CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS (COACHES)
Excellence Academy Charter School shall make every attempt to hired only fully certified, qualified teachers/coaches for each class. To be fully certified, personnel shall hold a valid Louisiana certificate appropriate to the services rendered or shall annual approval in accordance with provisions allowed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Full-time certified teachers in grades 6-8 may be allowed to teach a minimum of two periods in one subject out of their field of certification if they have earned twelve (12) hours in that subject.
Teachers certified at the secondary level who are teaching in a departmentalized situation shall be allowed to teach at the sixth grade level in their respective areas of certification.
In Excellence Academy Charter School there will be no more than 25% of teachers who are considered non-certified, to be in compliance with Charter School Law.
Ref: Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741.
If an employee is accused of impermissible corporal punishment, or of a moral offense involving a student, the Principal shall conduct a prompt, thorough investigation. A written report of the results of the investigation shall be prepared and made a part of the employee’s official personnel file. The employee shall be provided with a copy of such report, along with the members of the school’s Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee shall meet and determine what, if any, recommendation should be forwarded to the Board of Directors. If the circumstances warrant a special meeting of the Board of Directors, the Personnel Committee shall file its request for the special meeting of the Board with the Chairman, who shall call the special meeting as requested.
EMPLOYEE DRUG ABUSE AND TESTING
Excellence Academy Charter School has an obligation to eliminate illegal drug and alcohol use from its workplace. Excellence Academy Charter School shall establish a drug and alcohol policy for all drivers of a contract vehicle, whether part-time or full-time, that require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This policy shall establish the administrative scope, personnel procedures, employee training, drug testing guidelines, and employee assistance related to achieving a drug-free workplace. Excellence Academy Charter School complies with current Federal and State statutes, and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations concerning drugs in the workplace and drug testing of employees.
This policy shall apply to all present and future full or part-time drivers, driver applicants, contracted drivers, volunteers, and auxiliary personnel employed by or representing Excellence Academy Charter School when driving a School Board vehicle or while driving on School Board business a vehicle that requires a CDL. Excellence Academy Charter School requires compliance with this policy as a condition of employment, continued employment, and continuation of contractual agreements with Excellence Academy Charter School in the capacity of a driver.
The terms of this policy shall apply to all Excellence Academy Charter School property including but not limited to Excellence Academy Charter School land, offices, building, structures, installations, work locations, and all fixtures, machinery, and equipment herein. This policy shall be all owned, leased or used automobiles, trucks, vehicles, equipment, or other transportation used at or while traveling to and from Excellence Academy Charter School property during the performance of any Excellence Academy Charter School business. The term employee in this policy shall refer to anyone who is an employee or drivers a vehicle owned or contracted by Excellence Academy Charter School that requires a CDL.
This is to notify all Excellence Academy Charter School employee applicants, driver applicants, and visitors that the unlawful use, abuse, confirmed presence in the body, possessions, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, transfer, storage, concealment, or sale of legal and illegal drugs, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, or drug related paraphernalia is strictly prohibited during the course and scope of school business and/or while on or using Excellence Academy Charter School property.
More specifically prohibited substances include:
- Illegal Drugs such as, but not limited to, cannabinoids (marijuana, pot, dope, hashish), cocaine (coke, rock, crack, or base), LSD (acid), PCP (angel dust), MDMA (ecstasy), opiates (heroin, smack. black stuff, black tar, opium, morphine), and any other illegal or unlawfully obtained drug.
- Designer and Synthetic Drugs such as, but not limited to, ice, ice cube, crank, china white, synthetic heroine, MDA, Adam, Eve, Love Drug, and any other drugs that are made by altering the molecular structure of both legal and illegal drugs to create a drug not expressly banned by Federal law.
- Unauthorized or Prohibited Drugs such as, but not limited to, nonprescription stimulants, amphetamines, tranquilizers, barbiturates, or any other tablets, capsules, powders, liquids or inhalants containing substances which are regulated by state or federal law or which are intended to mimic such controlled substances. The term unauthorized includes prescription drugs not legally obtained or not being used for prescribed purposes. The term authorized also includes any abnormal or dangerous substance which may affect or alter a person’s perception, performance, reflexes, reaction time, motor skills, mood, or judgment while working.
- Prescription and Over the Counter Medications including legally obtained controlled substances. Abuse of a prescribed controlled substance or use of a prescribed controlled substance not prescribed for the employee or employment applicant is prohibited. Employees and others covered by this policy may maintain prescription drugs and over the counter medications on Excellence Academy Charter School premises provided:
- The prescription drugs are prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner for use by the person in possession within the past twelve (12) months and the medication is in its original container. If the medical practitioner is authorizing use of the prescription for a period longer than twelve (12) months, then a letter from the practitioner is to be placed on file with Excellence Academy Charter School Teacher/Coaches and Principal.
- Employees are to take the prescription in the manner prescribed by the prescribing practitioner. The employee must not allow any other person to consume the prescribed drug.
- Over-the-counter medications should be kept in their original container.
- Any employee who has been informed that medication could cause adverse side effects while working or where medication indicates such warning must inform his/her supervisor prior to using such substances on the job. Excellence Academy Charter School at all times reserves the right to have a licensed physician determine if use of a prescription drug or medication impairs the employee or in any way makes it unsafe for him/her to perform the duties of his/her job. In the event of such a finding, Excellence Academy Charter School may, with permission, check with the employee’s physician to see if alternative medications are available which would not affect the employee’s ability to work safely. The employee may use sick days in the event this situation originates.
Drug Related Paraphernalia is any unauthorized material, equipment, or item used or designed for use in the ingesting, injecting, inhaling, manufacturing, testing, storing, or packaging of a prohibited substance.
Excellence Academy Charter School reserves the right, at all times and in any work area, when circumstances warrant or reasonable cause exists, to conduct unannounced reasonable searches and inspections of Excellence Academy Charter School facilitates. These searches will be conducted by authorized supervisors or search personnel, including drug detection dogs. The areas open to search include but not limited to lockers, briefcases, desks, boxes, bags, lunch boxes, tool chests, vehicles, and other employee’s personnel effects.
Excellence Academy Charter School also reserves the right, in certain circumstances, to require employees to submit to medical or physical examinations or tests. These procedures may be required at any time as condition of employment or continued employment. The procedures used may include, but are not limited to, urine drug tests, blood alcohol tests, breathalyzer tests, or other medical examinations to determine the use of any substance prohibited by this policy or to determine satisfactory fitness for duty. The tests may be announce or unannounced and may be utilized under the following circumstances.
Pre-employment testing shall be required of any qualified applicant or candidates as a condition of consideration of employment. Testing may also be required prior to being approved to work at certain facilitates, work areas, or as required by law or contract.
Any post-accident occurrence on the job which requires the evaluation of a physician,
or following a serious accident or near miss incident in which safety precautions were violated, or Excellence Academy Charter School property damaged, may require drug testing of the involved individuals. Drug testing will be performed in accordance with pertinent regulations.
Reasonable suspicion testing will be conducted when a Teacher/Principal has observe signs of possible intoxication or signs of using or being under the influence of prohibited substances or drugs or employee’s physical condition or behavior leads the director to have concern for the employee’s safety or the safety and well-being of other employees or the public. Teacher/Principal will take part in a training program to assist them in identifying and addressing illegal drug or alcohol use by employees or others while working. All drivers will undergo a substance abuse and policy education program.
Random testing will be used for all employees to detect and to prevent substance abuse. This type of testing is particularly warranted for employees directly involved with public safety or in security positions. All employees who drive vehicles owned or contracted by Excellence Academy Charter School, whether part-time or full- times are eligible to be tested.
