Board Policy Guide, Section IV

Employment (Requirements & Expectations) Policies
4.0   Non-Discrimination Policy

4.1   Conditions of Employment

4.2   Policies Affecting Employment

4.3   Licensure

4.4   Employment Requirements & Licensure for EAs

4.5   Full and Part-Time Employees

4.6   Contractual Obligations

4.7   Professional Duties and Responsibilities

4.8   Probationary Period

4.9   Work Week for Full-Time Employees

4.10 Salary Credit: Education and Experience

4.11 Payroll Procedures

4.12 Fair Labor Standards

4.13 Substitute Teachers

4.14 Sex Offender Registration & Notification

4.15 Communication Between Staff and Parents

4.16 Transfer and Reassignment

4.17 Job Share

4.18 Promotion and Reclassification

4.19 Reduction in Force

4.20 Resignation and Reemployment

4.21 Labor-Management Relations

4.22 American Disabilities Act (ADA)

4.23 Staff Wellness

(Note:  Numbers 4.22 through 4.29 have been reserved for future policy)

Supervision and Evaluation Policies

4.30 Evaluation

4.31 Disciplinary Action

(Note:  Numbers 4.32 through 4.39 have been reserved for future policy)

Employee Benefit Policies

4.40 Employee Health Benefits

4.41 Workmen’s Compensation

4.42 Leave of Absence Policies

4.43 Sick Leave Bank

4.44 Educational Assistance

4.45        Transfer/Donation of Sick/Annual Leave Policy

(Note:  Numbers 4.46 through 4.49 have been reserved for future policy)

General Employee Information Policies

4.50 Employee Records Retention Policy

4.51 Communicable Disease

4.52 Tuberculin Test

4.53 Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control

4.54 Tobacco Use   

4.55 Employee Drug and Alcohol Abuse

4.56 Substance Abuse Screening and Testing

4.57 District Driver Policy

4.58 Transportation Handbook

(Note:  Number 4.59 have been reserved for future policy)

Ethics and Conduct Policies

4.60 NM Code of Ethics and Conduct

4.61 Sexual Harassment

4.62 Employee Harassment and/or Bullying

4.63 Assault

4.64 Sexual Exploitation 

4.65 Grievance Procedures

4.66 Civic Responsibility and Political Action

4.67        Responsibility for Loss, Damage or Destruction of Instructional Materials and Equipment

4.68        Social Media Policy

(Note:  4.69 has been reserved for future policy)

Employment Policies

4.0         NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Farmington Municipal Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and the Board affirms its commitment to maintaining an environment free from discrimination.  The District does not condone or tolerate discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, disability, serious medical condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, HIV status, genetic information or on any other protected status as defined by law, in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, supervision, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, or any other term or condition of employment.  This policy will govern all matters concerning personnel, students, the public, educational programs and services, and individuals with whom the Board does business.  The District promotes and is fully committed to the principal of equal employment opportunity.

4.1 CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

4.1.1  The Board of Education selects the Superintendent of Schools who in turn approves all other personnel appointments, discharges or terminations. Appointments for all positions in the Farmington Municipal Schools shall be approved by the Superintendent of Schools on the basis of the information secured through the personnel procedures, which follow:

A.  All employees are required to complete an application for employment.  Applications must be completed on-line.  Assistance is available if needed through the Office of Human Resources.  Any misrepresentation or omission of fact may be grounds for disqualification from further consideration or for termination of employment regardless of when the misrepresentation or omission is discovered.  All applicants are screened, interviewed by the administrator/supervisor of vacancy and processed by the Office of Human Resources. A finalist (a person chosen to be interviewed) must complete a criminal history affidavit.  Failure to disclose criminal offenses may lead to discipline up to and including termination.

B.  Applicants for vacant positions who contact other employees, teachers, administrators, or members of the Board of Education shall be referred to the Office of Human Resources for application information and employment procedures.

C.  At its discretion the District may require a medical physical examination of any existing employee, and of applicants prior to employment.  Such examinations required by the district will be provided at district expense.

4.1.2       Written notification by the Superintendent to the employees shall constitute a contract, pending approval of the budget (which may include changes in the salary schedule and, therefore, might cause the contract to be rewritten if awarded at employee election time). After January 15th of each year, the District has the discretion to employ a certified or classified applicant as a permanent or temporary employee.

4.1.3       Employees shall be assigned by the Superintendent and Executive Director of Human Resources to such grade, subject, special duty, and location within the district as the persons may be qualified to accept, and as may be to the best interest of the students and the entire school system.  It is the intent that such assignments will be for the entire contract year.  However, conditions such as declining enrollment in a school, coupled with an increasing enrollment in another school, may necessitate changes in assignment during the contract year.

A.  Applicants recommended for employment with the district are subject to work history (transcripts), and reference investigations, including but not limited to substitutes and temporaries. Receipt of work verifications and original transcripts must be received within thirty (30) calendar days of date of employment. Each such applicant will be subject to a criminal background investigation, including mandatory fingerprinting, at the candidate’s expense, as condition for employment.  The fingerprinting process must be completed within ten (10) days of completion of contract paperwork.

B.  All offers of employment are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of background investigations.  Criminal convictions shall not automatically bar an applicant from obtaining employment with Farmington Schools District, but pursuant to the Criminal Offenders Employment Act, NMSA 1978, 28-2-4.A.3, a conviction may be the basis for denying employment.

C.  Contractors whose employees are in direct contact with students shall be required to provide to the school district electronic fingerprints for employees of such contractors for the purpose of criminal background investigations.

Volunteer coaches and school volunteers shall also be required to provide to the school district electronic finger prints for the purpose of criminal background investigations. Submission of fingerprints to the Human Resource Office must take place prior to the volunteer working with students.

D.  The administration may also conduct the reference background investigations of incumbent employees if it becomes aware of facts, circumstances, or conduct that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that undisclosed aspects of the employee’s background might disqualify him or her to continue in employment with the district.

Employees arrested for a misdemeanor or felony must report the incident to their supervisor.  Report alone will not be used to discharge or terminate an employee unless it affects their performance of duties or disqualifies him or her to continue employment with the district.

E.  The information from the background investigations shall not be disclosed to persons not directly involved in the certification or employment decision affecting the applicant or employee. 

F.  The Superintendent of Schools must report to the Public Education Department any convictions of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude of a school employee when the underlying act of turpitude results in any type of job-related action against the employee.  Failure to make a report can lead to suspension or revocation of the license held by the school administrator.

G.  All employees will comply with the Code of Ethics and Conduct as a binding term and condition of employment.  Refer to Code of Ethics and Conduct, Section 4.42.

4.1.4       The Superintendent, or his/her Designee, is authorized to specify deficiencies, which are to be corrected during the interval between school terms (semester/year).  Deficiencies are outlined in writing with a specified timeline.

4.1.5       A person who has been given a formal letter of intent to employ, and who has accepted this offer in writing, may temporarily function as an employee pending formal action by the Superintendent.  A person is not employed or contracted until approved by the Superintendent.

4.1.6       A professional position is normally filled by one person for any specific assignment.  In the event that a shared position is approved, the personnel sharing the assignment and the program involved will be carefully evaluated each year.  Following a thorough evaluation, the shared program may or may not be continued for the subsequent year.  At its discretion, the administration may establish or discontinue a shared program.  Part-time personnel on contract who work .53 FTE are eligible for insurance benefits (also 4.5.5 and 4.40).

4.1.7       Coaches and or specialized activity sponsors new to the system will be employed under the following conditions:

A.    Employees hired because of their exceptional abilities or expertise as coaches/sponsors shall be required to sign an at will contract.  There are no tenure rights associated to an “at will” contract for coaches/sponsors.  Employees hired because of exceptional abilities or expertise as coaches/sponsors and as licensed school instructors shall be required to sign an at will contract for the coach/sponsor position in addition to, but separate from, their teaching contract.  It is understood that the employee has been employed to perform both instructional and extracurricular activity(ies); however, tenure rights do not accrue for the coach/sponsor at will contract position.  It is understood that the employee has been employed to perform both instructional and extracurricular duties. Cause sufficient to justify termination or discharge may be found in any area of responsibility of the employee, pursuant to statute and Public Educational Department regulations.

B.  Any renewal contract shall include this additional at will contract and failure of the employee to execute this addendum annually shall be considered as failure to sign the contract.

C.  If the school district terminates the employee’s extra-curricular duties, this action shall be considered separate and apart from termination or discharge from instructional duties.  When the school district initiates the termination of extracurricular duties, termination or discharge from instructional duties shall be made pursuant to statute and Public Education Department regulations.

D.  Employees who resign or terminate a coaching and/or extra-curricular activity may be considered for reemployment exclusive of coaching an extracurricular activity pending the recommendation by the supervisor and the Superintendent’s approval.

Adopted:

Last Revision: 4/13/17

4.2  POLICIES AFFECTING EMPLOYMENT

4.2.1       The sole criteria by which personnel are selected for employment in the Farmington School System will be educational background and professional competence (licensure, training, experience). 

Definitions:

Certified – All employees licensed by the NMPED are considered certified employees.    Examples include but are not limited to:  administrators, teachers, librarians, educational assistants, counselors and nurses.  Certified employees are exempt based on FSLA.

Licensed – All employees required by NMPED to hold a license based on educational qualifications.  Examples include but are not limited to: administrators, teachers, librarians, educational assistants, counselors and nurses.  The terms licensed and certified are often interchanged.

Classified – All employees not licensed by the NMPED are considered classified employees.  Examples include but are not limited to:  custodians, maintenance workers and secretaries.

Non-licensed – All employees not licensed by the NMPED are considered non-licensed employees.   The terms non-licensed and classified are often interchanged. 

Supervisor or district-wide managers – All employees hired by the district to provide supervision for non-licensed classified staff and/or management of systems or services across the district. Examples include but are not limited to: Implementation and or management of business/financial/HR software, cafeteria, transportation and maintenance.

At-will – employees with less than three years of employment.

Tenured – employees with 3 or more contracts with the district.   Exception are “at will contracts” including coaching.

All hiring, promotion practices, and other terms and conditions of employment shall be maintained and conducted in a manner which does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin or political affiliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

A.  Any person who feels discriminated against on the basis of sex, age, creed, religion, national origin or political affiliation, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, or under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, or under NM Human Rights Act, may file a grievance in writing, setting forth the conditions of such discrimination as to date(s), actions, persons involved, conditions, etc., with the Principal of the school, immediate supervisor, or the Title IX Coordinator (P.O. Box 5850, Farmington, NM  87499). Grievances filed with Principals and/or immediate supervisors shall follow established grievance procedures and shall be forwarded to the Coordinator.  The Coordinator will investigate the complaint and follow established grievance procedures.

B.  Whenever possible, immediate family members employed by the Farmington Municipal Schools will be assigned to different administrative units.  Exceptions may be made by the Superintendent, upon the site administrator’s recommendation, when the best interest of the District will be served.

C.  A local superintendent shall not initially employ or approve the initial employment in any capacity of a person who is the spouse, father, father-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law of a member of the local school board or the local superintendent.  The local school board may waive the nepotism rule for family members of a local superintendent.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit the continued employment of a person employed on or before July 1, 2008 (NMSA, 1978, 22-5-6).

D.  Employees that have children must have administration permission to have their children at the worksite during the work day.

4.2.2       On or before the fourteenth calendar day prior to the last day of each school year, the District shall serve written notice, through the Superintendent or his/her designee, of re-employment or termination on each contracted employee of the school district. 

A.  A notice of reemployment shall be an offer of employment for the ensuing school year.  A notice of termination shall be a notice of intention not to reemploy for the ensuing year.  Failure of the District to serve a written notice of reemployment or termination on an employee shall be construed to mean that notice of reemployment has been served upon the person, according to the terms of his existing contract, but subject to any additional compensation allowed other employees of like qualifications and experience employed by the school district.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that failure of a local school District to serve a written notice of reemployment or termination shall automatically extend an employee’s contract for a period in excess of one school year.  (NMSA 22-10A-22)

B.  Each employee shall deliver to the District, through the Office of Human Resources, a written acceptance or rejection of re-employment for the ensuing year within fifteen (15) days from the following:  (1) the date that written notice of re-employment is served upon the employee; or (2) the last day of the school year, if no written notice of re-employment or termination is served upon the person on or before the last day of the school year.  Delivery of the written acceptance of re-employment by a licensed employee creates a binding contract between the employee and the District until a formal written contract is issued.  Written contracts shall be issued to continuing employees no later than twenty (20) calendar days prior to the first day of school and shall be returned no later than ten (10) calendar days prior to the first day of school.  Failure to submit a signed contract by the required time will be construed as a rejection of employment and the position will be declared vacant.  (NMSA 22-10A-23)

4.2.3       Personnel who resign, or who may be discharged or who may be unable to return to work during the term of their contracts will be paid in a lump sum all salary due them, less deductions allowed by the statutes of New Mexico and the policies of the local Board of Education.

4.2.4       Contract payments made during the opening month of school are subject to increases or decreases which may be made necessary after complete verification of training and experience have been furnished by the employees. This verification must be received by the Office of Human Resources by October 1 of the current year to be considered. Contract adjustments for training and/or experience will not be made after the 40th school day except in unusual circumstances and approved by the Superintendent.

4.2.5       The dismissal of school employees and administrators shall conform to the Public Education Department regulations and Chapter 22, Article 10, NMSA 1978 (School Personnel Act).

For the purpose of this policy:

A.  “Discharge” means the act of severing the employment relationship with a classified and certified school employee prior to the expiration of the current employment contract.

B.  “Terminate” means, in the case of a certified school employee, the act of not re-employing an employee for the ensuing school year and in the case of a noncertified school employee, the act of severing employment relationship with the employee.

C.  “Just Cause” means a reason that is rationally related to an employee’s competence or turpitude or the proper performance of his/her duties and that is not in violation of the employee’s civil or constitutional rights.  (NMSA22.10A.2)

An employee with less than three (3) years of consecutive service in the same classification may be terminated for any reason deemed sufficient by the Superintendent.

A licensed school administrator may be terminated for any reason deemed sufficient by the Superintendent.  While licensed school instructors have procedural due process and certain other rights under the School Personnel Act, administrators have no tenure rights and therefore have no expectation of continued employment.

A non-licensed school administration, supervisor or district wide manager may be terminated for any reason deemed sufficient by the Superintendent.  Non-licensed school administrator, supervisor or district wide manager, has no tenure rights and therefore has no expectation of continued employment.

An employee who has been employed by the district for three (3) consecutive years may not be terminated without “just cause”.

An employee who has been employed by the district for three (3) consecutive years and who receives a notice of termination pursuant to either Section 22-10-12 NMSA 1978 or 22-10A-24, may request an opportunity to make a statement to the local school board or governing authority on the decision to terminate him by submitting a written request to the local superintendent or administrator within five (5) working days from the date written notice of termination is served upon him.  The employee may also request in writing the reasons for the action to terminate him.  The local superintendent or administrator shall provide written reasons for the notice of termination to the employee within five (5) working days from the date the written request for a meeting and the written request for the reasons were received by the local superintendent or administrator.  Neither the local superintendent nor administrator nor the local school board or governing authority shall publicly disclose its reasons for termination.

A licensed school instructor or licensed school administrator may not be discharged without “just cause”.

Prior to any formal recommendation being sent to the Superintendent for termination, the employee will have the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director of Human Resources and be accompanied by a representative of the employee’s choice.

The licensed or unlicensed school administrator, supervisor or district wide manager being recommended for termination will have the opportunity to meet with the Superintendent and be accompanied by a representative of the employee’s choice. In the absence of the Superintendent, that meeting will take place with the Superintendent’s designee.

NMSA 22-10A-26.  EXCEPTED FROM PROVISIONS.  SCHOOL PERSONNEL ACT

SECTIONS 22-10-12 THROUGH 22-10-14.1 NMSA 1978 (RECOMPLIED) DO NOT APPLY TO THE FOLLOWING:

A.    A certified school instructor employed to fill the position of a certified school instructor entering military service;

B.    A person who is employed as a certified school administrator or;

C.    A non-certified district employee employed to perform primarily district wide management functions, i.e., transportation supervisor, food service supervisor, plant operations supervisor, data processing manager/ supervisor, or a manager/ supervisor of district-wide software implementation or a nursing supervisor are considered administrators and have no tenure rights.

Employees in these positions have a right to a letter of notification that their contract will be terminated at the end of a contract year.  Employees in these positions have a right to request in writing the reasons for termination.  Employees in these positions have no right to a hearing before the Board of Education and may be terminated for any cause by their immediate supervisor.

Every effort will be made to inform an employee upon being hired for these positions of the excepted provisions.  Every effort will be made to place the term “Excepted from Provisions” on an employee’s contract.

The election, promotion or dismissal of personnel will be recommended to the Superintendent in the light of not only his/her judgment but also that of other personnel who may be responsible for the evaluation and recommendation of personnel.

Adopted:

       Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.3  LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS: Instructors and Administrators

4.3.1       Every instructor or administrator who serves either on a full or part time basis in the public schools of New Mexico must hold a valid New Mexico teaching license.  Any person teaching, supervising an instructional program, counseling, providing special instructional services, or administering in a public school without a valid license with the proper endorsements after the first three (3) months, or 90 calendar days, of the school year shall thereafter forfeit all claim to compensation for services rendered.  Rules relating to the licensure of teachers are available at the Office of Human Resources.  Transcripts, licenses, and other necessary data are turned into the Office of Human Resources.

4.3.2  Teaching and school administration are recognized as professions, with all the rights, responsibilities and privileges accorded professions, having their first responsibility to the public they serve.  The primary responsibilities of the teaching and school administration professions are to educate the children of this state and to improve the professional practices and ethical conduct of their members.

4.3.3  The New Mexico licensure framework for teachers and school administrators is a progressive career system in which licensees are required to demonstrate increased competencies and undertake increased duties as they progress through the licensure levels.  The minimum salary provided as part of the career system shall not take effect until the state board has adopted increased competencies for the particular level of licensure and a highly objective uniform statewide standard of evaluation.

4.3.4  A level one license is a provisional teaching license issued for the first five years of teaching that gives a beginning teacher the opportunity, through a formal mentorship program, for additional preparation to be a quality teacher.  A level two teaching license is given to a teacher who is a fully qualified professional who is primarily responsible for ensuring that students meet and exceed state board-adopted academic content and performance standards; a teacher may choose to remain at level two for the remainder of his/her career.  A level three-A license means a master teaching license and is the highest level of teaching competence for those teachers who choose to advance as instructional leaders in the teaching profession and undertake greater responsibilities such as curriculum development, peer intervention and mentoring.  A level three-B license is for teachers who commence a new career path in school administration by becoming school administrators. (Requirement for licensure advancement/renewal can be found at http://www.teachnm.org on the web.)

4.3.5  All teacher and school administrator salary systems shall be aligned with the licensure framework in a professional educator licensing and salary system.

4.3.6  All teachers and school administrators who hold teaching or administrator certificates on the effective date of this 2003 act shall meet the requirements for their level of licensure by September 1, 2006 and shall be issued licenses.

4.3.7  All teachers must be Highly Qualified in the subject they teach.  In extreme situations, a teacher that is not Highly Qualified may be tied to a team teacher while on a Highly Qualified Plan to become Highly Qualified in the area they teach.   Permission from the Superintendent is required prior to recommending employment of a teacher that is not Highly Qualified for the position they will be filling.

  •  

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.4  LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS: Educational Assistants

Classified employees shall work under the direction of and be responsible to the office indicated in the Organization Chart of the Farmington Municipal Schools. Educational Assistants/Paraprofessionals with direct instructional duties must be directly supervised by a licensed teacher or administrator.

4.4.1  A PARAPROFESSIONAL / EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT

In New Mexico the term paraprofessional is interchangeable with educational assistant (EA) or instructional assistant. Also used are the terms para-educator, classroom aide, or classroom assistant.  A common definition usually refers to an individual who is hired to extend the services of the teacher or support program.

NCLB specifies the duties of a paraprofessional as one whom:

•  Provides one-on-one tutoring for students if such tutoring is scheduled at a time when the student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher;

•  Assists with classroom management, such as organizing instructional and other materials;

•  Provides instructional assistance in a computer laboratory;

•  Conducts parental involvement activities;

•  Provides support in a library or media center;

•  Acts as a translator

•  Provides instructional support services under the direction of a teacher.

If a classified employee provides one or more of the above services, the Farmington Municipal Schools (FMS) considers that they are a paraprofessional under the law and may be impacted by this legislation.

4.4.2  REQUIREMENTS

A.  All paraprofessionals must hold at least a high school diploma or recognized equivalent.  This includes paraprofessionals who serve as translators or who conduct parental involvement activities.

B.  All paraprofessionals recommended for employment must:

•  Have or completed at least two years of study at an institution of higher education OR      

•  Have obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree; OR

•  Have met a rigorous standard of quality demonstrated through a formal state or local academic assessment in knowledge of and ability to assist in instructing as appropriate, in reading/language arts, writing, and mathematics; OR reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness.

4.4.3 LICENSURE REQUIREMENS: EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANTS

All educational assistant (EA’s) must be highly qualified by meeting the requirements as described above and hold a New Mexico Level III educational assistant license and a substitute teacher license.  Any employee paid on the educational assistant salary schedule must be licensed in both areas.

A.  ASSOCIATES’ DEGREE:  This degree is a planned course of study from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university that includes at least:

• 3 hours language arts/ reading or language arts/ reading pedagogy;

• 3 hours writing or writing pedagogy;

• 3 hours mathematics or mathematics pedagogy; and

• 6 hours of reading, writing and math readiness or professional education, or classroom management, teaching assistance or special education.

The remaining hours toward the AA will follow the planned course of study developed for the candidate by the college or university.

B.  COMPLETE FORTY-EIGHT (48) SEMESTER HOURS:  Forty-eight (48) semester hours of academic credit awarded by a nationally or regionally accredited college or university of higher education is also an option.  The forty-eight hours must include at least 15 semester hours in non-remedial coursework, as follows:

• 3 hours of language arts/reading or language arts/ reading pedagogy:

• 3 hours of writing or writing pedagogy;      

• 3 hours of mathematics or mathematics pedagogy;

• 6 hours of reading, writing and math readiness, or professional education, or classroom management, teaching assistance, or special education.

The remaining hours are not specified.

C.  ASSESSMENT OF PARAPROFESSIONALS

Paraprofessionals may choose to take an assessment in lieu of taking coursework or obtaining an AA degree.  The requirement means meeting a rigorous standard of quality demonstrated through a formal state or local academic assessment in knowledge of and ability to assist in instructing reading, writing and mathematics.   The paraprofessional assessment is expected to evaluate paraprofessional candidates at a level equivalent to the second year of college.  Having skills at the level of the second year of college is the intent of the law. 

Farmington Municipal Schools has adopted the use of assessments approved by the Department of Public Education.  The Para-Pro Test and The Para-Educator Learning Network are two NM-PED approved assessments. The assessment is provided by or reimbursed by the District.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.5  Full and Part-Time Employees

Definitions

4.5.1       Licensed school instructor is defined as any licensed employee covered, or eligible for coverage, by the New Mexico Office of Teacher Preparation and Licensure.  Nurses are also considered licensed employees.

