Fitchburg

 

AGREEMENT

 

BETWEEN

 

THE FITCHBURG SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

AND

 

THE FITCHBURG EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

 

UNIT A-TEACHERS

 

FITCHBURG, MASSACHUSETTS

 

JULY 1, 2006

 

THROUGH

 

JUNE 30, 2009

 

AGREEMENT

 

This Agreement is made and entered into as of the 3rd day of May 2007, by and between the School Committee of the City of Fitchburg (hereinafter referred to as the “Committee”) and the Fitchburg Education Association, Unit A, (hereinafter referred to as the “Association”).

 

ARTICLE I

 

DEFINITION OF THE UNIT A EMPLOYEES

 

SECTION 1

 

A.            It is understood and agreed that the Committee, acting in accordance with the authority of Section 4 of Chapter 150-E of the Massachusetts General Laws, has recognized the Association as the exclusive representative for purposes of collective bargaining of the City of Fitchburg School Department employee unit identified as follows:

 

All teaching personnel, including those who are grant-funded, employed by the Fitchburg School Committee who hold licenses under Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws, and all other personnel who hold such licenses and who perform a school-related function such as librarians, Team leaders, certified in-school suspension personnel, certified parent coordinators, guidance counselors, hearing and speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, integration specialists , psychologists, adjustment counselors, social workers, ETLs, behavioral specialists, autism specialists, inclusion specialists.

 

B.            Unless otherwise indicated, the employees in the above unit will hereinafter be referred to as the "Teachers" and references to male teachers will include all teachers, both male and female.

 

C.            Excluded from the unit, the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, business manager, Principals, Assistant Principals, permanent substitutes, day to day substitutes, program managers and directors and all other employees of the Municipal Employer who do not have direct contact with students.

 

SECTION 2

 

The Committee agrees not to negotiate with any teachers' organization, teacher, or group of teachers, other than that designated as the exclusive bargaining agent pursuant to Chapter 150E with regard to wages, hours and conditions of employment of teachers covered by this Agreement.

 

SECTION 3 - SCOPE

 

A.            If any part of this contract is judged illegal, all other parts will remain in effect. In the event that any Article or Section is held invalid or enforcement or compliance with has been restrained, the parties shall enter into immediate collective bargaining negotiations upon the request of either party for the purpose of arriving at a mutually satisfactory replacement for such Article or Section.

 

B.            Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to derogate from, or impair any power, right or duty conferred upon the School Committee and the Superintendent by statute or rule or regulation of the Commonwealth.

 

C.            The Agreement is a complete Agreement between the parties covering all mandatory subjects of discussion. The parties agree that relations between them shall be governed by the terms of this Agreement. No prior agreement or agreements have been reduced to writing and duly executed by both parties subsequent to the date of this Agreement. All matters not dealt with herein shall be treated as having been brought up and disposed of neither the Committee nor the Association shall be under any obligation to discuss any modifications or additions to this Agreement which are to be effective during the term thereof. No change or modification of this Agreement shall be binding on either the Committee or the Association unless reduced to writing and executed by the respective duly authorized representatives.

 

D.            To the extent that any provision of this agreement is in direct conflict with any current Rule or Regulation of the School Committee, the provision of this Agreement shall prevail. However, unless provided otherwise by MGL Chapter 150E Section 7, if there is any conflict between state or federal statutes, including but not limited to MGL Chapter 71 and this agreement, the statutory provisions shall prevail.

 

ARTICLE II

 

RIGHTS OF ASSOCIATION-DEDUCTIONS

 

SECTION 1

 

There shall be no discrimination, interference, restraint or coercion by the School Committee, the Education Association or their respective agents against any teacher because of membership or non-membership in the Association.

 

The services of the Fitchburg Education Association in the capacity of bargaining agent will be available to all professional employees in the unit covered by this Agreement who are eligible for membership in the Association. Although membership in the Association is encouraged, no professional employee shall be required to join the Fitchburg Education Association.

 

SECTION 2

 

The Committee agrees that in accordance with the provision of Chapter 180, Section 17(c) of the General Laws of Massachusetts, it will request the City Treasurer to deduct all membership dues from the salaries of its teachers, who by November 1 (or any subsequent November 1 during the term of this contract) have voluntarily submitted a written authorization in the form set forth below.

 

Dues will be deducted in equal bimonthly (twice a month) payment in the months of November through August.

 

The amount so deducted will be remitted in accordance with such authorization to the Fitchburg Education Association for disbursement to the respective organizations.

 

The Committee will incur no liability for loss of dues monies after properly depositing the same addressed to the Association in the United States mail.

 

DUES AUTHORIZATION CARD

 

To:          Fitchburg School Committee

 

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

 

I hereby request and authorize the Fitchburg School Committee to direct the City Treasurer to deduct from my earnings and transmit to the Association (as seen on page 3) an amount sufficient to provide for the regular payment of membership dues as certified by each such Association in bi-monthly payments; in the months of November through August of each year.

 

This authorization shall remain in effect 1) until the termination of the Agreement between the Committee and the Association providing for such deductions, or 2) my written revocation of this authorization, which shall become effective sixty (60) days after of such revocation by the Superintendent of Schools and the President of the Fitchburg Education Association.

 

I hereby waive all rights and claim for said money so deducted and transmitted in accordance with this authorization, and relieve the Committee and all of its officers and agents from any liability thereof.

 

Fitchburg Education Association     ( )

 

Massachusetts Teachers Association              ( )

 

National Education Association       ( )

 

Date:       Signature             

 

Address

 

SECTION 3

 

Prior to September 15, the Fitchburg Education Association will certify to the City Treasurer in writing the rate of membership dues for each organization for the year.

 

The Association shall indemnify and save the Committee and/or the City of Fitchburg harmless against all claims, demands, suits or other forms of liability, which may arise by reason of any action taken in deductions and remitting the same to the Association pursuant to this Section.

 

SECTION 4

 

The Committee also agrees to request the City Treasurer withhold payroll deductions for savings bonds for those teachers who so authorize him.

 

SECTION 5

 

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 785 of the Acts of 1969, the School Committee will request the Treasurer to make payroll deductions effective immediately for those teachers who so authorize him for payments into the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association Credit Union.

 

SECTION 6-GROUP INSURANCE

 

The inhabitants of the City of Fitchburg having accepted Chapter 32B of the Massachusetts General Laws, it is understood that said City will pay seventy-five (75%) percent of the premium cost of the City's insurance program for group life insurance, group accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and group hospital, surgical, and medical benefit insurance with respect to all teachers who have not indicated in writing to the City Treasurer that they elect not to be covered.

 

Any such request may be made by a teacher in writing and shall be filed with the City Treasurer. All procedures must be in compliance with the terms and provisions of Chapter 149, Section 178B, of the Massachusetts General Laws.

 

SECTION 7 – PRE-TAX INSURANCE DEDUCTIONS

 

Teachers shall be able to make payments for health insurance, group life insurance, long-term disability and other forms of insurance (where appropriate) with pre-tax earnings, said transaction to be handled in accordance with the terms and provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 697.

 

SECTION 8 – ANNUITY PLAN

 

The School Committee agrees to enter into a written agreement with any of the members of the employee unit to purchase an individual or group annuity contract for such employee or employees, said transaction to be handled in accordance with the terms and provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 37B and the policies of the Fitchburg City Treasurer. The current policy allows payroll deduction for one annuity company per person. Employees must be enrolled in a specific annuity in order for it to qualify for payroll deduction

 

SECTION 9 – DISCONTINUATION OF PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS

 

Any teacher desiring to have the Committee discontinue deductions he has previously authorized must give the City Treasurer thirty (30) days advance written notice.

 

SECTION 10 - AGENCY FEE

 

Commencing on September 1, 1992, all members of the bargaining unit who are not members of the Association as of the ratification date of this Agreement and all new employees hired after said date, shall be required as a condition of their employment, to pay an agency fee. Said fee shall be in the amount, and be implemented, as prescribed under M.G.L. c. 150E and the regulations of the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission.

 

Commencing February 1, 1993, all members of the bargaining unit who were employed but not members of the Association as of the ratification date of the Agreement shall be required to pay the agency fee. For such employees, the sole and exclusive remedy for non-payment of the fee shall be for the Association to proceed to court for the collection of the fee. The School Committee shall not be responsible for the implementation, collection, or enforcement of the agency fee, except that it will supply any required documentation to establish that a person is a member of the bargaining unit subject to the fee, and it will allow one representative of the Association such paid release as is reasonably necessary for court appearances to collect the fee.

 

The Association agrees that it will indemnify and hold the School Committee harmless for any action taken against an employee as a result of the agency fee agreement, including, but not limited to, any legal expenses incurred.

 

In the event of conscientious objection to payment of the agency fee, a member of the bargaining unit may pay the amount to the Fitchburg Education Association Scholarship Fund by January 1.

 

ARTICLE III RIGHTS OF THE COMMITTEE

 

The Committee is a public body established under and with the power provided by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As the elected representative of the citizens of Fitchburg charged with the responsibility of education in, and the efficient and economical operation of the Fitchburg School System, it is acknowledged that the Committee has the final responsibility of establishing the education policies of the Public Schools of Fitchburg.

 

Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to derogate or impair the powers and responsibilities of the Committee under the statutes of the Commonwealth. Except as expressly modified herein, said rights and powers include, but in no way are construed as limited to, the subjects mentioned in the table of contents of this Agreement.

 

As to every matter not expressly covered by this Agreement, and except as modified by a specific provision of this Agreement, the Committee retains exclusively to itself all rights and powers and responsibilities that it has or may hereafter be granted by law, and may exercise the same at its discretion without such exercise being made the subject of a grievance-arbitration proceeding.

 

ARTICLE IV

 

GRIEVANCES

 

SECTION 1

 

For the purposes of this Agreement, a grievance shall be defined as:

 

Any complaint by a teacher in the unit or the Association covered by this Agreement that 1) s/he has been subject to a specific violation of a specific provision of this Agreement, or 2) has been subject to an unfair or discriminatory act contrary to established policy or practice specifically approved by the School Committee.

 

When filing a grievance, the teacher must state in writing the specific provision of the Agreement which is alleged to have been violated and is being grieved.

 

SECTION 2

 

The purpose of this procedure is to resolve, at the lowest possible administrative level, grievances as herein defined. Both parties agree that these proceedings will be kept as informal and confidential as may be appropriate at any level of this procedure.

 

SECTION 3

 

All documents, communications, and records dealing with the processing of a grievance will be filed separately from the personnel file of the participants.

 

SECTION 4

 

Every teacher shall have the right to bring matters of personal concern, or grievances as herein defined to the attention of the appropriate officials.

 

Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent any teacher or group of teachers, not acting on behalf of any employee organization or representing anyone but themselves, from at any time discussing any problem with any of their supervisors, the School Committee, or other representatives of the School Committee without the previous consent of the Association. In doing so, the teacher shall proceed through the appropriate levels of jurisdiction. No action taken by said supervisors, School Committee, or its representatives as a result of such discussion shall be the subject of a grievance or otherwise legally contested by said Association unless such action is in specific and direct contravention of a provision of this Agreement. The Association will be notified and have a right to attend any such session above the level of Principal.

 

Any teacher covered by this Agreement may present individually, his/her grievance without representation by the Association, provided that with respect to any grievance above Level 1, the Association shall be given timely notice of the grievance's presentation at such steps and shall have opportunity to be heard on the grievance before its disposition. The Association shall, within the five (5) school days next following receipt of such notice, advise the Superintendent of its desire to be so heard.

 

SECTION 5

 

Any party in interest (i.e. the person or persons, including the Association, making the claim and any person who might be required to take action or against whom action might be taken to resolve the claim) may be represented at all stages of the grievance procedure by a person of his own choosing except that s/he may not be represented by a representative or an officer of any teacher organization other than the Association or its affiliates. When a teacher is not represented by the Association, the Association shall have the right to be present and to state its views at all stages of the grievance procedure.

 

SECTION 6

 

Since it is important that grievances be processed as rapidly as possible, the number of days indicated at each level should be considered as maximum, and every effort should be made to expedite the process. The time limits specified may be extended only by prior mutual agreement. It is understood and agreed that no grievance, dispute, misunderstanding or difference between the parties arising out of acts that occurred prior to the execution of this Agreement shall be submitted to the Committee under the provision of this Article.

 

SECTION 7

 

If, at the end of twenty-one (21) school days next following the occurrence of any grievance, the grievance shall not have been presented in writing at Level 1 set forth below, the grievance shall be deemed to have been waived if the action required to present it to the next level in the procedure shall not have been taken within the time specified therefore in this Article.

 

SECTION 8

 

Subject to the foregoing, all grievances must be processed in accordance with the steps, time limits and conditions set forth below.

