Show detailed information about district and contract

Shared Contract District
Org Code2270000
Type of DistrictMunicipal K12
Union AffiliationMTA
Most Recent DocumentContract
Expiring Year2018
Expired StatusCurrent
Superintendency UnionPalmer
Regional HS MembersPalmer
Vocational HS MembersPATHFINDER
ESE RegionPioneer Valley
Kind of Communityrural economic centers
Number of Schools3
Percent Low Income Students34
Grade StartPK
Grade End12
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between the




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SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 -- AUGUST 31, 2018



            Pursuant to the provisions of the General Laws of Massachusetts, Ch. l50E, this Agreement is made between the SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF THE TOWN OF PALMER (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “the Committee”) and the PALMER TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “the Association”).






            Recognizing that our prime purpose is to provide education of the highest possible quality for the children of PALMER, and that good morale within the teaching staff is essential to achievement of that purpose, we, the undersigned parties to this Agreement, declare that:


            l.  Under Massachusetts General Laws, the Committee, elected by the citizens of PALMER, has final responsibility for establishing the educational policies of the public schools of PALMER and its rights and duties are regulated by statute;


            2.  The Superintendent of Schools of PALMER (hereinafter referred to as the Superintendent) has responsibility for carrying out the policies so established;


            3.  Fulfillment of these respective responsibilities can be facilitated and supported by consultations and free exchange of views and information between the Committee, the Superintendent, and the teaching staff in the formulation and application of policies relating to wages, hours, and other conditions of employment for the teaching staff; and so,


            4.  To give effect to these declarations, the following principles and procedures are hereby adopted.


            5.  The parties recognize the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession as defining acceptable criteria of professional behavior.






            For purposes of collective bargaining with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and any questions arising thereunder, the Committee recognizes the Palmer Teachers Association as the exclusive bargaining agent for all professional educational personnel employed by the Palmer School Committee except the Superintendent, Business Manager, Special Education Director, Director of Technology, Principals, Assistant Principals, Tutors, Substitutes, and any non-professional and non-educational personnel.





            l.  Subject to the provisions of this Agreement (and except as otherwise provided by Appendix A attached hereto and made a part hereof) the wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment applicable on the effective date of this Agreement to the employees covered by this Agreement shall continue to be so applicable.


            2.  Before the Committee adopts a change in policy which affects wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment which is not covered by this Agreement, the Committee will notify the Association in writing.  The Association will have the right to negotiate with the Committee provided it files a request with the Committee within five (5) days after receipt of said notice.


            3.  The provisions of this Agreement shall become a part of Committee policy for the duration hereof or until changed by mutual consent in writing.  Any previously adopted policy, rule, or regulation of the Committee which is in conflict with a provision of this Agreement shall be superseded and replaced by this Agreement.  Nothing in this Agreement which changes pre-existing Committee policy, rules, or regulations shall operate retroactively unless expressly so stated.


            4.  No party to this Agreement shall discriminate in any way against any teacher by reason of his membership or non-membership in, or participation or non-participation in, the activities of the Association or any other employee organization.


5.  No teacher will be dismissed, disciplined, reduced in rank or compensation without strict compliance to applicable statutes.






A professional employee with twenty (20) years or more of employment with the Committee who intends to retire and gives such notice on or before December first of the calendar year prior to the year in which retirement will take place, and who retires at the end of the school year, shall be entitled to a one-time separation benefit payable during the year in which retirement will take place; this one-time payment will be the difference between his/her annual salary at the time of retirement and the then salary of the Bachelor Step l in the collective bargaining agreement but no more than $l0,000 for the life of the contract. 


This one-time separation benefit will be payable as early as possible in the year of retirement, but in no event later than July 31st of the year of retirement.  The retirement notice must be in writing to the Superintendent, and shall be deemed irrevocable when given, except under extenuating circumstances.





            1.  REDUCTION IN FORCE:  The School Committee agrees that there will be no layoffs for the duration of this Agreement except for good cause such as consolidation of classes, elimination, or reduction in subjects offered, discontinuance of educational programs, drop in enrollment, fiscal problems, and the like.  In the event it becomes necessary to reduce the number of employees included in the bargaining unit, defined in this Agreement, the School Committee will take into consideration length of service, ability, and qualifications; and when all the factors that constitute ability and qualifications are relatively equal, length of continuous service shall prevail in determining which employees will be laid off.


                Teachers who are to be affected by a reduction in staff must be notified in writing as soon as possible but no later than June l of the school year preceding the school year in which the reduction will take effect.


                For a period of eighteen months following layoff, the laid-off employees will have the right to continue the present group health and life insurance coverage at their own expense through the group.


            2.  RECALL PROVISION:  Teachers will be placed on a Recall List for one calendar year following that effective date of termination.  If a vacancy occurs, the School Committee shall, before posting the position or opening it to applications, offer it first to certified and qualified employees on the Recall List.  Teachers on the Recall List shall supply the Office of the Superintendent of Schools with up-to-date addresses.  An offer of employment shall be made to a teacher on the Recall List by sending one letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the individual’s last reported address.  Simultaneous notice may be made to two or more such teachers.  A teacher on the Recall List who is offered a job under the Recall Provision shall reply to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools indicating the teacher’s desire to accept employment within ten (l0) days of receiving notice of the vacancy.  If such teacher does not contact the Office of the Superintendent of Schools in the period provided, the Superintendent is no longer obligated to offer such teacher the job, except that a failure to respond should the position not actually become available to the person notified shall not cause the person to be removed from the Recall List.


                When there is more than one teacher qualified for a position, the Superintendent will consider length of service in the bargaining unit, ability, and qualifications; and when all the factors that constitute ability and qualifications are relatively equal, length of continuous service shall prevail in determining which employees will be recalled.  Upon re-employment in the system within the recall period, a teacher’s accumulated sick leave benefits will be restored and previous years of service will be recognized on the seniority list.


                Nothing in this Article is intended to supersede or conflict with other sections of this Agreement.


            3.  DEFINITIONS: 


                 A.  Certified means that the employee has on file with the appropriate office

                        a certification appropriate to enable that teacher to teach in the area in

                        which the vacancy has occurred.       


                 B.  Effective date of termination shall mean the first date on which the

                        employee receives unemployment compensation but shall not be later

                        than the first day of the school year following the last year in which the

                        employee taught.






            Except in emergencies and without prejudice to voluntary professional service

above and beyond contract requirements as aforesaid, the following employment provisions are hereby adopted:


l.   School Day:


A.  Classroom teachers and other teachers on the classroom teacher salary schedule shall be required to abide by the work schedule adopted by the Committee but, in no case, shall the teacher be required to report earlier than ten (l0) minutes before the opening of school, and in no case, would the teaching day be longer than that prescribed by law.


B.  All teachers shall remain for fifteen (l5) minutes after school, following the regular close of school, Monday through Thursday, except in an emergency situation, or on the afternoon preceding a school holiday, or on those days designated by the proper school administrator as extra help session day when they will be required to remain for forty-five (45) minutes.


