Employee Handbook

OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

2017 – 2018

HOME OF THE CHIEFTAINS

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411 West Main St.

Okolona, MS  38860

TABLE OF CONTENTS

School Board Trustees…………………………………………………………………….p.3

District Administrators and Central Service Staff………………………………………p.3

Letter from Superintendent……………………………………………………………….p.5

Vision Statement……………………………………………………………………………p.6

Mission Statement………………………………………………………………………….p.6

Core Values…………………………………………………………………………………p.6

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..p.7

Employment…………………………………………………………………………………p.8

Employment-At-Will……………………………………………………………………….p.8

Contracts……………………………………………………………………………………p.8

School Term…………………………………………………………………………………p.8

Hours for Staff………………………………………………………………………………p.9

Bereavement Leave…………………………………………………………………………p.10

Arriving and Leaving School Grounds……………………………………………………p.10

Extra Duty…………………………………………………………………………………..p.10

Teacher Absence……………………………………………………………………………p.10

Staff Tardiness………………………………………………………………………………p.10

Supervision of Personnel……………………………………………………………………p.11

Reemployment……………………………………………………………………………….p.11

Reemployment of Principals…………………………………………………………………p.11

Reemployment of Teachers…………………………………………………………………p.11

Reemployment Denial……………………………………………………………………….p.11

Excluded Employees…………………………………………………………………………p.11

Employee Conduct and Work Rules………………………………………………………..p.12

Abandonment of Job…………………………………………………………………………p.13

Professional and Personal Appearance……………………………………………………..p.13

Pay Day………………………………………………………………………………………..p.13

Parent Conferences……………………………………………………………………………p.14

Safe and Drug Free Schools………………………………………………………………….p.14

Emergency Drills……………………………………………………………………………..p.14

Hazing, Intimidation, Threats……………………………………………………………….p.14

Cafeteria………………………………………………………………………………………p.14

Corporal Punishment…………………………………………………………………………p.15

Sexual Harassment……………………………………………………………………………p.16

Fund Raising Activities………………………………………………………………………p.16

Care of Rooms………………………………………………………………………………..p.16

Textbooks……………………………………………………………………………………..p.17

Energy…………………………………………………………………………………………p.17

Communicable Diseases………………………………………………………………………p.17

Head Lice………………………………………………………………………………………p.17

Meningococcal Disease……………………………………………………………………….p.17

Chronic Infectious Diseases Policy………………………………………………………….p.18

Administration of Prescription Medicine…………………………………………………..p.19

Parent Authorization and Indemnity Agreement………………………………………….p.20

Drug Free Workplace………………………………………………………………………..p.21

Denial of License……………………………………………………………………………..p.21

Suspension of License………………………………………………………………………..p.22

Notice to Employees Engaged in Work on Federal Grants……………………………….p.22

Cell Phone Policy…………………………………………………………………………….p.22

Cellular Needs Assessment………………………………………………………………….p.24

Cellular Phone User Agreement…………………………………………………………….p.25

Purchase Orders and Contracts…………………………………………………………….p.28

Public Purchasing Laws……………………………………………………………………..p.29

Purchasing Document Formats……………………………………………………………..p.29

Purchasing…………………………………………………………………………………….p.30

Supplies and Equipment List………………………………………………………………..p.30

Purchasing Agents……………………………………………………………………………p.30

Perishable Supplies…………………………………………………………………………..p.30

Contract Purchases…………………………………………………………………………..p.30

Timely Payment………………………………………………………………………………p.31

School District Liability………………………………………………………………………p.31

Settlement of Dispute…………………………………………………………………………p.31

Report of Late Payments……………………………………………………………………..p.32

Sales Tax Payment Procedure for Items Purchased for Resale……………………………p.32

Informational Technology Acceptable Use Policy………………………………………….p.33

Employee Responsibilities……………………………………………………………………p.37

Personnel Records……………………………………………………………………………p.38

Personnel Screening………………………………………………………………………….p.38

Employment Leave Policy……………………………………………………………………p.39

Use and Return of District Property…………………………………………………………p.43

Reduction in Force……………………………………………………………………………p.44

Renewal of Licensed Employees……………………………………………………………..p.44

Non-Renewal of Licensed Employees……………………………………………………….p.44

Overtime………………………………………………………………………………………p.44

Non-Qualifying FMLA Leave of Absence…………………………………………………..p.44

Travel Rules and Regulations………………………………………………………………..p.45

Travel Advances………………………………………………………………………………p.45

Procedures for Out-of-State Travel………………………………………………………….p.45

Substance Use and Abuse…………………………………………………………………….p.46

Insurance………………………………………………………………………………………p.46

Health Insurance……………………………………………………………………………..p.46

Dental Vision Insurance……………………………………………………………………..p.48

Group Term Insurance………………………………………………………………………p.48

Grievance Procedures………………………………………………………………………..p.48

Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct…………………………p.51

Emergency School Closing……………………………………………………………………p.57

District Calendar……………………………………………………………………………..p.59

Okolona Municipal Separate School District

411 West Main St.

Okolona, MS  38860

Phone (662) 447-2353

Fax (662) 447-9955

School Board Members

Dr. Jerome Smith                   School Board President

Mr. William Bailey               School Board Vice-President

Mrs. Sarah Jenkins                School Board Secretary

Dr. Fred Gandy                       School Board Chaplin

Mrs. Doris Bailey                    School Board Assistant Secretary

Administrative Staff

Mr. Dexter Green                    Superintendent

Dr. Christopher Hill                Principal- Okolona High School

Mrs. Sandra Murray               Principal- Okolona Elementary School

Mr. John Tacker                    Director- Okolona Vocational Center

Ms. Zawartha Triplett            Special Education Director

                                              and District Testing Coordinator

Ms. LaShanda Hoskins           Federal Programs/ Curriculum Coordinator

Mrs. Casandra Trimble          Business Manager

Mr. Phil Anderson                  Technology Coordinator/ Fixed Assets Mgr.

Mrs. Cindy Peden-Moore       Food Service Coordinator

Mrs. Beverly Smith                Executive Administrative Assistant

                                    Mrs. Annie Simmons              Accounts Payable/MSIS/SAM7

Mr. Jason Pickens                   Transportation Supervisor

Ms. Vanetta Sykes                   Federal Programs Bookkeeper

Letter from Superintendent

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Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Okolona Municipal Separate School District, a school system committed to hard-work and dedication to student achievement.  We have 2 schools and a Vocational Complex that caters to students residing within the boundaries of the Okolona Municipal Separate School District.  There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the educator team in the Okolona School District.

We are confident that together we will successfully move the Okolona School District to newer and greater educational heights.  The School Board, the Superintendent of Education, District administrators, and teaching staff are dedicated and committed to providing our students with exceptional educational learning opportunities.

The School Board and I will lead school district efforts to retain and recruit highly effective employees that will dedicate their lives to preparing all students for entrance into colleges and careers.  We will work collaboratively with parents, district administrators, teachers, staff, and the community to create a district mission that will support students academically, socially, and physically.  Together, we will work to create and cultivate a district culture that will be fueled by hard-work, dedication, and commitment to reaching and achieving very high academic standards worthy of state and national recognition.

We are so impressed with the administrators, teachers, and staff members employed within our school district.  We are happy that you chose to join in our efforts to assist children in realizing their fullest potential as we together expose them to a better way of life through education.

With great appreciation and kindest regards, I am,

Educationally yours,

Dexter Green

Dexter Green

Superintendent of Education

Okolona Municipal Separate School District

OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT

VISION

Successfully reaching and teaching all students.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Okolona School District will provide all students with a quality education that meet and exceeds state learning standards in a safe and secure learning environment.

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Core Values

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, FAMILY, SERVICE, SAFETY, PRIDE, RESPECT, TRUSTWORTHINESS, LOYALTY, INTEGRITY, HARD-WORK, DEDICATION, AND COMMITTMENT

INTRODUCTION

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK PURPOSE/INTERPRETATION

Welcome to the Okolona Municipal Separate School District (hereinafter referred to as “The Okolona School District” or “District).  We believe the contribution of your skills, knowledge, and positive attitude is essential to the success and growth of this school district.  You are a valued employee and therefore we encourage you to let your supervisor know about your achievements as well as problems and your ideas on solving them.  We believe in you and your contributions and hope you will take pride in being a member of our team.

This handbook was developed to provide information you will need to get started on your new job.  It outlines District’s expectations, policies, and programs, serving as a resource throughout your employment.  You should not interpret this handbook or any other documents as an employment agreement or a contract of employment (either expressed or implied).  The Okolona school board policy supersedes all documented material published or unpublished.  Additional information on district polices can be viewed at the Okolona School District website http: http://okolona.msbapolicy.org/

This handbook is not intended to be all-inclusive nor will it address every situation.  Therefore, you are encouraged to address questions with your immediate supervisor.  The policies and other information found in this handbook are subject to change, the District reserves the right to alter these policies without advance notice.

Questions regarding the content of this handbook can be addressed to your immediate supervisor.

 

EMPLOYMENT

The employment of teachers depends upon proper licensure by the Mississippi Department of Education.  Each teacher is recommended by the principal for the type of license indicated on his/her application.

A valid copy of each teacher’s license must be on file in the Office of the Superintendent before the first pay check is ever issued.  Teachers and staff must make sure to provide the Office of the Superintendent with any updates or needed changes for placement in personnel files.

Employment-At-Will

While the district strives to make the employment relationship a mutually satisfying one, the District can make no assurances, either expressed or implied, concerning the duration of employment.  Employees of the District, who are “At-Will”, mean that either the District or the employee can terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or notice.  “At-Will employees are not entitled to a hearing.  In addition, it should be noted that no one has the authority to make promises or guarantees of employment, which are not consistent with the District’s “At-Will” policy.  Therefore, no statement or promise or promise by a supervisor, manager, or department head may be interpreted as a change in policy nor will it constitute an agreement made with an employee.  An “At-Will” employee is any employee who does not receive a contract of employment.

Select positions within the Okolona School District (i.e. Teachers) do receive employment contracts.  Therefore, they do not fall under employment “At-Will”.  Employees who have contracts with the Okolona School District are expected to abide by the terms of their contract.

CONTRACTS

A contract shall not be issued to a teacher who does not possess a valid license.  All contracts shall be based on the issue date of the license.  The signature of a teacher on a contract represents good faith on the part of the teacher to fulfill the job requirements as set forth by the administration and the Board of Education.

The licensed teacher has ten calendar days to return signed contract to principal and/or superintendent for employment or else the contract becomes null and void.  However, a licensed teacher may provide a written request for an extension to the principal and/or superintendent.

SCHOOL TERM

Each school term shall consist of 180 days for students and 187 working days for teachers.

HOURS FOR STAFF Board Policy GBRB

The Okolona Municipal Separate School District workweek begins on Sunday at 12:01 and ends on Saturday at midnight. Employees are expected to be at work during assigned times.

Central Office Staff              7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily – All central office staff is          

                                                             required to have anuninterrupted thirty minute lunch period

                                                             away from their area of daily job assignments. Central

                                                             office staff is allowed to leave the campus during this break

                                                             period if they choose to do so.

Principals     7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily

Teacher/Counselor                               7:30-3:30 daily with the exception of assigned duties as

                                                              required by the Principal (i.e. cafeteria duty, bus, hall games,

                                                              other assigned duties, etc.)

Teacher Assistant    7:30 – 3:30 daily – All teacher assistant are required to have

                                                              an uninterrupted thirty minute break away from area of daily

                                                             job assignments. Teacher Assistants will be allowed to leave

                                                              campus during this break period if they choose to do so.

Secretarial/Clerical Staff                       7:30 – 3:30 daily – All secretarial/clerical staff are required to

                                                               have an uninterrupted thirty minute break away from area of

                                                               daily job assignments. Secretarial/Clerical staff will be

                                                               allowed to leave campus during this break period if they

                                                               choose to do so.

