Faculty Handbook

CODE OF ETHICS

The professional educator should at all times:

  1. Reflect on personal practice and seek opportunities to grow and improve as an educator, and share best practices with colleagues.
  2. Collaborate with colleagues in a manner that supports academic achievement and related goals that promote the best interests of Slate School and its community. All communication should be thoughtful and intended to nurture growth and development of the individual and of the professional community.
  3. Demonstrate respect for the entire Slate School environment.
  4. Respect the privacy of students and their families, and hold in confidence all student and school communication, documents, or information obtained in the course of professional practice.
  5. Protect the confidentiality of student records and personal data in accordance with prescribed state and federal laws and local policies.
  6. Consider the implication of accepting gifts from or giving gifts to parents/guardians.

Without limiting the general standard set forth above, at no time may Faculty: 

  1. Authorize the use of, or use for the benefit or advantage of any person, the name, emblem, endorsement, services, or property of Slate School, except in conformance with Slate School policy. 
  2. Accept or seek, on behalf of himself or herself, or any other person, any financial advantage or gain. For example, you may not privately tutor current students for pay; use school resources to develop or operate a separate employment venture; or other activities as determined by Slate School in its sole discretion and as communicated to you.
  3. Publicly utilize any Slate School affiliation in connection with the promotion of partisan politics, religious matters, or positions on any issue not in conformity with the official position of Slate School.  
  4. Operate in any matter that is contrary to the best interests of Slate School or that undermines your ability to effectively carry out your job responsibilities as a member of the faculty.
  5. Post or share photos of students or faculty without prior written permission.

OVERVIEW

This faculty and employee handbook is designed to acquaint you with SLATE SCHOOL and provide you with information about the School’s expectations, employee benefits, working conditions and policies affecting your employment. You should read, understand and comply with all provisions of this handbook.

This handbook is intended to serve as a practical guide.  It is a summary compiled for the convenience of our faculty and employees and is not intended to cover all topics or circumstances.  In order to best serve the needs of the School and our students, the School reserves the right to respond to specific situations in a manner most appropriate given the circumstances and individuals involved. Where there are differences between the provisions of this handbook and other documents, (such as insurance policies), the more specific statements or documents shall control.

This handbook is also intended to be compliant with changes in the law.  To the extent that there are changes in the law that impact any of these policies, the School is committed to complying with the law and will not enforce any policy that has been superseded by law.  The School’s policies are not intended to limit any rights that an employee may have under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) or other laws, or to limit employees in their speaking, writing or otherwise communicating about their wages, hours, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, or acting for their individual or mutual benefit under the NLRA or other laws

Nothing in this handbook is intended to create an expressed or implied contract of employment.  SLATE SCHOOL does not recognize any contract of employment unless it is reduced to writing and signed by the employee and an authorized officer of the School.  We adhere to the principle of employment-at-will, which allows either party to terminate the employment relationship at any time.  However, fairness and common sense dictate that the unique circumstances of each case will be considered when the School makes any decision regarding termination of employment.

SLATE SCHOOL reserves the right to change, revise, or eliminate any of the policies and/or benefits described in this handbook in its sole and absolute discretion during any period your employment with the School. Faculty and employees will, of course, be notified of such changes as they occur. The only recognized deviations from the stated policies are those authorized and signed by the Director of School.

FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

The following is the "general procedure" for faculty members.  Just as we expect and demand certain attitudes and behavior of students at SLATE SCHOOL, we must expect of ourselves even higher standards of adult behavior.  This section of the faculty handbook should help to guide new teachers and to remind older faculty of school policy.

Faculty Attire

Faculty dress should serve as a good example for students, and they should always dress in professional, clean, and neat attire. Faculty will be outdoors every day, so attire should be appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Faculty are encouraged to have an extra supply of clothing at the school that is appropriate for the season.

In our commitment to Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) certification, students and faculty have indoor shoes which are kept at school and worn in the classroom. Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) is a national program that partners with child care professionals to eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards

Faculty Attendance at School Functions

The following attendance requirements are to be observed by all members of the faculty:

  • Daily school appointments
  • Faculty orientation week
  • Student orientation     
  • Opening day                                       
  • Parents’ Day/Day Parents’ Nights                             
  • Faculty meetings
  • Project celebrations
  • End of Term Meetings

Faculty Meetings

Faculty meetings are held weekly on Thursdays from 3:15-4:15pm. Attendance by all faculty is expected.

DAILY SCHEDULE AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Faculty are reminded that it is their responsibility, in the event of their inability to meet any classes due to illness to:

Notify Jennifer Staple-Clark and Julie Mountcastle no later than 7:00 a.m. by text at 203-417-6968 (Jennifer) and 203-909-1164 (Julie) and by email at info@slateschool.org and jmountcastle@slateschool.org

Give all details at that time about assignments, expected length of absence, duties to be covered and other responsibilities.

Inability of faculty to meet classes for reasons other than illness should be discussed with the Director. 

Planned Work Related Absences: Faculty members must submit a faculty absence form at least 24 hours in advance. 

CLASSROOM PROCEDURES


Materials: Slate School is designed to be one of the most environmentally-friendly schools in the country. The campus is free of pesticides and fertilizers, and all buildings are free of formaldehydes, VOCs, lead, and other toxic chemicals. The school cleaning supplies are natural. The school is constructed of the highest quality environmentally-focused building materials, and the playground is made of untreated cedar wood, and untreated wood chips are used for the ground covering. Slate School's classrooms are filled with natural wooden furniture as well as natural wooden toys, wooden blocks, peg people, play silks, and a variety of natural loose parts. The children's art supplies include beeswax crayons, modeling beeswax, eco-friendly glue, among other materials. Similarly, additions to classroom materials should always be reviewed to ensure that they are free of formaldehydes, VOCs, lead, and other toxic chemicals.

Hand washing: Slate School values hand washing as an effective tool to stop the spread of illness. Therefore, children and staff wash hands immediately upon arrival for the day. Additionally, children wash hands with environmentally-friendly soap several times each day. Faculty should facilitate hand washing when returning to the classroom, and before snacks and meals. 

Food: Due to food allergies and sensitivities, children must eat only the food that they have brought to school from home. All school-provided snacks are plant-based and certified organic. All food should be prepared only in Slate School's glass, wood, and stainless steel cooking supplies, so as to ensure food-safe materials and to avoid heavy metals, Teflon, and other common contaminants in cooking materials.

Morning drop-off: There is a faculty rotation for supervising morning drop-off. Each day, a faculty member is stationed in the drop-off zone from 8:30-9:00am. Parents bringing students after 9:00am must park and accompany their child into Grove.

Dismissal protocol: Directly following closing circle, students being picked up will pack their belongings, and a teacher accompanies them to Grove. Faculty oversee dismissal to ensure that students are only released to individuals who are included as an authorized pickup in the student record system.

The Enrichment Program teachers have their students remain in Treetop, where they begin each session with snack. Dismissal from the enrichment program follows the same plan as dismissal from the regular school day. The teacher accompanies them to Grove. Faculty oversee dismissal to ensure that students are only released to individuals who are included as an authorized pickup in the student record system.

Parent visitors: Parent visits are encouraged, and parents may register in advance to share or assist in the classroom. Parents may also choose to work in the garden or library by prior arrangement. All visitors, including parents, must wear a visitor lanyard. 

Guidelines for parent participants:

  • Parents should register the day and time of their visit in advance. If it becomes necessary to cancel, please be sure to notify the school as soon as possible.
  • Turn your cell phone ringer off, and put your phone away. 
  • Photos should not be taken in the classroom. In order to maintain the privacy of individual students, please refrain from posting about your visits on social media.
  • Respect all children and families in the school. Please do not inquire about your child, or other children, during your visit, including their behavior, academics, or other personal questions.
  • Speak respectfully at all times.
  • Always use positive, encouraging language, and refrain from using any labels, including shy, rowdy, hyper, bossy, etc.
  • Any concerns that arise from your experience in the classroom should be confidential and discussed privately with the teacher or Head Teacher at a scheduled time.
  • Dress appropriately for the task and weather. All participants in the school, including students and parents, should wear well-fitting clothes that provide full coverage of the torso.  All clothing should be free of printed pictures and text. 

Buildings: Procedures for opening and closing of classrooms are posted in each building.

Health: First aid kits are located in each building. Issues about student and teacher illness are covered in the health policy binder.

Insect considerations: To avoid tick bites, students should refrain from exploration in areas with tall grass and woods.

Fire Drill Protocol

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TELEPHONE

The office will not put through personal calls for faculty unless they are of an extremely important nature.  Faculty may continue to use the phone for calls to parents of students and advisees, or for professional purposes ONLY. 

Phone calls to parents should occur before and after school. 

Cell phone use is for school purposes only. Cell phones may be used for capturing events and student mastery. Research is best accomplished on the computer, and may occassionally be done on cell phones as well.

If you must receive or make an emergency call, please move to the most private space available.

Student Progress and Parent Communications

Communication between home and school is critical to the success of all students. Slate School values all opportunities to share expectations, growth, and challenges with families in order to support students.  Shortly after the year begins, there is an opportunity for families to see the classroom and hear more from the teacher about the daily routines and the classroom community. As the school year continues, teachers share daily and monthly communication about the life of the classroom with families. Additionally, two parent/teacher conferences are scheduled during the academic year to discuss student progress.