 

Level 1   The teacher shall present the written grievance to his or her school Principal during his or her non-teaching hours. The Principal shall give his or her answer in writing within ten (10) school days. If the grievance is not satisfactorily settled at this step, it may

 

Level 2   be reduced to writing by the teacher fifteen (15) school days after receipt of the Principal’s answer and be presented to the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent and/or his or her designee and the teacher, and if the teacher so elects, the President of the Association or his or her designee, shall meet to discuss the grievance within ten (10) school days after receipt of the written grievance. The Superintendent shall elect whether this discussion shall take place during working hours or not. In the event the Superintendent (or the Committee) elects to hold a grievance session during working hours, the grievant, or parties in interest (including witnesses or representatives), will not have pay deducted for time so spent during school hours. The Superintendent or his or her designated representative shall give his written answer to the grievance within ten (10) school days following the conclusion of the meeting. All grievances at Level 2 shall be assigned an appropriate code number by the Association to facilitate proper processing at each level of the grievance procedure. If the grievance is not satisfactorily settled at this step, it may

 

Level 3   be appealed in writing within fifteen (15) school days after receipt of the written answer of the Superintendent by the teacher to the School Committee. The School committee or its designated representatives and the teacher and if the teacher so elects, counsel and/or authorized representatives of the Association, shall meet to discuss the grievance as promptly as possible, normally within fifteen (15) school days, at a time mutually agreed upon between the Chairman of the School Committee and the President of the Fitchburg Education Association. Either party reserves the right to have such resource persons present at the hearing; but if any person or persons who are not members of the bargaining unit are to represent the teacher at this meeting, the School Committee and the Association will be informed in writing of the names and titles of such person or persons three (3) school days prior to the meeting. The School Committee or its designated representative shall elect whether this discussion shall take place during working hours. If the Committee plans to have counsel or a person not in the employ of the School Department present, it will so notify the teacher or the Association in writing three (3) school days before the hearing.

 

The School Committee will give its written answer to the grievance within ten (10) school days following the conclusion of the meeting. If no satisfactory settlement of the grievance is made, it may

 

Level 4   be appealed to arbitration by written notice of such intention to appeal within twenty (20) school days after the receipt of the written answer under Level 3. No matter will be referred to arbitration without the approval of the Association. This appeal to arbitration shall be in accordance with the procedures and conditions set forth in Article V (Arbitration).

 

SECTION 9

 

All grievances involving decisions outside the realm of the responsibility of the building Principal or Principals and which affect a group of teachers, may be submitted by the Association at Level 2 of the procedure within twenty-one (21) school days following the occurrence of the grievance.

 

A grievance not initiated within the time specified shall be deemed waived. Failure of the Association to appeal a decision within the time limit specified will mean that the specific grievance shall be considered settled without prejudice to any other case.

 

Failure of the School Committee to answer an appeal within the time limit specified shall mean that the appeal may be taken to the next step immediately. The above limitations may be waived by mutual agreement of the parties.

 

ARTICLE V

 

ARBITRATION

 

SECTION 1

 

In the event either party elects to submit a grievance to arbitration, the party demanding arbitration shall, within ten (10) school days thereafter, request the American Arbitration Association to provide a panel of arbitrators. Said arbitrator is then to be selected under the provisions of the Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules.

 

SECTION 2

 

The fees of the American Arbitration Association and of the arbitrators and the expenses of any required hearings shall be shared equally by the Committee and the Association, but each party shall bear the expense of its representatives, participants, witnesses, and for the preparation and representation of its own case. The obligation of the Committee to pay shall be limited to the obligation that the Committee may legally undertake and in no event shall any present or future member of the Committee have any personal obligation for payment under the provisions of this Agreement.

 

SECTION 3

 

The arbitrator's award shall be in writing and shall set forth his findings of fact with reasoning and conclusions. He shall arrive at his decision solely upon the facts, evidence and contentions presented by the parties through the arbitration proceeding. The arbitrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from or modify any of the terms of this Agreement and in reaching his decision shall interpret the Agreement in accordance with the commonly accepted meaning of words used herein and the principle that there are no restrictions intended on the rights or authority of the Committee other than those expressly set forth herein. Subject to the foregoing, the decision of the arbitrator shall be submitted to the School Committee and the Association and shall be final and binding upon the Committee, the Association and the teacher or group of teachers who initiated the grievance.

 

SECTION 4

 

Not withstanding anything to the contrary, no dispute or controversy shall be the subject for arbitration unless it involves the interpretation or application of a specific provision of this Agreement. The parties may, by mutual agreement, submit more than one pending grievance to the same arbitrator.

 

ARTICLE VI

 

CONTINUITY OF EMPLOYMENT

 

SECTION 1

 

In consideration of the terms of this Agreement and the legislation which engendered it, the Association and its members individually and collectively agree for the term hereof that they shall not cause, sponsor, sanction, assist or participate in any strike, work stoppage, concerted absence, refusal to perform assigned duties or other illegal activities directed against the Fitchburg School System.

 

SECTION 2

 

If the Association disclaims such activities publicly, and in writing to the Superintendent, and advises the individuals concerned that the activity is illegal and in violation of this Agreement and instructs them to cease such activities, it will not be liable in any way therein.

 

SECTION 3

 

Teachers who participate in any such activities may be disciplined or discharged as the Superintendent in his/her judgment deems proper and said discipline shall be final and binding on the parties affected thereby and not subject to arbitration, provided that an issue of fact as to whether an individual engaged in such activities may be made the subject of the grievance and arbitration procedure.

 

SECTION 4

 

In connection with any negotiations for a successor agreement said negotiations shall be conducted without the threat of sanctions or strikes by either party and any outstanding differences shall be referred to the mediation, fact finding or other statutory impasse procedure provided by law.

 

ARTICLE VII

 

TEACHING ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSFERS

 

SECTION 1

 

Each teacher within the Fitchburg School System will be provided with a copy of this Agreement by the Association. Teachers in the first four (4) years of employment shall receive an annual employment contract. All other professional status teachers shall receive an annual statement setting forth compensation due in accordance with the schedule included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and any contractual changes.

 

SECTION 2

 

Teachers (other than newly appointed teachers) will be notified of any change of programs from the prior school year, including the schools to which they will be assigned, the grades and/or subjects they will teach, and any special or unusual classes that they will have as soon as practicable and under normal circumstances not later than August 1.

 

Teachers who desire a change in grade and/or subject assignment or who desire to transfer to another building shall file a written statement of such desire with the Superintendent no later than April 1. Such statement shall include the grade and/or subject to which the teacher desires to be assigned or the school to which

 

 or she wishes to be transferred. As soon as practicable, and normally not any later than August 1, the Superintendent shall notify said teachers of the disposition of their request.

 

The wishes of the individual teacher in this respect will receive the fullest consideration but the instructional requirements of the school system and its pupils will be the controlling factor as decided by the Superintendent. The teacher may request a meeting with the Superintendent; however, the Superintendent's decision is final.

 

SECTION 3

 

In order to insure that pupils are taught by highly qualified teachers, no teacher will be assigned outside of his/her licensed area(s) except for good cause. Any such assignment will be temporary.

 

When involuntary transfers are necessary, the area in which the teacher is licensed and the quality of teaching performance will be considered in determining which teacher is to be transferred. Teachers being involuntarily transferred will be transferred to comparable positions as far as is reasonably possible.

 

An involuntary transfer will be made only after a meeting between the teacher involved and the Superintendent or his designee, at which time the teacher will be notified of the reasons for the transfer. The decision on all transfers rests with the Superintendent of Schools. If the individual so desires, his/her case will be reviewed by the Superintendent and the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Fitchburg Education Association.

 

When a teacher is transferred to a new school or grade, the School Department shall be responsible for the transfer of all curricular related materials, as determined by the administration, to the teacher's new location.

 

SECTION 4

 

To the extent practical, changes in grade assignment in the elementary schools will be voluntary.

 

SECTION 5

 

Before a teacher is assigned or transferred to a particular school, the Principal of the school in question will be consulted regarding said assignment or transfer.

 

SECTION 6

 

The Committee and the Association acknowledge that the teacher's primary responsibility is to teach and that his energy should be utilized, to the extent possible, to this end. Specific subjects involving non-teaching duties, while not grievances, may be discussed as they from time to time arise.

 

SECTION 7

 

During the term of this Agreement, a program will be continued whereby registers will be completed by the clerical staff rather than the teachers, based upon data submitted by the teachers.

 

ARTICLE VIII

 

PROMOTIONS - VACANCIES

 

SECTION 1

 

For the purposes of this Article, a "postable position" is defined as an administrative position, a paid extra-curricular or athletic position covered in Schedules B or C, or a position covered by this Bargaining Agreement paying a salary differential above that of a classroom teacher (i.e. guidance counselors or department heads).

 

Postable positions shall be publicized by a notice posted during the school year in every school building for fifteen (15) calendar days in advance of filling such vacancy. Such notice shall clearly set forth the specific qualifications and compensation for the position and the date by which application shall be filed with the Superintendent. The specific qualifications and compensations as set forth in the notice for any postable position shall be strictly adhered to by the Committee

 

During the months of July and August, copies of such notice will be sent to the President of the Fitchburg Education Association or his/her designee and Principals, and posted at the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Posted notices will be mailed to teachers upon request.

 

The filling of such postable positions is, by law, the sole responsibility of the Administration.

 

SECTION 2

 

Such promotions, as well as transfers under Article VII, shall be based upon the Administration's judgment as to what will serve the best interest of the students; and the Administration will consider knowledge, ability, skill, efficiency, length of service in the Fitchburg School System, attendance, character and personality of the applicants.

 

Such vacancies shall be filled by the applicant within the Fitchburg School System only if the above factors, when combined with his/her education, qualification, experience and potential for the position, are in the opinion of the Administration equal to those of any other applicants.

 

It is recognized that the final decision as to whether or not transfers are made or to whom promotions are granted must rest solely with the Superintendent.

 

All applicants will be notified promptly of the disposition of their applications in writing from the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 3

 

Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the Superintendent from making acting appointments in the best interests of the educational needs of the system until positions can be filled with permanent appointments as provided in this Agreement. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the maximum time of this temporary appointment shall not extend beyond June 30 of the school year in which he or she was appointed. Time spent in such acting appointments shall not be regarded as evidence of superior qualifications for the position.

 

SECTION 4

 

All teacher openings in the summer school or adult education programs or for teaching positions under Federal programs will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent in each school building as early as possible, and teachers who have applied for such positions will be notified of the action taken regarding their applications as early as possible in writing.

 

SECTION 5

 

Teaching positions in the Fitchburg Summer School, Adult Education Programs and positions under Federal programs will, to the extent possible, be filled first by regularly appointed teachers in the Fitchburg School System and/or teachers teaching under the Federal programs with the Fitchburg School System, where in the opinion of the Superintendent, those teachers possess qualifications equal to those of candidates outside the school system.

 

Summer positions at the elementary level will first be filled by qualified elementary teachers before considering non-elementary teachers. The same procedure will be followed on the secondary level within the field of certification.

 

SECTION 6

 

Efforts will be made to reschedule any adult education classes that do not meet because of emergency administrative decisions such as Parents' Night. In the event such classes are not rescheduled, adult education teachers shall be paid for the time in question. This section does not apply to classes cancelled due to inclement weather or acts of God.

 

ARTICLE IX

 

TEACHER EVALUATION

 

SECTION 1

 

All observations, by any means, for purposes of evaluation of total job performance of a teacher will be conducted openly and with full knowledge of the teacher. All evaluations or observations of teachers shall be conducted by qualified and certifiable (with approved certification plan to be certified by the State) personnel only.

 

SECTION 2

 

A written evaluation report will be completed after each formal visit. When a formal visit (observation) is going to be conducted for the purpose of classroom evaluation, the teacher and the evaluator are encouraged to arrange to have a pre-conference concerning the evaluation. In every case, a follow up post-conference (not to exceed seven (7) calendar days next following such evaluation) will be held to review constructive criticism of the presentation When a written evaluation is completed, it will be signed by the teacher to indicate the fact that the review has been completed. The teacher will be given a copy of the evaluation report upon request.

 

Formal evaluations are to be done at least twice a year for a teacher not achieving professional status -once before December 1 and the other before April 1. A formal evaluation of at least thirty (30) minutes is to be conducted at least once every two (2) years for teachers with professional status. Said evaluation should be conducted either between October 1 and December 1 or between February 1 and June 1.

 

SECTION 3

 

Teachers have the right, upon request, to review the contents of their personnel file. Excluded from this would be any "confidential" documents received prior to, or in the course of, initial employment.

 

No new material relative to a teacher's conduct, service, character or personality, will be placed in his or her personnel file unless the teacher has had an opportunity to review such material by affixing his signature to the copy to be filed with express understanding that such signature in no way indicates agreement with the content thereof. The teacher will have the right to submit a written answer to such material and his or her answer shall be reviewed by the Superintendent and attached to the file copy.

 

All documents, records and evaluative instruments used to determine a reduction in force of a teacher (Article XXVI), shall be brought to the attention of such teacher in timely fashion. A copy shall be provided to the teacher, and if the teacher requests, a copy shall be placed in his/her personnel file. In every case, a teacher shall be informed in writing no later than fifteen (15) calendar days prior to presentation of such information to the Committee.

 

SECTION 4

 

The Association recognizes the authority and responsibility of the Principal and his supervisory level designee for maintaining the highest possible level of total job performance by his own teachers, including, therein, the authority and responsibility for disciplining or reprimanding teachers for delinquency in total job performance. Said disciplining or reprimanding shall be done in private.

 

If a teacher is to be disciplined or reprimanded by a member of the administration, s/he will be entitled to have a representative of the Association present.

 

SECTION 5

 

The contents of evaluating reports are not subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures of this Agreement except that any contention that a “non-satisfactory” evaluation is arbitrary or without foundation may be raised through the grievance procedure to the level of School Committee.

 

SECTION 6

 

No teacher with professional status will be dismissed, disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, without just cause. Nothing in this section shall in any way inhibit or diminish the authority granted the Superintendent by statute.

 

ARTICLE X

 

USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

 

SECTION 1

 

Priority for the use of school facilities will be given to school functions.