Post-counseling, post-rehabilitation or return to work medical examinations may include drug tests if the employee is returning to work after a long illness, disabling injury, or after completion of a drug and alcohol treatment program.
Government required testing may be utilized by Excellence Academy Charter School where mandated by the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, or other agencies. The regulations apply to all drivers or commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce.
Additional testing and changes in these testing guidelines may be required because of obligations to meet changes in federal and state drug laws of or to meet contractual agreements.
Collecting and testing procedures shall conform to all applicable state and federal guidelines and those as prescribed by the Department of Transportation. All searched, inspections, collections, and maintenance of test records shall be performed with due regard to the individual’s privacy. The results of any tests will be considered confidential, and the information will only be shared with those having a direct need to know and as may be required to support civil or criminal investigations.
Public Law 102-143 Title V, Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act
requires that Excellence Academy Charter School comply with certain guidelines in order to limit substance abuse in the workplace. The law requires training and continuing education on drug abuse related issues. Excellence Academy Charter School shall also provide its employees with a list of resources where the employee may go for drug abuse counseling and rehabilitation. The law also requires that the employee notify his/her employer of any conviction for drug related offenses within five (5) days of such conviction.
GOALS OF TESTING
The goals of all sample collection testing for illegal drugs under this plan are adopted to insure the following:
- The collection of samples to be performed under reasonable sanitary conditions.
- Samples shall be collected and tested with due regard to the privacy of the individual being tested and in a manner reasonably calculated to prevent substitutions or interference with the collection or testing of reliable samples.
- Sample collection shall be documented, and the documentation procedures shall include: (a) labeling of samples so as to reasonably preclude the probability of erroneous identification of test results; (b) an opportunity for an employee to provide notification of any information which is relevant to the test, including identification of currently or recently used prescription and non-prescription drugs or other relevant medical information; and (c) chain of custody initiated.
- Collection, storage and transportation to the place of testing to be performed so as reasonably to preclude the probability of the sample contamination or other alteration; and
- Sample testing shall conform to scientifically accept analytical methods and procedures. Testing shall include verification and confirmation of any type of positive results by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry assay, or other reliable analytical method, before the results of any test may be used as a basis for any disciplinary consequences.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
In accordance with Louisiana Revised Stature 23: 108 (11) and Louisiana Revised Statute 23: 1601 (10) (f), an employee of Excellence Academy Charter School has no cause of action for defamation of character, libel, slander, or damage to reputation against Excellence Academy Charter School for drug or alcohol testing in accordance with its drug-free workplace program, unless:
- Results of that test are disclosed to any person other than the employer and authorized employee or agent of the employer, the tested employee or the tested prospective employee, or appropriate government agency or court;
- The information disclosed was based on false results; and
- All elements of action for defamation of character, libel, slander, or damage to reputation as established by statute or jurisprudence are satisfied.
- DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR (“administrator”)
means the individual responsible for implementing and operating the drug-testing procedures in accordance with the provisions of this plan and in implementing and operating the Employee Assistance Program within Excellence Academy Charter School. The designated Program Administrator for Excellence Academy Charter School is the Principal and Executive Director of the school. The administrator shall be responsible for implementing, directing, administering, and managing the drug program. The administrator will serve as a principal contact with the laboratory and for collection activities and assuring the effective operation of the testing portion program. In carrying out his or her responsibilities, the administrator, among other duties:
- Arranges for all testing authorized under this program;
- Ensures that all employees subject to random testing receive notice as described in this plan, prior to implementation of the program, and that such employees return a signed acknowledgment of receipt form;
- Documents, through written inspection reports, all results of laboratory inspections conducted;
- Coordinates with and reports to the Board of Directors on activities and findings that may affect the liability or accuracy of laboratory results;
- Publicizes and disseminates drug program educational materials, and oversees training and education sessions regarding drug use and rehabilitation.
- MEDICAL REVIEW OFFICER (MRO) means the individual responsible for receiving laboratory results generated from the Richland Parish School Board Drug-Free Workplace Program who is a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders and the appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate all positive test results together with an individual’s medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.
- ILLEGAL DRUGS means a controlled substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as defined in Section 812 Title 21 in the United States Code, the possession of which is unlawful under Chapter 13 of that Title. The term “illegal drugs” does not mean the use of a controlled substance pursuant to a valid prescription or other uses authorized by law.
- EMPLOYEE means anyone occupying a position within the school that must have a CDL to perform his/her duties.
- VERIFIED POSITIVE TEST RESULT means a test result that was positive on an initial FDA-approved immunoassay test, confirmed by a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry assay, (or other confirmatory tests approved by the Department of Health and Human Services), and reviewed by the Medical Review Officer in accordance with this plan.
NOTICE OF DRUG TESTING
A general notice from the Excellence Academy Charter School Drug-Free workplace Program Administrator announcing the testing program will be provided to employees at least thirty (30) days prior to the implementation date of this plan.
Each employee shall be asked to acknowledge writing upon receipt of the general notice, that he/she had received and read the notice which states that the employee be subject to random testing, and that the refusal to submit to testing will result in initiation of disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. If the employee refuses to sign the acknowledgement, the employee’s actions shall be noted on the acknowledgement form. This acknowledgment, which is advisory only, shall be collected by the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator. An employee’s failure to sign the notice shall not preclude testing of that employee’s failure to sign the notice shall not prelude testing of that employee or otherwise affect the implementation of this plan.
FINDING OF DRUG USE AND DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES
An employee may be found to use illegal drugs on the basis of any appropriate evidence including, but not limited to:
- Direct observation;
- Evidence obtained from an arrest or criminal conviction;
- A verified positive test result; or
- An employee’s voluntary admission.
- MANDATORY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS
The Medical Review Officer shall refer an employee found to use illegal drugs or have a sufficient alcohol blood level at work to the Administrator of the Drug Program or he or she shall be immediately removed from that position.
- RANGE OF CONSEQUENCES
Disciplinary action taken against an employee found to use illegal drugs or have a sufficient alcohol blood level may include the full range of disciplinary actions, including removal. The severity of the action chosen will depend on the circumstances of each case. The Board of Directors shall initiate disciplinary action against any employee found to use illegal drugs or alcohol.
Such disciplinary action may include any of the following non-exclusive measures, but some disciplinary action must be initiated:
- Reprimanding the employee in writing;
- Placing the employee in an enforced leave and/or suspension status with or without pay for a period of time to be determined by the administrator;
- Suspending the employee until the employee successfully completes a rehabilitation program or until the Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors determines that action other than suspension is more appropriate;
- Termination of employee.
Preliminary investigation of a policy violation may require that the employee be placed on suspension pending review of the surrounding circumstances and facts concerning the policy violations.
A school bus operator that tests positive for the presence of alcohol of .08 percent or higher or certain drugs on tests administered in the scope of the operator’s employment as a school bus operator shall be prohibited from driving a bus or transporting students in any manner until the Board determines the operator may return to driving.
- REFUSAL TO TAKE DRUG TEST WHEN REQUIRED
An employee who refuses to be tested when so required will be subject to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal. NO applicant who refuses to be tested shall be extended an offer of employment. Attempts to alter or substitute the specimen provided will be deemed a refusal to take the drug test when required. An employee will also be subject to discharge for:
- substituting or tampering with a urine or blood sample;
- leaving a treatment program prior to completion; and
- not being properly released to work.
