Show detailed information about district and contract

Shared Contract District
Org Code2870000
Type of DistrictElementary
Union AffiliationMTA
Most Recent DocumentContract
Expiring Year2014
Expired Status
Superintendency UnionUnion 61 Tantasqua
Regional HS MembersTantasqua
Vocational HS Members
ESE RegionCentral
Kind of Communityrural economic centers
Number of Schools1
Percent Low Income Students11
Grade StartPK or K
Grade End6
download pdf version of this document view accessible version of this document Sturbridge















Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 150E of the General Laws of Massachusetts, this contract is made February 9, 2009, BY THE STURBRIDGE SCHOOL COMMITTEE (hereinafter sometimes referred to as the “Committee”) and THE STURBRIDGE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION (hereinafter sometimes referred to as the “Association”).





Recognizing that our prime purpose is to provide education of the highest quality for the children of Sturbridge, and that good morale within the teaching staff of Sturbridge is essential to achieving that purpose, we, the undersigned parties to the Contract, declare that:


A.        Under the laws of Massachusetts, the Committee elected by the citizens of Sturbridge, has final responsibility for establishing the educational policies of the public school of Sturbridge.


B.        The Superintendent of School Union #61 (hereinafter referred to as the Superintendent) has responsibility for carrying out the policies so established.


C.        The teaching staff of the public school of Sturbridge has responsibility for providing in the classrooms of the school education of the highest possible quality.


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





Whereas the Committee and the Association, through their designated representatives, have met for the purposes of collective bargaining in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Section 6 of Chapter 150-E, and whereas the parties have considered and discussed all proposals made by either party as to salaries, hours and other conditions of employment; now, therefore, the Committee and Association agree as follows:



A.        Definition of Employee Unit


1.         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 Town of Sturbridge School Department employee unit identified as follows:


All teaching personnel employed by the Sturbridge 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, reading coordinators, guidance counselors, reading specialists, therapists, inclusion specialists, school psychologists, adjustment counselors and school nurses.


            2.         Unless otherwise indicated, the employees in the above unit will hereinafter be referred to as the “teachers.”


3.         Excluded from the unit, the Superintendent, Associate and Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals, Special Education Director, Business Manager, permanent substitutes, day to day substitutes, and all other employees of the Municipal Employer.


B.        Scope


            1.         If any part of this contract is judged illegal, all other parts will remain in effect.


2.         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.


3.         This 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.




Either party may initiate a request to enter into negotiations over the terms of a successor agreement by November 1st of the year preceding the year in which the agreement expires.  Negotiations will commence within sixty (60) days after the request is received unless an extension is agreed to by both parties.




A.        A "grievance" is a dispute concerning the interpretation of the terms of this Agreement between an employee covered by this Agreement and the School Committee.


B.                 The purpose of the procedure set forth hereinafter is to produce prompt and equitable solutions to those problems which from time to time arise and affect the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the employees covered by this Contract. The Committee and the Association desire that such procedures 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 employee from individually presenting any grievance of the employee.


C.                 Level One:  Employees are encouraged but not required to discuss alleged violations with the appropriate intermediate supervisor prior to filing a grievance at Level One, however, such informal discussions, if they occur, shall not operate so as to extend the time limits set forth herein.  The grievance shall be presented in writing by the aggrieved employee to the employee’s Principal.  The Principal’s determination of the grievance shall be in writing to the grievant and the Superintendent.


D.                If at the end of the fifteen (15) working days next following the occurrence of any grievable dispute, or the date of first knowledge of its occurrence by any employee affected by it, a grievance shall not have been presented at Level One of the procedure set forth above, the grievance shall be deemed to have been waived; and any grievance in course under such procedure shall also 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.


E.                 Level Two:  If the grievance shall not have been disposed of to the employee's satisfaction within five (5) working days after submission to Level I, the grievance may be filed in writing with the Superintendent, who shall, within five (5) working days after stamped receipt of the Level II grievance, meet with the aggrieved employee, and/or a representative from the Sturbridge Teachers' Association in an effort to settle the grievance.  The Superintendent's determination of the grievance shall be in writing to the grievant and the Chairman of the School Committee.


F.                  Level Three:  If the grievance shall not have been disposed of to the employee's satisfaction within five (5) working days after the meeting with the Superintendent, as provided in Level II above, the grievance may be filed in writing with the School Committee who shall meet with the aggrieved employee, and/or a representative from the Sturbridge Teachers' Association either within fifteen (15) working days or the next regularly scheduled school committee meeting, whichever is later, after receipt of the Level Three grievance in an effort to settle the grievance.  At this level both parties may bring in a representative of their choice. The School Committee’s determination of the grievance shall be in writing to the grievant within ten (10) working days.  Level Three of the grievance procedure shall apply only to those grievances which are within the jurisdiction of the School Committee after the Education Reform Act of 1993.  If the Committee determines that a grievance is not within its jurisdiction, it shall so notify the Association at which point the Association shall have the option to appeal the decision as provided under Level Four.  Such appeals shall be made within ten (10) working days of notification by the School Committee.


G.                Level Four: If the grievance is not resolved at Level Three, the Association may appeal the grievance to arbitration through the American Arbitration Association (AAA), in accordance with the rules of the AAA.  Such an appeal must be filed within ten (10) working days of the decision or notification under Level Three. The authority of an arbitrator hereunder shall be limited to determining whether a specific provision of this Agreement has been violated and the arbitrator shall have no authority to modify, add to or delete any term of this Agreement. Arbitration fees shall be shared equally between the parties.


H.                If any employee covered by this Contract shall present any grievance without representation by the Association, the disposition, if any, of the grievance shall be consistent with the provisions of this Contract; and if the Association shall so desire, it shall be permitted to be heard at each level of the procedure, beginning at Level Two, under which the grievance shall be considered.


I.          No written communication, other document, or record relating to the grievance shall be filed in the personnel file maintained by the School Department of Sturbridge for any employee involved in presenting such grievance.  Only the subject matter which is proper material for inclusion in a teacher’s personnel file, apart from the grievance procedure, shall be filed.  If material which is included in the personnel file is grieved, it will only be removed from the file if it is the determination of the grievance to do so.


J.          If in the judgment of the Association the grievance does not fall under the jurisdiction of the building principal or a grievance affects a group or class of teachers, the Association may submit such a grievance in writing to the Superintendent directly and the processing of such grievance will be commenced at Level Two provided, however, that the presentation shall be made by no more than three (3) persons.


K.        Times for meeting to discuss grievances shall be scheduled outside of school hours unless, in the judgment of the Superintendent, a meeting during school hours is desirable to facilitate production of appropriate information.


L.         For any grievance not resolved by the last working day of the school year or for any grievance initiated during the month of June, the phrase “working days” shall no longer apply and the phrase “weekdays” shall apply until the first working day of the next school year. In the event the Principal and/or Superintendent or the grievant cannot meet said schedule, the parties agree to provide for flexibility during the summer schedule.  The grievance shall be heard at Level Three by the School Committee at their next regular meeting.




A.        A teacher upon initial employment in the Sturbridge School System will be placed on a step in the salary schedule as recommended by the Superintendent.  Consideration will be given to all full time public or private school teaching experience.  Consideration will be given to full time substitute teaching experience where the candidate has assumed full professional responsibility for a regular teaching position for a period equal to or greater than ninety-three (93) consecutive school days. 