C.  All teachers shall have an uninterrupted, duty-free lunch period daily of at least the same length as the pupils.


2.   School Year:


A.  The school year of teachers covered by the classroom teacher salary schedule (other than new personnel who may be required to attend additional orientation sessions) shall be comprised of 180 teaching days or as required by law, and one (1) additional full day professional development/orientation day.  In addition, teachers may be required to attend up to three (3) additional full day professional development days at the sole discretion of the School Committee, said days to be paid at the rate of $200 per day.  Dates for additional professional development days will be set when the official school calendar is established.  Professional development days will not occur during extended holiday periods, extended vacation periods, or weekends except by agreement of both parties.  However, the School Committee has the right to schedule professional development days immediately prior to the start of the school year (i.e. the date of the professional development/orientation day), and/or immediately after the conclusion of the school year without mutual agreement of the parties.


B.  Recognizing the responsibility of the Committee and the Superintendent for the determination of the school calendar, and further recognizing the interest and concern of the staff in the matter, the Committee and the Association agree that the determination of the school calendar will be cooperatively arrived at through the joint consultation between the Association and the Administration, subject to the final approval of the School Committee.


            3.   Teacher Duties:


A.  Teachers may not be required to remain after school for longer than one (l) hour to attend staff meetings called at the discretion of the appropriate school administrator.  These meetings will be limited to two (2) per month, and there will be at least two (2) days’ notice of such meetings except in cases of emergency.


B.  Teachers will be required to return to school for two (2) Open House meetings and one (1) Parent Teacher conference of three (3) hours duration per year.  Attendance at meetings, such as PTO affairs, shall be at the option of the individual teacher, but the Committee and the Association encourage active participation in such meetings as part of the teacher’s professional responsibility.  Teachers are required to attend four (4) additional after-school professional development meetings of up to one (1) hour duration each per year.  Two (2) of said meetings to be scheduled during the Spring Semester, and two (2) of said meetings to be scheduled during the Fall Semester.


C.  a.  All secondary school teachers shall, in addition to lunch period, have at least one (1) preparation period each day during which they shall not be assigned to any other duties, but are required to be engaged in professional responsibilities.  Up to one (1) of the above preparation periods per month may be used at the discretion of Administration for meetings, professional development, curriculum issues, group planning, and/or Special Education meetings and the like.


b.  Elementary teachers grades preK-4 shall be given at least four (4) preparation periods per week during special area class time (i.e., art, music, and physical education), and an additional preparation period every other week (i.e., a total of five (5) preparation periods), during which they are required to be engaged in professional responsibilities.  The additional preparation period every other week does not occur until the third week of October and ends after the second week of May.  Elementary teachers, including Pre-K and Kindergarten, will be guaranteed twelve (12) minutes of non-duty recess each day.  During this preparation time, said teachers may be called upon in an emergency at the discretion of the principal.  Up to one (1) of the above preparation periods per month may be used at the discretion of Administration for meetings, professional development, curriculum issues, group planning, and/or Special Education meetings and the like.


c.  All middle school teachers shall, in addition to a lunch period, have at least one (1) preparation period each day during which time they shall not be assigned to other duties, but are required to be engaged in professional responsibilities.  Up to one (1) of the above preparation periods per month may be used at the discretion of Administration for meetings, professional development, curriculum issues, group planning, and/or Special Education meetings and the like.  All middle school teachers shall have one (1) additional team planning period per week.


D.  In addition to homeroom duty, secondary school teachers shall not be assigned more than three (3) teaching periods per day.


E.   Secondary school teachers shall under normal circumstances not be required to teach more than two (2) subjects nor to make more than two (2) teaching preparations within said subjects at any one time.


F.   A teacher who teaches an extra class for a semester will receive the rate as set forth in Appendix C.


G.  While the Committee and the Association recognize the value of such activities to the teacher as well as to the student, teacher participation in extra-curricular activities for which no additional compensation is paid shall be by the consent of the teacher.  Extra-curricular activities shall be staffed on an equitable basis and with the consent of the teachers involved.


H.  The Palmer High School Guidance Department will be responsible for providing ten (10) days of guidance services beyond the normal school year (including professional development days) for teachers as defined in Section 2 of this Article.  These ten (10) days may be worked either prior to the start of the school year or after the end of the school year or both, as determined by the Guidance Department.  The Guidance Department Head will work four (4) days, and each additional guidance department member will work three (3) days.  Compensation will be at 1/181 of the person’s salary per day or by compensation time if requested by the teacher, and by agreement with the Superintendent.  The School Adjustment Counselor will work three (3) days to cover instances of work beyond the normal school year.  Compensation will be as described above.


I.       High School teachers will not be assigned non-teaching duties.


J.    Teachers are required to be in school during school hours.  Permission to leave the building during the school day must be obtained from the principal or his/her designee.


            4.   Department Heads/Directors of Services:


A.  Department Heads will be assigned an extra preparatory period per year resulting in teaching two classes in one semester and three classes in the other semester.  Department Heads may put forth a non-binding request which semester they have two classes in their schedule.  Department Heads, at the direction of the Building Principal, shall be responsible for assisting administration in the evaluation of teacher performance and shall make classroom visitations of department personnel when necessary.


B.  Department Heads and Directors of Services shall not be assigned structured study, assigned duty, or homeroom duty.


5.   Substitutes:  The Superintendent or his designee will provide substitutes, when available, for all teachers when they are absent from regularly scheduled classes.


No regularly employed classroom teacher shall be required to act as a substitute for another teacher who is absent or to supervise his/her class during his/her absence.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to avoid the use of special teachers as substitutes.


6.   Building Aide Relief for Teachers:  Building aides shall be employed in each school for approximately three (3) hours per school day to relieve staff teachers of non-teaching duties.


7.   Travel Reimbursement:  The Committee will pay for the reasonable expenses (including fees, meals, lodging, and/or transportation) incurred by teachers to attend workshops, seminars, conferences, and other professional improvement sessions at the request of Administration and/or the teacher and with the advance approval of the Superintendent.



8.   Non-Teaching Duties:

      The Committee and the Association acknowledge that a teacher’s primary responsibility is to teach and that his/her energies should, to the extent possible, be utilized to this end.  Both parties agree that teachers will not be required to perform the following duties:


A.  Teachers, on a voluntary basis, will participate in an aide training program to provide aide coverage for playgrounds, cafeterias, and sidewalks.


B.  Collecting money from students for non-educational purposes.

      Although teachers may be required to collect and transmit pupil health insurance premiums and money to be used for educational purposes, they will not be required to tabulate or account for such money.


C.  Keeping registers and other similar clerical functions.


D.  Teachers will not be required to drive pupils to activities which take place away from the school building.






            l.  Teachers shall be notified in writing of their programs and schedules for the ensuing year, including the schools to which they will be assigned, the grades and/or subjects that they will teach, and any special or unusual classes or assignments that they will have, as soon as practicable and under normal circumstances not later than June l.


            2.  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 Office of the Superintendent of Schools no later than May 1st of each school year.  Such statement shall include the grade and/or subject to which the teacher desires to be assigned or the school or schools (in order of preference, if the teacher has preferences) to which he/she desires to be transferred.  No later than May 31, the Superintendent of Schools shall inform each teacher who has filed such statement of the decision.


