the rights of the non-custodial parent.
A non-custodial parent may receive and inspect the school records pertaining to their student and to consult with teachers concerning their student’s welfare and education.
Non-custodial parents will not be granted visitation or telephone access to their student during the school day. Students may not be released to the non-custodial parent without the written permission of the parent having sole custody.
In the case of joint custody, it is the responsibility of the parents to provide the district, in writing, any special requests or clarifications in areas concerning the student and the district’s relationship and responsibilities. Such information will be maintained on file in the office and provided to staff as appropriate.
Staff members with questions regarding custodial and/or non-custodial parent rights with respect to particular students should contact the office.
A staff room is provided for staff use during break, lunch, and preparation periods as may be appropriate. All staff are expected to “pitch in”, as needed, to help keep this gathering area clean and orderly.
Personal items of value should not be left in the staff room. Staff members leaving such items in the staff room do so at their own risk.
Students are not permitted in the staff room.
SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS
Staff members are responsible for the supervision of all students while in school or engaged in school-sponsored activities.
All teachers are expected to be in their classrooms prior to the arrival of students.
Under no circumstances are classrooms or other areas where students are under the supervision of assigned staff to be left unattended while students are present. Teachers who may need to temporarily leave the classroom or their assigned duties in an emergency situation while students are present are expected to contact the office to arrange for temporary coverage.
No other staff member may leave their assigned group unsupervised except as appropriate supervision arrangements have been made to take care of an emergency.
During school hours or while engaged in school-sponsored activities, students may be released only into the custody of parents or other authorized persons.
TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION
Religious education is the responsibility of the home and religious institutions. Public schools are obligated to maintain neutrality in all such matters.
However, as religion influences many areas of education, such as literature and history, its role in civilization may be taught when consistent with curriculum and teaching assignment. In such instances, teachers may provide information and opportunity for students to study the forms of various religions.
Teachers may not advocate, openly or covertly or by subtlety, a particular religion or religious belief.
Telephones are available throughout the building for staff convenience. Long-distance calls for district business and personal use may be placed. Staff members are responsible for all costs related to long-distance calls made for personal use.
Staff members need to use proper judgment when using personal telephones. Phones should not be used during instructional time unless directly related to immediate instruction.
The District maintains tobacco-free buildings and grounds. Tobacco includes but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, vaporized/e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco (Policy 5225).
Use of tobacco products in a public school building or on public school property is prohibited, unless the use of a tobacco product in a classroom or on other school property as part of a lecture, demonstration, or educational forum sanctioned by a school administrator or faculty member, concerning the risks associated with using tobacco products.
For this purpose, “public school building or public school property” means:
Public land, fixtures, buildings, or other property owned or occupied by an institution for the teaching of minor children that is established and maintained under the laws of the state of Montana at public expense; and includes playgrounds, school steps, parking lots, administration buildings, athletic facilities, gymnasiums, locker rooms, and school buses.
USE OF PRIVATE VEHICLES FOR DISTRICT BUSINESS
The use of private vehicles for district business, including the transportation of students, is generally discouraged. Staff members should use district-owned vehicles whenever possible, scheduling activities and other transportation far enough in advance to avoid any non-emergency use of private vehicles. No staff members may use a private vehicle for district business without written permission from the building principal.
Voluntary and involuntary transfer of staff members may be authorized by the superintendent based on district personnel needs and in accordance with district procedures and negotiated agreements.
Classroom and Student Level Operations
ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES
The Board encourages and supports the concept of academic freedom, recognizing it as a necessary condition to aid in maintaining an environment conducive to learning and to the free exchange of ideas and information. However, in the study and discussion of controversial issues and materials, teachers will take into account the relative maturity of students, District philosophy of education, community standards, morals, and values, necessity for a balanced presentation, and the necessity to seek administrative counsel and guidance in such matters. (Board Policy 2330).
ADMINISTERING MEDICINES TO STUDENTS
Students who must take prescription and/or over-the-counter medication at school, on a temporary or regular basis, must provide a written request to administer medication, signed by the parent. All medications will be kept in locked storage in the office unless a student must carry medication on his/her person during the school day. Parents of students who must carry and self-administer medication must complete the Montana Authorization to Possess or Self-Administer Medication form and return it to the building office.
Teachers are expected to assist students in remembering when a medication is scheduled to be administered. If the student refuses to take medication, teachers are expected to notify the parent whenever possible. Attempts to contact parents must be documented as to date and time.
