Home » Superintendent’s Office » 2019-20 Administrators Back To School Memo

2019-20 Administrators Back To School Memo

August 2019

TO: Administrators and Supervisors, School and Department Secretaries, Board of Directors, Employee Group Representatives (EEA, OSEA, MAPS and EAST), School Resource Officers

FROM: Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent

RE: 2019–20 BEGINNING OF THE YEAR INFORMATION AND REMINDERS

As you begin this school year and are focusing on developing strategies for the success of all students, you should be aware of a number of issues and policies including many that need to be shared with staff and parents each fall.

This information has been divided into sections with a link from the Table of Contents below. In each section you will find a description of each item to be reviewed and a clickable link to further information when required.

Section One covers items to be reviewed with your staff in a staff meeting this fall. Please familiarize yourself with each item in that section. At the end of Section One is a summary guide which contains the Back to School Staff Orientation Checklist and all of the referenced policies and procedures. Administrators must return the checklist, signed by each employee, to Human Resources by November 15, 2019.

Section Two includes notices you are required to send to families each fall.

Sections Three through Eighteen include other important information.

Later this fall, the district will provide you with several revised policies and documents to review with staff, many of which incorporate new legislative changes. These policies and documents will include: Use of Restraint and Seclusion – Policy JBAG and Student Discipline Procedures Summary and related Discipline policies.


Table of Contents

SECTION ONE: ITEMS TO BE REVIEWED WITH STAFF

  1. Back to School Staff Orientation Checklist
  2. 2019–20 Summary of Financial Procedures
  3. Nondiscrimination Notice
  4. Sexual Harassment – Administrative Regulation JBA/GBN-AR
  5. Professional Conduct and Respectful Workplace – Administrative Regulations G2100 and G2120
  6. Attendance Expectations and Notice Requirements
  7. Substance Abuse (staff) – Administrative Regulation G2430
  8. Reporting Child Abuse
  9. Reporting Sexual Conduct or Child Abuse by School Employee Towards Student
  10. Locked Spaces Announcement
  11. Community Educators (Guest Speakers) and Outside Presenters – Administrative Regulation I1700
  12. Supporting Undocumented Students, FAQ Revised April 2018
  13. Visitors to Schools and Properties – School Board Policy KK
  14. Wellness Policy Summary
  15. Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Cyberbullying, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence and Student Safety Reporting Form – School Board Policy JFCF
  16. Transgender and Gender Noncomforming Students – Administrative Regulation JBC-AR
  17. Administering Medication in School – School Board Policy JHCD
  18. Summary of Policies and Procedures for Section One

SECTION TWO: REQUIRED NOTICE TO FAMILIES

  1. First Mailing – Before September 20
  2. Second Parent Mailing

SECTION THREE: DISTRICT BACK-TO-SCHOOL MAILING: DISTRICT HANDBOOK AND CALENDARS

SECTION FOUR: STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES HANDBOOK

SECTION FIVE: SCHOOL SAFETY

  1. Annual Review of Emergency Building Plans
  2. Immediate Assistance with Students
  3. Sharing Behavioral and Discipline Information with Teachers and Other Staff
  4. Cooperation with Law Enforcement Officers
  5. Search and Seizure
  6. Citations for Truancy
  7. Weapons
  8. Pocket or Tool Knives and Pepper Spray and Employees

SECTION SIX: REQUIRED FLAG SALUTES

SECTION SEVEN: SCHOOL BOARD POLICIES AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

SECTION EIGHT: COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

  1. General Complaint Process, Including Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination
  2. Food Services Discrimination Complaints

SECTION NINE: VOLUNTEERS

  1. Criminal Background Checks
  2. Confidentiality of Student Records

SECTION TEN: CHILD CUSTODY AND RELATED MATTERS

SECTION ELEVEN: STUDENT USE OF EMAIL AND THE INTERNET

  1. Email and G Suite Permission Form
  2. Technology Appropriate Use Guidelines
  3. Personal Electronic Devises
  4. Staff Responsibilities
  5. Safety Guidelines for Students

SECTION TWELVE: NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS

SECTION THIRTEEN: EDUCATION RECORDS

  1. Records Release
  2. Prior Written Consent
  3. Retention
  4. Student Directories
  5. Requests for Lists of Students and Contact Information/Prohibited Commercial Activities
  6. Sharing Information with Non-Custodial Parents

SECTION FOURTEEN: WORK SCHEDULE ISSUES FOR LICENSED AND CLASSIFIED STAFF

  1. Work Schedules for Licensed Staff
  2. Work Schedules for Classified Staff
  3. Work Year Issues for Licensed and Classified Staff

SECTION FIFTEEN: SITE COUNCILS

  1. Role of Site Councils
  2. Membership
  3. Open Meeting Laws

SECTION SIXTEEN: RELIGIOUS RECRUITMENT

SECTION SEVENTEEN: RELIGIOUS HOLY DAYS FOR 2019–20

  1. Jewish Holy Days
  2. Christian Holy Days
  3. Muslim Holy Days

SECTION EIGHTEEN: PRIORITY MEETING DAYS FOR 2019–20


SECTION ONE: ITEMS TO BE REVIEWED WITH STAFF

1. Printable 2019-20 Staff Orientation Checklist Contained in this section and listed on the Checklist are school board policies, administrative regulations (AR), and guidelines that principals, supervisors and directors are required to review each fall with school or department staff. Please review the documents in the 2019-20 Staff Orientation Checklist Packet with your staff at the beginning of each school year to ensure they are aware of these important policies and provisions. Please have your staff sign and date the checklist and return it to you.

2. 2019-20 Summary of Financial Procedures for Staff  As a public entity, we are held to a high standard of stewardship for public resources. We each have a duty to care for the public trust. Moreover, our records can be subject to review, under the public records act, at any time. We are required to exercise prudent judgment so as to maintain proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Travel, meals, entertainment, food, and employee reimbursements are common areas for public scrutiny and investigation, particularly in these times. Moreover, with limited resources, the district needs to ensure that as many resources as possible are targeted toward the classroom.