 

SECTION 2

 

The general policy of the Fitchburg School Committee is to permit the use of school buildings for educational, recreational and civic purposes in so far as is practical to do so without interference to regular school activities. Nothing in this Agreement should be construed as denying the broadest use of these public facilities to the citizens of the community.

 

SECTION 3

 

Subject to the foregoing, the Association will have the privilege of using school buildings without cost at reasonable times for meetings or elections. Request for such use will be made to the Superintendent, and the Principal of the building in question will be notified in advance of the time and place of all such meetings. The Association may request the use of a secondary school athletic facility and equipment without cost one evening each week. The regular procedure or application for use of school buildings must be followed. In the event that additional custodial services are required, the Association shall bear the cost thereof..

 

Faculty members in individual schools may request, at no cost (during regular school hours the building is open and not otherwise scheduled), use of athletic facilities and equipment to conduct faculty athletic functions.

 

SECTION 4

 

Association notices may be posted on existing bulletin boards or places where notices are normally posted, either in faculty lounges or faculty lunchrooms, if such notice is signed by an authorized representative of the Association.

 

Copies of all such notices shall first be filed with the building Principal and any such notices shall be limited to presenting factual data and in no event shall contain inflammatory language or intent.

 

SECTION 5

 

The Association may prepare, at no cost to the City, communications relating to the conduct of the business of the Association and may distribute those through the teachers' mailboxes to persons covered by this Agreement.

 

ARTICLE XI

 

TEACHERS' LEGAL ASSISTANCE

 

SECTION 1

 

Teachers will immediately report all cases of assault suffered by them in connection with their employment to the Principal and in writing to the Superintendent of Schools. Teachers may avail themselves of M.G.L. Chapter 209, Section a, through the District Court. Assistance will be provided by the Principal, Director, or Superintendent if requested by the teachers.

 

SECTION 2

 

This report will be forwarded to the School Committee, which will comply with any reasonable request from the teacher for information in its possession relating to the incident or the persons involved, and will act in appropriate ways as liaison between the teacher, the police and the courts.

 

SECTION 3

 

In case of personal injury to a teacher sustained as a result of and in the performance of his or her duties, the Superintendent's office will notify the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Board as required by General Laws, Chapter 32, Section 7, and will provide a copy of such notification to the teacher.

 

SECTION 4

 

Teachers who receive a personal injury arising out of and in the course of their employment are entitled to Workmen's Compensation benefits provided by the City of Fitchburg.

 

SECTION 5

 

When covered by the Workmen's Compensation Act, a teacher may also elect to receive sick leave payments to the extent permitted by General Laws, Chapter 152, Section 69, whereby such sick leave payments will be chargeable against accumulated sick leave and whereby the amount, when added to Workmen's Compensation benefits, does not exceed his/her full salary or wages.

 

In instances where accumulated sick leave is exhausted, the teacher will only receive the Workmen's Compensation benefits.

 

ARTICLE XII

 

SCHOOL CALENDAR

 

SECTION 1

 

The Executive Board of the Fitchburg Education Association shall be consulted in the preparation of the annual school calendar. If any change is contemplated during the year, the Executive Board shall be consulted. It is acknowledged that the final decision in this regard must rest with the School Committee.

 

SECTION 2

 

Except in extraordinary circumstances, the work year for members of the bargaining unit covered by this agreement (other than those who may be required to attend pre-school orientation sessions), will begin no earlier than the last week of August and terminate no later than June 30th.

 

The work year for teachers will be 184 days.

 

The school year for students, exclusive of storm days, will be no more than 180 days unless the State Board of Education shall require additional days.

 

If the State Board of Education should require and increase the length of the school year, all members of the bargaining unit shall receive their per diem rate of pay for each day beyond 180 days.

 

SECTION 3

 

It is acknowledged by both parties that the duties and responsibilities of a teacher in terms of the demands of his profession do not permit prescribed limitations of time. Preparation, evaluation and visitation, as well as other related activities, must be carried on to insure quality performance. Accordingly, the standards set forth below are only minimum standards and are not to be construed as illustrative or even recommended for the true performance of professional duties.

 

SECTION 4

 

Elementary and middle schools will meet the State 900 hours minimum requirement for each individual student and the high school will meet the 990 hours.

 

It is recognized that during the terms of this Agreement, the Superintendent may change the starting and dismissal times for the students in the various schools if such action is required by an energy crisis or other conditions beyond the control of the School Committee. However, such changes, while affecting starting and dismissal times, shall not exceed the time requirements as stipulated in the above paragraph, unless required by law. Prior to instituting such changes, the Association will be notified and provided with an explanation for the reasons involved.

 

All teachers will be in their respective schools five (5) minutes before starting time and may leave five (5) minutes after, providing they don't have any duties or responsibilities as determined by the Principal.

 

Teachers may leave at dismissal time Friday and the day before a holiday or vacation, provided their professional duties are completed.

 

SECTION 5

 

Professional personnel, other than classroom teachers, will work at their assigned tasks for a least the length of the regular teacher's workday. The exact daily schedule will be worked out on an individual basis, subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Schools. Personnel other than classroom teachers will have their work year established on an individual basis.

 

The following employees, when directed by the Superintendent, may be required to work up to an additional 20 (twenty) days beyond the regular school year, at their per diem rate: Guidance Counselors, School Psychologist, School Adjustment Counselors, Social Workers and ETLs. Scheduling of the additional days must be mutually agreed upon between the individual and the immediate supervisor. Work must be completed on days when school is not in session. There is not, nor has there ever been, a negotiated agreement between the parties to offer compensatory time in place of salary.

 

SECTION 6

 

Teachers may be required to remain after the end of the regular workday, without additional compensation, for up to one (1) hour to attend meetings. Such meetings shall begin at the dismissal time of the students and shall concern those items included in an agenda formulated by the Principal with faculty participation. This agenda shall be submitted to the faculty twenty-four (24) hours in advance of these meetings.

 

a.             Two days each month - building meetings called by the school Principal

 

b.             One day each month - meetings with the Superintendent of Schools

 

Attendance at evening meetings officially sponsored by the teacher's school (or the school with which the teacher is connected) is recommended. All elementary, middle and high school teachers are required to be available for the purpose of holding parent conferences three (3) evenings during the school year, one of which may be in open house format. The maximum duration of these conferences is two (2) hours.

 

Teachers will be notified of all such meetings at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance, except in an emergency. The date for Parents’ Night will be included in the school calendar. Necessary changes will be made well in advance.

 

Exceptions to the provisions of this Section may be made only if the Superintendent of Schools determines it is necessary to do so in the best interest of the educational process. The Association will be notified of the reasons for each instance in which the Superintendent so determines. A disagreement over whether an exception is justified will be subject to the grievance procedure and will be initiated at Level 3 thereof.

 

SECTION 7

 

Building Principals at the middle schools and high school will provide a duty-free lunch period of not less than fifteen (15) minutes for each teacher. At the elementary level, teachers will be provided with 250 minutes of duty-free lunch time during a two-week cycle. In emergencies, the paramount consideration must be given to the supervision of the students.

 

SECTION 8

 

In addition to the aforementioned lunch time, elementary and middle schools will have a minimum of four hundred and fifty (450) minutes of instructional preparation time over a ten (10) day cycle. High school teachers will teach no more than five (5) classes per day and have one fifty-five (55) minute preparation period with no assigned duties.

 

The school day for elementary and middle schools will be set at 360 minutes per day, and the school day for the high school will be set at 383 minutes with the instructional time for high school teachers set at a maximum of 275 minutes per day. Instructional time means time during which a teacher is instructing, tutoring, or giving instructional aid to a student or a group of students.

 

SECTION 9

 

Teacher participation in extra-curricular activities beyond the regular school day will be strictly voluntary and teachers will be compensated for all such participation in accordance with Schedules B and C. The enumeration of certain classes or types of extra-curricular duties set forth in Schedules B and C neither means that the Committee must continue these in existence nor is it intended to exclude payments for other extra-curricular duties not specifically included therein.

 

SECTION 10

 

Instructional plans in loose leaf notebooks, conventional plan books or on computer disks and a marking system shall be kept by every teacher and be available at all times for supervisors' examination. A record of the mark for each marking period shall be turned into the school office by each teacher at the conclusion of the school year or at the time the teacher leaves the system, if prior to the conclusion of the school year.

 

ARTICLE XIII

 

CLASS SIZE

 

As facilities and staff become available, the Committee and the Association will work toward the following enrollment formula.

 

1.             Elementary School

 

Kindergarten        20

 

First Grade            20

 

Second through Eighth Grade           20

 

2.             Middle and Senior High Schools

 

Academic Subjects             25

 

Laboratories         25

 

Shop Classes        15

 

Art          20

 

Physical Education             30

 

Study Halls           35

 

ARTICLE XIV

 

SICK LEAVE

 

SECTION 1

 

Teachers will be credited with fifteen (15) days of sick leave as of the first official day of school. Administration will inform teachers at the first faculty meeting of the year of the number of sick days they have accrued.

 

SECTION 2

 

Unused sick leave will accumulate to 180 days for staff hired after July 1,1989. All other staff hired prior to this date will have unlimited accumulation.

 

Extensions, with or without pay, beyond stated sick leave may be given in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Superintendent. In cases of extensions without pay, a deduction of 1/200 of the contract salary will be made from the pay of individual teachers.

 

SECTION 3

 

In order to receive the benefits of this Article, the teacher must notify his Principal or immediate supervisor as promptly as possible when he or she will be unable to be present because of illness.

 

SECTION 4

 

Sick leave with pay is intended primarily to cover the employee's own incapacitation due to sickness or injury. In cases where there has been an absence of ten (10) or more consecutive days, the Superintendent of Schools may require a physician's certificate as to the necessity of an absence. Abuses of sick leave will be treated as individual disciplinary cases by the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 5

 

Any teacher on professional status whose personal illness extends beyond the period compensated for above may be granted a leave of absence without pay up to a period of one year. Leaves of absence under this Section shall expire at the end of the school year in which the leave is granted.

 

Leaves of absence without pay or increment of up to one (1) school year may be granted to teachers of professional status for the purpose of caring for a sick member of the teacher's immediate family. Additional leave may be granted at the discretion of the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 6

 

Except on reinstatement after an approved leave of absence, no sick leave credit for prior employment in Fitchburg (or elsewhere) will be allowed to any newly hired teacher or teacher rehired after a termination of service.

 

SECTION 7

 

Effective for those employed as of July 1, 2002, upon notification of specific retirement dates to the Superintendent, an individual covered under this agreement shall receive a payment of $25 per day for each day of accumulated unused sick leave. The payment shall not exceed $10,000 and shall be calculated by multiplying the number of days of accumulated unused sick time on the date the person retires by $25. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the individual must notify the Superintendent of his/her intention to retire by November 1 of the school year in which the person will retire. Payment of this benefit may be withheld until the fiscal year following the individual’s retirement. In case of death the deceased teacher’s beneficiary shall receive all compensation due the deceased under the provisions of this article.

 

ARTICLE XV

 

PERSONAL LEAVE SECTION 1

 

It is recognized by all that absences by regular teachers from the classroom interrupt the educational process and must therefore be held to an absolute minimum.

 

SECTION 2

 

In each school year, the teacher may obtain up to three (3) days leave for imperative personal business or legal or religious obligations, which cannot effectively be conducted outside of school hours.

 

SECTION 3

 

Reasons for such leave must be made in writing to the Superintendent as early as possible and not less than forty-eight (48) hours before such absence occurs where possible. No request for personal leave will be submitted so as to extend a holiday or vacation period, nor shall personal leave be taken during the first two weeks or the last two weeks of the school year without written approval of the Superintendent of Schools.

 

The existing contract language shall be construed to require teachers to provide specific reasons which establish that the requested leave is necessary because a) it is imperative, b) it concerns obligations which cannot effectively be conducted outside of school hours, and c) it concerns legal business, religious obligations, or other personal business including but not limited to medical, household or family matters.

 

Administrators shall have the right, at their discretion, to request more detail in order to make a judgment. In those instances where the teacher believes and states to the Superintendent that the disclosure is too personal or embarrassing, the Superintendent shall approve the request.

 

ARTICLE XVI

 

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

 

In the event of each case of death in the immediate family of a teacher, he/she will be granted, at his/her request, reasonable necessary time off, on the days prior to the funeral, on the day of the funeral, and/or on the days after the funeral. Such leave will be without loss of pay to the extent set forth in the following schedules:

 

1.             Death of a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, niece, nephew, domestic partner or relative living in the same household:

 

Up to three (3) school days without loss of pay.

 

2.             Death of a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle:

 

One (1) day without loss of pay.

 

If extenuating circumstances exist, additional bereavement leave may be granted at the discretion of the Superintendent. Additional days will be charged to sick leave.

 

ARTICLE XVII

 

EDUCATIONAL LEAVE SECTION 1

 

Leaves of absence may be granted to teachers at the discretion of the Superintendent for the purpose of visiting other schools or attending meetings or conferences of an educational nature. The schools visited shall be subject to the approval of the Superintendent. Copies of the request shall be provided to the Principal. Written reports may be required by the Superintendent. Before taking such leave, advanced notice of ten (10) calendar days will be given to the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 2

 

The Committee shall pay reasonable expenses (including but not limited to registration fees, meals, lodging or transportation) incurred by teachers who attend workshops, seminars, or other approved professional improvement sessions at the request and/or with the advance approval of the Superintendent of Schools. It may pay all or part of such expenses of teachers whose request to attend such courses it approves provided, however, that such travel and amount shall have been provided for and are expendable in the existing school department budget.