- VOLUNTARY REFERRAL
The written results of a positive test by the MRO are required to initiate action to discipline any employee found to use illegal drugs in every circumstance, except that such discipline may not be required for an employee who:
- Voluntarily admits his or her drug use prior to being identified through other means; and
- Completes rehabilitation and thereafter refrains from drug use before being called in or tested in the random selection.
The decision whether to discipline a voluntary referral will be made by Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis depending upon the facts and circumstances. Although an absolute bar to discipline cannot be provided for certain positions because of their extreme sensitivity and direct contact with the students of Excellence Academy Charter School, the Board of Directors, in determining whether to discipline, shall consider that the employee has come forward voluntarily. However, a request for assistance will not excuse an employee from policy violation immediately prior to or while an actual drug screen blood sampling, search or inspection is being made in the work area or after the urine drug screen or sampling has been completed.
- HEARING AND DUE PROCESS
Upon a finding of illegal drug usage, the employee shall be entitled to a hearing before Excellence Academy Charter School Board to appeal the findings.
Random testing means a system of drug testing imposed without individualized suspicion that a particular individual is using illegal drugs, and may either be:
- Uniform-unannounced testing of certain employees occupying a specified area, element, or position; or
- A statistically random sampling of such employees based on a neutral criterion, such as social security numbers.
- NOTIFICATION OF SELECTION
An individual selected for random testing and the individual’s supervisor shall be notified the same day the test is scheduled preferably, within one hour of the scheduled testing. The administrator shall explain to the employee that the employee is under no suspicion of taking drugs and that the employee’s name was selected randomly. However, failure for the administrator to so advise shall not constitute a bar to testing under this plan since the general notice to all employees under the Notification of Drug Testing section has been given.
- DEFERRAL OF TESTING
An employee selected for random drug testing may obtain a deferral of testing if the administrator concurs that a compelling need necessitates a deferral on the grounds that the employee is:
- In a leave status (sick, annual, weekly, administrative or leave without pay); or
- In an official travel status away from the test site or is about to embark on official travel scheduled prior to the testing notification; or
- Involved in an emergency medical situation requiring the need of his or her services.
An employee whose random drug test is deferred will be subject to an unannounced test within the following 30 days.
REASONABLE SUSPICION TESTING
Reasonable suspicion testing may be based upon among other things:
- Observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use or possession and/or the physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug;
- A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior;
- Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense, or the identification of any employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking;
- Information provided either by reliable and credible sources or independently corroborated: or
- Newly discovered evidence that the employee has tampered with previous drug test.
Although reasonable suspicion testing does not require certainty, mere “hunches” are not sufficient to meet this standard.
If an employee is suspected of using illegal drugs or of abusing alcohol, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator will gather all information facts, and circumstances leading to and supporting this suspicion. When concurrence by the Administrator that a reasonable suspicion determination has been made, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator will promptly prepare a written report detailing the circumstances which formed the basis to warrant the testing. This report shall include the appropriate dates and times of reported drug related incidents, reliable/credible sources of information, rationale leading to the test, and the action taken.
- OBTAINING THE SAMPLE
The employee may be asked to provide the urine sample under observation. If alcohol abuse is suspected, the employee must submit to a blood or breath test, which will be conducted in compliance, as near as possible, with the specimen collection procedures in regards to labeling, identification, and handling of samples.
An “applicant” means any individual tentatively selected or being considered for selection for employment with Excellence Academy Charter School as a driver of a commercial vehicle.
- APPLICANT NOTICE
Each applicant will be notified that appointment to the position will be contingent upon a negative drug test result and the applicant shall sign an acknowledgment form to this effect. Failure of the Administrator to make such notice will not preclude applicant testing since it is a requirement for obtaining employee status to submit to urinalysis testing.
The Principal as Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall direct applicants to an appropriate collection facility. The drug test must be undertaken as soon after notification as possible and no later than forty-eight (48) hours after notice to the applicant. The specimen collection shall be conducted in line with the procedures specified in Specimen Collection Procedures section.
Applicants shall be advised of the opportunity to submit medical documentation that may support a legitimate use for a specific drug and that such information will be reviewed only by the Medical Review Officer to determine whether the individual is legally using an otherwise illegal drug.
- PERSONNEL OFFICIALS
Upon notification that an individual has been tentatively selected for employment with Excellence Academy Charter School, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall assure, after consultation with the Medical Review Officer, that a drug test has been conducted on that individual and determine whether the test result is a verified positive result.
Excellence Academy Charter School will decline to extend a final offer of employment to any applicant with a verified positive test result. Upon a verified positive test result, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall be directed to object to the applicant on the basis of failure to pass the drug test. The Administrator shall inform such applicant that a confirmed presence of an illegal drug in the applicant’s urine precludes Excellence Academy Charter School from hiring the applicant.
ACCIDENT OR UNSAFE PRACTICE TESTING
Excellence Academy Charter School is committed to providing a safe and secure work environment. Employees involved in on-the-job accidents or who engage in unsafe on-duty, job-related activities that pose a danger to others or the overall operation of Excellence Academy Charter School vehicles may be subject to testing. Based on the circumstances of the accident or unsafe act, the driver may be subject to testing. Based on the circumstances of the accident or unsafe act, the Administrator may initiate testing when such circumstances involve:
- A death or personal injury requiring immediate hospitalization, or
- Damage to private property in excess of $500.00, or
- Personal injury requiring immediate medical treatment, or
- A potentially serious accident or “near miss” situation in which careless acts were performed.
All employees who undergo a counseling or rehabilitation program for illegal drug use will be subject to unannounced testing following completion of such a program for a period of one year. Such employees shall be tested at the frequency of at least once a month. If the employee is found to use illegal drugs after the counseling or rehabilitation program, that employee shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal.
TEST PROCEDURES IN GENERAL
- PRIVACY ASSURED
Any individual subject to testing under this plan shall be permitted to provide urine specimens in private and in a rest room stall or similar enclosure so that the employee is not observed while providing the sample. Collection site personnel of the same gender as the individual tested, however, may observe the individual provide the urine sample when such personnel have reason to believe that the individual may alter or substitute the specimen to be provided when:
- The individual:
- is being tested pursuant to reasonable suspicion testing;
- has previously been found by the Medical Review Officer to be an illegal Drug user; or
- has previously tampered with a sample; or
- Facts and circumstances suggest that the individual:
- is an illegal drug user;
- is under the influence of drugs at the time of the test; or
- has equipment or implements capable
- The specimen:
- shows signs of contaminants or having been tampered with.
- FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR TESTING
Failure to appear for testing without a deferral will be considered refusal to participate in testing and will subject an employee to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal, and an applicant to the cancellation of an offer of employment. If an individual fails to appear at the collection site at the assigned time, the collector shall contact the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator to obtain guidance on action to be taken. Substituting or tampering with a urine sample or blood sample shall also subject an employee to the full range of disciplinary
- OPPORTUNITY TO JUSTIFY A POSITIVE TEST RESULT
When a confirmed positive result has been returned by the laboratory, the Medical Review Officer shall perform the following duties. For example, the Medical Review Officer may choose to conduct employee medical interviews, review employee medical history, or review any other relevant biomedical factors. The Medical Review Officer must review all medical records made available by the tested employee when a confirmed positive test could have resulted from legally prescribed medication. Evidence to justify a positive result may include, but is not limited to:
- a valid prescription; or
- a verification from the individual’s physician verifying a valid prescription.
