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Section 9: PCSSD Special Personnel Board Policies


9.01P TERMINATION/NON-RENEWAL HEARING TIME LIMIT

Employees shall have an adequate opportunity to present his or her case during a Termination/Non-Renewal Personnel Hearing. The Board will allow a maximum of ninety (90) minutes per side for all examination, cross-examination, and arguments pertaining to the scheduled personnel hearing. Changes in allotments, either admitting additional evidence or testimony or precluding more evidence or testimony than anticipated, will only be made with notice and upon a determination of needed by the Board. Only in extraordinary circumstances will the Board grant additional time.

Date Approved: 10/8/19

9.02P Tele/Remote Working

Employees may telework at the direction of the Superintendent or designee. “Tele/Remote work” is defined as performing work that would usually be performed at an assigned worksite or an alternative worksite on an authorized and regularly scheduled basis.

Employees who telework are expected to maintain their usual assigned schedule, including the same workdays and hours they have in their regular work location unless their supervisor authorizes changes. No overtime will be authorized for employees eligible for overtime unless approved in advance in writing by their supervisor.

Employees are expected to be accessible during their assigned schedule by phone, or other communication methods agreed to by their supervisor, except during meal periods and breaks, as outlined in the personnel policies. The employee is responsible for maintaining contact with their supervisor while teleworking. If a business need arises, employees are expected to report to their regular work setting or other assigned location at their supervisor’s direction.

An employee’s duties, obligations, responsibilities, and employment conditions with Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) will remain unchanged except those obligations and responsibilities specifically addressed in these guidelines. Job responsibilities, standards of performance, and performance appraisals remain the same as when working at the regular worksite. The supervisor reserves the right to assign work as necessary at any worksite.

Employees who cannot perform their assigned duties and be accessible and available, as described above, shall be required to request and access any leave available to them. Employees shall request leave in the same manner as the employee would typically use when working at their regular work location.

Employees are expected to maintain a safe, secure, and ergonomic work environment and to report work-related injuries to the employee’s supervisor at the earliest opportunity. Employee shall hold PCSSD harmless for injury to others at the alternate worksite. With reasonable notice and at a mutually agreed upon time, the superintendent or superintendent’s designee may make on-site visits to an employee’s telework location to ensure that the designated workspace is safe and free from hazards. The location must also provide adequate protection and security of PCSSD property, and to maintain, repair, inspect, or retrieve PCSS Dproperty.

Employees are responsible for providing workspace, telephone, printing, networking, and internet capabilities at the telework location and shall not bereimbursed by the employer for these or related expenses. Employees may request PCSSD technology but must protect PCSSD owned equipment, records, and materials from unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. Employees must report any incidents of loss, damage,

or unauthorized access to their supervisor at the earliest reasonable opportunity. Employees are expected to maintain all PCSSD documents and records equivalently as they would at their regular work location, including PCSSD networks. All records and materials regarding PCSSD shall remain the property of PCSSD.

Employees who fail to abide by these guidelines while teleworking may no longer be authorized to telework and may be required to either return to their regular work location or take leave. Violations of these guidelines may subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination.

Date Adopted:12/8/20

9.03P    Mask Policy

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health experts and officials, recommend that everyone wash their hands often, avoid close contact and cover their mouth and nose with a face-covering. The PCSSD School Board’s highest priority is to provide a safe learning environment for the benefit of its students, staff, families, and others who interact with the school environment. The School Board has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on students, staff, and others related to their health, safety, and welfare. 

Required Face Coverings

Subject to the exceptions set forth below, each student, employee, visitor, vendor, or any other person must wear a face covering at all times when inside any property owned, leased, or operated by the School Board, including schools, administrative buildings, and buses, as well as during any school or district-sponsored activity to another location.  The district will provide students and staff with a supply of acceptable face coverings. It will maintain emergency supplies of disposable or other new face coverings so that no student, staff member, or any other person will be in a position where they will not have access to one. This policy will remain in effect for the remainder of the 2020 - 2021 school year. 

Consistent with the District’s ReOpening Plan and in alignment with medical recommendations, students in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and students in self-contained classrooms may not be able to utilize face coverings to the same extent as other classrooms.  Nevertheless, employees should encourage such students to use face coverings when appropriate and provide relevant instruction and direction to the students.  