Other Classified Staff                           7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. All classified staff is required to

At the School Level                              have an uninterrupted thirty minute lunch period away

                                                               from their area of daily job assignments. Other non-

                                                               classified staff is allowed to leave the campus during this

                                                               break period if they choose to do so.

Other Classified Staff                              7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. All classified staff is required

                                                                 to have an uninterruptedthirty minute lunch period away

                                                                 from their area of daily job assignments. Other classified

                                                                 staff is allowed to leave the campus during this break

                                                                period if they choose to do so.

Janitors, Transportation, Maintenance, and Food Service employees will work the hours in their work or time schedules. A time schedule for each department detailing the employee’s name and work hours will be placed on file in the Office of the Superintendent at the beginning of each school year. All employees, in this department, are required to have at least a minimum of thirty minutes of uninterrupted time away from their area of daily assignments for lunch. Employees are allowed to leave campus during this break period if they choose to do so.

ARRIVING AND LEAVING SCHOOL GROUNDS

Teachers are expected to arrive on campus before 7:30am unless otherwise instructed by the building principal.  Teachers are expected to remain at school continuously through the school day.  If a teacher must leave school during the school day, he/she must obtain permission from the principal.  All faculty and staff members are responsible for providing proper supervision to all students throughout the school day.

Teachers are not to leave the school premises before 3:30pm and/or after all students have been dismissed from school.  Exceptions must be arranged with the principal.  Licensed teachers will remain at school beyond the normal work day for Focused Faculty Meetings, Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s), for professional development, and/or conferences arranged by the building principal or superintendent.

EXTRA DUTY

All faculty and staff members will perform additional duties as assigned by the principal throughout the school year.  This duty will be distributed equally and fairly amongst the faculty and staff.  Faculty and staff members are expected to perform all assigned duties to ensure the safety of students, colleagues, parents, and visitors.

TEACHER ABSENCE

When a teacher is absent for any reason, he/she should notify building principal and/or designee at the earliest possible hour – not later than 5:30 a.m. on the day of absence unless an extreme emergency occurs.  In the event a teacher finds it necessary to be absent from school ½ day, he/she should notify the principal and/or designee as soon as possible.  A substitute will be notified to cover the ½ day absence.  Cut-off time to notify immediate supervisor of absence is 6:30 a.m.

The teacher shall provide the substitute teacher with special notes to guide instruction that shall include lesson plans, class schedule, student rosters, lunch schedule, duty schedule, and necessary instructional materials to carryout normal instructional duties.  The before mentioned items shall be placed on the observation desk in each teacher’s classroom.

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

When an employee is absent because of death of an immediate family member, three days’ leave with full pay will be granted.  Immediate family refers to spouse, child, sister, brother, parent, grandparent, grandchild, anyone of like relationship by marriage, a person living in the employee’s household, or legal ward.  An absence due to the death of an aunt, uncle, cousin, and/or distant relative will be charged against the employee’s accumulated sick leave days.  Additional days, if needed, may be granted as leave without pay.  Upon immediate return to work, the District employee must provide proof of documentation to  his/her supervisor in order to receive full pay for absence from duty.

DONATION OF LEAVE POLICY- GBRI

An employee must have exhausted all leave balances in order to qualify for donation of sick leave.  The district employee must submit doctor’s excuse and FMLA leave request before submitting letter to Superintendent to qualify for donation of sick leave from district employees. A school district employee may voluntarily donate sick days to another employee at his/her discretion.

ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE POLICY

The Okolona Municipal Separate School District shall pay School Board employees administrative leave for hours or days missed from work due to pending investigations, emergency school closings by Superintendent of Education, or states of emergency.  School Board employees (licensed and classified) may earn pre-established salary or hourly wages for hours or days missed from work due to pending investigations, emergency school closings, or states of emergency.

Code Section 37-7-307 authorizes local school boards to enact policies on administrative leave, including leave with pay. The authority includes the ability to provide for leave with pay following an “extreme weather” emergency. (MS AG Opinions Smith, November 15, 2002 (attached); Carnathan, April 10, 1991(attached)).

STAFF TARDINESS

Teachers should arrive at school at the designated time for early morning duty and regular scheduled duty hours.  Teachers should arrive to work at such a time that will allow them to sign in and be at their assigned duty post before 7:10am.  The following consequences will be followed for excessive tardiness:

1.     Verbal warning

2.     Written reprimand

3.     Sent home with a loss of pay for the day

4.     Continual tardiness will result in a written plan of improvement.  Failure to show improvement may result in termination of employment.

SUPERVISION OF PERSONNEL

Faculty and staff are under the immediate supervision of the building principal/administrator.  Faculty and staff should follow the verbal and written directives given by building administrators at all times.  Failure to follow verbal and written directives of the building administrator may result in an immediate suspension, and/or termination of employment.

REEMPLOYMENT

Former employees with good records are eligible for rehire and consideration will be given to rehiring such applicants.  A former employee who is rehired begins as any other new employee with respects to benefits (sick leave, vacation, personal leave).

Employees who have been terminated by the Okolona School District may not be eligible for rehire.

REEMPLOYMENT OF PRINCIPALS

On or before March 1 of each year, principals shall be given notice of non-renewal of a contract for a successive year.

REEMPLOYMENT OF TEACHERS

On or before April 25, or within ten (10) days after the governor approves the appropriation bill for funding K-12 education (whichever date is later), teachers and other administrators shall be notified of non-renewal for a successive year.  In the event that a decision is not made to non-renew teacher and or administrator contract, then contract shall be awarded for successive year.

REEMPLOYMENT DENIAL

If a recommendation is made by the Okolona school district not to offer a renewal contract for a successive year, the employee is entitled to an opportunity for a hearing (if requested in writing within ten (10) days of notice as cited in the “Education Employment Procedures Law”. (Ms Code 37-9-101 through Ms Code 37-9-113)

EXCLUDED EMPLOYEES

Employees who have not been with the Okolona school district for two continuous years, or one year with the Okolona School District and two continuous years of employment in a Mississippi public school district are not entitled to the protection of this law.

References:     Ms Code 37-9-101 (2001)

                        Ms Code 37-9-105 (2006)

                        Ms Code 37-9-109 (2001)

Employee Conduct and Work Rules

To ensure safe and orderly operations in the school district and provide the best possible work environment, the District expects all employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of everyone in the organization.  It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior which are considered unacceptable in the workplace.  Therefore, the following are examples of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment:

·     Negligence towards or endangerment of students

·     Intentional damage to school property or equipment

·     Violation of law or School Board policy

·     Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of school district property

·     Falsification of records, including timekeeping 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-owed vehicles or equipment

·     Violation of safety or health rules

·     Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcomed harassment

·     Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives or firearms, in the work place

·     Unauthorized absence from work station during work day

·     Unauthorized use of telephone, mail system, or other employer-owned equipment

·     Failure to perform directive of immediate supervisor

·     Insubordination and defiance of authority

·     Leaking confidential information to the public such as employee information, grievances, complaints, student information, and other school related matters

·     Failure to maintain classroom discipline or an appropriate educational environment

·     Violation of personnel policies

·     Unsatisfactory job performance and/or conduct

·     Failure to interact courteously and tactfully with immediate supervisors, co-workers, students, parents, vendors, district officials, state officials to the point that productivity or morale suffers may be grounds for discipline and possible termination.

Licensed employees are subject to provisions of the School Employment Procedures Act and further can be suspended or terminated for specific, statutorily enumerated infractions and other good causes.  Classified employees serve at the will of the Superintendent or his/her designee and may be terminated at any time, with or without cause, and without advance notice.  Classified employees are not entitled to a hearing.

ABANDONMENT OF JOB

An employee who is absent from his/her employment and who has not informed his/her principal/supervisor shall, after two consecutive days of such unauthorized absence, be considered to have abandoned the position and will be considered as grounds for termination, unless it is shown by the employee that special circumstances prevented him/her from reporting to the place of work.

PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE

Dress Guidelines for Certified and Non-Certified Personnel.  Each employee should be neatly groomed.  Attire should be neat and clean in appearance.

All School Board employees are expected to report to work dressed in a professional manner worthy of educators.  All faculty and staff members should report for work neatly groomed and professionally attired to set a good example for all students.  More importantly, students will show more respect towards faculty and staff members who dress worthy of the teaching profession.

Professional educators should dress appropriately to promote the educational mission of the school district.  The following types of clothing should not be worn during the regular school day:

1.     Jeans, sweatpants, and T-shirts with slogans of any color.

2.     Shorts.  However, Capri pants, which have a coordinated jacket, blouse, or shirt, may be worn.  Capri pants, as well as dresses should be of sufficient length so as not to be inappropriate when sitting, bending, or stretching.

3.     Clothing of any nature, which is

A.     too tight;

B.     see through;

C.     too short to be appropriate when sitting, bending, or stretching

4.     Exception: Physical Education teachers may wear shorts that come to the knee in order to perform job responsibilities.

NOTE:  For special circumstances, with the approval of the Principal/Administrator, the dress code may be modified.  Special circumstances may include such events as Homecoming, certain teaching situations, designated school spirit days, field trips, dress-down days and etc.

PAY DAY

Teachers and other District personnel will receive direct deposit on the last day in each month.  Exception: Teachers and other District personnel will receive direct deposit on the last working day in December.

PARENT CONFERENCES

Conferences with parents will not be scheduled during instructional class periods.  Conferences may be arranged after school and/or during teacher planning periods.  All parent/teacher/administrator conferences shall be conducted in a professional and ethical manner centered around resolving student’s academic performance, conduct, and/or behavior.

SAFE AND DRUG FREE SCHOOLS

The Okolona School District is a drug-free workplace in accordance with the provisions of the DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE ACT of 1988.  The regulations shall apply to all School Board employees of the district.

Smoking and other uses of tobacco products by district employees and visitors in school buildings, on school property, in district vehicles, and at school related events shall be prohibited by law.

EMERGENCY DRILLS

Each school site has a Crisis Management Plan.  All faculty and staff members should become aware of responsibilities associated with all safety drills in case of an emergency.  All faculty and staff members will appropriately respond to signals for an emergency and know how to respond when the signal is given.  A copy of the plan will be kept in the library and in the principal’s office.

HAZING, INTIMIDATION, THREATS

No administrator, faculty member or other employee will encourage, permit, condone or tolerate hazing activities which is defined as “doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of intimidation to any student or other organization that creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.

CAFETERIA

The Okolona School District operates as a closed campus regarding breakfast and lunch.  Teachers and students are not allowed to bring competitive advertised foods or beverages inside the cafeteria.

All teachers must properly escort their students to the cafeteria and sit with them during lunch.  It is expected that faculty, staff, and students should keep the noise level to a minimum when inside the cafeteria just as when eating at public restaurants.  Elementary teachers are to eat at the table with their students, supervise students in the proper use of table manners, and insist that tables and chairs are clean before leaving the cafeteria.  Elementary teachers shall assist smaller children when retrieving food items from serving lines.  No one is to go behind the serving line for any reason or into the kitchen to wash hands.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

Reasonable corporal punishment of a student is permitted only with parent/guardian consent.  Disciplinary measures are necessary in order to preserve an effective educational environment which is free from disruption and is conducive to furthering the educational mission of the Okolona School District.  The Superintendent shall establish and enforce these rules which are consistent with the following requirements:

1.     Corporal punishment shall be administered only after other methods have failed.

2.     Any corporal punishment shall be reasonable and moderate and may not be administered maliciously or for the purpose of revenge.

3.     Corporal punishment may be administered by the Superintendent of Education, Principals, Assistant Principals, and licensed teachers in the presence of another certified/classified employee.  Both employees shall sign the discipline form.  The witness shall be informed of the charges against the student.

4.      No corporal punishment shall be administered in the presence of other students.  This includes hallways and classrooms.  Among the suggested private locations would be the principal’s office, lounge, or vacant room.

5.     Any paddle used for the purpose of corporal punishment shall be no more than 18 inches in length, no more than 6 inches in width, and no more than 1 inch in thickness, and must be approved by the building principal.

