Certificated and Classified Evaluation and Discipline for K-12 Districts

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Traditionally, "discipline" has been defined as a formal adverse action by management toward an employee, including demotion, salary decrease, reprimand, suspension, and dismissal.  Discipline has been viewed as the chief means by which management maintains order and production in the workplace.

However, it is important to view "discipline" in a much broader and more contemporary context.  In actuality, discipline should be part of an overall appraisal system designed to assure optimum employee performance.  After all, employees have been shown to perform optimally when they receive regular and positive reinforcement for their good work and when they are alerted, as early as possible (and, if possible, through non-disciplinary means), to performance deficiencies.

In this context, the proper focus of any "disciplinary" procedure or policy should not be directed toward taking negative action against "problem" employees.  Rather, the focus ought to encompass:

  • Regular evaluation and appraisal of employees;
  • Appropriate recognition and rewards for jobs well done;
  • Consideration of appropriate training and educational vehicles for improving performance and enabling promotion as appropriate, as well as;
  • Consideration of appropriate counseling and punitive actions when indicated by substandard job performance or misconduct.

The focus of this workbook is on two of the most critical phases of this process—evaluation of an employee, and when necessary and appropriate, discipline of an employee.

Topics Include:  

  • Overarching Principles of Evaluations
    • Overview of the Evaluation Process
    • The Ongoing Evaluation System:  Gathering the Facts
    • Constructive Feedback
    • How to Prepare an Effective Written Evaluation
    • The Face-to-Face Evaluation Meeting
  • Evaluations of Certificated Employees
    • Assessment
    • Non-Instructional Personnel
    • Procedural Requirements and Time Lines
    • Post-Evaluation Action
  • Evaluations of Administrators
  • Evaluations of Classified Employees Under the Merit System
  • Evaluations of Classified Employees in Districts Without a Merit System
  • General Principles Governing Discipline
    • Frequent Disciplinary Problems
    • Checklist of Sources of Disciplinary Grounds
    • “Good Cause” Checklist
    • Investigate! - Factual Basis for Discipline Must be Verifiable
    • Checklist for Analyzing Discipline Problems
    • Progressive Discipline
    • Progressive Discipline Checklist
  • Discipline And Dismissal Of At-Will Employees
  • Non-Reelection of Probationary Certificated Employees
    • Provide Notice by March 15 of Preceding Academic Year
    • Consequences of Failure to Provide Proper Notice
    • Resignation in Lieu of Non-Reelection
  • Discipline of Certificated Employees for Cause
    • Prerequisites to Dismissal and “Statutory” Suspensions: Notice and Opportunity to Improve Unprofessional Conduct or Unsatisfactory Performance
    • Critical Deadlines
    • Dismissal and Suspension of Permanent Certificated Employees
    • Grounds
    • Grounds for Immediate Suspension Pending Termination
    • Suspension or Transfer Due to Mental Illness
    • Skelly procedures
    • Obligation to Report to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing
    • Overview of Dismissal Process
    • Hearing
  • Discipline of Classified Employees Not Under Merit System
    • Cause for Discipline
    • Statutory Grounds for Dismissal
    • Procedures for Implementing Discipline
    • Remedies for Failure to Provide Pre-Discipline Due Process
    • The Liberty Interest (“Lubey”) Requirements
    • Issuance of Final Notice of Discipline
    • Post-Disciplinary Appeal Hearing
    • Judicial Review
  • Discipline of Classified Employees Under Merit System
    • Cause for Discipline
    • Suspension, Demotion or Dismissal
    • Compulsory Leave of Absence – Sex Offenses and Controlled Substance Offenses
    • Appeal of Suspension, Demotion or Dismissal
    • Probationary Period
  • Discipline and Dismissal of Administrators
    • General Principles
    • Release of Administrators Not Employed by Contract
    • Administrators with Permanent Classification as Teachers
    • Transfer of Employee from Administrative or Supervisory Position to Classroom Position
  • Legal Considerations
    • The Ralph M. Brown Act (“The Brown Act”)
    • Placement of Documents in Personnel File
    • First Amendment Rights (Employee Speech)
    • Discrimination
    • Discrimination for Workers’ Compensation Claim or Injury
    • Retaliation for Engaging in “Protected Activity”
    • Whistleblower Claims
    • Accommodation for Disability
    • Invasion of Privacy
    • When Misconduct Investigations Are Public Records

This document is provided as a benefit to Liebert Library subscribers and cannot be shared outside of their organization. The information contained within is a template only and is not designed to address the specific and unique issues, internal rules, practices, and/or governing documents that might be in place at your organization. You should always consult with legal counsel prior to implementation of any documents.

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