Individuals are not entitled, however, to present evidence to the Medical Review Officer in a trial-type administrative proceeding, although the Medical Review Officer has the discretion to accept evidence in any manner the Medical Review Officer deems most efficient or necessary. If the Medical Review Officer determines there is not justification for the positive result, such result will then be considered a verified positive test result. The Medical Review Officer shall immediately contact the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator upon obtaining a verified positive test result. The positive result will be sent to the Administrator within three (3) working days of verified test results.
- SAVINGS CLAUSE
To the extent that any of the procedures specified in this section are inconsistent with any of those specified or required by Louisiana Law, such requirements shall supersede the procedures specified in this section, but only to the extent of the inconsistency.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS AND REPORTS
- CONFIDENTIALITY OF TEST RESULTS
The laboratory may disclose laboratory test results only to the Medical Review Officer or the staff of the Medical Review Officer. Any positive result which the Medical Review Officer justifies by acceptable or appropriate medical or scientific documentation to account for the result as other than the intentional ingestion of an illegal drug will be treated as a negative test result and may not be released for purposes of identifying illegal drug use. The Medical Review Officer may maintain only those records necessary for compliance with this plan. Any records of the Medical Review Officer, including drug test results, may be released to any management official for purposes of auditing the activities of the Medical Review Officer, except that the disclosure of the results of any audit may not include personal identifying information on any employee.
For purposes of this Section, “management official” includes any management, security or personnel official whose duties necessitate review of the test results in order to process adverse personnel action against the employee.
The verified positive test results or negative test results of Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors may not be disclosed without the prior written consent of such employee, unless the
- to the Medical Review Officer;
- to the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator; or his or her appointee;
- pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction or where required by Louisiana State Government to defend against any challenge against any adverse personnel action;
- to any supervisor or management official in Excellence Academy Charter School having authority to take adverse personnel action against such employee, such as the President or Chairman of the Board of Directors.
- EMPLOYEE ACCESS TO RECORDS
Any employee who is the subject of a drug test shall, upon written request, have access to any records relating to-
- such employee’s drug test; and
- the results of any relevant certification, review, or revocation of certification proceedings.
Except as authorized by law, an applicant who is the subject of a drug test, however, shall not be entitled to this information.
- CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS IN GENERAL
All drug testing information specifically relating to individuals is confidential and should be treated as such by anyone authorized to review or compile program records. In order to efficiently implement this order and to make information readily retrievable, the Drug Program Administrator shall maintain all records relating to reasonable suspicion testing, suspicion of tampering with evidence, and any other authorized documentation necessary to implement this order.
- MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS
Excellence Academy Charter School shall establish or amend a record keeping system to maintain the records of Excellence Academy Charter School Drug Free Workplace Program consistent with this plan. The record keeping system should capture sufficient documents to meet the operational and statistical needs of this plan, and include:
- Notices of verified positive test results referred by the Medical Review Officer;
- Written materials justifying reasonable suspicion testing or evidence that an individual may have altered or tampered with a specimen; and
- Other documents the Drug Free Workplace Program Administrator, Medical Review Officer, Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School, or Medical Counseling Officer deems necessary for efficient compliance with this plan.
SPECIMEN COLLECTION PROCEDURES
- DESIGNATION OF COLLECTION SITE
The drug testing program shall have one or more designated collection sites which have all necessary personnel, materials, equipment, facilities, and supervision to provide for the collection, security, temporary storage, and shipping or transportation of urine specimens to a certified drug testing laboratory.
- SECURITY PROCEDURES
The drug testing program shall provide for the designated collection site to be secure. If a collection site facility is dedicated solely to urine collection, it shall be secure at all times. If a facility cannot be dedicated solely to drug testing, the portion of the facility used for testing shall be secured during drug testing.
- CHAIN OF CUSTODY
Chain of custody standardized forms shall be properly executed by authorized collection site personnel upon receipt of specimens. Handling and transportation of urine specimens from one authorized individual or place to another shall always be accomplished through chain of custody procedures. Every effort shall be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.
- ACCESS TO AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY
No unauthorized personnel shall be permitted in any part of the designated collection site when urine specimens are collected or stored.
- INTEGRITY AND IDENTITY OF SPECIMENS
Agencies shall take precautions to ensure that a urine specimen not be adulterated or diluted during the collection procedure and that information on the urine bottle and in the record book can identify the individual from whom the specimen was obtained and correctly identified.
- COLLECTION CONTROL
To the maximum extent possible, collection site personnel shall keep the individual’s specimen bottle within sight both before and after the individual has urinated. After the specimen is collected, it shall be properly scaled and labeled. An approved chain of custody form shall be used for maintaining control and accountability of each specimen from the point of collection to final disposition of the specimen. The date and purpose shall be documented on an approved chain of custody form each time a specimen is handled or transferred, and every individual in the chain shall be identified. Every effort shall be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.
- TRANSPORTATION TO LABORATORY
Collection site personnel shall arrange to ship the collected specimens to the drug testing laboratory.
Ref: 49 USC 5331 (The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991)
49 CFR 10 (Maintenance of and Access to Records Pertaining to Individuals)
49 CFR 40.1 et seq. (Procedures For Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs)
49 CFR 382 (Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing)
49 CFR 391 (Qualifications of Drivers and Longer Combination Vehicle Driver Instructors)
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:81, 23:1601, 49:1111 et seq.
EMPLOYEE TOBACCO USE
Smoking, carrying a lighted cigar or cigarette, pipe, or otherwise consuming or using tobacco in any manner shall be prohibited, except in outdoor areas specifically designated as smoking areas. Such outdoor areas shall be established by the Principal.
Smoking or the use of any tobacco product shall be prohibited on any school bus transporting children attending Excellence Academy Charter School or Excellence Academy Charter School sponsored field trips or theatric events.
EMPLOYEE TIME SCHEDULES
All personnel of Excellence Academy Charter School are expected to arrive at their individual duty stations prior to the beginning of the work day so as adequately prepare for the day’s assigned tasks, and remain at the school until the completion of the work day. Classroom teachers/coaches should arrive a minimum of thirty (30) minutes prior to the beginning of class and remain there until the busses have left for the day, notwithstanding such emergencies or other leaves that may be granted by the Principal.
Teachers/Coaches should remain on campus during planning periods and utilize the time for proper preparation for instruction, except when some activities to the contrary are approved by the Principal.
The Executive Director shall determine the specific work schedule of all non-teaching personnel. None of these employees shall be permitted to work any schedule that is not approved by the Executive Director.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT
Excellence Academy Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. Excellence Academy Charter School further pledges to protect qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. Reasonable accommodations that do not impose undue hardship shall be provided qualified applicants and employees.
Any complaints which may be brought against Excellence Academy Charter School in regard to any alleged discriminatory action shall be investigated by the Personnel Committee, and the process as outlined in the Excellence Academy Charter School policy manual, shall be followed.
With this policy, Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors pledges compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, as well as other pertinent federal or state statutory requirements.
EVALUATION OF PERSONNEL
The Board of Directors shall strive to attract and retain the most highly qualified personnel available for any and all positions of employment in the school. As a part of this effort, it shall be the policy of the Board of Directors to appraise and evaluate, whether through the representatives, committees or the board specifically, the performance of all personnel in its employ in order to assist each individual employee to improve his/her effectiveness, to estimate individual potential, to identify strengths and weaknesses in job performance, to provide remediation when such is necessary and/or appropriate, to remove those who fail to respond to remediation, and to determine those employees who should be retained for future employment through new employment contracts..