Similarly, communication generated from home to school is equally valued. In most cases, email is the most efficient form for this communication. Teachers typically respond to emails by the end of the day, and in all cases within 24 hours. Paper notes sent to school are discouraged, as they sometimes get misplaced, and important communication may be delayed. Teachers may also be reached by phone in the classroom in case of emergency. The teachers’ primary task and central focus, however, is on daily interactions with students, and they may therefore be unavailable for school-day conferences and conversations unless agreed upon in advance.

Teachers are expected to maintain a communication log in Slate School’s Slate system.

Lunch and Snacks

We believe that educators should provide children with an opportunity to appreciate and care for their environment, and that the School is responsible for ensuring a healthy environment for each child. Therefore, parents and guardians should provide their child with a healthy daily snack and lunch. All food brought to Slate School should be nutritious. Students should not bring unhealthy foods, such as cakes, donuts, cookies, candy, gum, etc. We ask that parents help us reduce the amount of trash and recyclables by sending food in reusable containers.

Parents provide a water bottle as a beverage. Parents are asked not to send milk, soda, juice, or other types of beverages.

Slate School may occasionally provide snacks, which will mostly be derived from the organic garden. All food provided by Slate School will be plant-based and certified organic.

Parents should notify the Head Teacher if their child has a food or other life-threatening allergy that may require medical attention or other accommodation.

In order to respect the food culture of Slate School, we ask that parents not bring snacks or food for birthdays. Instead, our birthday tradition involves reading your child’s favorite book with the class, or sending the book in with your child if you cannot attend.

SCHOOL POLICIES AND PRACTICES

Nondiscrimination Policy

SLATE SCHOOL is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity for all current faculty and employees as well as for applicants in all phases of the hiring and employment process.  Therefore, the School will act without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or any other characteristics protected by applicable law except in cases of a bona fide occupational qualification or need in all aspects of the employment process and relationship.  This policy is based on the understanding that an applicant or employee is able to perform the essential functions of the job applied for or held, with or without reasonable accommodation, and without creating undue hardship for the School.  Employment decisions will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities.

Employees with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace are encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of their immediate supervisor or the appropriate administrator.  Employees can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal.  Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment.

Employee Conduct and Work Rules

To ensure orderly School operations and to provide the best possible work and educational environment, the School expects employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all employees and our students.

It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace.  The following are a few examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action.  Disciplinary action might include a verbal warning written warning, final warning, suspension and/or termination of employment.  The appropriate disciplinary action imposed will be determined by the School.  The School does not guarantee that one form of disciplinary action will necessarily precede another.

•     Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of property.

•     Falsification of time‑keeping records.

•     Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

•     Possession, distribution, sale, transfer or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace while on duty or while operating School-owned vehicles or equipment.

•     Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace.

•     Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of School-owned or student/parent-owned property.

•     Insubordination or other disrespectful conduct.

•     Violation of safety or health rules.

•     Sexual or other unlawful harassment.

•     Excessive absenteeism or any absence without notice.

•     Unauthorized disclosure of School or student confidential information.

•     Violation of personnel policies.

Employment with the School is at the mutual consent of School and the employee, and either party may terminate that relationship at any time, with or without cause and with or without advance notice. 

Background Checks

Prospective employees are subject to completing a successful background check in compliance with applicable law as a condition of their employment.  Failure to comply with these requirements will result in withdrawal of any offer of employment and/or termination.

Confidentiality

During your employment at SLATE SCHOOL you may be exposed to confidential information. The protection of confidential information is vital to the interests and the success of the School and its students.  Such confidential information includes but is not limited to the following examples:

·      Grades, test materials and other student confidential information

·      Financial information

·      Student recruitment strategies

·      Personnel information and records

·      Medical information

·      Personal or financial information about members of the various school constituencies, i.e. alum, parent, friends, etc.

Any disclosure of confidential information or School property without prior authorization, regardless of whether the employee receives any personal gain from such action, constitutes unacceptable conduct.  Any faculty or employee who participates in such a practice will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment. 

Employees must take all reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of student and other sensitive information and shall not at any time, either during or after employment with the School, directly or indirectly use or disclose any confidential information about students, families, colleagues or the School, except as may be necessary in the ordinary course of performing his or her duties as an employee of the School.

Employees will be required, immediately upon separation from employment for any reason, to return to the School any and all property that belongs to the School and all materials containing any confidential information, in any form, including but not limited to printed material, computer disks or similar electronic storage materials.

Privacy Protection Policy

We may collect certain personal information, including Social Security numbers, in the course of our business.  We will take what we believe to be reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the Social Security numbers we collect.  

How do we protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers?

We protect the confidentiality of the Social Security numbers we collect in the course of business by maintaining what we believe to be reasonable physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect their confidentiality, including steps to:

·                    Limit access to the Social Security numbers we collect to appropriate persons

·                    Prohibit unlawful disclosure of the Social Security numbers we collect

·                    Review these safeguards on a regular basis

·                    Train our employees in the proper handling of Social Security numbers

·                    Obtain the agreement of our outside business partners who have authorized access to Social Security numbers to protect the confidentiality of the Social Security numbers.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The School provides a comprehensive Workers’ Compensation insurance program at no cost to employees. This program covers any injury or illness sustained in the course of employment that requires medical, surgical or hospital treatment.  Subject to applicable legal requirements, if a workplace injury is determined to be compensable Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits after a short waiting period or if the employee is hospitalized, immediately.

Any employee who sustains a work‑related injury or illness must inform his or her supervisor immediately.  No matter how minor an on‑the‑job injury may appear, it is important that it be reported immediately.  This will enable an eligible employee to qualify for coverage as quickly as possible in appropriate cases.

Neither the School nor the insurance carrier will be liable for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that occur during an employee’s voluntary participation in any off‑duty recreational, social or athletic activity sponsored by the School.

Employees must wear the same necessary, required safety equipment prescribed for students when participating in sports and activities – Examples include bike helmets, hockey helmets and face mask, shin guards, mouth guards, etc.  Employees must also use any necessary personal protective equipment, such as eye and hearing protection, whenever appropriate for the work being performed.  Employees must never alter or remove any type of equipment safety or guard device.  Finally, employees should always report any missing, damaged or non-functioning personal protective equipment or equipment safety or guard device.

Immigration Law Compliance

The School is committed to employing only United States citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States.  The School does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of citizenship or national origin.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 each new employee, as a condition of employment, must complete the Employment Verification Form I‑9 and present documentation establishing identity and employment eligibility.  Former employees who are re‑hired must also complete the form if they have not completed an I‑9 with the School within the past three years or if their previous I‑9 is no longer retained or valid.  In certain cases, depending on the nature of the documentation the employee has presented to complete the I-9, it may be necessary to re-verify his or her employment eligibility at a later time.  Employees must notify the School of any change in their employment eligibility status.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Drug and alcohol use is highly detrimental to the safety and productivity of employees in the workplace and is of particular concern in an educational workplace.  Therefore, no employee may be under the influence of any illegal drug or alcohol while on duty at the School, while performing their duties on behalf of the School at any other location, or while operating a vehicle or equipment owned or leased by the School. 

The unlawful manufacture, possession, distribution, transfer, purchase, sale or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while on School property, while on duty at any other location or while operating a vehicle or equipment leased or owned by the School is strictly prohibited.  Failure to comply with these policies may lead to disciplinary action, including suspension without pay or discharge from employment.  The School may allow limited exceptions to this policy in regard to consumption of alcohol at School sponsored or authorized events. 

Employees may of course use physician‑prescribed medications, provided that the use of such drugs does not adversely affect job performance or the safety of the employee, co-workers, students or other individuals in the workplace. 

The School recognizes that employees may wish to seek professional assistance in overcoming drug or alcohol problems.  When appropriate, the School may refer the employee to approved counseling or rehabilitation programs. Please contact the Director for more information about the benefits potentially available under the employee medical benefit plans and any possible referral sources.

Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Harassment

Harassment of an employee by a supervisor, co-worker or visitors to the School on the basis of sex or inclusion in a protected class under law, creates a harmful working environment and is illegal under state and federal law.  It is the policy of the School to maintain a working environment free from harassment, insults or intimidation on the basis of an employee's sex or inclusion in a protected class (e.g. race, religion, sexual orientation etc.  While this policy specifically addresses sexual harassment, the School will not tolerate harassment on any other basis as well (see section B, below).

A.        Sexual Harassment

Verbal or physical conduct by a supervisor or co-worker relating to an employee's sex which has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance, or adversely affecting the employee's employment opportunities is prohibited.

While it is difficult to define sexual harassment precisely, it does include any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1.         Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

2.         Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

3.         Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Although not an exhaustive list, the following are examples of the type of conduct prohibited by the policy against sexual harassment:

1.         Unwelcome sexual advances from a co-worker or supervisor, such as unwanted hugs, touches, or kisses;

2.         Unwelcome attention of a sexual nature, such as degrading, suggestive or lewd remarks or noises;

3.         Dirty jokes, derogatory or pornographic posters, cartoons or drawings; and

4.         The threat or suggestion that continued employment advancement, assignment or earnings depend on whether or not the employee will submit to or tolerate harassment.

Any infraction of this policy should be reported immediately to the Director.  The School will keep such reports or complaints confidential to the extent reasonably possible under the particular circumstances, sharing them with others only on a need-to-know basis, and to enable an investigation and resolution.  All reports or complaints of suspected sexual harassment will be investigated.