Stevensville Schools will make appropriate reasonable building accommodations within a reasonable degree of medical certainty to address allergens. Staff will be provided with Health Alert information and any supplemental written plans as well as instructions on the management of life threatening health care conditions. In the event a student or employee experiences an allergic reaction notify the school nurse immediately.
The school does maintain a supply of non-individual specific medication (epi-pen) for use in the case of an anaphylaxis emergency.
All staff will be trained in the emergency administration of this medication.
Students are required to attend all assemblies. Those who refuse are to be referred to the office.
All staff are assigned to specific supervision duties during assemblies and are expected to be in their assigned areas. Students may be removed from an assembly as deemed necessary by the staff member. Generally, all students should be dealt with directly and/or referred to the office in accordance with established building discipline procedures.
The district is committed to protecting instructional time. Class interruptions of any kind will be kept to a minimum. Students are not to be permitted to interrupt a class in session without authorization from the office. Intercom use is restricted to administrative use or administrative approved use only.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES/STUDENTS WITH HIV, HBV, AIDS
Protection from communicable disease is generally provided through immunization, exclusion, or other measures provided for in Montana Code Annotated and rules of the county health department. Services generally will not be provided to students excluded unless otherwise required by law.
In those cases, where a communicable disease is diagnosed and confirmed and the student would not be excluded from school, the district will inform the appropriate staff member to protect against the risk of exposure.
CONTESTS FOR STUDENTS
The district cooperates with individuals, community organizations, and agencies desiring to sponsor contests for students, when such activities can be integrated into the school program without disruption or loss of instructional time for the student and without imposing an unreasonable added workload on staff. All such contests must be consistent with the purposes and educational aims of the district.
Teachers sponsoring such activities are responsible for the preparation and circulation of all informational materials and for other administrative work required in the grading, judging, or evaluation of the participants’ work.
The school may not be used to promote private or commercial interests, nor may the school be used for the direct sales promotion of individual competitive goods or services.
The district strictly prohibits the use of corporal punishment of any form. Corporal punishment is defined as the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain.
A staff member is authorized to employ physical force when, in his/her professional judgment, the physical force is necessary to prevent a student from harming himself/herself, others, or doing harm to district property.
DISMISSAL OF CLASSES
Teachers should never dismiss a class before the established dismissal time. Detaining the entire class after dismissal time is also discouraged. Whenever individual students are detained after class, the teacher is expected to provide the student a note for the student’s next class teacher. This will help reduce unnecessary hall traffic, as students reporting to class late will need to account for their tardiness.
There will be at least eight (8) disaster drills a year, four (4) of which will be fire drills. All teachers will discuss fire drill procedures with their class at the beginning of each year. The drills will be held at different hours of the day or evening to avoid distinction between drills and actual disasters.
A map/diagram of the fire escape route to be followed should be posted near the classroom doorways and reviewed with students. The warning signal for a fire alarm/drill is a tone. Upon the sounding of a fire alarm, teachers are required to:
- Immediately direct all students to orderly exit the building using the evacuation route posted. Students may not stop at lockers, drinking fountains, restrooms, etc., along the way;
- Close windows, turn off lights, and lock door;
- Take roll book and Green Emergency Bag;
- Escort class at least 50 feet from the building and take roll. Report any unaccounted students to the building principal;
- Upon “all clear” signal, announced by administration, not on bell/alarm signal, escort students
directly back to class. Check roll.
Building principal approval is required prior to showing a feature film/video to students in district classrooms. Only films/videos rated G, PG, or PG-13 may be authorized for classroom use.
Requests are to be submitted to the building principal at least five days prior to the proposed showing. Forms are available in the office.
The following information should be included:
- Title and brief description;
- Purpose for the showing;
- Match with course objectives;
- Proposed date of showing;
- When and how parents will be notified, or if necessary grant consent;
- Viewer Audience rating of G, PG, etc…).
The showing of all feature films/videos with a G rating requires an annual one-time prior parent notification from the staff member.
FIELD TRIPS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
The building principal may authorize field trips and other student activities involving travel, when such trips or activities contribute to the achievement of desirable educational goals.
Requests should be submitted to the building principal well in advance of the proposed activity. All such requests will be considered, based on such factors as availability of funds, the educational value derived, the safety and welfare of the students involved, impact on the regular school program, and availability of appropriate supervision, either from within school staff or from volunteers.