B.        A teacher upon initial employment in the Sturbridge School System, with the recommendation of the Superintendent and the approval of the School Committee, will receive one-half (1/2) credit on the salary schedule for each year in military service, AmeriCorps-Vista or Peace Corps.   For national service other than the military, AmeriCorps-Vista or Peace Corps, credit will be determined by the Superintendent. Such service will be credited to a maximum of three (3) years with ten (10) months equal to one year. This decision will not be grievable or arbitrable.        


C.        A teacher who has been teaching in the Sturbridge School System and who is called into military service will receive full credit on the salary schedule for military experience upon return to the Sturbridge School System.


D.        To assure that pupils are taught by teachers working within their areas of competence, teachers will not be assigned classes, except temporarily and for good causes, outside the scope of their Teaching License and for their major or minor fields of study. 


E.         Assignment:  The Principal will endeavor to notify teachers of their assignment for the coming year when possible under normal circumstances prior to July 15th and will make assignment changes after that date only under unusual circumstances and in the best interest of the educational program.


F.         Transfer: A teacher who is being transferred involuntarily within the Sturbridge School System will be notified in writing.  The Principal will meet with the teacher to discuss the transfer if such a meeting is requested.


G.        All regular part-time employees shall receive benefits, other than insurance benefits, on a pro-rated basis relative to the full-time equivalency.


H.       Vacancies and Promotions


            1.         Any vacancy in a professional position occurring during the school year will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent by means of a notice placed on the bulletin boards of Union #61 as far in advance of the appointment as possible.  During the months of July and August, written notice of any such vacancy shall also be sent to the Representatives of the Sturbridge Teachers' Association.


In both situations, the qualifications, the duties, and the rate of compensation (if appropriate) will be clearly set forth.


2.         All qualified teachers will be given adequate opportunity to make application for such positions, and the Superintendent agrees to give due weight to the professional background and attainments of all applicants, the length of time each has been in the school system and other relevant factors.


3.                  Temporary Positions Under Federal or State Grant Funded Programs


All temporary openings under Federal or State Grant Funded Programs will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent in the schools of Union #61 as early as possible.




A.        Professional Leave


1.         Teachers, with the Superintendent and/or Principal's permission, may be granted time off without loss of pay to attend conferences, meetings or to visit other schools for educational/professional purposes.  Teachers will be reimbursed for travel at the allowable IRS rate per mile, for meals, accommodations and other legitimate expenses incurred within the scope of the aforementioned, provided such expenditures are substantiated by vouchers submitted through the Superintendent's Office.


2.         Teachers may receive one (1) day professional leave to receive a college degree at a graduation ceremony.


B.                   Personal Leave


1.                  Two (2) days leave of absence for personal matters which require absence during school hours will be granted with pay.  Application for personal leave will be made at least forty-eight (48) hours before taking such leave (personal day requests immediately preceding or immediately following regularly scheduled vacations or holidays will not be granted unless petition is made to the Superintendent to grant such leave based on extenuating circumstances.  The Superintendent may at his or her discretion grant such leave based on these circumstances). Unused personal days will either be reimbursed at $50.00 per day or rolled into sick leave at the conclusion of a school year.  Members must notify the Superintendent by June 1 of their decision to either receive the reimbursement or roll over.


      This leave will be non-cumulative.  Included in this provision are:               


a.  Religious observances (up to two days of absence from school duties without  loss of salary for religious holidays not regularly included in the school holiday schedule)

b. Personal business upon approval of the Superintendent and / or Principal. (1/183 of the teacher’s annual salary will be deducted if an unapproved personal day is taken.)


C.        Association Leave


The Association will be granted up to four (4) Association days annually for designated members to attend MTA/NEA Conferences, trainings, meetings or conventions.


D.        Bereavement Leave


In the event of death of a member of the immediate family, a teacher will be allowed up to three (3) days without loss of pay for the purpose of funeral arrangements and related services occurring on days while school is in session.  Immediate family includes husband, wife, father, mother, step parents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, child, brother, sister, step brother, step sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandfather and grandmother, grandchild, stepchild, foster child, and domestic partner.


In extenuating circumstances, the Superintendent may grant additional bereavement leave.  The Superintendent’s decision will be final and it will not be grievable or arbitrable.


Upon advance request to and at the discretion of the Superintendent, one (1) day funeral leave with full pay may be allowed to attend the funeral of a close friend or relative.


E.                 Jury Duty


In the event any employee covered by this Agreement is required to perform jury duty service, the employee shall be compensated the difference received from performance of jury duty service and the employee's regular salary provided the employee furnishes appropriate evidence from the court of such service.


F.         Legal Absences


At the discretion of the Superintendent and with approval of the School Committee, time necessary for appearance in any grievance or legal proceeding connected with the teacher's employment or with the school system will be provided without loss of pay. For any other legal proceeding for which the teacher is subpoenaed, time off will be provided with loss of pay.  Provided, however, this section shall not apply if a teacher is appearing in a court hearing on behalf of a party adverse to the interest of the School Committee/District.




G.        Sick Leave 


1.                  A full time teacher is entitled to accrue one and one-half (1.5) days sick leave per month at the beginning of each month with full pay.  A part-time teacher is entitled to one and one-half (1.5) days sick leave per month at the beginning of each month up to the number of their pro-rated days.  Sick leave days may be accumulated from year to year to a maximum of one hundred eighty (180) days.  Sick leave will not be docked for any sick days not covered by accrued leave until the final paycheck of the school year.


2.                  When a teacher uses sick leave he/she must submit, when requested by the Superintendent, a current written statement from a physician that ill health makes his/her absence necessary.


3.                  By November 1st of each school year each employee shall be informed of his or her accumulated sick leave days.


4.         In addition to personal illness or injury, sick leave may be utilized for the following purpose:


a.         A maximum of ten (10) days per school year for illness in the immediate familyIn extraordinary circumstances, the Superintendent may grant additional days for this purpose.


b.         This provision does not increase the number of sick leave days. It solely expands the purpose for which sick leave may be used.


c.         "Immediate family" as used in this section shall be defined as it is under Bereavement Leave.


5.         All teachers are covered by Workers’ Compensation.  A teacher who is collecting Workers’ Compensation may use accumulated sick leave to make up the difference, if any, between regular pay and Workers’ Compensation payments allocated to lost time.  Teachers shall assist the School Committee by providing information needed, or if physically able, appearing at hearings related to their Worker’s Compensation benefits.


6.         All teachers who have twenty (20) years of service or more as members of the bargaining unit, shall, upon retirement, receive a sick leave compensatory benefit of twenty-five ($25.00) per day for all accumulated sick leave up to a maximum of one hundred eighty (180) days.  This benefit shall be available upon the death of any teacher, irrespective of length of service.  For the purposes of this section, "Retirement" shall mean the teacher has applied for retirement benefits under the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System.     


H.        Sick Bank


In the event that a member of the Association has exhausted his/her sick leave due to critical or long-term illness or accident, the Association may solicit from its members an appropriate number of sick days needed to cover the absent employee for the remainder of the school year.  Employee contribution will be voluntary.  If more days than needed are donated, a lottery will be held to determine whose donated days will be accepted.  A request to activate this provision may be made by either the Association or the Principal.







Only teachers with professional status will be eligible for an extended leave of absence.  (The only exception will be a teacher who served in the military service (Chapter 708, Acts of 1941).  A teacher who has been teaching in the Sturbridge School System and who is called into military service will receive full credit for his/her military service upon return to the system.