Retaliation against any employee for complaining about sexual harassment is prohibited under this policy and illegal under state and federal law.  Violations of this policy will not be permitted and may result in discipline up to and including discharge from employment.  Individuals who engage in acts of sexual harassment may also be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed in the workplace in violation of this policy may also file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 25 Sigourney Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06106.  (TELEPHONE NUMBER 860-541-3400; TDD NUMBER 860-541-3459) and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Boston Area Office, John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203 (TELEPHONE NUMBER 1-800-669-4000; TTY NUMBER 1-800-669-6820).  Connecticut law requires that a formal written complaint be filed with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities within 180 days of the date when the alleged harassment occurred.  Remedies for sexual harassment include cease and desist orders, back pay, compensatory damages, hiring, promotion or reinstatement.

B.     Other Forms of Harassment

While this policy specifically addresses sexual harassment, other types of harassment also are prohibited by federal or state law, such as harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, disability, age or other characteristic protected under state or federal law.

Therefore, employees of the School should also report situations involving any of these other forms of harassment, to the Head Teacher and Founder.  Any questions should be directed to the Head Teacher and Founder.  As with sexual harassment, employees may make inquiries of, or file complaints with, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. 

Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect or Sexual Assault

Private schools, as do public schools, have a statutory obligation to report to the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) suspected cases of child abuse or neglect as defined by Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-120.  The scope of this obligation is contained in the mandatory reporting statutes, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101.  Mandated reporters include all school employees, including but not limited to, faculty, administrators, guidance counselors, psychologists, nurses, physicians and coaches.  Mandated reporters also include any other person, who in the performance if his/her duties, has regular contact with students and provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in the School, pursuant to a contract with the School.  In addition, however, it is the School’s policy that all employees, regardless of whether they are statutory mandated reporters, must report incidences of suspected abuse and neglect to the Head Teacher.

Please note, this policy only summarizes the requirements under the mandatory reporting statutes.  Please contact the Director if you have any questions.

What Must Be Reported

Connecticut law requires a mandated reporter to report to DCF if, in the ordinary course of such person’s employment or profession, the person has reasonable cause to suspect or to believe that a child under the age of eighteen:

1)             has been abused or neglected;

2)             has had nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given for such injury, inflicted upon him/her; or

3)             is placed at imminent risk of serious harm.

For purposes of this policy:

"Abused" means that a child:

(a)   has had physical injury or injuries inflicted upon him other than by accidental means;

(b)  has injuries which are at variance with the history given of them; or

(c)   is in a condition which is the result of maltreatment, such as, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment.

"Neglected" means that a child:

(a)   has been abandoned;

(b)  is being denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally or morally;

(c)   is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to his well-being; or

(d)   has been abused.

Suspicion or belief that a child has been abused or neglected does not require certainly or probably cause and may be based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, observations, allegations, facts or statements by a child or victim or a third party.

If a faculty or staff member, or any other school employee, has reasonable cause to suspect that another school employee has sexually assaulted a student, regardless of the student’s age, the faculty or staff member or other employee should report such suspicion to the Head Teacher who will then in turn, contact law enforcement or other agencies as appropriate in accordance with the procedures below. 

Reporting Procedures for Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect or Sexual Assault

If a faculty or staff member or other school employee, in the ordinary course of such person's employment, has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused, neglected or placed at imminent risk of serious harm, the following steps shall be taken.

(1) The employee shall make an oral report to the Head Teacher as soon as possible but no later than twelve (12) hours after forming a reasonable suspicion.  The employee or other designated school administrator or employee shall also make an oral report by telephone or in person to DCF or local law enforcement not later than twelve (12) hours after having reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected or placed at imminent risk of serious harm.  DCF has established a 24 hr. hotline for such reports:  1-800-842-2288.

(2) If the school receives notice from DCF of allegations that a school employee has abused or neglected a student, the Head Teacher, shall immediately notify the child's parent or guardian that such a report has been made.

(3) Within 48 hours of making an oral report, the employee shall submit a written report to DCF containing all of the required information with a copy to the Head Teacher.

(4) If the report concerns suspected abuse or neglect by a certified school employee, the Head Teacher shall submit a copy of the written report to the Commissioner of Education or his/her representative.

Contents of Reports

Any oral or written report made pursuant to this policy shall contain the following information, if known:

a)         The names and addresses of the child and his/her parents or other person responsible for his/her care;

b)         the age of the child;

c)         the gender of the child;

a)              the nature and extent of the child's injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect;

b)             the approximate date and time the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect occurred;

c)              information concerning any previous injury or injuries to, or maltreatment or neglect of the child or his/her siblings;

d)             the circumstances in which the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect came to be known to the reporter;

e)              the name of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; and

f)              whatever action, if any, was taken to treat, provide shelter or otherwise assist the child.

Investigation of the Report

(a) The Director or his/her designee shall investigate any report of abuse or neglect if such report involves a school employee or other individual under the control of the School (including students), provided such investigation does not impede an investigation by DCF.  In all other cases, DCF shall be responsible for conducting the investigation with the cooperation and collaboration of the school, as appropriate.

(b) Recognizing the fact that DCF is the lead agency for the investigation of child abuse and neglect reports, the School’s investigation shall permit and give priority to any investigation conducted by DCF and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency.  The School shall conduct the its investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action, consistent with state law, and upon notice from DCF or local law enforcement that the School’s investigation will not interfere with the investigation by DCF and/or local law enforcement.  The School shall coordinate with DCF and/or the police in order to minimize the number of interviews of any child and to share information with other persons authorized to conduct an investigation of abuse and neglect, as appropriate.

(c) When investigating a report, the Head Teacher or his/her designee shall endeavor to obtain, when possible, the consent of parents or guardians of other persons responsible for the care of the child to an interview with the child, except in those cases where there is reason to believe that the parents or guardians or other persons responsible for the care of such child are the perpetrators of the alleged abuse, or where DCF has indicated that obtaining such consent will interfere with its investigation.

 (d)  When conducting investigations involving suspected abuse or neglect by a school employee or other individual under the control of the School, the investigation shall include an opportunity for the individual suspected of abuse/neglect to be heard with respect to the allegations contained in the report.  During the course of the investigation, the Head Teacher may, in his/her discretion, suspend the employee with pay or may place the employee on administrative leave with pay, or consider other disciplinary actions as appropriate pending the outcome of the investigation.

(e)Any employee reporting child abuse/neglect or sexual assault or having information relevant to such allegations shall provide the Head Teacher or Founder with all information related to the investigation that is in his/her possession, except as may be expressly prohibited by law.

Prohibition Against Retaliation

The School expressly prohibits retaliation against individuals reporting child abuse, neglect or sexual assault of a child and shall not discharge in any manner or discriminate or retaliate against any employee who, in the good faith makes, or does not make, a report pursuant to this policy, or testifies or is about to testify in any proceeding involving abuse or neglect.  The School also prohibits any employee from hindering or preventing or attempting to hinder or prevent any employee from making a report pursuant to this policy or state law concerning suspected child abuse or neglect or testifying in any proceeding involving same.

Disciplinary Action for Failure to Follow Policy

Except as provided above, any school employee who fails to comply with the requirements of this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

Reporting Sexual Activity Involving Minor Students

There may be times when sexual activity between or among students may warrant a report to DCF.  In making such decision, a number of factors may be considered, including the relative ages of the children involved, the nature of the sexual activity, the relationship between the students involved, whether it was consensual, each student’s capacity for consent and/or whether the relationship was exploitative, hostile, threatening or otherwise humiliating in nature. The overriding criteria for determining whether a mandated reporter is obligated to report is whether the mandated reporter reasonably suspects or believes that a child is at imminent risk of serious harm or has been abused or neglected.  School employees are encouraged to immediately report any concerns about sexual activity by students, particularly if there is a significant age difference between the students, or allegations that the activity was not consensual, to the Head Teacher.

DCF’s suggested criteria for reporting sexual activity involving minors, regardless of gender, is as follows:

Mandated reporters must report sexual activity involving:

1.              Children under 13 years of age who are engaging in sexual intercourse, have a sexually transmitted disease, are pregnant or who are engaging in sexual activity that is developmentally inappropriate;

2.              Children of any age who are engaging in sexual activity with a member of their family regardless of the age of the individuals;

3.              Children of any age that are in a condition that is the result of sexual molestation or exploitation; or

4.              Children of any age who are engaging in sexual activity and:

a.              the relationship is non-consensual, hostile, contains the use of force, is threatening, and one individual is being exploited, degraded or humiliated;

b.              the child has emotional, psychological, or intellectual disabilities that may preclude him/her from consenting or understanding the consequences of consenting regardless of the child’s age; or

c.              the child is under the age of 16 years and the partner is 21 years or older.

Under Connecticut law, school employees should also be aware that sexual activity involving children under thirteen (13) may also be considered a crime (i.e. statutory rape) depending on the age difference between the parties involved, regardless of whether the activity is consensual and regardless of whether it warrants a report to DCF.

Professional Boundaries with Students

Slate School requires that all faculty, staff and other employees maintain proper standards of professional and personal conduct.  These standards are necessary to protect the School and its employees, our students and to ensure that the School meets its commitments to our school community.

All faculty, staff and other employees are expected to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with students at all times.  This includes respecting the physical space of students, using appropriate language and ensuring that all communications (including electronic) are professional and appropriate.

Of course, any sexual contact and/or romantic relationship with any student is completely inappropriate and forbidden.  Faculty, staff or other employees who observe or become aware of adult behavior that may constitute a boundary violation must report this information immediately to the Director.  Reports related to the possible abuse or neglect of a student, including suspicions of molestation or sexual assault, must be made in accordance with the School’s policy on mandated reporting, as described above.

Attendance and Punctuality

To maintain a safe and productive work environment, the School expects employees to be reliable and punctual in reporting for scheduled work.  Absenteeism and lateness are disruptive and place a burden on other employees and on the School’s administration.  Either of these practices may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment.