6.     Corporal punishment is to be administered to the buttocks only and must not be excessive.  A maximum of (3) licks (swats) is highly recommended.  In instance where corporal punishment is refused, suspension or placement in “In School Suspension,” after-school detention, or schedule hearing for Alternative School shall be recommended by building principal.

7.     Students may be detained by the principal only when a productive purpose is achieved through its use.  The principal who wishes to detain a student shall notify the parent one day prior to detention.

8.     In all cases where corporal punishment is administered, a discipline form containing the following information shall be completed:

a.      Student’s name

b.     Date

c.     Details of specific incident for which punishment was administered

d.     Number of swats administered

e.     Signature of witness

9.     Special student’s suspension/punishment will be administered according to Federal Court

Corporal punishment shall not be administered to any child that does not have a parental approval form on file with the principal of the school.  Any parent who objects to his/her child being paddled by school personnel shall file written objections with the principal.  Suspension or some other approved form of punishment of the student shall be the alternative punishment for the student whose parent have filed written objection to the paddling of their child.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

It is the intent of the Okolona School District to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.  Therefore, unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. It shall be a violation of this policy for any person to harass a student, an employee, or any other person through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below. It shall also be a violation of this policy for students to harass other students through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined below.

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

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

3.     Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic or work environment.

Any person who has knowledge of or suspects that sexual harassment is occurring within the school district shall immediately report violation of this policy to the appropriate administrative officer without fear of reprisal.  Should violations prove to be legitimate, the offending employee shall be subject to disciplinary action, including involuntary termination of employment.

FUND RAISING ACTIVITIES

All fund raising activities must have prior approval of the Principal, Superintendent and School Board in accordance with Policy DK.  The School Board may authorize to conduct, on behalf of the school district, fund-raising activities deemed by the board, in its discretion, to be appropriate and beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the district.  Any proceeds of such fund-raising activities shall be treated as activity funds and shall be accounted for, as are other activity funds.

CARE OF ROOMS

Desks are expected to be kept in orderly arrangement.  Ingenuity on the part of the teacher can improve the appearance of the classrooms.  Care should be taken to see that each class leaves the classroom in a neat and clean condition.  The teacher should carefully check desk tops, tables, etc., for marks and see that paper is off the floor and out of the desks.  When the teacher is out of the room, the lights are to be off and the door is to be locked.  All lights, computers, and air conditioner units shall be turned off at the end of each work day

TEXTBOOKS

Textbooks are the responsibility of the teacher issuing the books.  The condition of textbooks shall be properly recorded when issuing students a book card. Teachers should stress proper care and maintenance of books.  When possible, allow students to use book covers to protect assigned textbooks.  If a textbook is lost, stolen, damaged and/or not returned by a student, the parent or legal guardian will be required to compensate the district for the fair market value of the book(s).

ENERGY

Think Green – As most staff members realize, energy costs have more than doubled in the past few years.  In order to maintain a reasonable budget for utilities, please be energy conscious in the use of water, lights, air conditioning and heat.  At the end of each work day, turn off all lights, computers, central heating and air units.

JGCC (August 2008)

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

This School Board has the power, authority and duty to exclude from the schools students with what appears to be infectious or contagious diseases; provided, however, such student may be allowed to return to school upon presenting a certificate from a public health officer, duly licensed physician or nurse practitioner that the student is free from such disease.  Section 37-7-301 (h)

HEAD LICE

For any student who has had head lice on three (3) consecutive occasions during one (1) school year, the principal shall notify the county health department of the recurring problem of head lice with that student.  The student shall not be allowed to attend school until proof of treatment is obtained.   Section 41-79-21 (1999)

MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE

Local School Boards shall ensure that all public schools and agricultural high schools provide parents and guardians with information about meningococcal disease and the effectiveness of vaccination against meningococcal disease.  Such information may be provided through the school district Web site, student handbook or other appropriate means of dissemination of information.  Such information shall be updated annually if new information on such disease is available.  This information shall include the causes, symptoms and means by which meningococcal disease is spread and the places where parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a local School Board or school to provide or purchase vaccine against meningococcal disease.

The State Board of Health shall develop and make available educational materials appropriate for distribution so that the information required by this section can be provided to parents and guardians.  The Department of Health may provide this information, at its discretion, electronically, on its Web site.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Department of Health to provide or purchase vaccine against meningococcal disease.

This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2007.  S. B. 2007 (2006 Legislative Session; classification pending)

EDUCATING STUDENTS WITH CHRONIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES POLICY

The following shall be the policy of this school district for educating students known to have a chronic infectious disease (persistent illness in the carrier state as compared to an acute short-term self-limiting illness) such as, but not limited to hepatitis B, herpes simplex, AIDS/ARC or cytomegalovirus.

1. A student with a chronic infectious disease shall be removed from the classroom temporarily and until the district’s medical advisor in consultation with the student’s physician determines whether the student’s presence in the school poses a risk of transmission of such chronic infectious disease to others.

2. Should it be determined by the school’s medical advisor that attendance poses no threat, the student shall be allowed to resume attendance at school subject to whatever restrictions or limitations, if any, that the school’s medical advisor shall recommend.  The student’s school attendance shall be reviewed by the school’s medical advisor in consultation with the student’s physician at least once every month to determine if continued school attendance poses any risk of transmission of such chronic infectious disease to others.

3. Should it be determined by the school’s medical adviser that attendance at school poses a risk of transmission of such chronic infectious disease to others, an appropriate alternative education program shall be established for that student which shall continue until the district’s medical adviser determines that the risk of transmission to others has abated and normal school attendance can resume.

4. The decision of the district’s medical adviser shall be final.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

All staff shall use the following routine and standard procedure to clean up after a student who has had an accident or injury at school.

1. Blood or body fluids emanating from ANY student including ones known to have a chronic infectious disease, shall be treated cautiously.

2. Rubber gloves shall be worn when cleaning up blood spills.  These spills shall be disinfected with a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 7 parts water) and persons coming in contact with them shall wash their hands immediately.

3. Blood soaked items shall be placed in leak proof bags for washing or further disposition.

4. The same procedures shall be used for dealing with the vomit and bodily waste of ANY student.

5. Hand washing immediately after contact with a student is routinely recommended if physical contact has been made with the student’s blood or bodily fluids, including saliva.

The school district shall provide gloves and other appropriate materials for use by the staff for compliance with this policy.

 

LEGAL REF.: MS CODE as cited

CROSS REF.: Policy JGC:  Student Health Services

JGCD-R (August 2008)

ADMINISTRATION OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE

School personnel will not administer prescription medicine to a student unless the student=s physician authorizes school personnel to administer the medicine and the parents/guardians have signed the Indemnity Agreement associated with this policy.  The parents/guardians are responsible for obtaining a statement from the physician authorizing school personnel to administer the medicine.  The statement should include:

1.     Student’s name

2.     Diagnosis

3.     Name of medicine

4.     Method of administration

5.     Time/s to administer the medicine

6.     Amount of medicine

7.     Date to discontinue or review administration of medicine

8.     Physician’s signature

9.     Date

The parents/guardians are responsible for getting the medicine to the school.  All medicine must be in a proper container with a label from the pharmacy which states the following:

1.     Student’s name

2.     Name of medicine

3.     Method of administration

4.     Time/s to administer the medicine

5.     Prescription number

6.     Name of pharmacy

7.     Date filled

OKOLONA SCHOOL DISTRICT

PARENT AUTHORIZATION AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT

The undersigned parent/s or guardian/s of ___________________________________________, a minor child, has requested personnel of this school district to administer prescription medicine to this student.  This request has been made for my/our convenience as a substitute for parental administration of this medicine.  It is understood that school personnel administering the medicine will not have to have medical or nursing training.

I /We forever release, discharge and covenant to hold harmless the School District, its personnel and Board of Trustees from any all claims, demands, damages, expenses, loss of services and causes of action belonging to the minor child or to the undersigned arising out of or on account of any injury, sickness, disability, loss or damages of any kind resulting from the administration of the prescription medicine.

The undersigned agree to repay the school district, its personnel or Trustees any sum of money, expenses, or attorneys fees that any of them may be compelled to pay in defense of any action or on account of any such injury to the minor child as a result of the administration of medicine.

I have read the foregoing release and indemnity agreement and fully understand it.

Executed this the _________ day of ________________, 20__.

____________________________________ ____________________________________

Parent or Guardian     Witness

____________________________________ ____________________________________

Parent or Guardian     Witness

GBRL (August 2008)

DRUG FREE WORKPLACE

No employee engaged in work in connection with a federal grant shall unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use on or in the workplace any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or any other controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and as further defined by regulation at 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15.

“Workplace” is defined to mean the site for the performance of work done in connection with a federal grant.  That includes any school building or any school premises; any school-owned vehicle or any other school approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property during any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the school district where work on a federal grant is performed.

As a condition of employment in any federal grant, each employee who is engaged in performance of a federal grant shall notify his or her supervisor of his or her conviction of any criminal drug statute for a violation occurring in the workplace as defined above, no later than 5 days after such conviction.

As a condition of employment in any federal grant, each employee who is engaged in performance of a federal grant shall abide by the terms of the school district policy respecting a drug-free workplace.

An employee who violates the terms of this policy may be non-renewed or his or her employment may be suspended or terminated, at the discretion of the School Board.

Sanctions against employees, including nonrenewal, suspension, and termination shall be in

accordance with prescribed school district administrative regulations and procedures.

DENIAL OF LICENSE

The State Board of Education, acting through the commission, may deny an application for any teacher or administrator license if the applicant is actively addicted to or actively dependent on alcohol or other habit-forming drugs or is a habitual user of narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, hallucinogens, or other drugs having a similar effect, at the time of application for a license.  Section37-3-2 (11) (c)

 

SUSPENSION OF LICENSE

The State Board of Education, acting on the recommendation of the commission, may revoke or suspend any teacher or administrator license for specified periods of time if the teacher or administrator has been convicted, has pled guilty or entered a plea of

nolo contendere to a felony, as defined by federal or state law.  Section 37-3-2 (12) (d)

Dismissal or suspension of a licensed employee by a local School Board pursuant to Section 37-9-59 may result in the suspension or revocation of a license for a length of time which shall be determined by the commission and based upon the severity of the offense.  Section 37-3-2 (13) (a)

LEGAL REF.: MS CODE as cited

21 U.S.C. 812

CROSS REF.: Policy GBRM-2:  Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN WORK ON FEDERAL GRANTS

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that it is a violation of the policy of this school district for any employee to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use on or in the workplace any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or any other controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and as further defined by regulation at 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15.

“Workplace” is defined as the site for the performance of work done in connection with a federal grant.  That includes any place where work on a school district federal grant is performed, including a school building or other school premises; any school-owned vehicle or any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property during any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the school district.

YOU ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED that it is a condition of your continued employment on any federal grant that you will comply with the above policy of the school district and will notify your supervisor of your conviction of any criminal statute for a violation occurring in the workplace, no later than 5 days after such conviction.

Any employee who violates the terms of the school district’s drug-free workplace policy may be non-renewed or his/her employment may be suspended or terminated, at the discretion of the school district.

                                                                21

CELL PHONE POLICY

The use of personal cell phones for personal business is prohibited during regular school hours unless in case of an emergency.  Cell phones may be placed on silent and/or vibrate.  Personal cell phones owned by teachers and staff shall not be visible during the work day.

Phone calls to parents regarding students’ academic performance or conduct can be made using office school phones during teacher’s planning period or after school.  Teachers may also use personal cell phone to contact parent and/or legal guardian during planning period or at an acceptable hour after school to discuss student performance, conduct, and/or behavior.

District issued cellular telephones shall only be assigned at the request of school administration authorized to assess the need for cellular service. After assessing that an employee needs a cellular telephone, school administration must complete a Cell Phone Needs Assessment, a copy of which is attached at the end of this policy. The Superintendent, Business Manager, Cell Phone Coordinator, and School Principals are hereby authorized to approve the Cell Phone Needs Assessment Forms.