The Principal, as directed by the Personnel Committee of the Board of Directors, shall have the responsibility of providing for an effective and efficient evaluation of all employees of Excellence Academy Charter School, including, but not limited to all teaching professionals and other non-teaching professional staff members. The Personnel Committee may avail itself of such outside professional assistance as the committee deems necessary and appropriate relative to the conduct of the evaluations of its teaching personnel. All reports relative to these evaluations shall be made to the Personnel Committee, and to the extent that the Personnel Committee deems it appropriate, further reports shall be made to the Board of Directors.
The Personnel Committee shall adopt an evaluation program that is in accord with the guidelines for such programs as published by the Louisiana Department of Education. This program will result in evaluations that will be conducted in a professional manner by individuals who are well qualified. The Personnel Committee shall approve evaluative tools and processes after receiving recommendations from the qualified professionals that are assigned to conduct the evaluations.
Every effort shall be made by the school to communicate to all position holders the general goals of Excellence Academy Charter School, the specific objectives of the position to which each employee has been assigned, the plans which have been made to support the individual employee relative to his/her job duties, and the criteria that will be employed in assessing job performance.
Job performance and the results of evaluations of job performance will be the primary determining factors in continuing an employee’s employment contract within the one year term of employment contract. These and other factors will be considered regarding whether further employment contracts will be offered to employees currently under contract with Excellence Academy Charter School. Under no circumstances shall any person, or group of individuals, including the Board of Directors, commit Excellence Academy Charter School to an employment term in excess of one calendar year. All employment contracts shall be offered at the discretion of the Board of Directors after having heard the recommendation of the Personnel Committee.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School shall permit qualified employees to take up to twelve (12) workweeks of unpaid leave in a twelve (12) month period for family and medical reasons. Employees qualifying for family and temporary medical leave shall have been employed by the Board for twelve (12) months prior to the date of the leave to be taken. For the purposes of this policy, the twelve (12) month period shall be the same as the fiscal year, July 1 to June 30. Such unpaid leave may only be taken for the following reasons:
- For the birth of the employee’s child and subsequent care;
- For the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
- In order to care for the spouse, child or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or
- When the serious health condition of the employee renders the employee unable to perform the function of the position of such employee.
Leave may be taken for birth or placement of a child only within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement.
Generally, the time taken for family and medical leave shall be on a continuous basis. However, the employee shall be permitted to take leave on an intermittent or reduced basis to care for a seriously ill family member or the employee’s own illness when medically necessary. An employee may take intermittent leave for the birth or adoption of a child only with Board approval.
If a teacher’s period of absence on intermittent leave amounts to more than 20% of classroom time, the teacher may be required to take continuous leave throughout the treatment period or be placed temporarily in an equivalent position, for which the teacher is qualified and which has equivalent status, pay and benefits, and which would not be so disruptive to the classroom.
In any case in which the necessity of leave is for the birth of the employee’s child and subsequent care; or for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, and said necessity of leave is foreseeable based on the expected birth or placement, the employee is required to provide the Board with at least thirty (30) days notice, before the date the leave is to begin. If the date of birth or placement requires the leave to begin in less than thirty (30) days, notice shall be given as soon as possible.
In any case in which the necessity of leave is in order to care for the spouse, child or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or when the serious health condition of the employee renders the employee unable to work, and the need to take such leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee is required to make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt school operations.
The Board may require an employee to provide medical certification to support the request for family and medical leave. Such certification shall be in a timely manner.
The employee shall be permitted to substitute any accumulated sick leave and/or annual leave for any family and medical leave time requested. The Board shall require an employee to first use any accumulated sick, personal and/or annual leave time for any part of the twelve (12) week period. If paid leave is used by an employee, the Board shall provide only enough unpaid family and medical leave time to total the allowed 12-week period.
Any employee taking family and medical leave shall have the right to return to their previous position or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee returning to service at the end of their leave period for personal medical reasons shall be required to present to the Board a letter from their doctor certifying that the employee is able to return to work.
GENERAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School shall permit each classroom teacher at the school three (3) days of personal leave with pay. The three (3) days may be used at the teacher’s discretion, but a 24 hour notice that the leave will be taken must be given to the Principal. This leave is not cumulative nor is it payable upon death, retirement or other separation from the employment of the school.
The Board of Directors may grant leave of absence without pay for professional and/or medical reasons to any classroom teacher or other employee of the school not to exceed one year. Requests for leave without pay should be made to the Board in writing. This type of leave may not be granted to those who are using the leave time to pursue another job or employment opportunity.
Employees of the school who are not classroom teachers shall be permitted two (2) days of personal leave with pay. The two (2) days may be used at the employee’s discretion, but a 24 hour notice that the leave will be taken must be given to the Executive Director. This leave is not cumulative nor is it payable upon death, retirement or other separation from the employment of the school. All other leave shall be without pay and shall be documented by the Executive Director.
In the event of a death in an employee’s immediate family, the employee shall be granted two (2) days of leave with pay to tend to such matters as may be necessary. For the purposes of this policy statement, immediate family shall include spouse, children, brother, sister, mother, father, grandchild, and grandparent.
PROFESSIONAL LEAVE AND ABSENCES
The Excellence Academy Charter School recognizes the value of attending regional and/or national educational meetings in order to become exposed to new ideas and developments in various areas of public school education.
Any employee of Excellence Academy Charter School may apply to attend any such meeting, conference and/or convention if such is considered to be in the best interest of the mission of Excellence Academy Charter School. All applicants for such should be submitted to the Principal who shall approve or not approve each request. If any employee who is a member of the professional staff or the instructional staff of the school makes the request, the Principal must have approved the request prior to funds being expanded relative to the costs of such meetings and/or the travel associated with attending the meeting.
All applications should be in writing and should document the purpose of the meeting, conference and/or convention, as well as the estimated amount of reimbursement of expenses that will be involved.
In such cases as are approved by the Principal, the school shall reimburse the employee for the cost of attending, within the limits of such reimbursements as are established by the Board of Directors. Any such attendance and/or travel that have not been prior approved by the Principal shall not be reimbursed.
The Board of Directors Excellence Academy Charter School shall grant professional sabbatical leave on a case by case basis. Any member of the instructional staff who desires such a leave must present to the Board, in writing, a proposal relative to such a request, providing a specific details as to why the granting of such a leave would be in the best interest of Excellence Academy Charter School and its mission.
Any such request must be submitted to the Executive Director at minimum of 180 days prior to the beginning of the semester for which the leave is requested. Such leaves will only be granted on a semester basis, and only when the purpose of the leave is proven to be vital to the purposes of Excellence Academy Charter School.
If a sabbatical leave is approved, the Board shall pay to the instructional staff member 50% of his/her regular pay during the time of the leave. No bonus or merit pay that other instructional staff members receive during this time will be paid to those who are on a sabbatical.
Prior to the beginning of a sabbatical leave the employee must enter into a contract with Excellence Academy Charter School relative to the employee’s return to work and/or the reimbursement of all compensation received during the term of the sabbatical.
Sabbatical leave other than professional sabbatical leave shall not be granted.
Excellence Academy Charter School shall maintain learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment. No employee or student of the district shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any member of the Excellence Academy Charter School staff to harass another staff member or student through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below. It shall also be a violation of this policy for students to harass other students or staff through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below.
Each teacher/coach and Principal shall be responsible for promoting understanding and acceptance of, and assuring compliance with, state and federal laws and Excellence Academy Charter School Board policy and procedures governing sexual harassment within her or his school or office.
Violations of this policy or procedure may result in disciplinary action.
- Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or advancement or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee or student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the employee or student; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or student’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment.
- Sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to:
- Sexually oriented communication, including sexually oriented verbal “kidding” or harassment or abuse.
- Subtle pressure or requests for sexual activity.
