Policy P5-49

A. Generally
The school board accepts the licensed instructional personnel/student ratio as expressed in the Standards of Quality adopted by the Virginia General Assembly.

The board commits itself to achieving and maintaining this ratio to an extent proportionate and appropriate to funding thereof provided by the General Assembly.

B. Certification
All teaching personnel shall meet the licensure requirements of the State Board of Education for the position to which they are assigned.

C. Procedure for Application
Persons seeking employment as supervisors, principals, teachers, or other positions to be filled by licensed personnel and Lynchburg City Schools employees seeking voluntary reassignment, shall use the following procedure:

1. Obtain from the school board office the standard application, complete and return it to the superintendent or his designee;

2. Present an official transcript of all college credits completed to date;

3. Prior to employment, personnel will be interviewed by the superintendent or his designee at a mutually satisfactory time;

4. Furnish the names of at least three persons who may be contacted for professional references, or have confidential papers forwarded from the institution where applicant is registered.

5. Applicants currently employed by Lynchburg City Schools who choose to apply for another position, will follow the same procedure outlined in items 1-4 above to include fingerprinting for collection of criminal history information and a search of Department of Social Services registry of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect.

D. Teaching Experience, Allowable Credit
Teaching experience may be granted by the school board at the discretion of the superintendent for the following:

1. Teaching in public schools in the State and out of the State;

2. Teaching in accredited institutions of higher learning in and out of the State;

3. Teaching in schools operated in military installations, supported by federal tax funds, and from which academic credit is accepted for admission to the public schools of Virginia;

4. Teaching in public resident schools;

5. Teaching in accredited private schools and in private schools provided credit was received under the provisions of the Virginia Retirement System;

6. Military service experience in the United States Armed Forces if teaching experience was interrupted and providing that the teaching profession is re-entered immediately following discharge from military service. Credit not to exceed enlistment period or a maximum of three years.

7. Teachers who are offered employment in the Lynchburg City Schools shall receive full credit for the first eleven (11) full years of prior teaching experience. After a year of teaching satisfactorily in the Lynchburg City Schools, a teacher shall be given credit for years of teaching experience. This prior experience shall have been served in a school system accredited by a state accrediting agency. To receive financial credit for a school year, a teacher must have served a minimum of ninety (90) teaching days in a school year, which is normally July 1 to June 30 of any given year.

Teachers in the field of vocational education, where the requirements call for occupational work experience beyond the apprenticeship level, may be allowed credit for one year of teaching experience for each two years of work experience not to exceed ten years.

E. Probationary Period Required
1. Probationary Term
A probationary term of service of five years in Lynchburg City Schools is required before a teacher is issued a continuing contract. Service under a local teacher license does not count towards satisfying this probationary requirement. A mentor teacher is provided to every first year probationary teacher to assist him or her in achieving excellence in instruction. Probationary teachers with prior successful teaching experience may be exempt from this requirement with approval from the superintendent. Probationary teachers shall be evaluated at least annually in accordance with policy GCN Evaluation of Professional Staff. A teacher in his first year of the probationary period is evaluated informally at least once during the first semester of the school year. The superintendent shall consider such evaluations as one factor in making recommendations to the school board regarding the nonrenewal of such teacher’s contract. If a probationary teacher’s evaluation is not satisfactory, the school board shall not reemploy the teacher.

In order to achieve continuing contract status, every teacher must successfully complete training in instructional strategies and techniques for intervention for or remediation of students who fail or are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments. The Lynchburg City School Board provides said training at no cost to teachers it employs. If such training is not offered in a timely manner, no teacher will be denied continuing contract status for failure to obtain such training.

Once a continuing contract status has been attained in a school division in this state, another probationary period need not be served unless such probationary period, not to exceed two years, is made a part of the contract of employment. If a teacher separates from service and returns to teaching service in Virginia public schools by the beginning of the third year, the person shall be required to begin a new probationary period, not to exceed two years, if made part of the contract.