4.5.2  Persons employed in positions not requiring a college degree but other qualifications shall be known as Classified Employees.

4.5.3  Regular Employee

A regular classified employee is one who has satisfactorily completed a sixty (60) work day probationary period in a regular budgeted position and is continued in employment.

4.5.4  Full Time

For insurance purposes a full-time employee is one who works thirty (30) or more hours per week in a regular budgeted position.

4.5.5  Part Time

For insurance purposes, a part-time employee is one who works twenty to twenty-nine (20-29) hours per week in a regular budgeted position.

4.5.6  Part Time Hourly

A part-time hourly employee is one who works less than twenty (20) hours per week, does not qualify for district benefits, does not have a contract, and is paid by time sheet submission.  (Such individuals usually work after regular school hours.  This includes tutors, activity bus drivers and substitute bus drivers.)

4.5.7  A part time contracted employee is one who works less than 20 hours per week in a regular budgeted position and does not qualify for any district benefits except Educational Retirement Association (ERA).  An employee moving from a full time position with benefits, to a part time position with no benefits, forfeits all benefits previously acquired.

4.5.8  A temporary employee is one who performs work of a seasonal or emergency nature for which no specific position allocation is made in the budget.  Temporary appointment shall be limited to ninety (90) calendar days after which time the position shall be reviewed for possible reclassification.

4.5.9  Twelve-month employees receive paid leaves of absence, paid holidays and paid vacation days in proportion to the time worked.

4.5.10 Temporary and substitute classified employees receive no fringe benefits such as paid leaves of absence, paid holidays, paid vacation days or insurance coverage other than workmen’s compensation.  Temporary and substitute employees who work sixty (60) consecutive days in the same assignment for a twelve (12) month employee will receive pro-rated sick leave following the 60th day on the job to include the entire time worked.  They will also receive paid holidays that occur during employment following the 60th day.

4.5.11  All regular employees receive salary increases when such increases are available.

4.5.12  Temporary Employees, such as a substitute, are not eligible for unemployment.  There is reasonable assurance of re-employment for the following year unless notified in writing.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.6 CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION

Regulations approved by the New Mexico State Board of Education, appearing in the Licensed School Instructor Contract, state:

4.6.1  The instructor will give the District thirty (30) calendar days written notice of intention to resign.  Failure to give such thirty (30) calendar day notice shall entitle the District, in its discretion, to file a written complaint with the Public Education Department requesting suspension or revocation of the instructor’s license.

  •  The instructor shall furnish the District the following:

A.  A proper license for the position to be held.

B.  An official transcript(s) showing the education record and training of the instructor.

C.  Suitable evidence of date of birth.

D.  Such health certificate as may be required by law

4.6.3  All other employees may be required to provide health certificates or other requirements as may be required by law.

4.6.4       Contracts are for 1 school year.  If a contract error occurs and is discovered after the contract has been completed the district is not responsible to remedy the salary difference.   If the salary error occurs and is discovered during the contract year, the district will retro any salary owed to the employee back to the beginning of the year or hold employee harmless until the next contract year.   Employees will be given a written explanation of the action prior to adjustments being made to the contract.

As Per NMSA 22-10-11.  EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

A.    All employment contracts between local school boards and certified school personnel and between governing authorities of state agencies and certified school instructors shall be in writing on forms approved by the Public Education Department.

B.    In determination of eligibility for unemployment compensation rights and benefits for certified school instructors where those rights and benefits are claimed to arise from the employment relationship between governing authorities of local districts that period of a year not covered by a school year shall not be considered an unemployment period.


Except as provided in Section 22-10-12 NMSA 1978, a person employed by contract pursuant to this section has no legitimate objective expectancy of reemployment, and no contract entered into pursuant to this section shall be construed as an implied promise of continued employment pursuant to a subsequent contract.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.7  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All employees will work the hours per day as indicated on their contract. Certified and classified employees assigned to a school are contracted for 7.5 hour days (except ancillary and custodial/maintenance). In addition to the regular duties of licensed professionals and paraprofessionals assigned to a school, the principal may assign other duties as needed.

4.7.1  Employees will be expected to take part in whatever in-service training programs may be scheduled while employed with the Farmington Schools.  Such participation is considered as a contractual obligation of the employee even if it extends beyond normal contract hours.  Employees are then compensated for the extra time by being released early on Fridays or other days as deemed appropriate by administration.

4.7.2 Employees are encouraged to attend and contribute to various regional educational meetings.  Employees are also encouraged to contribute articles to professional magazines and to subscribe to professional magazines.

4.7.3  Written or oral comments made to school patrons, other employees, or students which would be considered offensive by community standards, as is set forth in the adopted “Code of Ethics and Conduct” (Policy 4.42), or other such conduct as determined by the Board of Education, may be reason for disciplinary action. 

4.7.4  Twelve-month employees shall report to the assigned workplace of employment and leave the workplace at the times determined by the workplace supervisor.  A normal workday is usually seven and a half (7.5) or eight-hour (8) day.

4.7.5  Effective July 1, 2011, all public officers or employees (ie. public school employees) must disclose in writing to the employer,  all employment engaged in by the employee other than the employment with or service to the school district.   NMSA Section 10-16-4.2

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.8  PROBATIONARY PERIOD  Classified Employees

4.8.1  A new full or part-time employee, or a regular employee appointed to a new position in custodial, maintenance and transportation shall serve a probationary period of ninety (90) work days, at which time he/she becomes a regular employee if continued in employment.

4.8.2  Custodial, maintenance and transportation probationary employees are not entitled to district benefits until they become regular employees.

4.8.3  During the probationary period the Superintendent without right of appeal may terminate a new employee.

4.8.4  All classified employees are at-will employees for the first three years of employment.  At-will means employment relations may be terminated by either the employee or the employer with a two-week notice.

4.8.5  After the third year of employment, all classified employees receive tenure rights and cannot be terminated without just cause and have a right to appeal the decision with the district superintendent.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.9  WORK WEEK FOR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

4.9.1  Cafeteria employees are assigned working hours depending upon the assignment and the needs of the cafeteria.  These hours may be changed during the school year.

4.9.2  The work day of each employee may vary from time-to-time, depending upon the needs of the school district.

4.9.3  The weekly hours of work may be adjusted by the Superintendent of Schools to meet reasonable time demands during the school term, on school holidays and during the summer months.

4.9.4  The contract year for twelve (12) month classified employees shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.10  SALARY CREDIT:  EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE


(For any purpose of this policy, the term teacher will refer to any licensed employee paid according to the teacher or other licensed staff salary schedule).

Upon initial employment with Farmington Municipal Schools, all staff will be placed at the beginning step of the appropriate salary schedule (i.e. teachers will be placed on the salary schedule at BA Step 0). All new teachers with the Farmington Municipal Schools must present an official transcript indicating their degree earned, the year it was earned, and any educational hours earned up to that point.  They will also be required to provide verification of experience so that they may be placed on the proper salary scale step.  In determining the point at which additional educational units are credited to the employee the following criteria will be considered:

4.10.1 Education

A.  A teacher must have earned a Bachelor’s degree in an educational field for which he/she is licensed to teach.  A teacher must be highly qualified in his/her teaching field either by license or transcript verification.

B.  A teacher who earns a degree in an area other than his/her teaching field(s) or other than education must first complete a program leading toward licensure in the state of New Mexico, or an approved educational program at a college or university.  Those hours beyond the Bachelor’s will not count on the salary schedule until he/she has completed the required educational courses.  Examples include a chemistry teacher who graduated from a university with a non-educational degree in chemistry, then went on to earn 24 hours of educational units to license him to teach.  Those additional hours would be counted on the salary schedule.  An employee teaching any subject area who may have received a degree in theology or philosophy and then went on to get the required courses for an educational license in math would not receive credit for those additional hours beyond the Bachelor degree until the required number of units were earned for licensure.

C.  Once the point has been established as to when additional units will be counted beyond the Bachelor’s degree, credit will be granted according to the following criteria:

1.  All graduate and undergraduate hours in education or in that teacher’s teaching field will be counted on the salary schedule.

2.  Graduate and undergraduate hours not in education or not in that teacher’s particular teaching field, but which may be beneficial to the district or in providing services to the student may be approved for the salary schedule by the Executive Director of Human Resources.

3.  Once a teacher has attained the B.A. and 45 or Master’s Degree level on the salary schedule, courses taken thereafter should be graduate hours in the teacher’s teaching field or in education unless they are approved in advance by the Executive Director of Human Resources.  Certain undergraduate hours may also be considered in specialty areas.

4.  Additional hours of credit are to be counted only after each academic degree is awarded and in accordance with local board policy. Further additional hours added after the completion of one degree do not carry over after the completion of another degree.

5. All decisions regarding an employee’s allowable graduate credit and prior experience are made in accordance with the NMPED Manual of Procedures for the Calculation of the Training & Experience Index.

D.  Training must be in accordance with local board policy and verified by official transcripts of an accredited university, college or post-secondary institution.

E.   Licensed staff are encouraged to continue their professional education through professional development or continuing education and advanced degrees.

F.  All teachers new to the district and teaching in core subject areas (K-5, Math, English, Science, Social Studies) are required to receive a TESOL endorsement within five years of employment date.  All other licensed teachers are encouraged to obtain a TESOL endorsement.  Reimbursement for the required test and courses will be provided by the District through federal funds contingent on availability.  (Original effective 7-1-2009)

G.  Annually, parents are informed that they may request and the district will provide information regarding the professional qualifications of their children’s teachers, support staff and administrators.

4.10.2     Employee Experience

A.  Credit will be earned on a one (1) year basis only.  Teaching experience in a public school will be counted toward the experience factor.  In order to receive a full year’s credit for a teaching year, a teacher must have taught at least half of the instructional calendar. In the case of experience that is less than a half-year, no experience credit will be given for that year. However, a teacher who has taught two (2) half years in different schools may be given credit for a full year of teaching.  A teacher who has taught part-time for a full year will be given credit if he/she has worked more than a half-day of that half-time position. 

B.  Teachers will be given full credit for teaching in private and parochial schools if those schools were accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, and that teacher was a licensed teacher in that state, at the time of employment.  The same criteria above will be used to determine how much experience is given.

C.  Experience for teaching at the college or university level will be granted on the district salary schedule if the employee held a teaching license at the time of employment at the college level. The same criteria above will be used to determine how much experience is allowed. Teaching fellowships and internships do not apply.

D.  Teachers will not be given credit for experience as a substitute unless the teacher was a licensed teacher in the state of employment and held a valid contract for full-time employment; same criteria in 4.15.2.A.

E.  Verified employment for trade/industry instructors will be counted as experience, for training and experience purposes, in their licensed or instructional area.

F.  Military service will be counted only when verified as instructionally related.

G.  Reported experience must be related to instruction, verified by use of a verification form, W-2 form or in-district contract and/or evaluation form. (NMPED Manual of Procedures for the Calculation of the Training & Experience Index).

H.  Verified experience for classified employees must be related to the position for which they are employed.

I.   Verified employment of support service personnel may be counted as experience for training and experience (T & E) purposes in their licensed or instructional area.

J.  Administrators new to the District and placed on a salary schedule will be allowed a maximum of twenty (20) years credit for pervious administrative experience. Credit for previous administrative experience in public, private, parochial schools or higher education must have been in schools accredited by a recognized accrediting agency and the administrator licensed in that state at the time of the experience.

4.10.3  Documentation for Educational Hours

A.  Educational credit will be granted only when credit is received on an official transcript including degree and date awarded.

B.  Experience credit for paraprofessionals will be earned as described above.  Placement on the District’s salary schedule will be in accordance with work experience, college or university credit verified by transcript and licensure.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.11  PAYROLL

4.11.1 All employees shall be paid twice a month, on the 5th and 20th of the month. If that date falls on a non-workday, the payday shall be the last working day before the 5th or 20th.

4.11.2 An employee’s first paycheck will be a real check in preparation for direct deposit or pay card. After the first paycheck, starting July 1, 2013, pay stubs will be paperless. Computers will be made available in every building. Employee Online will allow the employee to access and print their own check stubs as needed. Assistance for those in need will be provide by Payroll and the Office of Human Resources.

4.11.3 Retirement contributions and federal and state income taxes are deducted from salary warrants. All other deductions approved by the Board of Education will also be deducted from salary warrants at the request of the employee.

4.11.4 Employees are required to participate in the FICA (Social Security) program and Medicare.  Employees who are employed more than twenty-five percent of the time (.25 FTE) are required to contribute to the Educational Retirement Act Program (ERA) and participate in the Retiree Health Care Program. Employees filling positions for thirty (30) days or less may not be enrolled in ERA.

4.11.5 Contract employees that do extra duty and complete a timesheet in order to get paid must turn in the timesheet to your immediate supervisor every Friday. Timesheets are not to be collected. Mileage forms must be turned in monthly. Failure to turn in timesheets or mileage forms on time may cause payment to be delayed.

Adopted:

Last Revision: 4/13/17

4.12  FAIR LABOR STANDARDS:  Classified Employees

Definitions:

Exempt – employees who by virtue of their duties are not eligible for FSLA. Examples include but are not limited to: teachers, administrators, supervisors and district-wide managers.

Non-exempt – employees who by virtue of their duties and/or salary are eligible for FSLA.  Examples include but are not limited to: custodial workers, maintenance workers, secretaries and educational assistants. 

4.12.1  All classified non-licensed and certified licensed educational assistants in the Farmington Municipal School District are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Employment under FLSA is defined to include all hours that an employee is permitted to work for the employer, including the necessity to be on the work premises, on duty or at a prescribed work place.

4.12.2  Every employee must be granted, at least, a thirty (30) minute work/duty free lunch period.

4.12.3  Prior approval from one’s supervisor is required in order for an employee to continue working, after the workday is over.

4.12.4  Department supervisors have two choices in compensation to employees for hours worked over and above the required workday.

A.  FLSA allows compensatory time off (Comp-time), in lieu of, payment.  Compensatory Time is at the rate of payment of time and one-half per amount of overtime worked.

B.  If prior approved over time is to be paid by monetary compensation, payment will be at the rate of not less than one and one-half time the regular rate of payment for each hour worked in a work week in excess of the maximum forty (40) hour work week.

C.  Employees may accrue up to 240 hours of compensatory time (actual 160 hours of overtime work), before they are required to take Comp-time or be compensated by payment.

D.  An employee who has accrued compensatory time and requests use of the time must be permitted to use the time off within “a reasonable period” after making the request, if it does not “unduly disrupt” the operations of the agency or department.

1.  “Reasonable” is defined as to accommodate varying work practices based on facts and circumstances of each case.

2.  “Unduly disruptive” means more than an inconvenience.

3.  Unduly disruptive of operations is the only legitimate reason for denying compensatory time.

4.12.5  All employees that are eligible for Fair Labor Standards Act (overtime/comp time) must complete a weekly time sheet that is approved by their supervisor and kept on file in the building where they are employed.

4.12.6  District employees must complete the forms provided for requesting overtime/compensatory time.  Indication of the amount of time accrued must be on the weekly time sheets provided to classified employees.

4.12.7  Certified licensed employees are exempt from FSLA.  Administrators, supervisors and district wide managers are exempt from FSLA requirements. 

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.13       SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS

4.13.1  All substitute teachers in Farmington Municipal Schools must be eligible for or possess a substitute teacher license, or a professional teaching license from the New Mexico Licensure Unit.

4.13.2  Applicants for substitute teaching must

A. Be eighteen (18) years of age to perform instructional services in grades K-8 and twenty-one (21) to perform instructional services in grades 9-12.

B.  Have earned a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate,

C.  Have completed, or be willing to complete a substitute training workshop that includes training in child abuse, sexual harassment, blood-borne pathogens, hazardous materials and safety in the workplace, substitute responsibilities, and discipline tips for substitute success.  Other training topics as identified by the District may also be required.

D. Have completed a fingerprint-based FBI criminal history background check within the past twenty-four (24) months or submit with application.

E. Observe three hours at the grade levels preferred for substituting.  (Verified on district form by building principal).  In lieu of observing, have substituted at least for one year in another district or have been employed in a school system as an instructor or instructional assistant, working directly with students.

F.  Sign receipt of and agree to the Code of Ethics and Conduct as a condition of employment as a substitute teacher.

4.13.3  Appropriate substitute behaviors, performance and professionalism will be monitored and guided by the building principal and the Executive Director of Human Resources, as conditions for continued employment. Substitutes are hired at the will of the District and may be discharged at any time without cause.

4.13.4  Substitutes must be approved by the local superintendent annually.

4.13.5  If a class is taught by a substitute teacher in lieu of a licensed professional teacher under contract for four consecutive weeks or more, the Superintendent or administrative designee must give written notice to the parents of these children being taught by a substitute teacher.

4.13.6  The Superintendent or administrative designee must ensure written notice is given by the end of the four-week period following the assignment of that substitute to the classroom.

4.13.7  Teachers and administrators with current professional licenses will not be required to have a Substitute License in order to serve as a substitute.  Staff holding an Educational Assistant or Coaching License will need a substitute license to perform the role of a substitute teacher.

4.13.8  A tracking system will be used to track time of a substitute by specific classroom placement by dates and hours.  The building secretary submits this paperwork to the district payroll office and the Human Resources Office.

4.13.9  Substitutes will be paid at a daily rate determined by their educational training. The daily rate will be increased as determined by the district pay schedule for educational training, license and length of substituting in a single classroom.

4.13.10 Licensed teachers that use their preparation period to substitute for one of their colleagues will be paid in accordance with the annual rate set by the District. Every effort will be made to provide a substitute rather than use a preparation period staff.  A tracking system of certified staff substituting will be submitted on a district form to the district payroll office and the Office of Human Resources.

4.13.11  Substitutes are paid twice a month, as all other district employees.  Payroll Direct Deposit is available for substitute teachers.

4.13.12  Substitutes do not qualify for benefits offered (unless they meet the  guidelines of the American Health Care Act) to full and half-time employees of the Farmington Municipal School District. Substitutes are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Substituting is seasonal work.   All substitutes have reasonable assurance of employment from year to year.

4.13.13  Substitutes are required to attend District orientation and training.  School administrators may request that a substitute teacher be removed from the automated call list for their respective school due to unsatisfactory work performance or lack of professional behavior or judgment. After numerous complaints or one serious incident, a substitute may be permanently removed from the District’s services.  Substitutes will be notified in writing of such decisions.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.14 SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION & NOTIFICATION ACT

4.14.1     It is the policy of the Farmington Board of Education to support the purposes of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (New Mexico’s version of “Megan’s Law”) by providing notification to parents and guardians of district students of the availability of public information concerning the residences of registered sex offenders within the District.

A.  Accordingly, the administration will issue a notice to parents and guardians of district students at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of each school year, in substantially the following form:


NOTICE PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety (DPS) regularly publishes information on registered sex offenders.

The Board of Education urges all parents and guardians of district students to check the listings of registered sex offenders residing within the District so that they may take appropriate precautions for the safety and welfare of their children/charges.

The listings include, in most cases, addresses of registered sex offenders so that parents and guardians may determine if registered sex offenders live near their children’s or charges’ schools, school bus stops, or walking routes to school.

Parents and guardians may review the listings on the DPSs’ website:  http://www.nmsexoffender.com.  The listings may be searched by categories, such as “city” and “county”.  If parents/guardians do not have Internet access at home, they can access the website through computers available at the Farmington Public Library locations, the San Juan College Library, or your school principal’s office.  

Pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, the release of sex offender registration information is limited to those individuals convicted of certain sex offenses on or after July 1, 1995, or those individuals convicted of a sex offense prior to that date and were incarcerated or on probation/parole as of that date.

The integrity and accuracy of the information provided by DPS is based on the information provided at the time a sex offender registers.  Address information is subject to frequent changes.  Information is updated when a sex offender registers, re-registers (after moving or following annual renewal), however, parents/guardians are cautioned that the information contained on the DPS’s web page may not reflect the current residence, status, or other information regarding the offender.

If there is a question regarding the accuracy of the information provided, please notify DPS at (505) 827-9193.

B.  The Superintendent may also issue such administrative directives that, in his or her judgment, may further promote the purpose of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.15 COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN STAFF/PARENT(S)

4.15.1  The Farmington Municipal Schools’ Board of Education recognizes the need for district staff to involve parents in open dialog concerning their child’s educational experiences.  There are two formal Parent/Teacher Conferences built into the school calendar.  Appointments for additional, formal conferences can be scheduled at each individual building on an as-needed basis.  The Board also recognizes that such dialog is most productive when all parties act in a courteous and civil manner.

4.15.2  To that end the following minimum guidelines are to be observed:

A.  All visitors are expected to report first to the building office upon arriving at a campus/site.

B.  Conferences are expected to occur during non-instructional time and scheduled with mutual agreement.

C.  Parents and staff should not involve children in awkward, embarrassing or confrontational situations.

D.  When any party feels uncomfortable, either has the right to exit the meeting, and re-schedule a follow-up meeting.  (Ex. use of profanity, intimidation, etc.)

E.  School District Personnel will retain the right to contact the appropriate authorities either to remove people in extreme cases or utilize court-restraining orders as necessary.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.16 TRANSFER AND REASSIGNMENT

The transfer policy facilitates the movement of staff between buildings in order to promote staff development and/or to fill vacancies.  A transfer is defined as a move from one administrative location to another, or within the same administrative unit.  The district will fill as many vacancies as possible from within its own staff with minimal disruption to the educational process provided qualifications and requirements are met for the vacant position. The following transfers are recognized by the district:

4.16.1  Emergency

A.  During the period between August 15 to the 40th day of school, transfers will be made at the discretion of the administration, based upon the district’s staffing needs.  Every consideration will be given to district seniority within the affected building/department, and transfers will be limited to horizontal moves within the affected primary (K-3) or intermediate (4-5) grade level group or within subject matter areas at the secondary level as much as possible.  Volunteers within the primary or intermediate level group or subject matter areas in the affected building will be initially sought and considered before the transfer decision.  To avoid the “Domino Effect”, no more than one additional teacher move will be considered beyond those immediately involved.

B.  If a staff member is moved, every effort will be made not to reassign that staff member under this section for a period of 5 (five) years.

C.  Decisions regarding Emergency reassignments will be made only after a meeting with the Principals of the affected buildings, the Deputy Superintendent and the Executive Director of Human Resources.

D.  The staff member to be reassigned will be informed of the transfer by the Principal and/or by a member of the Superintendent’s staff, to be followed by written notification from the Executive Director of Human Resources.

E.  Teachers affected by this policy may request a meeting concerning the reassignment with the Executive Director of Human Resources.  The affected person(s) may request a representative to accompany them to the meeting.

F.  At least two work days, and one weekend day (if needed) paid at a substitute’s rate, with accessibility to the building will be given to the teacher being reassigned to prepare for the new assignment.

G.  Personnel being reassigned under the Emergency clause will, upon their request, receive consideration for vacant positions at their original site the following year.  Every effort will be made by the District to honor their requests.

H.  The reassignment will not change the employee’s base salary.  When additional extracurricular assignments or an extended contract is involved, the total salary will be adjusted according to the schedules in effect at the time of the reassignment.