The attached summary of Financial Procedures provides guidance to staff who are not primarily assigned to staff with financial roles.  Staff with financial roles, including administrators, secretaries and financial clerks, must review the comprehensive guidelines 2019-20 Financial Procedures for Schools and Departments.

Please remember that a signature stamp is not allowed for any use.

3. Nondiscrimination: Please share the Nondiscrimination Statement with staff.

4. Sexual Harassment – Administrative Regulation JBA/GBN-AR:  It is the policy of Eugene School District 4J that sexual harassment of students and employees is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  Please review District Administrative Rule JBA/GBN-AR with your staff. Please also remind staff that the district strictly prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination. If any employee believes that another employee or agent of the district has violated this policy, he or she must promptly report the matter to their building administrator or supervisor.  If the administrator or supervisor is involved, the report should be made to the appropriate district official as outlined in JBA/GBN-AR.  Employees may also report concerns to a Human Resources administrator, to the Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services or the Superintendent, who has overall responsibility for all investigations.  In addition, remind staff that district policies are intended to encourage the reporting of violations and therefore prohibit retaliation against a person who has made a complaint.

5. Professional Conduct and Respectful Workplace:The district is committed to a positive and professional workplace for all its employees. This means that all employees are expected to treat each other with courtesy and consideration, and to conduct themselves competently and professionally at all times. The district has published administrative rules G2100 and G2120, found on this page of our website that describe these policies. Please provide staff with copies of this handout.

6. Attendance Expectations and Notice Requirements: The district expects reliable and timely attendance and timely leave notification by all employees. Please review the Attendance Expectations and Notice Requirements with your staff.

7. Drug and Alcohol Abuse by Employees: District policy prohibits the unlawful use and possession of controlled substances and alcohol in the workplace. The district has published administrative rule G2430, found on this page of our website that describes this policy. Please review the expectations in District Administrative Regulation G2430 with staff.

8. Reporting Child Abuse: Please review the reporting procedure described below.

By law, all school employees must report possible child abuse whenever they believe that a child they come into contact with (both on and off the job) has suffered abuse, or when a person they come into contact with has abused a child.

Please review this requirement with your staff and remind them that they must immediately file a report with the Department of Human Services (DHS) or law enforcement in the following two instances:

  1. Whenever they have reasonable cause to believe that a child with whom they have come into contact has suffered abuse. This applies to them both when they are on duty and when they are off duty.
  2. Whenever they believe that an adult they come into contact with has abused a child. This also applies to them both when they are on duty and when they are off duty.

Employees are also expected to inform their supervisors of a report. 

Each school building must post the name and contact information of the licensed administrator designated by the district to receive reports of suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by school employees and the procedures the person will follow upon receipt of the report. The district has designated the Director of Human Resources as the person to receive all reports regarding cases of suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by a school employee.  The Superintendent is the alternative designee to receive reports.  All staff are required to report all suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by a school employee to the Director of Human Resources or Superintendent. 

Please review District Policy on Sexual Conduct, JHFE with staff and post it in a conspicuous place.

Pregnancy: It is recommended that you review information about reporting when a student is pregnant.

It continues to be critical that you are sensitive to the needs of young women who become pregnant, to encourage and urge them to inform and involve their parents, and to refer them to appropriate counseling and medical services. There are instances when, as a mandated reporter, you must report your knowledge that a young woman who is pregnant was the possible victim of child sexual abuse. Use the following guidelines in determining when to report that a pregnant girl may have been the victim of child abuse to DHS or a law enforcement agency.

You must always report when you have reasonable cause to believe that a student who is under the age of 18 is pregnant because of child abuse. There is one exception: if a student between the age of 15 and 18 consented to a sexual relationship, and the person with whom the student had sexual relations is “less than three years older than the victim at the time of the alleged offense” (ORS 163.345), it is not likely to be considered to be sexual abuse, and you are not required to make a report.

It is possible that DHS or a law enforcement agency may make a decision not to investigate the case further, but school employees are required to make the report. Whenever you have questions about when it is necessary to report suspected abuse, please call the Director of Secondary Services, (x7879) or Christine Nesbit, Legal Counsel, (x7664) to discuss the situation.

9. Reporting Sexual Conduct or Child Abuse by School Employee Towards Student: State law requires reporting and other procedures when a staff member is suspected of sexual conduct directed toward a student. Please inform your staff about the requirements below and post School Board Policy JHFF in a conspicuous place.

1. Sexual conduct by school employees towards students is prohibited.

The District strictly prohibits child abuse and sexual conduct by school employees. “Child abuse” is defined in School Board Policy JHFE.

“Sexual conduct” means any verbal or physical conduct by a school employee that:

  1. Is sexual in nature;
  2. Is directed toward a student;
  3. Has the effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s educational performance; and
  4. Creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

Sexual conduct does not include behavior that would be child abuse. 

All employees are subject to this policy.

2. Employees need to follow certain reporting procedures in cases of suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by a school employee.

Any employee who suspects that another employee, contractor, agent or volunteer has engaged in child abuse or sexual conduct must immediately report it to his/her supervisor and the Director of Human Resources or designee who may be reached at 541-790-7660. Alternatively, the report may be made to the Superintendent’s Office at 541-790-7706. This reporting obligation is in addition to the duty of every school employee to report suspected child abuse to a local law enforcement agency or the Department of Human Services.

No reprisal or adverse action will be taken as a result of an employee who initiates a good faith report about suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by a school employee.

3. Administrative leave and investigation

In all cases of suspected child abuse or sexual conduct by a school employee there will be an investigation conducted, and in some cases, the district will place an employee on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

4. Required training

By law, district employees must receive training each year on the prevention and identification of child abuse and sexual conduct and on employees’ obligations to report. Employees will receive information on the mandatory training in an email directly from the district’s provider, SafeSchools.