Additionally, a limited number of cellular telephones will be made available for employee check out on a daily basis.  All request forms must be submitted to the District Office for review and final approval. The Superintendent, Business Manager, and Cell Phone Coordinator, are hereby authorized to distribute cell phones to those employees with an approved Cell Phone Needs Assessment Forms.

After the employee is approved to receive an agency issued cell phone, the employee must agree to abide by the cell phone policy and the fixed assets policy of the State of Mississippi Department of Education. Employees who are issued agency cell phones will be required to sign the Cell Phone User Agreement indicating agreement to the policy terms and conditions. If the policies are not followed, the employee will be required to return the cell phone to the Cell Phone Coordinator. Access privileges may be revoked at any time and for any reason. Abuse of the cell phone policy may result in disciplinary action.

Agency cell phones must be used for legitimate school business. Use of cellular telephones while operating a vehicle on County business is strongly discouraged, except in cases of emergency.  In the event that an employee is found to have engaged in prohibited use(s) or has abused a permissible use(s), the Okolona School District reserves the right to recover applicable costs, revoke cellular telephone privileges, and to impose disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Consequences for failure to abide by the Cell Phone Policy:

1.     Verbal warning

2.     Written reprimand

3.     Sent home with a loss of pay for the day

4.     Continual use of personal cell phone during instructional time may result in a written plan of improvement.  Failure to show improvement may result in termination of employment.

OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT

C Needs Assessment

Department:

Employee Name/Position:

Estimated Time Spent Away from Office:

Need for Immediate Contact: {circle one} High – Moderate – Low

Are there Alternative Means of Communication: {circle one} Yes – No

What are the Alternative Means of Communication: {circle} [Telephone Land Line?]

[Mobile Radio] [Hand Held Radio] [Pager]

List Benefits of Cell Phone vs. Comparative Cost of Alternative means of Communication:

List Public Safety Needs:

Summary of Justification for Cell Phone Need:

Approved By:                                     Position:_____________________ Date: ________

 

OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT

Cellular Phone User Agreement

Your signature below verifies that you have read and understand the Cell Phone Policy and the guidelines, procedures and responsibilities outlined below and agree to comply with them.

GUIDELINES

1.     Cell phone users are responsible for following Board policy and carrying out administrative procedures.

2.     All users issued a School District Cell phone must sign a District cell phone user agreement form.

3.     Use of School District cell phones is for School District business only.

4.     The District will not reimburse personal cell phone bills for District-related business calls, expect for extraordinary or emergency circumstances. Extraordinary or emergency circumstances should be rare, and under no circumstances routine and systematic.

5.     School District cell phones shall not be used for personal calls, except in the event of extreme personal emergency. In the event that a personal call is made, the Principal or Administrator with budgetary authority must be notified by the phone user in writing of the date and circumstances of the call in question. Phone users will be held liable for non-work related calls.

6.     Use of cellular telephones while operating a vehicle on County business is strongly discouraged, except in cases of emergency.

7.     Cell phone users shall not “loan” or otherwise make available their cell phone to non-District personnel.

8.     Cell phone users are responsible for all calls on their respective phones.

9.     Cell phones should not be used when a School District land line is available nearby, expect when 2-way functionality is more efficient, effective and cost neutral.

USER RESPONSIBILITIES

1.     Improper use of the cell phone can be considered misappropriation of School District funds which may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

2.     A cell phone user must surrender the cell phone upon termination of employment (i.e. retirement or voluntary/involuntary termination) or upon re-assignment to another school / department. At this point, no further use of the cell phone is authorized.

Cell Phone User: __________________________________________ Date: ________________

Principal/Administrator: _____________________________________ Date: ________________

Default Account Line: _________ _________ _________ _________ ___________

Fund-Glc-Func-Pgm-Obj-Ut

———————————————————————————————————————

District Office & Technology Staff Only

Date received in District Office: ____________ Initials: ____________

Phone Number Assigned: _______________________________

                                               DJEG  (August 2008)

PURCHASE ORDERS AND CONTRACTS

SCHOOL DISTRICT PURCHASING

One of the most important aspects of control over expenditures is an efficient and effective system of purchasing.  Each school district shall establish a purchasing system.

A well designed system of purchasing will include:

1. Requisitions (2 part)

2. Purchase Orders (3 part)

3. Receiving Reports (2 part)

A. Purchase requisitions are documents filled out by requesting departments/divisions/ schools or teachers requesting that the purchasing department buy the items requested.  A requisition is the device by which management realizes that there is a need for materials.

B. Purchase orders are documents issued by the school district to vendors ordering the items requested by departments/divisions/schools or teachers.  A purchase order is the device by which management places an order.  Accepting a purchase order by a vendor affects a legally binding contract.  The purchase order gives the vendor authority to ship the required items and binds the district for payment.

C. Receiving reports are documents documenting the fact that the materials ordered were actually received.

Using the documents above, the purchasing process could work as follows:

      1. The school district could utilize purchase requisitions to be prepared by school district personnel whenever there is a request for materials.  All requisitions should require approval by next higher level of administration than the person actually requesting the material.  Once approved this requisition should be forwarded to the central office.

      2. When a properly prepared and approved requisition is received by the central office, it should be reviewed to ensure that the requisition amount will not exceed the budget for that particular area.  All requisitions should be subjected to public purchasing law requirements.  A determination should be made as to whether or not quotes or bids shall be obtained prior to the actual placing of the order, in accordance with public purchasing laws.

     3.    All requisitions must have supporting documents (quotes/ contracts)

            properly attached before issuance of purchase order.     Prior to paying any claim, the

            accounts payable clerk should match the following documents:

a.     Purchase order                   d. Receiving report

b.     Vendor invoice(s)              e. Any other supporting documentation

c.     Purchase requisition

            No payments shall be authorized without proper documentation to

            mitigate waste, fraud, and abuse.

 

       4. Once the public purchasing law requirements are fulfilled, a purchase order should be issued, the issuance of which is official notice to the vendor that you desire for the vendor to fill that order.

      5. When ordered materials are received, either a receiving report shall be prepared by the person receiving the material or by central receiving, or, in the absence of a receiving report; the vendor’s invoice shall be signed by the person receiving the material.

      6. Prior to paying any claim, the accounts payable clerk should match the following documents:

1. Purchase requisitions

2. Purchase order

3. Receiving report (or vendor invoice signed by personnel indicating receipt of the material)

4. Vendor invoice (where receiving reports are used).

All purchase orders shall be prenumbered and controlled.  Receiving reports, if utilized, shall be prenumbered and controlled.  Requisitions do not require prenumbering.

A purchase order log shall be maintained by purchase order number.  This log will allow for follow-up on unfilled orders as well as allowing for the school district to determine the dollar value of outstanding purchase orders.  The purchase order log shall, at a minimum, contain the following information: purchase order number, date issued, vendor name, description and amount.  In lieu of the purchase order log, the district may maintain a file copy of purchase orders which are in numerical sequence.

Encumbrance accounting, if utilized, is discussed under the budgeting section of this manual.  Account codes are provided for in the coding sections of this manual.

Open purchase orders to vendors are acceptable if items have been bid and the bids properly accepted by the School Board in their official minutes.  Open purchase orders to vendors are only good for the duration of the bid and no bid shall exceed two fiscal years.  This bid should be for a period, established by the School Board, to ensure budgetary control over the purchase of such commodities.

Centralized purchasing is recommended for all districts.  It is the most efficient and effective means of handling purchasing.  With centralized purchasing, a purchasing department headed by a purchasing agent makes all purchases for the district.  By purchasing in this way, department can specialize in the purchase function.  Also better internal control exists when purchases cannot be made by many people at many different locations.

School Boards shall establish policies concerning school district purchasing.  Included in these policies, the board shall identify those items, if any, it is exempting from purchase order requirements (e.g., lunchroom foods that are purchased at bid price and delivered daily, purchases of certain items from student club funds, purchases made daily for the transportation department and purchases of monthly services such as utility bills and phone bills).  Purchasing policies and procedures shall be approved by the School Board and recorded on its official minutes.

All contracts including external partner contract agreements must be submitted to the Superintendent of Education for School Board approval.  A School Board employee who obligates the school district into a contractual agreement before receiving proper authorization from the School Board will be held liable for contract contents found therein.

                                                    DJE  (August 2008)

PURCHASING  

All purchases by this school district which will be paid for with public funds shall be made pursuant to the purchasing laws of the State of Mississippi, Section 31-7-1 et seq.

It is the intention of the School Board to purchase competitively without prejudice and to seek maximum educational value for each and every dollar expended.

PUBLIC PURCHASING LAWS

Mississippi public school districts must make purchases in accordance with the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated.  Additional procedures, requirements, and regulations are to be found in the Financial Accounting Manual for Mississippi Public School Districts, prescribed by the Office of the State Auditor.  The Manualincludes a AQuick Reference Index of School Related Laws@ that indicates the most significant code sections affecting purchasing are Sections 31-7-1, 31-7-12, 31-7-13, and 37-39-1 et seq.

PURCHASING DOCUMENT FORMATS

The forms and formats presented on pages D-4 through D-7 in the Okolona Policy Manual are provided only as guides in implementing a school district purchasing system.  The actual forms and formats to be utilized are to be determined by the district.

REMINDER:  Purchases made from federal funds are also subject to applicable federal regulations.

NOTE:  The Mississippi public purchasing laws have been amended by the Legislature each year for the past few years.  To keep current, each district needs to obtain and review a copy of any amended public purchasing laws as soon as possible after the bill making the change is passed.  These amended code sections may be obtained from the Secretary of State.  If the legislative bill number is known, the amended law may also be obtained by calling the Senate Docket Room at (601) 359-3229 or the House Docket Room at (601) 359-3358.  Also, bill status may be obtained online at the State Legislature website: http://www.ls.state.ms.us/

LEGAL REF.: MS CODE as cited

CROSS REF.: Policy DJE: Purchasing

 

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT LIST

The School Board shall insure that the school district shall maintain a list of supplies and equipment, including quality specifications when applicable, regularly used in this district.  The list shall be used by the School Board in obtaining competitive bids for supplies or equipment to be purchased, and shall be available to any interested person.  Section 37-39-5

PURCHASING AGENT/S

In connection with the purchase of necessary supplies or equipment for regular school operations, this School Board may, in its discretion, designate as its purchasing agent or agents such school official or officials as deemed appropriate and may authorize such agent or agents to make purchases of supplies and equipment subject to competitive bid requirements in Section 31-7-1 et seq.  Section 37-39-15

PERISHABLE SUPPLIES

Supplies that are perishable or foods purchased for use in connection with the school lunch and homemaking programs shall be exempted from competitive bid requirements.  However, the School Board shall adopt and place in its minutes definite policies for guidance of the purchasing agent/s in connection with purchases of perishable supplies or foods which are unstable or variable in price.  Such policies shall have the effect of law and any violations shall be subject to the penalties as provided by law.  Section 37-39-15

CONTRACT PURCHASES

Purchases of items regularly used in connection with school operation shall not be made in small quantities for the purpose of circumventing the law requiring competitive bids or quotations, but shall be purchased by contract whenever feasible.  School Boards shall have the authority, however, to award such contracts for supplies or equipment to be delivered to different points in the school district or county, to different bidders, when the best interests of the district or county warrant such action.  Reasons for awarding such contracts to different bidders for different areas in the district shall be recorded on the minutes of the School Board.  In no event shall the price paid exceed the lowest and best bid received.  Section 37-39-17

TIMELY PAYMENT

This School Board hereby declares that it is essential to the efficient operation of this school district that adequate supplies of goods and services continue to be available from private sources; that the good name and credit of the district may be promoted by timely and responsible payment of just claims; and that fair compensation be awarded suppliers when payments of their claims are delayed without justification.

The superintendent shall mail or otherwise deliver checks for the payment of goods and services no  later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of the invoice and receipt, inspection and approval of the goods or services; however in the event of a bona fide dispute, the school district shall pay only the amount not disputed.