 

SECTION 3

 

Teachers requesting reimbursement from the Committee under this Section will submit to the Superintendent a voucher individually listing the expenses for which reimbursement is sought for his/her approval in whole or in part.

 

ARTICLE XVIII

 

SABBATICAL LEAVE SECTION 1

 

A sabbatical leave of up to one (1) school year may be granted by the Superintendent for advance study or research to teachers who have complete seven (7) consecutive years of service in the Fitchburg system, where such experience would, in the opinion of the Superintendent, increase the teacher's professional ability.

 

SECTION 2

 

Personnel requesting such leave must submit their application in writing to the Superintendent of Schools no later than January 1 of the school year preceding the school year for which the leave is requested. Action shall be taken on all such requests as soon as possible and not later than April 15.

 

SECTION 3

 

No more than three (3) teachers will be absent on sabbatical leave at any one time during any school year.

 

SECTION 4

 

Successful applicants will receive a full year’s leave at one-half of the salary to which they would have been entitled or one semester’s leave at full pay, provided that amount, when coupled with any scholarship, grant or aid, shall not exceed the salary to which they would have been entitled.

 

SECTION 5

 

Before accepting a full year’s sabbatical leave, the teacher shall enter into a written agreement in accordance with the terms of General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 41A, to return to active service in the Fitchburg School Department for a period of at least twice the length of such leave. Before accepting a half year’s sabbatical leave, the teacher shall enter into a written agreement to return to active service in the Fitchburg Public Schools for a period of at least three (3) times the length of the leave.

 

A teacher who does not fulfill this agreement shall have agreed in writing to pay the City the amount of the salary received by the sabbatical. The teacher may be released from such payment if his/her failure to serve twice the length of the leave is due to disability, death, or if he/she is discharged from his/her position by the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 6

 

A teacher returning from sabbatical leave shall be placed on the step of the salary schedule he or she would have attained had he or she remained in the school system, and shall be eligible for insurance benefits according to City policy while on leave.

 

SECTION 7

 

No teacher may reapply for a second sabbatical leave until he or she has completed seven (7) consecutive years since his last leave.

 

SECTION 8

 

Upon completion of the leave, the recipient shall submit a written report to the Superintendent containing transcripts of all college and university work done while on leave, together with any other pertinent or interpretive material considered essential to an evaluation of his/her program.

 

SECTION 9

 

While on leave, recipients shall not engage in full-time remunerative work (which they were not already performing prior to the leave) unless approved in writing by the Superintendent. The scholarships and fellowships in approved colleges and universities, which do not interfere with the prescribed program of professional improvement, are allowed.

 

SECTION 10

 

In case the number of applicants shall exceed the number of sabbatical leaves of absence that the Superintendent plans to grant for a particular school year, sabbatical leaves will be granted by the Superintendent on the basis of the value of the proposed leave to the educational system of Fitchburg.

 

ARTICLE XIX

 

MILITARY LEAVE SECTION 1

 

The Committee will comply with all State and Federal statutes with respect to mandatory military leave of absence.

 

SECTION 2

 

Teachers who are required to perform active duty for training will do so during the months of July or August except when the necessity of the Government makes other demands absolutely necessary.

 

In such instance, they will be granted necessary leave of up to seventeen (17) days per school year and will receive the difference between their regular pay and that which they receive from the State or Federal Government.

 

ARTICLE XX

 

EXCHANGE TEACHER - PEACE CORPS - VISTA

 

SECTION 1

 

A teacher on professional status may obtain a leave of absence without pay for up to two years to serve in the Peace Corps, VISTA, or as an exchange teacher.

 

SECTION 2

 

Upon return from such leave, a teacher will be offered a position as reasonably comparable to the one occupied as is then available, and will be placed on the salary schedule at a step level s/he would have achieved had the individual remained actively employed in the system during the period of this leave.

 

SECTION 3

 

All leaves will run for the entire school year. Applications for such leave must be submitted prior to April 1 of the calendar year in which such leave is to begin.

 

SECTION 4

 

The teacher must notify the Superintendent of Schools, by registered or certified mail by April 1 of the year in which the leave is to expire, of his/her intention to return at the beginning of the next school year. Failure to do so by this date may be considered a resignation from the Fitchburg Public Schools. In no instance may more than three (3) teachers in the system be absent on such leave at any one time.

 

ARTICLE XXI

 

ASSOCIATION LEAVE

 

SECTION 1

 

Upon written notice of not less than ten (10) days, the Superintendent may approve a leave of absence, with or without pay, for such time as he or she deems reasonable for officers or delegates of the Association to attend the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association or National Education Association conference and/or conventions. The expense of such trips shall be borne by the Association, the individual, the MTA or the NEA.

 

SECTION 2

 

The Committee agrees that up to two (2) teachers designated by the Association will, upon request, be granted a leave of absence, for up to one (1) year without pay, for the purpose of engaging in Association (local, state, national) activities on a full-time basis. Upon return from such leave, a teacher will be considered as if he/she were actively employed by the Committee during the leave and will be placed on the salary schedule at the level he/she would have achieved if he/she had not been absent.

 

SECTION 3

 

The President of the Fitchburg Education Association shall not be assigned any non-teaching duties.

 

SECTION 4

 

Release time with pay shall be granted to the Association’s Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) Representative to represent teachers in scheduled IAC meetings. An advance notice of twenty-four (24) hours shall be submitted to the Superintendent whenever possible.

 

ARTICLE XXII

 

OTHER LEAVES SECTION 1

 

Additional leaves of absence with or without pay may be granted at the discretion of the Superintendent.

 

SECTION 2

 

All benefits to which a teacher was entitled at the time any such leave commenced, including unused accumulated sick leave, will be restored to his or her account upon return from leave. It is recognized that no specific position can be held open during ANY leave; but, in all instances, every effort will be made to assign the teacher to a substantially equivalent position to the one held at the time the leave commenced.

 

SECTION 3

 

The teacher on leave must notify the Superintendent via registered or certified mail by April 1 of his/her intention to return at the beginning of the next school year. Failure to notify the Superintendent of Schools by that day may be considered a resignation from the Fitchburg Public Schools. All requests for extensions or renewals of leave must be applied for in writing on or before March 15 of each year in which the leave expires. Decisions on such requests will be confirmed in writing by April 15.

 

SECTION 4

 

The Superintendent may, at his/her discretion, grant a leave of absence without pay or increment to any teacher of professional status to campaign for or serve in elected public office - or for such other purpose as the Superintendent deems appropriate under all existing circumstances.

 

SECTION 5

 

Teachers who have been accepted at summer institutes or have received summer grants which require their attendance prior to the close of school, may be granted a leave of absence by the Superintendent of Schools. If such leave is granted, the teacher will receive the difference between his or her pay and that which was necessary to pay the substitute for the period involved. The Superintendent may approve full payment in cases he or she deems to be so required in the best interests of the school system.

 

SECTION 6

 

The Committee will compensate teachers called to jury duty at their per diem rate of pay for the first three (3) days. If the teacher continues on jury duty longer than three (3) days, the employer will pay the teacher's per diem less court payment, exclusive of any mileage reimbursement, provided the employee furnishes appropriate evidence from the court of such service and has made every effort to schedule such service during a time schools are not in session.

 

ARTICLE XXIII

 

MATERNITY/CHILD REARING LEAVE

 

SECTION 1

 

Upon receipt of at least two (2) weeks written notice of her anticipated date of departure and intention to return, the Superintendent shall grant a leave of absence without pay for up to eight (8) weeks in accordance with the provisions of General Laws, Chapter 149, SECTION 105D. It is understood by employees utilizing “Maternity Leave" that said leave is not sick leave. However, benefits may be utilized by employees who are certified by their physicians as disabled by pregnancy related disabilities. Employees must provide this certification in writing to receive benefits.

 

SECTION 2

 

Individuals who have completed at least one year in the Fitchburg School System may apply for a leave of absence without pay not to exceed one year, or impact upon more than one school year, for the purpose of "Child Rearing". Any request made pursuant to this section shall clearly state the inclusive dates of the leave requested and the date by which notice of return shall be given. Failure to return by the date identified and/or failure to notify of intention to return, shall constitute a resignation from the Fitchburg Public Schools.

 

Absent emergency conditions, such leaves shall be requested by April 1 of the preceding year.

 

SECTION 3

 

Teachers returning from maternity leave of absence will be placed on the current salary schedule at least at the step held prior to withdrawal and will be assigned to any school where a vacancy occurs in as comparable position as possible. In the event the teacher has continued her duties under the contract through February 1 of the school year in which her leave is granted, she will be credited with a step on the salary schedule upon return from leave.

 

SECTION 4

 

A teacher who adopts a child under five (5) years of age shall be eligible for the provision of Sections 2 or 3.

 

SECTION 5

 

In exceptional cases, such as interrupted pregnancy, the teacher may make written application for reinstatement, accompanied by a physician's statement of good health.

 

Such reinstatement may be granted by the Superintendent.

 

*Any provision of this Article found in non-compliance with present State or Federal Statutes shall be superseded by said State or Federal standards.

 

ARTICLE XXIV

 

SALARIES - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

SECTION 1

 

Subject to the provisions of this Article, the salary schedule of each teacher in the Fitchburg School System shall be as set forth in Schedule A or any subsequent amendment thereto.

 

SECTION 2

 

The Superintendent shall set the initial salary step for each teacher entering or re-entering the Fitchburg School System giving due credit for previous experience. Credit for military experience and for Peace Corps or VISTA work up to two (2) years may be given upon initial employment.

 

SECTION 3

 

All persons on the teacher salary schedule will be paid in accordance with the following options:

 

Option A Twenty-six (26) equal installments with the additional option of withdrawing all earned monies in one lump sum on the last scheduled day of school

 

Option B All monies to be paid as earned in twenty (20) equal installments during the school year

 

Option A or B will continue from year to year, unless the teacher so notifies the Superintendent by June 30 of his/her intention to change from one option to the other. The option selected will be binding for the entire school year.

 

Teachers will have the option of direct deposit of their paychecks into one bank of their choosing.

 

SECTION 4

 

Each staff member shall pursue recertification pursuant to the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993.

 

The Superintendent will provide courses and workshops that may be used to fulfill the requirements of recertification as set forth in the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and in the standards of ESEA: No Child Left Behind for “highly qualified” teachers. The Fitchburg Public School department will issue a professional development certificate for workshops or activities in accordance with the Recertification Guide issued by the Department of Education, 1994.

 

SECTION 5

 

For purposes of advancement to the B+15 and the B+30, the Superintendent must approve courses that are not part of a Master's program.

 

For purposes of advancement to the M+15, M+30, M+45, and the M+60, all credits must be in graduate level courses and must be earned subsequent to the Master's degree.

 

Undergraduate courses may be accepted for purposes of salary advancement only with the approval of the Superintendent prior to the course being taken.

 

In-service courses, provided by the school system, may be accepted for purposes of this Article only if they have approval of the Superintendent. Application for such approval must be made prior to the course being taken. Normally, this decision will be rendered within ten (10) days of the request. All postings announcing in-service workshops or courses will clearly state whether credit may be applied to salary advancement on the educational step. Courses or workshop credits shall be equivalent to 1/10 credit for each hour of the workshop or course.

 

The Fitchburg Public Schools may offer workshops or pay for enrollment in third party workshops or courses without obligation to issue in-service credit.

 

In no event shall the in-service credit to be applied to salary advancement exceed 15 credits (150 hours) during a five-year span.

 

Professional development workshops or courses provided or offered during the regular workday for which a teacher is being paid may not be used for advancement on the educational step. (The hours may be validated for PDP hours.)

 

SECTION 6

 

Election of teachers will be made each year on or before June 15. The Superintendent may elect to place a teacher on professional status who has served for not less than one (1) year. Unless so appointed, the teacher shall achieve professional status after having satisfactorily served the requisite time in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 41. Professional status teachers have a responsibility to maintain their “standard professional” license after achieving professional status.

 

After notification of such elections, teachers not on professional status shall inform the Superintendent within two (2) weeks whether they accept or decline the appointment. This will be accomplished by returning the signed salary employment agreement. Failure to return the employment agreement within this time will be deemed a resignation.

 

The required notification of termination of employment from the Fitchburg School System is thirty (30) days. The Superintendent agrees to give thirty (30) days notice of dismissal or, in lieu thereof, thirty (30) days pay to non-professional status teachers during the school year, except in cases of discharge for just cause.

 

SECTION 7

 

Annual increments, as scheduled, will be granted each year effective on the first day of school to all teachers who have rendered satisfactory service. The question as to whether the Superintendent has just cause for withholding the increment of a teacher may be presented through the grievance procedure up to the level of School Committee.

 

SECTION 8

 

Assignment to extra-curricular duties and positions is subject to annual reappointment by the Superintendent of Schools.

 

SECTION 9

 

Adjustments in the Salary Schedule's preparation scale shall be made twice a year - once at the beginning of each school year and again on February 1 of each school year.

 

If a teacher expects to qualify to move to a new preparation scale in the salary schedule during the next school year, the Director of Personnel must be notified in writing on or before December 1 of the school year preceding the expected movement.

 

To receive the salary adjustment for the full year, all documentation that the course work and/or degree has been completed or received must be submitted prior to July 1. The salary adjustment will be brought about in the first pay period of the new school year.

