Basic Employment Policy Information
The Grape Creek ISD does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military status, or on any other basis prohibited by law. Employment decisions will be made on the basis of each applicant’s job qualifications, experience, and abilities.
Employees with questions or concerns relating to discrimination on any of the bases listed above should contact the district superintendent.
Contract and non-contract employment
Policies DC, DCA, DCB, DCD, DCE
State law requires the district to employ all full-time professional and administrative employees in positions requiring a certificate and nurses under probationary, term, or continuing contracts. Employees in all other positions are employed at will or by a contract that is not subject to the procedures for non-renewal or termination under Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code. The paragraphs that follow provide a general description of the employment arrangements used by the district.
Probationary contracts - All full-time, professional and administrative employees employed in positions requiring certification and nurses who are new to the district receive probationary contracts during their first year of employment. The probationary period for those who have been employed in public schools for at least five of the eight years preceding employment with the district is one full school year. For those with less experience, the probationary period will be three full school years, with an optional fourth full school year if the district has doubts about whether a term or continuing contract should be given.
Term and continuing contracts - Full-time teachers, professionals, and administrators employed in positions requiring certification and nurses who have successfully completed the probationary period will be employed by term or continuing contracts. Teachers employed before August 1, 1996 are employed by continuing contract. Teachers employed after that date are employed by term contracts. Campus principals and central office administrators are employed under two-year term contracts. The terms and conditions of employment are detailed in the contract and employment policies. All employees will receive a copy of their contract and employment policies.
PLEASE NOTE: All employment contracts are conditioned on Employee's satisfactorily providing the certification, service records, teaching credentials, and other records required by law, the Texas Education Agency, the State Board of Educator Certification, or the District. Failure to submit valid certification to the Superintendent before the first day of performance voids the employment contract. Misrepresentation or fraud by the Employee in any of these records or the employment application is good cause for discharge. Employee represents that she or he has made written disclosure to the District of any conviction for a felony or for any offense involving moral turpitude. It is the Employee's duty to make sure all required documents are on file at the District Administrative office.
Non-certified professional and administrative employees - Employees in professional and administrative positions that do not require certification (such as non-instructional administrators) are employed by a one-year contract that is not subject to the procedures for non-renewal or termination under the Texas Education Code.
Paraprofessional and auxiliary employees - All paraprofessional and auxiliary employees, regardless of certification, are employed at will and not by contract. Employment is not for any specified term and may be terminated at any time by either the employee or the district.
Searches and alcohol and drug testing
Non-investigatory searches in the workplace, including accessing an employee’s desk, file cabinets, or work area to obtain information needed for usual business purposes may occur when an employee is unavailable. Therefore, employees are hereby notified that they have no legitimate expectation of privacy in those places. In addition, the district reserves the right to conduct searches when there is reasonable cause to believe a search will uncover evidence of work-related misconduct. Such an investigatory search may include drug and alcohol testing if the suspected violation relates to drug or alcohol use. The district may search the employee, the employee’s personal items, work areas, lockers, and private vehicles parked on district premises or worksites or used in district business.
Employees required to have a commercial driver’s license - The purpose of alcohol and drug testing is to ensure safety and prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of alcohol and drugs by drivers of commercial motor vehicles. Any employee who is required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is subject to drug and alcohol testing. This includes all drivers who operate a motor vehicle designed to transport 16 or more people, counting the driver; drivers of large vehicles; or drivers of vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous materials. Teachers, coaches, or other employees who primarily perform duties other than driving are subject to testing requirements when their duties include driving.
Drug testing will be conducted before an individual assumes driving responsibilities. Alcohol and drug tests will be conducted when reasonable suspicion exists, at random, when an employee returns to duty after engaging in prohibited conduct, and as a follow-up measure. Testing may be conducted following accidents. Return-to-duty and follow-up testing will be conducted when an employee who has violated the prohibited alcohol conduct standards or tested positive for alcohol or drugs returns to duty.
All employees required to have a CDL that are subject to alcohol and drug testing will receive a copy of the district’s policy, the testing requirements, and detailed information on alcohol and drug abuse and the availability of assistance programs. Employees with questions or concerns relating to alcohol and drug policies and related educational material should contact the district superintendent.
Reassignments and transfers
All personnel are subject to assignment and reassignment by the superintendent. Campus reassignments must be approved by the principal at the receiving campus. When reassignments are due to enrollment shifts or program changes, the superintendent has final placement authority. Extracurricular or supplemental duty assignments may be reassigned at any time. Employees who object to a reassignment may follow the district process for employee complaints as outlined in this handbook and district policy DGBA (Local).
Employees with the required qualifications for a position may request a transfer to another campus or department. A written request for transfer must be completed and signed by the employee and the employee’s supervisor. Teachers requesting a transfer to another campus before the school year begins must submit their request by May 1. Requests for transfer during the school year will be considered only when the change will not adversely affect students and after a replacement has been found. All transfer requests will be coordinated by the administration office and must be approved by the receiving supervisor.
Workload and work schedules
Professional employees. Professional and administrative employees are exempt from overtime pay and are employed on a 10-, 11-, or 12-month basis, according to the work schedules set by the district. A school calendar is adopted each year designating the work schedule for teachers and all school holidays. Notice of work schedules including required days of service and scheduled holidays will be distributed each school year.
Classroom teachers will have planning periods for instructional preparation and conferences. The schedule of planning periods is set at the campus level but must provide at least 450 minutes within each two-week period in blocks not less than 45 minutes. Teachers and librarians are entitled to a duty-free lunch period of at least 30 minutes. The district may require teachers to supervise students one day a week when no other personnel are available.
Paraprofessional and auxiliary employees. Support employees are employed at will and will be notified of the required duty days, holidays, and hours of work for their position on an annual basis. Paraprofessional and auxiliary employees are not exempt from overtime and are not authorized to work in excess of their assigned schedule without prior approval from their supervisor. Overtime is considered anything in excess of a 40-hour work week. Salaries are figured based on a 40-hour work week and any time worked in excess of 40 hours is considered overtime. (see p.24 for more on overtime). All overtime must have pre-approval by the employee’s supervisor.
Outside employment and tutoring
Employees who wish to accept outside employment or engage in other activities for profit must submit a written request to their supervisor. Approval for outside employment will be determined by the superintendent and based on whether outside employment interferes with the duties of the regular assignment. Teachers are not allowed to privately tutor their students for pay, except during the summer months.
Job Performance and Personnel Evaluation
Policy DN, DNA, DNB, DGBA
Evaluation of an employee’s job performance should be a continual process that focuses on improvement. Performance evaluation is based on an employee’s assigned job duties and other job-related criteria. All employees will participate in the evaluation process with their assigned supervisor at least annually. Written evaluations will be completed on forms approved by the district. Reports, correspondence, and memoranda also can be used to document performance information. All employees will receive a copy of their written evaluation, have a performance conference with their supervisor, and get the opportunity to respond to the evaluation.