            3.  Assignments may be changed as required to meet the situation in the event of a change in circumstances or conditions during the months of June through August.  As soon as practicable the Superintendent of Schools shall notify the teacher of this change and arrange for consultation.


            4.  In the determination of assignment and transfers, the convenience and wishes of the individual teacher will be honored to the extent that these considerations do not conflict with the instructional requirements and best interests of the school system and the pupils.  An involuntary assignment or transfer shall be made only after a meeting between the teacher involved and the Superintendent or his/her designee, at which time the teacher shall be notified of the reasons for the assignment or transfer.  In the event that a teacher objects to the assignment or transfer at this meeting, the Association will, upon request of such teacher, send a representative to meet with the Superintendent or his/her designee to discuss the assignment or transfer.


            5.  Positions in Summer School, Evening School, and Under Federal Projects:

A.  All openings for Summer School, Evening School, and other programs requiring the employment of teachers covered by this agreement, and for positions under federal programs will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent in each school building as soon as possible, and teachers who have applied for such positions will be notified of the action taken regarding their applications as early as possible but in no event later than thirty (30) calendar days after the closing date for application for such position.  Under normal circumstances, summer school and evening school openings will be publicized by April 15 and September 10, respectively.  Positions in this Article will be filled, to the extent possible, first by regularly appointed teachers in the Palmer School System where those teachers possess qualifications equal to those candidates outside the school system.  These qualifications will include a teacher’s area of competence, major and/or minor field of study, quality of teaching performance, attendance record, length of service in the school system, and, in regard to summer or evening school positions, previous Palmer summer or evening school teaching experience.


B.  Summer and evening school teachers will be paid at the hourly rate stated in Appendix C.


            6.  Vacancies and New Positions:


A.  Whenever any vacancy in a professional position occurs, it will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent.  The notice of vacancy will be accompanied by the qualifications for the position, its duties, and the rate of compensation.  During the school year, a notice will be placed on the bulletin board in each school seven (7) working days in advance if possible.  Teachers who wish to have notice of vacancies mailed to them during summer recess should sign a list in the Superintendent’s office giving their address.  The Superintendent will mail notice of vacancies to all persons on the list.


B.  Positions will be filled as soon as possible, but in no event will they be filled if an adequate applicant is not obtained.  All applicants from within the system will be notified in writing by the Superintendent as to the status of their applications within thirty (30) calendar days after the closing date for such application for such position.


C.  Positions will be filled first by teachers in the Palmer School System who possess qualifications equal to those candidates outside this school system.


            7.  Teachers involved in experimental or exploratory programs shall be consulted during the formation of the program.


            8.  The adoption and use of texts will be arrived at cooperatively through joint consultation by department heads and members of the departments concerned, and/or the K-7 curriculum supervisor and appropriate teachers, subject to the recommendation of the principal and Superintendent and final approval of the School Committee.






            To the extent feasible in existing buildings, and provided that no substantial capital investment is necessary, and in designing new buildings and rehabilitating existing buildings, the Committee will provide in each school building.


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


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


            3.  An appropriately furnished room equipped with a telephone to be used as a faculty lounge (said room to be in addition to the aforementioned teachers’ workroom).


            4.  An office equipped with a telephone and proper storage space for the use of special subject teachers.


            5.  Well-lighted and clean teachers’ restrooms.


            6.  A system whereby teachers can effectively and expeditiously communicate with the main office building in the event of an emergency.


            7.  An adequate section of the parking lot at each school shall be reserved for teacher parking.












            It is recommended that the size and composition of regular teaching classes be in accordance with State Board of Education recommendations.  In grades K-7 no class shall have more than twenty-six (26) students.  In grades 8-l2 there will be a maximum of 75 students per teacher per semester except as noted below.  An average class per teacher of twenty-five (25) will exist with no individual class greater than twenty-seven (27).  Physical education classes may have no more than thirty-five (35) pupils.  There is no limitation on the number of pupils in chorus or band. 


            On the sixteenth day of school, classes will be in compliance with the above language.


            This Article may be reopened due to budgetary issues.






            l.  Teachers shall immediately report to their principal in writing all cases of assault suffered by them in connection with their employment.  Such report shall be forwarded through the Superintendent to the Committee which shall comply with any reasonable request from the teacher for information in its possession not privileged under law which relates to the incident or the persons involved.


            2.  No teacher shall be held responsible for loss, damage, or destruction of school property or children’s property, when such loss, damage, or destruction is not the fault of the teacher.


            3.  The School Committee shall reimburse a teacher for:


A.  Any clothing or other personal property damaged or destroyed as the result of an assault suffered in the course of his/her employment.


B.  The cost of medical, surgical, or hospital services incurred as the result of any assault sustained in the course of his/her employment.


C.  The compensation shall be minus the amount received from any insurance reimbursement.


                  The foregoing shall apply only to situations in which the teacher is declared blameless by the Committee after consultation with the Association President.







            All members of the bargaining unit are covered under the applicable provisions of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law, currently Chapter l52 of the Massa-chusetts General Laws.


            In addition to the wage benefits provided for in the above statute, the School Committee shall provide a benefit called a special sick leave allowance payment while the teacher is incapacitated from teaching and receiving benefits under Chapter l52 of M.G.L., which, when added to the amount of wage benefits, will result in the payment to the teacher of his/her full salary or wages.  Said sick leave allowance payment shall not be charged against the teacher’s regular sick leave.  This benefit will be paid subject to the provisions and limitations of Chapter l52, Section 69.  Payments under this section shall not exceed one year from date of injury.


            All members of the bargaining unit shall be granted leave for absence caused by injuries, assault, or battery sustained by teachers in connection with their employment by the Committee without loss of pay.






            l.  SICK LEAVE


            A.  All regularly employed teachers in the Palmer School System will be granted sick leave with full pay for fifteen (l5) working days per school year.  These days must be used before drawing on a teacher’s accumulation.


            B.  Teachers shall be allowed to use sick leave for days absent due to an illness in their immediate families.


C.  Unused sick leave is cumulative to a total of 200 days with full pay regard-

less of additional days added in Section 1A and not used.  Upon the death, retirement, or voluntary separation of any employee with at least twenty (20) years of service in the Palmer Public Schools, the Committee will pay to that employee, or to his/her estate, an amount equal to $50 per day for each day above 100 (101-200) up to a maximum of $5,000.


            D.  In the event of absence of a teacher for illness in excess of four (4) consecutive working days, Administration may require an examination by an independent physician, such examination to be at the District’s expense.






                  A sick leave bank is hereby established to be maintained under the following conditions:


                  A.  For the first year of this agreement each teacher will donate one day of his/her sick leave into a bank within fifteen days of the signing of this agreement or within fifteen days of employment.


                  B.  Thereafter each year one day will be added to the Bank until a maximum of 500 days is reached.  When the number of days in the Sick Leave Bank drops below 300, each member will automatically contribute one day each year until the number of days in the Bank reaches or exceeds 500.