Face Covering Defined

Face coverings must completely cover both the mouth and nose and fit snugly against the sides of the person’s face with little or no gaps.  Face coverings must be made of solid material, not lace, mesh, crocheted, largely porous material, or have exhalation valves or vents that allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material.  Although medical-grade masks, such as surgical face masks and N95 respirators, are sufficient face coverings, they are not required for members of the public who do not work in health care or an occupation that requires them are discouraged from wearing them during times that such equipment is in short supply so that medical professionals may more easily access them.  The superintendent or their designee in their absence shall have the final authority to determine a particular face covering’s acceptability.  This rule is intended to conform to CDC guidance regarding the definition of a face covering or mask and will be interpreted consistent with CDC guidance as it evolves.

Examples of acceptable face coverings include paper or disposable face masks, cloth face masks, neck gaiters/buffs, or other cloth apparel completely covering the mouth and nose. 

Examples of unacceptable face coverings include lace, mesh, crocheted or other masks or face coverings that are not solid material, those that have exhalation valves or vents that allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, face coverings that are worn so that large gaps exist between the face covering and the person’s skin, and face shields (face shields, however, may constitute an exception and are discussed in Section 3.b. below).

Text, symbols, slogans, and other speech contained on face coverings shall be addressed just as if the same speech was worn on another article of apparel by the student, employee, visitor, vendor, or any other person on district property.

Section 3. Exceptions (Indoors)

a. Very Young Children.  Face coverings are not required for children who are less than four (4) years of age.

b. Face Shields in Certain Circumstances.  Face shields are generally defined as a piece of equipment fitting on top of the head that contains a solid but clear piece of plastic or other lightweight material covering the person’s face from at least the forehead to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear.  Face shields are less effective than face coverings defined above but may be used (i) as a possible accommodation under the ADA or Section 504 where an appropriate medical professional has certified in writing that the person has a qualifying contraindication that prevents that person from safely being able to wear a face-covering defined above; (ii) where staff and/or students have an instructional or communicative reason for showing or viewing another’s the mouth, such as during phonetic instruction or for students who are hearing impaired and need to see facial movements, but only when video instruction is not available or appropriate; and (iii) other situations on a case-by-case basis as determined by the principal or department head, or their designee in their absence, where in the best interests of the person seeking to wear the face shield, which must relate to medical or instructional reasons.

c. Face Covering Breaks.  To promote the social and emotional wellbeing of students, who may struggle to wear a face-covering for long periods of time, schools will provide students with opportunities for breaks where they can remove their face covering while maintaining appropriate distancing and while under general supervision. Under these circumstances, employees may also periodically and for short periods of time take a face-covering break.

d. Eating and Drinking.  Face coverings are not required while actively eating or drinking.

e. Strenuous Physical Activity.  Face coverings are not required during the times that any person is engaged in strenuous physical activity, which term includes physical education courses, whether inside or outside a district building.  However, a physical of at least 4 feet is strongly recommended in these situations, except as necessitated during school-sponsored athletic events.  The district will also consider guidance issued by outside governing authorities regarding face coverings and physical activities.

f. Wind Instruments.  When the school permits students, employees, or guests to play wind instruments during a school-sponsored course or activity, they must use a face covering with a slit, in addition to other safety measures, to allow for the performance, but must wear a face-covering without any slit when not playing the instrument. 

g. During Receipt of Health Care.  Face coverings are not required when its removal is necessary for the person to receive health care or to undergo a health care examination from authorized health care professionals, including school nurses.

h. Emergency Circumstances.  Face coverings are not required and may be removed if a person is experiencing a medical emergency, is unconscious or incapacitated, or is personally unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

i. Indoors or Driving When Alone.  Face coverings are not required when persons, including employees, are alone in a classroom, other district building room, or district vehicle when they are alone in such space.

Section 4. Noncompliance

The wearing of a face covering is a public health issue.  Students who do not wear a mask when it is required (or refuse to do so) should first be reeducated on the importance of wearing a mask. If after the reeducation occurs, they still do not comply, the student’s administrator should be contacted. Not wearing a mask when required is not a disciplinary matter but rather a health and safety concern. Administrators will contact the parent/guardian for support. If the refusal continues, the student will be assigned to virtual instruction. 

Employee non-compliance will be addressed as an employee discipline issue.

Date Adopted: 4/13/21