SCHOOL DISTRICT LIABILITY

If a warrant or check, as the case may be, in payment of an invoice is not mailed or otherwise delivered within forty-five (45) days after receipt of the invoice and receipt, inspection and approval of the goods and services, the school district shall be liable to the vendor, in addition to the amount of the invoice, for interest at a rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) per month or portion thereof on the unpaid balance from the expiration of such forty-five day period until such time as the warrant or check is mailed or otherwise delivered to the vendor.  The provisions of this paragraph shall apply only to undisputed amounts for which payment has been authorized.  In the case of an error on the part of the vendor, the forty-five-day period shall begin to run upon receipt of a corrected invoice by the school district and upon compliance with the other provisions of this section.  The school district shall be responsible for initiating the penalty payments required by this subsection and shall use this subsection as authority to make such payments.  Also, at the time of initiating such penalty payment, the school district shall specify in writing an explanation of the delay and shall attach such explanation to the requisition for payment of the penalty or to the file copy of the check issued by the school district, as the case may be.

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE

In the event of a bona fide dispute as to an invoice, or any portion hereof, the dispute shall be settled within thirty (30) days after interest penalties could begin to be assessed, if it were not for the dispute.

If a warrant or check, as the case may be, in payment of an invoice, subject to a prior dispute, is not mailed or otherwise delivered within thirty (30) days after settlement of the dispute, the school district shall be liable to the vendor, in addition to the amount of the invoice, for interest at a rate of one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) per month or portion thereof on the  unpaid balance from the expiration of said thirty-day period until such time as the warrant or check is mailed or otherwise delivered to the vendor.  At the time of initiating such penalty payment, the school district shall specify in writing an explanation of the delay and shall attach such explanation to the requisition for payment of the penalty or to the file copy of the check issued by the school district, as the case may be.  The interest penalty prescribed in this paragraph shall be in lieu of the penalty provided above. Section 31-7-305

REPORT OF LATE PAYMENTS

This school district shall monthly notify the State Fiscal Management Board of the number and dollar amount of late payments made by the school district along with the amounts of interest paid and the specific steps being taken to reduce the incidence of late payments.

Whenever a vendor brings formal administrative or judicial action to collect interest due under this act, the school district shall be required to pay any reasonable attorney’s fees if the vendor prevails. Section 31-7-309

SALES TAX PAYMENT PROCEDURE FOR ITEMS PURCHASED FOR RESALE

For each and every item purchased by a school or department, regardless of price, that is to be resold to students and/or the public there shall be paid at the time of purchase full sales taxes (7%) to the vendor from whom the item is being purchased.

1. The rule applies only to those items being resold, i.e., pencils, paper, books shirts, calendars, candy, candles, etc.  Those items consumed in the education process remain tax exempt.

2. Tax is not to be added to the price of an item and collected at the time of resale.  The price of an item may be increased to recoup the tax paid.

3. Each requisition, purchase order, and invoice for an item that is to be resold shall have “For Resale” written thereon.

4. Orders for resale items and orders for supplies shall not be included on the same purchase order or requisition.

LEGAL REF.: MS CODE as cited

CROSS REF.: Policies DJEA:  Purchasing Authority

  DJED:  Bids and Quotations

  DJEG:  Purchase Orders and Contracts

 

Okolona Municipal Separate School District

INFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

The Okolona School District recognizes the importance of making advanced technology and increased access to learning opportunities available to students and staff. As resources permit, informational technology services shall be made available in schools. The Board believes that this technology will help propel our schools into the information age by allowing students and staff to access and use informational sources from other computers, to communicate and share information with individuals or groups of other students and staff, and to significantly expand their knowledge base. The Board of Education realizes that the availability of computers and the ability to communicate with people all over the world brings access to material that may not be considered of educational value in the context of the school setting. Okolona School System personnel shall take all available precautions to restrict access to controversial materials. While recognizing that it is impossible to control all material which might inadvertently be discovered by users on a global network, the Board of Education firmly believes that the valuable information and interaction available on the worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of the school system.

PURPOSE

The purpose of informational technology is to facilitate communications in support of research and education by providing access to multiple resources. Use by any student or staff member must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the Okolona School District.

AUTHORIZED USER

An authorized user for the purpose of this policy will be defined as any employee or student of the Okolona School System who has been issued and assigned a log-in account.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The use of informational technology is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use, including any violation of these conditions and policies, may result in cancellation of the privilege. Under this agreement, the Okolona School System is the delegated authority to determine appropriate use and may deny, revoke or suspend any user’s access at any time based upon the determination of inappropriate use.

Transmission of any material in violation of United States Law or state regulations is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, or material protected by patent. Use for commercial activities, product advertisement, or political lobbying is prohibited. The use of school and central office networks, Okolona School District System Wide Area Network (WAN) and its connections internally shall be for the exchange of information in order to promote and support educational excellence in the school system.

The prerequisite for an employee to receive an information technology account is that the employee takes full responsibility for his or her own actions.

The sole purpose of informational technology wide area network is for the support of instructional and administrative purposes. Failure to abide by these regulations shall result in suspension of the individual’s network account, pending administrative review, and may result in disciplinary action.

ENCOUNTER OF CONTROVERSIAL MATERIAL

Users may encounter material which is controversial and which users, parents, teachers, or administrators may consider inappropriate or offensive. The Okolona School System has a right and will make every effort to control the content of data accessed through the Internet by the use of firewalls and filtering software and teacher monitoring. On a global network it is impossible to control every piece of data, and an industrious user may discover controversial material accidentally.

It is the user’s responsibility not to initiate access to controversial material purposely. If such material is accessed accidentally, the student/teacher shall notify an adult teacher/supervisor immediately to ensure such an accident does not happen again.

VANDALISM AND HARASSMENT

1.     Vandalism and harassment will result in cancellation of user privileges.

2.     Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm, modify, or destroy data of a system or another user. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creating of computer viruses.

3.     Harassment is defined as the persistent annoyance of another user or the interference in another user’s work. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the sending of unwanted E-mail.

GUIDELINES

Network Guidelines

1. Users will not post, publish, send or intentionally receive offensive messages or pictures from any source, including but not limited to any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, sexist or illegal material.

2. Users will not transmit or download information or software in violation of copyright laws.

3. Only resources for which the author has given expressed consent for on-line distribution can be used.

4. Posting messages and attributing them to another user is prohibited.

5. Downloading of non-instructional materials from the Internet is unacceptable.

E-Mail Guidelines

1.     Identify yourself and your purpose for using the District’s Outlook email system.

2.     Messages should be short, coherent, and to the point. Be professional at all times in regard to tone control, humor, and correct usage of grammar and spelling.

3.     Global e-mails must be approved by an appropriate central office supervisor.

4.     Sending or facilitating mass e-mails to school users or outside parties for school or non-school purposes without permission of the School Technology Coordinator (STC) or System Director is prohibited.

5.     Opening and forwarding any e-mail attachments from unknown sources and/or that may contain viruses is prohibited.

SOFTWARE COPYRIGHT PROCEDURES

It is the intent of Okolona School System to adhere to the provisions of copyright laws as they relate to informational technology. It is also the intent of the district to comply with the license agreements and/or policy statements contained in the software packages used in the district. In circumstances where the interpretation of the copyright law is ambiguous, the district shall look to the applicable license agreement to determine appropriate use of the software.

Software Procedures

1.     The Director of Instructional Technology or Director of Information Technology must contact software publishers to obtain written permission and procedures for making multiple copies, other than a single archival back-up.

2.     The Director of Instructional Technology or Director of Information Technology must contact software publishers to obtain written permission and procedures for changing the format from one platform to another.

3.     The Director of Instructional Technology or Director of Information Technology must obtain written permission from the software publisher to download or network programs to other computers. No software will be loaded onto a network without a legal network copy of the software.

4.     The schools may not load a stand-alone single copy of a software product to multiple computer systems without explicit permission from the publisher. As a general rule, even though one can physically do so, placing software on multiple machines with one legal copy of a software product is ILLEGAL.

5.     School computers may not be used to duplicate copyrighted software, except for a single archival copy not to be used simultaneously with the original

6.     Duplication of copyrighted software materials is prohibited, except for a single archival copy not to be used simultaneously with the original. ONLY the legal copy may be used for educational purposes. The archival disk MUST be stored, to be used again ONLY to recopy the program if the legal copy becomes defective, except when permission is given to do otherwise by the publisher.

7.     The principal of each school is responsible for establishing practices which will enforce this policy on the local school level.

8.     A copyright policy should be posted in any room where a computer is located.

9.     Users are not allowed to purchase, download or load software without written permission from the STC or System Director.

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES

1.     Ensure that all faculty, staff and students are aware of the rights and responsibilities of acceptable informational technology use.

2.     Provide access to informational technology to all faculty, staff and students as outlined by the Okolona School System and the Information Systems Strategic Technology Plan.

3.     Ensure that network security is a high priority. Security violations must be reported to a network system administrator. Ensure that any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other systems will be monitored or denied access.

4.     Ensure that any attempt to harm, modify, destroy data, equipment, or software will result in cancellation of technology privileges.

5.     Handle the abuse of technology privileges in a manner consistent with the Okolona School District Policy.

6.     Ensure that User IDs and Passwords are not compromised. The sharing of any user’s ID and Password is not permitted.

EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES

Employees are to utilize the Okolona School District System’s computers, networks, and informational technology services for school system-related purposes and performance of job duties. Incidental personal use of school system computers is permitted as long as such use does not interfere with the employee’s job duties and performance, with system operations, or other system users. “Incidental personal use” is defined as use by an individual employee for occasional personal communications. Personal use must comply with this policy and all other applicable policies, procedures, and rules.

1.     Employees will observe the standard of courtesy and behavior consistent with the practices and policies of the Okolona School District Board of Education when sending or publishing messages or transmitting data or other information on the Internet.

3.     Employees will not share their user IDs, passwords, or user log-on accounts with others and must make all efforts to safeguard any information from unauthorized users.

4.     Employees may not attempt to access information for which they are not authorized.

5.     Employees will not use informational technology for any purpose if in violation of the law.

6.     Employees will use informational technology for instructional or administrative purposes only as it applies to their job responsibilities.

7.     Employees are required to maintain hardware and software and report issues to the (STC) in a timely manner.

8.     Employees will not allow students to use a computer that has been designated as a certified or non-certified employee workstation. In special circumstances written permission may be obtained for a waiver from the District Technology Coordinator.

9.     Employees are not allowed to purchase, download or load software without permission from the STC or System Director.

10.     Employees sharing data between school and home computers should always check their media for viruses before using on the LAN or school wide network.

11.     Employees are not allowed to alter programs on the network file server or any computer system in the school.

12.     Employee and system access codes shall not be given to students, other teachers or other administrators.

13.     Employees will not be allowed to take district owned ipads, laptops, desk tops, and/or netbooks off the school premises.

14.     Employees are responsible for properly securing and maintaining all technology fixed assets assigned to your classroom.  An employee’s failure to properly secure, maintain, and return all technology fixed assets assigned to his/her classroom may result in criminal prosecution and/or separation from employment.

15.     In case of theft of technology fixed asset item(s), the teacher will be held solely responsible for repayment of stolen item(s), if not accompanied by an official police report.

PERSONNEL RECORDS

The personnel file shall contain all documents required by law and all other items necessary for the administration of personnel employed by the school system, excluding medical records relating to the American Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, and Workers’ Compensation. Personnel records of employees are confidential. Disclosure of addresses, telephone numbers, duty stations, and periods of service, medical histories, associations, family relationships, pay scale assignments, wages, or salaries is specifically prohibited as an invasion of personal privacy. Written open records requests will release only what is required by law.

Personnel information requested by governmental agencies, school systems, public colleges, and public universities may be provided within the parameters of this policy. Employee name, employment date, position title, duty station, record of performance, and salary or wage data may be disclosed to businesses at the request of the employee. Personnel records shall be produced upon receipt of appropriate court orders or subpoena. All personnel files are kept in accordance with the records retention schedule for all resigned or retired employees, including such essential information as appropriate to the administration.

Employees will be expected to promptly furnish all information required by the administration. Failure to do so promptly may result in withholding of salary.