                  C.  A sick leave bank committee will be established composed of:


                        a.   Three teachers appointed by the president of the teachers association;


                        b.   The superintendent of schools or his/her designee from the administrative staff;


                        c.   Two members of the school committee appointed by the chairman of the school committee.


                  D.  The sick leave bank committee shall establish rules and regulations of procedures to govern operation of the bank.


                  E.   No payment from sick leave bank days shall be made unless a teacher has exhausted all but three (3) sick days accumulated by the teacher.


                  F.   Decisions of the sick leave bank committee shall not be subject to the grievance procedure.  A request to the sick leave bank committee may only be granted by a majority vote of the sick leave bank committee.


                  G.  No payment from sick leave bank shall be made except on a regular war-rant approved by the school committee.




                  A.  All regularly employed teachers shall be granted emergency leave, up to five (5) days, at full pay, not chargeable to sick leave, to cover instances as follows:


                        a.   Death in the immediate family (grandparents, grandchildren, parents, step-parents, husband, wife, child, brother, sister, or “in-laws”--father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, step-child)--five (5) days.


                        b.   Two (2) days allowed at time of maternity confinement of wife.


                        c.   Three (3) days’ leave of absence for personal, legal, business, household, or family matters which cannot be taken care of other than during school hours, and provided that, except in emergency situations, advance notice is made to the Superintendent.  No personal day may be taken to extend a vacation or holiday.  Personal days may be taken between December 10 – January 5 and May 15 – June 30 only when advance notice and a reason are given to the Principal or his/her designee in person.


                        d.   One (l) additional day of personal leave for bereavement outside the employee’s immediate family.


            B.  Teachers may be granted permission to be absent to visit other schools when, in the judgment of the Superintendent, it is advisable.  A written report of such visits may be requested by the Superintendent.




                  For every day of absence from duty in excess of the leaves provided as afore-mentioned, there shall be deducted one one-hundred eighty first (1/181) of the annual salary as specified in the teaching contract.


            5.  CAREER EXPLORATION


                  The Committee may grant unpaid leave for up to one (l) year to explore career alternatives.


            6.  SABBATICAL LEAVE


                  Desiring to reward professional performance and encourage independent research and achievement, the Committee agrees sabbatical leaves and courses for teachers may be granted upon recommendation by the Superintendent for approved scholarly programs whether or not carried on in an academic institution, subject to the following conditions:


                  A.  Requests for sabbatical leave must be received by the Superintendent in writing in such form as may be required by the Superintendent no later than December 31 of the year preceding the school year in which the sabbatical leave is requested.


                  B.  The teacher has completed at least seven consecutive full school years of service in the Palmer School System.


                  C.  Teachers on sabbatical leave will be paid at their annual salary rate, provided that such pay when added to any program grant shall not exceed the teacher’s full annual salary rate.


                  D.  The teacher shall agree to return to employment in the Palmer School System for one full year in the event of a one-half year’s leave or two full years in the event of a full year’s leave.  Upon such return the teacher shall be placed on the appropriate step in the salary schedule as though such teacher had not been on leave.


                  E.   Not more than one teacher per year will be granted sabbatical leave.  If more than one teacher applies, all above things being equal, the date of application will determine the selection.


                  F.   Applicants shall be notified by the February first after application.




                  The parties signatory to this agreement recognize that there is existing law guaranteeing teachers eligible for Maternity Leave certain benefits and rights.  This agreement does not incorporate either federal law on Maternity Leave or G. L. Ch. 149, Section l05D, but rather provides for certain benefits and procedures beyond the scope of that law.


                  A.  The Superintendent will be notified of a teacher’s pregnancy no later than four (4) months before the anticipated due date and a leave should be processed through the office of the Superintendent of Schools at least two weeks before anticipated date of departure.  Tentative date of intention to return should also be indicated.


B.  A teacher may request an unpaid leave for up to fourteen (l4) months after the birth of his/her child.  However, such teachers who extend their leave beyond the period provided by law shall not be eligible to return to work except at that September following the end of the leave period or until September 1 of the following school year.  However, in such event, the teacher shall give the Superintendent written notice of his/her intent to so extend the leave by April l.  If the birth is due between April l and the end of the school year, the teacher should make a request prior to April l for any extension of leave.  Under extenuating or unusual circumstances, the return date of leave could be waived by a committee comprised of the President of the Palmer Teachers Association, the Building Principal, and the Superintendent.


C.  No later than two (2) months prior to the expiration of such leave, the teacher on leave shall submit to the office of the Superintendent a letter

electing one of the following alternatives:

                              a.   To return to school;

                              b.   To request leave under a different leave provision of the Contract;

                              c.   Submit a letter of resignation.


      Failure to elect one of the above may constitute termination.


D.  Teachers who choose to adopt will be granted up to one (l) year on unpaid leave following the adoption of a child.




            The Palmer Public Schools agree to abide by the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The Palmer Public Schools’ policy regarding the FMLA is posted in each school building.



            9.  MILITARY LEAVE


                  Military leave will be granted to any teacher who is inducted or enlists in any branch of the armed forces of the United States.  Upon return from such leave a teacher will be placed on the salary schedule at the level which he/she would have achieved had he/she remained actively employed in the system during the period of his/her absence consistent with State and Federal Law.


            10.  LEGAL DUTIES


                  A teacher actually serving on Jury Duty on a work day or who actually reports to the Court for Jury service as required by said Court for any portion of a work day, shall receive his/her regular rate of pay for each day served, reduced by the amount of Jury pay received from the Court.  (Jury pay received for service on non-working days shall not be deducted from a teacher’s pay.)  Jury pay, however, shall not include any meal or travel expenses paid by the Court.  The normal pay of a teacher shall not be interrupted by Jury Duty; however, if the teacher has not reimbursed the Committee for Jury pay received, the Committee shall deduct said amount from the final pay of that school year.  The Association shall hold the Committee harmless for said deduction but reserves the right to process grievances as to the amount of said deduction.


                  A teacher serving on Jury Duty will, upon request, furnish the Committee in-formation with respect to days actually served on Jury Duty, days or any portion of a day the teacher reported to the Court for service as required by the Court, and the amount of Jury pay (not including meals or travel expenses paid by the Court) received from the Court.


                  A teacher on call for Jury Duty shall notify the principal or his/her designee as soon as possible if he/she is scheduled to serve on Jury Duty the next day.


                  The above language also applies to a court summons except if said summons is of a personal nature.  This provision may be used for no more than three (3) separate incidents per school year.




                  If negotiation meetings between the Committee and the Association are scheduled during normal working hours of a school day, not more than seven representa-tives of the Association shall be relieved from all regular duties without loss of pay as necessary.  Pursuant to the Grievance Procedure, for an Association School Representa-tive, member of the Committee on PR and R, or other representative designated by the Association, to investigate a grievance or attend a grievance meeting or hearing during a school day, he shall, upon notice to his supervisor and/or principal by the Chairman of the PR and R, be released without loss of pay as necessary in order to permit participation in the foregoing activities, but this privilege shall be limited to one Association repre-sentative per grievance per day.  Any teacher whose appearance in such investigations, meetings, or hearings as a witness is necessary, shall be accorded the same right.  The Association agrees that these rights shall not be abused.