4.16.2  Staff-Requested Transfer

All vacancies are posted and updated routinely on the district’s website.

A.  The following criteria may be taken into consideration for the transfer process:

1.  Licensure and highly qualified in the field and/or level of instruction.

2.  Seniority based on length of time under continued contract with the Farmington Schools.

3.  An interview with the receiving supervisor.

4.  Educational/Programmatic experience.

5.  Satisfactory performance as attested to by sending supervisor.

B.  Personnel wishing to transfer to another building must notify their current administrator of their desire to transfer.   After current administrator is notified, employee can use electronic application system to apply as an in-district employee.  Receiving administrator has the option for granting an interview to the employee requesting the transfer.  Receiving administrator must contact current administrator for a reference check.

C.  If more than one person has applied for the same position, the determination as to which teacher/staff shall receive the transfer will be made on the basis of which teacher/staff or new hire best meets the educational needs of the receiving school program as determined by the principal/supervisor and the Executive Director of Human Resources.

D.  Any employee denied or approved a transfer may be given written reason(s) for the decision upon request, based on the criteria for transfer.   

E.  Requests for transfer may be renewed yearly by the teacher/staff member if the transfer is not realized by August 15.

F.  When a new administrative unit goes into service, teacher requests for transfer will be given first consideration over new hires.  This consideration will be made in correlation to the educational or programmatic needs for positions within the new unit.

G.  The district reserves the right to stop transfers at any point in the year to avoid major disruption of the hiring process.  Transfer requests for existing unfilled vacancies or new positions after the 20th school day may not be considered to avoid the disruption of the learning environment for students.

4.16.3     Staff Reassignment

The purpose of the reassignment policy is to facilitate the movement of staff within the District or building in order to promote staff development and/or to fill vacancies as they arise. A reassignment is defined as a move within the District or building from one grade level to another, or from one position to another.  The Principal/Supervisor will fill vacancies in such a way to insure minimal disruption to the educational process.

A.  Staff-Requested Reassignments:  Reassignment requests shall have preference over transfer requests or new hires for the same opening.  Reassignments within a building will be based on the needs as determined by the Principal/Supervisor and the Executive Director of Human Resources. Reassignment will be based on Principal/Supervisor approval, satisfactory staff performance in the current assignment, areas of highly qualified, and intra-building seniority.

B.  Administrative Reassignment: In the event that there are no staff transfer requests for existing unfilled positions, recommendation for reassignment will be made by the Principals/Supervisors, subject to the approval of the Executive Director of Human Resources.  Any such reassignment will be based upon the needs of the school/department/District and, when possible, on seniority.  Teachers affected by this policy will be notified prior to an impending transfer and may request a meeting concerning the reassignment with the Principals/Supervisors and the Executive Director of Human Resources.  The affected person(s) may request a representative to accompany them to the meeting.

4.16.4 Modifying or Adding Positions

The Farmington School District recognizes that the job description and deployment of personnel may change depending on the needs of the students.  Administrative procedures are in place to modify job descriptions and re-deploy personnel in an orderly manner.

4.16.5  Transfer or Reassignment of Classified Employees

Classified employees may express their preference for a position and school to which they wish to be assigned.  Every effort will be made to comply with the wishes of employees in so far as is possible.  Classified employees should utilize the following procedure in initiating a request for transfer:

A.  If an employee is assigned to a school, the matter of a transfer should be discussed with the supervisor and the principal.

B.  Following this discussion, the employee should forward a written request on the form provided by the Human Resources Office through the immediate supervisor.  Requests for transfer will not be considered unless submitted on the form provided by the Human Resources Office.

C.  If the supervisor, or principal considers the transfer to be in the best interest of the school district and the employee, they will confer with the employee and make that recommendation to the Human Resources Office.

D.  It may be necessary to defer action on transfer requests until all requests have been considered.  All requests shall be considered.  Decisions regarding transfers will be made by the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent of Schools after all facts have been considered.

E.  When a new school or unit is opened, it may be necessary to transfer some classified employees from one or more of the established schools.  Transfers may or may not be initiated by the employee and will be made on the basis of what is best for the most efficient operation of the school district and its students.

F.  Prior to the transfer, the Executive Director of Human Resources and the supervisor, principal or other administrators involved shall confer with the classified employees regarding the transfer.

G. Classified employees may be reassigned to another position or school when it is determined by the Executive Director of Human Resources and Superintendent that such a transfer would serve the best interests of the school district.  The procedure in 4.6.1 (F), above shall apply.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.17 JOB SHARE STATEMENT

The Farmington Municipal School’s Board of Education recognizes the need to implement personnel procedures to provide an alternative to full-time work while it continues to attract and retain qualified employees.  The Job Share will be governed by Administrative Procedures.  Employees whose job share arrangement constitutes less than half an instructional year, will not earn a year’s credit of work experience for placement on the salary schedule.  Employees who job share may not be eligible for insurance benefits.  Leave benefits will be prorated.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.18 PROMOTION AND RECLASSIFICATION

In so far as possible, vacancies for classified non-licensed employees shall be filled by promotion from within the school district provided qualifications and requirements are met for the vacant position.

4.18.1  Vacancies in the classified service may be filled by reinstatement, transfer, demotion, or from an employment list.  A classified employee being considered for an educational assistant position must meet the minimum requirement of being highly qualified (4.4.3).

4.18.2  Vacancies for classified non-licensed employees, except substitute and temporary assignments, shall be advertised by the Human Resources Office.

4.18.3  A classified non-licensed employee who has regular status in a range may request transfer to a classification with lower minimum qualifications and salary.  An employee shall possess at least the minimum qualifications for the range to which he/she demotes.

4.18.4  A classified non-licensed employee who is promoted to a higher position shall be placed at the step representing the next higher amount of money on the proper salary schedule, and shall in no case receive less than he/she would have received for the following year had he/she not been promoted.  A classified non-licensed employee who is promoted to a higher position shall serve a probationary period of ninety (90) days, during which time he/she may be demoted to his previous position for unsatisfactory service.

Adopted:

Last Revision: 4/13/17

4.19  REDUCTION IN FORCE POLICY

Authority

Pursuant to NMSA 1978 22-5-14 (2003, the Superintendent has the authority to discharge licensed school personnel during the term of their contracts or to terminate licensed school instructors and non-licensed school employees with rights created by NMSA 1978, Section 22-10A-24C (hereafter “tenured employees”), after notice and a hearing when a reduction in such personnel is required as a result of circumstances justifying a reduction in force as specified herein. Reduction-in-force (R.I.F.) is “just cause” for discharge of licensed school personnel and terminations of tenured employees, when established pursuant to this policy.  This policy is adopted as the procedure by which reductions in personnel who are covered by the policy may be accomplished, within the context of the District’s general personnel policies.

Board Discretion

The Board is vested with the discretion to develop education policies for the District, so long as the state educational standards and statutorily required standards are met.   The superintendent, in carrying out the educational policies of the Board and administrating and supervising the District, shall exercise his or her discretion in accordance with this policy in determining when decreased enrollment, financial exigency or other causes justify a reduction in personnel.  

4.19.1 Grounds Justifying Reduction in Force

Situations that justify a R.I.F. shall include but are not limited to the following:

A. decrease in student enrollment or reduced student demand for or participation in programs or activities;

B. decrease in revenue

       1. because of decrease of student enrollment;

2. because of loss or reduction of tax revenues;

3. because of reduction of state, local, or federal financial support; or

4. because of inflation reducing the value of revenues received or significantly increasing costs of operation;

C. change in the educational program of the district, as determined by the Board, in its good-faith exercise of discretion;

D. consolidation or de-consolidation involving the district;

       E. court orders;

       F. orders of the Secretary of Education

       G. legislative mandates;

       H. unanticipated financial or programmatic exigencies identified by the Superintendent that warrants initiation of a R.I.F. process.

4.19.2       Good Faith Determination

The Superintendent shall exercise discretion in good faith and determinations that a R.I.F. is necessary shall be based on bona fide educational considerations.

4.19.3       Timing of Reduction In Force

A R.I.F. may occur at any time during the calendar year when the Superintendent, in his or her discretion, determines that it is justified and the procedures prescribed herein are applicable and are followed.  A R.I.F. may be based upon projections of future enrollment, revenues or expenses, and the subsequent receipt of more revenue than expected or a subsequent saving of projected expenses shall not invalidate any actions previously taken in good-faith reliance on such projections, nor shall it require the reemployment of any employees who were released on the basis of such projections.

4.19.4 Determination of Need for Reduction In Force

A. Except as required by legislative mandate or orders of the State Secretary of Education and to the extent that circumstances permit, the Superintendent, with the assistance of the administrative staff, shall report to the Board any circumstances which may ultimately require a R.I.F., in order that notice be given to licensed and classified personnel of the possibility of a R.I.F. and so that consideration be given to means by which a R.I.F. may be avoided.   

Preparation of a R.I.F. Plan   A plan shall not be necessary if the reductions can be accomplished through  (1) attrition or  (2) by termination of a sufficient number of non-tenured staff.

When the Superintendent concludes that a R.I.F. is necessary, a plan for R.I.F. shall be developed for presentation to the Board.   The R.I.F. plan shall not identify individuals to be discharged or terminated, but rather shall focus upon the total educational program of the district and how it may be modified to reduce costs, programs and personnel while still providing the educational program required of the school district.  Where circumstances warrant, a R.I.F. plan may address particular programs, departments, school sites, content areas or activities if the causes for the R.I.F. predominately impact the aspect of the educational program.  Such impact shall be described in the R.I.F. plan.

The R.I.F. plan shall include but not limited to, the following:

1. detailed description of the cause or causes requiring a R.I.F.;

2. a description of all adjustments already made by the Administration in an attempt to avoid a R.I.F.

3. a designation of the part or parts of the total educational program or particular program or activity in which the R.I.F. is proposed and the number of positions proposed to be reduced in each program or activity;

4. a designation of non-essential services or activities which are to be retained with a justification for retaining such programs;

5. a discussion of alternatives (if any) considered by the Superintendent with an explanation as to why such alternatives were rejected. 

       B. Board Considerations

The Board shall consider the recommendations of the Superintendent for the adoption of the R.I.F. plan at a duly called board meeting, the public notice of which announces that a R.I.F. will be considered.   The Board may allow such review, consultation, and comment by employees and members of the public, as the Board, in its discretion, deems appropriate.  

If a mid year R.I.F. is proposed which would require the discharge of tenured certified staff, the Superintendent and Board shall adopt a joint determination that as to the projected financial burdens to the District in the future and concluding the District cannot survive financially for the fiscal year already underway, if the R.I.F. is not carried out.

C.  If a R.I.F. plan is adopted, the Board shall not be required to deplete its operational cash balances maintained or carried over as permitted by NMSA 1978 22-8-41C and Section 71, Laws 2003, Ch.153 in order to avoid the R.I.F., if the Board in its discretion, determines that the cash balance must be maintained at the level determined by the Board, in order to cover other permitted expenditures or as a contingency for unforeseen expenditures or emergencies.

Based upon the R.I.F. plan approved by the Board, the Administration shall perform a study of the school district’s personnel to determine which person or persons must be wholly or partially terminated or discharged in order to implement the plan.  The primary concern to be applied in making the R.I.F. selections shall be the Board’s interest in maintaining a sound and balanced education program.

4.19.5  Criteria for Selection of Employees for R.I.F.

The criterion used to base a decision in reduction shall be competency in service, which includes:

1) licensure in the subject area or training in an area (highly qualified),

2) experience in teaching in the subject area or experience in the area,

       3) service in district,

4) endorsements held by the teacher making them highly qualified in numerous areas,

5) extra curricular or co-curricular licensing requiring specialized knowledge, training, expertise or significant time commitment, 

6) The amount of education based on degree and additional hours, 

7) Past contributions to the educational program of the district and

8) quality of instruction as identified in recent evaluations by the principal or quality of performance as identified in recent evaluations by the supervisor.  

When two (2) or more staff members are in the same seniority situation, the determination will be made in the descending order of:

A.  Years of verifiable experience within the district,

B.  Number of semester hours of post-secondary education in the prospective area placed; type of training/license/certificate.

C.  Principal or supervisor’s recommendations.

4.19.6  Transfers/Reassignment

A.  All staff are subject to reassignment based on the needs of the district.

B.  If a vacancy becomes available during the implementation of the R.I.F. plan, an employee that has been terminated/discharged and is licensed and qualified for the position may request to be considered for a transfer or reassignment. (See transfer/reassignment policy 4.16)

4.19.7       Classified Personnel

Seniority shall be the primary criterion determining which classified personnel shall be recommended for complete or partial termination in order to implement the R.I.F. Plan.  More senior classified personnel ordinarily shall be retained in preference to less senior classified personnel within the same job category (educational assistants, maintenance, custodial, grounds, etc.).  However, where multiple positions and programs are affected by the R.I.F., the school administration may look at the following criteria in making the selection:

1.    Specialized Qualifications/Licenses

2.    Extra Curricular Licensing/Assignments/Experience

3.    Service in District

4.    Performance

Each classified employee terminated pursuant to this policy shall be entitled to the procedural rights provided under the applicable New Mexico statutes and regulations governing the termination of non-licensed personnel. The written decision of the board, to the extent required by statute and regulation, shall clearly specify that the termination resulted from a R.I.F. and not from any cause personal to the person released.

4.19.8       Appeal

Appeals to an independent arbitrator from termination or discharge pursuant to this policy are governed by the provisions of NMSA 1978, Section 22-10A-25, NMSA 1978 22-10A-28, respectively, and any applicable regulations of the State Secretary of Education.

4.19.9   Recall of Released Staff

For a period of one year after the effective date of the discharge or termination of any employee pursuant to this policy, the Superintendent shall offer to such person any position(s) which becomes available for which such person is licensed and qualified, provided that such person has complied with the requirements specified below.

Every person discharged or terminated under this policy who wishes to be considered for recall, in the event that an opening occurs, must file with the Superintendent, within thirty (30) days after the effective date of the discharge or termination, a written statement indicating a desire to be considered for recall and providing an address at which the person may be contacted. Such person must notify the Superintendent of any change in address within ten (10) days after changing residences in order to insure proper notification in the event of a recall.

4.19.10      In the event legislation is passed which requires the Superintendent to reduce licensed school personnel, for any reason, the Superintendent shall follow the legislative procedures, if any, in lieu of this policy. 

In the event State Secretary of Education orders are entered which have the effect of revising the district’s boundaries to exclude school facilities previously operated by the district, reducing the district’s enrollment, or reassigning licensed school personnel to another district or other state board orders resulting from exercise of its legislative powers, then the procedures described in the State Secretary’s order for transfer of school facilities, students, and personnel shall be followed in lieu of this policy.   Unless a different procedure is mandated by law, the termination or discharge of school employees in compliance with a State Secretary order shall be governed by NMSA 1978,Statutes 22-10A-24, 22-10A-25, 22-10A-27, and 22-10A-28, if applicable.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.20       RESIGNATION AND REEMPLOYMENT

4.20.1     Resignations shall be made in accordance with the following procedures:

A.  Any classified non-licensed employee or licensed educational assistant desiring to leave the service of the District may do so without prejudice by filing his/her written resignation two (2) weeks prior to the effective date of his/her resignation.  Licensed instructors and licensed and non-licensed administrators are required to provide thirty (30) days notice.  The resignation shall be addressed to the Superintendent and a copy delivered to the Executive Director of Human Resources or designee.

B.  The resignation of an employee filed to evade dismissal shall be considered to be with prejudice, and such an employee shall not be eligible for reinstatement unless the circumstances of his/her separation have been thoroughly investigated and the Superintendent recommends that the employee be reinstated.

C.  The service of an employee will be considered terminated if the employee quits work without formal resignation.

4.20.2  Employees who terminate, or who resign prior to the end of the contract year, will receive a lump sum payment of all salary due, less deductions allowed by New Mexico Statues and/or the policies of the local Board of Education.  Unused accrued annual (vacation only) leave not to exceed 20 days will be included in the payment. Employees who are eligible for reimbursements as part of their job must submit any receipts for reimbursement within thirty days of separation from the District.

4.20.3  An employee who resigns after three (3) years of satisfactory service in the district and who is reemployed within one (1) year may be placed at the same step on the salary schedule that was in effect at the time of resignation.

4.20.4  An employee who rescinds a resignation and is approved by the Superintendent for reemployment, shall have accrued leave reinstated if the employee returns to service without a break in contract.  Reinstatement may not necessarily be in the same position.  Year-round employees (256-260 days) must return to work in less than one calendar month of resignation.  Employees on a school calendar who resign at the end of a school calendar year and who rescind their resignation must return to work at the start of the next school calendar.  When employees resign and leave the District’s employment, all accrued (sick and personal) leave is zeroed-out. Employees who resign and who may reapply or return to work at a later time will begin leave accrual as a new employee.

4.20.5  Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA 20 U.S.C. § 7926) section 8546, prohibits the State Education Agency (SEA), a Local Education Agency (LEA), or school, as well as any school employee, contractor, or agent, from providing a recommendation of employment for an employee, contractor, or agent that the SEA, LEA, or school, or the individual acting on behalf of the SEA, LEA, or school, knows, or has probable cause to believe, the employee, contractor, or agent has engaged in sexual misconduct with a student or minor in violation of the law.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  12/13/18

4.21 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

The Board of Education of the Farmington Municipal School District does not desire that any employee be required or pressured to join or not to join any professional organization.

4.21.1  Recognition of any organization as an employee representative will be in accordance with the provisions of the Public Employees Bargaining Act if and when promulgated. Organization, recognition, rights, restrictions, etc. may be modeled after Board Policy Section IV Addendum A, as was initially adopted March 25, 1993 and last revised May 8, 1997.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.22         AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination and retaliation against disabled employees.   An employee that believes he or she may qualify as disabled based on the ADA definition of a disability and is in need of reasonable accommodations should discuss their needs with their supervisor and/or the Executive Director of Human Resources.   The district will work with the employee to determine what type of reasonable accommodations might be needed.   ADA does not require the district to make accommodations that pose a significant difficulty or expense.

4.23  STAFF WELLNESS

Farmington Municipal School District is committed to encouraging staff wellness programs. Students benefit when teachers and staff are healthy both emotionally and physically. Staff wellness is providing opportunities for school staff to improve their health, safety, and well-being.

The district will insure an equitable work environment that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act, Part III. (NMAC 6.12.6.8)

The district encourages the provision of accurate, evidence-based information related to health promotion as well as prevention of disease and disability.

The district encourages participation in health promotion programs focusing on exercise, stress management and nutrition.

Adopted: 

Last Revision:  4/13/17

(Note:  Numbers 4.24 through 4.29 are reserved for future policy)

Supervision & Evaluation Policies

4.30 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEMS

4.30.1  Every public school teacher and licensed staff member must have an annual performance evaluation based on the annual professional development plan.  Annual performance evaluations shall be based on, among other things, how well the professional development plan was carried out and the measurable objectives were achieved.  The performance evaluation criteria used by the District aligns with the NM 3-Tiered Licensure System and the PED Regulation 6.69.4 Performance Evaluation System Requirements.  PED Regulation 6.69.4.8.D states the format for this evaluation shall be established by the department and shall be uniform throughout the state in all public schools.

A. Within the first 40 days of the school year, the teacher and the school principal will establish a PDP (Professional Development Plan).

B. The PDP must have measurable objectives based on the nine competencies and indicators and will target specific areas for teacher professional development that will improve student learning.  It may also include any district competencies.

C. The PDP should not be confused with the district’s Professional Growth Plan (PGP), where deficiencies are identified and addressed.

D. Guidelines for the district’s Professional Growth Plan (PGP), can be found in the district’s Evaluation Plan.

E. Before the end of the school year, the teacher and the school principal will meet to assess how well the PDP was carried out and the extent to which measurable objectives were achieved.

F. The PDP process shall be differentiated for level of licensure to meet the varied needs of the teachers at each level. 

G. Guidelines for PDP’s for Level I, II, and III licensure can be found in the district’s Evaluation Plan.

4.30.2  Each regular classified employee shall be evaluated once each year by his/her immediate supervisor (s).

4.30.3  This report will be reviewed by immediate supervisor(s) and by the division head as indicated on the organizational chart.  A copy of the evaluation report, signed by the employee and all supervisor(s), will be reviewed by the Executive Director of Human Resources or designee.  The original copy of the fully signed report will be retained in the employee’s file and copies returned through channels to the immediate supervisor(s) and the employee.

4.30.4  Classified or licensed employees may disagree with judgments made by an evaluator.  In addition to the employee’s comments on the evaluation form, the employee may attach a written rebuttal in which the employee will establish the areas that he/she feels are inaccurate or erroneous.  This rebuttal will be retained in the employee’s files.  Disagreement with his/her evaluation cannot follow the process for filing a complaint or grievance. (Refer for the District’s Grievance Procedure Policy).

4.30.5  A Professional Growth Plan (PGP) may be developed whenever the employees’ performance does not meet the competency standard for the level of licensure or when an employee’s performance is unsatisfactory.

A.    A PGP must be written and implemented within ten (10) working days of a Summative Evaluation with a minimally effective or ineffective rating.

B.  The supervisor will make a good faith effort appropriate to the circumstances to suggest improvement action and to give the employee a reasonable amount of time to make the improvements before evaluating the employee’s performance.

4.30.6     Uncorrected, unsatisfactory work performance may be grounds for termination.

4.30.7 Certified Navajo Language Instructors who have a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree must have an annual performance evaluation based on the annual professional development plan.  Annual performance evaluations shall be based on, among other things, how well the professional development plan was carried out, the measurable objectives achieved and meeting the Level I teacher competencies.

Certified Navajo Language Instructors who have less than a bachelor’s degree must have an annual evaluation based on the classified educational assistant criteria for performance evaluation.

4.30.8    Administrators are to be evaluated by their supervisors annually.  Evaluations are to be based on, among other things, completion of the Professional Development Plan, the NM Administrative Competencies, data related to student achievement and the educational plan for student success (EPSS) progress.   Principals and Assistant Principals are to follow the Operational Framework of the New Mexico Highly Objective Uniform Statewide Standard of Evaluation for Principals and Assistant Principals (HOUSSE-P).

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.31       DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The Superintendent of schools may terminate an employee with fewer than three years of consecutive service for any reason deemed sufficient.

4.31.1  Upon written request of the employee, the Superintendent or administrator shall provide written reasons for the decision to terminate.  The reasons shall be provided within ten working days of the request.  The reasons shall not be publicly disclosed by the Superintendent or immediate administrator.  The reasons shall not provide a basis for contesting the decision under the School Personnel Act (22-10-14).

4.31.2  Before terminating a non-certified school employee, the Superintendent shall serve the employee with a written notice of termination.

The Superintendent of Schools may terminate an employee with three consecutive years or more with just cause.  The Superintendent of schools may terminate any administrator, supervisor, or district wide manager for any reason deemed sufficient.

4.31.3  An employee who has been employed by the school district for three consecutive years or more and who receives a notice of termination, may request an opportunity to make a statement to the local board of education on the decision to terminate by submitting a written request to the Superintendent within five working days from the date written notice of termination is served upon him/her.  The employee may also request in writing the reasons for the action to terminate.