5. Required posting

The law requires each school building to post the name and contact information of the persons designated for the school building to receive reports of suspected child abuse by school employees and the procedures the person will follow upon receipt of a report. Here is the poster.

10. Locked Spaces Announcement: Please read the following announcement about locked spaces to employees:

The district’s practice is to make a locked space available to all employees so they may secure small personal valuables (such as a wallet or purse). The space may be located in the school office, classroom, locking file cabinet, or any other location that you determine is secure. Buildings may also provide employees a locked space inside a classroom or work area by installing a lock on a file cabinet or desk drawer.

Administrators will work with employees to ensure that they are aware of what locked space is available at each site. If a locksmith’s services are needed, the administrator will call Facilities and make arrangements with Facilities directly. Please note that there could be a substantial wait time for a locksmith’s services because the district’s financial circumstance has curtailed this service.

11. Community Educators (Guest Speakers) and Outside Presenters: Please review the following administrative regulations with your staff:

District Administrative Regulation I1700

We recognize that guest speakers and outside presenters are a valuable resource for enriching district curricula. Community presenters and guest speakers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Information presented must be educational, not promotional.
  • Presenters are prohibited from gathering personally identifying information from students. It is allowable for presenters to post their name, the name of the organization with which they are affiliated, and phone number, email address, or other contact information. This contact information should be given in a neutral way. It can remain posted throughout the presentation and shall be removed when the presentation is over.
  • The information presented should be age appropriate and relevant to curriculum and classroom instruction.
  • The information must be presented in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner.
  • District representatives have a responsibility for vetting and supervision of guest speakers and outside presenters. Building administrators have the authority to cancel or stop presentations deemed to be inappropriate.

12. Supporting Undocumented Students:Please review the attached FAQ Supporting Undocumented Students. This FAQ was updated in April 2018 to reflect changes in law.

13. School Board Policy KK: Visitors to Schools and Properties: Please review the School Board Policy KK regarding Visitors to Schools and Properties with your staff.

14. Wellness Policy Summary: 4J’s wellness policy supports a healthy learning environment and aligns with state requirements for food and beverages sold to students during the regular or extended school day. Please make sure that school staff are familiar with the key elements of the wellness policy that may affect them including:

  • Soda pop may not be sold or served to students during the regular or extended school day.
  • Use of candy as a reward is strongly discouraged. Certain candies that are largely sugar with minimal nutritional value may not be given to students as a reward.
  • Foods of minimal nutritional value that do not conform with the wellness policy (such as soda pop, most candy, candy-coated popcorn, water ices) may not be purchased with a district credit card and will not be reimbursed.
  • The Healthy Parties Guidelines lists nutritious and affordable snack ideas. These guidelines may help parents and staff to choose nutritious items for parties and celebrations.
  • Recess may be withheld for disciplinary reasons only on an occasional basis as part of an individual or school-wide behavior plan.

Requirements apply to before-school and after-school activities sponsored by the district, except for activities at which adults are a significant part of the audience such as a concert or sports competition. Board policy and administrative rules are posted on the 4J website.

15. Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Cyberbullying, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence: School Board Policy JFCF prohibits bullying and harassment, including intimidation, cyberbullying, hazing and teen dating violence. Administrators are required to provide an overview of the policies and procedures for preventing and responding to harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, teen dating violence and domestic violence incidents at a staff meeting each fall. The district has adopted a district wide Student Safety Reporting Form and a Step-by-Step Complaint Process.  Please review Policy JFCF , Student Safety Reporting Form and Step-by-Step Complaint Process with your staff.

16. Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students – Administrative Regulation JBC-AR. The district believes that all students deserve to be physically and psychologically safe at all times. Students who exhibit behaviors that do not conform to expectations for students of their gender of physical birth are among the most at-risk. As a result, on May 20, 2015, the School Board adopted Policy JBC: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, and the Superintendent approved Administrative Regulation, JBC-AR. Please review the administrative regulation with your staff. 

17. Administering Medication in School – School Board Policy JHCD/JHCDA-AR: School Board Policy JHCD/JHCDA-AR requires that the principal notify school personnel each year about the provisions of this policy dealing with medication

18. Summary of Policies and Procedures for Section One:  This PDF file contains all of the documents referred to in the Check List. You can use this pdf document during your staff meeting or orientation. Remember to have each staff member sign and date the Check List and return a copy to you. Administrators, supervisors, managers, financial clerks, secretaries, executive assistants and other staff in financial roles must also review this Financial Procedures for Schools and Departments PDF File

 

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SECTION TWO: REQUIRED NOTICE TO FAMILIES

There are a number of notices you are required to give to families during the course of the school year.

1. FIRST MAILING — BEFORE SEPTEMBER 20. Before September 20, parents must be provided with the following two documents.

  1. 20191-20 Annual Notice of Legal Rights and Opt Out Forms. This notice contains several legally-required notices that must be delivered to families, including notices about directory information, human sexuality and AIDS/HIV instruction, privacy, medical exams, military and college recruiters, and statewide testing. Principals are required to ensure this notice is mailed to families no later than September 20.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    1. Required Annual Notices and Forms The notice contains three forms including:
      1. Objection to Disclosure of Directory Information
      2. Notice of Human Sexuality Instruction
      3. Notice re Military and College Recruiters (High School only – Elementary schools my omit this form).
  2. 2019-20 Annual Permission Form. This permission form covers walking field trips (applicable to students grades K-12) and PG Movies (Grades 4-8). All school levels should provide this form to parents and record permissions in Synergy.
    1. Annual Permissions 2019-20

 2. Second Parent Mailing: Principals are expected to provide the following four notices to parents in a fall communication to parents.

  1. Custodial and Noncustodial Parents. Please inform parents and students when they enroll for school that we can provide duplicate mailings to non-custodial or co-custodial parents. This duplicate mailing system covers grade report mailers and those items that are mailed using address labels. Other items that may be forwarded to the homes of students by other than direct mail are not included. Please include a copy of School Information Available for Non-Custodial Parents in your fall communication to parents. It is our obligation to inform parents of the availability of this service.
  2. Hours of School Supervision: A school district’s legal liability can come into question if a student is injured or the victim of a crime before or after school. We do not want to discourage students from coming to school, but they and their parents should be aware of the hours during which the school provides supervision.