Faculty and employees must directly notify both the Head Teacher and Founder as soon as possible in advance of an anticipated lateness or absence.  If the absence is unexpected, notice must be given no later than 7:00a.m. Generally, leaving voice mail, email or text messages is not acceptable.  Only if your immediate supervisor is unavailable should you leave a message on voice mail or email, or send a text message concerning the reason for your absence, as well as a telephone number where you may be reached.  Every effort to reach a live person must be made. 

Personal Appearance

Dress, grooming and personal cleanliness standards contribute to the morale of all faculty, employees and students, and affect the overall image the School presents to the community.

During business hours, employees are expected to present a professional, clean and neat appearance and to dress appropriately for the requirements of their positions.

Consult the appropriate administrator if you have questions concerning appropriate attire.

Fragrance-Free Policy

In accordance with the American Lung Association’s recommendations, Slate School maintains a fragrance-free environment to promote a safe and healthy workplace. Slate School expects that staff remain free of scented products such as cologne, perfume, aftershave lotions, scented lotions, and other fragrances.

Use of cleaning products other than those purchased by Slate School are prohibited for cleaning classrooms and workspaces.

Outside Employment

Employees may hold outside jobs as long as they meet the performance standards of their job with the School.  All employees will be judged by the same performance standards and will be subject to the School’s scheduling demands, regardless of any existing outside work requirements.

If the School determines that an employee’s outside work interferes with their performance or their ability to meet the requirements of their job with the School, as they are modified from time to time, the employee may be asked to terminate the outside employment if he or she wishes to remain with the School. 

Outside employment that constitutes a conflict of interest is prohibited. Faculty and employees may not receive any income or material gain from individuals outside the School for materials produced or services rendered while performing their jobs for the School. 

In all circumstances involving any leave of absence from the School, for whatever reason, employees of SLATE SCHOOL should not be actively employed by any other employer during the leave period.

Conflicts of Interest

All employees have an obligation to conduct business within guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest.  This policy establishes only the framework within which the School wishes its business to operate.  The purpose of these guidelines is to provide general direction so that employees can seek further clarification on issues related to the subject of acceptable standards of operation.

An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when an employee is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for that employee or for a relative as a result of the School’s business dealings.  For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage.

If an employee has any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts or leases, it is imperative that he or she disclose to the Director of School, as soon as possible, the existence of any actual or potential conflict of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

Personal gain may result not only in cases where an employee or relative has a significant ownership in a firm with which the School does business, but also when an employee or relative receives any kickback, bribe, substantial gift or special consideration as a result of any transaction or business dealings involving the School.

Employment Categories

It is important to clarify the definition of employment categories so that employees clearly understand their benefit eligibility and employment status under federal and state wage and hour laws. 

Each employee is designated as either exempt or nonexempt from federal and state wage and hour laws. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay and exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay.  Whether you are exempt or nonexempt is determined by the nature of your position and your duties.  Exempt positions generally fall within three categories: executives, certain administrators, and professionals.  Your status is normally determined at time of hire and is provided to you at that time, but may be subject to change if you should change positions during your employment with the School.  If you have questions about your exempt or nonexempt status please speak with the Business Manager.

Regardless of classification, all employees are responsible for maintaining such records of hours worked and/or time away from work, as the School directs.  Time sheets must be submitted on a biweekly basis corresponding to the pay cycle.  If you have any questions about your record keeping responsibilities please speak directly with your immediate supervisor or the Business Manager. 

In addition to the above categories, each employee is classified as regular full‑time, part‑time or temporary.

Regular Full‑Time Employees

Employees who are not in a temporary or part‑time status.  These employees are regularly scheduled to work a full‑time schedule, working 30+ hours per week on a regular basis. Generally, these employees are eligible for the School’s benefit package, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of each benefit program.

Part‑Time Employees

Employees who are not assigned to a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work less than the full‑time work schedule.  While part‑time employees receive all legally‑mandated benefits (such as workers’ compensation insurance and Social Security), they are ineligible for the School’s other benefit programs. 

Temporary Employees

Employees who are hired as interim replacements or to temporarily supplement the work force or to assist in the completion of a specific project.  Employment assignments in this category are of a limited duration. Employment beyond any initially stated period does not in any way imply a change in employment status.  Temporary employees retain temporary status unless and until notified of a change.  While temporary employees receive all legally‑mandated benefits (such as workers’ compensation insurance and Social Security), they are ineligible for all of the School’s other benefit programs.

Performance Evaluation

Supervisors and employees are strongly encouraged to discuss job performance and goals on an informal, day‑to‑day basis.  Additional formal performance reviews are conducted to provide both supervisors and employees the opportunity to discuss job tasks, identify and correct weaknesses, encourage and recognize strengths and discuss positive, purposeful approaches for meeting goals.

Performance evaluations are scheduled approximately every 12 months, generally coinciding with the annual issuance of your letter of appointment.

Merit‑based pay adjustments are awarded by the School in an effort to recognize truly superior employee performance.  The decision to award such an adjustment is dependent upon numerous factors, including the information documented by this formal performance review process.

Access to Personnel Files

Personnel files are the property of SLATE SCHOOL.  Access to the information contained in these files is restricted.  Generally, only officials and representatives of the School who have a legitimate reason to review the information in a file are allowed to do so.  Upon advance request, an employee may review material in his or her file within seven (7) days of such request at the Business Office.  Such inspection will take place in the presence of the Business Manager or an authorized individual appointed by the Business Manager to maintain the file.  In addition, employees may obtain a copy of their personnel file within seven (7) days of their written request.

For up to one (1) year from date of separation, former employees may inspect their personnel file within ten (10) days of their request to do so, at a mutually agreeable location, or submit a written request and a copy of the file will be mailed to him or her within ten (10) days of receipt. 

In addition, the School will provide a copy of documentation of any disciplinary action or termination to an employee, and the employee may submit a written statement disagreeing with such disciplinary action or termination.  Employees may also submit a statement disagreeing with any performance evaluation.  All such submissions will be maintained as part of the personnel file thereafter.

Personnel Data Changes

It is the responsibility of each employee to promptly notify the School of any changes in personnel data.  Notice must be in writing.  Personnel information includes:

·      personal mailing addresses

·      telephone numbers

·      number and names of dependents

·      individuals to be contacted in the event of an emergency

·      educational accomplishments

·      other such status reports

This information should be accurate and current at all times.  Personnel Data Change Forms can be obtained through the Founder.

Safety

Each employee is expected to obey safety rules and exercise caution in all work activities including but not limited to athletics and recreational activities.  Proper safety equipment must be worn.  Employees must immediately report any unsafe condition to the appropriate supervisor. Employees who violate safety standards and cause hazardous or dangerous situations may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment.  In addition, failure to report and, when appropriate, remedy hazardous or dangerous situations may also result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment.

In the case of accidents that result in injury, regardless of how insignificant the injury may appear, employees should immediately notify their supervisor.  Such reports are necessary to comply with laws and initiate insurance and workers’ compensation benefit procedures.

Some of the best safety improvement ideas come from employees.  Employees with ideas, concerns or suggestions for improved safety in the workplace are encouraged to raise them with the Head Teacher and Founder.  Reports and concerns about workplace safety issues may be made anonymously if the employee wishes.  All reports may be made confidentially without fear of reprisal.

“Whistleblower” Protection Policy

Both SLATE SCHOOL’s Board of Trustees (“the Board”) and its administration do not condone actions that are detrimental to the School’s resources, facilities, community members, or image.  It is not possible for the administration of the School to be at all places at all times, and therefore may be unaware of detrimental behavior/actions.  The Board has created the following policy so that community members may effectively report suspicious or malicious behavior by a School representative without fear of personal or professional retaliation.

Procedure

Any School employee, trustee, student, applicant, or third party vendor must report in good faith suspected illegal or malicious activity to any senior administrator, member of the Board, or human resources representative.  Board member contact information can be obtained through Jennifer Staple-Clark. The reporting party will not be subject to any retaliatory action by the school or any of its members for any good faith report.  

A good faith report would be described as “a reasonable person would reach the conclusion that suspicious, malicious, or illegal activity is occurring.”  All good faith reports should contain the following, at a minimum.

1.         A clear allegation containing as much specific information as possible such as dates, locations, and any other pertinent information, written or verbal.

2.         The name(s) of the person filing the complaint.  Because the school will take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the individual filing the report, the policy does not allow for “anonymous” reports.  The reporter’s confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible within the limitations of law and the need to conduct a competent investigation.

The Board realizes that intentional filing of a false report can have a serious effect on innocent community members.  Just as the Board will not retaliate against any persons who make good faith reports, it will not tolerate any reports made in “bad faith”.  If after investigation it is determined that a false report was filed, the reporter will be subject to the appropriate discipline.

Follow-up:

A senior administrator or Board member will report back to the person(s) making a good faith report that they will/will not be investigating their report.  The actual results and/or findings of any investigation will be handled appropriately and not be separately reported back to the original reporting party.

Formal Complaints or Retaliation:

Any retaliatory acts to or toward a reporter under this policy must be brought to the attention of the Head Teacher and Founder immediately.

Smoking

In keeping with the School’s intent to provide a safe and healthy educational and work environment, smoking or other tobacco use is prohibited anywhere on Slate School’s property. 

This policy applies equally to all employees, customers, vendors and visitors. Therefore, in accordance with Connecticut state law, Sec. 31-40q the School has declared its entire work place as "Smoke Free."  The burning of or use of any tobacco products is expressly prohibited, including cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and any similar device, pipe tobacco, dip or any other matter or substance containing tobacco or nicotine.