All requests for extensions or renewals of leave will be applied for and answered in writing.


A.        Maternity / Parental Leave  


The parties agree to act consistently with the maternity leave provisions of M.G.L. 149, Section 105D.  Wherever the terms of the following section conflict with said statute, it is expressly understood that the statute will control.


1.         Maternity Leave without pay shall be granted to any teacher as follows:


a.         As long as the pregnant teacher is able to perform her duties, she may continue to teach.  The maternity leave of absence shall begin when in the opinion of the administration, the teacher, and her doctor, such action becomes advisable.  A teacher may use accrued sick leave for the period in which she is disabled, up to forty (40) days.  After forty (40) days, a physician’s note will be required to extend the leave.


b.         A teacher may return from maternity leave at any time after delivery provided the Superintendent receives a written statement from her doctor saying that she is fit to do so.  A minimum of one week's notice of return is required.


c.         For maternity /parental leave which commences on or after April 1 during the school year, a teacher will be eligible for an additional year of unpaid parental leave during the following school year.  For maternity / parental leave which commences prior to April 1 a teacher will be granted maternity/parenting leave for the remainder of the current school year only. Requests for additional leave may be made by the Superintendent on a case by case basis.  The Superintendent’s decision is not grievable.


d.         A teacher adopting an infant child (i.e., three years of age or less) shall be entitled upon written notice to a leave to commence any time during the first year after receiving such custody if necessary in order to fulfill the requirement of adoption.  The terms of such leave shall be the same as those specified under Maternity/Parental Leaves above.


2.         Other Parental Leave Provisions as follows:


a.         Maternity leave in case of interrupted pregnancy or intent of adoption may be terminated if:


i.                    A teacher requests in writing to the Superintendent the desire to return to his/her position.


ii.         The Superintendent requests the return of a teacher to a position or a substantially equivalent position, such action subject to medical approval.


b.         All benefits to which a teacher was entitled at the time a parental leave commenced, including unused accumulated sick leave, will be restored to said teacher upon return, said teacher will be placed on the applicable salary schedule at the step which had been attained when the parental leave commenced.  A teacher who had taught ninety-three (93) or more days in the school year in which the parental leave commenced will be placed on the next step of the applicable salary schedule.


c.         A teacher returning from a parental leave will be assigned to the same position which the teacher held at the time said leave commenced or, if that position is no longer in existence, to a substantially equivalent position.


d.         While on leave, a teacher shall have the option to remain an active participant in the State Teacher Retirement System and any other school connected insurance program in which the teacher is already an active member by contributing thereto the amount he or she would have been required to contribute if actively employed and by further contributing the amount that the school system would have been required to contribute if the teacher were actively employed.


e.         It is incumbent upon the teacher on extended leave to notify the Superintendent by March 1 following the date of birth of a child of intent to return to previous duties or to resign.


f.          A teacher on parental leave shall not be denied the opportunity to substitute in the school district by reason of the fact that said teacher is on leave of absence.


g.         Any person employed by the School Committee to fill the position of any licensed professional employee on parental leave shall be notified in writing by the Superintendent at the time of employment that said person's contract shall terminate upon the return to active service of the employee on parental leave whose position is being temporarily filled.


h.                  These provisions shall be interpreted so as to permit total compliance with Federal and State (Massachusetts) Laws and regulations governing leave on account of pregnancy.


i.                    Adoptive parents are eligible for the benefits under this Article.


j.                    Family Medical Leave


Family and Medical leave shall be granted in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, provided that such leaves shall be granted coincident with and not in addition to the leaves provided in this Agreement.


B.        Sabbatical Leave for Study or Research


1.         Sabbatical leave of a semester or one year's duration may be granted to a teacher having a minimum of seven (7) years service in the Sturbridge School System.


2.         The number of leaves granted per year is to be determined by the School Committee upon the recommendation of the Superintendent.


3.         Written application for sabbatical leave must be submitted by a teacher by November 1st prior to the September that the sabbatical leave is to be taken; action must be taken on such request no later than April 1st of the school year preceding the school year for which the sabbatical leave is requested.


4.         The salary to be received by a teacher taking such leave will be seventy-five (75%) percent of said teacher's current salary for that period of the leave.


5.         Full retirement contribution will be deducted from the portion of full salary that comprises leave pay.


            6.         The teacher on sabbatical shall receive his/her normal salary increments.


7.         At the end of the sabbatical year or semester, the teacher must return to the town granting the leave and remain on the teaching staff for two (2) years (Chapter 71, Section 41A of the Massachusetts General Laws).


8.         Sabbatical leave will be for study or research, and the teacher is to carry a normal work load.  He/she may not return to his/her teaching position within the duration of the sabbatical leave.


9.         Sabbatical leave will be granted when, in the opinion of the School Committee, sufficient funds are available in the school budget to fund said sabbatical leave.




A.        A teacher planning to retire who is at least fifty-five (55) and after having served ten (10) years in the Sturbridge School System, and after having notified the Superintendent in writing by November 1 of his/her decision to retire, may receive for the three (3) years preceding his/her permanent retirement date and not to exceed three (3) years, seven hundred dollars ($700.00) above the salary to which he/she otherwise would be entitled on the schedule.  Gross benefits under this retirement provision shall under no circumstances exceed twenty-one hundred dollars ($2,100.00).


B.        Upon receipt of an irrevocable letter, signed by the teacher, stating that he/she shall retire and specifying the effective date of retirement (which shall be the last day of the given teacher’s contract year), teacher who have reached their 55th  birthday and have at least fifteen (15) years of full time, continuous teaching service in the Sturbridge School System or who are fifty (50) years of age with twenty (20) years of continuous teaching service in the Sturbridge School System on the effective date of retirement shall receive an addition compensation, payable in August of the next fiscal year following the effective date of retirement.  Teachers who qualify shall receive a $12,000 retirement benefit as follows when they retire.


An individual is entitled to only one option above.


C.        The irrevocable letter of retirement under "B" above must be received by the Superintendent no later than November 1st on a form provided by the Superintendent of Schools.  This letter shall not affect the teacher's status as being "in service" for purposes of the Teachers' Retirement Law, M.G.L., c. 32.


D.        In extraordinary circumstances, teachers who have submitted their irrevocable letter of retirement may apply to the Sturbridge School Committee for release from the terms of the irrevocable letter.


E.        An individual who opts for the benefits of this article will not be eligible for longevity.




A.        Teachers' Association Dues


1.         It is agreed that deductions shall be made from the salary of any teacher so requesting for dues to the local Teachers' Association, the Massachusetts Teachers' Association, and the National Education Association.  Authorization must be in writing in a form reasonably approved by the School Committee.


2.         Union No. 61 Teachers' Association will verify to the Committee in writing the current rate of membership dues.  The Association will give the committee thirty (30) days written notice prior to the effective date of any change in the rate of membership dues.


3.         Deductions referred to in Section 1 above will be made in equal installments from each paycheck beginning with the second paycheck in September or the first paycheck following the delivery of the teacher authorization to the Committee.  The Committee will not, however, be required to honor for any paycheck's deduction any authorizations that are delivered to it later than one (1) week prior to the distribution of the payroll from which the deductions are to be made.


B.        Agency Service Fee     


1.         Members of the bargaining unit who are not members of the Association shall be required to select one of the following options annually:


a.         Become a member of the Association.


b.         Pay an agency service fee equal to approximately ninety percent (90%) of the annual dues of to the Association.


c.         Make a contribution to the school’s parent teacher organization of an amount approximately equal to ninety percent (90%) of the annual dues of the Association.