If a teacher who has not achieved continuing contract status receives notice of re-employment, he must accept or reject in writing within 15 calendar days of receipt of the notice. Unless a conference with the superintendent is requested as specified in the Code of Virginia, or in the case of reduction in force, written notice of nonrenewal of the probationary contract must be given by the school board on or before June 15 of each year. If the teacher requests a conference with the superintendent, then written notice of non-renewal by the school board must be given within thirty days after the superintendent notifies the teacher of his intention with respect to the recommendation.

2. Continuing Contract
Teachers employed after completing the probationary period shall be entitled to continuing contracts during good behavior and competent service. Written notice of noncontinuation of the contract by either party must be given by June 15 of each year; otherwise the contract continues in effect for the ensuing year.

The school board may reduce the number of teachers, whether or not such teachers have reached continuing contract status, because of decrease in enrollment or abolition of particular subjects.

Furthermore, nothing in the continuing contract shall be construed to authorize the school board to contract for any financial obligation beyond the period for which funds have been made available.

As soon after June 15 as the school budget is approved by the appropriating body, the school board shall furnish each teacher a statement confirming continuation of employment, setting forth assignment and salary.

Within two weeks of the approval of the school budget by the appropriating body, but no later than July 1, the school board will notify any teacher who may be subject to a reduction in force due to a decrease in the school board’s budget as approved by the appropriating body.

3. Principals, Assistant Principals, and Supervisors
A person employed as a principal, assistant principal or supervisor, including a person who has previously achieved continuing contract status as a teacher, shall serve a probationary term of three years in such position in the same school division before acquiring continuing contract status as a principal, assistant principal or supervisor.

Continuing contract status acquired by a principal, assistant principal or supervisor shall not be construed (i) as prohibiting the school board from reassigning such principal, assistant principal or supervisor to a teaching position if notice of reassignment is given by the school board by June 15 of any year or (ii) as entitling any such principal, assistant principal or supervisor to the salary paid him as principal, assistant principal or supervisor in the case of any such reassignment to a teaching position. No such salary reduction and reassignment, however, shall be made without first providing such principal, assistant principal or supervisor with written notice of the reason for such reduction and reassignment and an opportunity to present his or her position at an informal meeting with the superintendent, the superintendent's designee or the School Board. Before recommending such reassignment, the superintendent shall consider, among other things, the performance evaluations for such principal, assistant principal or supervisor. The principal, assistant principal or supervisor shall elect whether such meeting shall be with the superintendent, the superintendent's designee or the school board. The school board, superintendent or superintendent's designee shall determine what processes are to be followed at the meeting. The decision to reassign and reduce salary shall be at the sole discretion of the school board.

The intent of this section is to provide an opportunity for a principal, assistant principal or supervisor to discuss the reasons for such salary reduction and reassignment with the superintendent, his designee or the school board, and the provisions of this section are meant to be procedural only. Nothing contained herein shall be taken to require cause for the salary reduction and reassignment of a principal, assistant principal or supervisor.

As used in this policy, "Supervisor" means a person who holds an instructional supervisory position as specified in the regulations of the Board of Education and who is required to hold a license as prescribed by the Board of Education.

F. Externally Funded Programs
All persons employed on externally funded programs shall be placed on the appropriate salary schedule and step and shall be afforded all benefits accorded to other employees fulfilling comparable duties.
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-294, 22.1-303, 22.1-304.

Legal References:

Cross Refs.:

GBM Professional Staff Grievances
GCA Local Licenses for Teachers
GCB Professional Staff Contracts
GCE Part-Time and Substitute Professional Staff Employment
GCN Evaluation of Professional Staff
GCPA Reduction in Professional Staff Work Force
GCPB Resignation of Staff Members
GCPD Professional Staff Discipline
GCPF Suspension of Staff Members

Adopted by School Board: August 1, 1989
Revised by School Board: May 5, 1998
Revised by School Board: September 1, 1998
Revised by School Board: July 2, 2013