 

If the material is not presented by July 1, no further adjustment will be made until February 1 and then only for the half year.

 

To receive a salary adjustment for half the year, all documentation that the coursework and/or degree has been completed must be received by February 1. No salary schedule adjustments will be made after February 1.

 

SECTION 10

 

In recognition of dedicated service to the children of Fitchburg, teachers retiring under the provisions of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Act shall be eligible to obtain an increase in compensation during their final year of teaching by following the established procedure.

 

In case of death, the deceased teacher's beneficiary shall receive all compensation due the deceased under the provision of this Article.

 

In order to be eligible for this benefit, the individual must notify the Superintendent of his/her intention to retire by November 1 of the school year in which the person will retire. Payment of this benefit may be withheld until the fiscal year following the individual’s retirement. Their final year's salary shall be adjusted according to the formula set forth below:

 

For every day of attendance in excess of one hundred seventy (170) days in each year of service to the Fitchburg School System, a credit of one-twentieth (1/20) of one percent (1%) of the final year's salary shall be granted as a salary adjustment for a teacher's final year of service before retirement. Days off for educator's conferences, visiting days, or other days allowed by the Superintendent shall be considered as days in school. Sick leave, personal days, and any unauthorized absences are not considered days of service.

 

Teachers who notify the Superintendent of their intent to participate by Nov. 1 of the same school year they plan to retire, will receive payment in a lump sum during the next fiscal year.

 

The notice requirement of this section is intended for budget consideration and shall be waived in a case where unanticipated physical disability or unforeseen circumstances require the retirement under the provisions of the Teachers’ Retirement Act at a time earlier than originally contemplated. In such instances, the amount set forth above will either be paid as a lump sum payment upon the person's retirement, or as a lump sum in the subsequent fiscal year.

 

Under this Section, payment to an individual teacher shall not exceed $10,000.

 

Dedicated service will be calculated based on the number of days in a given school year to include non-teaching days.

 

SECTION 11-PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS

 

The teachers and administration will, when the State Department of Education brings forth specifics regarding Professional Development Hours, draw up specific policies agreed to by both parties and then adopted by the School Committee.

 

ARTICLE XXV

 

REDUCTION IN FORCE

 

In the event that the School Committee determines that is it necessary to reduce the number of employees in the bargaining unit, the following procedure shall be followed:

 

SECTION 1

 

Attrition: Each year there are a number of teachers who do not return. When this occurs, such necessary reductions will be accomplished wherever possible by not replacing such personnel.

 

SECTION 2

 

Non-Hiring: Whenever the disciplines in which such reductions are necessary have been determined, the Superintendent will not employ new personnel in those disciplines on a permanent basis.

 

SECTION 3

 

Temporary Positions: Teachers who are not under permanent contract or who are on temporary status filling leaves of absence will not have their contracts renewed, provided there are certified permanent teachers available.

 

SECTION 4

 

Reduction of Provisional Status Personnel: If it is not possible to accomplish such necessary staff reductions totally from the above factors, layoffs will first be made from among those teachers who have not attained professional status at the elementary level or from among those teachers who have not attained professional status in the appropriate secondary disciplines, as the case may be.

 

No professional status teacher shall be laid off under this Article if there is a provisional status teacher in a position that the professional status teacher is certified or certifiable to fill.

 

SECTION 5

 

If a reduction in staff results in a layoff of a professional status teacher, the length of service within the Fitchburg School System shall be the factor used to determine the order in which the required layoff will occur within the separate group or disciplines of tenured teachers set forth below.

 

For purposes of computing length of service, total time in the Fitchburg School System from the first day worked in a permanent position shall be utilized.

 

For the purposes of this Article, the disciplines shall be:

 

Early Childhood: Preschool-Grade 2

 

Elementary:          Grades 1-6

 

Middle & Secondary:         Grades 5-12

 

Academically Advanced:  Preschool-Grade 8

 

Each area of licensure as issued by the Massachusetts DOE, including, but not limited to:

 

Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, General Science, Physics

 

Business

 

English

 

Mathematics

 

History, Political Science/Political Philosophy

 

French, Latin, Spanish, Italian, or other Foreign Language

 

g)             Latin and Classical Humanities

 

h)            Instructional Technology

 

i)              Technology/Engineering

 

j)             Health/Family and Consumer Sciences

 

k)            Middle School Humanities

 

l)              Middle School Mathematics/Science

 

System wide:

 

Dance

 

English Language Learners

 

Library

 

Music: Vocal/Instrumental/General

 

Physical Education

 

Speech

 

Reading

 

h)            Reading Specialist

 

i)              Theater

 

j)             Visual Arts

 

k)            Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities

 

l)              Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities

 

m)           Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

n)            Teacher of Visually Impaired

 

o)            Speech, Hearing and Language Disorders

 

p)            School Guidance Counselor

 

q)            School Psychologist

 

r)             School Social Worker/Adjustment Counselor

 

A professional status teacher subject to layoff within his/her own discipline will be considered qualified to bump a less senior teacher in another discipline if he or she is certified or certifiable in another discipline, and:

 

He or she has taught in that discipline in Fitchburg for one (1) year within the last ten (10) years; or

 

He or she completes course requirements in that discipline which may be established by the Superintendent not to exceed six (6) credit hours, at least (3) of which must normally be completed prior to the commencement of work in the new discipline and the remaining three (3) during the first academic year of teaching in that discipline if possible.

 

Notwithstanding the above, Title I teachers must initially exercise bumping rights within the category of Title I teacher prior to exercising bumping rights into positions other than Title I.

 

The parties agree that under certain circumstances, individuals may not be able to comply with the requirement set forth in number two (2) above. For example, certain necessary courses may not be available prior to commencement of work in the new discipline or during the academic year.

 

Furthermore, summer employment and/or vacation plans may preclude individuals from complying with the "prior to the commencement of work" requirements. Additionally, if a teacher had not taught in the discipline within the last ten (10) years but has taught in the discipline outside the Fitchburg School System (i.e. college or university), then the requirements of number two (2) shall be waived.

 

In addition to the above, the Superintendent may waive the requirements of number two (2) for other compelling reasons.

 

SECTION 6

 

The provisions of this Article will govern any decision on layoffs. By December 1 of each school year, the Committee shall prepare an updated seniority list in the professional status groupings set forth above which shall be reviewed by the Association for its accuracy. Any differences with respect to the seniority of individuals may be resolved through the grievance procedure commencing at the Superintendent's level and through expedited arbitration if necessary.

 

Any teacher who is to be reduced pursuant to this Article shall be notified of such reduction no later than June 15 of the school year preceding the school year in which the reduction is to take place.

 

SECTION 7

 

Any teacher who is laid off pursuant to this Article shall have a right to be recalled during the first two (2) years of his or her layoff to any vacancy for which he or she is certified and qualified to fill. If such an opening occurs during that period, the laid off teacher will be offered the opportunity to return to work on a last-out-first-in basis, provided the teacher is certified and qualified to fill that position.

 

No new teacher will be employed to fill any such vacancy until every laid off teacher certified and qualified for that position has been first offered the opportunity to return to work during this two year layoff period.

 

SECTION 8

 

Recall notices will be sent to laid off teachers at their last known address with copies being sent to the Association. Any laid off teacher shall have the responsibility of keeping the School Committee informed of any change in address. A recalled teacher shall have seven (7) days after receipt of the recall notice to accept that position. If the teacher either rejects the recall offer or fails to respond to the recall notice, his/her name shall be removed from the recall list and the position shall be offered to the next person on the recall list.

 

SECTION 9

 

Upon being recalled to work, a teacher's accumulated sick leave days shall be restored and the teacher shall be placed on the next salary schedule step above that which he or she was on prior to the layoff.

 

SECTION 10

 

Teachers laid off under the provisions of this Article shall be given initial consideration on the substitute list if they choose to be so recorded. Laid off teachers shall also be given first consideration for any open titled jobs or newly created positions for which they are certified or qualified. However, the refusal to accept any such position shall not affect the teacher's recall rights.

 

SECTION 11

 

To ease the burden of reduction in force and to enable teachers to be advised of other areas of training which they might consider, it is agreed that a meeting will be held in October of each year between the Superintendent and two (2) representatives of the Committee and the President of the Education Association and two (2) other representatives of the organization to discuss any potential reductions and future needs of the system. It is agreed that this committee is a consultation committee and does not involve further negotiations of this Article beyond the changes already set forth.

 

SECTION 12

 

Teachers who have notified the district of their plans to retire must provide a forty-five (45) day notice of any change of plans.

 

ARTICLE XXVI

 

SICK LEAVE BANK

 

SECTION 1

 

Effective August 1980, a Sick Leave Bank will be maintained for use by qualified members whose sick leave accumulation is exhausted through prolonged illness or accident and who require additional leave to make full recovery from an extended illness.

 

SECTION 2

 

Each member of the bargaining unit shall submit one (1) sick day of their personal accumulation to the Sick Leave Bank on the first day of each new agreement cycle, to be used by teachers who qualify and who have exhausted their own individual sick leave, both annual and accumulated, who still have a serious extended illness.

 

SECTION 3

 

Non professional status teachers shall not qualify for consideration of extended illness leave within the framework of the Sick Leave Bank unless they have accumulated at least twenty (20) sick leave days as of the beginning of the applicable school year after the submission required by Section 2. If special circumstances exist this 20 day requirement may be waived by the Sick Leave Bank Committee.

 

SECTION 4

 

The Sick Leave Bank shall only be available after the teacher has exhausted his/her entire personal sick leave, both annual and accumulated.

 

SECTION 5

 

Any sick leave granted under the provisions of this Article shall expire at the end of the school year.

 

There shall be no accumulating or carry over to successive years of unused Sick Leave Bank days beyond each applicable school year, except as set forth in SECTION 13.

 

SECTION 6

 

The Sick Leave Bank shall be administered by a Sick Leave Bank Committee consisting of two (2) members designated by the School Committee (not covered by another bargaining unit) to serve at its discretion and two (2) members designated by the Education Association. Under normal circumstances this Committee shall convene to consider the eligibility of teachers to draw from the Bank.

 

SECTION 7

 

Application for benefits shall be made in writing to the Sick Leave Bank Committee accompanied by a doctor's certificate as to the need for and anticipated extent of extended recovery time from the illness.

 

SECTION 8

 

Application for benefits may be made prior to the employee's exhaustion of his or her own personal sick leave to expedite benefits, but drawing upon the Bank will not actually commence until after the employee's own sick leave days are exhausted and adequate medical notification has been provided.

 

SECTION 9

 

The initial grant of sick leave by the Sick Leave Bank Committee to an eligible employee shall not exceed thirty (30) days.

 

SECTION 10

 

Upon completion of the thirty (30) day period, additional entitlement may be extended by the Sick Leave Bank Committee upon demonstration of need by the applicant.

 

SECTION 11

 

Subject to the foregoing requirements, the Sick Leave Bank Committee will determine the eligibility for the use of the Bank and the amount of leave to be granted. The following general criteria shall be considered by the Committee in administering the Bank and in determining the amount of leave:

 

Medical evidence of serious extended illness

 

Prior utilization of eligible leave

 

The decision of the Sick Leave Bank Committee with respect to eligibility and entitlement shall be final and binding and not subject to appeal.

 

No days may be withdrawn from the Sick Leave Bank for any other illness other than prolonged illness or accident. Days may not be withdrawn to permit an individual to stay at home to care for other members of the family and, in no instance, may days be withdrawn for purposes of maternity.

 

SECTION 12

 

Upon return from extended sick leave during which benefits were received through the Sick Leave Bank, the recipient shall be entitled to commence a new accumulation of individual sick leave in accordance with the provision of the collective bargaining agreement on the same basis as other teachers.

 

SECTION 13

 

If the Sick Leave Bank is exhausted during this contract period, it shall be renewed by the contribution of one (1) additional day of sick leave by each eligible member of the staff covered by this Agreement from their annual days of sick leave. To the extent that such additional days are unused at the conclusion of the three (3) year period, they may be carried over to the Bank in the successive school year.

 

ARTICLE XXVII

 

TEACHER FACILITIES/WORKING CONDITIONS

 

The committee shall strive to make the following facilities and working conditions available in each school:

 

Space in each classroom in which teachers may safely store instructional materials and supplies.

 

A teacher work area containing adequate equipment and supplies to aid in the preparation of instructional materials.

 

A personal desk with a lock and a chair for the teacher in each classroom.

 

A communication system which allows teachers to communicate with the office from their classrooms.

 

Well lit, clean restroom facilities for teachers.

 

A separate dining area for the exclusive use of teachers.

 

An adequate portion of parking area available at the school designated for teacher use.

 

Adequate materials, including textbooks for students, so teachers may implement the required curriculum.

 

A working schedule that ensures that teachers be assigned to teach in their primary area of certification.

 

ARTICLE XXVIII

 

DURATION

 

SECTION 1

 

This Agreement shall be retroactive to July 1, 2006, and shall continue in full force and effect until June 30, 2009.

 

SECTION 2

 

Either party may, if it desires, utilize the services of outside consultants and may call upon professional or lay representatives to assist in negotiations.

 

SECTION 3

 

Either party may initiate a request to enter into negotiations over the terms of a successor agreement by Nov. 1 of the year preceding the year in which the agreement expires. Negotiations will commence no later than the following February 1 unless an extension is agreed to by both parties. If a new agreement has not been reached prior to the expiration of the current agreement, then the provisions of the current agreement shall be maintained in full force and in effect until such time as the parties execute a successor agreement.