2.         The School Committee shall be under no obligation to take any disciplinary action against any employee for failing to comply with section 1 above, and the Association shall be solely responsible for enforcement of these provisions through appropriate legal proceedings.


3.         It is understood by the School Committee and the Association that the deduction of the agency service fee may be made by the Committee through its treasurer, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 180, §17b.


4.         If an employee who has selected option c above has not made payment by November 1st in the given school year, the employee then relinquishes for that year the right to make a contribution to the school’s parent teacher organization and must choose option a or b above.


5.         The Association shall certify in writing the amount of the annual dues of the Association by October 1st each year.


6.         Contributions to the school’s parent teacher organization that are made by personal check will be submitted to the Principal for transmittal to the parent teacher organization by November 1st.  Checks shall be made payable to the school’s parent teacher organization.  The employee making the contribution will be responsible for verifying to the Association that the contribution was made.


C.        Credit Union


It is agreed that deductions shall be made from the salary of any teacher so requesting for the purchase of shares in the Massachusetts Teachers' Association Credit Union.


D.        Group Insurance 


All staff members who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of twenty (20) hours a week or more during the school year are entitled to group health and other insurance as provided by the Town.  All eligible staff members are required to complete the appropriate enrollment form(s) should he/she elect the coverage offered by the Town for all applicable family members who are to be covered. Staff members who elect not to receive coverage must notify the Town upon employment in writing of the decision to decline coverage at that time. If at a later date said employee decides he/she wants coverage, he/she must complete the appropriate enrollment form for applicable members to be covered and must wait until open enrollment, unless there is a life changing event (death, divorce, birth, adoption or loss of benefits provided by spouse, etc.). 


E.         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 transactions to be handled in accordance with the terms and provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 697.


The Committee agrees to provide Section 125 plans as follows:


Dependent care account plan





F.         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 by the Town Treasurer in accordance with the terms and provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 37B. Annuity additions or changes must be made by November 1st each year, except for new hires after September 1st.


G.        Discontinuation of Payroll Deductions


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





Two (2) teachers with professional teacher status may initiate a proposal for “job sharing.”  They will submit a proposal in writing to the building principal on or before March 1st . The Teachers’ Association will be given a copy of all such proposals at the same time. “Job Sharing” shall apply to sharing all the duties of one (1) full time position, which is occupied by one (1) of the two (2) teachers involved in the proposal. The cost of the “job sharing” shall not exceed the cost of one (1) full time teacher, including benefits.

The proposal must include the following:


A.        A tentative work schedule for each “job sharing” teacher for instructional time, non instructional duties and preparation time;


B.        A description of how necessary parental communication will be maintained; and


C.        A description of how communication between the “job sharing” teachers will occur.


Both “job sharing” teachers shall be required to attend all professional development days, faculty meetings, assigned committee meetings, parent-teacher conferences, open houses, parent nights and other such meetings expected of full time faculty members.


All compensation, benefits, hours of work and other working conditions, including duty and prep time will be pro-rated to each  “job sharing” teacher’s percentage of full time employment.  There will be an overlap of at least fifteen (15) minutes between tours of duty scheduled each workday.


If either carries health insurance prior to “job sharing” only one (1) of the two (2) “job sharing” teachers, selection to be agreed upon by them in writing, will be eligible, for town health insurance benefits.


Seniority will be computed as currently determined for part time teachers.


The Principal will review the proposal, with the Superintendent if necessary, and discuss any concerns with the teachers submitting the proposal and give with a recommendation to the Superintendent in writing no later than March 15th.  The Superintendent will forward a final decision on the proposal no later than March 22nd.


The Superintendent may approve or deny the proposal.  The decision of the Superintendent will be final and binding and not grievable or arbitrable by any teacher in the bargaining unit or by the Association.  This decision will in no way be precedent setting.  If approved by the Superintendent, the specifics of the job sharing assignment and any subsequent changes thereto will be reduced to writing.  Said writing will be incorporated into the provision therein, for acceptance by and signature of, the two (2) “job sharing” teachers involved and the Association.  This document will be delivered to the Superintendent no later than March 29th.


Neither “job sharing” teacher will be able to displace a less senior teacher during the “job sharing” year.  Either “job sharing” teacher may apply for a vacant position over the course of the “job sharing” year.  If one “job sharing” teacher is transferred to vacant position or otherwise leaves the “job sharing,” an attempt will be made to hire a replacement, subject to the terms of the “job sharing.”  If the “job sharing” position cannot be filled, the remaining “job sharing” teacher will be extended the opportunity to fill the formerly shared position in a full time capacity.  Otherwise the formerly shared, full time position will be posted and the “job sharing” teacher will be placed on a leave of absence without pay for the remainder of the “job sharing” school year.  He or she will be eligible for placement in a vacant position, for which he or she is qualified, during that year or at a subsequent time.


If the “job sharing” teachers prefer to remain in this agreement for a subsequent school year, they must submit a specific proposal to the principal by March 1st, following the previously stated procedure.




The Committee retains the exclusive right to determine the number of teaching positions and other professional positions which are needed in the schools under its jurisdiction.  In the event it becomes necessary to reduce the number of employees included in the bargaining unit defined in Article I, employees with professional status shall be laid off in the inverse order of their initial employment.  No employee with professional status will be laid off until all teachers without professional status first have been laid off unless the least senior teacher with professional status is not qualified to perform the duties of last remaining teacher without professional status.


When a reduction of the number of teachers in a grade level is necessary, volunteers will be considered for transfer first.  When there are no volunteers, a teacher's area of competence, advanced study, quality of teaching performance, and length of service in the system will determine which teacher is to be transferred. 


A.        An employee with professional status whose position is eliminated shall:


1.         Be transferred to an open position for which he/she is licensed.  If no such opening exists, the employee shall:


2.         Replace an employee with the lowest seniority anywhere within the Sturbridge School System in an area in which the laid‑off employee is qualified.


"Seniority" means an employee's length of service in years, months and days in the bargaining unit from the initial date of teaching by the Committee.  An employee who has been employed part‑time for any given year will receive a fraction of a year's seniority equivalent to the amount of employment.  Accrual of seniority shall include only paid leaves of absence.


"Qualified" means that the teacher holds a valid active license for the position or an inactive license which can be activated within the timelines defined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


B.        In cases involving teachers having identical seniority, preference for retention or recall shall be based on educational credentials.


C.                 Teachers who are to be affected by a reduction in staff must be notified in writing no later than June 15th of the school year preceding the year in which the reduction will take effect.  Teachers who have been laid off shall be entitled to recall rights for a recall period of two (2) years after the effective date of the layoff; the Sturbridge Teacher’s Association Building Representatives shall be notified of openings.  Preference for positions as they develop will be in the inverse order of their respective lay off dates and all benefits to which a teacher was entitled at the time of layoff shall be restored in full upon re‑employment within the recall period.  No credit will be given for time spent on layoff. 


D.        Employees on recall shall be notified by the Superintendent by certified mail of any open positions within their area of certification in the Sturbridge School System at their last known address.  The teacher is responsible for notifying the Superintendent of his/her current mailing address.  Failure to apply for any open full time, permanent position within his/her area of certification within fifteen (15) weekdays following such notification by the Superintendent shall terminate all rights under this Article.