4.31.4  The Superintendent shall provide written reasons for the notice of termination to the employee within five working days from the date of the written request for a meeting and the written reasons for termination.  Neither the Superintendent nor the Board of Education shall disclose publicly the reasons for termination.

4.31.5  A supervisor may not recommend termination to the Superintendent, nor may the Superintendent terminate an employee who has been employed by a school district for three consecutive years without just cause.

4.31.6  The employee’s request shall be granted if he/she responds to the superintendent’s written reasons as provided by submitting in writing to the Superintendent a contention that the decision to terminate was made without just cause.  The written contention shall specify the grounds on which it is contended that the decision was without just cause and shall include a statement of facts that the employee believes supports the contention.

4.31.7  This written statement shall be submitted within ten working days from the date the employee receives the written reasons from the Superintendent.  The submission of this statement constitutes a representation on the part of the employee that he/she can support the contentions and an acknowledgment that the school board may offer the causes for its decision and any relevant data in its possession in rebuttal to the contentions.

4.31.8  The Board of Education shall meet to hear the employee’s statement regarding the recommendation to terminate in no less than twenty nor more than forty working days after the Board receives the written statement of contention. The Hearing shall be conducted informally in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. The employee shall be given at least ten days written notice of the date, time and place of the discharge hearing.    The employee and the Superintendent may each be accompanied by a person of choice.  First the Superintendent shall present the factual basis for determination that just cause exists for the termination of the employee, limited to those reasons provided to the employee in the written requests for reasons for termination.

4.31.9  The employee shall then present his/hers contentions, limited to those stated in the written request for a Hearing.

4.31.10  The Board of Education may offer such rebuttal testimony as it deems relevant.  All witnesses may be questioned by the Board members, the employee or his/her representative and the superintendent, administrator or his/her representative.

4.31.11  The Board of Education may consider only such evidence as is presented at the Hearing and needs to consider the reliability of such evidence.

4.31.12 No official record shall be made of the proceeding.

4.31.13  The Board of Education shall notify the employee and the Superintendent of its decision in writing within twenty working days from the conclusion of the meeting.

4.31.14   Arbitration

A certified school employee aggrieved by a decision of the school board to discharge him/her after a discharge hearing may appeal the decision to an independent arbitrator.   A written notice of appeal shall be submitted to the local superintendent within five working days from the receipt of the copy of the written decision of the local school board.

The local school board and the certified school employee shall meet within ten calendar days from receipt of the notice of appeal and select an independent arbitrator to conduct the appeal.  

A qualified independent arbitrator shall be appointed who is versed in employment practices and school procedures.

The hearing shall be held within thirty working days from the selection of the independent arbitrator. The independent arbitrator shall give written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing and such notice shall be sent to the certified school employee and the local school board.

Each party has the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing.  Discovery shall be limited to deposition and requests for production of documents on a time schedule to be established by the arbitrator. The arbitrator may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and for the production of other evidence.

An official record shall be made of the hearing.

The independent arbitrator shall render a written decision affirming or reversing the action of the local school board within thirty working days from the conclusion of the hearing.

The decision of the independent arbitrator shall be final and binding on both parties and shall be non-appealable.

Each party shall bear its own costs and expenses.   The independent arbitrator’s fees and other expenses incurred in the conduct of the arbitration shall be assigned at the discretion of the independent arbitrator.

4.31.15   DISCHARGE

A local school board may discharge a certified licensed or classified non-licensed school employee, administrator, supervisor or district wide manager only for just cause.

The superintendent shall serve a written notice of his intent to recommend discharge on the certified school employee in accordance with the law,

The superintendent shall state in the notice of his intent to recommend discharge the cause for his recommendation and shall advise the certified school employee of his right to a discharge hearing before the local school board or governing authority,

A certified school employee who receives a notice of intent to recommend discharge may exercise his right to a hearing before the local school board or governing authority by giving the local superintendent or administrator written notice of that election within five working days of receipt of the notice to recommend discharge.  

The local school board shall hold a discharge hearing no less than twenty and no more than forty working days after the local superintendent or administrator receives the written election from the certified school employee and shall give the certified school employee at least ten days written notice of the date, time and place of the discharge hearing.

Each party, the local superintendent or administrator and the certified school employee may be accompanied by a person of choice.

The parties shall complete and respond to discovery by deposition and production of documents prior to the discharge hearing.

The local school board shall have the authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and to produce books, records, documents and other evidence at the request of either party and shall have the power to administer oaths.

The local superintendent shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that there was just cause to discharge the certified school employee.

The superintendent or administrator shall present his evidence first, with the certified school employee presenting his evidence thereafter.  The local school board shall permit either party to call, examine and cross-examine witnesses and to introduce documentary evidence.

An official record shall be made of the hearing.  Either party may have one copy of the record at the expense of the local school board.

The local school board shall render its written decision within twenty days of the conclusion of the discharge hearing.

ARBITRATION – Refer to 4.31.14

4.31.16  The Superintendent shall approve all disciplinary action.  Reasons for disciplinary action including dismissal may be due to, but not limited to the following:

A.  Incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of the duties of his position.

B.  Insubordination, or lack of respect directed towards a supervisor, including but not limited to refusal to do assigned work.

C.  Discourteous, offensive, or abusive conduct of language toward other employees, pupils, or the public.

D.  Dishonesty and/or theft.

E.  Drinking an alcoholic beverage on the job, or reporting for work while under the influence of alcohol.

F.  Addiction to or being under the influence of dangerous drugs or narcotics.

G.  Repeated unexcused absence or tardiness.

H.  Abuse of sick leave privileges.

I.   Absence without notification. (Leave without pay unless another type of leave is approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources.

J.  Falsifying any information supplied to the school district, including information supplied on application forms, employment records, or any other school district records.

K. Loss, damage or destruction of District instructional materials, equipment, or other District property through negligence or deliberate action.

L.  Failure of employee to notify supervisor of any legal action served against the employee that may affect the employees ability to perform their duties or disqualifies them from continued employment.

4.31.17  The Superintendent may suspend an employee, with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

4.31.18  In reviewing a disciplinary action, the Superintendent may allow a lesser disciplinary action.

4.31.19  In the event of modification of a disciplinary action, the Superintendent shall include in the order modifying the action instruction as to payment of compensation during the period for which the action is to be modified.  In the event a suspension is disapproved, payment shall be made for the period during which the person is suspended.

(Note:  Numbers 4.32 through 4.39 are reserved for future policy)

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

Employee Benefits

4.40 EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS

The Farmington School District is committed to providing its employees with the best possible health care available within its fiscal limitations. The district is committed to meeting the Affordable Health Care Act requirements.  While participation in health benefits is optional, eligibility will be determined as follows:

4.40.1     Full-time Employees:

A full-time licensed employee is one whose normal workweek consists of twenty (20) hours or more.  A full-time classified employee is one who works thirty (30) or more hours per week in a regular budgeted position and is eligible for all district benefits.

Employee health benefits shall be made available to full-time employees. The District will pay on behalf of its employees the maximum employer’s share allowed by New Mexico statute.

4.40.2     Part-time Employees:

A part-time licensed employee is an employee whose normal workweek consists of less than twenty (20) hours. Part-time licensed employees are not eligible for employee health benefits.

A part-time classified employee is one who works twenty to twenty-nine (20-29) hours per week in a regular budgeted position and is eligible for all health benefits except supplemental life and salary continuation (disability) insurance.

4.40.3     Insurance Payment While Off School Payroll

It will be the responsibility of school personnel who are on leave of absence and/or who are off the regular school payroll to remit their health, dental and vision insurance premiums directly to the district insurance department.  All other insurance premiums are remitted directly to the appropriate company (i.e. AFLAC, Colonial, etc.).  When the person returns to the regular school payroll, the deduction of premiums from the individual’s monthly salary will be resumed.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.41 WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION

The Farmington School District carries a policy under the Workmen’s Compensation Act.  Briefly, the Policy covers accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of employment.  Normally, the policy is in force only during the working day.  An employee who is at a location other than his/her normal place of work, or is on sanctioned school business at a time other than the regular work day, is covered provided the location and time are a part of his/her job and if he/she is officially on authorized duty for the school system.  All work-related injuries must be reported to the building secretary and to Human Resources in accordance with district procedures.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.42 LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICIES

The various leaves of absence in these policies are intended to aid employees when various unexpected situations arise.  Each leave policy is to address its own specific needs. Every employee is required to enter their requested leave into the district absence system.  Leave is then approved by the supervisor and verified by school secretary or designee.

Types of Leave Authorized – Subject to the requirements set forth below, the Board of Education authorizes leave from duty as described below.

Leave for all employees:

Leave including sick and/or personal

  •  

Leave for 256 and 260-day employees:

Paid Holiday Leave 4.42.13

Annual Leave 4.42.14

Leave for special circumstances:

Bereavement/Funeral Leave 4.42.5

Professional Leave 4.42.6

Jury Duty/Subpoena Leave 4.42.7

Military Leave 4.42.11

Maternity Leave 4.42.4

Family and Medical Leave 4.42.12

Political and Voting Leave 4.42.15

Extended Leave 4.42.9

Leave Without Pay 4.42.10

Other Long-Term Unpaid Leave 4.42.16

Domestic Abuse Leave 4.42.17

A.  Advanced Approval

1. All leaves, with or without pay, require advanced approval, except in sick or emergency situations.  Employees will follow site procedures for reporting an absence and receiving an absence number.  The employee shall notify the supervisor as soon as the employee has knowledge that leave will be required.  Denial of leave may be appealed to the superintendent or designee.

2. Full pay will be deducted from an employee’s salary for each unauthorized absence or for any absence not meeting the criteria specified in the policies covering the leave for which the absence was authorized.

B. General Applicability

The following apply to all leave policies: 

1.  No leave the day before or after a school holiday.

2.  No leave on test administration days.

3.  No leave on professional or staff development days.

4.  No leave on the first or last five (5) days of a school year.

5.  No leave on parent conference days.

6.  More than three (3) consecutive leave days will require documentation.

7.  Bereavement leave is not affected by these guidelines.

8. Partial days will be computed to the nearest quarter-day for each absence.

9. Purchased Services contractors do not qualify for leave benefits.

10. Non-contracted probationary/hourly employees are not eligible for any leave benefits.

11. Absences for illness are an exception.  Any other exceptions to the above may be approved by the site supervisor for special circumstances or appealed as defined in 4.42.A.

Note:  Unused leave carried forward to the following contract year as accrued sick leave.

C. Immediate Family

For the purpose of these policies, members of the immediate family shall be defined as the employee’s spouse, child, father, mother (or foster/step father and mother), relations created by marriage (father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law), siblings (brother, sister), grandparents, grandchildren, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or any relative of the employee living in the immediate household of the employee.  Exceptions to this list may be approved subject to review by the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Immediate family is defined differently under FMLA in this Section. Refer to the FMLA policy.

4.42.1  Leave

Leave is to be used primarily for the illness of the employee or immediate family member or for personal reasons i.e. accidents, appearance in court, religious holidays, business matters, legal matter, weddings, funerals, graduations and other situation over which the employee has no control and which delay or prevent his/her appearance at work.

A.   Full-time employees shall be credited twelve (12) days per year.  Two (2) days formerly called personal leave days plus ten (10) days formerly called sick leave for a combined total of 12 days per year. The days are credited contingent upon the completion of the entire contract year.  Employees serving only a portion of the contract year will be credited with a prorated number of sick leave days earned during the contract at the time of termination of employment.  Days used but not accrued will be adjusted at the employee’s payout.

Any unused portion of the annual leave shall be accumulated to an unlimited number of days to be used for sick leave only.  If a staff person has used their 12 days of leave and then requests leave that is not because of illness, they must take leave without pay.   A doctor’s note may be requested for leave beyond the 12 days.  Monitoring and approval of leave is the responsibility of the supervisor.  

B.  Regular part-time employees shall be entitled to sick leave in the ratio that their service bears to full time service. At any time a part time classified contracted employee’s time is extended to 30 hours or more per week, leave will be adjusted to reflect the full time rate for the remainder of the contract year.  (Leave is not retroactive)

C.  Leave for partial days will be computed to the nearest quarter hour for each absence.

D. Contracted employees shall be eligible for leave with the start of the school year. Persons employed for less than a contract year will receive, on the first day of employment, a prorated credit for the number of days remaining in the contract year as follows:

Full Time:

Nine (9) month employees – 12 days (90 hours; 96 hours)

Ten (10) month employees – 13 days (97.5 hours; 104 hours)

Eleven (11) month employees – 14 days (105 hours; 112 hours)

Twelve (12) month employees – 15 days (112.5 hours; 120 hours)

Part Time:  employees will have leave prorated based on total hours worked or the portion of full time equivalency (FTE) specified in contract.

E.  While on an approved leave of absence, a regular employee shall maintain, but not add to, any sick leave accumulated prior to such leave.

F.  The Superintendent or designee may require the employee to furnish a doctor’s statement certifying that the employee may safely continue his/her duties.

G. Refer to section on Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

4.42.2     Leave Abuse Policy

Paid leave of absence for illness is a benefit granted to district employees to protect the health and welfare of both the employees and their families. Abuse of this benefit is subject to disciplinary actions.   If a supervisor becomes aware of facts, circumstances, or conduct that give rise to reasonable suspicion that sick leave is being abused, the employee shall provide a physician’s statement to support the leave of absence if requested to do so.  If necessary, an independent medical evaluation may be requested.  The Farmington Municipal School District will pay for this independent medical evaluation.  

It is recommended that employees opting for elective surgery use summer break for the surgery.   Use of sick leave for elective surgery would be considered an abuse of the sick leave policy.

Abuse of leave includes but is not limited to:

1.    not putting leave into the absence system when not at work during contract hours,

2.    asking others to “cover” for you when you are not working and don’t put in an absence

getting paid for services not rendered (NMAC10-23-2)

4.42.3     Accumulated Sick Leave Payback

The intent of sick leave payback is to reward employees who have accumulated sick leave over the years of their employment in the Farmington Municipal School District.  The District may place monies in the budget in the amount recommended by the budget committee and approved by the Board of Education. The Board of Education may suspend this policy at their discretion. This amount of money will be split into shares, depending on the number of employees who qualify and in which category they fall.

There are two types of sick leave payback.  The first is an annual incentive and the second is a separation incentive paid at resignation or retirement.

A.  Annual Incentives: Leave is carried forward to the following contract year as sick leave. 

1. Employees who have accumulated sick leave in the increments below will be eligible for sick leave payback each year.  Reimbursement will be made in the fall following the completion of the previous fiscal year (June 30).

Accumulated Sick Leave Shares
51-75 days 1
76-150 days    2
Over 151 days 3

2.  Employees who use two days leave or less per contract year also will be eligible to receive one share in payback per year.

Total district-wide shares shall be determined by multiplying the number of staff in each group as follows:

Accumulated Sick Leave Days

51-75 days – number of staff members x 1 share = total shares

76-150 days – number of staff members x 2 shares = total shares

151 and above days – number of staff members x 3 shares = total shares. All shares added together equal the Grand Total. The budget amount divided by Grand Total Shares = Share amount.

B.  Separation Incentive: Unused leave are carried forward to the following contract year as sick leave, as described above.  In addition to the annual pay back incentive for accrued sick leave; employees also may earn an additional incentive paid for unused sick leave at the time of their retirement or resignation from employment.  The same incremental table used for annual leave is also used for the separation incentive.  Employees terminated or discharged from service, will not be eligible for this benefit.

Accumulated Sick Leave Shares
51-75 days 1
76-150 days      2
Over 151 days 3

The intent of the three sick leave incentive policies (A-1, A-2, and B) is to reward employees who have accumulated sick leave over the years of their employment in the Farmington Municipal School District.

4.42.4     Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is a period of approved absence because of temporary disability resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, and convalescence. Refer to Family Medical Leave.  

4.42.5     Bereavement Leave

A.  In the case of death in the immediate family at any time during an employee’s annual work period, the employee shall be granted leave with pay from one (1) to three (3) days immediately following the date of such death. An extension of two days may be granted based on need to travel or legal responsibility. Intermittent or non-consecutive days may be used with permission from employee’s immediate supervisor.  The amount of paid leave granted is contingent upon the distance needed for travel. 

B.  In extenuating circumstances, such as excessive travel or other unusual circumstances, additional days for bereavement may be granted by the superintendent or designee. 

C.  Bereavement leave is not cumulative. 

D.  Employees may request leave, other than bereavement leave, from the immediate supervisor to attend funeral services of relatives outside the immediate family, or other individuals or friends.

4.42.6     Professional Leave

A.  Employees will submit their requests for professional leave on the forms provided to their respective building site supervisor. The administrator/supervisor will approve/disapprove the recommendation based on: amount of released time, costs of training and travel, value of meeting or conference, funds available in appropriate budgets and availability of a substitute if one is necessary. 

B.  With prior approval, an employee may attend a meeting, conference, or workshop and may receive travel, per diem, and/or an expense allowance through reimbursements as provided in state law or Board policies. Any expenditure proposed beyond the amount budgeted for such purposes must receive prior approval of the immediate supervisor and administrator of the funding source.  The employee may enroll for educational credit at his/her own expense and may receive credit by the school district for advancement on the salary schedule if supported by an official transcript.

C.  One day of professional leave will be available to an employee for the purpose of taking an oral or written examination required for an advanced degree.  Professional leave is not available for staff working on licensure requirements (dossier, content tests, etc).

D.  Leave for Personnel on Contract

Adjustment should be allowed in the summer schedule of employees on contract so that they may attend colleges or universities for further educational development.  Adjustments may be made by the Superintendent after a request is made by the employee.  Work required under contract is to be made up by the employee as agreed upon by the Superintendent, employee and Board of Education.  Request for leave must be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the last day of school.

E.    Other Employment

Farmington Municipal School District encourages professional growth and development of its employees.  However, the School District discourages participation in employment or consultation, which results in requests for professional leave.  The employee’s paramount interest must be to serve the students of the school district.

In furtherance of this policy, the Superintendent or Executive Director of Human Resources are authorized to grant up to five contract days of professional leave without pay, including necessary travel time, for employees who require leave to perform consultation services for a fee for non-School District businesses, individuals or agencies.  Factors which the Executive Director of Human Resources and Superintendent may consider in determining whether such requests should be granted include the number of participants who may be absent from assigned duties at any one time for professional leave purposes, recommendation of immediate supervisor, the potential benefit to the School District from the outside employment opportunity, the severity of the impact on the School District programs or services and the nature of the activity and organization for whom the School District employee will work.

Employees granted such professional leave to work for pay for other entities shall not receive their daily salary and shall pay all travel expenses and other costs associated with the activity for which they will receive a fee.  The Superintendent and/or Executive Director of Human Resources may waive the above requirements in the event the employee is performing services, which will benefit the School District, for a public agency or non-profit organization.

4.42.7  Jury Duty/Subpoena Leave 

Employees required to fulfill obligations for jury service shall be granted jury leave for the required term of duty.  During the absence the school district will pay the regular salary.  The employee will retain mileage expenses paid by the courts.  When the employee is released from jury duty, the employee will remit the endorsed check (s) for the amount earned as a juror to the Office of Human Resources within one (1) week after the receipt of the check (s).

Staff subpoenaed to testify as a witness in work-related cases will be granted leave with pay.  The court order or subpoena requiring the employee’s presence is provided to the immediate supervisor.  Prior notice should be given to the supervisor as soon as possible but no later than the day immediately preceding the court date.

Staff who are subpoenaed as a witness in a case involving the employee’s immediate family or other non-work related cases may request a personal leave of absence.

If the scheduled jury duty is cancelled the night before or morning of, staff are expected to cancel the substitute in the system and report to work.

Staff who have been excused from jury duty after reporting to the jury site need to report back to their District site as soon as possible.

NEW CHANGE: Amendments to the FMLA by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), PL 110-181.

4.42.8  Extended Leave 

Extended leaves will be granted only to employees with at least five (5) years of continuous service at Farmington Municipal Schools. 

Such leave will be without pay and will be limited to a maximum of one (1) calendar year from the specified beginning date.  The Superintendent may approve an extended leave for study, travel, or for unusual opportunity for professional improvement.  Extended leave without pay will not be granted for employment opportunities out of district.  Other extraordinary circumstances may be interpreted as cause for leave at the discretion of the Superintendent.

A.  Extended leave shall be requested by an employee in writing to the Superintendent at least ninety (90) days prior to the beginning date of the proposed leave (with less time at the Superintendent’s discretion).  The request shall specify the beginning and ending dates of the proposed leave period and the reason for the request.

B.  The Superintendent shall have complete discretion to approve or reject the requested leave and will provide a written explanation to any applicant whose request for leave is denied.

                                                                       
C.  If a leave of absence is granted to an licensed employee and that employee does not return to service during the same school year, the Superintendent shall rehire the employee for the following school year if a position is available in the employee’s licensed field(s).

D.  The employee will not lose accumulated sick leave if he/she is granted extended leave, provided he returns at the end of one calendar year. However, the employee will not accrue additional leave during his/her extended leave.

E.  The returning employee shall not be placed on a level of the salary schedule below that which he/she had achieved before his/her departure. Assignment to the same position and/or work site is not guaranteed and is based upon the needs of the district.

F.  The selection of those employees receiving leave will be made by the Superintendent.

G.  Personnel on extended leave shall notify the Office of Human Resources in writing at least sixty (60) calendar days prior to the end of the leave period regarding intention of continued employment. Those granted leave for an entire year must notify the Office of Human Resources regarding their desire to return to work no later than March 15 of the school year for which the leave was taken.  Failure to make written notice shall be construed as a resignation and relieves the District of re-employment liability.

H.  An employee who is completing educational requirements such as student teaching or internships and who need a leave of absence for a specified period of time, may continue group insurance by timely payment of the full premium without employer contribution.

4.42.9  Leave Without Pay

A temporary leave of absence without pay may be granted for such reasons as religious holiday, maternity leave, personal illness, extended family illness (please also see Family Medical and Leave) or other similar personal reasons.

A.  Leaves without pay, up to a maximum of one month, may be granted administratively by the Superintendent.

B.  Leaves without pay beyond one month shall require formal approval of the Superintendent.  Temporary leave without pay may be approved by the Superintendent if an employee has exhausted sick leave benefits, an employee knows beforehand that sick leave benefits will be exhausted or the employee does not qualify for FMLA.  The following conditions must be met before approval may be granted:

1.  Request for this leave must be made in writing to the Superintendent on or before the sick leave is exhausted.

2.  When possible, a beginning and ending date for the temporary leave must be established and verified by a medical doctor’s opinion concerning the health of the employee and the ability of the employee to perform his/her essential functions of the job. In cases of leave requests for birth of a child, childcare, adoption or placement of a child with the employee who does not qualify for FMLA, the employee may take up to twelve (12) work weeks of unpaid leave.

3.  An employee must be able to perform the essential job functions prior to the beginning date and after the ending date of the temporary leave.  If an employee is unable or unwilling to perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation at the ending date of the leave as established in number “B” above, the employee must either resign, request leave of absence, or revise the request for another temporary leave. 