                  The President of the Association will be allowed to install, for Association use, a telephone line and facsimile line at the expense of the Association at a location agreed upon by the Principal and the Association President, but not in a classroom unless otherwise agreed upon by the Committee and the Association.  Use of the telephone line or facsimile shall not interfere with teaching duties.  It is understood that the Palmer Teachers Association is responsible for any and all costs associated with the installation and regular costs of the equipment and telephone and fax charges.






            1.  Teachers shall be given a copy of any evaluation report prepared by their supervisors and/or principals and shall have the right to discuss such report with their supervisors and/or principals.  A teacher may appeal an adverse evaluation report through the grievance procedure, but only on the grounds of bad faith or discrimination.  A standing committee consisting of six (6) members, three (3) appointed by the Association and three (3) appointed by the Committee, will be established to review the evaluation process and forms on an annual basis.  A written report from this committee will be presented to the Association and Committee for their approval no later than June l5 of each year.


            2.  No complaints in reference to the teacher’s conduct, service, character, or per-sonality, made to any member of the administration or the School Committee by any parent, student, or any other person will be placed in his/her personnel file unless the teacher has had an opportunity to review such material by affixing his/her signature to the copy to be filed.  The signature of the teacher indicates only that the teacher has seen the material but does not indicate agreement with the contents thereof.  If the teacher refuses to sign the material, the Superintendent of Schools will place the material in the teacher’s file within ten (l0) days of the initial request for the teacher’s signature and will so inform the teacher in writing with a copy to the Association President.  The teacher will also have the right to submit a written answer to such material and have such answer attached to the file copy.  Material not called to the attention of the teacher at the time of its origin will not be the basis for further action.


            3.  Any serious complaints regarding a teacher made to any member of the administration by a parent, student, or other person will be promptly called to the attention of the teacher.  Before any action is taken, said complaint must be submitted in writing by the complainant.


            4.  The Association recognizes the authority and responsibility of the Principal for disciplining or reprimanding a teacher for delinquency of professional performance.  No reprimand will be given to a teacher while in the presence of any other person, excepting members of the school administration.  If a teacher is to be disciplined or reprimanded by a member of the administration, he/she will be entitled to have a representative of the Association present.


            5.  No teacher with professional teacher status will be disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantage without good cause. 


            6.  Suspensions and terminations are processed under M.G.L., Chapter 71, Sections 42 and 42D.






            1.  The consultation procedure shall be as follows:


                 A.  When the Teachers Association wishes to discuss a matter or make a pro-posal, it shall be submitted in writing with the request for a meeting to the Superintendent or his designee, who shall acknowledge receipt within three days thereafter and meet with the Association to discuss the matter within fifteen days thereafter.  If, as the result of this meeting or subsequent meet-ings arranged to the mutual satisfaction of the Association and the Superin-tendent or his/her designee, agreement is reached on the matter, it shall be presented to the Committee as a joint recommendation of the Superinten-dent and the Association.  If such discussions do not result in agreement, or if the Association is dissatisfied with the course of discussions with the Superintendent, the Association may so notify the Committee in writing and shall have the right to present the subject directly to the Committee in a working session not more than one month thereafter.


                 B.  Whenever the Superintendent or the School Committee desires to discuss a proposal or matter of importance with the Teachers Association, a request for a conference shall be made in writing to the Association which shall acknowledge receipt within three days thereafter and meet with the Superintendent and/or the Committee for discussion within fifteen days.  Thereafter the procedure shall be as set forth in paragraph l above.


                 C.  Any proposal adopted by the Committee and initiated or approved by the Association shall be reduced to writing, signed by the Committee and the Association, and shall, when mutually agreed, become an addendum to this Agreement.  In any discussions as aforesaid, the Committee or the Association may utilize the services of outside consultants and may call upon professional and lay representatives to participate.


            2.  In addition to consultation on proposals to become part of the Agreement, certain provisions of this Agreement call for consultation in accordance with the forego-ing procedure in the administration or modification thereof.  It is agreed that by mutual consent such procedure may be altered and adapted to the needs of the situation in order, as informally and effectively as possible, to achieve the continuing communication which will best assist the Committee in reaching its decisions.


            3.  Further, the Committee recognizes the Association’s contributions to date and desires to encourage the active participation of teachers in the development and imple-mentation of the best possible educational programs for the school children of Palmer, including State and Federal aid programs.  To this end, the Executive Committee of the Association may appoint an Educational Improvement Committee of not fewer than seven teachers to be chaired by a teacher which will be responsible for developing recommendations to the Committee in the field of educational programs.  The Committee agrees that the Superintendent or his/her designees will meet and consult with said Committee after school hours, so that there may be a full and free exchange of information and opinion.  The frequency of said meetings is to be determined by mutual agreement of the parties concerned.






            1.  The Committee hereby agrees to continue the provisions of Section l7C of Chapter l80 of the General Laws of Massachusetts and, in accordance therewith, shall certify to the Treasurer of the Town of Palmer all payroll deductions for the payment of dues to the Association duly authorized by employees covered by this contract.  Such dues shall be deducted in equal installments.


            2.  The Committee hereby agrees, in accordance with policy adopted March 20, l967, to certify to the Treasurer of the Town of Palmer all payroll deductions for the payment of premiums to the Washington National Insurance Company duly authorized by the employees covered by this contract.  Such premiums shall be deducted in equal installments twice monthly except for those on a 2l-payment plan for whom extra deduc-tions are made in June.


            3.  The Committee agrees, in accordance with policy adopted March 20, l967, to certify to the Treasurer of the Town of Palmer all payroll deductions for the payment of premiums for tax-sheltered annuities to companies duly authorized by the employees covered by this contract.  Such premiums shall be deducted in either twenty-six or twenty-one installments.


            4.  The Committee agrees to certify to the Treasurer of the Town of Palmer all payroll deductions for the payment of deposits or loans to the Massachusetts Teachers Association Credit Union duly authorized by the employees covered by this contract.  Such deposits or loan obligations shall be deducted in accordance with an agreement between the School Committee and the employees.


5.      Pursuant to section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, a teacher must file a

salary payment election form with the Business Office prior to the start of the school year.  The election form is irrevocable for any particular school year, and the election form will be effective for all school years following the filing of the form until the next new school year after a new form is filed.  The salary payment options are as follows:


A.    Twenty-six (26) paychecks over a period of twelve (12) months (September through August)

B.     Twenty-one (21) paychecks over a period of ten (10) months (September through June)


            6.  Teachers may request direct deposit of their total paycheck to a bank of their individual choice.


            7.  The Committee agrees to implement Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C., as amended from time to time.  This implementation is limited to the section commonly referred to as the “premium conversion plan.”  It is the intent of this paragraph to allow employees to make health insurance premium payments from pre-taxed dollars.