E.         Laid‑off employees may continue group health and life insurance coverage during the recall period as provided by the Committee to members of the bargaining unit by reimbursing the Committee for the full premium cost.  Failure to forward premium payments to the Committee or refusal to return to employment upon recall will terminate this option.


F.         While members of the bargaining unit continue on layoff during the recall period the Committee agrees not to hire any new teachers unless all qualified teachers on layoff with recall rights from this school system declined an offer to fill the vacancy.


G.        For purposes of this article, layoff will date from the last day taught for compensation as a full time or part time staff member in the Sturbridge School System.


H.        A seniority list shall be compiled and updated at the beginning of each school year.  A copy shall be given to the Association by November 1st and any challenge to the list shall be made by December 15th.  The Administration shall respond to the Association’s challenge by January 30th.  A meeting between the parties shall take place before March 1st to resolve any issues.






A.        Purpose of Evaluation


1.         The purpose of evaluation is to improve and recognize staff effectiveness and ensure that all students in the Sturbridge School System receive the best possible instruction, supervision and educational support.  Evaluation will be a continuous and cooperative process between the evaluator(s) and the employee.  The evaluator will place major emphasis on assisting the employee to achieve professional and creative growth that is consistent with the basic philosophy, goals and objectives of the Sturbridge School System.


2.         It is hereby agreed that a committee composed of Union 61 and Tantasqua Teacher representatives and representatives from the Administration will convene by December 1st, 2011 to review Best Practices in the area of teacher evaluation and to make joint recommendations on the implementation of same by April 1st, 2012.


B.        Performance Standards and Guiding Principles


1.         Standards of Performance are implicit in any effective evaluation program.  The Standards described in this document present critical areas related to teacher effectiveness.  These standards are outlined in the “Principles of Effective Teaching.”  It is not intended that such description be exhaustive in its content.  It is also not intended that every teacher exhibit all the qualities described in each category.  There must be an understanding that excellence is the desired goal.  The standards must be high enough to challenge all, but flexible enough so as not to impose impossible demands.


2.         The standards of performance shall be measurable and observable; shall reflect and allow for significant differences in assignments and responsibilities.


3.         The evaluation process shall be free of racial, sexual, religious and other discrimination and biases as defined in the state and federal laws.


C.        Goal Setting Conference


A meeting will be held between the evaluator and employee to discuss general and specific goals and objectives for the individual teacher for the year.  This may take place the preceding spring for teachers with professional status, but no later than the first Monday in October for all staff.


D.        Observation Visits


1.         Observation visits are visits by the evaluator to observe the employee in the classroom or in another work environment.


2.         Frequency of Observation Visits


a)         Teachers without professional status in the Sturbridge School System shall receive a minimum of three (3) observation visits prior to receiving the annual written evaluation.


b)         Teachers with professional status in the Sturbridge School System shall receive a minimum of one (1) observation visit in the year of the evaluation prior to receiving the biannual written evaluation unless it is determined by the principal that additional observations are required.


            3.         Announced vs. Unannounced Observation Visits


                        Observation visits for teachers without professional status shall be either announced or unannounced.  At least the first visit shall be announced.  Generally, observation periods would be at least thirty (30) minutes of the lesson.  During an unannounced observation visit, the employee shall be told at the start of the visit that it is an observation visit.  An unannounced observation visit can be postponed to another day by the teacher, after consultation with the evaluator, provided the request is made at the start of the observation, with a maximum of one (1) postponement a year.


E.         Pre-Conference and Observation Conference


The employee and the evaluator shall hold a pre-conference, or the evaluatee may submit a written summary of the lesson to be observed prior to an announced observation.  They will discuss the goals and objectives of the lesson to be observed. The evaluator will hold a follow-up conference with the employee.  This conference will serve to reconstruct the observed events, to provide feedback, to ascertain the employee's perspective of what transpired, to define and authenticate issues, to communicate expectations and to make suggestions and plan follow-up activities.



F.         Observation Reports


Following an observation conference, the evaluator will write a final report of the visit within ten (10) workdays.   The summary will be signed by both the evaluator and the employee, and the employee will receive a copy of the same.  The employee will have the right to include a written response to the evaluation, and this response will be viewed by the Superintendent and become part of the evaluation and placed in the personnel folder.


G.        Timing of Observation Visits


1.         The prescribed minimum of observation visits is set forth in Section D.2 above.  Additional visits beyond the minimum number will occur if requested by the employee or evaluator.


2.         Observations will be avoided during the first two (2) weeks of school in September or during times that are atypical, such as the last day before Christmas recess, immediately following an assembly, etc.


H.        Evaluations


1.         Evaluations and observations shall be in writing and shall be permanent record that is placed in the employee's personnel file.


2.         Employees shall be given a copy of the written evaluation, and the evaluator will review same with the employee within ten (10) workdays thereafter.


3.         Both the evaluator and the employee shall sign the evaluation.  The signature by the employee does not necessarily indicate agreement with the contents of the evaluation.  The employee will have the right to include a written statement to the evaluation, and this response will be reviewed by the Superintendent and become part of the evaluation placed in the personnel file.  The employee will receive the written summary no later than ten (10) student days prior to the close of the school year.


4.         The annual evaluation of teachers without professional status will be written once per year and will be submitted to the Superintendent of Schools by June 15th.   A composite of observation visits and any relevant documentation for the year will be reflected in the annual evaluation and attached to the evaluation.


5.         Teachers with professional status will be evaluated every other year and the written Evaluation Report will be submitted to the Superintendent.  A composite of all evaluation visits and any relevant documentation for the year will be reflected in the annual evaluation and attached to the evaluation.  The Administration reserves the right to evaluate any teacher with professional status as part of an improvement plan.


6.         Forms for Observation/Discussion notes and the two parts of the Summative Evaluation, which address goals and progress toward their achievement (Part 1), and assessment of performance along the four categories of indicators (Part II) are on pages 26-32.


I.          Other General Guidelines


1.         At the teacher's option, in cases of persistent disagreements concerning the content of the observation/evaluation reports, an additional evaluator may be requested to observe the teacher's performance.


2.         The Superintendent of Schools, the Associate or Assistant Superintendent, Special Education Director, or Title I Director may observe and evaluate any staff member, provided it is an announced visit.


3.         Nothing precludes the use of memoranda written by the principal to communicate matters of concern relative to the employee's performance.  


4.         In the event any teacher receives an adverse evaluation, he/she may request a second evaluation which normally will take place within ten (10) days of the request and prior to any meeting which is to consider said teacher's reappointment.  Criticisms and comments shall be delivered to a teacher by an administrator in a respectful and professional manner.


J.          Professional Growth Plan


1.      Any principal noting deficiencies in a professional status teacher's performance will require the teacher to submit a Professional Growth Plan indicating corrective actions to be taken and a timeline for said growth to take place. The principal will work with the teacher to develop the Professional Growth Plan.  The timeline must be written, agreed upon by both parties and in place within two (2) weeks of written notice of deficiencies by the principal.  The teacher shares a responsibility, along with the principal, to ensure that all deadlines are met.  The principal is responsible for monitoring the Professional Growth Plan and notifying the teacher when deadlines or benchmarks are not met.  Any disagreement relative to the Professional Growth Plan will be forwarded immediately to the Superintendent or his/her designee for resolution.  


A bargaining unit member will be entitled to have representation of his/her own choice / a union representative present during any meetings regarding the Professional Growth Plan with the Administration.