Staff members should contact the office for appropriate substitute and vehicle arrangements and related field trip procedures and forms.
The Board must approve all out-of-state travel.
The evaluation of student progress is a primary responsibility of all teachers. The highest possible level of student achievement is a common goal of both the district and the home. As a close working relationship between the district and the home is essential to the accomplishment of this goal, regular communications with parents is essential.
Grades are to be updated on a weekly basis in the Infinite Campus student information system unless otherwise approved by the building administrator for unique circumstances such as a cumulative project.
Teachers should use a variety of communication devices, including telephone and personal conferences as well as written grade reports, to keep parents well informed. At the beginning of the grading period, students and parents are to be informed regarding the basis of the grades and the methods to be used in determining grades.
In grades K-3, grading will follow standards based criterion established for student grading and progress.
In grades 4-12, letter grades will be used as follows:
A — Superior 90-100
B — Above Average 80-89
C — Average 70-79
D — Below Average 60-69
F — Failing 0-59
P — Pass – credit granted, non-graded course
NP — No Pass – credit denied, non-graded course
I — Incomplete
W — Withdrawal
Minus (-) and Plus (+) signs may be used to indicate achievement on report cards but are not used in grade point average calculation.
Grading will be on a nine-week (quarter) basis. Quarter grades and semester exams (as required) will be used to calculate the semester grade and credit earned.
Due-process procedures will be provided to all students whose grade is reduced or credit denied for attendance rather than academic reasons. Reasons for the student’s absence will be considered. No grade may be reduced or credit denied based on absence due to religious reasons, a student’s disability, or an excused absence as determined by district policy. Such notice is to be included in each teacher’s syllabus and distributed to students at the beginning of the grading period.
Special education students are to receive grades based on progress toward goals stated in the Individual Education Program (IEP).
Teachers at all grade levels are encouraged to consistently assign homework, which is expected to increase in complexity with the maturity or grade level of the student.
Homework may refer to an assignment prepared during a period of supervised study in class or outside of class or which requires individual work in the home.
Homework is expected to be designed to improve learning, to aid in the mastery of skills and to stimulate interest on the part of the student.
The information for any homework assignment should be clear and specific so that the student can complete the assignment. Homework should not require the use of reference materials not readily available in most homes, school libraries, or the public library. Homework should require the use of those materials only when the student has had instruction in such use.
A student who has an excused absence from class is to be permitted to make up those assignments that he/she has missed. The student is expected to make arrangements with the teacher on his/her first day back in class, for the work missed due to absence.
Any student truant from school will not be allowed to make up missed work.
A student suspended from school may be permitted, as provided by Policy 3300, to make up school-work upon his/her return from the suspension in accordance with student handbooks
MEDIA ACCESS TO STUDENTS
The media may interview and photograph students involved in instructional programs and school activities, including athletic events. Such media access may not be unduly disruptive and must comply with Board policies and district goals.
Media representatives are required to report to the building principal for prior approval before accessing students involved in instructional programs and activities not attended by the general public.
Information obtained by media representatives directly from students does not require parental approval prior to publication by the media. Parents who do not want their student interviewed or photographed by the media may direct their student accordingly.
Staff may release student information to the media only in accordance with applicable provisions of the education records law and Board policies governing directory information and personally identifiable information.
MOVING CLASS/HOLDING CLASSES OUTDOORS
From time to time, teachers may find it necessary to temporarily move a class from their scheduled room or teaching area. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that both the office and students are informed of the change.
As holding classes outdoors often presents a distraction to students in the class, as well as to staff and students in other classrooms, teachers are expected to conduct their classes in their scheduled rooms unless otherwise assigned by the building principal.
From time to time, certain class assignments may be more appropriately conducted outdoors. Prior building principal approval is required for all such activities.
RELEASE TIME FOR RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION
Students may be excused from school for religious instruction, in accordance with board policy. Teachers will be notified by the office of any students in their class to be excused.
Any student unable to attend classes on a particular day, due to religious beliefs, is to be excused from attendance requirements for that day.
No such absences shall be counted against a student in determining failure or reduction of grades. Any tests and assignments a student misses because of such absences are to be given to the student upon his/her return to school or at such other times as may be deemed appropriate by the teacher.