 

APPENDIX I

 

THE UNIT EVALUATION PROCESS

 

EVALUATION PROCEDURES

 

Teacher Evaluation is a vital concern. Evaluation will be based on the Principles of Effective Teaching and the Fitchburg School System's expectations for teachers.

 

Teachers perform important jobs which require skill and competence in the areas of

 

Currency in Curriculum

 

Planning and Assessment

 

Classroom Management/Instruction

 

Promotion of High Expectations

 

Promotion of Equity and Diversity

 

Fulfillment of Professional Duties

 

Contributions as Members of School and Staff

 

Community Relations and Parent Communications

 

Lifelong Learning

 

Evaluation should be a cooperative effort to be effective. It should stimulate reflection, self-evaluation, and growth.

 

TEACHERS OF NON-PROFESSIONAL STATUS

 

Teachers of non-professional status will undergo formal Summative Evaluation twice yearly. The first evaluation will be prior to December 1st and the second prior to April 1st. These evaluations will contain the following components:

 

Each Semester:

 

Pre-Evaluation Conference

 

Observation

 

Post-Evaluation Conference

 

There will be written feedback utilizing a narrative and a checklist based on the nine (9) major areas covering forty-three (43) specific standards.

 

The checklist will contain two (2) categories:

 

Meets Fitchburg Public Schools' Professional Standards

 

Professional Development Recommended

 

Suggestions for each Professional Development area will be part of the oral and written discussion during the evaluation as well as goal setting for the succeeding year.

 

TEACHERS OF PROFESSIONAL STATUS

 

Each professional status teacher will participate in the annual professional growth activities on a four-year cycle, including a minimum of two summative evaluations. Teachers may be placed on a cycle based on request, or at the discretion of the principal in order to balance the number of teachers at each cycle. Requests must be made by September 15 of the year in which the evaluation is to commence. Notification on cycle placement must take place by October 1. A Principal may perform a summative evaluation (Cycle A) at his/her discretion.

 

CYCLES

 

The Cycles are described as follows:

 

A.            SUMMATIVE EVALUATION

 

Pre-Conference Classroom Observation Post-Conference

 

The Summative Evaluation is conducted by the Principal and/or his/her designee, the Assistant Principal or Director.

 

There will be written feedback utilizing a narrative and a checklist based on the nine (9) major areas of performance.

 

The checklist will contain two rating categories:

 

Meets Fitchburg Public Schools' Professional Standards

 

Professional Development Recommended

 

Any area designated Professional Development Recommended will be discussed during the post conference as a potential focus for goals in the succeeding year. Goal setting will be part of the post conference agenda.

 

Administrators are encouraged to use the comment page to describe how the teacher exceeds the standards when that level of mastery is achieved.

 

B.            FORMATIVE EVALUATION

 

Teachers on this cycle should submit a copy of the Formative Evaluation Summary to their administrator before April 1.

 

Activities such as workshops, courses, self-study, video/audio taping for purposes of self-study, community work, collaborations and other growth experiences could be cited in the summary as evidence of the formation of professional skills.

 

C.            SUMMATIVE EVALUATION/PEER COACHING/COLLEGIAL PROJECT OPTION

 

Professional status teachers may opt to engage in a peer coaching model or collegial project during the third year of the four-year evaluation cycle. Collegial Projects should be proposed to and approved by the building Principal on or before November 15. If the request is denied, the Principal will notify the teacher in writing with reasons why the request was denied. This coaching or collegial project option will require the following actions:

 

Peer coaching training of the partners

 

Peer selection, which is the responsibility of the teacher being evaluated

 

Coaching workshops provided by the Fitchburg Public Schools

 

4.             A formal report of the coaching or collegial experience filed in May of the year indicating professional growth as related to the Principles of Effective Teaching (Form 3)

 

Professional status staff not exercising the peer coaching or collegial project option will engage in a Summative Evaluation as described in Cycle A.

 

D.            FORMATIVE EVALUATION

 

The Formative Evaluation is a repeat of the type of activities discussed in Cycle B. It is expected that this four-year cycle will promote continuity of growth as indicated by each of the previous stages as well as promote differentiated goals based on each professional's progress.

 

At the conclusion of the fourth cycle, the process begins again with Cycle A Summative Evaluation.

 

Teachers of both professional and non-professional status are encouraged to keep a summary of their accomplishments in order to focus the discussion on goals as they relate to the Principles of Effective Teaching. (Form 2)

 

The purpose of this process is to insure a continuous, yearly plan for professional improvement. A teacher must have a Summative Evaluation once every two years.

 

The ratings are described as follows:

 

Meets Fitchburg Public Schools Professional Standards indicates the teacher is performing to the stated standards of the category.

 

Professional Development Recommended indicates the teacher needs to focus on this area for professional development and growth. When this area is checked, the Administrator responsible for the evaluation should describe the observed conditions which led to his/her recommendation and must provide recommendations for specific remedial actions that could improve the teacher's performance or assist the teacher in acquiring the skill or competency. It is expected that the teacher will incorporate these recommendations when designing his/her professional development plan and when settings goals.

 

Principals should conduct follow-up observations when appropriate to verify progress in any competency(ies) indicated as "Professional Development Recommended".

 

In the event that multiple competencies are rated as needing professional development, the Principal and teacher will make a corrective action plan as part of the evaluation document.

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

Summative Evaluation is the process or act of drawing conclusions from an observation or collection of observations as to the quality of professional performance in the competencies listed. The Formal process requires the filling out of the Professional Status Form or the Provisional Status Form. The Collegial process incorporates collegial activities through which the teacher's skills are demonstrated, disseminated, or summarized through and with fellow educators.

 

Formative Evaluation is self-assessment for the purpose of setting Professional Development goals and the formation of new or improved skills in areas described in the competencies.

 

Multiple Competencies means two or more.

 

Professional Development Recommended means the evaluator has judged performance to be below the expected level of competency and is recommending the teacher take steps to improve in the competency.

 

Fitchburg Public Schools    TEACHER _______________ PRINCIPAL ___________

 

376 South Street  SCHOOL ______________________________

 

Fitchburg, MA 01420         ASSIGNMENT _______________ DATE _____________

 

Teacher Evaluation Instrument

 

PROVISIONAL FORM

 

 

Meets

 

Professional

Fitchburg

 

Development

Public Schools'

A   PREPARATION FOR INSTRUCTION

Recommended

Standard

1 Clearly defines plans for a specific lesson or activity

 

 

2 Implements the required curriculum

 

 

3 Organizes appropriate learning activities

 

 

4 Prepares appropriate plans for units of study or blocks of time

 

 

5 Sets long-rang program plans

 

 

B  TEACHING METHODS

 

 

1 Evaluates, tries new approaches, and refines strategies, including effective use of technology to increase learning

 

 

2 Is up to date regarding curriculum content

 

 

3 Uses appropriate questioning techniques

 

 

4 Uses a variety of instructional materials, and methods appropriate to instruction plans and individual learning styles

 

 

C  CLASSROOM CLIMATE

 

 

1 Maintains positive and mutually respectful relationships among students, and between students and adults

 

 

2 Encourages a work-productive environment

 

 

3 Maintains effective classroom management

 

 

4 Controls disruptive events

 

 

5 Students actively participate according to their capabilities, show and understanding of instructional materials used, and demonstrate interest in the learning activities

 

 

6 Communicates learning goals and high standards and expectations to students

 

 

7 Creates an environment that is positive for student learning and involvement

 

 

8 Makes learning goals clear to students

 

 

D  ATTENTION AND RESPONSIVENESS TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

 

 

1 Demonstrates a knowledge of child and/or adolescent development

 

 

2 Demonstrates a knowledge of subject matter

 

 

3 Determines learning task appropriate to the learning levels and the learning styles of students

 

 

4 Provides specific independent, corrective, and enrichment work as needed

 

 

5 Monitors students' understanding of the curriculum effectively and adjusts instruction, materials, or assessments when appropriate

 

 

6 Communicates learning goals and high standards and expectations to students

 

 

7 Creates an environment that is positive for students learning and involvement

 

 

E   EVALUATION OF STUDENT PROGRESS

 

 

1 Clearly assesses student progress in relation to plans through teacher-constructed or school system assessment instruments

 

 

2 Provides for a thorough evaluation of students' project and other work

 

 

3 Sets expectation for students

 

 

4 Maintains appropriate standards of behavior, mutual respect and safety

 

 

5 Plans assessment of student learning effectively

 

 

F   CONTRIBUTIONS TO COLLEAGUES, THE SCHOOL AND THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

 

 

1 Demonstrates a caring and supportive attitude toward school

 

 

2 Makes contributions to curriculum development or other school or school system committees

 

 

3 Shares ideas or materials with other staff

 

 

4 Assist's in the care and supervision of all students in the school

 

 

5 Contributes school projects and other school activities

 

 

6 Is constructive and cooperative in interactions with parents and receptive to their contributions

 

 

7 Is constructive in community and public relations

 

 

8 Shares responsibility for accomplishing the goals and priorities of his/her grade/team/department, building and school district

 

 

G  ATTITUDES AND RELATIONSHIPS

 

 

1 Establishes cooperative and effective working relationships with others

 

 

2 Is available to provide extra help for pupils and to discuss matter

 

 

3 Maintains high standards of professional behavior

 

 

4 Manifests positive and relationships with staff members and parents

 

 

5 Completes all professional duties in timely manner

 

 

H  TEACHER FLEXIBILITY AND GROWTH

 

 

1 Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability within the school

 

 

2 Engages in study to become knowledgeable of current development in field

 

 

3 Engages in relevant professional development activities on a regular basis

 

 

4 Is a reflective and continuous learner

 

 

5 Is willing to share skills and knowledge with colleagues

 

 

6 Works toward continuous professional improvement and growth

 

 

I    PROMOTION OF EQUITY AND APPRECIATION OF DIVERSITY

 

 

1 Demonstrates appreciation for and sensitivity to the diversity among individuals

 

 

2 Strives to ensure equitable opportunities for student learning

 

 

Note: Please use N/A if standard is not applicable to role or N/O if standard is not observed.

 

See Page 2 comments for categories where this teacher exceeds expectations

 

NOTE:   Any item evaluated as Professional Development Needed will require written suggestions for improving the competency checked. Please describe any areas of competency where this teachers exceeds professional standards.

 

Number of years in the Fitchburg Public School System (excluding the year of evaluation)

 

COMMENTS:

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

Professional Goals for Next Year:

 

This teacher will be on Cycle             during the               school year.

 

The evaluatee is encouraged to add or comment concerning this evaluation report.

 

I have had the opportunity to read this report, and I understand that I may attach comments of my own to this instrument. My signature does not necessarily indicate my agreement with this evaluation.

 

Attachment: ____ Yes       ____ No                                Evaluatee _____________ Date: ____

 

Attachment: ____ Yes       _____No               Evaluator ______________ Date: ____

 

Fitchburg Public Schools    TEACHER _______________ PRINCIPAL ___________

 

376 South Street  SCHOOL ______________________________

 

Fitchburg, MA 01420         ASSIGNMENT _______________ DATE _____________

 

Teacher Evaluation Instrument

 

PROFESSIONAL STATUS

 

 

Meets

 

Professional

Fitchburg

 

Development

Public Schools'

A PREPARATION FOR INSTRUCTION

Recommended

Standard

1 Clearly defines plans for a specific lesson or activity

 

 

2 Implements the required curriculum

 

 

3 Organizes appropriate learning activities

 

 

4 Prepares appropriate plans for units of study or blocks of time

 

 

5 Sets long-rang program plans

 

 

B TEACHING METHODS

 

 

1 Evaluates, tries new approaches, and refines strategies, including effective use of technology to increase learning

 

 

2 Is up to date regarding curriculum content

 

 

3 Uses appropriate questioning techniques

 

 

4 Uses a variety of instructional materials, and methods appropriate to instruction plans and individual learning styles

 

 

C CLASSROOM CLIMATE

 

 

1 Maintains positive and mutually respectful relationships among students, and between students and adults

 

 

2 Encourages a work-productive environment

 

 

3 Maintains effective classroom management

 

 

4 Controls disruptive events

 

 

5 Students actively participate according to their capabilities, show and understanding of instructional materials used, and demonstrate interest in the learning activities

 

 

6 Communicates learning goals and high standards and expectations to students

 

 

7 Creates an environment that is positive for student learning and involvement

 

 

8 Makes learning goals clear to students

 

 

D ATTENTION AND RESPONSIVENESS TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

 

 

1 Demonstrates a knowledge of child and/or adolescent development

 

 

2 Demonstrates a knowledge of subject matter

 

 

3 Determines learning task appropriate to the learning levels and the learning styles of students

 

 

4 Provides specific independent, corrective, and enrichment work as needed

 

 

5 Monitors students' understanding of the curriculum effectively and adjusts instruction, materials, or assessments when appropriate

 

 

6 Communicates learning goals and high standards and expectations to students

 

 

7 Creates an environment that is positive for students learning and involvement

 

 

E EVALUATION OF STUDENT PROGRESS

 

 

1 Clearly assesses student progress in relation to plans through teacher-constructed or school system assessment instruments

 

 

2 Provides for a thorough evaluation of students' project and other work

 

 

3 Sets expectation for students

 

 

4 Maintains appropriate standards of behavior, mutual respect and safety

 

 

5 Plans assessment of student learning effectively

 

 

F CONTRIBUTIONS TO COLLEAGUES, THE SCHOOL AND THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

 

 

1 Demonstrates a caring and supportive attitude toward school

 

 

2 Makes contributions to curriculum development or other school or school system committees

 

 

3 Shares ideas or materials with other staff

 

 

4 Assists in the care and supervision of all students in the school

 

 

5 Contributes school projects and other school activities

 

 

6 Is constructive and cooperative in interactions with parents and receptive to their contributions

 

 

7 Is constructive in community and public relations

 

 

8 Shares responsibility for accomplishing the goals and priorities of his/her grade/team/department, building and school district

 

 

G ATTITUDES AND RELATIONSHIPS

 

 

1 Establishes cooperative and effective working relationships with others

 

 

2 Is available to provide extra help for pupils and to discuss matter

 

 

3 Maintains high standards of professional behavior

 

 

4 Manifests positive and relationships with staff members and parents

 

 

5 Completes all professional duties in timely manner

 

 

H TEACHER FLEXIBILITY AND GROWTH

 

 

1 Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability within the school

 

 

2 Engages in study to become knowledgeable of current development in field

 

 

3 Engages in relevant professional development activities on a regular basis

 

 

4 Is a reflective and continuous learner

 

 

5 Is willing to share skills and knowledge with colleagues

 

 

6 Works toward continuous professional improvement and growth

 

 

PROMOTION OF EQUITY AND APPRECIATION OF DIVERSITY

 

 

1 Demonstrates appreciation for and sensitivity to the diversity among individuals

 

 

2 Strives to ensure equitable opportunities for student learning

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Please use NI A if standard is not applicable to role or N10 if standard is not observed

 

See Page 2 comments for categories where this teacher exceeds expectations

 

NOTE:   Any item evaluated as Professional Development Needed will require written suggestions for improving the competency checked. Please describe any areas of competency where this teachers exceeds professional standards.