            8.  All members of the bargaining unit who are not members of the Association shall be required to pay their fair share fee.  The Palmer Teachers Association recognizes the sole and exclusive remedy for non-payment of the fee shall be for the Association to proceed to court for collection of the fee from a non-paying employee member of the unit.  The School Committee is not, and should not be, responsible for the implementation, collection, or enforcement of the fair share fee, except that it will supply a required documentation to establish that a person is a member of the bargaining unit.


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


            10. In the event of conscientious objection to payment of the fair share fee, a member of the bargaining unit may pay the amount of the fee to a scholarship fund to be set up by the Palmer Teachers Association for recent student graduates from Palmer High School.


            11. It is understood that if a member of the unit authorizes payroll deductions for such fee, it will be deducted in accordance with the first paragraph of this article.


12. The Committee and Association agree to allow contributions to 403b plans.  Effective upon the signing of this Agreement, all new bargaining unit members and/or current members who wish to change 403b plans will be allowed to make contributions to one of the top five (5) 403b plans (determined by the number of bargaining unit participants) as of September 1, 2008 (i.e. Metlife, Capital Guardian Trust Company/American Funds, Galic Disbursing Company/Great America, Fidelity Investments/FMTC, and American Century.  Members who are currently enrolled in another 403b plan may continue to make contributions to said plan.  Unit member contributions will be made in equal deductions from the unit member’s paycheck.







            The purpose of the procedure set forth hereinafter is to produce prompt and equitable solutions to those problems which from time to time may arise and affect the conditions of employment of the teachers covered by this contract.  The Committee and the Association desire that such procedure shall always be as informal and confidential as may be appropriate for the grievance involved at the procedural level involved; and nothing in this contract shall prevent any such teacher from individually presenting his/her grievance.


            1.  DEFINITION


                  A “grievance” shall be a complaint that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, or inequitable application of any of the provisions of this contract.  The term “teacher” as used herein shall mean, also, a group of teachers having the same grievance.




                  A.  The aggrieved teacher shall discuss the grievance with a member of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Association.


Level l       B.  If not disposed of to the teacher’s satisfaction by such discussion within fifteen (l5) school days, the grievance shall be presented orally by the teacher and a member of the said committee to the appropriate supervisor of the teacher.


Level 2      C.  If, at the end of ten days next following such presentation, the grievance

has not been disposed of to the teacher’s satisfaction in Step B, above, the teacher will file within five (5) days with the President of the Association and the Chairman of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee a written statement of the grievance.  Within five (5) days thereafter, such statement shall be reviewed by the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, and, if determined that further action is justified, will be promptly presented to the Superintendent.


Level 3      D.  If, at the end of ten (10) days next following such presentation to the Superintendent or his/her designee, the grievance has not been disposed of to the Association’s satisfaction, the grievance will be presented to the School Committee by the Association at the next meeting of the School Committee unless such meeting occurs earlier than fifteen (15) days after the ten (10) days noted above, in which case it will be presented at the first School Committee meeting following the next meeting as the first item to be addressed.


E.  If a teacher does not file a grievance with the Association and the grievance is not forwarded to Level l within thirty (30) days after the teacher knew or should have known of the alleged act or conditions on which the grievance is based, then the grievance will be considered as waived.  A dispute as to whether a grievance has been waived under this paragraph will be subject to the grievance procedure at Level 4.  If an arbitrator determines that a grievance is not waived (i.e., is timely), then the grievance shall be resolved at the appropriate level.


            3.  ARBITRATION


Level 4      A.  In the event that the dispute shall not have been satisfactorily settled at the end of ten (10) calendar days next following presentation of the grievance in writing to the School Committee, the matter shall then be referred to the American Arbitration Association.  The decision of the American Arbitration Association shall be final.  The expenses and salary incident to the services of the arbiter shall be paid jointly by the Committee and the Association.


B.  If the tenth day after the presentation of the grievance shall occur between June 30 and August 30, the ten (10) days referred to in section “A” shall be extended to twenty-one (21) days.


            4.  TIME LIMITS


                  All time limits will be considered as maximum, excluding weekends and holidays unless extended by mutual agreement in writing.








                  A.  To attract competent teachers to serve in the Palmer Schools.

                  B.  To retain competent teachers in the Palmer Schools.

                  C.  To promote continued professional growth of teachers in the Palmer School.

                  D.  To enable teachers in the Palmer Schools to maintain adequate living and cultural standards and to accumulate reasonable savings.




A.  The basic salary classification of teachers is determined by professional and academic qualifications, irrespective of grade level of pupils taught-single salary schedule.


B.  The formulation of teachers’ salary schedules and salary policies is the function of the School Committee, subject to any agreement reached through the collective bargaining law.


C.  The relationship of professional and academic qualifications to the location of teachers on the salary schedule is clearly stated in the rules and regulations governing the operation of this schedule.


D.  The salary schedule(s) shall become effective annually on the first day of work.


E.   Athletic salaries for the term of this Agreement shall be those on attached Appendix B.


F.   Job descriptions, working conditions, other conditions of employment, and administrative stipends for teaching administrators are as contained in Appendix C.


G.  Step-rate increases shall become effective on the first day of work.


H.  The teachers hereby agree to request through the Superintendent of Schools approval of any courses to be taken by them.


I.    Courses taken at an accredited college or university or a professional development activity that is a minimum of ten (10) hours in length and requires a demonstrable product, and for which the teacher has received prior approval by the Superintendent of Schools may be used for horizontal movement if the teacher receives a passing grade.  Payment on the salary schedule for credits which move a teacher to a new level will be paid effective the first check in September for credits completed during the spring and summer and the first check in February for credits completed during the fall after satisfactory documentation of the credits is received in the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.  Credits will be calculated in the following manner:  225 PDPs and/or 15 college credits are necessary for horizontal movement (one college credit = 15 PDPs; 15 PDPs = one college credit).  Documentation for payment in September must be submitted by August 15.  Documentation for payment in February must be submitted by January 15.


J.    Newly appointed teachers shall have a Bachelor’s Degree and shall have substantial preparation in the field in which they are to teach and in the professional study of education.


K.  New teachers may receive credit for outside teaching experience, however, in no case will a teacher be employed at a salary greater than a teacher presently in the system with comparable training and experience.


L.   All other paid special positions covered by this Agreement shall be as listed on Appendices B, C and G.


M.  All part-time members of this unit will receive all benefits of this contract on a pro-rated basis relative to amount of time worked.


N.  Teachers of the Palmer Public Schools who are hired by the Principal to tutor for the Palmer School System will be paid at the Appendix C rate.


O.  Teachers will receive the town rate per mile for transportation on a diesel or gas-powered vehicle when the vehicle is used in the course of administration approved duties.


P.   The salary schedules in Appendices B and C list the compensation to be paid should the School Committee elect to offer such programs and/or should there be a need for the listed position to be filled.


Q.  Extra-curricular advisor positions shall not exceed twelve (12) hours per

quarter or nine (9) weeks at the hourly rate listed on Appendix C.


R.  By prior agreement of both parties, if teachers are required to complete curriculum work outside the hours of the regular day, said teachers will be paid at the Appendix C rate.  There is no option for horizontal movement under this provision.  This provision does not apply to travel and/or conferences.