No staff member may comply with any directive from parents or others, written or verbal, that life-sustaining emergency care be withheld from a student in need of such care while under the control and supervision of district staff.
Life-sustaining emergency care means any procedure or intervention applied by appropriately trained district staff that may prevent a student from dying who, without such procedure or intervention, faces a risk of imminent death. Examples of life-sustaining emergency care may include: efforts to stop bleeding, unblocking airways, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
In a life-threatening situation, staff members are expected to dial 911 for paramedic assistance and provide life-sustaining emergency care to any student requiring it in order to sustain life, until relieved by paramedics or other appropriate medical personnel.
It is the responsibility of every teacher to provide a free and appropriate education to all students and to implement instructional and classroom accommodations required by a student’s Individualized Education Program. Teachers are required to meet with the assigned special education case manager to insure correct implementation of accommodations (Policies 2161 and 2161P).
STUDENT ACTIVITY FUNDS
All moneys raised or collected by and/or for school-approved student groups are to be receipted and deposited into a checking account administered by the business office. The building principal and the business office must approve all student activity fund expenditures.
All expenditures from the general account of student activity funds must also be approved by the school-recognized student government organization if such organization exists. Funds derived from the student body, as a whole shall be expended to benefit the student body as a whole.
The members of that organization and their staff adviser must approve all expenditures from a specific account of student activity funds related to other school-recognized student groups. Funds derived from authorized clubs and organizations shall be expended to benefit the specific club or organization and, to the extent possible, to benefit those subjects currently in school who have contributed to the accumulation of the funds.
All students are to comply with district policy, written building and classroom rules, pursue the prescribed course of study, submit to the lawful authority of teachers and school officials, and conduct themselves in an orderly manner at school during the school day or during school-sponsored activities.
In addition to adopted Board policies governing student conduct, administrative regulations specifying student-conduct expectations have been established. These rules apply to actions which occur on district property, at any district-sponsored activity regardless of location; or when traveling to or from school for district-sponsored activities. Disregard of these rules constitutes grounds for suspension, expulsion, or other reasonable disciplinary action.
All teachers are expected to review the student conduct rules contained in the Student/Parent Handbook with their students during the first week of the school year.
Teachers may also develop student conduct rules unique to individual classrooms. All such rules must be consistent with district policy and local building administrative regulations governing student conduct and discipline. Classroom rules and consequences are to be reviewed with students, posted in classrooms, and made available to parents.
Classroom rules and consequences are to be submitted to the building principal for review and approval.
Teachers may detain a student after school hours for disciplinary reasons, provided the parent has been notified of the detention and, in the case of bus students, prior arrangements have been made for the student’s transportation home.
Parents may be asked to arrange for the transportation of the detained student; however, if the parent cannot or will not provide it, an alternative disciplinary procedure must be substituted.
Students who are detained after school are not to be left unsupervised during their detention.
A student/parent handbook is issued to all students at the beginning of each new school year and at the time of registration for new students moving into the district at other times of the year.
All staff are expected to familiarize themselves with the general information, administrative rules and procedures pertaining to students, as set forth in the student/parent handbook and in Board policy.
Teachers are expected to review the handbook with students during the days/times designated by the building principal.
Student Transportation in Private Vehicles
Transportation of students to and from school and to curricular and extracurricular activities sponsored by the district is provided by the district’s transportation system in accordance with district policy.
Parents, employees, and other designated adults may be permitted to use private vehicles to transport students other than their own on field trips or other school activities only with prior building principal approval.
No student is to be permitted to perform district business with his/her own vehicle, a staff member’s vehicle, or a district-owned vehicle.
Student Transportation in District Vehicles
District employees are required to complete a state certified defensive driving course prior to transporting student in District cars or vans.
STUDENT WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL
Upon notification by the office of a student withdrawal from school, teachers are expected to complete the student withdrawal form, including grade earned to date.
Teachers are expected to make a complete accounting of any unreturned or damaged books, locks, materials, supplies, equipment, or other district property, including replacement costs, if known. Submit the list to the office.
Students are not permitted to bring visitors to school without prior approval of the building principal.
Staff members are expected to report any unauthorized person on school property to the building principal.
The Stevensville Public Schools maintains a District and School website. It is the goal of the Stevensville School District that the District and School websites will meet all criteria specified in WCAG 2.0 Level AA within one year. All content to be posted on the website must be submitted to the District appointed personnel charged with accessibility compliance and website content.