Termination of Employment

Terminations are an inevitable part of personnel activity within any organization.  Many of the reasons for termination are routine.  Below are examples of some of the most common circumstances under which employment is terminated:

Resignation

Employment termination initiated by an employee who chooses to leave SLATE SCHOOL voluntarily.

Discharge

Involuntary employment termination initiated by SLATE SCHOOL.

Layoff

Involuntary employment termination initiated by SLATE SCHOOL for non‑disciplinary reasons such as elimination of position(s).

Retirement

Voluntary retirement from active employment status initiated by the employee.

The School will generally schedule exit interviews for terminating employees.  The exit interview will afford an opportunity to discuss such issues as employee benefits, conversion privileges, and repayment of outstanding debts to the School or return of School-owned property.  Suggestions, complaints and questions may also be voiced at this time.

Employee benefits will be affected by employment termination in the following manner:

·      All accrued, vested benefits that are due and payable at termination will be paid except as may be noted elsewhere in this Handbook (e.g., Resignation, see below).

·      Some benefits may be continued at the employee’s expense, if the employee so chooses.

·      Tuition Remission benefit is forfeited upon termination or resignation.

·      The employee will be notified in writing of the benefits that may be continued and of the terms, conditions and limitations of such continuance.

Resignation

Resignation is a voluntary act initiated by the employee to terminate employment.  The School requests at least two weeks written resignation notice from all employees in advance of their resignation effective date.

As noted above, prior to an employee’s departure, an exit interview may be scheduled to discuss the reasons for resignation and the effect of the resignation on benefits.

Return of Property

Employees are responsible for all property, materials or written information issued to them or in their possession or control.  All property must be returned by employees prior to the effective date of any separation from employment with SLATE SCHOOL or at any other time upon the School’s request, including but not limited to, all information, files (hard and soft copies of all documents), records, School brochures and books, computers, handheld electronic devices, cellular telephones, School credit cards, security access cards, computer disks, computer software, computer hardware, thumb drives, computer passwords and other computer access information. If the separating employee later discovers in that he or she has possession, custody or control of any additional property belonging to the School the former employee shall return such property to the School within three (3) business days of its discovery.

Use and Misuse of SLATE SCHOOL’s Computer Network

Computers, networks, Internet access and e-mail (referred to as the School’s “network”) are effective and important communication devices in today's business and educational environments.  SLATE SCHOOL uses its computer network to provide its faculty, employees and students with this business and educational advantage, and to increase the effectiveness of our delivery of information.

These technologies are work-related tools.  As such, they are not provided to our employees for any purpose(s) other than School related uses.  SLATE SCHOOL’s network is expensive to install, own and maintain.  Therefore, in order to maximize the benefits of these technologies to SLATE SCHOOL, its employees, students/parents and others, the following policy shall govern all use of the network.

No Expectation of Privacy

It is important for all users of the network to understand that SLATE SCHOOL, as the owner of the systems, intends to review their use to ensure that only appropriate, School related work and messages are being performed and transmitted.  SLATE SCHOOL intends to monitor the use of its network in a limited fashion, but will do so as needed to maximize utilization of the network for business purposes and according to appropriate protocols that may apply.  Employees, faculty and students should not have any expectation of privacy in the use of the School’s network.

Passwords and Privacy Issues.

Employees must understand that SLATE SCHOOL has reserved the right to conduct reviews of the network’s uses and of e-mail messages and can do so despite the assignment to individual employees of passwords for systems security.  The passwords are designed to provide network security from unauthorized users, not to provide privacy to the individual network user.

The systems' security aspects, such as the message delete function for e-mail and your personal password can be bypassed for review purposes.  SLATE SCHOOL's ability to review system use and any stored messages at any time is not restricted or neutralized by these mechanisms.  Furthermore, network users must recognize that there is no guarantee of privacy in the use of the Internet. 

Please note, however, that if, in the course of reviewing system use, SLATE SCHOOL should review what appears to be a personal use of the systems or locate a personal e-mail message, the review of that personal use or message will end as soon as practicable under the circumstances.  However, the reviewer will record sufficient information concerning the event; for example, if it is a personal e-mail message, basically the date, time and sender of the personal message, and the appropriateness of such personal use to ensure that abusive use of the systems is not occurring.

Misuse of the systems will result in discipline, up to and including possible termination of employment in appropriate cases.

Why Review System Use or E-Mail?

The systems themselves are expensive for SLATE SCHOOLSLATE SCHOOLSLATE SCHOOL to install, operate and maintain.  For that reason alone it is necessary to prevent misuse of the systems.  However, there are other equally important reasons why SLATE SCHOOLSLATE SCHOOLSLATE SCHOOL intends to review the use of the systems, reasons that support its efforts to maintain a comfortable and pleasant environment for all employees and students.

Sadly, modern technologies such as the systems, and particularly e-mail, can be used for dangerous, and even illegal purposes.  Experience by other employers and operators of such systems and e-mail has shown that they can be used for such wrongful purposes as sexual harassment, intimidation of co-workers, threatening of co-workers, breaches of employer, employee or customer confidentiality, copyright infringements, and so on. 

Personal Use Generally Limited.

In order to prevent abusive use of the systems, SLATE SCHOOL will review their use and any personal use will be restricted to the extent permitted by law.  Therefore, in the course of routine review and monitoring by the School there may be observation of personal uses and monitoring of private personal messages.  In general, all users of the systems should restrict themselves to appropriate, School related uses.   Appropriate personal use not during work hours is permitted.   

Examples of Specific Prohibited Uses.

Certain specific types of system misuse are expressly prohibited, including but not limited to the following:

   Sending any form of harassing, threatening, or intimidating message, at any time, to any person (such communications may also be a crime, pursuant to state and federal laws);

   Gaining or seeking to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities;

   Damaging computers, computer files, computer systems or computer networks;

   Using another person's password and/or account, regardless of their permission to do so;

   Trespassing in another's folders, work or files;

   Sending any message that breaches school's confidentiality requirements, or the confidentiality of customers;

   Sending any copyrighted material over the system is a violation and is prohibited:

   Use of the network for illegal purposes or purposes which violate the school rules:

   Use of the network, email, or the Internet to exchange documents that are pornographic in nature or use profanity or vulgarity.

In addition, if a particular behavior or activity is generally prohibited, it should not occur in the use of the systems.  The School reserves the right to amend this policy to include other types of misuse as necessary to maintain proper control over the appropriate use of the systems.

Disciplinary Action.

Misuse of the systems will result in disciplinary action.  Because no two situations are identical, the School reserves the right to determine the appropriate discipline for any particular set of circumstances.

Complaints of Problems or Misuse.

Anyone who is aware of problems with, or misuse of the network, should report this to the Founder or Head Teacher.

Most importantly, the School urges any employee who receives any harassing, threatening or intimidating e-mail or other electronic message(s) to report this immediately.  It is School's policy that no employee should be required to tolerate such treatment, regardless of the identity of the sender of the message.  This is particularly important in sexual, racial or similar harassment situations.  Please report these events!

Employees are encouraged to contact the Founder or Head Teacher, with such information if these messages should occur.  Any such report will be maintained as confidential to the greatest extent possible, while recognizing the need to investigate such reports thoroughly.

Compliance with this policy is mandatory.

Social Media

The School recognizes the importance social media for its employees. However, use of social media by employees may become a problem if: it interferes with the employee’s work; is used to harass coworkers, students or others; creates a hostile work environment; its use violates School rules; or harms the goodwill and reputation of the School among students and parents or the community at large. The School encourages employees to use social media within the parameters of the following guidelines and a way that does not produce the adverse consequences mentioned above.  This policy is not intended to limit employees’ rights under the NLRA or other laws, or to limit employees in their speaking, writing, or otherwise communicating about their wages, hours, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment or in acting for their individual or mutual benefit under the NLRA or other laws. 

Where no policy or guideline exists, employees are expected to use their professional judgment and take the most prudent action possible.  If you are uncertain about the appropriateness of a social media posting, check with your manager or supervisor. 

Note:  As used in this policy, “social media” includes, but is not limited to, forums, and social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

If your posts on social media mention the School, its employees, students or parents, and/or competitors, make clear that you are an employee of the School and that the views posted are yours alone and do not represent the views of the School.

Do not mention School employees, students, parents or others without their express consent.

Unless given written consent, you may not use the School’s logo or trademarks on your posts.

Maintain professionalism. If you see a misrepresentation about the School, any proposed response must be reviewed by Head Teacher or Founder to ensure that it is appropriate to reply, and that any reply is respectful with factual information.

Remember, you are responsible for what you write or present on social media.  You can be sued by other employees, students or parents, and any individual that views your social media posts as defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libelous or creating a hostile work environment.

Under no circumstances should faculty or staff members communicate with currently enrolled students via social media outlets.

Employees may not use School equipment or facilities for non-work related activities without permission.  Social media activities should not interfere with your duties at work.  The School monitors its facilities to ensure compliance with this restriction.

All postings on social media must comply with the School’s confidentiality and disclosure of proprietary information policies. If you are unsure about the confidential nature of information you are considering posting, consult with the Founder or Head Teacher.

Comply with copyright laws, and cite or reference sources accurately. 

Do not link to the School’s website or post School material on a social media site without obtaining written permission from the Founder or Head Teacher.

All School policies that regulate off-duty conduct apply to social media activity including, but not limited to, policies related to illegal harassment, code of conduct, and protecting confidential and/or proprietary information. 

