General Policies and Practices
About This Handbook
This Employee Handbook is a compilation of personnel policies, practices, and procedures currently in effect in the Caswell County School District. Other means of communication will supplement the handbook at appropriate times throughout the year.
Since this handbook summarizes many detailed provisions about employment, benefits, and other related matters, the official policies, regulations, and procedures will always govern when questions arise. The Caswell County Board of Education reserves the right to unilaterally change, terminate, and/or make exceptions to the policies in this handbook at any time to the extent permitted by law. Nothing in this handbook grants employment rights beyond those granted by state laws.
Employees of the Caswell County Board of Public Education are employed according to the terms of their contracts. Those employees who are non-tenured, non-certified, or employed without benefit of a contract are employed at-will, and nothing in this manual or in any verbal statement should be construed to constitute a contract or to modify an existing contract between the Board and any one of these employees.
Board of Education Policies
School district employees and interested individuals may access Board of Education policies via the Caswell County Schools website at www.caswell.k12.nc.us. Once you are at the website, access “School Board,” and then, open the link to “BOE Policy Manual.”
Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct
Each employee is instructed to be responsible for both the integrity and the consequences of his or her actions. The highest standards of honesty, integrity, and fairness must be exhibited by each employee. Employees should maintain just and courteous professional relationships with students, parents, staff members, and others. Constructive criticism is to be made directly to the particular school employee who has the administrative authority to improve the situation, and then to the superintendent, if necessary.
Employee conduct should be such as to protect the person’s integrity and/or reputation and that of the school system. Employees shall perform their jobs in a competent and ethical manner without violating the public trust or applicable laws, policies, and regulations.
If an employee is ever charged with any violation of the law, he/she must report that charge to his/her immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in serious disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Caswell County Schools is an equal opportunity employer. We will extend equal opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, disability, age, genetic information, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws. Our policy reflects and affirms the Caswell County School’s commitment to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all discriminatory practices. Details of our equal employment opportunity policies are further explained below.
Caswell County Schools believes that employees and students are entitled to work and study in school-related environments which are free from sexual harassment. Employees are prohibited from engaging in sexual harassment. If evidence of sexual harassment is established, an employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: deliberate, unwelcome touching; suggestions or demands for sexual involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats; pressure for sexual activity; continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words used toward an individual to describe an individual; or the display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
Board of Education Policy 745, “SEXUAL HARRASSMENT,” and Policy 725 “STAFF COMPLAINTS, CONCERNS, AND GRIEVANCES” are accessible via the school district’s web site at www.caswell.k12.nc.us.
Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control
The purpose of this policy directive is to limit occupational exposure of employees to blood and other potentially infectious body fluids and materials that may transmit bloodborne pathogens and lead to disease or death.
All employees who could be “reasonable anticipated” as the result of performing required job duties to face contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials are covered by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and by this policy directive. “Occupational exposure” includes any reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral (brought in the body through some way other than the digestive tract) contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties. According to the North Carolina Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (printed 5/92), “Good Samaritan” acts such as assisting a co-worker or student with a nosebleed would not be considered “reasonable anticipated occupational exposure.” Universal precautions shall be in force at all times as follows: in dealing with the cleaning or decontamination of any blood or body fluid, all blood, body fluid, and potentially infectious material shall be handled as if infected. The agency shall adhere to the program standards for the control of potential exposure to HIV and HBV as outlined in the proposed OSHA Rule “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens” standard 1910.1030 or the most current standards available.
The Superintendent shall ensure that: 1- All elements of the Exposure Control Plan, including but not limited to, exposure determination, work practice standards, Hepatitis B vaccination procedures, training requirements, and record keeping are met. 2- All employees have access to a copy of Caswell County Public School’s Policy Directive and Exposure Control Plan. 3- This policy is reviewed and updated annually.
An employee who suspects that he has a blood or body fluid exposure may request to be tested at the School System’s expense, provided that the suspected exposure poses a significant risk of exposure as defined in the rules of the Health Services Commission.
The source individual’s test results will be made available to the exposed employee with or without the source individual’s permission, as long as significant risk of exposure has occurred (Communicable Disease Control Measure 15A NCAC 19A.0202(4) adopted by the North Carolina Health Services Commission). The Caswell County Public Schools shall strictly adhere to existing confidentiality rules and laws regarding employees with communicable diseases, including HIV or HIV-associated conditions.
The Caswell County Public Schools shall not discriminate against any applicant or employee who has, or is suspected of having HIV infection or AIDS. An employee with HIV infection or AIDS may continue to work as long as the employee is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the job and there is no medical evidence indicating that the employee’s condition is a health threat to coworkers, students, or the public.
Board of Education Policy 755
Drug and Alcohol Testing
The Caswell County Public Schools will implement the following alcohol and drug testing program(s):
- All new employees who hold a CDL, and who in any capacity, drive a regular school bus, handicapped school bus, or activity school bus, must satisfactorily pass the school district administered drug screening test before beginning their driving responsibilities.
- All individuals who hold a CDL, and who in any capacity drive a regular school bus, handicapped school bus, or activity school bus must participate in the school district administered post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return to duty, and follow up testing program, for both alcohol and drugs, which is held throughout the year.
The Caswell County Public Schools will also require all current employees, who either drive a school or state-owned vehicle, or are paid a monthly stipend in lieu of driving such a vehicle, to pass the initial drug-screening test. They also must participate in the school district administered post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return to duty, and follow up testing program for both alcohol and drugs held through the year.
The Caswell County Public Schools will require all current employees, who either drives a school or state-owned vehicle to:
- Submit to an immediate medical examination, including alcohol and/or drug testing where a designee has reasonable cause.