PERSONNEL SCREENING

Employees hired beginning July 1, 2000 must have a state child abuse registry check, be fingerprinted, and have a criminal history record check in order to determine the applicant’s suitability for employment.  If no disqualifying record is found at the state level, the fingerprints shall be forwarded by the Department of Public Safety to the FBI for a national criminal history record check.  The applicant is responsible for the fee for fingerprinting and criminal history record check (the fee is $40.00 & shall be paid by the employee).  If a conviction is found in the criminal history of a new hire, that individual shall not be eligible for employment.  The School Board does have the right to view special circumstances when the individual does not pose a threat to the health or safety of the children a school.

Employment Leave Policy

An act to amend section 37-7-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, to revise the determination of the annual conversion of unused vacation or personal leave to sick leave for licensed or unlicensed school employees and to recognize leave accumulated under previous policy; and for related purposes.

Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Mississippi:

SECTION 1. Section 37-7-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

(1)     For purposes of this section, the term “licensed employee” means any employee of a public school district required to hold a valid license by the Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and development.

(2)     The School Board of a school district shall establish by rules and regulations a policy of sick leave with pay for licensed employees and teacher assistants employed in the school district, and such policy shall include the following minimum provisions for sick and emergency leave with pay:

a.     Each licensed employee and teacher assistant, at the beginning of each school year, shall be credited with a minimum sick leave allowance, with pay, of ten (10) days for absences caused by illness or physical disability of the employee during that school year.

b.     Any unused portion of the total sick leave allowance shall be carried over to the next school year and credited to such licensed employee and teacher assistant if the licensed employee or teacher assistant remains employed in the same school district.  In the event any public school licensed employee or teacher assistant transfers from one public school district in Mississippi to another, any unused portion of the total sick leave allowance credited to such licensed employee or teacher assistant shall be credited to such licensed employee or teacher assistant in the computation of unused leave for retirement purposes under Section 25-11-109.  Accumulation of sick leave allowed under this section shall be unlimited.

c.     No deduction from the pay of such licensed employee or teacher assistant may be made because of absence of such licensed employee or teacher assistant caused by illness or physical disability of the licensed employee or teacher assistant until after all sick leave allowance credited to such licensed employee or teacher assistant has been used.

d.     For the first ten (10) days of absence of a licensed employee because of illness or physical disability, in any school year, in excess of the sick leave allowance credited to such licensed employee, there may be deducted from the pay of such licensed employee the established substitute amount of licensed employee compensation paid in that local school district, necessitated because of the absence of the licensed employee as a result of illness or physical disability.  Thereafter, the regular pay of such absent licensed employee may be suspended and withheld in its

      entirety for any period of absence because of illness or physical disability during

      that school year.

e.     Beginning with the school year 1983 – 1984, each licensed employee at the beginning of each school year shall be credited with a minimum personal leave allowance, with pay, of two (2) days for absences caused by personal reasons during that school year.  Such personal leave shall not be taken on the first day of the school term, the last day of the school term, on a day previous to a holiday or a day after a holiday, unless on such days an immediate family member of the employee is being deployed for military service.  Personal leave may be used for professional purposes, including absences caused by attendance of such licensed employee at a seminar, class, training program, professional association or other functions designed for educators.  No deduction from the pay of such licensed employee may be made because of absence of such licensed employee caused by personal reasons until after all personal leave allowance credited to such licensed employee has been used.  However, the superintendent of a school district, in his discretion, may allow a licensed employee personal leave in addition to any minimum personal leave allowance, under the condition that there shall be deducted from the salary of such licensed employee the actual amount of any compensation paid to any person as a substitute, necessitated because of the absence of the licensed employee.  Any unused portion of the total personal leave allowance up to five (5) days shall be carried over to the next school year and credited to such licensed employee if the licensed employee remains employed in the same school district.

f.     Beginning with school year 1992-1993, each licensed employee shall be credited with a professional leave allowance, with pay, for each day of absence caused by reason of such employee’s statutorily required membership and attendance at a regular or special meeting held within the State of Mississippi of the State Board of Education, the Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Licensure and Development, the Commission on School Accreditation, the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, the meetings of the state textbook rating committees or other meetings authorized by local School Board policy.

g.     Upon retirement from employment, each licensed and non-licensed employee shall be paid for not more than thirty (30) days of unused accumulated leave earned while employed by the school district in which the employee is last employed.  Such payment for licensed employees shall be made by the school district at a rate equal to the amount paid to substitute teachers and for non-licensed employees, the payment shall be made by the school district at a rate equal to the federal minimum wage.  The payment shall be treated in the same manner for retirement purposes as a lump-sum payment for personal leave as provided in Section 25-11-103 (e).  Any remaining lawfully credited unused leave, for which payment has not been made, shall be certified to the Public Employee’ Retirement System in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as otherwise provided by law for unused leave.  No payment for unused accumulated leave may be made to either a licensed or a nonlicensed employee at termination or separation from service for any purpose other than for the purpose of retirement.

h.     The School Board may adopt rules and regulations which will reasonably aid to implement the policy of sick and personal leave, including, but not limited to, rules and regulations having the following general effect:

i.      Requiring the absent employee to furnish the certificate of a physician or dentist     or other medical practitioner as to the illness of the absent licensed employee, where the absence is for four (4) or more consecutive school days, or for two (2) consecutive school days immediately preceding or following a non-school day;

j.     Providing penalties, by way of full deduction from salary, or entry on the work record of the employee, or other appropriate penalties, for any materially false statement by the employee as to the cause of absence;

k.     Forfeiture of accumulated or future sick leave, if the absence of the employee is caused by optional dental or medical treatment or surgery which could, without medial risk, have been provided, furnished or performed at a time when school was not in session;

l.     Enlarging, increasing or providing greater sick or personal leave allowances than the minimum standards established by this section in the discretion of the School Board of each school district.

m.     School Boards may include in their budgets provisions for the payment of substitute employees, necessitated because of the absence of regular licensed employees.  All such substitute employees shall be paid wholly from district funds, except as otherwise provided for long-term substitute teachers in Section 37-19-20.  Such School Boards, in their discretion, also may pay, from district funds other than adequate education program funds, the whole or any part of the salaries of all employees granted leaves for the purpose of special studies or training.

n.     The School Board may further adopt rules and regulations, which will reasonably implement such leave policies for all other non-licensed and hourly paid school employees, as the board deems appropriate.

o.     Vacation leave granted to either licensed or non-licensed employees shall be synonymous with personal leave.  Unused vacation or personal leave accumulated by licensed employees in excess of the maximum five (5) days which may be carried over from one (1) year to the next may be converted to sick leave.  The annual conversion of unused vacation or personal leave to sick days for licensed or unlicensed employees shall not exceed the allowable number of personal leave days as provided in Section 25-3-93.  The annual total number of converted unused vacation and/or personal days added to the annual unused sick days for any employee shall not exceed the combined allowable number of days per year provide for vacation, personal and sick leave for employees shall not exceed the provisions for leave as provided in Sections 25-3-93 and 25-3-95.  Any personal or vacation leave previously converted to sick leave under a lawfully adopted policy before May 1, 2004, or such personal or vacation leave accumulated and available for use prior to May 1, 2004, under a lawfully adopted policy but converted to sick leave after May 1, 2004, shall be recognized as accrued leave by the local school district and available for use by the employee.

 

          The leave converted under a lawfully adopted policy prior to May 1, 2004, or such

          personal and vacation leave accumulated and available for use as of May 1, 2004,

          which was subsequently converted to sick leave may be certified to the Public

          Employees’ Retirement System upon termination of employment and any such

          leave previously converted and certified to the public employees’ Retirement

          System shall be recognized.

(1).  For the purposes of this subsection, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed in this paragraph unless the context requires otherwise:

(2). “Catastrophic injury or illness” means a life-threatening injury or illness of an employee or a member of an employee’s immediate family that totally incapacitates the employee from work, as verified by a licensed physician, and forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee, resulting in the loss of compensation from the local school district for the employee.  Conditions that are short-term in nature, including, but not limited to, common illnesses such as influenza and the measles, and common injuries, are not catastrophic.  Chronic illnesses or injuries, such as cancer or major surgery, that result in intermittent absences from work and that are long-term in nature and require long recuperation periods may be considered catastrophic.

(3). “Immediate family” means spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child or stepchild.

(4). Any school district employee may donate a portion of his or her unused accumulated personal leave or sick leave to another employee who works in the same school district who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness or who has a member of his or her immediate family suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness, in accordance with the following:

(5).  The employee donating the leave (the “donor employee”) shall designate the employee who is to receive the leave (the “recipient employee”) and the amount of unused accumulated personal leave and sick leave that is to be donated, and shall notify the school district superintendent or his designee of his or her designation.

(6). The maximum amount of unused accumulated personal leave that an employee may donate to any other employee may not exceed a number of days that would leave the donor employee with fewer than seven (7) days of personal leave remaining, and the maximum amount of unused accumulated sick leave that an employee may donate to any other employee may not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the unused accumulated sick leave of the donor employee.

(7). Before an employee may receive donated leave, he or she must provide the school district superintendent or his designee with a physician’s statement that states the beginning date of the catastrophic injury or illness, a description of the injury or illness, and a prognosis for recovery and the anticipated date that the recipient employee will be able to return to work.

(8).  Before an employee may receive donated leave, he or she must provide the school district superintendent or his designee with a physician’s statement that states the beginning date of the catastrophic injury or illness, a

description of the injury or illness, and a prognosis for recovery and the anticipated date that the recipient employee will be able to return to work.

(9).  If the total amount of leave that is donated to any employee is not used by the recipient employee, the whole days of donated leave shall be returned to the donor employees on a pro rata basis, based on the ration of the number of days of leave donated by each donor employee to the total number of days of leave donated by all donor employees.

(iii)     Donated leave shall not be used in lieu of disability retirement.

Additional information regarding Okolona School Policy can be located at the Central Office.

Use and Return of District Property

Employees are responsible for items issued to them by the Okolona School district or in their possession or control, such as the following:

·     Books and educational materials (including calculators)

·     Official grade books and student work needed for grades

·     Equipment

·     Keys

·     Manuals including employee handbook

·     Protective equipment Tools

·     Vehicles

·     iPads

·     Laptops

·     Netbooks,

·     Nooks

·     Written materials

·     ID Badges

·     All other items purchased using federal and/or district funds

The employee must return all Okolona School District property after state testing and/or in accordance to End-of-Year Checklist.  Failure to promptly return any school district property in the employee’s possession will result in action to recover the property by any legal means necessary.

REDUCTION IN FORCE

If it should be necessary for the Okolona School District to reduce the number of teacher units (a teacher is defined as an employee whose salary is determined by placement on the teacher salary schedule) because of insufficient funds, decline in enrollment, or the elimination of subjects, programs, grants, and positions, the reduction shall be in accordance to District’s policy.

The Okolona School District Board of Education shall follow all sections of the Mississippi Code know as the “Educational Employment Procedures Law of 2001” found in the Ms Code 37-9-101 through 37-9-113

RENEWAL OF LICENSED EMPLOYEES

On or before April 1 of each year, the principal of each school shall recommend to the superintendent of the school district the teachers and other professional educators to be reemployed for the school involved.

NON-RENEWAL OF LICENSED EMPLOYEES

In the event that a determination is made by the Okolona School District not to reemploy for a successive year a licensed employee, written notice of non-renewal shall be given no later than:

·     March 1 if the employee is a principal, or

·     April 25 if the employee is a teacher or other professional educator

Overtime

It is the policy of the Okolona School District that compensation for overtime work will be paid in the form of compensatory time off.  Compensatory time shall be awarded on the basis of 1 ½ hour for each hour of overtimed worked.  An employee will not be permitted to accumulate more than 240 compensatory time hours (160 regular hours).  Employee must take the compensatory time when it is agreeable with his/her supervisor.  However, the supervisor’s consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.