4.  During the period of leave, the school district will maintain coverage for the employee under the district group health plan if enrolled; however, the employee is responsible for continuing to pay the employee’s monthly portion of the premium.  Refer to section 4.5.12.O. and P. under FMLA for insurance and benefit information.

5.  If a leave of absence is granted to a licensed employee and that employee does not return to service during the same school year, the Superintendent shall rehire the employee for the following school year if a position is available in the employee’s licensed field(s).  Assignment to the same position and/or work site is not guaranteed and is based upon the needs of the district.

6.  Personnel on approved leave without pay shall notify the Office of Human Resources in writing at least sixty (60) calendar days prior to the end of the leave period regarding intention of continued employment.  Failure to make written notice shall be construed as a resignation and relieves the District of re-employment liability.

C.    Leaves without pay shall not be granted to engage in other employment.

4.42.10  Leave of Absence for Military Service

An employee will be granted a leave of absence for required military duty. Cumulatively an employee’s absence for military service may not exceed five years.  However there are several categories of military service that are exempt from the five-year limit. 

The time limit for returning to work with the District depends on the length of military service.  An employee who has served 181 or more days of military service must submit an application for reemployment no later than 90 days after completion of military service.  This timeline for application for reemployment can be extended for employees who are hospitalized or recovering from a disability that was incurred or aggregated during the period of military service leave up to two years. 

As a general rule, employees returning from military service must be reemployed in the job that they previously held. Any seniority benefits that would have accrued to an employee (e.g., FMLA, salary step increases, sick leave, etc.) will be granted upon reemployment.   The district complies with all terms, conditions and limitations identified in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994.

Also see FMLA for family leave entitlements.

4.42.11  Family and Medical Leave of Absence 

This policy is adopted to implement the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) pursuant to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the Act.   In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this or any other leave policy of the District and the provisions of the FMLA, the latter shall prevail.

A.  To be eligible for leave under the Act, an employee must have worked for the District for a total of 12 months, during which the employee must have worked a total of 1,250 hours.

B.  Pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are permitted up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave per year during any 12-month period.  Family and medical leave can be requested for the following reasons:

1.  Childbirth and infant care;

2.  Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or placement of a child with the employee by a state agency for foster care.  Entitlement to leave for birth or placement of a child expires 12 months after the birth or placement of the child.  Adoption leave covers only children under the age of eighteen (18) unless the child is incapable of self-care in three (3) or more activities of daily living because of a mental or physical handicap;

3.  Care of the employee’s spouse, son or daughter or parent with a serious health condition; and


4.  The inability of the employee to perform their job duties due the their own serious health condition, or the necessary absence from work of an employee to receive medically necessary treatment.

5.  The 12-month period within which each employee may take 12 weeks of leave under the FMLA shall be a “rolling” 12-month period, measured backward for each employee from the first time each such employee uses leave under the FMLA.

6.  Immediate family members for the purposed of FMLA are an employee’s spouse, children (son or daughter), and parents.  The term “spouse” is defined in accordance with applicable State law.  The term “parent” means a biological parent or an individual who acted in the capacity of your parent but does not include parents-in-law.  The term “son or daughter” means biological, adopted, foster children, stepchildren, legal wards and any other person for whom you act in the capacity of a parent who is under 18 years of age or who is 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability as defined in regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

C.  A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that (a) requires in-patient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or (b) requires continuing treatment by a health care provider and which, if left untreated, would likely result in an absence from work of more than three days, or (c) involves pre-natal care.  A “serious health condition” does not include voluntary cosmetic treatments, unless inpatient care is required or routine physical examinations.

D.  An employee requesting leave shall complete a FMLA leave request form and submit it to the Executive Director of Human Resources requesting leave and explaining the circumstances.

E.  If an employee requests leave for treatment of an employee’s serious medical condition or for that of a child, parent, or spouse, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment at a time that is not unduly disruptive to the district.

F.  An employee shall give notice when:

1.  An employee seeking leave for a foreseeable reason such as a birth or placement of a child or for planned medical treatment, shall provide the district with at least 30 days advance notice of the leave.  If 30 days advance notice is not possible under the circumstances, e.g., in the case of a premature birth, the employee shall give such notice as is practical (e.g., within one or two business days of the day the employee learns of the need for leave).

2.  If an employee’s reason for seeking leave was unforeseen, the employee shall give such notice as is practicable.

3.  An employee who fails to give notice of leave as required herein may be denied such leave until the notice and requirements are met.  If less than 30 days notice of leave is provided, the employee must schedule an appointment with the Executive Director of Human Resources for approval.

G.  An employee seeking leave on the basis of the serious medical condition of the employee or the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, must provide certification issued by the health care provider of the employee or the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, stating:

1.  The date the condition began,  

2.  It’s probable duration,

3.  Appropriate medical facts, and

4.  That, for a specified time, either:

a)  The employee is unable to perform his or her essential job functions or will be unavailable to do so while receiving necessary medical treatment, or on reduced work schedules that reduce the number of hours worked per week or per day for childbirth/infant care or adoption leave.

b)  The employee will be needed to care for the sick family member.


If the adequacy of medical certification is questioned by the district, the district may require the employee to seek the opinion of a second health care provider, who is not regularly employed by the district, at the district’s expense.  If the opinions of the first and second health care providers differ, the district may require the employee to obtain a third opinion at the district’s expense, from a health care provider agreed upon by the employee and the district.  The third opinion shall be final and binding.

H.  Spouses employed by the district are limited to a combined total of 12 workweeks per year for the birth or placement of a child, or to care for a parent.  However, for other covered leaves, such as to care for a spouse or child, or for treatment of the employee’s own serious health condition, each spouse may take up to 12 weeks a year.       

I.  Intermittent leave and reduced work schedules are allowed when such are medically necessary; however, employees may not take intermittent leaves or go on reduced leave schedules that reduce the number of hours worked per week or day for childbirth/infant care or adoption leave.

J.  If an eligible “instructional employee” seeks intermittent leave or reduced-schedule leave for the care of a spouse, son or daughter, or parent, or for the employee’s own serious health condition, and the leave is foreseeable on the basis of planned medical treatment, and the employee would be on leave for more than 20% of the work days during the 12-month period, the employee must choose either to:

1.  Take leave for a period or periods of a particular length, not greater than the length of the planned medical treatment; or

2.  Transfer temporarily to an equivalent position, which better accommodates recurring period of leave.

“Instructional employees” include teachers, instructional assistants, coaches, and other employees whose duties principally involve the direct provision of instructional services to students. In the event an employee involuntarily takes additional leave time under subparagraph 1 above, the entire leave time shall be counted against the employee’s available leave under the FMLA and any district leave policy.

K.  If an employee requests intermittent leave or leave on a reduced work schedule to care for a seriously-ill family member or for the employee’s own serious health condition, and the need for leave is foreseeable based upon planned medical treatment, the employee may be transferred to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits, if the employee is qualified for the position and the position better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee’s regular job.

L.  The responsibilities of instructional employees near the end of academic terms — examinations, grading, etc. — requires that the school district be able to limit leave taking by instructional employees at such times follows:

1.  The district may require an employee whose leave begins more than five weeks before the end of a semester to continue the leave until the end of the semester if:

a)  The leave is of at least three week’s duration; and

b)  The employee would return from leave during the two week period preceding the semester’s end.

2.  The district may require an employee whose leave begins to continue the leave until the end of the semester if:

a)  The leave will last more than two weeks; and

b)  The employee would return from leave during the two-week period before the term’s end.

3.  The district may require an employee whose leave begins to continue the leave until the end of the term if the leave will last more than five working days.

M.  All requests for family/medical leave must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and the Executive Director of Human Resources.

N.  Employees who take family/medical leave must utilize any available paid leave they have accrued under another of the District’s leave policies when the reason for leave corresponds with the basis for leave under the other policy.  “Accrued vacation or personal leave shall be substituted for a FMLA-qualifying purpose.  If the requested leave period extends beyond the employee’s accrued number of paid leave days, the remaining leave days will be unpaid.

(Example:  An employee who sought leave due to their own serious medical condition and inability to perform their essential job duties, has accrued six weeks sick leave.  The employee must use the six weeks of paid sick leave and may thereafter use the remaining six weeks of unpaid leave available under this policy.)

Any employee seeking leave shall explain the reasons for the needed leave on forms provided by the district.  It shall be the district’s responsibility to identify the requested leave as covered by the FMLA and as paid or unpaid on the basis of leave time accrued under other district leave policies.  Such identification shall be made at the time leave is requested or during such leave, on the basis of information provided by the employee.

In the event that an employee is injured and on leave under Worker’s Compensation, they are also eligible for leave under FMLA.  If recommended to return to work and the employee refuses, the employee may lose worker’s compensation benefits but may still be eligible to be on unpaid leave under FMLA.

O.  During the period of leave, the school district will maintain coverage for the employee under the district group health plan if enrolled; however, the employee is responsible for continuing to pay the employee’s monthly portion of the premium. 

If the employee is delinquent in the payment of any premium in whole or in part, by thirty (30) days or more from the due date for the payment, the District will pay the employee’s share of the premium.

In the event the District pays the employee’s share of the premiums, the District will recover the premiums from the next check(s).

If the employee fails to return to work following leave under the FMLA for any reason (1) other than the continuation of the FMLA-qualifying circumstances upon which the need for leave was originally based, or (2) circumstances beyond the control of the employee, the employee shall be required to reimburse the district for the cost of health insurance premiums the district paid to maintain coverage for the employee during the leave period.

P.   Employees will not accrue leave or other benefits during the family/medical leave period.

Q.  An employee other than a “key employee” who has taken family/medical leave will be restored to their previous position or to a position of equivalent pay, benefit, and other terms and conditions of employment.  Equivalency of positions shall be determined on the basis of district policy.  A “key employee” may be denied reinstatement if it would create a substantial and grievous economic injury for the school district.  A “key employee” is one whose compensation is within the highest 10 percent of the work force of the school district.

R.  In each district building there shall be posted a notice to employees, describing the provisions of the FMLA, provided and approved by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

NEW from US Dept of Labor … Amendments to the FMLA by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), PL 110-181

S.  Military Family Leave Entitlements 

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 amended the FMLA to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave in the applicable 12-month period for any “qualifying exigency“ arising out of the active duty or call to active duty or call to active duty status of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent.  The NDAA also amended the FMLA to allow eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

To be eligible for the military family leave entitlement, the employee must meet the FMLA eligibility requirements of: have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.

1.  Military Caregiver Leave:  An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty.  The eligible employee is entitled to 26 work weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for the service member.  A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retire list, for a serious injury or illness.

An eligible employee is limited to a combined total of 26 work weeks of leave for any FMLA-qualifying reason during the “single 12-month period.”

 2.  Qualifying Exigency Leave: An eligible employee is permitted up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave during the normal 12-month period established by the employer for FMLA leave for any qualifying exigency, arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in support of a contingency operation. Under the terms of the statute, qualifying exigency leave is available to a family member of a military member in the National Guard or Reserves; it does not extend to family members of military members in the Regular Armed Forces.  Qualifying Exigency as determined by the Secretary of Labor include:

a.   Issues arising from a covered military member’s short notice deployment (i.e., deployment on seven or less days of notice) for a period of seven days from the date of notification;

b.   Military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by military or family support or assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organization, or the American Red Cross that are related to the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member;

c.   Certain childcare and related activities arising from the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member, such as arranging for alternative childcare, providing childcare on a non-routine, urgent, immediate need basis, enrolling or transferring a child in a new school or day care facility, and attending certain meetings at a school or a day care facility if they are necessary due to circumstances arising from the active duty or call to active duty of the covered military member;

d.   Making or updating financial and legal arrangements to address a covered military member’s absence;

e.   Attending counseling provided by someone other than a health care provider for oneself, the covered military member, or the child of the covered military member, the need for which arises from the active duty or call to active duty status of the covered military member;

f.    Taking up to five days of leave to spend time with a covered military member who is on short-term temporary, rest and recuperation leave during deployment;

g.   Attending to certain post-deployment activities, including attending arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and other official ceremonies or programs sponsored by the military for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member’s active duty status, and addressing issues arising from the death of a covered military member;

h.   Any other event that the employee and employer agree is a qualifying exigency.

Spouses employed by the same employer are limited to a combined total of 26 workweeks in a “single 12-month period” if the leave is to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness and for the birth and care of a newborn child, for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition.

FMLA leave may be taken intermittently whenever medically necessary to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. FMLA leave also may taken intermittently for a qualifying exigency arising out of the active duty status or call to active duty of a covered military member.  When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operation.

Under certain conditions, employees or employers may choose to substitute or concurrently run accrued paid leave such as sick or vacation leave to cover some or all of the FMLA leave.

4.42.12  Paid Holiday Schedule (12 Month Employees)

The following paid leave schedule for twelve (12) month employees shall follow the national provisions for holidays as well as Good Friday and shall be in addition to earned paid annual leave.

Independence Day July 4*
Labor Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Fourth Thursday in November. The Friday following Thanksgiving will also be a holiday.
Christmas December 24-25*
Winter Break The four work days between December 25 and January 1 (256 day contract employees only).
New Year’s Day January 1*
Martin Luther King Day Third Monday in January
President’s Day Third Monday in February
Good Friday The Friday prior to Easter Sunday**
Memorial Day Last Monday in May

*If the day falls on Saturday, it will be celebrated the previous Friday.  If the day falls on Sunday, it will be celebrated on Monday.

**When schools are in session on Good Friday, all employees will work as usual.  An alternative day will be assigned administratively as a holiday.

The annual calendar for twelve month employees may be adjusted by the Superintendent to obtain a 256 working day schedule.      

4.42.13  Annual Leave (Vacation)

Twelve (12) month administrators, supervisors and/or district wide managers shall earn sixteen (16) working days paid annual leave for the contract year.

All other twelve (12) month employees shall earn paid annual leave in proportion to the number of years employed by the district.  During the first five (5) years of employment twelve (12) days of annual leave are earned.  Upon completion of five (5) full years of service, and until ten (10) years of service have been earned, fourteen (14) days of annual leave are earned.  After ten (10) years of service employees are entitled to sixteen (16) days of annual leave.

Annual leave days are earned for a contract year beginning July 1 and ending June 30.  Request for annual leave is to be submitted to the immediate supervisor.  The Executive Director of Human Resources will be responsible for final approval of annual leave requests.

Upon resignation or retirement, an employee will receive compensation for no more than twenty (20) days of accumulated unused annual leave.

Allowable annual leave time, sick leave time, and level on the salary schedule for those beginning employment after the beginning of the contract year will be prorated in proportion to the time employed.  The salary step will always be either a full-step credit or one-half step credit.

Employees leaving the service of the district that have used more leave than they have accrued will have the leave pulled from any final salary.

4.42.14  Political and Voting Leave 

Farmington Municipal School District recognizes the importance of legislative positions in the State of New Mexico and Federal Governments.  The political leave policy gives direction for staff to pursue and acquire such positions.

A.  Campaign Time – When time is spent in a campaign for the purpose of securing a legislative office that will interfere with the duties of a staff member, this leave will be called Political Leave.  Such leave will be without pay.  The time used to campaign will be limited to a maximum of five days.  At the conclusion of the leave, the staff member shall return to the position held immediately prior to such leave and shall have all benefits accrued as if actively employed.

B.  Paid Political Office – Leave of absence without pay and without accrued benefits shall be granted to the staff member who is elected or appointed to a paid position.  Upon termination of the leave of absence, the staff member shall be reinstated in the same or similar position according to the personnel needs of the District.

C.  Unpaid Political Office – Leave of absence with pay shall be granted to staff a member who is elected or appointed to an unpaid position.  The number of days granted to the staff member will be determined by the Superintendent.  The staff member selected to the State Legislature will be limited to the number of days for the regular annual/special session plus ten (10) additional days.  Any days granted beyond this number would be without pay unless approved by the Superintendent.  At the conclusion of the leave, the staff member shall be returned to the position, or one comparable to the position held immediately prior to such leave and shall have all benefits accrued as if actively employed.

D.  Framework of Political Leave – The staff member who is a candidate or elected legislator shall request in writing to the Superintendent for such leave.  The request shall include the specific period of time for which the leave is requested.

Approval of the Political Leave will be at the discretion of the Superintendent in accordance with the above mentioned criteria.

Farmington Municipal Schools will not endorse, seek additional attention or political favors from any employee elected to a political office.

E. Voting Time – On election days, school district employees shall be given two hours leave to vote contingent on their assigned work schedule.  The two hours leave may be on a schedule determined by the immediate supervisor. 

Employees whose workday begins after 10:00 a.m. or employees whose workday ends no later than 4:00 pm shall not be eligible for such leave.

4.42.15  Other Long-Term Unpaid Leave

Other unpaid leaves of absence not expressly authorized in the above policies may be granted, at the sole discretion of the Superintendent, based on the following: written request of purpose of leave, length of leave not to exceed one year, hardship to the District, work performance of the requester, written approval of the supervisor, and tenure status of the employee.

NEW: SB 68 signed into law 2009:  Family Violence Protection Act and the Promoting Financial Independence for Victims of Domestic Abuse Act

4.42.16 Domestic Abuse Leave

A.  Eligibility applies to all employees of the Farmington Municipal Schools.

B.  Definitions as defined by the NM Family Violence Protection Act:

1.   Domestic abuse as defined by the Family Violence Protection Act means any incident by a household member against another household member resulting in: physical harm, severe emotional distress, bodily injury or assault, a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury by any household member, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, repeatedly driving by a residence or work place, telephone harassment, stalking, harassment or harm or threatened harm to children as set forth in the NM Family Violence Protection Act.

2.   Domestic abuse leave means intermittent paid or unpaid leave time for up to fourteen days in any calendar year, taken by an employee for up to eight (8) hours in one day, to obtain or attempt to obtain an order of protection or other judicial relief from domestic abuse or to meet with law enforcement officials, to consult with attorneys or district attorneys’ victim advocates or to attend court proceedings related to the domestic abuse of an employee or an employee’s family member.

3.   Family member means a minor child or the employee or a person for whom the employee is a legal guardian.

4.   Household member means a spouse, former spouse, family member, including a relative, parent, present or former stepparent, present or former in-law, child or co-parent of a child, or a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship.  Cohabitation is not necessary to be deemed a household member for purposes of this definition.

5.   Order of protection means a court order granted for the protection of victims of domestic abuse. 

6.   Retaliation means an adverse action against an employee, including threats, reprisals or discrimination for engaging in the protected activity of taking domestic abuse leave.

C.  Employee Entitlements for Domestic Abuse Leave – The Promoting Financial Independence for Victims of Domestic Abuse Act provides employees domestic abuse leave without interfering with, restraining or denying exercise of right under the Act.  Retaliation against an employee for using domestic abuse leave is prohibited.

D. Employee Domestic Abuse Leave Obligations include:

1.   An employee who requires domestic abuse leave must contact the Human Resources Office and/or complete and submit the “Domestic Abuse Leave” form to the Human Resources Office before the commencement of the domestic abuse leave.

2.   When domestic abuse leave is taken in an emergency, the employee or the employee’s designee shall give notice to the Human Resources Office within twenty-four hours of commencing the domestic abuse leave.

3.   FMS may require verification of the need for domestic abuse leave and, if so, an employee must provide, in a timely fashion, one of the following forms of verification:

a.  a police report indicating that the employee or a family member was a victim of domestic abuse;

b.  a copy of an order of protection or other court evidence produced in connection with an incident of domestic abuse, but the document does not constitute a waiver of confidentiality or privilege between the employee and the employee’s advocate or attorney; or

c.  the written statement of an attorney representing the employee, a district attorney’s victim advocate, a law enforcement official or a prosecuting attorney that the employer or employee’s family member appeared or is scheduled to appear in court in connection with an incident of domestic abuse.

E.  Impact of Domestic Abuse Leave on Other Employee Benefits

1.    The Promoting Financial Independence for Victims of Domestic Abuse Act provides up to fourteen (14) calendars days of paid or unpaid leave in any calendar year.  If an employee has accrued paid leave available, the employee must use this qualifying leave prior to unpaid leave in the following order: 1-the employee must first exhaust their annual personal/sick leave; 2-the employee must then exhaust their accrued sick leave; and 3-the employee must finally exhaust their accrued vacation (annual) leave.  The substitution of paid leave for unpaid leave does not extend the 14 calendar day leave period maximum. 

2.   To the extent permitted by law, FMS will not withhold pay, health insurance coverage or another benefit that has accrued to the employee when an employee takes domestic abuse leave.  FMS will not include time taken for domestic abuse leave in calculating eligibility for benefits.

F.  Confidentiality by the FMS will be maintained regarding: the fact that the employee or employee’s family member was involved in a domestic abuse incident, that the employee requested or obtained domestic abuse leave and that the employee made any written or oral statement about the need for domestic abuse leave.  FMS may disclose an employee’s information related to domestic abuse leave only when the employee consents, when a court or administrative agency orders the disclosure or when otherwise required by federal or state law.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  04/13/17

4.43 SICK LEAVE BANK POLICY

The intent of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide an employee additional sick leave when a catastrophic illness or disability occurs that requires extended hospitalization/treatment or home confinement of the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family. The term “catastrophic illness, injury or disability” is defined as a severe and acute condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of the employee or the employee’s immediate family that requires the services of a licensed practitioner or hospitalization for a prolonged period of time and that causes the employee to exhaust accrued paid leave.

A severe and acute condition or combination of conditions is defined as: 1-one that will result in death or is a severely debilitating condition that disables the employee from performing the usual and essential functions of his or her employment position; or 2-one that is life-threatening or has been designated as terminal.

“Immediate family” is defined as those individuals who reside in the same household as the employee and are related to the employee by kinship, adoption or marriage, as well as foster children.  Minor children of the employee are considered to be immediate family for purposes of sick leave (regardless of whether they live in the same household as the employee).

4.43.1  Employees who wish to join the Sick Leave Bank will contribute two (2) days sick leave in their first year of membership and one (1) day each year thereafter as needed by the Sick Leave Bank. Following the donation of a total of four days, the employee becomes a lifelong member of the Sick Leave Bank and will not have to renew membership on an annual basis.

4.43.2  New employees who wish to join the Sick Leave Bank must do so at the time of employment or no later than fifteen (15) days of their beginning date of employment.  New employees hired after the first of the fiscal year will be eligible for membership through December of each year. New employees hired after December will be eligible for membership the following year.  Open enrollment for any returning employee will be from September 1-10 annually until they become lifelong members of the Sick Leave Bank.

4.43.3  Cancellation of membership in the Sick Leave Bank must be received in writing by the Executive Director of Human Resources no later than September 10th.  Contributions to the Sick Leave Bank are not refundable.

4.43.4  All accrued leave (sick, personal, vacation) must be used before an employee is eligible to receive days from the Bank.

4.43.5  A request for using days from the Sick Leave Bank must be submitted on the proper form to the Sick Leave Bank Committee through the Personnel Office of Human Resources.  Request from the Sick Leave Bank added to the total sick, personal and vacation days already used, cannot exceed sixty (60) days during a contract year.  (Example:  10 sick, 2 personal + 48 days of SLB request = 60 days).  July 1 of 2000, a State Regulation was implemented that limits an employee to sixty (60) days with a substitute.  An employee may not draw days from the Sick Leave Bank before reporting to work at the beginning of a contract year.  Sick Leave Bank days are subject to the same restrictions as regular sick leave days described under Board Policy.