 

Number of years in the Fitchburg Public School System (excluding the year of evaluation)

 

COMMENTS:

 

Professional Goals for Next Year:

 

This teacher will be on Cycle             during the               school year.

 

The evaluatee is encouraged to add or comment concerning this evaluation report.

 

I have had the opportunity to read this report, and I understand that I may attach comments of my own to this instrument. My signature does not necessarily indicate my agreement with this evaluation.

 

Attachment: ____ Yes       ____ No                                Evaluatee _____________ Date: ____

 

Attachment: ____ Yes       _____No               Evaluator ______________ Date: ____

 

Formative Evaluation Summary

 

Form 2 (Cycle B & D)

 

Date of Summary              

 

School Year         

 

Cycle ______________

 

Name:     Assignment         

 

School:   Principal:            

 

The purpose of this summary is to assist teachers in reflecting on their professional growth and development and to enable them to record goal setting experiences, learning activities and other experiences which contribute to the teacher's professional expertise. This summary should be submitted to the principal during the B and D Cycles of the Evaluation Process.

 

Professional development activities, including workshops, study groups, individual or group projects, and courses as well as other experiences, such as community activities, may be mentioned.

 

Please do not exceed the space provided

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

TEACHER EVALUATION

 

OPTION C

 

COLLEGIAL PROJECT/COACHING PROPOSAL

 

Date of Proposal:               

 

School Year of the Evaluation        

 

Principal Approval              Date      

 

Directions: Complete parts I - IV prior to submitting for approval. Parts V - VI are completed after the project is finished.

 

I.             Professional Status teachers collaborating on this project:

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

II.            DESCRIPTION and RATIONALE for THE PROJECT:

 

(How does the project advance the profession or improve teaching skills)

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

III           DESCRIBE THE PRODUCTS AND OUTCOMES:

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

IV.          HOW WILL THE SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT BE MEASURED?

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

V.            DESCRIBE EACH COLLABORATORS ROLE.

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

               

 

VI.          ATTACH NARRATIVE OF RESULTS or ACTUAL PRODUCTS

 

CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN

 

Form 4

 

Date of Plan        

 

School Year         

 

Cycle:

 

Name:     Assignment         

 

School:  Principal:             

 

Standards rated "professional development recommended”:

 

Objective of the Plan:

 

Preliminary Consultation and Development Activities:

 

Action Steps:

Actions

Resources Required

Completion Time/Date

Criteria for Success Evaluatee will...

Evaluation Evaluator will ....

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix II

 

Teachers’ Salary Schedule A

 

FACULTY SALARY FY07

 

2006-07 SCHOOL YEAR

2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B

B+15

B+30

M

M+15

M+30

M+45

M+60

0

34,418

34,992

35,233

36,264

37,288

38,327

39,559

40,798

1

34,753

35,998

37,026

38,052

39,080

40,118

41,341

42,588

2

36,748

37,991

39,020

40,050

41,077

42,121

43,348

44,591

3

38,437

39,674

40,812

41,946

43,394

44,432

45,667

46,899

4

40,497

41,741

42,874

44,005

45,461

46,498

47,738

48,976

5

42,602

43,848

44,988

46,121

47,570

49,018

50,264

51,498

6

45,156

46,421

47,568

48,710

50,180

51,642

53,527

54,784

7

47,424

48,687

49,842

50,993

53,563

53,937

55,822

56,664

8

49,854

51,122

52,287

53,445

54,927

56,406

58,301

59,997

9

52,017

53,285

54,449

55,612

57,090

58,782

60,474

62,166

10

56,770

58,093

59,308

60,520

62,060

63,818

65,584

67,023

FACULTY SALARY FY08

 

2007-08 SCHOOL YEAR

2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B

B+15

B+30

M

M+15

M+30

M+45

M+60

0

35,106

35,692

35,937

36,989

38,034

39,093

40,350

41,614

1

35,449

36,718

37,767

38,813

39,862

40,920

42,167

43,440

2

37,482

38,751

39,801

40,851

41,899

42,963

44,215

45,483

3

39,205

40,467

41,628

42,785

44,262

45,321

46,581

47,837

4

41,307

42,576

43,731

44,885

46,371

47,428

48,693

49,956

5

43,454

44,725

45,888

47,044

48,521

49,999

51,269

52,528

6

46,060

47,350

48,519

49,684

51,184

52,674

54,597

55,880

7

48,372

49,660

50,839

52,013

54,635

55,015

56,938

57,797

8

50,851

52,145

53,333

54,514

56,026

57,534

59,467

61,197

9

53,057

54,350

55,538

56,725

58,232

59,957

61,683

63,409

10

57,906

59,255

60,494

61,730

63,301

65,095

66,896

68,364

The parties will meet no later than November 1, 2007 to negotiate wages for the 2008-09 work year.

 

LONGEVITY

 

Inclusion of Longevity salary increase as follows:

 

Effective July 1, 1998, a teacher with 20 (twenty) years or more of service in the Fitchburg Public Schools who-has received a satisfactory rating on his/her most recent formal evaluation shave have an additional amount added to his/her regular salary each year as set forth in the following table:

 

20 - 24 years of service an additional $ 500.00 25 –

 

9 years of service an additional $1,000.00

 

30 – 34 years of service an additional $1,500.00

 

35 - 39 years of service an additional $2,000.00

 

40 years and above an additional $2,500.00

 

DIFFERENTIAL

 

Fitchburg High School Department Chairpersons, Middle School Team Leaders or Elementary Head Teachers:

 

Department Size  1-3 years               4-6 Years               7+ years Leadership Periods

 

10+         8%          9%          10%        2 per day

 

5-9          7%          8%          9%          1 per day

 

1-4          6%          7%          8%          3 per week

 

SURVIVOR BENEFITS

 

For those employees covered under this collective bargaining agreement who have provided ten (10) or more years of service to the Fitchburg School Department, the Committee agrees, upon the employee's death, to pay the balance of an individual's unpaid yearly salary for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to the person's estate.

 

Comment: Did we intend to delete the entire section?

 

APPENDIX III

 

Schedule B

 

Athletic Coaching Salaries

 

Athletic Coaching Salaries

Level One (1)

Head Football Coach

 

Level Two (2)

Head Boys/Girls Basketball Coaches

Faculty Manager of Athletics

Head Ice Hockey Coach **

 

Level Three (3)

Team Doctor *

 

Level Four (4)

Head Boys/Girls Soccer Coaches

Head Boys/Girls Outdoor Track Coaches

Head Field Hockey Coach

Head Softball Coach

Head Baseball Coach

Asst. Football Coach

Asst. Basketball Coach

Trainer (per season)

EMT (per season)

 

Level Five (5)

Head Boys/Girls Cross-Country Coaches

Head Boys/Girls Indoor Track Coaches

Head Swimming Coach

Asst. Athletic Director

Head Boys/Girls Volleyball Coaches **

Junior Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball Coaches *

Junior Varsity Football Coach **

 

Level Six (6)

Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Coach

Junior Varsity Boys/Girls Soccer Coaches

Junior Varsity Field Hockey Coach

Junior Varsity Baseball Coach

Junior Varsity Softball Coach

Asst. Boys/Girls Indoor Track Coaches

Freshman Football Coach **

Asst. Boys/Girls Outdoor Track Coaches

Head Golf Coach

Head Boys/Girls Tennis Coaches

Junior Varsity Boys/Girls Volleyball Coaches *

Football Cheerleading/Comp. Coach

 

Level Seven (7)

Freshman Boys/Girls Basketball Coaches

Middle School Boys/Girls Basketball Coaches

Basketball Cheerleading Coach

Freshman Baseball Coach

Middle School Football Coach *

Freshman Softball Coach *

Freshman Field Hockey Coach *

Assistant Golf Coach *

 

Level Eight (8)

Middle School Cross-Country Coach

Middle School Boys/Girls Soccer Coaches

Middle School Boys/Girls Outdoor Track Coaches

Middle School Cheerleading Coach

Hockey Cheerleading Coach

Soccer Cheerleading Coach

Middle School Field Hockey Coach *

 

Level Nine (9)

Intramurals – High School

Intramurals – Middle School

Intramurals – Elementary School

 

Level Ten (10)

Relay Coaches

 

*   Not currently listed in APPENDIX III

** Recommended to move up in level since last contract

 

 

Fitchburg Appendix III - Athletic Coaching Salaries

2006-2007

 

 

2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

Level 8

Level 9

Level 10

4

$8,371

$6,976

$5,583

$4,745

$3,907

$3,348

$2,791

$2,232

 

 

3

$7,674

$6,418

$5,302

$4,467

$3,629

$2,966

$2,513

$1,953

$838

$363

2

$6,976

$5,861

$4,884

$4,046

$3,348

$2,791

$2,232

$1,674

$727

$332

1

$6,281

$5,302

$4,467

$3,629

$3,070

$2,513

$1,953

$1,395

$661

$301

 

2007-08

 

2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

Level 8

Level 9

Level 10

4

$8,539

$7,115

$5,695

$4,840

$3,985

$3,415

$2,847

$2,276

 

 

3

$7,828

$6,546

$5,408

$4,556

$3,702

$3,025

$2,564

$1,992

$855

$370

2

$7,115

$5,978

$4,981

$4,127

$3,415

$2,847

$2,276

$1,707

$742

$338

1

$6,407

$5,408

$4,556

$3,702

$3,132

$2,564

$1,992

$1,423

$674

$307

2008-09

 

To be determined The number on the left of each level represents the years of coaching experience. These stipends are tied into the teachers’ contract and go up annually the same percentage as the teachers' salaries. Once a coach reaches the top step of his/her level, he or she remains at that step.

 

APPENDIX IV

 

Schedule C

 

Extra Curricular Responsibilities

Level One A (1A)

Yearbook Advisor High School

 

Level One (1)

Band Activities Coordinator at the High School

Senior Class Advisor

Junior Class Advisor

 

Level Two (2)

Inter Class Plays - High School

All-School Play - High School

Secondary School Music Dir. (7-12)

 

Level Three (3)

Sophomore Class Advisor

Freshmen Class Advisor

Financial Secretary - High School

Play Production Advisor

Play Productions - Middle School

Student Council Advisor - Middle School

Mock Trial Advisor - High School

Talent Show Director

 

Level Four (4)

Student Council Advisor - High School

Yearbook Advisor - Middle School

 

Level Five (5) - Level Funded

Academic Challenge Av. -     $1,100.00

Alter. Ed. Diploma Program - $1,500.00

 

Level Five (5)

Majorette Advisor

Tech Prep Coordinators - High School

Alt. Ed.(L Diploma Program*) - High School

Talent and Gifted Coaches*

Academic Decath. Coordinator - High School

 

Level Six (6)

All After School Clubs (i.e. Newspaper, SADD)

Asst. Dir. Musical Production

Chorus Director

Tech Prep Coordinators - M.S./E.S.

Peer Mediation*

Academic Death. Coaches - High School

Mock Trial Advisor - Middle School

National Honor Society

Band Director - Middle School

Building Curriculum Coordinator Team

Peer Leadership Advisor

Peer Mediation Coach

 

Level Seven (7)

Professional Development

PD Provider - $750/10-hr. unit

presentation with audience

Active Participant – Voluntary $15/hour

Mandated per diem

PD Facilitator $250/10-hr unit

Attendance, notes, minutes

 

 

*Category 1 = Full Year Advisors usually meeting weekly = Full Stipend

 

Category 2 = ½ Year or Bi-weekly = ½ Stipend

 

Category 3 = ¼ Year or 8-9 weeks = ¼ Stipend

 

The parties agree to complete an updated listing of activities and stipends which will be added to this document as a Memorandum of Agreement prior to the start of the 2007-08 school year.