- Submit immediately to alcohol or drug testing if the employee is either involved in an accident while operating a school vehicle which results in personal injury to anyone or in property damage in excess of $500; or is responsible for maintaining any equipment which malfunctions and results in personal injury or property damage in excess of $500.
The Caswell County Public Schools will also require any individual who tests between 0.01 and 0.019 on the alcohol breathalyzer test, to be, on the first offense – relieved from driving. Any individual who tests positive for any amount of illegal drugs will be relieved from driving.
In all cases of alcohol or drug use, the employee is subject to termination.
Board of Education Policy 740
Tobacco Free Schools
In an effort to reinforce the teaching of the harmful effects of tobacco use and to provide a healthful working environment for employees, students, and the public, the Caswell County Board of Public Education directs that there be no tobacco use by anyone, in school facilities, on school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned, or operated by the local school administrative unit.
This policy further prohibits the use of all tobacco products by persons attending a school-sponsored event at a location not listed in this subsection when in the presence of students or school personnel or in an area where smoking is otherwise prohibited by law.
This revised policy takes affect when mandated by State Law 115C-407, which is August 1, 2008.
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action of Board employees; all others will be asked to refrain from tobacco use or remove themselves from school board property.
Board of Education Policy 736
Health Examination Certificates
All public school employees upon initial employment and those who have been separated from public school employment more than one school year must have on file in the Human Resources Department a completed copy of the Health Certificate before assuming his/her duties.
Employees are evaluated according to regulations established by the Caswell County Board of Education and the Superintendent and/or any rules and regulations required by the North Carolina State Board of Education. The primary function of the evaluation is to provide a means for growth and to measure job performance. Regulations by job category are summarized below. Contact the CCS Office of Human Resources for additional information.
Licensed Staff: Beginning teachers and other professional staff completing their first year in Caswell County Schools will be formally observed at least four times during the school year by the principal or designee with at least one of those observations completed by a peer. An evaluation using specific performance appraisal instruments will be conducted at year-end. In addition, individual professional development plans (PDP), based on performance needs and goals of the school improvement plan and school system, is required.
All other licensed staff members will be evaluated based upon their license renewal cycle. Years during the renewal cycle are called the “off-years.” The year the license expires is called the “on-year” cycle. Specific processes take place during each cycle. An individual PDP is also required during the renewal cycle.
Note: If any licensed staff member is rated below proficient on the evaluation rubric, the individual will be placed on a monitored or directed professional development plan (PDP) along with an action or intervention plan.
Board of Education Policy 770
Licensed staff may be placed on a temporary or a teacher contract.
Temporary contracts are issued in a variety of situations. Because they are temporary, they include an ending date. For example, a teacher who is employed in an interim position to fill a family leave vacancy would be issued a temporary contract.
Teacher contracts are issued for one year. The principal makes a recommendation to the Superintendent to offer a contract for the next school year. Teachers must receive notice of a non-renewal by June 1 of a given contract year.
Employee Dress Code
The Caswell County Board of Education recognizes that teachers and other staff are role models for the students. The manner in which teachers and staff present themselves will be reflected in the conduct of the students and the respect given teachers, staff and the school system by the community. To this end, all staff members must appear neat, clean, and at all times appropriately dressed for a business or professional environment, in accordance with the position held by the employee.
It is required that men wear collared shirts (except that non collared shirts with buttons and turtleneck shirts are allowed) or sweaters and slacks and that women wear skirts, dresses, jumpers, dressy shorts (city shorts), or slacks. Jeans and wind suits are allowed. Sweat pants are not allowed. Clothing for all must be non-distracting in length and fit. The principals or supervisor may approve variations for special situations such as field days, spirit days, and class or team days, work days (when there are no parent conferences or meetings involving the public) or for those individuals whose responsibilities may necessitate an alternate form of dress, such as physical education teachers, vocational education instructors, coaches and auxiliary personnel.
Administrators and administrative support employees are expected to project a professional image. They are to be dressed and be groomed appropriately in accordance with these guidelines.
Determination of the appropriateness of dress shall be left up to the discretion of the principal or immediate supervisor. He or she will counsel the individual employee regarding suitable, appropriate, acceptable, and professional dress.
Reasonable accommodations shall be made by their appropriate supervisor for those employees who because of a sincerely held religious belief, cultural heritage, or medical reason request a waiver of a particular part of this policy for dress or appearance. Refer to Board of Education Policy 796.
Board of Education Policy 796
Employees nearing retirement should contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance in planning retirement at least 120 days prior to the anticipated retirement date. To access the most detailed and up-to-date information as well as the “Benefits Handbook”, employees can go to www.myncretirement.com. See also the “Benefits” section of this handbook for additional information.
Licensed employees included within the definition of “teacher” under North Carolina G.S. 115C-325 are subject to the dismissal procedures outlined in that law. Although non-licensed employees are not entitled to the protections of North Carolina G.S. 115C325, and are considered employees-at-will, the school system is committed to fair employment practices that assure a reasonable basis for dismissal or termination.
NC General Statute 115C-325
Licensed employees must resign 30-calendar days prior to leaving the system. The 30 days are counted from the date of receipt of the resignation by the Office of Human Resources. Failure to give a 30-calendar day notice may result in license revocation. It is requested that non-licensed support staff give at least 14 calendar days’ notice prior to resigning from the school system unless other arrangements are approved by their supervisor. Any employee separating from the school system will receive an exit interview form.
All personnel who resign and then return to employment or change status from full time to part time back to full time will be required to fulfill all requirements in place when returning.