All overtime requiring monetary compensation must be pre-approved by the Superintendent of Education except in the event of an emergency as verified by immediate supervisor.  Overtime not approved by the Superintendent will not be tolerated and any employee working unapproved overtime as verified by the employee time sheet will be subject to appropriate sanctions.  A School Board employee shall not receive overtime compensation without written prior approval from the Superintendent of Education.  The following are consequences for failure to abide by Overtime Policy:

1.     Verbal warning

2.     Written reprimand

3.     Sent home with a loss of pay for the day

4.     Excessive accrual of over-time without written permission from the Superintendent of Education as verified by employee time sheet may result in separation from employment.

NON-QUALIFYING FMLA LEAVE OF ABSENCE

An employee who does not qualify for leave based on the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 may take a leave of absence up to 30 business days if the employee is going to return to work within those 30 days.

The employee may be responsible for timely payment of all insurance premiums while on approved leave of absence.

TRAVEL RULES AND REGULATIONS

School Board Members, district administrators, principals, and teachers shall be reimbursed for travel expenses which comply with the following:

·     When such travel is at the request of and/or approved by the employee’s supervisor,

·     While performing duties related to the job,

·     Has prior written approval by the superintendent and/or principal on district conference request form,

·     Complies with Okolona School Board daily limits on expenditures for meals and mileage reimbursements rates.

1.      Travel for business should be conducted at a minimum cost.

2.     All travel must be approved in advance on a requisition form.

3.     Travel reimbursement forms should be typed or completed in ink, signed by the employee and verified by principal, purchasing agent, and superintendent.

4.     One employee shall not pay for another employee’s room, airfare or meals and be reimbursed.

5.     Conference/Seminar agenda must be attached to the reimbursement of expenses form.

TRAVEL ADVANCES

The Okolona school district may pay for an employee’s airfare, lodging, and conference fees in advance.  An itemized receipt from the hotel and conference must be turned in upon return, and a flight receipt/itinerary must accompany the request for reimbursement.

The employee will be responsible for repaying the District if they do not attend a conference.  Exceptions are when there is a personal medical emergency verified by a doctor’s excuse or the conference canceled.

PROCEDURES FOR OUT-OF-STATE-TRAVEL

When requesting out-of-state travel, the employee must complete the following:

1.     Complete and submit a district request to attend conference form.

2.     Get approval from your immediate supervisor, purchasing agent, and superintendent.

3.      Submit a written letter to the Okolona School Board justifying how this conference will improve student achievement in the Okolona school District.

4.     The School Board will vote to approve and/or deny out-of-state travel request at its regularly scheduled School Board Meeting.

5.     If out-of-state travel is approved by the School Board, then the employee will be eligible for travel advance in accordance to travel advance policy (only if request has been submitted and approved in a timely manner).

SUBSTANCE USE AND ABUSE

It is the District’s intention to maintain a drug free work environment that is safe for all employees.  Whenever use or abuse of controlled substances (such as alcohol and illegal drugs) interferes with the workplace, appropriate action may be taken, including testing or discipline (up to and including termination) when warranted.  District and school officials will fully cooperate with law enforcement in prosecution of drug violations occurring in the workplace.

INSURANCE

Full-time employees are eligible to participate in a comprehensive array of employee benefits. Employees who work 20 hours or more per week are eligible for benefits. Many of the plans are funded entirely or in part by the Board and others are available to you via payroll deduction. Below is a brief overview of your benefits.

Health Insurance

The State of Mississippi Blue Cross Blue Shield State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan offers two coverage choices for active employees, COBRA participants, and non-Medicare eligible retirees: Base Coverage and Select Coverage. The District contributes $361.00 for Legacy Employees (hired before 7/1/2006) and $343.00 for Horizon employees (hired after 7/1/2006).  NOTE: Any employee participating in the Plan who receives retirement benefits from the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) must be covered as a retiree and not as an active employee.

Initial enrollment applies to newly eligible active employees. An employee is required to complete an Application for Coverage form to apply for or waive coverage within the first 31 days of employment. The employee’s Social Security number must be provided on the Application for Coverage form in order for an employee to enroll in the Plan. Dependent information on theApplication for Coverage form must include birth date, Social Security Number, and mailing address, if different from the enrollee. All new employees and their dependents applying for coverage are subject to a twelve (12) month pre-existing condition exclusion period. If timely application is made and appropriate premiums are paid, the effective date of coverage for the employee and any eligible dependent(s) will be the first day of employment.

Each October during the annual open enrollment period, an employee may choose to elect coverage for himself or his eligible dependents. The coverage elected during open enrollment takes effect on January 1st of the following calendar year. Coverage elected during an open enrollment period is subject to an 18-month pre-existing condition exclusion period.

Eligible dependents include the following:

·     The enrollee’s legal spouse as defined by Mississippi law, unless the spouse is also an eligible employee under the Plan.

·     The enrollee’s unmarried child up to age 19, or up to age 25 if he is a full-time student. Fulltime students must be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours (or its equivalent) of course work, attend an accredited high school, college, or university, and be dependent on the enrollee for support. When a student reaches the age of 25, he is terminated from the Plan even if he is still a full-time student.

The term “child” includes the following:

·      Natural child

·     Stepchild

·     Legally adopted child

·     Child placed in the enrollee’s home in anticipation of adoption

·     Child for whom the enrollee is legal guardian

·     Child for whom the enrollee has legal custody

·     Child of the enrollee who is required to be covered by reason of a Qualified Medical Child Support Order

Special enrollment periods are only allowed in specific circumstances. Generally, a special enrollment period arises when an employee or an eligible dependent loses coverage under another health plan or when an enrollee gains a new eligible dependent. If an active employee is not covered by the Plan at the time of this qualifying event, he may enroll himself and any other eligible dependent(s).

Under the law, the employee or a family member has the responsibility to inform the employer of a divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status under the Plan within 60 days of the date of the event or the date in which coverage would end under the Plan because of the event, whichever is later.  The employer has the responsibility to notify Blue Cross Blue Shield of the employee’s death, termination, reduction in hours of employment, or Medicare entitlement, or a divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status.  Similar rights may apply to certain retirees, spouses, and dependent children if your employer commences bankruptcy proceedings and these individuals lose coverage.

Coverage During the Summer Months

A covered school employee who is off for summer recess is entitled to continuous insurance coverage during the summer months.

A covered school employee who leaves one employer unit at the end of the school year, does not work for an employer unit during the summer months, and becomes employed by another employer unit when the school calendar resumes in the fall, will remain covered by the old employer unit until August 31st. Coverage with the new employer unit will begin September 1st.

A covered school employee who leaves one employer unit at the end of the school year, and becomes employed by another employer unit during the summer months will remain covered by the old employer unit until the end of the month in which the employee transfers. Coverage under the new employer unit will be effective on the first of the month following the transfer.

In order to protect your and your family’s rights, you should keep the Blue Cross & Blue Shield informed of any changes in your address and the addresses of family members.  You should also keep a copy, for your records, of any notices you send to Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

The Plan Document at http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.state.ms.us.contains more specific details on your health care benefits.  If you have any questions regarding the insurance, please call Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi at (800) 709-7881

DENTAL AND VISION INSURANCE

The District provides active, full time employees and their dependents two dental plans, Low and High Option, and a vision plan. The Guardian Anytime website, www.guardiananytime.com, and the helpline at 1-888-600-1600 can provide more specific details on your benefits.

GROUP TERM LIFE INSURANCE

The District provides group term life insurance equal to two times your annual pay with a maximum benefit of $100,000.00. Optional life and dependent life insurance in an amount equal to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times your annual salary (up to $500,000.00) can be purchased. The UNUM Life Insurance helpline at (228) 475-8687 can provide additional specific details on your benefits.

GAE-P (August 2008)

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES — LICENSED PERSONNEL APPRAISAL

PURPOSE

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide the licensed employee an equitable solution to a grievance filed in connection with a personnel appraisal.

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions shall apply in this grievance procedure:

1. “Personnel appraisal” refers to the system of annual performance evaluation of all licensed staff, as is mandated by state law.  This grievance procedure has been approved by the School Board for use in this district as part of its “Personnel Appraisal System.”

2. A “Grievance” is a complaint by an individual based upon an alleged violation of his or her rights under state or federal law or board policy related to the personnel appraisal process for that individual.

3. A “grievant” is a person or persons making the complaint.

4. The term “days” shall mean working school days and shall exclude weekends, holidays, and vacation days.

PROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING GRIEVANCES

Grievances shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure:

Level One

1. All grievances, as defined above, must be presented orally to the principal of the grievant within five (5) days of the act or omission complained of, and the principal and grievant will attempt to resolve the matter informally.

2. If the grievant is not satisfied with the action taken or the explanation given by his principal the grievant shall, within five (5) days after meeting with his principal, file a written statement with his principal setting forth in detail how the grievant claims to have been discriminated against.  This written statement shall contain, in addition to the above, the time, place, and nature of the alleged act or omission and the state or federal law or board policy violated.  The statement must be signed by the grievant.

3. In the event the grievant does not submit to his principal a written statement as required, his failure to do so shall be deemed as an acceptance of the informal decision rendered by his principal.

4. Within five (5) days after receiving the grievant signed statement the principal shall send to the superintendent a copy of the grievant statement, along with a statement from the principal setting forth his response to the grievant and/or his decisions, as is applicable.  At the same time, the principal shall also provide a copy of his written statement to the grievant.

Level Two

1. Upon receipt by the superintendent of the written notice that the grievant intends to appeal the decision of his principal, the superintendent shall notify the grievant in writing within five (5) days and shall advise the grievant of the date, time, and place upon which the matter will be considered by the superintendent.  The superintendent shall schedule a hearing on the matter no later than ten (10) days from the date of receipt of the grievant written notice of intention to appeal the written decision of his principal.

2. The written statement submitted by the grievant to his principal in Level One shall form the basis of the grievance before the superintendent.  The grievant shall submit in writing any and all additional information on his behalf which he desires to the superintendent not later than five (5) days prior to the date upon which the matter is scheduled for hearing by the superintendent.

3. In the event the grievant does not personally attend the hearing scheduled by the superintendent, his failure to attend shall be deemed as an acceptance of the written decision rendered by his principal at LEVEL ONE.

4. The superintendent shall render a written decision to the grievant within five (5) days of the date upon which the matter was heard.

Level Three

1. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant at LEVEL TWO, or if the superintendent does not render a decision within five (5) days, the grievant may file the grievance with the secretary of the School Board.

2. If the grievance is not filed with the secretary of the School Board within five (5) days of the hearing at LEVEL TWO, the grievance shall be considered resolved.

3.         Within five (5) days after receipt of the grievance, the board secretary, in concert with the

            board chairman and superintendent, shall schedule a hearing before the School Board on

            the grievance.

4. The board shall render its decision within seven (7) days of the hearing.

Standard 9 is as follows:

9. The school district implements a formal personnel appraisal system for licensed staff that includes assessment of employee on-the-job performance.  {MS Code 37-3-46(b)}

LEGAL REF.: MS CODE as cited

Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards(2003)

CROSS REF.: Policy GBI:  Evaluation of Employee

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES for ADA 104.7(a)(b)

PURPOSE

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide appropriate due process standards and that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the part of the Okolona Municipal Separate School District in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Special Accommodations

(a)  Mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities needing special assistance with gaining access to schools and district offices located within the Okolona Municipal Separate School District may contact Mrs. Beverly Smith, Executive Administrative Assistant at (662) 447-2353 for further assistance.

(b) District Office has a special entrance for mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities located at 411 W. Main Street on the south side of the three-story building located next to the cafeteria.  The entrance is marked with a blue handicap accessible sign near handicap parking space.

Individuals with disabilities may contact the Executive Administrative Assistant at (662) 447-2353 to arrange for a conference in the Parent Center room #12 on the bottom floor in the three-story building at Okolona Elementary to meet with the Superintendent of Education, Business Manager, Federal Programs Director, Special Education Director, and/or any other supervisor/coordinator.

PROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING GRIEVANCES

Grievances shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure:

1. All grievances, as defined above, must be presented orally to the superintendent of the grievant within five (5) days of the act or omission complained of, and the superintendent and grievant will attempt to resolve the matter informally.