S.   In the event that the district employs staff to work on computer related installations or repairs during the summer, each staff member will be compensated at the Appendix C rate.


T.   Music Program Directors will receive a payment of $75.00 for each additional musical program which is not listed on the job descriptions developed in January 2000.  The payment does not depend upon the amount of time devoted to the additional activity.  A multiple day activity will be compensated per diem at a rate of $75.00.


Members of the Music Department may choose to accept or not to accept any additional musical performances not listed on the job descriptions developed in January 2000.  In addition, authorization from the Superintendent must be received before additional compensation will be granted.






            A member shall receive a district-wide allocation of up to $300 reimbursement from Professional Development Funds for college course or approved professional development activity that is a minimum of ten (10) hours in length and requires a demonstrable product.  This allocation shall be standard for each building.






            If any provision of this Agreement is held to be contrary to law, or appears now to be contrary to law, then such provision will be deemed valid only to the extent permitted by law, but all other provisions of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect.  The parties will meet not later than ten (10) days after any such holding for the purpose of renegotiating the provisions affected.











            Teachers will be eligible for non-cumulative longevity payments separate from and not included in the base salary for the purpose of determining any percent raises. The longevity payments will be scheduled as follows:


Upon completion of 13 years of service but less than 19 years of service     $700

Upon completion of 19 years of service but less than 24 years of service     $900

Upon completion of 24 years of service or more                                            $1,000


These payments will be made in full on the first payday in December.







            Effective September 1, 2008, employees and retirees shall contribute an additional ten percent (10%) of the total premium cost of the H.M.O. Plan (i.e., 80/20).






The following applies to criminal offender record information (“CORI”) checks pursuant to Chapter 385 of the Acts of 2002:


    1. CORI checks will be conducted once every three (3) years for employees covered by this Agreement, or more often with reasonable cause.


    1. A copy of a CORI report will be available to the employee.  If the CORI report shows any activity, a copy will be sent to the employee.


    1. All CORI reports will be maintained in the Superintendent’s office in separate confidential files.


    1. The Superintendent or other administrator in his/her central office designated by the Superintendent will be the only persons authorized to request CORI checks.


Any disciplinary action taken as a result of CORI checks will be in accordance with this Agreement and/or law.







The Palmer Public Schools recognizes the right of individuals to work and advance on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without regard to race, sex, creed, color, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age.  Non-discrimination and equal opportunity are the policy of the Palmer Public Schools in all of its employment programs and activities.






            l.  This contract shall become effective on September 1, 2015, and shall remain in force until August 31, 2018, at eight o’clock in the morning.  It may be amended by the agreement of the same parties who entered into it originally.  It will be renewed automatically for a period of one year from the expiration date unless one of the parties shall have notified the other at least sixty days before the expiration date that it will not accept renewal.







______________________________                _______________________________

President, Palmer Teachers Association              Chairman, Palmer School Committee


_______________________________                _______________________________

P.T.A. Bargaining Committee Member


_______________________________                _______________________________


_______________________________                _______________________________


_______________________________                _______________________________














2% increase


Step         BA           BA+15         BA+30      BA+45       BA+60* Step     MA        MA+15      MA+30   CAGS/6th   Ed /Ph D






























































































































































*Note:   As of the 2004-2005 school year, no one may move horizontally or be hired into BA+60. Individuals in the BA+45 schedule would have to obtain a Masters or higher degree to move horizontally during or after the 2004-2005 school year.






















2% increase


Step         BA           BA+15         BA+30      BA+45       BA+60* Step     MA        MA+15      MA+30   CAGS/6th   Ed /Ph D






























































































































































*Note:   As of the 2004-2005 school year, no one may move horizontally or be hired into BA+60. Individuals in the BA+45 schedule would have to obtain a Masters or higher degree to move horizontally during or after the 2004-2005 school year.

























2% increase


Step         BA           BA+15         BA+30      BA+45       BA+60* Step     MA        MA+15      MA+30   CAGS/6th   Ed /Ph D






























































































































































*Note:   As of the 2004-2005 school year, no one may move horizontally or be hired into BA+60. Individuals in the BA+45 schedule would have to obtain a Masters or higher degree to move horizontally during or after the 2004-2005 school year.














                                                                            2%          2%            2%

          SPORT                                                                2015-2016    2016-2017     2017-2018













     Head Coach




     Assistant (J.V.) Coach




















     Head Coach




     Assistant (J.V.) Coach
















     Head Coach




     Assistant (J.V.) Coach



































































                                                                              2%              2%                 2%

                                                                                         2015-2016    2016-2017     2017-2018

Department Heads








History & Social Studies
















Director of Services




Art Guidance




Librarian/Media  Specialist








Physical Education




World Language




Art Guidance




Librarian/Media  Specialist




Other Positions




Advisor for Majorettes & Pompoms




AP Coordinator




Athletic  Academic Advisor




Audiovisual  Director




Auditorium  Director/Coordinator




CMS  Future Problem Solvers




Computer  Coordinators




Drama/Musical  Director




Elementary/Jr . Band Director




Elementary/JrChorus Director




Extra Class (per semester)




Extra-curricular (all schools)




H.S. Band Director




H.S. Chorus  Director




Interact Advisor




Jazz  Band Director




Junior  Class Advisor




K-12 Extra-Curricular Activities/Fundraising Coordinator




K-7 Program Coordinators




Language Arts Coordinator




Lead Mentor




Mentor Program*




Middle School Team Leaders




National  Honor Society Advisor




OMP After  School Coordinator




OMP Lead Teacher




OMP  Literacy Coordinator/Reading  Specialist




PHS Detention Teacher




PHS Future Problem Solvers




Printing Advisor




Reading Remediation Supervising Teachers




School to Career Facilitator




Senior  Class Advisor




SLP Supervising Coordinator**




Special Class




Student Council Advisor




Student Council Advisor (CMS)




“The Palmer” Advisor




Tobacco Education Facilitator










(*teacher has choice to either accept 15 pdps for horizontal movement or stipend, but not both)


**The Supervising Coordinator stipend shall only be paid if the individual is required to supervise SLPA’s.


The staff presentation fee shall be as follows:  $100 per hour for the first two (2) hours, then $50 per hour thereafter (either on the same day or over a period of time).  For example, if a presentation was given for six (6) hours on one day and an additional four (4) hours on another day, the presenter would receive pay for two (2) hours at $100 per hour and eight (8) hours at $50 per hour for a total of $600.  There will be no compensation for preparation.


The NEASC stipend shall be as follows:  $2,000 for the year before and year of the visit.  Teachers serving on a NEASC committee will receive one (1) PDP per hour for work outside of the regular work day.


Positions listed in this Appendix will be posted and appointed on an annual basis.  As is the case with any position/activity listed in the collective bargaining agreement, the District will determine, at its discretion, whether to fund and/or fill any of the above-listed positions.




Drug-Free Workplace Act


Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act (20 U.S.C. 70l, et. Seq.) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, the Palmer School Committee hereby adopts and implements a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs by employees in the workplace.