Violation of this policy may lead to discipline up to and including the immediate termination of employment.

Firearms Policy

It is the policy of the School to prohibit the possession and/or use of a firearm by any individual on School grounds or at a School-sponsored function, at any time, subject to the exceptions noted below.  Accordingly, no employee may carry or bring a firearm of any kind to any classroom, School facility, or to a School-sponsored function, regardless of whether the employee has a lawful permit to possess or carry a firearm.  All employees are also prohibited from carrying a firearm in the course and scope of performing their job for the School, whether or not on School property at the time and whether or not the individual has a permit to possess or carry the firearm.

A firearm is defined to include any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged.

Emergency Closings

Occasionally severe, inclement weather conditions may warrant the closing of the SLATE SCHOOL.

During severe, inclement weather conditions, if the School closes, there will be a broadcast message via telephone and e-mail. When operations are required to close, the time off from scheduled work will be paid.  In cases where a closing is not authorized by the School, employees who fail to report for work or who choose to leave work early, will not be paid for the time off.  However, employees may request the use of either available vacation time or a personal day.

Payroll Information

Timekeeping

Accurately recording time worked is the responsibility of every employee. Federal and state laws require SLATE SCHOOL to keep an accurate record of the time an employee has worked to calculate employee pay and benefits.  Time worked is defined as all the time actually spent on‑the‑job performing assigned duties, in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Connecticut General Statutes. All time records must be submitted to the business office.

Nonexempt employees must accurately record the time they begin and end their work periods. Beginning and ending times for split-shifts or early departure from work for personal reasons need to be accurately recorded as well as the beginning and ending time of each meal period. Overtime work must always be approved before it is performed.  While the School will pay for overtime worked, failure to obtain advance approval may result in disciplinary action.

Tampering, altering or falsifying time records or recording time on another employee’s time record may result in disciplinary action, including discharge from employment.

It is your responsibility to complete your time record and certify the accuracy of all the time recorded.  Your supervisor will review and approve the time record before submitting it to payroll for processing.

Paydays

The school is on a biweekly payroll schedule.  Please refer to your appointment letter or employment offer letter for specific start and finish dates of your bi-weekly payments.  In the event that a regularly scheduled payday falls on a day off (i.e., holiday), employees will receive their paychecks on the last day of work before the regularly scheduled payday.  Employees may have their paychecks deposited directly into their bank accounts if they provide advance written authorization to the School.  Employees will receive an itemized statement of wages when the School makes direct deposits.

Pay Deductions

The law requires that employers make certain deductions from every employee’s compensation.  Among these are applicable federal, state and local income taxes.  The employer must also deduct Social Security taxes on each employee’s earnings up to a specified limit that is called the Social Security “wage base.”

Complaint and Correction Procedure

Every precaution is taken to ensure that employees are paid correctly, both exempt and non-exempt and that employees are paid promptly on the scheduled payday.  Further, it is our policy to comply with the salary basis requirements of state and federal wage and hour laws pertaining to exempt employees.  We prohibit improper deductions from the salaries of exempt employees.  As a general matter you should always feel free to check with the Business Manager if you have any questions concerning why deductions were made from your paycheck or how they were calculated.

However, if an employee believes there is an error in their pay, in particular any improper deduction from the salary of an exempt employee, she or he should notify the Business Manager promptly.  The School will make every effort to adjust an actual error promptly, including reimbursement for an improper deduction.

Work Schedules

Administrators

Schedule is determined by the responsibilities and requirements of each individual position. Summer work schedules for administrators must be reviewed and approved by the Head Teacher.

Faculty

Please refer to the schedules and calendars in the Faculty Supplement for faculty requirements.  Memorandums or bulletins issued throughout the calendar year can modify these schedules as needed. 

Office Staff

The normal work schedule for regular full‑time office staff employees of SLATE SCHOOL is 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday with a 1 hour lunch period. Nonexempt full‑time employees work 35 hours per week.  Staffing needs and operational demands may necessitate variations in starting and ending times, as well as variations in the total hours that may be scheduled each day and week.  Non‑exempt employees will be paid overtime wages when their work schedule exceeds 40 hours per week (not including lunch), unless other terms are mandated by state law in the state where the employee works.

Supervisors will advise employees if there is any need to change the work schedule.  If you need to arrange a change in your regular work schedule, you should make your request to your immediate supervisor.

SLATE SCHOOL Benefits

The following section contains information to help familiarize you with the types of benefits you may be eligible for while you are employed with SLATE SCHOOL.  Please be sure to read through this information carefully and become acquainted with the policies it contains.

Eligible employees of the School are provided a wide range of benefits at this time. A number of the programs (such as Social Security, Workers’ Compensation, State Disability and Unemployment Insurance) cover all employees in the manner prescribed by law.

Benefit eligibility is dependent upon a variety of factors, including employee classification. The Business Manager can identify the programs for which you are eligible. Details for many of these programs can be found elsewhere in this Faculty/Employee Handbook. 

Information on employee benefit plans or programs contained in this handbook are for descriptive purposes only; the actual terms and conditions of such benefit plans are contained in plan documents. The plan documents control in the event of any conflict with this handbook.  SLATE SCHOOL reserves the right to change, modify or eliminate any employee benefit plans or programs at any time, subject to the requirements of applicable law. The following benefit programs are currently available to eligible employees:

 

·    403(b) Plan                                               ·    Medical Insurance

·    Life Insurance                                           ·   Disability

·    Business Expenses

·    Jury Duty                                                  ·    Military Leave

·    Medical Leave Due to Childbirth              ·    Medical Leave Under FMLA

·    Paid Time Off Due to Illness                    ·    Bereavement Leave

·    Holidays                                                    ·    Paid Time Off

Note:  Some benefit programs require contributions from the employee.

403(b) Plan

The School offers a 403(b) defined contribution retirement plan.

Please note that the School’s benefit plan is defined by a separate, legal document. If any questions arise about the nature and extent of plan benefits or if there is conflicting language, the formal plan document will govern over the informal wording of this handbook.

The SLATE SCHOOL 403(b) Plan is intended to help provide employees with a measure of financial security when the employee retires.  It is a “defined contribution” plan under which funds are accumulated in a trust to provide cash benefits to eligible employees after they leave the School for any reason.  The benefits under the Plan are entirely in addition to Social Security Benefits.

Employees may elect to have their earnings for a year reduced, with the amount of the reduction being contributed to their Deferred Compensation Account under the Plan.  The portion of employee earnings contributed to the Plan will not be subject to current federal and state income taxes; it will be taxed only when it is distributed to the employee from the Plan. However, the amount of the employee’s earnings reduction will be subject to Social Security and Unemployment (FUTA) taxes.

The School reserves the right to terminate or modify its 403(b) plan at any time, subject to the requirements of applicable law.

Business Expenses

The School will reimburse reasonable, authorized expenses incurred while conducting School business, provided they are properly documented and there was advance authorization for the employee to incur expenses in connection with School business or events.  Please contact the business office

Insurance Benefits

Life Insurance

Regular, full‑time employees are provided with up to Term Life Insurance equal to the annual salary, 30 days after commencement of employment. Please refer to the Benefit Booklet, printed under separate cover, for details.

Disability

All regular, full‑time employees are provided with short – term and long-term disability insurance after a 30 day waiting period. Please refer to the Benefit Booklet, printed under separate cover, for details.

Medical Insurance (Group)

A Group Medical Insurance plan is offered to all regular, full‑time employees. Regular, full‑time employees are eligible to participate in the medical insurance after 30 days of employment. Please refer to the Plan Package, printed under separate cover, for details.

On occasion it is necessary for SLATE SCHOOL to change insurance carriers, sometimes with short notice, in the middle of the school year.  It is the intent to continue to carry insurance coverage as an employee benefit.  Employees must understand that each condition may require a change in contribution requirements.  Every effort will be made to give each employee ample notice of these changes.

Leaves

Bereavement Leave

All regular, full‑time employees will be given up to three days of paid Bereavement Leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. The employee should notify his or her supervisor immediately.

Bereavement pay is calculated based on the base pay rate at the time of absence and will not include any special forms of compensation, such as incentives, commissions, bonuses or shift differentials.

Any employee may, with the supervisor’s approval, use any available paid leave, (i.e., vacation time), for additional time off as necessary.

The School defines “immediate family” as the employee’s spouse, parent, child, sibling; the employee’s spouse’s, parent, child or sibling; the employee’s child’s spouse (or civil union partner); grandparents or grandchildren.  Special consideration will also be given to any other person whose association with the employee was similar to any of the above relationships. 

Jury Duty

SLATE SCHOOL encourages employees to fulfill their civic responsibilities by serving Jury Duty when required. Regular, full‑time employees will receive their regular compensation from the School for up to the first five days of Jury Duty, in accordance with state law. Jury duty pay will be calculated on the employee’s base pay rate times the number of hours the employee would otherwise have worked on the day of absence.

If an employee is required to serve jury duty beyond the period of paid jury duty leave, he or she may use any available paid time off (i.e., vacation benefits) or may request an unpaid jury duty leave of absence.

Employees must show the jury duty summons to their supervisor or the Business Manager as soon as possible so that the supervisor may make arrangements to accommodate the employee’s absence. Of course, the employee is expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits.

Either SLATE SCHOOL or the employee may request an excuse from jury duty if, in the School’s judgment, the employee’s absence would create serious operational difficulties.

The School will continue to provide health insurance benefits for the full term of the jury duty absence.