Please continue to include Important Information for Parents and Students—Hours of School Supervision in fall and winter mailings, newsletters, student handbooks, parent handbooks, and other appropriate individual school publications.

  1. Threats by Students:Administrators are required to notify the parent of a student when the student’s name appears on a targeted list that threatens violence or harm to the students on the list, or when another student makes threats of violence or harm to the student. The law also requires school administrators to notify school employees if their name appears on a targeted list threatening violence or harm to the school employee.

The law requires verbal notice within 12 hours of learning of the threat, and written notice within 24 hours. Please place an article about how a School is to Inform Parents if Their Student Receives a Threat in your back-to-school mailing and/or a fall newsletter so that parents are not surprised if they receive such a notice. Here are the guidelines entitled Guidelines to Comply with House Bill 3444 for your use.

  1. Instructions for Communicating the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Process to Students and Parents:
    1. Schools will share this information with staff each year.
    2. Schools will share this information with students each year. Schools may determine the best way to do this. Principals should document the communication method used. Schools will ensure that the optional Student Safety Reporting Form is available in all school offices. (Please copy on green paper)
    3. Schools will share this information with parents. Schools may determine the best way to do this; again, principals should document the communication method used.
    4. All incidents involving harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, teen dating violence, sexual harassment or discrimination must be reported electronically in Synergy.
    5. Schools will be required to report to the district annually on their efforts to prevent and respond to harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, teen dating violence, sexual harassment or discrimination.
    6. Principals will ensure that the Step-by-Step Complaint Process Guide is available in all school offices.  The guide should be copied on yellow paper.

Here is sample wording to be included in a fall parent newsletter:

Eugene School District 4J has policies and programs to prohibit and prevent bullying and harassment, including intimidation, cyberbullying, hazing and teen dating violence. District policy also prohibits discrimination, meaning any act that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably differentiating in treatment in any instructional program, extracurricular activity, or in the provision of any other service or benefit on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation (actual or perceived), gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, marital status, age, disability, military or veteran status, or any other factor protected by law.

The district encourages students, parents and other patrons to share their concerns with district officials if they believe they or someone else has been the victim of bullying and harassment, including intimidation, cyberbullying, hazing and teen dating violence, sexual harassment or discrimination. No reprisal or adverse action will occur as a consequence of initiating a complaint in good faith. 

Incidents should be reported to the school principal or other staff member.  An optional Student Safety Reporting Form is available in the front office of the school.  If the complainant has worked with the school and is not satisfied with the resolution, or if the principal is alleged to have engaged in wrong doing, a complaint may be directed to the superintendent’s office. Complaint forms and information about the complaint process are available in all 4J school offices on the 4J website at www.4j.lane.edu/complaints and at the 4J Education Center, 200 North Monroe Street, Eugene, OR 97402. For more information, contact your school principal or the superintendent’s office, 541‑790‑7707.

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SECTION THREE: DISTRICT BACK-TO-SCHOOL MAILING: DISTRICT HANDBOOK & CALENDAR

The annual District Handbook is mailed to all registered students’ addresses in late summer. Extra copies are sent to schools for staff and for incoming families. Please review the district handbook so that you are able to refer parents and members of the community to relevant sections. This handbook should be provided to all newly enrolling families and be readily available in the front office of the school.

A school calendar is included in the handbook and is also available as a one-page handout. Calendar information (including the academic calendars, work-year calendars, and holiday information) is available in a variety of formats here.

Any instruction days missed due to hazardous weather will be made up by adding school days during the school year or at the end of the year.

Additional copies of the district handbook and the one-page block calendar handout are available by calling the Communications Department at x7707.

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SECTION FOUR: STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES HANDBOOK

The 4J Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook was revised in 2016. Schools are expected to review the student code of conduct in the handbook with students each fall and to provide a copy of the handbook to each new student. 

If you need additional copies for staff and new families, please call the Communications Department at x7707.

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SECTION FIVE: SCHOOL SAFETY

Please pay special attention to these items dealing with school safety.

  1. Annual Review of Emergency Building Plans: Over the last several years, each school has customized the district’s Emergency Procedure Manual with specific emergency phone numbers and evacuation routes so that you are able to respond to emergencies most effectively. It is very important that you review your procedures annually with your staff and volunteers and make any adjustments that may be required as a result of staff, building, or other operational changes.

Additional copies of the district Emergency Procedure Manual are available from the district Safety Officer. Contact the Safety Officer if you need someone to work with you on your emergency plans (x7685).

  1. Immediate Assistance with Students: We will continue to work with you to provide additional training, information, and support for dealing with students who have extreme behavioral and emotional issues. If you have an extreme safety concern about a student right now, contact the district Safety Officer  (x7685) or Student Support Services (x7800) and someone will ensure that you get assistance and/or make a referral to either in-district or outside resources.
  2. Sharing Behavioral and Discipline Information with Teachers and Other Staff: Federal and state laws regarding student records and confidentiality allow you to share behavioral and discipline information with teachers and other staff if they have a legitimate educational need for that information. In most instances, it is reasonable for staff to know the reason one of her or his students has been disciplined. It is also reasonable that a teacher or other staff member be aware of students who pose a potential risk because of a pattern of delinquent or violent behavior. Please continue to inform those staff members about any students who are likely to pose a risk to them, what those risks are, and the procedures you are using to minimize them.
  3. Cooperation with Law Enforcement Officers: While we are working more closely than ever with the police, it is important that staff continue to follow the procedures outlined in school board policy and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook when a police officer wants to interview a student on campus. Please review these procedures with the appropriate staff. Parents become very concerned when police question their youngsters. The police officers assigned to the school district (School Resources Officers or SRO) are familiar with the rules.