 

Extra-Curricular Salary Scale

2006-07

 

2% Increase

 

 

 

 

 

Step

Level 1A

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

5

$5,959

$5,094

$3,593

 

 

 

 

4

$5,517

$4,714

$3,327

$2,757

$2,452

 

 

3

$5,107

$4,367

$3,079

$2,554

$2,270

$1,757

 

2

$4,731

$4,042

$2,852

$2,365

$2,101

$1,627

$1,302

1

$4,379

$3,744

$2,640

$2,189

$1,948

$1,507

$1,207

0

$4,055

$3,466

$2,446

$2,027

$1,802

$1,395

$1,116

 

2007-08

 

2% Increase

 

 

 

 

 

Step

Level 1A

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

5

$6,078

$5,196

$3,665

 

 

 

 

4

$5,628

$4,809

$3,394

$2,812

$2,501

 

 

3

$5,209

$4,454

$3,141

$2,605

$2,315

$1,793

 

2

$4,825

$4,123

$2,909

$2,413

$2,143

$1,659

$1,328

1

$4,466

$3,819

$2,693

$2,233

$1,987

$1,537

$1,231

0

$4,136

$3,535

$2,495

$2,067

$1,838

$1,423

$1,138

2008-09

 

To be determined the number on the left of each level represents the year of experience the teacher has in this position. These stipends are tied into the teachers’ contract and go up annually by the same percentage as teachers’ salaries in Appendix II. This provision went into effect during the 1997-1999 contract.

 

APPENDIX V

 

FITCHBURG PILOT SCHOOL

 

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT

 

Between

 

The Fitchburg School Committee

 

And

 

The Fitchburg Education Association

 

SECTION 1

 

INTENT AND PURPOSE

 

The Fitchburg School Committee (FSC) and the Fitchburg Education Association (FEA) established an innovative Pilot School1, The Fitchburg Arts Academy (FAA), which serves grades five through 8, within the Fitchburg Public School system (FPS) which opened in September of 2006. The purpose of establishing Pilot Schools is to provide models of educational excellence that will foster widespread educational reform throughout all Fitchburg Public Schools, including the potential for conversions of existing schools and/or the establishment of start-ups utilizing the Pilot School model. The parties hope to dramatically improve the educational learning environment and thereby improve student performance. Additionally, the establishment of a Commonwealth Pilot School (CPS)—under the guidance of the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE)—aims to provide a route for an established school to attain full pilot-status. For the purpose of this Memorandum, the term “Pilot School” shall be inclusive of the Commonwealth Pilot School initiative unless otherwise indicated.

 

A Pilot high school (grades 9-12)—modeled on the tenets of FAA—is expected to roll out in September 2008. In addition, Academy Middle School (grades five through 8) is engaged in planning a CPS conversion to open in the fall of 2007.

 

Pilot Schools will ensure that there is representative enrollment, reflecting the district’s student demographics at each grade span by race, income, gender, special education status, and language.

 

All parties agree to the following goals: lower class size; lower overall student-teacher loads; maximizing and lengthening instructional time; significant collaborative faculty planning time; ample time for professional development; and the development of a nurturing culture.

 

All Pilot Schools must comply with all federal and state laws and regulations and court orders, including those relating to diversity of students and teachers, special education, and English language learners. The Superintendent and/or Fitchburg School Committee shall retain the responsibility of ensuring the quality of education offered, protecting the rights and interests of students and staff, and overseeing the expenditure of public funds in each Pilot School.

 

SECTION 2

 

PILOT SCHOOL AUTONOMIES

 

Pilot schools will operate with an average school-based per pupil budget and will have greatly increased decision-making authority, including exemptions from all School Committee work rules and specified contractual language regarding budget, staffing, curriculum, governance, policies, and schedule, except for the length of the school year which will be determined by the School Calendar article as negotiated by FEA. Mutually agreed upon workdays beyond the contractual teacher year shall be at the per diem rate as determined by each individual school’s EWA, with the cost borne by the pilot school and not the city/School Committee.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

1 As defined by the Center for Collaborate Education [www.ccebos.org]

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

The Fitchburg Education Association (FEA) agrees to modifications (as outlined in this document and subsequent Election-to-Work agreements) in contract language for the following articles: Teaching Assignments and Transfers; Promotions-Vacancies; and School Calendar in order to allow flexibility in the process of selecting staff, the structuring of the workday, and determining the number of meetings and professional development opportunities during the school year. All other benefits of the contract remain intact.

 

SECTION 3

 

ESTABLISHING A PILOT

 

(a)           The actual establishment of such schools will be pursuant to the issuing of Requests for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will be developed and reviewed by a FPS/FEA Steering Committee that is established jointly by the FPS Superintendent and FTA President. No Pilot School shall be established without the approval of the FPS/FEA Steering Committee and the Fitchburg School Committee.

 

(b)           The district shall establish a Steering Committee that shall oversee the planning and implementation of a Pilot School. This Committee shall be composed of equal representation from each of the partners, including district administration and the FEA, and may have additional members—such as representatives from the Center for Collaborative Education—who shall serve in an advisory capacity.

 

The Steering Committee shall establish a Design Team for each proposed Pilot School. The Team shall be composed of district administration, faculty currently assigned to the building, Association representatives, family members, students (in the case of a high school), community members, and external partners.

 

The Steering Committee and Design Team shall work together to establish a process for selecting the initial leadership for the Pilot School.

 

The parties agree that there shall be an intervention process that can be initiated under certain, mutually agreed-upon and established conditions. The Superintendent and/or the Association’s Executive Board shall have the power to initiate an intervention process.

 

SECTION 4          ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP/BENEFITS

 

All employees assigned to Pilot Schools and who are included in the recognition clause of any bargaining unit, including Units A, B, C, and D, shall maintain the benefits of membership within their respective bargaining unit. These employees shall accrue seniority in the system and shall receive the salary and benefits as established in their respective Unit’s contract.

 

Teachers in Pilot Schools will be required to work the full work day as prescribed by the terms of the individual Pilot School’s Election-to-Work Agreement (EWA). However, the workweek will not be more than 6.25 hours longer than the workweek of a corresponding school of the same grade level. Teachers in the Pilot may, by a two-thirds (2/3rds) positive vote, agree to alter this maximum. Further, they shall be required to perform and work in accordance with the terms of the individual Pilot School’s EWA.

 

All compensation, regardless of the funding source, shall be annualized and retirement-worthy consistent with the provision of the collective bargaining agreement.

 

SECTION 5          ELECTION-TO-WORK AGREEMENT

 

(a)           Every Pilot School must develop an annual Election-to-Work Agreement (EWA) that articulates the work conditions for FEA staff members who are employed at the school for the coming school year.

 

The initial EWA will be drawn up by the FPS/FEA Steering Committee. In successor years every Pilot School must have a process in place by which FEA staff members participate in deciding on the terms of the EWA annually, which includes a two-thirds (2/3rds) positive vote by the existing FEA faculty and approval by the governing board of a Pilot School.

 

FEA members who are employed at a Pilot school shall receive, no later than March 15th, the EWA for the coming school year. Each FEA staff member choosing to work at the school must sign this document as a condition of employment, indicating that they voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions of the EWA. Existing staff must sign the EWA by June 1st.

 

SECTION 6          GOVERNANCE

 

(a)           Every Pilot School must have a Governing Board, which meets the membership requirements of the Education Reform Act for school councils, and which sets the school’s vision, approves the annual budget, hires and annually evaluates the principal (with the Superintendent having final authority), and approves the annual work conditions for members.

 

Each Governing Board shall establish by-laws for meeting, membership, decisions, and communication. The initial membership of a Commonwealth Pilot School’s Governing Board shall be mutually agreed upon by the Superintendent and Association President.

 

Each Pilot School must have multiple FEA members, including an FEA Representative, on the Governing Board.

 

The Governing Board of each Pilot School shall develop an internal appeals process to allow any staff member to raise issues, concerns, or problems. Any new Pilot School must have an approved internal appeal process in place within the first 45 days of opening. The internal appeals process shall be submitted to the FPS/FEA Steering Committee for approval. The internal appeals process shall be provided in writing to all FEA staff members at the respective Pilot School and shall be reviewed annually in conjunction with the review of the EWA.

 

Issues not resolved at the school building level shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of the FEA’s grievance procedure for all levels above the school building, including arbitration.

 

(d)           The Governing Board/internal appeals process shall only have the power to process those issues, concerns, or problems that specifically pertain to the Pilot’s autonomies and/or EWA. Issues pertaining to the FEA contract remain under the purview of the Fitchburg School Committee.

 

SECTION 7          VACANCIES - ASSIGNMENTS – TRANSFERS

 

(a)           A vacancy is an opening caused by promotion, death, retirement, resignation, transfer, discharge, or the creation of a new position. All vacancies shall be “postable positions” and shall be publicized by a notice posted during the school year in every school building for fifteen (15) calendar days in advance of filling such vacancy. Such notice shall clearly set forth the specific qualifications and compensation for the position, the date by which application shall be filed, and to whom interested parties should apply. The specific qualifications and compensations as set forth in the notice for any postable position shall be strictly adhered to by the Governing Board.

 

During the months of July and August, copies of such notice will be sent to the President of the Association and/or his/her designee and Principals, and posted at the office of the Superintendent of Schools.

 

The filling of such postable positions is, by law, the sole responsibility of the Administration.

 

(b)           All FEA members who apply for positions in a Pilot School shall receive the following information at the time of their application: the length of the school day and school year; the amount of required time beyond the regular school day; any additional required time during the summer; and any other duties or obligations beyond the requirements of the FEA’s contract.

 

Teachers shall work in Pilot Schools on a voluntary basis and may excess themselves at the end of any school year. A member who desires a transfer must submit a written request for transfer in accordance with timelines set forth in the FEA contract. Anticipated vacancies in a Pilot School must be posted by June 3rd.

 

The initial hiring process for the Pilot School will be established by the FPS/FEA Steering Committee. In successor years the Governing Board will establish the process to hire staff that best fit the needs of the school, regardless of seniority or current membership within the district.

 

Pilot school teachers are subject to the Reduction in Force Provision of the collective bargaining agreement. In the event of a Reduction in Force causing a bumping by seniority, the opening will be posted, and the assignment of teachers will be made with input from the principal in accordance with the FEA contract and state law.

 

(e)           Pilot School principals must notify, in writing, any member who will be involuntarily excessed by March 15.

 

(f)            Except as herein described, all other terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between the Fitchburg School Committee (FSC) and the Fitchburg Education Association (FEA) shall apply. All parties recognize the standing of the FSC as the employer and the FTA as the exclusive representative of Unit A employees on all terms and conditions of employment pursuant to Chapter 150E of the Massachusetts General Laws. The members of the Steering Committee, the Governing Board and other groups of teachers are not agents of the FEA unless so authorized.

 

SECTION 8          DURATION

 

This Memorandum shall take effect immediately upon acceptance by the Fitchburg School Committee and ratification by the Fitchburg Education Association.

 

The Steering Committee will meet to review this Memorandum annually. Any recommended changes must be approved by the Fitchburg School Committee and ratified by the Fitchburg Education Association.

 

                                               

 

For the Fitchburg School Committee               For the Fitchburg Education Association

 

Date ______________________________                Date ______________________

 

INDEX

AGREEMENT

1

Arbitration - Article V

7

Association Leave –Article XXI

21

Athletic Coaching Salaries - Schedule B - Appendix III

46-47

Bereavement Leave - Article XVI

18

Class Size - Article XIII

16

Continuity of Employment - Article VI

8

Deductions - Article II

2

Differential – Appendix II

45

Dues Authorization Card - Article II

2

Duration - Article XXVIII

32

Educational Leave – Article XVII

19

Evaluation - Article IX

11

Exchange Teacher – Peace Corps – Vista - Article XX

21

Extra Curricular Responsibilities/Salaries - Schedule C - Appendix IV

49-50

Grievances - Article IV

5

Legal Assistance for Teachers - Article XI

13

Longevity – Appendix II

45

Maternity/Child Rearing Leave - Article XXIII

22

Pilot Schools - Appendix V

50

Military Leave - Article XIX

20

Other Leaves - Article XXII

21

Personal Leave - Article XV

17

Promotions - Article VIII

10

Professional Development - Article XXIV

23

Recognition - Article I

1

Reduction in Force - Article XXV

26

Rights of the Association - Article II

1

Rights of the Committee - Article III

4

Sabbatical Leave - Article XVIII

19

Salaries - Article XXIV

23

School Calendar - Article XII

14

Sick Leave - Article XIV

16

Sick Leave Bank - Article XXVI

29

Survivor Benefits – Appendix II

45

Teacher Evaluation - Article IX

11

Teachers’ Legal Assistance - Article XI

13

Teachers’ Salary Schedule A/ - Appendix II

44

Teaching Assignments - Article VII

9

Transfers - Article VII

9

Unit Evaluation Process, The - Appendix I

32

Use of School Facilities - Article X

12

Vacancies - Article VIII

10

Fitchburg Education Association - Unit A

 

Contract Agreement

 

July 1, 2006 -June 30, 2009

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF. The parties have set their hand and seal by their duly authorized representatives the           day of    2007.

 

FITCHBURG EDUCATION ASSOCIATION               FITCHBURG SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

Unit A: Teachers

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________

 

______________________________________       _______________________________