- Persistent unwelcome attempts to change a professional relationship into a personal, social-sexual relationship.
- Creating a hostile work or learning environment, including the use of innuendoes or overt or implied threats.
- Unnecessary touching of an individual, e.g., patting, pinching, hugging, repeated brushing against another person’s body.
- Requesting or demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s employment or a pupil’s status.
- Requesting or demanding sexual favors accompanied by an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment with regard to an individual’s employment or a pupil’s status.
- Sexual assault or battery as defined by current law.
PROHIBITED SUPERVISORY BEHAVIOR
- No supervisor may condition any employment, employee benefit, or continued employment in this school system on an applicant’s or employee’s acquiescence to any of the sexual behavior defined above.
- No supervisor may retaliate against any applicant or employee because that applicant or employee has opposed a practice prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the new Civil Rights Act of 1991, or has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by an authorized investigative agency.
- No supervisor or manager shall destroy evidence relevant to an investigation of sexual discrimination.
BEHAVIOR PROHIBITED BY ALL EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS
- No supervisor or other employee of this school system shall create a hostile or offensive work environment for any other employee by engaging in any sexual harassment or by tolerating it on the part of any supervisee.
- No supervisor or any other employee in the school system shall assist any individual in doing any act which constitutes sexual discrimination against any employee in the school system.
- The supervisory staff, employees, and non-employees engaged in business with the Richland Parish School Board are prohibited from conduct of a sexual nature which either explicitly or implicitly makes acceptance or rejection of a sexual invitation a condition of assigning of grades, awarding of honors, participation in activities, administering of discipline or similar actions or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment for students.
- Students are prohibited from conduct of a sexual nature which either explicitly or implicitly makes acceptance or rejection of a sexual invitation a condition for receiving favorable treatment, to participation in school activities or any other school related matter; making sexual advances or requests for sexual favors which interferes with an individual’s school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment.
Ref: 42 USC 2000e (Civil Rights – Definitions)
29 CFR 1604.11 (Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex – Sexual Harassment)
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:41 et seq., 17:81
Excellence Academy Charter School shall grant all contracted employees of the school a total of ten (10) days of paid sick per year, provided, however, that the employee is contracted for a full year of work. Should an employee be hired for a period of time that would be less than a full year, sick leave days permitted would be prorated based on the date that the employee’s full-time work began.
Any employee who is absent from work for more than three (3) days in a row, and who claims sick days, shall provide the Executive Director with a certificate from a physician certifying such absence was due to illness. If the illness continued more than three (3) days and a physician’s care was not required, the employee must sign an affidavit personally certifying that an illness prevented the employee from being present at his/her workstation. The Executive Director will provide such an affidavit. The Executive Director shall approve all sick leave and shall maintain a record of such use by each individual employee.
Sick leave may be accumulated from year to year, not to exceed ninety (90) days. Upon retirement and/or death prior to retirement, the Board of Directors will pay to the employee and/or his/her estate for any unused sick leave not to exceed twenty-five (25) days.
Sick leave may be used in the event of the illness of the employee, or the illness of one who is an immediate family member and who is under the direct care of the employee. For the purposes of this policy statement, immediate family means any family member who resides in the same household as the employee, or who is a child or parent of the employee.
Sick leave that is used for any other purpose than that which is indicated by this policy will constitute a violation of this policy and shall be reported to the Board of Directors for review and/or action.
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School shall approve a list of substitute teachers that shall be submitted to it at various times during the school year. The Principal shall compile the list and present it to the Personnel Committee for review and concurrence. The Personnel Committee shall present the list to the Board of Directors for approval.
To the extent possible, substitute teachers shall be selected on the basis of their individual qualifications. Substitutes shall be selected for a specific class in the following priority order: certified in the discipline required; certified in some other discipline; a college graduate; an individual with some college credit; a high school graduate.
Each classroom teacher who is to be absent and who will require a substitute shall, to the extent possible, provide a written lesson plan and classroom materials for use by the substitute teacher. In the absence of such plans and materials, the Principal shall instruct the substitute as to what classroom work the students should be engaged in during the term of the substitute’s work in a particular class.
Substitute teachers shall be compensated by the Board of Directors based on the substitute teacher pay scale that has been approved by the Board. The Principal shall be responsible to report all substitute teacher work to the Executive Director who shall authorize such pay as would be appropriate in each case. Substitute teachers shall be paid only for the actual days and fraction of a day that they work, and in no way shall substitute teachers acquire any benefits or other rights that may accrue to a regular, classroom teacher.
For the purposes of personnel administration, all employees of Excellence Academy Charter School shall be classified in one of the following employee types:
- Full-time, Certified: These employees shall be employed on a full-time basis and possess a Class A or B Louisiana Teaching Certificate.
- Full-time, Professional: These employees shall be employed on a full-time basis, have a minimum of a bachelor degree from an accredited college or university, and be assigned management responsibilities.
- Full-time, Non-Certified: These employees shall be employed on a full-time basis in a job that does not require a Louisiana Teaching Certificate or a bachelor degree.
- Part-time Certified: These employees shall be employed on a part-time basis and possess a Class A or B Louisiana Teaching Certificate.
- Part-time, Professional: These employees shall be employed on a part-time basis and have a minimum of a bachelor degree from an accredited college or university.
- Part-time, Non-Certified: These employees shall be employed on a part-time basis in a job that does not require a Louisiana Teaching Certificate or a bachelor degree.
All full-time employees shall be employed through a written contract. All contracts shall be a for a period of not more than one (1) year, and no contract shall be for any period of time that would exceed one (1) year. Regardless of the length of employment or years of service, no employee shall ever be awarded a contract that is for a time period of more than one year, and statement by any official of Excellence Academy Charter School should ever be understood to imply that any individual is or has been employed for a period of time exceeding one (1) year in length.
All full-time employees of Excellence Academy Charter School shall execute a contract prior to beginning work. A complete job description shall be attached to the contract and made of part of the contract. No full-time employee of Excellence Academy Charter School shall be permitted to work for the school in more than one job, nor have more than one contract of employment or one job description. Certified teachers may be assigned duties other than classroom instructional duties, whether such additional duties are accompanied with additional remuneration or not, provided that such is so indicated within the employment contract.
All employees are subject to be assigned temporary duties by the Principal or the Executive Director that are not specifically named within their contract when such is deemed to be appropriate and/or necessary to the proper and adequate operation of any aspect of the school.
No student of Excellence Academy Charter School shall be allowed to work at the school as an employee of the school. Students are allowed to work on the campus during and/or after regular school hours when such is part of a course of study on in connection with an extracurricular activity, but in no instance shall a student receive any compensation from Excellence Academy Charter School or from any group that is sanctioned by Excellence Academy Charter School.
EMPLOYEE DRESS STANDARDS
All employees of Excellence Academy Charter School are expected to dress in clothing that is appropriate to the work that they perform.
The following are the minimum standards that are expected to be met by employees:
Professional Staff: All professional staff members are expected at a minimum to wear “uniform” clothing. Female employees should wear uniform slacks, blouse, vest, tie and blazer. Male employees should wear uniform slacks, vest, tie, blazer and shirt neatly tucked into slacks. Shoes or boots should be appropriate to the dress. Tennis shoes, blue jean type pants, polo shirts, T-shirts with or without logos, and other types of casual clothing should not be worn.
An exception is allowed for those who teach physical education classes. In such case, the physical education teacher/coach may dress for those classes in gym clothing, but only during the physical education classes. During all other classes “uniform dress” will be required.
The Principal shall be responsible to enforce the dress standards for professional staff.