The procedural guidelines for contacting parents are outlined below, and are available here. If you have questions or concerns about this information, please contact the district Safety Officer (x7685) or Legal Counsel (x7664).

 Investigations related to off-campus illegal acts & not school related:

 “Off campus” means off the campus attended by the student.

The school administrator will make a reasonable effort to contact the parent when an officer comes to question a student, who is a suspect or a victim, related to criminal acts that are not school-related, unless:

    1. Notification would unduly interfere with the investigation,
    2. The issue pertains to alleged child abuse, or
    3. The parent, guardian, or a close relative is a focal suspect in a criminal investigation, and there is a potential risk to the student if notification occurs.

The school administrator should ask the police officer about the reason(s) for the interview.

District policy does not require that parents be contacted prior to interviews of students who are witnesses, and are not, nor likely to become, suspects. However, it is recommended that you attempt to make contact with the parent to inform them of the situation.

If the school administrator is NOT successful in contacting the parent they should then:

  1. Attempt to leave a message to inform the parent of the circumstances of the situation, and leave contact information (name and phone number) for both the school official and police officer.
  2. The school administrator should then allow the police officer to proceed with the interview so long as a school administrator, or designee, is present, unless the issue pertains to child abuse.

Note: The administrator, or designee, should not actively participate in the interview process, and should allow the police officer to fully conduct the investigation.

If the school administrator is successful in contacting the parent:

  1. Let the parent know the police are present and will be questioning their student, as a suspect or a victim, regarding an off-campus criminal act.
  2. If the parent indicates they can arrive within a short period (20 minutes) the school administrator will request the police officer wait for the parent to arrive before questioning begins. However, if the parent does not arrive within the 20 minute period, and cannot be contacted, the officer may be allowed to proceed with questioning the student.
  3. If the parent objects, expresses concerns about the police questioning their student, or wants to be present during the interview, but cannot arrive within a short period (20 minutes), ask the parent to speak directly to the police officer. The officer can then determine how to proceed based on their conversation with the parent.
  4. If the parent says they have no concerns about the police questioning their student, and/or indicates they are unable to attend, the school administrator may allow the police officer to proceed. However, a school administrator, or designee, will be present during the interview as an observer, unless the issue pertains to child abuse.

Note: The administrator, or designee, should not actively participate in the interview process, and should allow the police officer to fully conduct the investigation.

Investigations related to violations of school policies and rules:

Under “normal” circumstances, the school officer should NOT be involved during investigations of school policy or rule violations. School administrators may pursue such investigations, including interviewing students, without first contacting a parent. In this instance, the administrator is conducting the interview process under the standard of “reasonable suspicion.” Please refer to the Guidelines for Searches of Students.

If during the course of the investigation or search, it is clear a school policy violation occurred, and it reveals evidence of a crime (e.g., possession of drugs, stolen property, etc.), then the parent and the SRO must be notified (as outlined under “illegal acts that occur off-campus”) to report a crime that may have been committed. Once parent notification (or an attempt) has occurred, contact the SRO to investigate the alleged crime. “Crime” in this instance does not include “minor-in-possession” charges for tobacco.

When should you have an officer present during an investigation of school policies and rules violation?

There are some situations when it is appropriate to have an officer present during investigations regarding violations of school policies and/or rules:

  1. It is recommended you include the police officer when there are personal safety/security concerns for district staff during an interview or search.
  2. It is generally recommended you attempt to make contact with the parent of a suspect or a victim, to inform them of the situation, and to let them know you have requested the police officer sit in as an observer. However, there is no requirement for the parent to be contacted unless the line of questioning leads to information that a criminal act has been committed. (District policy does not require that parents be contacted prior to interviews of students who are witnesses and are not, nor likely to become, suspects.)
  3. If during the course of the investigation or search, it is clear a school policy violation occurred, and it reveals evidence of a crime (e.g., possession of drugs, stolen property, etc.), then the investigation must be turned over to the police officer and the parent must be notified (as outlined under “illegal acts that occur off-campus”). “Crime” in this instance does not include “minor-in-possession” charges for tobacco.
  4. If there is reasonable suspicion* that a student is in possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon**, a police officer should be contacted immediately. The officer should then be allowed to proceed without delay on determining the appropriate strategy for intervention, including any necessary search of the student’s person. The principal or administrator involved should weigh the necessity of implementing emergency procedures in the building.

*Reasonable suspicion defined: It is necessary that the school officials conducting the search have reasonable suspicion that the student being searched has violated a school rule or the law, and that the search be reasonably likely to elicit evidence of such violation.

**Dangerous or deadly weapons defined:

“Dangerous weapon” means any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance which under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious injury.

“Deadly weapon” means any instrument, article, or substance specifically designated for and capable of causing death or serious physical injury. (Source: Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, see School Board Policy JFCJ: Weapons in the Schools.)

  1. Search & Seizure: Guidelines for searches of students are available in the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. If you have questions or concerns about this information, please contact the Safety Officer (x7685) or Legal (x7664).
  2. Citations for Truancy: Oregon law allows a school district to issue a citation of $160 to parents whose children do not regularly attend school. The law also requires the district to follow a process before the citation can be issued. 4J will investigate cases of truancy and conduct any truancy hearings that are recommended by the truant officer.  The superintendent’s office will conduct any truancy hearings that are scheduled. To initiate a citation process or if you have questions about issues of truancy, please call (x7851).
  3. Weapons: School Board Policy JFCJ: Weapons in the Schools, prohibits students from having a dangerous weapon on school district property or at school district sponsored events that occur off school property. School Board Policy GBJ provides that district employees, volunteers and contractors may not possess a dangerous or deadly weapon on district property or at school events.

Decals giving notice that district properties are a Gun-Free School Zone have been placed on major entrances of all district buildings. Please make sure that they are visible to the public. Without the notice, a person can reasonably argue that she or he did not know about our rules. If you need additional decals contact Facilities (x7400).