4.43.6  An employee who withdraws sick leave days from the Bank will not be required to pay back those days except as a regular contributing member to the Bank.

4.43.7  The Sick Leave Bank Committee shall be composed of two (2) licensed employees and one (1) classified employee, appointed by the Farmington Education Association, and two (2) administrators and a school nurse appointed by the Executive Director of Human Resources.  All appointed members’ terms will be two (2) years,

4.43.8  An employee utilizing the paid leave granted through the Farmington Municipal Schools is not eligible for Family Medical Leave, if the days of paid leave taken equal the sixty (60) days of unpaid Family Medical Leave (FMLA) an employee is eligible to use.

4.43.9  Under the FMLA, an employer is required to provide either sixty (60) days of paid leave (i.e. sick, personal, vacation, sick leave bank) or sixty (60) days or twelve (12) weeks of Family Medical Leave.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.44 EMPLOYEE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE POLICY

The District will provide, as funds are available, financial aid to eligible employees who successfully complete approved courses of study from approved educational institutions.  In doing so, the District recognizes the value in encouraging employees to continue the development of their knowledge, skills, and abilities as a means of achieving and maintaining a high level of effectiveness in work assignments.

4.44.1  Eligible employees for the purpose of this program are divided into two categories, I and II. Category I financial assistance includes those employees who have been employed on an internship license and are required to complete specified courses for certification and continued employment.  Individuals in Category I financial assistance who have an approved “Promissory Note Agreement” will be reimbursed at 100% for registration and tuition.

Eligible employees in Category II financial assistance include any other full-time employee of the District.  For Category II financial assistance, courses of study to be considered for approval must be standard instruction, offered by an approved institution.  Instruction must be indicated to be of definite aid to employees in their present work assignments with the District.  Hobby, social, recreational courses, etc., offered for personal pleasure, are not approvable courses.  An institution accredited by proper agencies will normally be accepted and approved by the Office of Human Resources as proper educational institutions. Costs covered for reimbursement will only include registration, tuition, and required laboratory fees.

4.44.2 Financial assistance may be granted to an employee after successful completion of an approved course.  Requests for reimbursement, up to 100% of the total covered costs in each approved course, may then be made.  Application and reimbursement procedures shall be developed by the Office of Human Resources.

4.44.3  The granting of financial assistance in special situations will be governed as follows:

A.  Employees on leave:

Employees on any authorized leave of absence will not be eligible for educational assistance, except for previously approved courses initiated while on regular duty with the District.

B.  Employee Separation:

Reimbursement will not be made to an employee who has left the employment of the District or who has announced an intention to terminate employment with the District.

4.44.4  In order to be eligible for financial assistance at Level I, employees must have been employed on an internship license and have executed and have an approved “Promissory Note Agreement.”  To be eligible at Category II financial assistance, an employee must have been employed by the District for three (3) consecutive years.

4.44.5  Financial assistance is provided to classified employees as described above and as related to their work assignment. 

4.44.6   Financial assistance also may be provided through federal funds in accordance with federal programs and/or grants for continuing education or for becoming highly qualified, as defined by Title II, in multiple core areas of instruction.  Continuing educational opportunities for classified employees or educational assistants to obtain a degree in their employment area or in a teacher education program with financial assistance is provided in accordance with the policy outlined above.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.45 TRANSER/DONATION OF SICK/ANNUAL LEAVE POLICY

The District recognizes the existence of circumstances under which non-job-related, seriously incapacitating and extended illnesses and injury may exhaust accrued leave of employees.  To provide some measure of relief in such situations, a limited mechanism, based upon voluntary transfer of accrued sick or annual leave for a medical emergency.  The definition of a ‘medical emergency’ will be as follows:  A medical condition of the employee or an immediate family member of the employee that will require the prolonged absence of the employee from duty and will result in a substantial loss of income to the employee because the employee will have exhausted all paid leave available apart from the leave-sharing plan.

“Immediate family member” is defined as those individuals who reside in the same household as the employee and are related to the employee by kinship, adoption or marriage, as well as foster children.  Minor children of the employee are considered to be immediate family for the purposes of sick leave (regardless of whether they live in the same household of the employee).

4.45.1 Limits to Donations

Donated leave will be limited to annual or sick leave.

The person donating may only donate already accrued leave up to twenty (20) days and shall maintain in accrued leave at least twenty (20) days of sick leave at the time of donation. 

Donations will be by accrued days of leave, using the donor’s current hourly wages earned for each donated day.  The recipient shall receive the donation converted to the hourly wages they currently earn.

All donations shall be for a current contract (fiscal) year and shall not exceed that period based upon current contract earnings of the person receiving the donation.

All donations shall be on behalf of a specific recipient and with the donation made to the district plan or transfer of leave based upon a medical emergency.  All unused donated leave shall revert to the donating employees on a prorated basis.

4.45.2 Notice and Receipt of Donated Leave

Notice of need for leave donations will be posted by need, including the name of the individual, via District email.   Forms will be provided on which employees may make their donations known to the district office.

4.45.3 Eligibility

The applicant shall submit the application in writing.  The application must be supported by a certified document by a health care provider that describes the nature, severity and anticipated duration of the emergency medical condition of the recipient.  This health care provider statement must include that the recipient is unable to work all or a portion of the recipient’s work hours.   The application should be received by the District Human Resources Office prior to the applicant beginning unpaid leave status.

The approved applicant shall be an employee eligible for earned sick leave, have a ‘medical emergency’ as defined by this policy, have exhausted all earned/accrued leave of any nature or kind and be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.  The approved applicant shall not be eligible at the time of request for disability benefits, including but not limited to Social Security.  The approved applicant shall be one whose return to duty is projected to occur no later than the beginning of their next contract year.  The approved applicant shall submit an application, which shall be received by District Human Resources Office at least ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the applicant’s unpaid leave status, when practicable. 


When determining eligibility, the District shall appoint an advisory committee consisting of at a minimum, one health education professional, one classified support staff member, one licensed teacher, and one administrative supervisory person to review the applications and make recommendations to the Superintendent or his designee. 

The Superintendent or his designee shall receive applications and make the final determination of the eligibility using the criterion of eligibility and in consideration of the recommendation of the advisory committee.

No continuing rights are established by this policy.  In compliance with established procedure, the Governing Board reserves the right to modify, change, or delete any policy in accord with its guidelines.  An appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may only be taken using the Staff Grievance Policy.

(Note:  Numbers 4.46 through 4.49 are reserved for future policy)

       Adopted:     1/04/16

Last Revision:   4/13/17

(Note:  Numbers 4.46 through 4.49 are reserved for future policy)

General Employee Information

4.50 EMPLOYEE RECORDS RETENTION POLICY

When an employee leaves Farmington Municipal Schools, their personnel records are retained either on paper or electronically in accordance with NMAC Title 1 Part 6 and the Federal Trade Commission Regulations of 2005.

Paper records will be completely disposed of after 5 years by taking reasonable measures to protect against misuse of information.  Electronic records will be completely disposed of after 55 years by taking reasonable measures to protect against misuse of information.

Exception to the rule will be any employee involved in adverse action, EEOC investigation or those with ADA plans.  These records will be kept in paper form for 10 years after the employee separates from the district.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.51 EMPLOYEE COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY

The Board recognizes that the health and safety of students and staff of this district are primary concerns and that it is necessary, in order to protect student and staff health and safety, to adopt a policy governing the manner in which the Board and the Administration will protect the health and safety of all students and staff when a current or potential employee is infected with a blood-borne body fluid communicable disease.  This policy is adopted in order to protect the legal rights of staff with a communicable disease (such as AIDS or Hepatitis B Virus) or who are carriers, while also protecting all students and staff in the district.

4.51.1     No individual will be denied employment in the district, nor will any employee be suspended, terminated, segregated, discharged or have his or her assignment changed as a result of the individual being a carrier or having a communicable disease, unless the procedures specified herein have been followed.

4.51.2     Any decision affecting the employment, continued employment, or the suspension from duty of an individual who is a carrier of or who has a communicable disease will be based upon competent medical advice and will balance the rights of the infected individual against the legitimate interest of the district in protecting the health and safety of the students and staff.

4.51.3     Applicants for employment who are carriers of or who have a communicable disease are obligated to disclose that fact before being employed.  Current employees who are carriers of or who are infected with a communicable disease are obligated to disclose that fact to their immediate supervisor as soon as the employee is aware of the condition.

4.51.4     It is the stated preference of the Farmington Municipal Schools that employees with a communicable disease should request a reassignment of job duties to less infectious work areas.

4.51.5     The district will not require mandatory testing or screening of individuals for communicable disease as a condition of employment, either initially or annually.  However, if school authorities have reasonable cause to believe than an individual (employee) has or is a carrier of a communicable disease, such individual (employee) may be required to submit to an examination by a medical professional selected by the school district at the district’s expense.

4.51.6     Employees may voluntarily choose to absent themselves from their position, using accumulated Sick Leave, other available leave or leave without pay, for any period during which time the employee’s condition is infectious or communicable, provided that such absence is supported by a statement to the effect by a medical doctor or other competent medical professional.  When sick leave and other available leave have been exhausted, the employee may apply for leave without pay according to existing guidelines.

If school authorities have reasonable cause to question the continued absence of an employee, such employee may be required to submit to an appropriate medical examination by the medical professionals selected by the school district, at the expense of the school district.

4.51.7     Employees who have been or are carriers of communicable diseases and who have not voluntarily absented themselves from their duties will have their employment situation reviewed by a committee consisting of (1) the employee’s physician; (2) a physician appointed by the school district; (3) the employee; (4) the Executive Director of Human Resources; (5) the employee’s immediate supervisor; (6) a representative chosen by the employee; (7) a public health official and any other person whose expertise would be useful to the committee in reaching and implementing its decision (this person to be appointed to the committee by the Superintendent).

4.51.8     In determining the employment situation for any employee who has or is a carrier of any communicable disease, the following factors will be evaluated:  (1) the nature of the disease; (2) the expected type of interaction the employee will have with students and other employees; (3) the risk of transmission of the disease from the infected employee to students and other employees; (4) the physical condition of the employee; (5) the hygienic practices of the employee; (6) the ability of the infected employee to understand the risk factors that he/she presents to students and staff, and (7) any other pertinent factor reasonably related to the decision.

4.51.9     Upon reviewing the employment situation, the Committee will make a recommendation to the Superintendent.

4.51.10   The number of personnel who are aware of the employee’s condition will be kept at the minimum to assure the confidentiality of records and other information.  In all cases, the right to privacy and to confidentiality must be stressed, and the identity of the infected employee shall not be publicly revealed.  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations may be applicable.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.52 TUBERCULIN TEST 

Each employee may be required to have on file in the Office of Human Resources a record of either a chest x-ray or skin test dated not more than ninety (90) days prior to the beginning of initial employment, if required as a condition of employment.  This record is in effect as long as the employee remains in continuous employment with the Farmington Municipal Schools.  The record must indicate the employee does not have tuberculosis in a transmissible form.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.53 BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS EXPOSURE CONTROL

The Farmington Municipal School District will follow the requirements of OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, Bloodborne Pathogens, and thereby reduce the risk of infection to employees from bloodborne pathogens.  A copy of the OSHA Standard is accessible to any employee by contacting the Administration Office.

4.53.1     This policy will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

4.53.2     All employees will receive training in the provisions of the OSHA Standard.  All new employees will receive training at orientation and all other employees will receive additional training in any items not previously covered.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.54 TOBACCO USE POLICY

Consistent with, and incorporating by reference 6.12.4 of the New Mexico Administrative Code in its entirety, it shall be the policy of this school district to have tobacco-free school buildings, school grounds and premises, at school-sponsored activities away from school grounds, and in or at vehicles on school grounds at all times, including but not limited to e-cigarettes.   “E-cigarette” means any electronic oral device, whether composed of a heating element and battery or an electronic circuit, that provides a vapor of nicotine or any other substances the use of or inhalation of which simulates smoking.  E-cigarette includes any such device, or any part of it, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe or any other product, name or descriptor; but does not include any product regulated as a drug or device by the United States Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C Section 301 et seq.  “Tobacco product” means any product made or derived

4.54.1  In order to assist employees in becoming tobacco-free, the school district will provide resources to the employee.

4.54.2  Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action.

[6.12.4.7 NMAC, 12/15/2015]

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.55 EMPLOYEE DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE  

Consistent with, and incorporating by reference 6.12.4 of the New Mexico Administrative Code in its entirety, the Farmington Municipal Schools forbids any employee from possessing, using, selling, distributing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or from possessing, using, selling, or distributing illegal drug paraphernalia, while on school property or while involved in school district activities.  Improper possessing, using, selling distributing, or being under the influence of prescription or nonprescription drugs while on school property or while involved in school district activities will result in discipline up to an including discharge or termination.

Any employee properly using any prescription or nonprescription drug that may affect or impair such employee’s performance of his or her job duties (for instance, by causing drowsiness) despite such proper use, shall report such use to his or her supervisor upon reporting for work on the first day of such use.  Such reported use shall not constitute a violation of this policy.

In the event that an employee has an addiction to alcohol and/or illegal drugs, it is the employee’s responsibility to seek assistance through the district or an outside agency.   If the employees violates the drug and alcohol abuse policy and has not self-reported, the employee will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge or termination.

4.55.1     The terms used in this policy are defined as follows:

Alcohol:  Any liquor, wine, beer or other beverage containing alcohol.

Drugs: Any drug, or counterfeit (look-alike) substances used or possessed or distributed for unauthorized purposes, and including illegal drugs, marijuana, inhalants, legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Drug Paraphernalia:  Equipment or apparatus designed for or used for the purpose of measuring, packaging, distributing or facilitating the use of drugs.

Substance Abuse:  The use of drugs or alcohol in violation of state or federal law or in violation of the Farmington Municipal School’s policy.

4.55.2     The Farmington Municipal School District reserves the right to search an employee’s person, personal effects, vehicle, an employee’s workspace, and to require any employee to provide a breath, blood urine or hair specimen for analysis, when reasonable suspicion exists to believe that such employee has violated these rules. An employee’s refusal to cooperate in any such enforcement procedures may be grounds for discipline, including discharge.

A.  An Employee’s person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched whenever a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the employee is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.

B.   A school official of the same sex may conduct a pat-down search of an employee in private, with a witness of the same sex present.

C.  Lockers, desks, and similar facilities are school district property and remain at all times under the control of the school district.  Employees are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers, desks and similar facilities.  Periodic general inspections of lockers, desks and similar facilities may be conducted by authorized school officials for any reason, at any time, without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant.

D.  Employees are permitted to park on school district premises as a matter of privilege, not of right.  Farmington Municipal Schools retains the authority to conduct routine patrols of school district parking lots and inspections of the exteriors of vehicles on school district property.  The interiors of vehicles on school district property may be inspected whenever an authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal or unauthorized materials may be contained inside.  Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant.

E.  In any of the searches mentioned in this policy, the Farmington Municipal School’s administration is authorized to utilize dogs whose reliability and accuracy for sniffing contraband has been established to aid in the search for contraband on school district property, and vehicles parked on school district property.  A qualified and authorized trainer who will be responsible for the dogs’ actions will accompany the dogs.  An indication by the dog that contraband is present on school district property or in an automobile on school district property shall be reasonable cause for a further search by school officials.

4.55.3     Employees found to have been in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline, including suspension, discharge, or non-renewal of employment.

4.55.4     The Farmington Municipal School District recognizes a wide range of personal problems not directly associated with one’s job function can have an effect on employee’s job performance.  In most instances, the employee will overcome such personal problems independently and the effect on job performance will be negligible.  In other instances normal supervisory assistance will serve either as motivation or guidance by which such problems can be resolved so the employee’s job performance will return to an acceptable level.  In some cases, however, neither the efforts of the employee nor supervisor have the desired effect of resolving the employee’s problem and unsatisfactory performance persists over a period of time, either constantly or intermittently.

In these cases the District believes it is in the interest of the employee, the employee’s family and the district to provide an employee service, called the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), that provides assistance for such persistent problems.  An employee’s supervisor will provide the information needed to seek this assistance.

4.55.5     In the event that the administrator or supervisor reasonably believes that an employee is abusing a substance, the administrator or supervisor may request a confidential substance abuse evaluation through the Executive Director of Human Resources.

4.55.6     The District will pay for the confidential evaluation.  If treatment is needed, the employee shall bear the cost of the treatment.

4.55.7     Failure to submit to the evaluation and/or complete the treatment may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or termination. 

[6.12.4.8 NMAC, 12/15/2015]

Adopted:

       Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.56 SUBSTANCE ABUSE SCREENING & TESTING POLICY

4.56 Farmington Municipal Schools (herein after referred to as District) recognizes that Federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Drug Free Standards requires substance abuse screening and testing for any school bus drivers employed by the District. 

4.56.1     This policy applies to all drivers and transportation employees (hereinafter referred to as “transportation employees”) who transport school children, for the District.

4.56.2     This policy is designated to promote the safety and security of all school children riding on school buses, to reduce accidents and to protect others.

4.56.3     Drug testing will be administered as part of the pre-employment screening, after an accident, after behavior giving rise to reasonable suspicion, and once every two (2) years, periodic testing will be scheduled in connection with the annual physical.

4.56.4     Types of Testing:

4.56.5     Employment Options:

A.  Any applicant for employment with a positive test result may be denied employment, based upon the positive test.

B.  Any transportation employee with a positive test result may be immediately re-assigned, suspended or terminated, subject to due process procedures.

C.  Refusal to take a drug-screening test pursuant to this policy is grounds for termination.

D.  Any transportation employee who is alleged to have violated this section will be given an opportunity to present evidence that the controlled substance was prescribed by a licensed physician, after being apprised of the driver’s responsibilities on the job and medical history.

E.  No transportation employee shall be retained as a school bus driver if he/she has been convicted of any driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled substance offense.

4.56.6     Training:  Designated employees of the District will be required to undergo training on the recognition of signs of controlled substance use or abuse.  Training will be provided to supervisors or their designees in the Transportation Department.  The training will include a program with instruction in Rapid Eye Test, designed to detect drug influence.

4.56.7     Monitoring System:  On any positive test result, a second test will be performed, from the same specimen to confirm the results, prior to the results being considered positive.

4.56.8     Inform Employees:  All transportation employees will be advised in writing, upon employment, that the use of controlled substances is unacceptable.  The transportation employees will further be advised of the circumstances that lead to testing for drug use, and the consequences of a positive drug test, or refusal to comply with drug testing.  A copy of this policy will be provided to all transportation employees.

4.56.9     Inform Applicants:  Employment applications will advise the job applicant that they will be asked to submit to a urinalysis test, if a finalist for the position.  Testing will occur at the time of physical examination.  The applicant will also be advised of the consequences of a positive test, and will be advised if he or she is rejected on the basis of a positive test.

4.56.10  Notification:  All current transportation employees will be notified that drug testing will occur in accordance with this policy.

4.56.11  Results Confidential:  All drug testing results will be considered as part of an employee’s confidential medical record, or will be kept in a confidential file which is separate and apart from the personnel file.  No information concerning drug testing or results will be made available to law enforcement agencies, except as required by law, nor will they be placed in the employee’s personnel file.  If an employee is terminated due to a positive test result, the reason for termination will not be disclosed to third parties.

4.56.12  Right to Confirmation Test:  A transportation employee who receives a positive test will be allowed to have another confirmation test performed at his/her own expense.  Confirmation testing must be arranged within twenty-four (24) hours of the transportation employee’s notification of the positive result.  A transportation employee with a positive test is entitled to due process prior to any action being taken, except when safety factors are at issue, and in that event, the employee may be temporarily re-assigned or suspended.  Any suspension will be with pay for contract transportation employees, and without pay for non-contract transportation employees.

4.56.13  Test Procedures:  Drug testing consists of the collection of urine from the employee, under the supervision of an outside agency, which shall be contracted with to collect and analyze the sample for the presence of PCP, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates.  Any controlled substance, which is discovered in the routine test, may be actionable.

The lab, which will conduct the testing must be certified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

After receiving a report that a transportation employee’s test or applicant’s test was positive, the District shall notify the transportation employee or applicant as to the results of the test.  If positive, the identity of the substance for which the test indicated a presence, will be disclosed to the transportation employee or applicant.

4.56.14  Record Keeping:  All records related to the administration and results of the drug testing shall be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years in the event of a positive result, and for a minimum of twelve (12) months in the event of a negative result.  Records will be required for each test, which indicate the date and location of the urine specimen collection, the identity and address of all persons and/or the company who performs the collection and analysis of the urine specimen.  Records will also be kept of the substances tested for, and the type of test performed.  The test results will also be recorded.

In the event of a positive test, half of the specimen will be frozen and maintained for retesting.

4.56.15  Expenses:  Initial testing will be at the expense of the District.  Any confirmation testing performed at the request of a transportation employee or applicant will be at the expense of the party requesting the confirmation test.

4.56.16  Alcohol Testing:  The District may test for the presence of alcohol after any on-the-job accident, and/or upon reasonable suspicion that the transportation employee may be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.  Reasonable suspicion exists under the circumstances outlined for reasonable suspicion for drug testing.  In addition, detection of the odor of alcoholic beverage on or about the person is grounds for reasonable suspicion.

Refusal to submit to a test for the presence of alcohol under this policy is grounds for termination.

A positive test result showing the presence of alcohol in any amount while on the job is grounds for termination.

Alcohol testing will be performed by either blood analysis, or by breath analysis performed by a certified operator of a device designed to measure blood alcohol content from breath samples.

Testing will be at the expense of the District.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.57       DISTRICT DRIVER POLICY

(Policies related to transporting students can be found in Section II 2.25: Activity Transportation)

4.57.1     School Districts have considerable auto liability exposures resulting from employees driving in the course and scope of their duties. The district requires all drivers of school owned vehicles to obey all school regulations and to obey state laws.  Therefore, the district has an obligation to ensure that all drivers are licensed and safe drivers and that no “negligent” drivers operate district vehicles.  The District reserves the right to refuse an employee authorization to operate a vehicle on District business or be reimbursed mileage if the individual is determined to be a “negligent” operator or fails to maintain a valid New Mexico class A, B, C or D driver’s license.

4.57.2     DISTRICT DRIVER PROCEDURE

All employee drivers shall submit to the District the following information:

A.  A copy of a current (front and back) and valid driver’s license which includes license number and expiration date.

B.  Last Name, First Name, Middle Name or Initial.

C.  Current Address, with Zip Code.

D.  Date of Birth.

E.  FMS Motor Vehicle Check Authorization and Release Form

The District will conduct a complete driving record check on employees annually.  This record check will be reflective of the driving record information shown by the motor vehicle division.  The driving record will be printed and kept in a confidential file.  Districts will verify the eligibility of drivers periodically throughout the school year.