2.         A Professional Growth Plan that is extended beyond one (1) full school year will automatically place the teacher on a probationary status.  Probationary status may extend only one (1) year beyond the date of the original Professional Growth Plan.  Teachers who are not removed from probationary status after one (1) year are subject to separation from employment.


K.        Evaluation Criteria


The evaluation criteria will adhere to those required by the Dept. of Education CMR 603.  Each teacher will be given a copy of these regulations on the day prior to their first day with students.





                                    Teachers                                  Teachers                      Teachers

                                    (w/o Prof’l Status                    (w/ Prof’l Status          (w/ Prof’l Status

Month                         or on an Improvemt Plan        on Cycle)                     Off Year


By the first                  Goal Setting                            Goal Setting                Goal Setting

Monday in



Each teacher will meet with his or her administrator to discuss goals for professional growth.


September                   At least one formal

through                        observation will take

October 31st               place during this time



November                   At least one formal

through                        observation will take

December                    place during this time



January                        At least one formal

through                        observation will take

March                          place during this time



September                                                       At least one formal

through                                                            observation will take

April                                                                place during this time



June                             Final evaluations         Final evaluations

                                    completed and                        completed and

submitted to                submitted to

                                    Central Office.                        Central Office.                                                                                               

Two weeks prior                                                                                             Written self-

to the close of                                                                                                 assessment of

the school year                                                                                                achievement of                                                                                                                                    goals.                                                                                                              












All teachers and the school nurse will be evaluated by the principal or assistant principal. Special education teachers, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, guidance counselors, and psychologists will be also evaluated by school based administrators with input from the Director of Special Education.


When the evaluation responsibilities of school based administrators become excessive due to new staff, central office administrators appointed by the Superintendent will assist in evaluations to meet contractual deadlines and state law.  The intent will be for non-school level administrators to evaluate only staff with professional status.  The Director of Special Education may assume responsibilities with special needs educators, and the Associate and Assistant Superintendents may work with regular educational staff. 


The administrator, whether school or central office based, who evaluates any staff member will engage in the complete process as outlined in this contract. The same administrator will conduct the pre-conference/observation and post-conference/observation meetings.







DATE OF GOAL SETTING CONFERENCE________________________________


GOALS FOR THE ___________________SCHOOL YEAR.


(Mutually agreed upon by the Evaluator and Employee)































________________________________           _______________________________

Evaluator                                                             Employee









DATE OF OBSERVATION_____________________________________________





































Teacher Observation Form

Page 2


































__________________________                                 __________________________________

*SIGNATURE OF TEACHER                                 SIGNATURE OF OBSERVER


__________________________________                __________________________________

DATE                                                                         DATE




(  ) Check here if Teacher Comments Section III is attached.



Teacher Observation Form

Page 3



































_________________________________                   ________________________________

SIGNATURE OF TEACHER                                   *SIGNATURE OF OBSERVER


_________________________________                  ________________________________

DATE                                                                         DATE








Summative Evaluation Form


Name of Teacher:_______________________Professional Status:____________________


School Year:__________________________ Without Professional Status:______________


Grade/Assignment:______________________Probationary Status:____________________



I.          General Statement:


















II.        Goals:
















Teacher Evaluation Form

Page 2


III.       Classroom Instruction:


            A.        Currency in the Curriculum




            B.        Effective Planning and Assessment of Curriculum and Instruction




            C.        Effective Management of Classroom Environment




            D.        Effective Instruction




E,         Promotion of High Standards and Expectations for Student Achievement




F.         Promotion of Equity and Appreciation of Diversity




G.        Fulfillment of Professional Responsibilities




IV.       Professional Growth:









V.        Professional Conduct:




Teacher Evaluation Form

Page 3


VI.       Commendations/Recommendations:
















            Status (please check one space):


            (   ) Recommended for continued teaching employment.


            (   ) Certain deficiencies noted.  Recommended for continued teaching employment

                   subject to implementation of Improvement Plan.


            (   ) Not recommended for continued teaching employment.


            (   ) Appoint to Professional Status.



________________________________         ________________________________

*Signature of Teacher                                      Signature of Evaluator


________________________________        ________________________________

Date                                                               Date


*Signature indicates the teacher has read the report.


(   )  Check here if Teacher Comments Section VII is attached.






Teacher Evaluation Form

Page 4


VII.     Teacher's Comments:

































_______________________________          _______________________________

Signature of Teacher                                         *Signature of Evaluator


_______________________________          _______________________________

Date                                                                 Date


*Signature indicates the Evaluator has read the teacher's comments.












A teacher will have the right, upon request to the Superintendent, to review the contents and make copies of his/her personnel file.  A teacher will be entitled to have a representative of the Association accompany him/her during such review.


A.          Nothing will be placed in any teacher's personnel file unless the teacher has had the opportunity to review the material.  The teacher will acknowledge that he/she has had the opportunity to review such material by affixing his/her signature to the copy to be filed, with the express understanding that such signature in no way indicates agreement with the contents thereof.  The teacher will also have the right to submit a written answer to such material, and his/her answer shall be reviewed by the Superintendent and attached to the file copy.                         


B.        Any credible complaints regarding a teacher made to any member of the administration by any parent, student, or other person, will be promptly called to the attention of the teacher.       


C.        No teacher with professional status will be disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantage without just cause.  Nothing in this Section shall in any way inhibit or diminish the authority granted the Superintendent by statute, with respect to a decision not to renew employees without professional status.


D.        The Association recognizes the authority and responsibility of the Principal for disciplining and reprimanding a teacher for delinquency of professional performance.  If a teacher is to be disciplined or reprimanded by a member of the Administration above the level of the Principal, however, he/she will be entitled to have a representative of the Association present.  If a teacher is to be disciplined or reprimanded by an immediate superior, other than the Superintendent, it will be done privately.  No teacher with professional status will be disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantage without just cause. Nothing in this section shall in any way inhibit or diminish the authority granted the Superintendent by statue.


E.         Any appeal of a disciplinary action shall be subject to and in accordance with the procedures and rights provided by Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws.             




A.        All persons subject to this contract will be notified at least one day in advance of any recording by audio‑visual method such as TV, filming, audio recording, pictures, or slides to be made in his/her learning area at any time.


B.        All such audio‑visual material will not be released until it has been previewed by the teacher or teachers concerned, and the Administration will not release this material without giving due consideration to the teachers' comments.


C.        No audio‑visual material made in the Sturbridge School System may be used outside the schools, except in activities related to education and given prior approval by the Superintendent.


D.        All monitoring or observation of the work performance of a teacher will be conducted openly with full knowledge of the teacher.  The use of public address systems or audio systems, and similar surveillance devices shall be strictly prohibited.




A.        In-service Courses


Announcement of in-service courses shall be made as soon as they are available.


B.        The Superintendent's Office will be notified annually by September 1st of the designated representative of the Sturbridge Teachers' Association.



A.        Work Year


1.         The Work Year for teachers, supervisors, specialists and counselors (other than new personnel who may be required to attend additional orientation sessions) shall begin no sooner than the Monday preceding Labor Day and terminate on the last day of school for students in June.  A copy of the school calendar will be given to the Association as soon as it is established by the Committee.


The work year of teachers (other than new personnel who may be required to attend two (2) additional days of orientation), shall be one hundred eighty three (183) days.  It shall include the day prior to the opening of school for students, and two (2) professional development days scheduled within the school calendar, excluding vacations, weekends or holidays.  The work year may not start earlier than the Monday preceding Labor Day, and will end with the close of school for students.  At least two (2) hours of the day before the first day with students will be set aside for preparation activities determined by the teacher.  


