Not long ago, I put a permanent link to the Board Policies on my website. I believe it is important for parents and others in the community to be aware of these policies. As a board member, I am doing my best to be familiar with them.
Not long after being elected, I learned the district had no policy on family members or spouses supervising each other within our district. This concerned me for a few reasons:
-First, it offers poor supervision of an employee and lends itself to unsatisfactory performance. The school board votes to renew employment based on the recommendation of each person's supervisor. We cannot make a sound decision if the recommendation is coming from a spouse or family member.
-Second, it creates an atmosphere of poor morale if there is a perception of favoritism. Many of us have worked in atmospheres similar to this and it is disheartening to think your coworker is getting preferential treatment.
-Last, as a district we stress good customer service. We cannot expect students or parents to follow the proper channels with handling an issue if the administrator is related to the teacher or other employee in question.
After learning of this oversight in our policy, I researched other policies used by other districts. In many smaller districts, such policies don't exist because it is hard to find staff. However, several larger districts did have a policy preventing this conflict of interest.
I found some language that I believe fit our district well. I reviewed several different options with our Board President, Brett Day. We also added a grandfather clause to cover any existing arrangements. After some tweaking we presented final language to the entire Board. This month it passed unanimously on the consent agenda.
I am very happy to have added this to the Policy. Even though we weren't currently facing such a conflict, it is better to have a policy in place before such an issue arises.
Here is the language:
No administrator or any other person in a supervisory position shall have under his or her direct supervision any employee whose relationship to the administrator is of first or second degree either by blood or marriage.
In the event of a promotion that brings about the conditions described above, the employee of lower rank shall be transferred to another position for which he or she is qualified and where a vacancy has occurred.
In the event that the employee of lower rank cannot be transferred immediately because no vacancy exists, said employee may remain in his or her present position until such a time as a vacancy for which he or she is qualified becomes available.
This policy does not apply retroactively to conditions existing prior to August 1, 2013 within the district.