Medical Leave Due to Pregnancy/Maternity Leave

SLATE SCHOOL will not discriminate against any employee who requests an excused absence for medical disabilities associated with a pregnancy or child birth. Such leave requests will be made and evaluated in accordance with the medical leave policy outlined in this handbook and in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws. 

SLATE SCHOOL will continue full biweekly salary payments during a medical leave from work for six weeks from the date of delivery or for eight weeks if the delivery requires a cesarean, through a combination of short-term disability and direct payment from the school.  School vacation time is included in the leave of absence.

Eligible employees may also qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA” – please see below).

Family and Medical Leave

If you believe you are eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and want to take time off under this leave policy, you may ask for a Family and Medical Leave.  In addition, if an eligible employee is absent under qualifying circumstances the School will designate FMLA leave even if the employee has not asked for such designation.  Unless specified by some other benefit description, all or part of the leave is unpaid and the employee must forego their housing benefit if applicable.  Any applicable paid leave will run concurrently with FMLA.

Eligible Employees

You are eligible for this leave policy if you have worked for the School for a total of twelve (12) months, and at least 1250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the date the proposed leave would commence on.

Reasons for Leave

            Leaves under the FMLA may be taken for the following reasons:

·      incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;

·      to care for the employee's newborn child;

·      the placement of a child with the employee by adoption or for foster care;

·      to care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition;

·      to care for the employee's own serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position;

·      to care for an injured or ill service member (see below – Length of Leave – for further information);

·      a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member’s military service, including one or more of the following reasons (note – more detailed information on the following categories is available from the Business Office):

·      short notice deployment;

·      military events and related activities;

·      childcare and school activities;

·      financial and legal arrangements;

·      counseling;

·      rest and recuperation;

·      post-deployment activities;

·      parental care leave for military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care and care is necessitated by the member’s covered active duty;

·      additional activities that arise out of the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member, provided that the School and the employee agree that such leave qualifies as an exigency, and agree to both the timing and the duration of such leave.

LENGTH OF LEAVE

(a)        Basic FMLA Leave Entitlement:

            If a leave is requested for one of the above-listed reasons, each eligible employee may take up to a total of twelve (12) weeks unpaid family or medical leave in any 12-month entitlement period. 

            The 12-month entitlement period for family or medical leave is measured on the basis of a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.  Note - while leave may be taken on a continuous, reduced schedule or intermittent basis, depending on the circumstances, leave may not be taken on a reduced schedule or intermittent basis unless (1) medically necessary, or (2) the School has agreed to leave on such terms.

(b)       Leave to care for an Injured or Ill Service Member or Covered Veteran

            In addition to the reasons for leave listed above, an eligible employee may take up to 26 workweeks of FMLA leave during a 12-month period to care for (i) an injured or ill service member who is the employee’s spouse, parent, child or next of kin and who incurred the injury or illness in the line of duty and while on active duty in the Armed Forces, or had a preexisting injury or illness prior to beginning active duty that was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces; or, (ii) an injured or ill covered veteran who is the employee’s spouse, parent, child or next of kin.

            For service members, the injury or illness must render the service member medically unable to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating.  This provision applies to service members who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, or are in outpatient status or are on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.

            For covered veterans, the veteran must be undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness and s/he (1) was a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves); (2) was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable; and (3) was discharged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for the veteran[1].

For covered veterans, serious injury or illness means any of the following:

(i) a continuation of a serious injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated when the covered veteran was a member of the Armed Forces and rendered the servicemember unable to perform the duties of the servicemember's office, grade, rank, or rating; or

(ii) a physical or mental condition for which the covered veteran has received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Service-Related Disability Rating (VASRD) of 50 percent or greater, and such VASRD rating is based, in whole or in part, on the condition precipitating the need for military caregiver leave; or

(iii) a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs the covered veteran's ability to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of a disability or disabilities related to military service, or would do so absent treatment; or

(iv) an injury, including a psychological injury, on the basis of

which the covered veteran has been enrolled in the Department of

Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

When combined with any other type of FMLA qualifying leave, total leave time may not exceed 26 weeks in a single 12 month period.  Standard FMLA leave procedures described below apply to all requests for and designation of leave for this purpose.  However, in the case of leave to care for an injured or ill service member, the 12 month period begins on the day such leave actually commences.

If you as an eligible employee request intermittent leave or reduced leave schedule due to the need for foreseeable medical treatment of you or your spouse, child, or parent, the School may require you to transfer temporarily to an available position for which you are qualified, which has equivalent pay and benefits, and better accommodates recurring periods of leave.

Use of Other Leave Available

An eligible employee may elect, or the School may require the eligible employee to substitute any vacation available for any part of the 12 week period taken for the birth and care of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for the serious health condition of your spouse, child, or parent.

An eligible employee is expected to use any available paid sick time as part of the maximum 12-week period taken under this policy for a serious health condition.  Any such leave will run concurrently with FLMA and not extend the leave period.

Notice

Where leave is foreseeable based on birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, or the medical treatment of you or your spouse, child or parent, you must provide 30 days’ notice of your intent to take leave.  If the date of birth, placement or treatment requires the leave to begin in less than 30 days, you must provide such notice as is practicable.  If the leave is taken due to foreseeable medical treatment of you, your spouse, child, or parent, you must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the School.

Certification

If you request a leave for your own serious health condition or that of your child, spouse, or parent, the School may require that the request be supported by a certification issued by the health care provider, which states the date on which the serious health condition commenced, the probable duration of the condition, and appropriate medical facts regarding the condition.

If you are requesting leave for the care of a spouse, child or parent, the certification must contain a statement that you are needed to care for the spouse, child or parent, and an estimate of the amount of time that you will be needed for that care.

If the leave is for your own serious health condition, the certification must contain a statement that you are unable to perform the functions of your position.

The certification for intermittent leave on a reduced leave schedule

(1)       for planned medical treatment must include the dates of treatment and the duration of treatment,

(2)       for your own serious health condition must include a statement of the medical necessity of intermittent or reduced leave schedule, or

(3)       for the serious health condition of your spouse, child, or parent must contain a statement that the leave is necessary for the care of your spouse, child or parent, or will assist in their recovery, and the expected duration and schedule of the intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule.

The School may, at its own expense, require that you obtain a second opinion by a health care provider that the School either designates or approves, concerning any information in the original certification. 

Both Spouses Employed By the School

Where both spouses are employed by the School, the total amount of leave granted to both employees may be limited to 12 work weeks of leave in a 12 month period if the leave is taken for the birth, foster care placement or adoption of a child, or for the serious health condition of a parent.

The 12-week limit for both spouses does not apply in the case of leave for serious health condition of a child or the serious health condition of you or your spouse.  In those cases, each Eligible Employee is entitled to 12 weeks of leave.

Health Insurance

During any period when you take a family and medical leave, the School will maintain coverage for you under any group health plan under which you were covered immediately before the leave, for the duration of leave, under the same conditions the health plan would have been continued had you remained in employment.  (So if you made contributions to the plan while you were employed, you will still need to make timely contributions during the leave.)

However, if you do not return to work at the School at the expiration of the leave and the reason you do not return is other than the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition of you your spouse, child or parent, that entitles you to leave under the act (or would so entitle you if you had not already used the full 12 weeks) or other circumstances beyond your control, then the School may recover the premiums that it paid for maintaining coverage under the group health plan during the leave.

Return to Work

When you return to work following a family and medical leave, you are entitled to return to the position you held when the leave began, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment.

However, if you are among the highest paid 10% of the School’s employees, the School may refuse to return you to the same or an equivalent position if the refusal is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the School’s operations, providing that the School notifies you of its intent not to return you to work, when it determines that such injury would occur, and if the leave has already commenced, if you elect not to return to work when the notice is provided.

You do not accrue seniority or other benefits during the period of leave.

If you were on leave due to your own serious health condition, you may be required to provide certification from a health care provider that you are fit for duty and able to resume work.  The School may also ask that you report periodically during your leave, on your medical status and intention to return to work.

Victim of Domestic Violence Leave

“Family violence” is an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or an act of threatened violence that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members.  Verbal abuse or arguments generally will not constitute “family violence” unless there is a present danger and the likelihood that physically violence will occur.

A victim of family violence may take up to 12 days of leave during any calendar year in which the leave is reasonably necessary to: 

·      seek medical care or counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability,

·      obtain services from a victim services organization,

·      relocate due to the family violence, or

·      participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family violence.

If the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee should give at least seven days’ notice to the School.  If the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee should provide notice to the School as soon as practicable. 

An employee is required to provide a signed, written statement certifying that the leave is for a purpose authorized by this law.  Further, the School is entitled to request that an employee provide a police or court record related to the family violence or a signed written statement that the employee is a victim of family violence from an employee or agent of a victim services organization, an attorney, an employee of the office of the Judicial Branch’s Office of Victim Services or the Office of the Victim Advocate, a licensed medical professional or other licensed professional from whom the employee has sought assistance with respect to the family violence.

Such documentation will be kept confidential and not further disclosed except as required by law or as necessary to protect the employee’s safety in the workplace, but in these situations the employee will be given notice before the disclosure.

Victim of Domestic Violence Leave does not affect any other Leave provided under state or federal law.

Military Leave

A Military Leave of absence will be granted to employees in accordance with all applicable laws.

Paid Time Off Due to Illness

The School expects employees to make every effort to report to work on a daily basis. Unexplained or excessive absences will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge from employment.  The School will, however, allow all regular, full‑time, non-exempt employees to use PTO days for periods of temporary absence due to illness or injuries.