2.                  In addition to the one hundred eighty (180) days with students, the teachers' work year shall consist of one (1) additional unstructured day prior to the start of the school year for students.


3.         In addition, the school year for all teachers shall include an additional twelve (12) hours to be used through the school year as follows:


a.         Four (4) hours for curriculum development work or other topics initiated by a teacher or group of teachers, at a time mutually agreeable to the Principal and teacher.


b.         Eight (8) hours, to be scheduled in no more than two (2)  hour blocks for curriculum development, special projects, or meetings scheduled by the Principal.  The Principal will make every effort to provide at least five (5) school days notice. 


B.  Teacher School Day


1.         In the Sturbridge School System, teachers shall be at their stations no later than 8:30 A.M.  Teachers shall remain at the school until at least 3:15 P.M.


2.        When approved by the Principal, teachers may leave prior to the stated end of the school day.


C.  Staff Meetings


Teachers will be required to attend one staff meeting each month which will last one (1) hour beyond the time at which staff is scheduled to leave from 3:15 to 4:15 PM.  Meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month.  If a staff meeting needs to be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. weather, illness, etc.) the staff will be given notice of the new date at least seven (7) calendar days in advance.  Necessary absences may be approved by the Principal.


D.  Team Leader Meetings 


1.         Team Leader members are defined as the team leader of each grade (K‑6), of the specialists, of the special education teachers and the reading supervisor.


2.         Team Leader meetings will be held monthly when called by the Principal.   Teachers shall be given reasonable advance notice of at least one (1) week except when beyond the control of the administration.


E.   School-sponsored Parent Conferences


1.         There shall be two Parent‑Teacher Conference days, the conferences to be held in the afternoon on a released‑time basis, on days to be selected by the administration, the sessions to be scheduled for two hours in duration.  Longer conferences shall be by mutual agreement.


2.         There shall be two Parent‑Teacher Conference days, the conferences to be held in the evenings, on days to be selected by the administration, the sessions to be scheduled for two and one‑half (2½) hours.  The conferences shall not go beyond 9:30 P.M., and afternoon and evening conferences shall not be held on the same day.


a.         After clearing with the Principal or Assistant Principal, a teacher may not be required to attend evening conferences, if he/she has not received appointment requests.  Teachers shall remain available for afternoon conferences until 3:15 P.M.


b.         After notifying the office, a teacher may leave upon completion of the final appointment.


                        Such requests for (a) and (b) above shall not be unreasonably denied.


For security purposes, an administrator will remain in the building until conferences are concluded.






F.   Individual Parent-Teacher Conferences


Teachers shall meet with parents of pupils to discuss matters of mutual interest that either the teacher or the parent may wish to discuss, or that the administration may want discussed.  Such meetings shall be held at a time mutually agreed upon between the parties.


G.  Open House


Each teacher shall be required to attend one “open house” each year on an evening selected by the administration, the session to be scheduled for two (2) hours. 


H.  Preparation period


a.         Each regular classroom teacher will have a minimum of one thirty (30) minute duty free preparation period daily.  All other teachers will have a minimum of five (5) thirty (30) minute duty free preparation periods weekly.


b.         Not more than two (2) of a teacher’s preparatory periods may be used each week by the administration for meetings.


I.    Evening Meetings Involving Faculty Presentations


1.         Evening meetings of all, or part of, the faculty (excluding "open house") will be held only when deemed necessary or advisable by the administration.


2.         No teacher will be expected to make more than one presentation per year except by mutual agreement.


J.    Summer Workshops           


D.                Teachers who participate in summer workshops shall be paid at a rate of $130.00 per day.


E.                 Notice that a workshop is being planned will be posted as soon as possible.


F.                  It is understood that a teacher may decline to participate in a summer workshop program outside the regular ten (10) month school calendar year.


K. Teacher Education


Expenses for optional educational meetings shall be reimbursed only with prior approval of the Principal.


L.  Lunch Period


1.         Teachers will have a duty-free period of at least thirty (30) minutes in length each work day.


2.         Teachers will be permitted to leave the school building only after obtaining clearance from the Principal or Assistant Principal.  However teachers will be permitted to leave the building during their duty‑free thirty (30) minute lunch period upon notification to the front office.


M.  Mileage Reimbursement  


Teachers who are required to attend meetings during the school day at an off‑site location shall be reimbursed at the current IRS rate per mile after submitting a voucher of the incurred mileage that will be certified and approved by the Principal.  This reimbursement shall be paid to the driver of the vehicle for mileage from the school location to the off‑site location and subsequent return to the school building or actual miles driven, whichever is less.


N.    Assistance in Non‑Teaching Tasks

1 .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 in direct instructional activities. Teachers will not be required to perform the following duties:


                        a.         Driving pupils to activities or functions which take place away from a school building.


b.         Keeping attendance registers and office cumulative record cards.


c.         Performing bus duty, providing that teachers' aides are available to perform such service.


d.         Preparing student report cards (though teachers shall continue to record their own assigned grades on the student's own card).


e.                   Recess and noontime playground supervision, provided that teachers' aides are available to perform such services.


f.                   Supervising cafeteria at lunchtime, provided that teachers' aides are available to perform such services.


g.                   Cleaning common areas such as teachers' lunch rooms and lounges.


2.         All non‑teaching duties presently performed by the professional staff shall be assigned on a fair and equitable basis.



O.  Class size


The School Committee and the Association recognize that class size is an important factor in good education and will, whenever possible, subject to space availability, budget constraints, and all other educational considerations, ensure that class size is effective for instruction.  However, the final decisions as to class size will be made by the School Committee in the best interests of all.  Preference for smaller class sizes will be given to grades K – 4.



P.   Professional Development 


The Professional Development Fund is designed to support individual and group projects developed by teachers to improve the school programs.  Projects include, but are not limited to, curriculum development, instructional improvement, evaluation of resources, school-community relations, and other educational initiatives.


           Professional Development Funds would be awarded as follows:


                    i.                        Interested teachers shall submit a proposal to the building principal with a copy submitted to the Superintendent.


a.                   Teachers shall be compensated at a rate of $115 per day with a maximum award of $1500 per year, per individual, whether said individual is involved in one or more projects.


b.                  Projects become part of the Sturbridge School District.


Professional Development funds will be awarded based upon identified criteria as determined by the Superintendent or designee.


Q.  Teacher Handbooks

It is agreed that if there is a conflict between the Contract and the Teacher Handbook the Contract shall take precedence.    


R.  Copies of Agreement


Copies of this Agreement shall be printed and provided to each member of the bargaining unit.  The cost of this provision shall be borne by the School Committee.


S.   Use of School Facilities


The Association shall have the right to place material dealing with the proper and legitimate business of the Association in the mailboxes of teachers.


T.   Special Curriculum Programs and Field Trips


When special curriculum programs are held beyond the school day, teachers will plan with the Principal the extent of their participation at least by the prior week (except in case of emergency when participation will be by mutual agreement).




In order to assure that health and safety issues at the Burgess Elementary School are raised and addressed through proper channels, the following procedures will be followed:


1.         The Association will designate three of its members as the Association Health and Safety Committee (AHSC) to serve as spokesperson and representative on health and safety issues.