  1. Pocket or Tool Knives and Pepper Spray and Employees: 

Pocket or Tool Knives: The superintendent has determined that School Board Policy GBJ does not prohibit employees from possessing a small pocket knife or tool knife with a blade of less than two and a half inches in length when the knife or tool is carried in a manner that cannot be readily observed by students except when being used. Students are prohibited from possessing a knife or tool knife of any length as well as any item that may be considered to be a dangerous weapon of any form.

Pepper Spray and Employees: Some employees, especially those who may be at a school alone and after hours, have expressed concern that they may not be able to carry pepper spray for self-protection. The superintendent has determined that School Board Policy GBJ does not prohibit employees from carrying pepper spray for self-protection after they have consulted with their supervisor to determine the conditions under which the spray will be carried and stored while at work. No employee, however, is authorized to use pepper spray in the performance of his or her job duties.

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SECTION SIX: REQUIRED FLAG SALUTES

Oregon law requires each school “to provide students with the opportunity to salute the United States flag at least once each week of the school year by reciting: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’” The legislation further states that “Students who do not participate in the salute … must maintain a respectful silence during the salute.”

Each school must develop procedures to comply with the law. Please make sure you continue your practice this school year.

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SECTION SEVEN: SCHOOL BOARD POLICIES AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS

School Board Policies and District Administrative Regulations are available online.

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SECTION EIGHT: COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

From time to time, students, parents and other community members wish to make a complaint about staff, programs or other students. Most complaints, including those related to bullying, harassment and (in most cases) discrimination, follow a similar process. The exception is complaints of discrimination in the food services program. Please familiarize yourself with the district’s general complaint process in district Administrative Regulation KL-AR and in the “Step-by-Step complaint guide, available on the district’s complaints webpage, www.4j.lane.edu/complaints. The district’s step-by-step guide and formal complaint form can be found here.

Most complaints, including reports of harassment and bullying and discrimination, are reported and resolved at building level. The complainant should work to resolve the issue with the subject of the complaint, the principal or supervisor, and/or the person assigned by the principal or supervisor. If the complainant is not satisfied after working to resolve the issue at the building level, if the principal is the subject of the complaint or is believed to be involved in the incident of bullying, harassment or discrimination, or if the complainant prefers to bypass the school-based problem solving procedure, the complainant may file a formal complaint with the Superintendent’s office. There is a single complaint form for use by anyone.

Because the district strongly encourages families and staff to try to resolve the issue at the building level, in most cases you will already have knowledge of the issue by the time someone submits a complaint form to the superintendent’s office. If a complaint form is submitted and the complainant has not already worked to resolve the issue at the building level, the complaint may be referred to you for follow-up and resolution at formal step one in KL-AR.

The district’s complaint process and form were revised in 2018 to reflect changes in state law and board policies and to clarify the process after a complaint is received. If you have any questions about the complaint process, please contact the Superintendent’s office at x7706.

Food Services Discrimination Complaints: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which subsidizes our food services program, has special discrimination complaint procedures that must be followed when a parent or student who participates in the program believes he or she has been discriminated against. Any student or parent participating in a USDA program who feels he or she has been discriminated against should write directly to:

United States Department of Agriculture
Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W
Whitten Building
14th and Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 202050-9410

Any staff member who receives a verbal or written discrimination complaint should forward the complaint to Holly Langan who oversees Nutrition Services. We are required to log the complaint and forward it to the USDA.

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SECTION NINE: VOLUNTEERS

1. Criminal Background Checks: School Board Policy GCDA/GDDA requires that any person considered for volunteer service with the district receive a criminal background check. A volunteer may not begin until they have been cleared. The district’s safety office (x7669) is responsible for coordinating criminal background checks and maintaining the district-wide volunteer/visitor database.

In addition, volunteers in certain positions must receive a nationwide criminal records check based on fingerprinting. Volunteers who must be fingerprinted are those volunteers with the opportunity and probability for personal communication or touch when not under direct supervision of a 4J staff member in the following positions:

  • Coach of a district-sponsored sport
  • Coach of an OSAA activity, including Speech
  • Choreographer, accompanist or drama coach
  • Overnight chaperone, other than a K-12 student, and/or
  • Volunteers with direct, unsupervised contact with students on a regular basis, defined as at least four times per month, in a location other than a common area of a school.
  1. Volunteers and Confidentiality of Student Records: Access to student information is subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Oregon health information law, ORS 746.600 et. seq. Volunteers who are given access to student records are required to sign a FERPA Statement of Understanding.

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SECTION TEN: CHILD CUSTODY AND RELATED MATTERS

The number of difficult issues related to child custody continues to increase. This memo discusses how to respond to some of these issues:

  • Student safety
  • Release of information to non-custodial parents and law enforcement agencies
  • Releasing students to non-custodial parents and other adults
  • Visitations by non-custodial parents

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SECTION ELEVEN: STUDENT USE OF EMAIL AND THE INTERNET

  1. Email and G Suite Permission Form. With parental permission, the district provides students with a 4J-issued email and/or a G Suite for Education (Google) account.   Permission is required for students at all levels, including high school. A copy is available here. 

 

  1. Technology Appropriate Use Guidelines. Guidelines for the use of the district’s technology system including a description unacceptable uses are set forth in IIBGA-AR on the district’s website. The purpose of the district’s technology system is to enhance the educational experience of students and staff. Practices that attempt to achieve this purpose in a responsible, safe and legal manner are acceptable, while practices that do not are unacceptable.

 

  1. Personal Electronic Devices. Students may use personal electronic devices for instructional purposes in the classroom at the discretion of the teacher. (See School Board Policy JFCEB).