Days off due to illness can be used in minimum increments of ½ (half) day. Eligible employees may use PTO days for an absence due to their own illness or injury or that of a family member who resides in the employee’s household.

Exempt and nonexempt employees who are unable to report to work due to illness or injury should notify the Founder, Head Teacher, or appropriate supervisor before the scheduled start of their workday if possible, in accordance with the School’s Attendance and Punctuality policy set out elsewhere in this Handbook.  Your supervisor must also be contacted on each additional day of absence. If an employee is absent more than three business days, a physician’s statement will be required.

Holidays

SLATE SCHOOL currently provides paid holidays to all full‑time employees per the calendar below:

  • November 21-23: Thanksgiving Break
  • December 17 through January 1: Winter Break
  • January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • March 11 through 22: Spring Break
  • April 19: Good Friday
  • May 27: Memorial Day

According to applicable restrictions, the School will grant paid holiday time off to all regular, full‑time employees immediately upon assignment to an eligible employment classification. Holiday pay will be calculated based on the employee’s straight‑time pay rate (as of the date of the holiday), times the number of hours the employee would otherwise have worked on that day.

If a recognized holiday falls on a Saturday or on a Sunday it will be up to the discretion of the Director as to its observation on the preceding Friday or the following Monday.

If a recognized holiday falls during an eligible employee’s paid absence (i.e., vacation, sick leave), holiday pay will be provided instead of the paid time off benefit that would otherwise have applied.

If an eligible non‑exempt employee is asked by their supervisor to work on a recognized holiday other than Memorial Day and Independence Day, he or she will be paid at 1½ times his or her straight‑time rate for the hours worked on the holiday. Paid time off for holidays will be counted as hours worked for the purposes of determining whether overtime pay is owed for non‑exempt employees.

Paid Time Off Benefits

Paid Time Off benefits (PTO) is offered to the following classes of full-time employees.  It is discouraged that employees use vacation time off while school is in session.

Employees may request the use of vacation in advance of accrual but will be required to sign a department of labor form authorizing the school to recoup such advance by payroll deduction in appropriate circumstances.

Paid Time Off Earning Schedule

Administrators

New employees are eligible after 30 days and prorated for the fiscal year.

Years of Eligible Service            Days Accrued      Days/Year

                                                     per Month

 

Upon initial eligibility                         1.66 day            25 days

 

Office Staff

New employees are eligible after 30 days and prorated for the fiscal year. 

Years of Eligible Service            Days Accrued      Days/Year

                                                     per Month

 

Upon initial eligibility                         1.66 day            25 days

 

Faculty

Not applicable to Faculty.

Personal Days Off

Faculty: 1 day per term

Office Staff: PTO

Administrators: PTO

A copy of an approved “Request for Time-off Form” must be submitted to the Founder to avoid any deduction in pay for missed work.

FACULTY GENERAL INFORMATION

Each faculty member is expected to implement and adhere to the philosophy, objectives, procedures and curriculum of the School as described in the Faculty/Employee Handbook, Student/Parent Handbook. Because curriculum is considered to encompass the total environment (inside and out of the classroom) of SLATE SCHOOL as well as the actual teaching of subject matter, all faculty members are expected to manifest the highest degree of professionalism in their personal appearance and relations with all students, colleagues, staff members, parents, and the public at all times.

FACULTY PERQUISITES

1.  PAYROLL DATES

The school will pay its employees 26 times this current year.  All salaried employees will receive a paycheck starting two weeks after August 20.

2.  PERSONAL DAYS

In general, only one faculty member may take a personal day on any given day. Faculty absentee forms should also be used for personal days. 

3. Harassment

Demeaning statements or materials, uninvited physical advances, and hazing or threats undermine a community that promotes emotional, physical, and intellectual self-respect.  Slate School will not tolerate behavior that is disrespectful of the race, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or any other protected class under applicable law. Anyone who feels they have been subjected to such harassed should report the situation to a school official.  When situations are actually reported, the offended individual will be consulted, and the school will respond to the situation.  Please also refer to the School’s employment policy prohibiting harassment on any protected class basis.

Beyond harassment, it is the expectation of the School that all employees, including faculty, will treat others with professionalism and respect in all aspects of their involvement in our School community.

GENERAL INFORMATION

REPAIRS - Please notify Head Teacher

FIRE DRILLS

A fire drill shall be held at least once a month in each school building.  The initial fire drill must be held not later than thirty days after the first day of each school year.  A crisis response drill shall be substituted for one of the required monthly school fire drills every three months.  The Head Teacher shall prepare a definite fire emergency plan, and furnish to all teachers and students information as to route and manner of exit.  Fire drills shall be planned in such a way as to accomplish the evacuation of school buildings in the shortest possible time and in the most efficient and orderly fashion.

The format of the crisis response drill shall be developed in consultation with the appropriate local law enforcement agency.  Further, a representative of the law enforcement agency may supervise and participate in any of the required crisis response drills.

The Head Teacher shall keep a record of all fire and crisis response drills held in their schools, stating the date the drill was held and the time required for evacuation of the building. 

Legal Reference:  Connecticut General Statutes

10-231 Fire drills.

Fire/Smoke or Immediate Emergency Conditions

Sounding the Alert

·      Pull nearest fire alarm – pull boxes are bright red

·      Call emergency assistance (911) and give the following information: conditions (fire, smoke, etc.) Location (building, address, floor, area) your name and location in relation to the emergency location

·      Unless your safety is in jeopardy, remain near the location in order to direct emergency personnel

·      If possible close all doors

·      Utilize a fire extinguisher if the fire is small

·      Never permit flames or heavy smoke to come between you and an exit

Evacuating

·      Start evacuating using escape routes

·      Remain calm and proceed in an orderly fashion

·      Do not return to area evacuated unless told to do so

Instructions for Faculty and Staff

·      Become familiar with all exits and escape routes in buildings and dorms in which you work

·      In case of an emergency direct all students to the appropriate exit, assuring that all students have evacuated before following.

·      Aid emergency personnel by following there instructions in guiding and controlling students

Take attendance at emergency relocation area and report missing students to emergency personnel

Procedures to follow for Emergency Situations

In event of emergency situations please call the Head Teacher or Founder until you reach a person who will give assistance.

PURCHASES - Faculty wishing to buy supplies for classrooms from approved vendors should communicate needs to the Founder.  Approval must be obtained from the Founder prior to purchases. 

REIMBURSEMENTS - Faculty who spend personal funds on authorized materials or functions may be reimbursed.  Because the school is a non-taxable entity you will not be reimbursed for sales tax.  Please keep a tax-exempt certificate with you if plan on making these purchases.  PLEASE SUBMIT RECEIPTS when requesting reimbursements and use a check request form with the proper authorizing signature.

HEALTH POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Please see health policy handbook.

FIRST AID KITS

One first aid kit is in each building near the sink.

MEDICATION AND TREATMENT

Please see health policy handbook.

SCHEDULES AND CALENDARS

  • September 11: Orientation
  • September 12: First day of school
  • September 25: Parent night
  • October 12: Professional development day (no school)
  • October 18-19: Parent conferences, 12:30pm dismissal
  • November 21-23: Thanksgiving Break
  • December 17 through January 1: Winter Break
  • January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • March 11 through 22: Spring Break
  • April 11-12: Parent conferences, 12:30pm dismissal
  • April 19: Good Friday
  • May 27: Memorial Day
  • June 7: Last day of school

ACADEMIC PROCEDURES

Student Progress Reporting

Parent conferences are held twice per year, over the course of two days, including at least one afternoon and one evening session. All faculty are expected to be available to participate as needed.

Report cards are issued three times per year, and must be completed in Kaymbu Portfolio one week prior to distribution to families.  Slate School measures a student’s growth according to their own performance and progress, and using developmentally appropriate grade level expectations.

Slate School’s teachers provide specific narrative comments on progress reports in order to provide a more detailed assessment of a student’s performance, attitude, and behavior in all subject areas.

Disciplinary Procedures

Slate School's central tenets are kindness, integrity, and respect. All members of the Slate School community adopt and practice these fundamental values, which are reinforced and reflected throughout the school day. Student behavior that is outside of this expectation should be promptly communicated to the Head Teacher for discussion and consideration. In order to remediate this behavior, Head Teacher will be in close contact and collaboration with any family whose child repeatedly struggles to respect themselves or others.

RECEIPT & ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF FACULTY/EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

I acknowledge my receipt of SLATE SCHOOL’s Faculty/Employee Handbook.  I understand that this Faculty/Employee Handbook is intended to serve as a guide to the School’s employment practices and policies.  I understand that the policies, rules and benefits described in the Faculty/Employee Handbook are subject to change at the discretion of the School at any time, with or without notice.  This Faculty/Employee Handbook does not constitute a contract or obligation on the part of the School, and does not guarantee my employment for any specific duration.

I understand that, should the content of this Faculty/Employee Handbook be changed in any way, the School may require an additional signature from me to indicate that I am aware of and understand any new policies.

I understand that my signature below indicates that I have read and understand the above statements and have received a copy of the Faculty/Employee Handbook.  I understand that it is my responsibility to read and comply with the policies contained in this Faculty/Employee Handbook and any revisions made to it. 

 

______________________________             ______________________________

  Employee's Printed Name                               Position

 

______________________________             ______________________________

  Employee's Signature                                      Date

 

 

[1]           The employee’s first date of leave must be within the five year period.  However, the employee may continue to take leave throughout the single 12 month period even if the leave extends past the five year period.  Note - special rules may apply to calculating the five year period for veterans discharged between October 28, 2009 and March 8, 2013.  This period will effectively be excluded from the five year calculation.