1.         The Committee hereby notifies all employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace-on school property or as part of school activities.


2.         As a condition of employment, all employees of the Palmer Public Schools shall:

a.         abide by the terms of Paragraph B; and

b.         notify the Committee in writing of any conviction for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) calendar days after said conviction; and

c.         within thirty (30) calendar days of giving notice under paragraph 2, above, any employee so convicted for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace shall satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.


3.         During the course of participation in a program under paragraph 2.c. above, the employee shall be considered on voluntary leave of absence without pay.


4.         Any employee who is so convicted and who satisfactorily participates and completes an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program shall forthwith be restored to his/her former employment position.


5.         Any employee who is so convicted and who does not satisfactorily participate and complete an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program shall be terminated from his/her employment by the Committee for failure to satisfactorily participate and complete said program.


6.         Based upon reasonable suspicion, the Committee shall notify local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities of any unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance by any employee in the workplace.


7.         The Committee shall provide the President of the Association with information regarding drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation programs approved by federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agencies.


8.         Any action taken by the Administration or School Committee would be in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement between the parties. 





(Please see attached document.)












3*- Needs Improvement

4*- Poor










































A.)    Team Skills & Concepts                              



A.)    Practices                                     



B.)    Individual Skills                                           



B.)    Games                                         






C.)    Locker Room                              






D.)   Bus Trips                                    



























A.)    Sportsmanship                                              



A.)    Administration



B.)    Attitude                                                         



1.     Principal                                        

2.     Athletic Director                          



C.)    Motivation                                                     








B.)    Assistant Coaches






1.     Supervision                                  






C.)    Players






1.     Team Regulations                       

2.     Training                                        

3.     Discipline                                      








A.)    Budget                                                            





B.)    Equipment



D.)   Parents                                        



1.     Control Of                                                             

2.     Inventory                                                               

3.     Care Of                                                                   



E.)    Community                                 





F.)    Media                                          








C.)    Players






1.     Physicals                                                                






2.     Permission Slips                                                   






3.     Injury Reports                                                       






4.     Statistics                                                                 






5.     Awards                                                                   




/  Date



D.)   Academics







1.     Encourages extra help &

        effort in the classroom                                        

2.     Places emphasis on academics

        on a regular basis                                     




Athletic Director

/  Date





Head Coach

/  Date






Assistant Coach

/  Date


* 3 or 4 requires written comment








In accordance with the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, Old Mill Pond School developed an Induction Year Program for teachers.  The intent of this program is to provide first year teachers at Old Mill Pond School with the support, supervision, and professional development necessary to ensure a successful introduction to their careers in education.



Components of the Old Mill Pond School Induction Year Program


I.       Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor

II.    Roles and Responsibilities of the Support Team

III. Selection and Training of Mentors

IV. Administrative Evaluation of the First Year Teacher

V.    Compensation




I.       Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor


Mentors will be assigned to those teachers with less than one year of experience in a public school system.


Instructional Support

The mentor should:

*                    model various instructional techniques and help construct lesson plans.

*                    arrange for the first year teacher to visit other classrooms to observe other teaching styles in order to develop a repertoire of teaching skills.

*                    conduct peer observations of the first year teacher and offer suggestions for improvement none of which will be used in the evaluation process.

*                    assist the first year teacher in solving classroom problems.

*                    ensure the first year teacher has the appropriate curriculum and technology guides.


Coverage will be provided as needed by the administration for the mentor teacher to perform these roles.



Professional Support

The mentor teacher should:

*        inform the first year teacher about school policies and procedures.

*        advise how to handle problems or situations that arise dealing with parents, fellow teachers, administration, and the community.

*        arrange for the first year teacher to meet with the union representative so he/she will have an understanding of contract issues and procedures.

*        help the first year teacher to develop a portfolio for his/her own personal use.



Personal Support

The mentor teacher should:

*        help the first year teacher to feel a part of the school community by introducing him/her to the faculty and staff.



Continuous Formal Support

The mentor teacher should:

*        arrange two meetings a month during September, October, and November.

*        arrange one meeting a month from December through May.

*        keep a record of the date, time, and length of all the meetings for documentation purposes.

*        encourages the mentee to keep a journal of their discussions for their own personal use, and not to be shared with the administration.



II.    Roles and Responsibilities of the Support Team


The first year teacher will be assigned a support team.  The support team should consist of the principal, mentor, and the mentee.



Orientation Activities

The support team should:

*        arrange for the first year teacher to tour all three schools in the Palmer School System.

*        provide information on the school’s philosophy, history, and student population.

*        discuss procedures for referring a child for special services, guidance, remedial education, etc.

*        provide information on suspected child abuse and the referral procedures as a mandated reporter.

*        explain the school’s policies and procedures as well as classroom responsibilities including plan books, daily procedures, report cards, extra help, progress reports, cumulative folders, open house, parent conferences, calling for substitutes, discipline, etc.

*        provide information on professional development and the required forms for committee and course approval for step increase.

*        discuss evaluation procedures.



Facilitate the Mentor-Mentee Relationship

The support team should:

*        meet with the first year teacher and mentor teacher to discuss their roles and responsibilities.

*        be available to answer any questions or discuss any problems that should occur in the mentor-mentee relationship.



Reinforce Educational Growth

The support team should:

*        be available to provide additional suggestions for the first year teacher in all areas such as instruction, problem solving, relationships with students, parents, faculty, and administration, etc.



Provide Support

The support team should

*        meet in September and then any other time as the need arises.



Evaluate Mentorship Program

The support team should:

*        meet with the mentor and mentee to evaluate the mentorship program and offer suggestions for any possible changes.



III. Selection and Training of Mentors


All teachers who have attained professional status are eligible to become mentor teachers.  Mentor teachers will be provided with training either by the administration or a professional development program which will take place prior to the mentoring.  Teachers are eligible to apply each year for a mentorship role.  Participation as a mentor is strictly voluntary.


If possible a mentor will be selected from the same grade level as the first year teacher.  If no mentors are available, a mentor from the nearest grade level will be selected to take on the responsibility.  Mentoring is also open to staff in other buildings in the specialties such as remedial and math, art, music, and physical education.  A teacher may act as a mentor for only one teacher per school year.  Mentorship opportunities will be limited to eight new teachers per year.  If there are more than eight new teachers, the principal will choose which teachers will be mentored.



IV. Evaluation of the First Year Teacher


The principal will meet with the first year teacher to discuss the evaluation procedures.  A copy of the evaluation form will be given to the first year teacher who will have an opportunity to discuss with the principal any item on the form as well as the criteria of evaluation.  A schedule of observations and the expectations of the principal will be discussed.



V.    Compensation


Compensation will be awarded to mentor teachers according to contract, Appendix C, or 15 horizontal movement hours.  No more than eight mentor teachers can be eligible for compensation per academic year.  If there are more than eight first year teachers, the principal will choose which first year teachers will be mentored.  The mentor teachers’ training can also be used to receive horizontal adjustment on the pay scale.




Approved 2/24/99.