2.      Association members should feel free to bring any health or safety concerns to the AHSC.


3.      The AHSC may bring any health or safety concerns to the Burgess Principal, who depending upon the issue will:


    1. Address and resolve the concern;


    1. Bring the concern to the attention of the Superintendent for resolution; or


    1. Notify the AHSC of the action taken.


4.         If the Association is not satisfied with the Principal's action, it will address its concerns directly with the Superintendent of Schools.




A.    Method of Payment


1.         Teachers shall have the option of receiving their annual salary in twenty‑two (22) or twenty‑six (26) equal payments, with checks being issued every other Thursday according to the standard Sturbridge pay schedule.  Teachers who wish to elect the twenty‑two (22) payment schedule shall notify the Superintendent by August 1st.


2.         Teachers leaving the system in June can collect, in a lump sum by the next scheduled pay period after the close of school, the salary payments normally issued throughout July and August.       


3.        Teachers can collect, in a lump sum, by the next scheduled pay period after the

           close of school, the salary payments normally issued throughout July and August

           if notification is given to the Superintendent’s Office prior to May 15th.


4.         Any teacher severing employment with the Sturbridge School Committee shall receive his/her final pay by the second scheduled pay period.


B.  Qualifications for Salary Step and Lane Advancement


1.         The salary schedule in effect for the duration of this contract is contained in Appendix A.


2.         Annual step and lane increases based on the existing salary schedule shall be included in the budget for each teacher. These step increases for each teacher are not automatic, but are contingent upon satisfactory service which shall be determined by the Superintendent and the Principal.  Such step and lane increases shall become effective at the start of each school year if documentation on lane movement has been received by August 1st.  Documentation received by October 1st will receive 100% of lane increase and documentation received by February 1st will receive 50% of lane increase.


3.         Teachers must have been employed in the Sturbridge School System during the prior year for a minimum of ninety-three (93) consecutive days to be eligible for advancement on the salary schedule the following school year.      






4.                  Courses outside an M.A., M.Ed., or a Doctorate program are to be approved in advance by the respective Principals.  Courses related to the teacher’s Individual Professional Development Plan, the School Improvement Plan, District Improvement Plan, approved graduate program, or applicable for licensing or relicensing, will be approved by the Principal.  If questionable cases arise between the Principal and the teacher, the Superintendent will be consulted.


5.                  For each fifteen (15) or thirty (30) credits required for lane movement, all fifteen (15) or thirty (30) credits may come from outside approved sources.  Half of the credits required for lane movement may also come from Superintendent Approved In-service Offerings.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) also meet the requirement and equate to college credits as follows: 1.5 CEUs = 1 credit.


C.  Qualifications for Increment Payments and Course Work


1.         A teacher who is currently receiving increments, (currently $160 for each 3 credit or equivalent) including increments earned in courses completed in the fall 2006 semester, but is between lanes will continue to receive and earn increments until the next lane has been reached.  Once the next lane has been reached, a teacher is no longer eligible to receive increments.   No teacher, as a result of this contract, will  receive less salary than currently receiving, and no teacher must advance to further lanes, except as required by state law to maintain certification.


 2.        The teachers listed in the Memorandum of Agreement currently at B30/M, who choose to pursue a Masters Degree shall, upon receiving a Masters Degree, be given credit for all courses previously approved by the Superintendent and completed but not counted toward the Masters program.


3.         Teachers must earn a B or better in order for course work to be applied for increment payment and/ or column movement.


4.         When credit hours earned for increment payment during the year are reported to the Superintendent with substantiating certificates or transcripts by the beginning of the school year, the increment payment shall be paid in a lump sum during the month of November.  When credit hours earned for increment payment during the year are reported to the Superintendent with substantiating certificates or transcripts by February 1, half of the increment payment shall be paid in a lump sum by the end of March.  In the event official records from colleges do not arrive prior to the notification dates at the beginning of the school year and February 1, increment payment will be made as soon as possible after pertinent materials have been received by the Administration.


5.         In addition to accredited college courses, teachers may receive course payments for institutes.  An institute is a district‑sponsored course consisting of at least fifteen (15) hours with a minimum of twelve (12) hours of instruction and three (3) hours of application.   The primary format of the institute will be presentation/demonstration and the majority of course hours will reflect this design.  The course will have a syllabus which must be approved in advance by the Superintendent or designee and the content must be consistent with school goals.  The institute will be conducted by a qualified consultant or expert practitioner.  Upon successful completion of an institute, participants will receive one (1) credit or fifteen (15) professional development points.  Three (3) institute credits will result in a course payment.


6.         No increment credit will be awarded if the school district provided release time and/or paid the tuition/fees for the course or workshop.  This does not include Tantasqua and Union 61 supported institutes or courses.  It also does not apply to follow-up coursework done in conjunction with a school sponsored workshop or conference, if the individual pays for the opportunity to earn credit by completing additional work and the coursework is approved in advance by the Superintendent, which approval will not be unreasonably withheld.


D.        Extra Curricular Compensation


When possible, all openings will be posted by June 1st for the following year.


1.                  Sixth Grade Class Trip

a.                   Bournedale/ Project O

Any staff member may apply to be a Bournedale/Project O chaperone; however, preference will be given to the sixth grade teacher(s).  The Principal will attempt to ensure that one adult chaperone accompanies each twenty students.


b.                  Teachers appointed to supervise this trip will be paid in a lump sum within two (2) pay periods after the return from the trip.  Any such teacher who attends only part of the trip will receive a pro-rated stipend based on their attendance.


2.                  Teachers who participate in the Sixth Grade Environmental Program shall be entitled to receive additional compensation for extra child care, film processing and any other incidental costs incurred by teachers on a case by case basis.


3.                  Other Extra Curricular Compensation


Science Day Director                                      $490 (Inactive)

Science Day Grade Level Coordinator           $295 (Inactive)

Writing Fair Supervisor                                   $280 (Inactive)

Writing Fair Grade Level Assistants              $185 (Inactive)

After School Enrichment Program                 $600 (Inactive)

Technology Extenders                                    $  25 per hour (Inactive)

Jazz Ensemble                                               $825

Asst. Jazz Ensemble                                      $500

Choral Ensemble                                           $825

Team Leader                                                 $1225

Literacy Coordinator                                    $1775

Mentors                                                          $1025

Community Service Coordinator                $525

Bournedale Chaperones                               $700

Project O Chaperones                                  $125

                        All Region Art Festival                                 $525

All Region Concert

Vocal                                                  $525

Instrumental (Marching/Concert)   $525


E.         Supervisors, Specialists, Counselors


Specialists in art, music, speech, instrumental music, physical education, media center, reading supervisors, learning disabilities coordinator, and guidance counselors, with a date of entry prior to September 1, 1991, and hired by the Town of Sturbridge on a full‑time basis to carry out a complete program will be paid at a rate of five hundred ($500) dollars above the salary schedule at each step level.  Part‑time professional employees with a date of entry prior to September 1, 1991, carrying out a complete program shall be paid the above‑stated salary on a pro-rated basis.  
























































































































































































































































































































































































































This Agreement shall be effective from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014 and shall thereafter automatically renew itself for successive terms of one (1) year unless by the November 1st prior to expiration of the contract year involved, either the Committee or the Association shall have given the other written notice of its desire to modify or terminate this contract.





IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties of this Contract have caused the present to be executed by their agents here unto duly authorized, and their seals to be affixed hereto, as of the date first above written.





                                                                        By: _____________________________

















                                                                        STURBRIDGE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION



                                                                        By: _____________________________