4.57.3     For District purposes, a driver is considered a “negligent” operator of a motor vehicle when the employees’ driving record reveals a suspended or revoked license or a conviction of:

A.  Any of the following offenses in the driver’s history:

•  Causing property damage, injury, or death by hit and run

•  Causing injury or death while evading a police officer

•  Vehicular homicide or manslaughter

B.    Any of the following offenses within the last two (2) years:

•  Driving under the influence of liquor or any drug

•  Reckless driving

•  Hitting an unattended vehicle without notifying the owner

•  Driving on the wrong side of a divided highway

•  Exhibition of speed/speed contest

Upon the accumulation by the driver of at least six (6) points, the District may suspend the employees privileges to drive a school district vehicle. (Reference 18 NMAC 19.5.11 to 18 NMAC 19.5.11.7.4)

An employee’s driving privileges may be reinstated when a background check indicates that the employee has completed two years without further violations of the offenses identified in item 4.43.3.B.

The District reserves the right to refuse an employee authorization to operate a vehicle on District business if the individual is determined to be a negligent operator, fails to maintain a valid driver’s license appropriate for the vehicle being driven, or is disqualified from operating a vehicle as a matter of law.

The District shall maintain a list of approved employees who are authorized to operate vehicles.

A “District vehicle” is defined as, “A motor vehicle owned, leased or rented by the District and used for the purpose of moving or propelling any person or property upon a highway.”  A “private vehicle” is any vehicle not owned, leased or rented by the District, and used as above.

 Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.58       TRANSPORTATION HANDBOOK

Transportation handbook for the Farmington Municipal School District will be developed based on board policy.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  7/13/17

4.59 CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT POLICY AND CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL

4.59.1   Without exception, all District personnel, including but not limited to, coaches, sponsors, students and parents/guardians of students involved in any manner whatsoever with co-curricular and extra-curricular athletic programs are required to be informed about and comply with the Concussion Management Protocol, which is available at online at * the Administration Building, all school sites and FMS facilities.  

4.59.2  Failure to comply with the Concussion Management Policy and Concussion Management Protocol on the part of a student or the student’s parents will result the in the student’s suspension of the co-curricular or extra-curricular activities for the remainder of the school year.  Failure to comply with the Concussion Management Policy and Concussion Management Protocol on the part of an administrator or staff member will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to discharge or termination.

See also, Policy 2.65, 3.37, 5.11, and 5.14.

ETHICS AND CONDUCT

4.6 CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT POLICY

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for All Farmington School Employees

The Farmington Municipal Schools hereby adopts the same or similar ethical standards for it’s non-licensed classified employees as it requires of licensed certified employees as set forth in Board Policy 4.60, and compliance with Board Policy is a mandatory part of an employee’s work responsibilities.   In addition to the ethical and professional standards set forth in 6.60.9 of the New Mexico Administrative Code, as well as ethical and professional standards set forth in Board Policy 4.60, all employees of the District shall conduct themselves in a manner that serves as positive role models for students and shall maintain the highest standards of conduct and ethics at all times.   Employees shall exhibit good moral character, maintain high standards of performance and promote equality of opportunity.   All employees are representatives of the District and shall conduct themselves, both in their employment and in the community, in a manner that will reflect credit upon themselves and the school system. 

The Board of Education recognizes that the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) has set standards of acceptable ethical behavior and professional conduct in education that are applicable to all licensed school personnel, instructional personnel under contract, including any other person who provides instructional services in a school; but who does not hold a standard license and whose presence is authorized by the PED through a waiver, substandard license, substitute license, or an educational plan approved by the PED.  See Code of Ethical Responsibility of the Education Profession.  NMAC 6.60.9.1 to 6.60.9.12.

The Board of Education further recognizes the need to adopt local standards of ethical behavior and conduct which, if violated may constitute just cause for termination or discharge of licensed and non-certified personnel.

As a result, the Board of Education hereby adopts the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Code of Ethical Responsibility cited above and, by such adoption, makes the code of ethics therein applicable to all licensed personnel of the Farmington Municipal School District and compliance with those ethical standards a contractual duty of all licensed personnel of the District.

4.60.1 CODE OF ETHICS:  We, professional educators of New Mexico, affirm our belief in the worth and dignity of humanity.  We recognize the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, the encouragement of scholarship, and the promotion of democratic citizenship.  We regard as essential to these goals the protection of freedom to learn and to teach with the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all.  We affirm and accept our responsibility to practice our profession according to the highest ethical standards.  We acknowledge the magnitude of the profession we have chosen, and engage ourselves, individually and collectively, to judge our colleagues and to be judged by them in accordance with the applicable provisions of this code.

A.  Principle I:  Commitment to the student.  We measure success by the progress of each student toward achievement of his/her maximum potential.  We therefore work to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals.  We recognize the importance of cooperative relationships with other community institutions, especially the home.  In fulfilling our obligation to the student, we:

(1)   deal justly and considerately with each student;

(2)   encourage the student to study and express varying points of view and respect his/her right to form his/her own judgment;

(3)   conduct conferences with or concerning students in an appropriate place and manner;

(4)   seek constantly to improve learning facilities and opportunities.

B.  Principle II:  Commitment to the community.  We believe that patriotism in its highest form requires dedication to the principles of our democratic heritage.  We share with all other citizens the responsibility for the development of sound public policy.  As educators, we are particularly accountable for participating in the development of educational programs and policies and for interpreting them to the public.  In fulfilling our obligations to the community, we:

(1)   share the responsibility for improving the educational opportunities for all;

(2)   recognize that each educational institution has a person authorized to interpret its official policies;

(3)   acknowledge the right and responsibility of the public to participate in the formulation of educational policy;

(4)   evaluate through appropriate professional procedures conditions within a district or institution of learning, make known serious deficiencies, and take action deemed necessary and proper;

(5)   assume full political and citizenship responsibilities, but refrain from exploiting the institutional privileges of our professional positions to promote political candidates of partisan activities;

(6)   protect the educational program against undesirable infringement, and promote academic freedom.

C.   Principle III:  Commitment to the profession.  We believe that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influence the future of the nation and its citizens.  We therefore exert every effort to raise educational standards, to improve our service, to promote a climate in which the exercise of professional judgment is encouraged, to demonstrate integrity in all work-related activities and interactions in the school setting, and to achieve conditions which attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education.  Aware of the value of united effort, we contribute actively to the support, planning, and programs of our professional organizations.  In fulfilling our obligations to the profession, we:

(1)   recognize that a profession must accept responsibility for the conduct of its members and understand that our own conduct may be regarded as representative of our profession;

(2)   participate and conduct ourselves in a responsible manner in the development and implementation of policies affecting education;

(3)   cooperate in the selective recruitment of prospective teachers and in the orientation of student teachers, interns, and those colleagues new to their positions;

(4)   accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities;

(5)   refrain from assigning professional duties to nonprofessional personnel when such assignment is not in the best interest of the student;

(6)   refrain from exerting undue influence based on the authority of our positions in the determination of professional decisions by colleagues;

(7)   keep the trust under which confidential information is exchanged;

(8)   make appropriate use of the time granted for professional purposes;

(9)   interpret and use the writings of others and the findings of educational research with intellectual honesty;

(10) maintain our integrity when dissenting by basing our public criticism of education on valid assumptions as established by careful evaluation of facts;

(11) respond accurately to requests for evaluation of colleagues seeking professional positions;

(12) provide applicants seeking information about a position with an honest description of the assignment, the conditions of work and related matters.

D.  Principle IV:  Commitment to professional employment practices.  We regard the employment agreement as a solemn pledge to be executed both in spirit and in fact in a manner consistent with the highest ideals of professional service.  Sound professional personnel relationships with governing boards are built upon integrity, dignity, and mutual respect between employees, administrators, and local school boards.  In fulfilling our obligations to professional employment practices, we:

(1)   apply for or offer a position on the basis of professional and legal qualifications;

(2)   apply for a specific position only when it is known to be vacant and refrain from such practices as underbidding or commenting adversely about other candidates;

(3)   fill no vacancy except where the terms, conditions, and policies are known;

(4)   adhere to and respect the conditions of a contract or to the terms of an appointment until either has been terminated legally or by mutual consent;

(5)   give prompt notice of any change in availability of service, in status of applications, or in change in position;

(6)   conduct professional business through recognized educational and professional channels.

4.60.2  STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT:

A.    Preamble

(1)  We, licensed New Mexico educators acknowledge that ethical values in our schools cannot exist without ethical leadership.  It is our ultimate goal to educate children so that they may become productive citizens; we understand that our guidance and ability to provide choices has a profound effect on reaching this goal.  In affording students and each other choices, we agree to consider the consequence of each choice, the moral value best exemplified by the recommended choice, and our position on the choice if it were applied to us. These principles apply equally to all licensed educators in all schools except where they are uniquely applicable to public schools or where they conflict with principles of religious freedom.

(2)   Moral values are to ethical leadership what years of experience are to a successful educator.  The former sets the stage for success of the latter.  Abstract principles that espouse excellence do not easily equate into simple behavioral maxims.  We are certain that some foundational concepts can be embraced because they truly celebrate desirable moral values.  These concepts are:  respect for one’s self and others, honesty and openness, the delicate balance between absolute freedom and safety, the equally delicate balance between confidentiality and the right to know, equality of opportunity, fairness to all, and personal integrity.

(3)  In the final analysis it is our consistent ethical leadership that wins the most allies and produces the best results.  Not only does this code highlight our professional responsibilities, but also it stimulates us to discuss the professional implications of our ethical choices and ethical recommendations, causes us to assess and reassess our application of moral values, and sets forth concrete behaviors appropriate for education professionals.  We are committed to this code and understand that it provides minimally accepted standards of professional conduct in education.

B.  Standard I:  Duty to the student.  We endeavor to stimulate students to think and to learn while at the same time we seek to protect them from any harm.  Ethical leadership requires licensed educators to teach not only by use of pedagogical tools, but also by consistent and justifiable personal example.  To satisfy this obligation, we:

 (1)         shall, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g, 34C.F.R. Part 99), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1401 et seq., 34 C.F.R. Part 300), the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Section 43-1-19, NMSA 1978), the Inspection of Public Records Act (Section 14-2-1 et seq., NMSA 1978), the Public School Code (Section 22-1-8, NMSA 1978), and the Children’s Code (Sections 32A-2-32, 32A-4-3, NMSA 1978), withhold confidential student records or information about a student or his/her personal and family life unless release of information is allowed, permitted by the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian, or required by law;

 (2)         shall not discriminate or permit students within our control, supervision or responsibility to discriminate against any other student on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or serious medical condition;

(3)  shall avoid using our positions as licensed school employees to exploit or unduly influence a student into engaging in an illegal act, immoral act, or any other behavior that would subject a licensed school employee or student to discipline for misconduct whether or not the student actually engages in the behavior;

(4)   shall tutor students only in accordance with local board policies, if any, only after written permission from the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian, and only at a place or time approved by the local school and/or the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian;

(5)   shall not give a gift to any one student unless all students situated similarly receive or are offered gifts of equal value for the same reason;

(6)  shall not lend a student money except in clear and occasional circumstances, such as where a student may go without food or beverage or be unable to participate in a school activity without financial assistance;

(7)  shall not have inappropriate contact with any student, whether or not on school property, which includes but is not limited to:

(a)  all forms of sexual touching, sexual relations or romantic relations;

(b)  inappropriate touching which is any physical touching, embracing, petting, hand-holding, or kissing that is unwelcome by the student or is otherwise inappropriate given the age, sex and maturity of the student;

(c)  any open displays of affection toward mostly-boys or mostly-girls; and

(d)  offering or giving a ride to a student unless absolutely unavoidable, such as where a student has missed his/her usual transportation and is unable to make reasonable substitute arrangements;

(8)  shall not interfere with a student’s right to a public education by sexually harassing a student or permitting students within our control, supervision or responsibility to sexually harass any other student, which prohibited behavior includes:

(a)  making any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, repeated sexual references, any name calling by means of sexual references or references directed at gender-specific students, any other verbal or physical conduct of a physical nature with a student even where the licensed educator believes the student consents or the student actually initiates the activity, and any display/distribution of sexually oriented materials where students can see them; and

(b)  creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work/school environment by at a minimum engaging in any of the prohibited behaviors set forth at Paragraph (7) or Subparagraph (a) of Paragraph (8), Subsection B of 6.60.9.9 NMAC, above.

C.    Standard II:  Duty to the profession.  The education profession has been vested by the public with an awesome trust and responsibility.  To live up to that lofty expectation, we must continually engender public confidence in the integrity of our profession, and must strive consistently in educating the children of New Mexico, all of whom will one-day shape the future.  To satisfy this obligation, we:

(1)  shall not make a false or misleading statement or fail to disclose a material fact in any application for educational employment or licensure;

(2)   shall not orally or in writing misrepresent our professional qualifications;

(3)  shall not assist persons into educational employment whom we know to be unqualified in respect to their character, education, or employment history;

(4)  shall not make a false or misleading statement concerning the qualifications of anyone in or desiring employment in education;

(5)  shall not permit or assist unqualified or unauthorized persons to engage in teaching or other employment within a school;

(6)   shall not disclose personal, medical, or other confidential information about other educational colleagues to anyone unless disclosure is required or authorized by law;

(7)   shall not knowingly make false or derogatory personal comments about an educational colleague, although first amendment protected comments on or off campus are not prohibited;

(8)  shall not accept any gratuity, gift, meal, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, favor, or other item having monetary value whose market value exceeds $100, excluding approved educational awards, honoraria, plaques, trophies, and prizes;

(9)   shall avoid conduct connected with official duties that is unfair, improper, illegal or gives the appearance of being improper or illegal;

(10)  shall not sexually harass any school employee, any school visitor or anyone else we might encounter in the course of our official duties, which includes:

(a)  making any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, repeated sexual references, and name calling by means of sexual references or references directed at any gender-

(b)  making any other verbal gesture or physical conduct with any of the above-named individuals even where the licensed educator believes they consent or they actually initiate the activity;

(c)   displaying or distributing any sexually oriented materials where the above-named individuals can see them; and

(d)   creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/school environment by engaging in any of the prohibited behaviors set forth at Subparagraphs (a), (b) or (c), Paragraph 10, Subsection C of 6.60.9.9 NMAC, above;

(11)  shall educate oneself at least annually about avoiding sexual harassment by either attending periodic training, reviewing sexual harassment literature or the EEOC guidelines found at Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1604 (29 C.F.R. Section 1604.1 et seq.), or contacting appropriate school human resources personnel;

(12)  shall not engage in inappropriate displays of affection, even with consenting adults, while on school property or during school events off campus;

(13)  shall not without permission of a supervisor use public school property to conduct personal business or our personal affairs;

(14)  shall use educational facilities and property only for educational purposes or purposes for which they are intended consistent with applicable policy, law and regulation;

(15)  shall not discriminate against any school employee, or any other person with whom we have any dealings or contact in the course of our official duties, on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or serious medical condition;

(16)  shall not engage in any outside employment:

(a)   the performance of which conflicts with our public school duties, such as where a licensed educator takes a private job that would require performance in the very school district where he/she is employed;

(b)  where we use confidential/privileged information obtained from our public school employment as part or all of our private employment duties; and

(c)  that impairs our physical ability to perform our school duties;

(17) shall not, with the intent to conceal/confuse a fact, change or alter any writing or encourage anyone else to change or alter any document:

(a)  in connection with our official school duties;

(b)  in connection with another licensed person’s official school duties;

(c)  in connection with any standardized or non-standardized testing;

(d)   in connection with any school application or disclosure process; and

(e)   in connection with any writing submitted to the public education department related to our initial or continued licensure, including endorsements;

(18) shall not in connection with any state board-approved teacher test knowingly make any misrepresentations about one’s identity, or engage in any false or deceptive acts of test-taking or test-registering;

(19) shall not engage in any conduct or make any statement:

(a)   that would breach the security of any standardized or non-standardized tests;

(b)   that would ignore administering portions or the entirety of any standardized or non-standardized testing instructions;

(c)   that would give students an unfair advantage in taking a standardized or non-standardized test;

(d)   that would give a particular school or a particular classroom an unfair advantage in taking a standardized or non-standardized test;

(e)  that would assist students in obtaining services or benefits for which they do not qualify or are not entitled;

(20)  shall not, when on school property or off campus while representing the school or attending a school function, engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct which tends to disturb the peace;

(21)  shall not hold, or continue to hold, employment for which educator licensure or certification is required when the individual knew, should have known or is informed by the PED, that the individual does not hold the required credentials; and

(22)  shall not use school information technology equipment, hardware, software or internet access to view, download, display, store or print pornographic images or advertisements, nude images, or sexually explicit depictions or language;

(23)  shall not engage in unprofessional conduct, which conduct shall include but not be limited to the following:

(a)   striking, assaulting or restraining a student for no valid reason;

(b)  using any written or spoken words in public schools or at school events that are inflammatory, derogatory or otherwise demonstrate a bias against a person or group, on the basis of their race, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual preference, sexuality or physical disability;

(c)   bringing firearms onto school property or possessing them on school property, except with proper authorization;

(d)  possessing or consuming alcohol beverages at school;

(e)  possessing or using illegal drugs;

(f)    being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at school;

(g)  actively obstructing an investigation into the possible unethical or illegal conduct of a school employee; and

(h)   engaging in favoritism or preferential treatment toward any school employee or applicant in regards to that individual’s hiring, discipline, terms of employment, working conditions or work performance due to that individual’s familial relationship with the licensee;

(24) shall report any knowledge of inappropriate contact, as provided by Paragraph (7) of Subsection B of 6.60.9 NMAC with a student or other school employee to the local school authority within 30 days of obtaining such knowledge.

4.60.3     PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS CODE:

A.  The Board of Education finds that adherence to this Code of Ethics and Conduct has a significant bearing on a school employee’s competence, turpitude or the proper performance of his or her duties.  Further, the Code of Ethics and Conduct is intended to provide a valuable framework of personal ethics to assist employees in their interactions with colleagues, students and parents.  However, the Code of Conduct establishes minimal standards of accepted conduct with which all employees are expected and required to comply.

B.  The failure to abide by the standards of ethical behavior and conduct set forth in the Code of Ethics and Conduct may constitute just cause for termination or discharge of personnel subject to this code, in accordance with applicable statutory procedure.

C.  The failure or refusal to abide by the standards of conduct set forth in this code shall constitute conduct deemed to be outside the normal scope of duties of school personnel and, thus, shall not be subject to the procedures for correction of unsatisfactory work performance applicable to discharge of licensed personnel for unsatisfactory work performance, set forth in NMSA 1978 Section 22-10-21 and 6 NMAC 4.5.1.

D.  It shall be the duty of the school superintendent to provide written notification to the Director of the Licensure Unit of the Public Education Department, after taking final action to discharge or terminate the employment of any licensed or certified school employee, or any other person providing instructional services in a school who does not hold a standard license but whose presence was authorized by the PED through a substitute license, or an educational plan approved by the PED, based in whole or part on a violation of this Code of Ethics and Conduct, for possible license suspension or revocation.

4.60.4 DISSEMINATION OF THIS CODE:  The PED shall adopt measures to ensure that this code of ethical responsibility receives the widest possible dissemination to all persons falling within its scope.  Such measures include but are not limited to:

A.    providing information about the code of ethical responsibility directly through the PED and the PED’s application process;

B.    providing information about the code of ethical responsibility to all school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools accredited by the PED;

C.    notifying any school district, charter school or private school accredited by the PED of the decision and order of the PED after the PED has taken final licensure action against one of that school’s PED licensed employees based in whole or in part on a failure to comply with the standards of professional conduct;

D.    any other reasonable measure that is calculated to result in the widest dissemination of the PED’s code of ethical responsibility and notification of the consequences of failure to comply with the standards of professional conduct.

4.60.5  It is the responsibility of administrators, supervisors and/or district wide managers to review this policy with staff on an annual basis.  Written documentation of review will be placed in each staff members file held by the building administrator.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  7/13/17

4.61 SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

The policy of the Board of Education forbids discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of sex.  The Board of Education will not tolerate sexual harassment activity by any of its employees.  This policy similarly applies to non-employee volunteers and professional service providers who work subject to control of school authorities.

  •  General Prohibitions

A.  Unwelcome Conduct of a Sexual Nature

1.  Conduct of a sexual nature may include verbal or physical sexual advances, including subtle pressure for sexual activity; touching, pinching, patting, or brushing against; comments regarding physical or personality characteristics of sexual nature; and sexually-oriented “kidding”, “teasing”, double-entendres, and jokes.

2.  Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment when the allegedly harassed employee has indicated, by his or her conduct, that it is unwelcome.

3.  An employee who has initially welcomed such conduct by active participation must give specific notice to the alleged harasser that such conduct is no longer welcome in order for any such subsequent conduct to be deemed unwelcome.

B.      Sexual Harassment

For the purposes of this policy, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment if:

1.  submission to the conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of employment;   

2.  submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision affecting the harassed employee; or

3.  the conduct substantially interferes with an employee’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

4.61.2  Specific Prohibitions

A.      Administrators and Supervisors

1.  It is sexual harassment for an administrator or supervisor to use his or her authority to solicit sexual favors or attention from subordinates when the subordinate’s failure to submit will result in adverse treatment, or when the subordinate’s acquiescence will result in preferential treatment.

2.  Administrators and supervisors who either engage in sexual harassment or tolerate such conduct by other employees shall be subject to sanctions, as described below.

B.      Non-administrative and Non-supervisory Employees

1.  It is sexual harassment for a non-administrative and non-supervisory employee to subject another such employee to any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Employees who engage in such conduct shall be subject to sanctions as described below.

4.61.3  Reporting, Investigation, and Sanctions

A.  It is the express policy of the Board of Education to encourage victims of sexual harassment to come forward with such claims.

1.  Employees who feel that administrators or supervisors are conditioning promotions, increases in wages, continuation of employment, or other terms or conditions of employment upon sexual favors, are encouraged to report these conditions to the appropriate administrator.  If the employee’s direct administrator or supervisor is the offending person, the report shall be made to the next higher level of administration or supervision.  If the Superintendent is the offending person, a report may be made directly to the Board, and the Board shall appoint an appropriate person to conduct an investigation.  Any report of sexual harassment will be reported to the EEO Compliance Officer and/or to the Executive Director of Human Resources.

2.  Employees are also urged to report any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature by supervisors or fellow employees if such conduct interferes with the individual’s work performance or creates a hostile or offensive working environment.

3.  Confidentiality will be maintained and no reprisals or retaliation will be allowed to occur as a result of the good faith reporting of charges of sexual harassment.

B.  In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the totality of the circumstances, the nature of the conduct, and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred will be investigated.  The Superintendent has the responsibility of insuring the investigation and resolution of sexual harassment complaints.

C.  Any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment shall be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to, warning, suspension, or termination of the offending personnel, pursuant to statutory procedural prerequisites.

D.  The EEO Compliance Officer, or Superintendent’s Designee, shall report the finding of his/her investigation and resolution to the complainant in a timely fashion, (not to exceed sixty (60) days without mutual agreement).  If the complainant is not satisfied with this resolution, he/she has the right to file a grievance under policy guidelines.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.62  EMPLOYEE HARASSMENT

No employee or employee organization shall interfere with, intimidate, restrain, coerce, or discriminate against any employee because of the exercise of the employee’s rights as described in these policies or as set forth in the laws of the State of New Mexico or of the United States of America. Farmington Schools will not tolerate victim-based misconduct by students or staff.