Janitors and Custodians: All janitors and custodians shall wear such clothing as is required by the Principal.
Any violations of these standards shall noted by the Principal in the personnel file of the employee. Should violations persist; the matter will be reported to the Board of Directors for their action.
Excellence Academy Charter School is a high school preparatory school and as such the Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School will avail itself of every opportunity to employ the highest qualified professionals who are dedicated to providing a quality education for the students of the school. The Principal shall provide for the overall supervision of all employees of Excellence Academy Charter School. No employee position of any type shall be created and/or filled unless the Board of Directors has authorized the creation of the position and approved the Personnel Committee’s recommendation as to the individual(s) who should be considered for the position.
The Board of Directors shall only contract with employees for a one year time period, or under certain circumstances, for a time period of less than one year. Under no circumstances will any employment contract be for a period exceeding one year. The contract year shall begin July 1 and end June 30, unless the employment contract is for a time period that is less than one year. The Board of Directors shall not employee any person who has been convicted or who pled nolo contendere to a crime listed in R.S. 15:587.1.
Non-teaching personnel shall be certified to the extent that state law and/or school policies require such. Where certification is not specifically required, the requirements for employment shall be at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
All teaching personnel shall be certified as required by state law, and shall teach in the field for which they are certified. Exceptions to this requirement shall only be permitted as approved by the Board of Directors, and then only when no specifically certified teacher is available. Under no circumstances shall the Board of Directors hire a non-certified teacher to teach any subject when a certified teacher is available.
In order to meet the demand for certified teachers, the Board of Directors may employ certified teachers who have retired from public or private systems. In most cases retired teachers will be hired when certified, non-retired teachers are not available. Also, when such is deemed to be in the best interest of the school, the Board of Directors may hire as classroom teachers those individuals who have obtained certification through nontraditional certification alternatives that are available through the Louisiana Department of Education or who have obtained a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
In order to provide unique educational experiences, the Board of Directors may employ non-certified individuals to teach a specific elective course, or may utilize volunteers to provide the same. However, under no circumstances will such electives supplant the base course requirements that every student is expected to take during the normal school year.
All personnel that are involved in the instruction of students shall be under the direct supervision of the Principal.
It shall be the intention of the Board of Directors to notify all employees prior to June
1 of each year as to whether or not an employment contract will be offered to them for the next school year. In the case of classroom teachers, the notice will also include a description of classes (and/or grades) that the teacher will be expected to teach during the next school year. All classroom teachers will be expected to sign a contract for the next school year within a reasonable time period as determined by the Principal after a contract has been offered. If a teacher has not signed a contract for the next year within the time period established by the Principal, the Board of Directors will proceed to seek a replacement teacher and will contract with such a teacher as soon as possible.
The Board of Directors will make every effort to have a full complement of classroom teachers hired prior to July 1, or as soon afterwards as is possible. If the Board of Directors desires to hire a classroom teacher after July 1, and that teacher is at the time contracted to a public school system operating within the State of Louisiana, the Board of Directors shall first obtain a release from the school system to which the individual is contracted, or require the individual to seek and obtain a leave of absence from that school system as is permitted by current state law.
All professional service contractors shall be contracted for a specific service(s) and shall in no way be considered and/or treated as an employee of Excellence Academy Charter School. Such contractors shall provide specific services needed by the school, and shall properly document all such services on any invoice or bill for services rendered. In the case of these professional service contractors, no employee/employer relationship exists, nor is one in any way intended.
EMPLOYEE BONUS PAY
From time to time as the Board deems appropriate, the Board of Directors may authorize bonus pay to be paid to the employees of Excellence Academy Charter School to encourage their efforts regarding student performance and/or to reward them for student performance as measured by the State of Louisiana accountability program.
In the event that such pay is authorized, the same shall be made as provided for in R.S. 17:10.2 and shall not be used in the calculation of any other employee benefit, nor shall the same impact upon the contracted pay that is to be received by the employee.
Excellence Academy Charter School shall provide annual leave to all 12 month employees of the school who are classified as full-time certified, full-time professional, or full-time non-certified.
Annual leave shall consist of five (5) days per calendar year, which must be taken during the months of May, June, July or August. Permitted annual leave may be taken at other times during the year upon notice to the Principal who shall approve all annual leave. The Principal shall not withhold approval of the use of annual leave unless in his/her professional opinion the use of such leave would produce a hardship relative to the operation of the school. To the extent possible, at least one Director should be present at the school on any given work day, and at least one (1) employee of the Business Office should be present on any given work day.
All annual leave shall be taken in whole days. Partial days of annual leave shall not be allowed.
The “rolling forward” or accumulation of annual leave shall not be permitted. Any annual leave that is not used during each school year shall be lost.
All annual leave shall be in addition to the days on which 12 month employees of Excellence Academy Charter School are not required to be present at the school due to holidays or other days on which the school is not open. The Principal, in his sole discretion, may require any 12 month employee to work certain days during the regular school year when the school is closed to students if he determines that such is necessary for the proper operation of the school.
EMPLOYEE TRAVEL POLICY
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School understand that due to the requirements of the Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as the day-to-day operation of the school’s various educational and operational components, it is necessary from time to time for members of the school’s professional and support staff to travel from the school to other locations both within and without the State of Louisiana. Such travel demands must be met through the use of employee owned vehicles since Excellence Academy Charter School does not own and/or operate vehicles designed for such travel needs. As such, the Board of Directors realizes its responsibility to provide employees of the school with appropriate reimbursement for such travel, as well as for other necessities that travel sometimes entrails such as hotel rooms, meals, and other travel related expenses.
In order to provide a consistent and appropriate reimbursement guide for all employees, the Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School has adopted these expense reimbursement standards that shall apply to all travel related expenses. The Executive Director of Excellence Academy Charter School shall be the sole individual assigned the responsibility of enforcing this policy. All decisions of the Executive Director regarding this policy shall be subject to review by the Board of directors.
- Reimbursement for Use of Personal Vehicles
From time to time employees of Excellence Academy Charter School may find it necessary to utilize their personal automobile while on school business. In such cases, the school will reimburse the employee at a rate to be established by the Executive Director, the same to be consistent with the prevailing reimbursement rate at that time, but at no time shall this rate be more than the rate allowed for reimbursement by the State of Louisiana for its employees.
If reimbursement of travel expenses is to be applied for, the school-related travel must receive the prior approval of the Executive Director. No personal automobile use will be reimbursed if the prior approval has not been given. In all cases, a voucher shall be required to be submitted by the employee who seeks reimbursement, the same to document the number of miles traveled, the purpose of the travel, and the date or dates during which the travel occurred. All vouchers must be obtained from the Executive Directors who shall only issue a voucher in cases where the indicated travel has been approved.
Employees will not be reimbursed for travel to and from their personal residences. Employees will not be reimbursed for travel in and around the Monroe area unless approval is granted by the Executive Director. Parish travel shall be reimbursed if prior approval has been granted.
III. Other Travel Related Expenses
All other travel related expenses, if prior approval is granted, shall be reimbursed at the same rate of reimbursement as is provided by the Louisiana State Employees Pocket Guide to Travel Regulations. The Executive Director shall provide employees of Excellence Academy Charter School with a copy of this guide at the time travel is approved.
- Other Provisions
The following additional provisions shall apply when applicable:
- All travel that involves the academic purposes of the school shall be approved by the Principal prior to any consideration by the Executive Director.
- All travel that involves the theatrical programs of the school, or any other extracurricular activity of the school, shall be approved by the Principal prior to any consideration by the Executive Director.