 

  1. Staff Responsibilities.
    • Instruction in Digital Citizenship. Each school is expected to provide instruction to students in digital citizenship, that will address safe and appropriate use of the internet, interacting with others on social networks and social media websites and in chat rooms, and age-appropriate information on topics such as the risk of posting personal contact information, cyberbullying awareness and response, online sexual exploitation, and how to report concerns about inappropriate contact to an adult.
    • Staff members are expected to supervise students’ use of the internet and other district technology resources while students are in the instructional environment, and to intervene if the resource is not being used appropriately.
    • Staff must maintain the confidentiality of student data including but not limited to student names, photographs and contact information in accordance with FERPA and Board Policies JO/ IGBAB – Student Records/ Records of Students with Disabilities, JOA ­–­ Directory Information and JOB ­– Personally Identifiable Information. This means that schools may not release information about students without parental consent unless an exception to the parental consent requirement applies. Directory information such as a student’s name may be released externally (for example posted on a school website) but only with administrative direction. In addition, parents have the right to restrict the disclosure of directory information, and district staff must honor any restrictions selected by parents on the Objection to Release of Directory Information form maintained in the school office. (Note, the form is contained in the Annual Notice of Legal Rights and Opt Out Forms referred to in Section Two, above).

 

  1. Safety Guidelines for Students. Students are expected to maintain safe practices when using district technology. This means that students:
  • Will not post personal contact information such as a photograph, age, school, home, email address, or phone number about themselves or others on a website, wiki, blog, podcast or social networking site.
  • Will not use the system to arrange a meeting with someone except with prior parent approval
  • Will promptly share with a staff member and parent any communication they receive on the district system that makes them feel uncomfortable.

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SECTION TWELVE:  NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS

The district notification system, SchoolMessenger (formerly SynreVoice), is used for notifying parents of student absences, general school event notifications, emergency and high-priority situations by email, phone and text message.

Notifications of student absences happen automatically for those schools requesting it, while event and emergency notifications are initiated by trained staff in each school. This system is extremely rapid: messages reach staff and families quickly. If assistance is needed to initiate notification in an emergency situation, contact Communications or the Superintendent’s office.

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SECTION THIRTEEN: EDUCATION RECORDS

1. Records Release: State law requires that records be transferred within 10 days of receiving a request from another school, school district, or educational agency. There is an exception to the 10-day standard: When a student is in foster care or in the custody of the state, schools shall provide records to the receiving school within 5 (five) days. We have an obligation to maintain confidentiality and to ask that anyone receiving educational records maintains confidentiality. The transfer of records, except for directory information, to a third party shall include the following statement:

“These records are confidential and may not be released to any other person or agency without the written consent of the student’s parent or the student if the student is 18 or attending an institution of post-secondary education.”

2. Prior Written Consent. Parents and eligible students must consent, in writing, to release of educational records unless an exception to the consent requirement applies. (Note, consent is not required to release records to another educational institution when a student is enrolling at that institution). Please use the 4J Consent for Release of Student Records form developed for this purpose.

3. Retention. District policy is to retain and archive student education records in accordance with OAR 166-400-0060, available here

Original Student Records Documents a core set of information about an individual student (including a home-schooled student) and his/her educational career, birth through age 21. Records include name and address of the educational agency or institution; full legal name of the student; student’s birth date and place of birth; name of parents/guardians; date of entry into the school; name of school previously attended; subjects taken; marks received; credits earned; attendance; date of withdrawal from school; social security number (as provided on a voluntary basis by parent or eligible student); and such additional information as the educational agency or institution may prescribe. (a)Originals must be maintained for 75 years

(b)A readable photocopy must be maintained for one (1) year after the student transfers out of district.

4J’s practice is to retain copies of the permanent record indefinitely.

4. Student Directories: Many schools distribute a student directory for use by students and parents so that they are able to contact one another to complete school business or make social arrangements. There are three important issues related to these directories.

  1. Parent Consent: The 2019-20 Annual Notice of Legal Rights and Opt Out Forms referred to in section two above contains an Objection to the Release of Directory Information form which provides parents with an opportunity to object to the release of directory information in a school directory. Schools must provide the Annual Notice to parents. If a parent has made the appropriate objection, schools may not include the information about the student in a school directory; if a parent has not made an objection, schools may include information in the school directory. Schools should not seek affirmative consent for inclusion of names in a school directory or use school-based forms relating to directory information. Please review the 2019-20 Annual Notice of Legal Rights and Opt Out forms for more information.
  2. Disclaimer: On occasion, these directories have been used by parents or others in the community for business purposes, that is, to contact possible customers or donors. As a result, we suggest that you include a disclaimer in such directories that says:

“This student directory is for use of students, parents, and staff for school and school-related business. It is not to be used by them for business, commercial, or fund-raising activities not sponsored by the school, nor is it to be released to other organizations, businesses, or persons.”

5. Requests for Lists of Students and Contact Information/ Prohibited Commercial Activities: Each year schools and departments receive requests from private businesses and non-profit organizations to release lists of student names or other contact information. School Board Policy KJ prohibits the release of such information, and states, The district shall provide no personally identifiable data about a student to the sponsor of a commercial activity without the consent of a parent, unless approved by the superintendent or his or her designee, as provided in OAR 581-021-0340.”

6. Sharing Information with Non-Custodial Parents: You routinely are asked what information you are able to share with non-custodial parents. Ordinarily, both parents (custodial and non-custodial parents) have the right to receive all information about their children and to examine all student records of their child unless there is a court order specifying that access to records is limited (this is rarely the case).  When parents are separated and no legal custody has been awarded, or when a parent has been designated a non-custodial parent by a court order, the following procedure shall apply, unless otherwise provided by a court decree or order:

  1. Each parent, or a representative of a parent if authorized in writing by the parent, may inspect and review the education records of that parent’s child.
  2. Each parent has the right to access student education records on Synergy
  3. Each parent has a right to question the appropriate licensed staff and make reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the student records. Licensed staff is not required to respond to requests by parent representatives for explanations or interpretations of the records.

There is nothing that limits your ability to inform the custodial parent when you release such records.

Please note, a non-custodial parent does not have the right to make educational decisions for the student. Only a parent with legal custody may do so.