4.62.1  “Unlawful harassment” is defined as verbal or physical conduct based on an employee’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, religion, or disability and which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the employee’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

4.62.2  Employees will not engage in acts of violence, threats, name-calling, , intimidation, assault, battery, extortion, robbery, vandalism, and other victim-based misconduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, regardless of motive or reasons.  

4.62.3  Any employee found to have engaged in misconduct in which a student or employee is a victim of violence, threats, name-calling, assault, battery, extortion, robbery, vandalism, etc. shall be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to, warning or reprimand, suspension, termination, or discharge, subject to any applicable procedural requirements.

4.62.4 Under state law, as recognized by the courts, the term bullying refers to student-to-student conduct, as defined and addressed in Policy 2.30.  Unprofessional conduct among adults refers to adult-to-adult conduct that may include, but is not limited to, acts that may reasonably be construed as harassing, offensive, abusive, intimidating, threatening, malicious, insulting, or as an abuse of power or position, as determined by the district.

4.62.5 Employees will not engage in conduct such as including physical, verbal or emotional abuse that could reasonably be construed to undermine s self-confidence or that reasonably may cause stress. Common forms of misconduct or lateral violence or abuse are: non-verbal innuendo, verbal affront, undermining activities, withholding information, gossiping, sabotage, infighting, scapegoating, backstabbing, failure to respect privacy and broken confidences.

4.62.6 Knowledge of employee misconduct as described in this policy requires reporting.  A full investigation of reported or known such alleged misconduct will be initiated immediately by the immediate supervisor and /or the Executive Director of Human Resources.   The specific steps in an investigation will vary depending upon the nature of the allegations and the source of the complaint.  An investigation will occur regardless of whether the “victim” is in agreement based on a complaint.   The Executive Director of Human Resources will be made aware of the investigation and outcome.  A hearing committee will review incidents of misconduct as described in this policy and the outcome of the investigation.  The hearing committee will make a recommendation of disciplinary action to the supervisor and superintendent. 

4.62.7  A report against the Superintendent may be made directly to the Board.  If a report is made directly to the Board, the Board shall appoint an appropriate person to conduct an investigation.  

4.62.8 Any employee found to have engaged in misconduct as described in this policy shall be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to, training or other interventions, warning or reprimand, suspension, termination, or discharge, subject to any applicable procedural requirements.  Any retaliation related to the allegations or the source of the complaint will not be tolerated and will be subject to discipline.

4.62.9  Cyber Misconduct

A.  Cyber misconduct refers to any use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, intentional, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.

Cyber misconduct can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but can also include threats, sexual remarks, ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, intentionally excluding someone from an online school groups and/or posting false or private statements that reasonably could be construed to make someone look bad or reasonably be construed to be damaging to a person’s character and/or reputation.   Cyber misconduct can also include the sending of inappropriate cartoons, jokes or other questionable material that may reasonably be construed to have been intended to embarrass or shock the receiver.

B.  Cyber misconduct is a violation of the district’s technology agreement and the Code of Ethics and Conduct Policy.    Any employee found to have engaged in cyber misconduct shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination or discharge. Retaliation related to the allegations or the source of the complaint will not be tolerated.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.63 ASSAULT POLICY

The Board of Education acknowledges the need for all its employees to perform their duties in a safe, secure, and non-threatening atmosphere.  The Board also recognizes that in the possibility of assault on an employee, direct and immediate steps should be taken.  The term “assault” as used in this policy shall mean a present threat of physical violence, including a fear of immediate harm.

4.63.1     Employee Responsibilities

Employees of the Farmington Schools, while on duty, may not encourage members of the community, Board of Education, staff, or student body to commit acts of assault on one another or other persons.  In addition, employees, while on duty, must take appropriate actions to discourage assault as a means of settling personal, social, or academic differences. 

4.63.2     Self-Protection Measures

Employees may take reasonable and necessary action to protect themselves from impending assault. 

  • Reporting Requirements 

A.  The employee will report the assault or see that the assault is reported as soon as possible after the incident to his/her immediate supervisor.

B.  The supervisor will:                        

1)  see that appropriate medical attention is given or arranged for;

2)  see that the assault is reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency; the employee shall be responsible for filing a complaint with the investigating agency;

3)  report the incident to the Executive Director of Human Resources or designee to initiate Workmen’s Compensation and injury-reporting procedures.

C.    The incident may also be reported to the school attorney and/or other appropriate agencies by the Superintendent or designee.

4.63.4     Days Missed as a Result of Assault

Days absent from work, whether it be for injury, doctor’s direction, hospitalization, attorney consultation, or court proceedings relating directly to the assault, will not be charged against any other leave category allowed by the Board.

4.63.5     Limitations

A.  The employee’s doctor or a doctor assigned by the District must provide a written release for the employee to return to work.

B.  Upon issue of a written release, the employee must return immediately to work. If the employee subsequently chooses to be absent after obtaining a doctor’s release, the absence (s) will be subtracted from the employee’s accumulated sick leave.

C.  The District reserves the right to consult with the attending doctor prior to and after the release and return of the employee to work.

D.  The District will pay the difference between compensation paid by Workmen’s Compensation and the employee’s regular daily salary as long as the employee is absent from work as a direct result of the assault.

4.63.6     Other Expenses Resulting from the Assault

The District will file the customary forms for payment to the employee under Workmen’s Compensation.  Payment may be made for daily benefits, medical, and other expenses allowable under New Mexico Workmen’s Compensation laws.

4.63.7     Termination of Other Assault Benefits

Benefits paid by the District as described in this policy shall terminate when:

A.  The doctor has released the employee to return to work, or

B.  the employee is found by a court of law to be the aggressor in the incident, or his actions are found by a court of law to be unreasonable or unnecessary, or

C.  the employee resigns.

4.63.8     Reimbursement of Benefits

If the employee is found by a court of law to be the aggressor in the incident, or his actions are found by a court of law to be unreasonable or unnecessary, the district shall have cause of action against the employee for repayment of all costs incurred by the District as a result of this incident.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.64 SEXUAL EXPLOITATION PREVENTION

All district employees, students, patrons and vendors are entitled to work and study in school-related environments that are free from sexual exploitation.  Therefore sexual exploitation or violence by any officer, employee, student, or other person having business with the district is prohibited.  Sexual exploitation is any sexual advance, request for sexual favor or sex-based behavior.

4.64.1  Any employee whose behavior is found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline, including but not limited to suspension or termination of employment.

4.64.2   All romantic relationships between students and employees, employee to employee, are prohibited.  Educators and students will not engage or attempt to engage in any nonprofessional social behavior with each other.  Nonprofessional social behavior includes but is not limited to dating, any type of sexual activity; any touching of a sexual nature; hugging; kissing; hand holding or physical caressing; sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; continued or unwanted remarks about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual; the display in the school or workplace of sexually suggestive action, gestures, objects, graffiti or pictures.

4.64.3  A student or employee who believes that he or she has suffered sexual exploitation should report such matter to the school principal.

A.  The superintendent or designee shall assign an individual or team of individuals to investigate a complaint of sexual exploitation.  A person who is alleged in a complaint to have violated this policy or to have been a witness to the alleged violation may not be named the investigator of the complaint.

B.  If the allegation of sexual exploitation is made against the superintendent or member of the board, the Executive Director of Human Resources shall appoint, with the board’s legal counsel, an independent investigator not employed by the district.  The superintendent or the board retains the prerogative to appoint an independent investigator for any allegation of sexual exploitation.

C.  After completion of an investigation, if the investigator determines that sexual exploitation has taken place, disciplinary action will be taken.

D.  Retaliation against a person who reports or testifies to a complaint of sexual exploitation will be subject to the provisions of this policy.

E.  To the extent reasonably possible, the privacy of a person involved in a sexual exploitation investigation shall be preserved.  Investigators will request that participants in the investigation not discuss the investigation, except for conversations with parents, guardians, spouses, counselors or legal representatives.

F.  After an investigation has yielded a decision, either the person determined to have committed the exploitation or the person alleging the exploitation may appeal the decision to the superintendent, who will hear the appeal or designate a representative to hear the appeal.

G.  If at any time during the investigation it is suspected that child abuse has occurred, a report shall be made to the State Child Protection Agency and to the NMPED Ethics Department if required.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.65 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE – All Employees

Any employee who believes there has been a violation or misapplication of Board policy, or administrative rules or procedures, that has directly and adversely affected that person, has a right to file a grievance, under this policy, to seek proper relief and application of the policy in question.  A grievance is an employee complaint about the misconduct by another employee or group of employees or a violation of policies.  A grievance is not a complaint about general interpersonal matters between workers, work assignments or schedules or duties, or employee professional evaluations or placement on professional growth plans (PGPs). 

Issues of discrimination or complaints regarding misconduct or policy violations as defined above should be addressed through the grievance procedure. The District attempts to resolve such issues in a timely manner and to mediate employee issues. The following procedure and timelines shall be followed in filing a grievance:

4.65.1     Timelines – during the school year the timelines specified in this policy shall mean school days.  During the summer recess the timelines will mean calendar days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.  The timelines specified in this policy shall be considered maximal unless extended by mutual agreement in writing between the parties involved at that particular step.

  • Definitions and Limitations

A.  A Grievant shall be any employee, or group of employees, who are personally and directly involved and affected by the action which is being grieved.

B.  A Grievance is a written allegation by a grievant, or grievants, that the action or decision of a supervisor violates Board policy, or administrative rules or procedures, and which directly and adversely affects the grievant or grievants.

C.  A Decision is the written response of the appropriate administrator or the Superintendent with respect to the grievance.

D.  A Resolution is an agreement between the grievant and the administrator/supervisor that disposes of the grievance on a mutually agreeable basis.  A resolution may be reached at any time during the process by the parties involved at that particular level.

E.  Non-Grievable Items.  The following items are not subject to this grievance procedure and are, therefore, not grievable:

1.  Matters where another remedy has been provided by the Board Policy (i.e. An employee who is discharged has the right to a hearing.  An employee who disagrees with his/her evaluation has the right to add his/her own personal comments to the evaluation document and to have them included in the personnel file.);

2.  Matters in which the Superintendent and Board are without authority to act (i.e. garnishment, licensure, etc.)

3.  Matters where the remedy sought in the grievance resides exclusively in some person, agency, or authority other than the Board;

4.  Any personnel decision made by the Superintendent, including, but not limited to, the refusal to re-employ an employee, discharge, demotion, or any other action that directly and adversely affects the employment of an employee;

5.  Discretionary acts of professional judgment, other than procedural matters, relating to the evaluation of the work performance of any employee by his/her immediate supervisor.

6.  Matters between a colleague of equal position or unrelated work station.  Examples:  teacher to teacher, teacher to secretary, secretary to custodian, etc.

7.  Situations as to which the procedure within the district is prescribed by state or federal authority;

4.65.3     Three Levels of Appeal – exist in the Farmington School District. 

They include: (a) Principal, Assistant Principal or, for maintenance, custodial, transportation and cafeteria personnel the appropriate supervisor; (b) Director or Executive Director of Human Resources; (c) the Superintendent and (d) the Board of Education.

4.65.4     General Procedural Requirements

A.  No grievant, or other employee, shall suffer retaliation, recrimination, discrimination, or harassment because of use of, or testimony in connection with, the filing procedure.

B.  A good-faith effort must be maintained by all parties involved in the grievance to limit discussion regarding the grievance to those parties.

C.  Whenever possible, any grievance conference or hearing at any level shall be scheduled during a mutually convenient time that does not conflict with the regularly scheduled school program.

D.  A grievant who requires the testimony of other employees shall have the right to have present such witnesses as are willing to testify on his/her behalf.  Any necessary substitutes or release time of witnesses employed by the School district shall be provided by and the expense borne by the School District if such hearings are scheduled by the administration during the school day.

E.  All documentation regarding a filed grievance will be placed in a separate grievance file and will not be placed in the personnel file of either the grievant or the grieved.  EXCEPTION:  If relief is granted to the grievant as a resolution of a grievance, documentation relating to that resolution will, of necessity, be placed in the personnel file of either the grievant or the grieved until that relief is finalized.  These documents will not be used in giving references for future employment.

F.  A grievant may withdraw the grievance at any level by so indicating in writing, by accepting the decision at that level, by reaching an agreement or compromise at any level, or by failing to proceed to the next level within the specified time limit.

G.  A grievant may have an association representative and/or legal counsel present to assist him/her at any level except the informal conference, without securing agreement from the administrator.  Such representation is permitted at the informal conference if agreed to by the principal or supervisor.  In the event the grievant does wish to have a representative present, he/she must advise the administration when submitting the appropriate appeal form, or at least twenty-four (24) hours before the conference.  The aggrieved may also have legal counsel or a selected representative present under the same conditions as the grievant.

H.  Either party has the right to tape record the informal conference or hearing at any level without securing agreement from the other party.  However, the party making the recording must notify the other party.

I.  The grievant has the responsibility for making written appeal to the next level.  Such appeal shall include the grievance and copies of any other written documentation, previous decisions, or proposed resolutions.  The appeal shall be hand delivered by the grievant or his or her representative to the person receiving the appeal.  If that person is not available, it may be delivered to his/her secretary.

J.  The Office of Human Resources will provide grievance forms upon which all grievances are to be filed and processed.  These forms shall be available in each Principal’s and supervisor’s office.

K.  Once information and evidence is presented at Level I, new information or evidence may not be added at subsequent levels.  If new evidence is to be introduced, the process starts over with the grievant returning to the informal step.

L.  The maximum length of time for a grievance to be settled, from the initial action until the receipt of the Superintendent’s final determination will be thirty-two (32) days unless extensions are agreed upon in writing by both parties.

M.  All testimony must be presented in person.

N.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit in any way the ability of the district and the grievant to resolve any grievance by informal means, and nothing herein shall be construed as requiring resort to the formal procedures when grievable problems arise.

O.  Except as otherwise provided herein, unless a party can demonstrate prejudice arising from a departure from the procedures established in this policy, such departure shall be presumed to be harmless error.

4.65.5     Procedural Steps

A.  Informal Conference

Prior to the filing of a formal written grievance, the grievant shall, within five (5) days of a grievable incident, or within five (5) days after the grievant, using due diligence, should have become aware of such occurrence, first discuss the matter with the principal or immediate supervisor in an effort to resolve the matter.  The grievant must verbally claim to the supervisor that this meeting is the informal step in a grievance procedure.

B.  Level I (Principal or Supervisor)

If the grievant wishes to appeal the decision of this informal conference, he/she may file a written grievance with the Principal or supervisor within three (3) days after the informal conference.  The administrator or supervisor shall hold a hearing with the grievant within three (3) days of receipt of the grievance.  The administrator or supervisor shall render a written decision to the grievant within three (3) days of the hearing.  If the grievance is against the supervisor at this level, the grievance moves to Level II.

C.  Level II (Executive Director)

If the grievant wishes to appeal the decision rendered at Level I, to the next administrative level, he/she may do so through the Executive Director of Human Resources, within three (3) days of receipt of the Level I decision.  A hearing shall be held within three (3) days of the receipt of the appeal and a written decision shall be rendered within three (3) days following the hearing.

At Level II, the Executive Director of Human Resources will act upon the grievance or will direct the grievance to the appropriate supervisor for action.  Should the appropriate supervisor not be available to act upon the grievance within the required time limits, another supervisor will be authorized by the Superintendent to act upon the grievance.  If the grievance is against the Executive Director of Human Resources at this level, the grievance moves to Level III.

D.    Level III (Superintendent)

If the grievant wishes to appeal the decision rendered at Level II, he/she may appeal to the Superintendent within three (3) days of receipt of the Level II decision.  The Superintendent will, within three (3) days of receipt of the appeal, conduct a hearing with the grievant.  The Superintendent shall render a written decision to the grievant within three (3) days of the hearing.  If the grievance is against the Superintendent at this level, the grievance moves to Level IV.

E. Level IV (School Board)

If the grievant wishes to appeal the Superintendent’s decision, an appeal may be made, within three (3) days of receipt of the Superintendents decision, to the School Board through the Superintendent.  The School Board shall, within five (5) days of receipt of the appeal, determine whether or not to hear the appeal.   If the Board chooses not to hear the appeal, the Superintendent’s decision shall be considered final and binding upon the parties.  The Board President will, within five (5) days of that determination, notify the grievant that the Board does not choose to hear the appeal.  If the Board agrees to hear the appeal, it shall set the date for such hearing and the parties of interest shall be so notified.  Such hearing shall be held within ten (10) days of the Board’s determination to hear the appeal and the grievant must be notified at least three (3) days prior to the hearing.  The hearing shall be conducted as follows:

A.    The parties of interest shall have the opportunity to make a brief oral statement to the Board and to present witnesses according to the timetable the Board may wish to set.   Evidence and witnesses may be cross-examined by the other party of interest.  

B.    The hearing will be conducted in an executive session, and shall be a de novo (anew) hearing with the same conditions as 4.11.4.K.

C.    The Board will have legal counsel present.

D.    The hearing shall be on audio tape and shall be maintained as part of the grievance file for a minimum of two (2) years.

E.    Other parties of interest to be present at the Board hearing will be the Superintendent and/or his/her designated representative.

F.     The Board may make such inquiries of any party or witness as it deems necessary or appropriate.  The Board shall render a written decision within three (3) days of the completion of the hearing.  The Board’s decision shall be final and binding upon all parties.

G.    A quorum of the Board must be present to hear the grievance.

4.65.6     Any employee who believes they have been treated unfairly, but the treatment does not meet the definition of grievance, may file a complaint.  A complaint is a statement of facts that situation is unsatisfactory or unfair. The District will make available a form for employees to complete and submit to their supervisor.  If the complaint is against the supervisor, the employee is to submit the complaint to the Executive Director of Human Resources.  Complaints will be investigated.  Results of the investigation and action based on the results may not be shared with the employee that submitted the complaint at the discretion of the supervisor. A written complaint cannot be filed against an employee’s written evaluation. The employee may attach a rebuttal to their written evaluation.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  2/22/18

4.66 CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

Employees are encouraged to fulfill their civic responsibilities and to take part in political activities to the extent of their interest and inclination, in such ways that do not interfere with their school employment responsibilities.  This includes such citizen’s rights as voting, discussing the social, political and economic issues of the day in public meetings, supporting candidates, accepting appointive or elective office, holding office in appropriate ways as they deem advisable.

4.66.1     Care is to be exercised in order to avoid the expression of a personal political philosophy in school situations.  Employees should conduct themselves so all observers will recognize the expressed point of view is personal and not representative of the school district.

4.66.2     Political activities on school premises shall be limited to out of school hours.

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.67  RESPONSIBILITYFOR LOSS, DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF ASSIGNED INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

4.67.1 It is the intent of the Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education to provide all necessary Instructional Materials and equipment to each employee to assist in delivering quality instruction and meeting local, state and federal guidelines. While materials and equipment are provided for an employee’s use, each employee is responsible for the loss, damage, or destruction of assigned instructional materials and equipment while in the employee’s possession. Farmington Municipal Schools may take disciplinary action or seek monetary compensation from the employee responsible for the loss, damage, or destruction, particularly in cases that are determined to be the result of negligence or deliberate actions. Decisions on these incidents may be deemed subjective. Therefore, decisions may be appealed by the employee to the District Incident Review Committee. Appeals must be submitted on the proper form to the Committee through the Business and Finance Office.

4.67.2 The District Incident Review Committee shall be an Ad Hoc committee composed of one (1) licensed employee and one (1) classified employee, appointed by the Farmington Education Association, two (2) administrators, and one (1) of the following: technology department staff member, Plant Operations department staff member or library staff member appointed by the Chief Financial Officer.

Note:  See Technology Security Policy in Board Policy Guide Appendix

Adopted:

Last Revision:  4/13/17

4.68    Social Media Policy

This Policy is intended to provide employees with requirement and restrictions for appropriate online activity.   This policy is consistent with and incorporates the New Mexico Code of Ethical Responsibility of the Education Profession, 6.60.0 NMAC.   The nature of the Internet is such that what you “say” online will be captured forever and can be transmitted endlessly without your consent or knowledge.  Employees should remember that any information that is shared online instantly becomes permanent and public. 

Scope

Farmington Municipal Schools provides Internet access to all employees and many employees are provided a computer.   The district encourages staff to use the computer for professional work related reasons as well as personal reasons.   The district recognizes that it may become necessary to occasionally use the Internet for personal reasons during school hours, but expects personal use to be kept to a minimum and will be monitored and addressed by administration if personal use becomes frequent or excessive.   This Policy applies to all employees’ use of the Internet, including participation in and use of social media.   Use of District Internet access and school equipment is considered speech and expression may in the employee’s professional capacity and, and thus, subject to administrative scrutiny and restriction.  Employee speech/expression on an employee’s personal property, via the employee’s private Internet provider, and off-hours is not subject to administrative scrutiny and restriction unless it is brought to the administration’s attention that such speech/expression is such that a student, students’ parents, co-worker, superior can be personally identified by the content of the speech/expression. 

Application of Other Policies

All of the District’s employment policies apply to conduct that occurs online in the same way that they apply to conduct that occurs in the workplace. 

Association with the District

Employees who identify themselves online as being associated with the Farmington Municipal School District must comply with the rules set forth in this section.

Federal law requires that, when endorsing or promoting his or her employer, an employee must disclose his or her affiliation with (i.e., employment by), the District.  Thus, although the District appreciates the loyalty and enthusiasm of its employees, employees must disclose their employment if they endorse the District online. 

If you disclose your affiliation or relationship with the District, for example in your online profile, you must use an appropriate disclaimer to make clear that you are speaking only on behalf of yourself and not on behalf of or as an agent of the District.  An example of an appropriate disclaimer follows:  The opinions and viewpoints expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of the author’s employer.

To ensure continuity of the District’s message, employees may not represent themselves to be speaking on behalf of the District unless expressly authorized to do so. 

Prohibited Conduct

Employees are prohibited from engaging in any of the following in their online activities and posts:

•      Disparaging the District’s services, clients, leadership, employees or strategy;

•      Making any false or misleading statements;

•      Promoting or endorsing violence:

•      Promoting illegal activity, including the use of illegal drugs;

•      Directing any negative comment toward or about any individual or group based on race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, or other characteristic protected by law;

•      Disclosing any confidential or proprietary information belonging to the District or obtained by the employee as a result of his/her employment with the District;

•      Posting, uploading, or sharing any recording or images taken in the workplace or at any District sponsored event without express advance authorization.

Nothing in this Policy is intended to or will be applied in a manner that limits employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity as prescribed by the National Labor Relations Act.

Duty to Report

Employees have an ongoing duty to report any violations of this policy by any other employees.   The District considers the duty to report to be a critical component of its efforts to ensure the safety of its employees and to preserve the District’s reputation and goodwill in the community.  Therefore, any employee who fails to report any conduct that reasonably appears to be in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline for such failure.

If at any time you are uncertain about the application of this policy, you should seek guidance of the appropriate person before posting or otherwise engaging online. 

Adopted: 8/14/14

Last Revision: 4/13/17
Section IV Adopted: 4/13/2017

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