- All out-of-state travel must be approved by the Principal prior to any consideration by the Executive Director.
- Any travel that will involve more than one employee of the school shall receive prior approval of the Principal.
- All travel related expenses shall be reviewed by the Executive Director. Any questionable reimbursements shall be presented to the Board of directors for further review.
- No member of the Board of Directors shall be reimbursed for any travel related expenses. If a member of the Board of Directors undertakes any travel on behalf of Excellence Academy Charter School, that member of the Board of Directors shall do so at his/her own expense.
- Travel reimbursements shall be paid in the same manner as any other reimbursement due employees of the school.
- Travel Related Records
The Executive Director shall maintain records relative to all travel reimbursements consistent with the requirements of the school’s auditor and/or any other Department of Education or Board of Elementary and Secondary Education requirement.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TRAFFIC VIOLATION AND ARREST POLICY
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School has elected to provide certain transportation services to the students of the school through the operation of school buses that are leased by the school. These bused are assigned to certain bus drivers who have been hired by the Board of Directors for the purpose of operating the assigned buses along designated routes, picking up students and delivering them to the school or to their homes as the case may be.
All school bus drivers are required to maintain an appropriate Louisiana driver’s license that permits them to operate a school bus, as well as to adhere to all traffic laws and/or regulations regarding the safe operation of the school bus that is assigned to each of them. The Board of Directors additionally requires that each school bus driver notify the Principal of the school of any traffic law related citation that is issued to the school bus driver by any law enforcement official while operating a school leased school bus. The Principal shall report such traffic law violations to the Board of Directors at its next regular monthly meeting.
In the event that a school bus driver is arrested for operating a school bus while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or any abused substance or controlled dangerous substance as set forth in Louisiana R. S. 40:964, the following procedures shall be followed:
- The school bus operator shall make the report of the arrest to the Principal within 24 hours of the
- Arrest or prior to the operator next reporting for his work assignment as a school bus operator, whichever time period is less, whether or not the school bus driver was at the time of the arrest operating a school leaded bus or any other vehicle, or whether or not the school bus driver was performing an official duty or responsibility as a school bus driver at the time of the arrest. Any such arrest must be reported, whether the school bus driver who receives the citation is a regular school bus driver or, a substitute school bus driver, or a school bus driver who is only serving as such on a temporary basis.
- Having received a notice of an arrest, the Principal shall suspend the school bus driver that is involved with pay until such time as the Board of Directors can meet to address the matter. The Board of Directors may continue the suspension until the matter if finally resolved, with or without pay, or terminate the school bus driver involved immediately.
- Should the school bus driver involved confess to having operated the school bus or any other vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, the school bus driver shall be terminated.
- If the school bus driver involved has other duties at the school, i.e., teaching, coaching, etc., he/she may be terminated only from any school bus driving duties or from all duties at the school including those that do not involve operating a school bus. In either case it shall be at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors.
- If a school bus driver fails to comply with the provisions of this policy regarding the providing of notice of an arrest, he/she shall be terminated immediately.
The operation of a school bus or any other vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that could impair ones abilities, is not only a violation of law, but it also could likely result in the serious injury or death of those involved, whether the actual driver or those otherwise involved.
In the event that a school bus driver has been prescribed a drug by a licensed physician, the school bus driver should notify the Principal if the drug includes a precaution against operating a vehicle while taking the drug. In such cases, the Principal should arrange for a substitute driver to operate the school bus until such time as the regular bus driver has completed the use of the prescribed drug involved.
EMPLOYEE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
This policy addresses employees’ use of publicly available social media networks. Public social media networks include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Web logs (Blogs);
- Social Networks;
- On-line forums;
- Virtual worlds; and
- Any other social media generally available to the public or consumers (e.g., MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Blog sites, etc.)
Anything posted on an employee’s website, blog, social network or other internet content for which the employee is responsible will be subject to all Excellence Academy Charter School policies, rules, regulations and guidelines. Excellence Academy Charter School is free to view and monitor an employee’s website, blog or social network at any time without consent or previous approval.
All Excellence Academy Charter School employees are expected to serve as positive ambassadors for our school and to remember they are role models to students in this community. Because readers of social media networks may view the employee as a representative of Excellence Academy Charter School, the school requires employees observe the following rules when referring to the school, its students, programs, activities, employees, volunteers and community on any social media networks:
- Excellence Academy Charter School takes no position on employees’ decisions to participate in the use of social media networks for personal use on personal time. However, use of such media for personal use during school time or on school equipment is prohibited.
- Public social media networks, outside of those sponsored by Excellence Academy Charter School, may not be used for classroom instruction or school-sponsored activities without the prior authorization of the Principal or Excellence Academy Charter School Board, and parental consent for student participation on social networks.
- The line between professional and personal relationships is blurred within a social media context. When employees choose to join or engage with Excellence Academy Charter School students, families or fellow employees in a social media context that exists outside those approved by the school, they are advised to maintain their professionalism as Excellence Academy Charter School employees, and responsibly address inappropriate behavior or activity on these networks.
- An employee’s use of any social media network and an employee’s postings, displays or communications on any social media network must comply with all state and federal laws, and any applicable Excellence Academy Charter School policies.
- Employees must be respectful and professional in all communications (by word, image or other means). Employees shall not use obscene, profane or vulgar language on any social media network or engage in communications or conduct that is harassing, threatening, bullying, libelous or defamatory. Further, such communication shall not discuss or encourage any illegal activity, or the in appropriate use of alcohol, use of illegal drugs, sexual behavior, sexual harassment or bullying.
- Employees should not use their Excellence Academy Charter School email address for communication on public social media networks that have not been approved by the Principal or the Excellence Academy Charter School Board.
- Excellence Academy Charter School employees must make clear that any views expressed are the employee’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the school. Employees may not act as a spokesperson for Excellence Academy Charter School or post comments as a representative of the school, except as authorized by the Principal or the Excellence Academy Charter School Board.
- When authorized as a spokesperson for Excellence Academy Charter School, employees must disclose their employment relationship with the school.
- Employees may not disclose information on any social media network that is confidential or proprietary to Excellence Academy Charter School, its student or employees, or that is protected by data privacy laws.
- Employees may not use or post the Excellence Academy Charter School logo on any social media network without permission from the Principal or Excellence Academy Charter School Board.
- Employees may not post on any social media network images of co-workers without the co-workers’ consent. Employees may not post images of students on any social media network without written parental consent, except for images of students taken in the public arena, such as at theatrical events or other fine arts public performances. Employees may not post any non-public images of Excellence Academy Charter School facilities and property, including floor plans.
An employee who is responsible for a social media network posting that fails to comply with the rules and guidelines set forth in this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Employees will be held responsible for the disclosure, whether purposeful or inadvertent, of confidential or private information, information that violates the privacy rights or other rights of a third party or the content of anything posted on any social media network.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING REGARDING BULLYING
The Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors shall require that the Principal or his/her designee conduct a minimum of four (4) hours of training, the same to include all employees of Excellence Academy Charter School, on how to recognize bullying, how to prevent bullying, and/or how to address it in the event that it is determined to be a problem concerning a student or group of students.
Bullying is sometimes very difficult to define, but in the case of Excellence Academy Charter School the state definition of bullying will be used. This definition will be made a part of the school’s Student Code of Conduct, which will be disseminated to each and every student that enrolls in the school. Any instance where bullying is determined to exist, the Principal or his/her designee shall immediately address the problem by counseling those students involved and their parents or guardians. Students who are found to be bullying other students will be subject to discipline as provided for in the school’s Discipline Policy.p