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SECTION FOURTEEN: WORK SCHEDULE ISSUES FOR LICENSED AND CLASSIFIED STAFF

1. Work Schedules for Licensed Staff: The District/Eugene Education Association collective bargaining agreement (CBA) requires administrators to provide all unit members the opportunity to collaborate on decisions involving work schedule issues in Article 10.  Please review Article 10 of the CBA, which can be located here

2. Work Schedules for Classified Staff: Classified staff who work more than five hours a day are guaranteed at least a one-half hour duty free lunch, except in the case of an emergency. They are not paid for their lunch period. They are also guaranteed a fifteen minute break for every four hours worked or each major fraction thereof. Employees are to take the rest break in the middle of each work period insofar as is possible. Please review Articles 21.2 and 21.3 of the OSEA contract and ensure that you have a specific, written schedule showing the break and meal periods for each classified staff member. A copy of the classified contract is available here.

3. Work Year Issues for Licensed and Classified Staff: Employee work year calendars are posted on the district website. For additional information, please call Human Resources at 541-790-7670.

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SECTION FIFTEEN: SITE COUNCILS

Below is information about the role of site councils, the membership requirements required by law and how to comply with the requirements of the state’s open meeting laws.

1. Role of Site Councils: The primary purpose of site council is to encourage community involvement in shared decision making and to foster collaborative efforts of stakeholders at each school site.  The duties of site council include:

  • Developing plans to improve the professional growth of school staff.
  • Improving the school instructional program.
  • Developing and coordinating plans for the implementation of programs under Chapter 329 of the Oregon Revised Statutes; and
  • Administering grants-in-aid for the professional development of teachers and classified staff.

It is appropriate for site councils to be involved in making these decisions as long as they comply with state and district laws, policies, and rules. Each site council determines what decisions it will participate in making, within these parameters.

Site councils can help make program decisions. However, there are two kinds of decisions that site councils cannot be involved in: final staffing decisions and individual student issues. For example, site councils can participate in decisions about whether there will be a music specialist or what programs will be emphasized in a school, but they cannot determine which teachers will be assigned to teach certain classes once the program decision is made.

2. Membership: Each school site council should include the following members: parents, teachers, at least one classified staff member, administrators, and, as determined by the council, students. Not more than half of the members shall be teachers.  Not more than half of the members shall be parents of students attending that school. Article 18 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with EEA establishes that half of the members shall be teachers, subject to an exception. It states:

“One-half of school or work site committee members shall be unit members (teachers and other licensed staff). The unit members may be less than one-half and not less than the number needed for unit members to be the largest stakeholder group, if the site committee and at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the school or work site unit members desire to have fewer unit members.”

3. Open Meeting Laws: School site councils are required by state law to comply with public meetings laws. If you follow these guidelines, you will be in compliance:

  1. Meetings are open to the public: All meetings are open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting. No quorum of the council can meet in private for the purpose of deciding on or deliberating toward a decision. The meeting site must be accessible to the disabled and interpreter services must be available if they are requested.
  2. Public notice of the meeting is required: The council must give public notice of its meetings and should make an effort to inform parents and staff of the meeting date and agenda items. The meeting notice must be “reasonably calculated to give actual notice to interested persons…of the time and place” of the meeting and of the “principal subjects” that will be discussed at the meeting. Including advanced notices of the meeting in newsletters and posting them on bulletin boards within the school should be sufficient to meet this requirement. No special meeting can be held without 24 hours’ notice unless there is an emergency. It is unlikely that any site council business would be in the category of an emergency.
  3. Written minutes must be maintained: Written minutes must be kept and be available to the public within a reasonable time after the meeting. The minutes must include the following information: members present, all motions and proposals and their disposition, votes (consensus decisions), and the substance of the discussion.

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SECTION SIXTEEN: RELIGIOUS RECRUITMENT

District Administrative Rule I1600: Separation of Church and State, outlines our rules related to religious recruitment. In summary, “Visitors whose purpose is to influence or solicit students shall be denied entry to the school based upon the principal’s judgment of their purposes. Board policy forbids allowing non-students to meet with students for religious purposes on school premises, except that which is incidental to renting or leasing of school buildings.” The rules also state, “No non-school person can direct, control, or regularly attend student religious meetings.”

Our policies, rules, and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, which are consistent with law, allow students to meet for religious purposes. Please refer to District Administrative Regulation I1600 for the rules related to these meetings.

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SECTION SEVENTEEN: RELIGIOUS HOLY DAYS FOR 2019–20

District Administrative Regulation I1600: Separation of Church and State states that, “Students are to be excused from school, without any penalty, for religious holy days.” Schools should be sensitive about scheduling activities that may conflict with these observances.

1. Jewish Holy Days:Many Jewish children will not be attending school or school activities on major Jewish holy days. These days are as follows:

Rosh Hashanah, sunset on September 29 to sunset on October 1, 2019

Yom Kippur, sunset on October 8 to sunset on October 9, 2019

Passover, sunset on April 8, 2020 to sunset on April 16, 2020 (especially first days, sunset on April 8-9, and concluding days, sunset on April 15-16)

2. Christian Holy Days:You should also be sensitive about scheduling special events on Christian holy days. Many students have conflicts when programs are scheduled during Easter week.

Christmas, December 25, 2019

Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter, April 12, 2020

3. Muslim Holy Days:In 2020, Ramadan will be observed sunset April 23, 2020 through May 23, 2020.  Many Muslim children will fast from sunrise to sunset each day during this holy month.  The final day is Id al-Fitr, a day of feasting to celebrate the end of Ramadan

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SECTION EIGHTEEN: PRIORITY MEETING DAYS FOR 2019–20

The following organizations have priority for licensed staff meetings on the days indicated for the 2019–20 school year.

DAY WEEK OF MONTH PRIORITY
Monday 1st, 2nd, 3rd EEA
Monday 4th Building
Tuesday 1st Building
Tuesday 2nd Superintendent
Tuesday 3rd and 4th District
Wednesday All Building
Thursday All District
Friday All Open
Monday–Friday 5th Open

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Updated: 8/29/19