2. If the grievant is not satisfied with the action taken or the explanation given by the superintendent, the grievant shall, within five (5) days after meeting with the superintendent, file a written statement with the superintendent setting forth in detail how the grievant claims to have been discriminated against.  This written statement shall contain, in addition to the above, the time, place, and nature of the alleged act or omission and the state or federal law or board policy violated.  The statement must be signed by the grievant.

3. In the event the grievant does not submit to the superintendent a written statement as required, his/her failure to do so shall be deemed as an acceptance of the informal decision rendered by the superintendent.

4. Within five (5) days after receiving the grievant signed statement the superintendent shall send to the School Board a copy of the grievant statement, along with a statement from the superintendent setting forth his response to the grievant and/or his decisions, as is applicable.  At the same time, the superintendent shall also provide a copy of his written statement to the grievant.

 

MISSISSIPPI EDUCATOR CODE OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

                                                                

Each educator, upon entering the teaching profession, assumes a number of obligations, one of which is to adhere to a set of principles which defines professional conduct.  These principles are reflected in the following code of ethics which sets forth to the education profession and the public it serves standards of professional conduct and procedures for implementation.  This code shall apply to all persons licensed according to the rules established by the Mississippi State Board of Education and protects the health, safety and general welfare of students and educators.

Ethical conduct is any conduct which promotes the health, safety, welfare, discipline and morals of students and colleagues.

Unethical conduct is any conduct that impairs the license holder’s ability to function in his/her employment position or a pattern of behavior that is detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, discipline, or morals of students and colleagues.

Any educator or administrator license may be revoked or suspended for engaging in unethical conduct relating to an educator/student relationship (Standard 4).  Superintendents shall report to the Mississippi Department of Education license holders who engage in unethical conduct relating to an educator/student relationship.

Standard 1: Professional Conduct

An educator should demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards.

1.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Encouraging and supporting colleagues in developing and maintaining high standards

2.     Respecting fellow educators and participating in the development of a professional teaching environment

3.     Engaging in a variety of individual and collaborative learning experienced essential to professional development designed to promote student learning

4.     Providing professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner

5.     Maintaining competence regarding skills, knowledge, and dispositions relating to his/her organizational position, subject matter and pedagogical practices

6.     Maintaining a professional relationship with parents of students and establish appropriate communication related to the welfare of their children

1.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Harassment of colleagues

2.     Misuse or mismanagement of tests or test materials

3.     Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity

4.     Physical altercations

5.     Failure to provide appropriate supervision of students and reasonable disciplinary actions

Standard 2. Trustworthiness

An educator should exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice and does not knowingly engage in deceptive practices regarding official policies of the school district or educational institution.

2.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Properly representing facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression

2.     Advocating for fair and equitable opportunities for all children

3.     Embodying for students the characteristics of honesty, diplomacy, tact, and fairness.

2.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting, or erroneously reporting any of the following:

1.     Employment history, professional qualifications, criminal history, certification/recertification

2.     Information submitted to local, state, federal, and/or other governmental agencies

3.     Information regarding the evaluation of students and / or personnel

4.     Reasons for absences or leave

5.     Information submitted in the course of an official inquiry or investigation

6.     Falsifying records or directing or coercing others to do so

Standard 3. Unlawful Acts

An educator shall abide by federal, state, and local laws and statutes and local School Board policies.

3.1 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The commission or conviction of a felony or sexual offense.  As used herein, conviction includes a finding or verdict of guilty, or a plea of nolo contender, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought or situation where first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted.

Standard 4. Educator/Student Relationship

An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom.

4.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Fulfilling the roles of mentor and advocate for students in a professional relationship.  A professional relationship is one where the educator maintains a position of teacher / student authority while expressing concern, empathy, and encouragement for students

2.     Nurturing the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic potential of all students

3.     Providing an environment that does not needlessly expose students to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement

Creating, supporting, and maintaining a challenging learning environment for all students

4.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:

1.     Committing any act of child abuse

2.     Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment

3.     Committing or soliciting any unlawful sexual act

4.     Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability

5.     Furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or allowing a student to consume alcohol or illegal / unauthorized drugs

6.     Soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, physical or romantic relationship with a student.  Examples of these acts may include but not be limited to:

6.1 Sexual jokes

6.2 Sexual remarks

6.3 Sexual kidding or teasing

6.4 Sexual innuendo

6.5 Pressure for dates or sexual favors

6.6 Inappropriate touching, fondling, kissing or grabbing

6.7 Rape

6.8 Threats of physical harm

6.9 Sexual assault

6.10 Electronic communication such as texting

6.11 Invitation to social networking

6.12 Remarks about a student’s body

6.13 Consensual sex

Standard 5. Educator Collegial Relationships

An educator should always maintain a professional relationship with colleagues, both in and outside the classroom

5.1 Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to the following:

1.     Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues, both in and outside the classroom

2.     Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system

3.     Interfering with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities

4.     Discriminating against or coercing a colleague on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability or family status

5.     Using coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues

Standard 6. Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use or Possession

An educator should refrain from the use of alcohol and / or tobacco during the coursed of professional practice and should never use illegal or unauthorized drugs

6.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

      Factually representing the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use and abuse to students during the course of professional practice

6.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Being under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs

2.     Being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while documented as being under the influence of, possessing, or consuming alcoholic beverages.  A school-related activity includes but is not limited to, any activity that is sponsored by a school or a school system or any activity designed to enhance the school curriculum such as club trips, etc. which involve students.

3.     Being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while documented using tobacco.

Standard 7. Public Funds and Property

An educator shall not knowingly misappropriate divert, or use funds, personnel, property, or equipment committed to his or her charge for personal gain or advantage.

7.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Maximizing the positive effect of school funds through judicious use of said funds

2.     Modeling for students and colleagues the responsible use of public property

7.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Knowingly misappropriating, diverting or using funds, personnel, property or equipment committed to his or charge for personal gain

2.     Failing to account for funds collected from students, parents or any school-related function

3.     Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay

4.     Co-mingling public or school-related funds with personal funds or checking accounts

5.     Using school property without the approval of the local board of education / governing body

Standard 8. Remunerative Conduct

An educator should maintain integrity with students, colleagues, parents, patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.

8.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Insuring that institutional privileges are not used for personal gain

2.     Insuring that school policies or procedures are not impacted by gifts or gratuities from any person or organization

8.2. Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services from the educator or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator unless approved by the local governing body.

2.     Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local School Board

3.     The educator shall neither accept nor offer gratuities, gifts, or favors that impair professional judgment or to obtain special advantage.  This standard shall not restrict the acceptance of gifts or tokens offered and ac accepted openly from students, parents, or other persons or organizations in recognition or appreciation of service

Standard 9. Maintenance of Confidentiality

An educator shall comply with state and federal laws and local School Board policies relating to confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material, and other information covered by confidentiality agreements.

9.1 Ethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Keeping in confidence information about students that has been obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a legitimate purpose or is required by law

2.     Maintaining diligently the security of standardized test supplies and resources

9.2 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Sharing confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health and medical information family status / income and assessment / testing results unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.

2.     Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including copying or teaching identified test items, publishing or distributing test items or answers, discussing test items, and violating local School Board or state directions for the use of tests

3.     Violating other confidentiality agreements required by state or local policy

Standard 10. Breach of Contract or Abandonment of Employment

An educator should fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the contract with the local School Board or educational agency for the duration of the contract.

10.1 Unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1.     Abandoning the contract for professional services without prior release from the contract by the School Board

2.     Refusing to perform services required by the contract.

STATEMENT FOR ETHICS FOR SCHOOL PERSONNEL

1.      School district personnel should abide by federal, state, and local laws as well as

the policies of the Okolona School District Board of Education.

2.      School district personnel should maintain an appropriate relationship with students at all times, both in and outside the classroom.

3.     School district personnel should make the well-being of students their primary consideration in decision-making and actions.

Emergency Closing Procedures

Notification Procedures:

1.     In the event of inclement weather you should assume that school will open as usual but begin monitoring the news outlets.

2.     Advance Notice: Only when the evidence of severe weather predictions is clear, such as ice or snow, will we make announcements of school closings or delays a day in advance.

3.     Same Day Notice: Decisions regarding cancellation or delayed start will be made between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.

4.     In the event that the Superintendent determines that closing schools is the appropriate course of action, the district administrators will immediately begin alerting parents and the public using the following methods.

Summary of Notification Methods

The following media outlets will be notified first.  Keep in mind that due to the large number of schools in our area, there may be a delay before our information is posted or announced.

*The media will NOT be notified if schools will be open.

TV Stations

WTVA Tupelo – Columbus

WCBI West Point- Columbus- Tupelo

In the event of a delayed start, cancellation, or early dismissal we will also issue phone notifications to     the families of enrolled students. Due to high call volumes in our area during such events these calls      may take a longer or shorter time to process. Therefore, families should not rely solely on receiving a      call, but should also monitor the listed media outlets.

Please do not call the schools, the Transportation Department, or the Central Office

Most schools and departments have limited phone lines. If schools are in session and the weather is   getting bad, it is important that we be able to keep them open for emergencies. If it is still very early in    the morning, it is unlikely that there are staff members manning the telephones.

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                OKOLONA SCHOOL DISTRICT

2017-2018 District Calendar

Descriptor Term:

Descriptor: ICA-E

Issued: April 11, 2017

Okolona School District School Calendar 2017-2018

Rescinds:

Revised:

First Semester 2017

July 1, 2017

Begin Fiscal Year- 2018

July 4, 2017

Independence Day Holiday ( District Offices Closed)

August 2, 2017

Teacher’s First Day/Professional Development (No Students)

August 3, 2017

Professional Development (No Students)

August 4, 2017

Professional Development (No Students)

August 7, 2017

Student’s First Day

September 4, 2017

Labor Day Holiday

September 6, 2017

1st Term Progress reports

October 2-6, 2017

1st Nine Weeks Exams

October 9, 2017

Professional Development (No Students) Columbus Day

October 10, 2017

Second Term Begins

October 17, 2017

Parent/Teacher Conference Day (1st Term Report Cards Issued from 1:00-3:30pm) (65% Day for Students)

November 15, 2017

Second Term Progress Reports

November 20-24, 2017

District Holidays (Thanksgiving Break)

December 11-15, 2017

2nd Nine Weeks Exams

December 15, 2017

End First Semester

Dec. 18-Jan. 4, 2018

District Holidays (Christmas Break)

Second Semester 2018

January 3, 2018

Professional Development for Staff (No Students)

January 4, 2018

Students Return from Christmas Break

January 10, 2018

2nd Nine Weeks Report Cards Issued (First Semester Report Cards)

January 15, 2018

District Holiday (Martin Luther King Holiday)

February 14, 2018

3rd Term Progress Report

February 19, 2018

Professional Development Day (No students)

March 5-9, 2018

3rd Nine Weeks Exams

March 12-16, 2018

Spring Break

March 19, 2018

4th Nine Weeks Term Begins

March 21, 2018

3rd Nine Weeks Report Cards Issued

March 30, 2018

District Holiday (Good Friday)

April 2, 2018

District Holiday (Good Monday)***Inclement Weather Make-up Day

April 11, 2018

4th Term Progress Report

May 17-24, 2018

4th Nine Weeks Exams

May 22, 2018

Seniors- Last School Day

May 24, 2018

Last Day for Students (180 days)

May 25, 2018

Last day for (187 Days)Teachers/ 4th Term Report Cards Issued

May 25, 2018

Senior- Graduation

May 31, 2018 

Last day for Vocational Teachers (190 Days)

May 29-31, 2018

Inclement Weather Make-up Days

May 28, 2018

Memorial Day (District Holiday)

1st Semester – 88 Days for Students & 92 Days for Teachers

2nd Semester- 92 Days for Students & 95 Days for Teachers

Student Days- 180 Days/ Teacher Days-187/ Vo-Tech-190 Days