Policy P5-53.7

The school board recognizes that occasionally a school/department must reduce its number of staff members. The reasons for such a reduction include, but are not limited to, the following: a general downsizing of the total organization, a change in the organizational structure of the given school/department, the changing need of the students/clients served by that school/department.

A. Employee Notification
When a reduction in force becomes necessary, the principal/department head/supervisor will notify the director of personnel, who will ensure that the employee(s) being affected is notified as soon as a potential reduction is known.

The affected full-time employees will be notified of the potential reduction in writing as soon as possible, but no less than 60 calendar days prior to the effective date of the elimination of the position. Affected employees will be given the opportunity to discuss the reduction with the director of personnel/designee and principal/department head/supervisor.

B. Reduction Criteria and Process
In any reduction implemented under this policy, the superintendent/ designee shall consider the performance, level of training and experience of the personnel involved compared to other members of the same position and/or same job group. “Job group,” for purposes of this policy, shall mean a group of related job positions which serve a common function or functions within a department or school. The following process will be utilized:

A list will be developed, as needed, by the director of personnel/designee, according to the following:

1. The list will be rank ordered from the most senior down to the least senior employee within job groups. “Seniority” for this purpose will be defined according to length of continuous service, including any approved leaves of absence, as a regular, full-time employee in the current position and in any prior full-time position within the same job group. The list will be further refined to group employees according to their respective positions (i.e., teaching assistant, secretary, custodian, bus driver, maintenance worker, etc.)

2. Once the seniority list for each of the respective groups has been developed, then the employees’ performance and discipline, as documented in their personnel files for the past three (3) years will be reviewed by the superintendent/designee and rank ordered. The superintendent/designee may consider all such documented performance and discipline to determine who will be reduced. Any employee on probation or a plan of improvement will be moved to the top of the reduction list unless extraordinary circumstances exist not to reduce the employee.

3. In the event that two employees in the same position/job group with the same hiring date, qualifications, and performance record are being considered for a reduction, the superintendent/designee will apply the following criteria, not necessarily in this order, to determine which staff to lay off:

a. Additional training;
b. Written documentation of skills and abilities;
c. Total experience in present position;
d. Total experience in Lynchburg;
e. Recommendation of the employees’ principal/department head.

C. Reassignment and Recall
A member of the department of personnel will meet with employees in positions identified to be eliminated to determine their skills, experience, education, training, and interests in order to identify other positions in the school division for which they may qualify, or for which retraining is feasible. Every reasonable effort will be made to place an affected employee in a vacant position for which he/she may qualify.

In lieu of being laid-off, employees who have more seniority may be eligible to assume vacant positions within the same or lower pay classifications provided they hold appropriate qualifications or have had previous successful experience in the particular position. An employee reassigned to a position in a lower paygrade pursuant to this policy will be subject to the new paygrade immediately.

If an individual’s employment is not renewed because of reduction in force, that employee’s name will be placed on a recall list for the entirety of the next school year. If a position becomes available during that period and the employee is qualified to fill that position, the employee will be notified and encouraged to apply. After this time period, the former employee may apply to reactivate his/her application for any vacant position for which he/she is qualified.

Adopted by School Board: March 20, 2012