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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Policy 5280 - TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

The superintendent has the statutory authority to issue a notice of probable cause for termination to a certificated staff member. The board shall consider the termination of a classified staff member based upon the recommendation of the superintendent. The notice of termination shall include notice of any appeal rights the employee may have and notice of the appeal process.

  1. Release from Contract

A certificated staff member may be released from contract under the following conditions:

A. A letter requesting release shall be submitted to the superintendent’s office. If accepted by the board at its next meeting, the staff member shall be released from contract.

B. A release from contract may be granted by the board to allow a staff member to accept another career-advancing position prior to or during the school year provided a satisfactory replacement can be obtained.

C. A release from contract may be granted by the board in case of illness or other personal matters which make it a substantial hardship for the staff member to continue his/her employment in the district.

D. Each request shall be determined upon its own merits. The needs of the district and continuity of the educational program offered to students shall receive primary consideration in the board’s decision.

Upon release from contract, the employee is encouraged to complete an exit survey as part of the exiting process and afforded the opportunity for an exit interview, as well.

  1. Retirement


Staff shall participate in the retirement programs under the Federal Social Security Act and the Washington State Teachers’ Retirement System or the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Payroll deductions shall be made and paid into the respective retirement programs in the manner prescribed by law.

Staff who become eligible to retire under the controlling retirement system and who intend to retire at the end of the current school year should notify the superintendent prior to April 1 of that year.

Those staff intending to retire who are not contractually obligated to complete the current school year should notify the superintendent as early as possible and no less than 30 days prior to their retirement date. Because of their contribution to the children of the district, retiring staff shall be given appropriate recognition. The district office may assist them in making arrangements for their retirement benefits.

  1. Probation, Non-renewal or Termination

The employment contracts of individual certificated staff may be non-renewed at the end of the staff member’s contract period by action of the superintendent. Such non-renewals may be based upon unsatisfactory performance or changes in the district’s financial circumstances and/or staff needs. Except for “provisional employees,” non-renewals for unsatisfactory performance shall be preceded by a probationary period. The superintendent shall establish procedures to assist those certificated staff whose performance, through the evaluation process, does not meet minimum requirements. The district may require the teacher to take in-service training provided by the district in the area of teaching skills needing improvement.

The process of non-renewal of a certificated staff member’s contract shall comply with state law and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

  1. Program and Staff Reductions

Program and staff reductions may be required as a result of enrollment decline, failure of a special levy election, other events resulting in a significant reduction in revenue, or termination or reduction of funding of categorically-funded projects. Reductions must be conducted with our District Equity Policy (0010) at its foundation. The board shall after a review of such indicators as test results, community surveys, informal and formal statements of support and/or opinion, and the district’s statement of philosophy, identify those educational programs and services which shall be reduced, modified or eliminated.

When the reduction, modification or elimination of programs and/or services necessitates a reduction in staff, the board shall retain staff members based upon service in the state of Washington and qualifications and experience necessary for the retained position, in addition to the beliefs and goals outlined in our District Equity Policy (0010) and district strategic plan.

A staff member who receives notice of non-renewal of contract due to enrollment decline or loss of revenue in their school or department may request a hearing. The initiation of the arrangements for a hearing officer shall occur within ten (10) days following July 15, rather than the day the staff member submits the request for a hearing.

The superintendent shall develop procedures to implement this policy except that any staff agreement in effect shall supersede this policy.

District Cross Reference:
Equity Policy – Policy 0010
Workplace Environment and Culture – Policy 5000
Evaluation of Classified, Certificated and Administrative Staff - Policy 5240

WSSDA Cross References:
Termination of Employment – Policy 5280

Legal Reference:
Hiring and Discharging Employees —Written leave policies — Seniority and leave benefits, retention upon of employees transferring between school districts and other educational employers - RCW 28A.400.300
Mandatory termination of classified employees — Appeal — Recovery of salary or compensation by district - 28A.400.320
Notice of discharge to contain notice of right to appeal if available - 28A.400.340
Minimum criteria for the evaluation of certificated employees – Revised four-level evaluation systems for classroom teachers and principals-Procedures-Steering committee—Models—Implementation—Reports - 28A.405.100
Assistance for teacher may be required after evaluation - 28A.405.140
Conditions and contracts of employment — Determination of probable cause for non-renewal of contracts — Nonrenewal due to enrollment decline or revenue loss — Notice — Opportunity for hearing - 28A.405.210
Conditions and contracts of employment — Non-renewal of provisional employees — Notice — Procedure - 28A.405.220
Adverse change in contract status of certificated employee —Determination of probable cause — Notice — Opportunity for hearing - 28A.405.300
Adverse change in contract status of certificated employee, including non-renewal of contract — Hearings — Procedure - 28A.405.310
Crimes against children — Mandatory termination of certified — employees — Appeal— Recovery of salary or compensation by district - 28A.405.470
Revocation of authority to teach — Criminal basis — Complaints —Investigation — Process - 28A.410.090
Membership in system - 41.32.240
Terms and provisions of plan – Document Membership - 41.40.023
State Employees’ Retirement — Federal Social Security - Chapter 41.41 RCW
Drugs and alcohol — Use of as cause for dismissal - WAC 180-44-060
Policies and procedures for administration of certification proceedings - Chapter 181-86 WAC
Acts of Unprofessional Conduct - Chapter 181-87 WAC
Professional Growth and Evaluation of School Personnel - Chapter 392-191 WAC

Management Reference:
Policy Revisions - Policy & Legal News, February 2013

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: August 2000
Revised by the Board: 03.04, 06.12, 11.19
Classification: Priority