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OFFICIAL OP

Note:  This policy addresses harassment of TSBVI employees.  For legally referenced material relating to discrimination and retaliation, see DAA(LEGAL).  For harassment of students, see FFH.  For reporting requirements related to child abuse and neglect, see FFG.

OFFICIAL OPPRESSION

A public official commits a Class A misdemeanor if, while acting in his or her official or employment capacity, the official intentionally (a) subjects another to mistreatment, arrest, detention, search, seizure or dispossession, or (b) intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity, knowing such conduct is unlawful or (c) intentionally subjects another to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which is made a term or condition of a person's exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either explicitly or implicitly.  Penal Code 39.03

HARASSMENT OF EMPLOYEES

Harassment on the basis of a protected characteristic is a violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws.  TSBVI has an affirmative duty, under Title VII, to maintain a working environment free of harassment on the basis of sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin and disability.  Claims of harassment based on characteristics other than sex are evaluated under the same legal standard as applied to sexual harassment claims.

42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq.; 29 CFR 1601, 1606.8, 1604.11, 1625, 1626, 1640 Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 US 742 (1998), Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 US 775, (1998)

Harassment violates Title VII if it is sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the conditions of employment. EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors. (1999), Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U.S. 129 (2004)

Title VII does not prohibit all verbal and physical banter in the workplace.  For example, harassment between men and women is not automatically unlawful sexual harassment merely because the words used have sexual content or connotations.  Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)

Hostile Environment

Verbal or physical conduct based on a person's sex, race, color, religion, or national origin constitutes unlawful harassment when the conduct:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U.S. 129 (2004); Nat’l Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Morgan; 536 U.S. 101 (2002); Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986); 29 CFR 1604.11, 1605, 1606

Quid Pro Quo

Conduct of a sexual nature also constitutes harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual.

29 CFR 1604.11

Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Same-sex sexual harassment constitutes sexual harassment.  Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)

HARASSMENT POLICY

The School should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate penalties, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under Title VII, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.  29 CFR 1604.11(f)

Prohibited Conduct

Employees shall not engage in conduct constituting sexual or other illegal harassment of other employees.  Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed by other employees are encouraged to come forward with complaints.  School administrators shall investigate promptly all allegations of harassment of employees by other employees, and the designated school officials shall take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against employees found to have engaged in conduct constituting sexual or other illegal harassment of employees.

Training

The School shall provide employee training, including information regarding the School’s policies and procedures to prevent employment discrimination as follows:

  1. Equal employment opportunity and training to prevent sexual harassment, including other forms of illegal harassment to all new employees within 30 days of hire at the New Employee Orientation program; and
  2. Refresher training in equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment to all employees every two years thereafter.

Each employee who participates in an initial or refresher training program shall be required to sign a statement verifying attendance at or completion of the training program.  This statement shall be maintained in each employee’s personnel file.

Texas Labor Code 21.010

CORRECTIVE ACTION

The School is responsible for acts of unlawful harassment by fellow employees and by nonemployees if the School, its agents, or its supervisory employees knew or should have known of the conduct, unless the School takes immediate and appropriate corrective action.  29 CFR 1604.11(d), (e), 1606.8(d), (e)

When no tangible employment action is taken, the School may raise the following affirmative defense:

  1. That the School exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassing behavior; and
  2. That the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to otherwise avoid harm.

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998); Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, (1998)

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

An employee who believes he, or she, has been, or is being subjected to any form of sexual or illegal harassment shall have the following options with respect to pursuing his, or her, complaint:

  1. The employee may bring the matter to the attention of his/her immediate supervisor in accordance with the School's grievance policy, DGBA, with the following modification:  The time line within which the employee must meet with his/her immediate supervisor may be extended from the 14 day period to a 30 day period when the grievance alleges sexual or other illegal harassment.  However, no procedure, or step, in that policy shall have the effect of requiring the employee alleging harassment to present the matter to a person who is the subject of the complaint.  If this process results in a finding of sexual or other illegal harassment, the employee who has engaged in  the illegal harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with policy DCDB; or
  2. Within 30 days of the incident, or series of incidents causing the complaint, the employee may notify the Director of Human Resources who serves as the Title VII coordinator for employee issues.  The Director of Human Resources shall undertake such confidential investigative measures as are deemed necessary to determine whether illegal harassment has occurred, and shall inform the Superintendent of the results.  The Superintendent shall then determine and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee who has engaged in sexual or other illegal harassment.

Harassment of unpaid interns

The School commits an unlawful employment practice if sexual harassment of an unpaid intern occurs and the district or its agents or supervisors know or should have known that the conduct constituting sexual harassment was occurring, and fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.  Labor Code 21.1065

Adopted:         1/27/06

Amended:       5/23/07, 11/20/15, 6/1/18

Reviewed:

PRESSION

A public official commits a Class A misdemeanor if, while acting in his or her official or employment capacity, the official intentionally subjects another to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which is made a term or condition of a person's exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either explicitly or implicitly.  Penal Code 39.03(a)

HARASSMENT OF EMPLOYEES

Harassment on the basis of a protected characteristic is a violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws. A district has an affirmative duty, under Title VII, to maintain a working environment free of harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, and national origin.  42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq.; 29 CFR 1606.8(a), 1604.11

Harassment violates Title VII if it is sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the conditions of employment.  Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U.S. 129 (2004)

Title VII does not prohibit all verbal and physical harassment in the workplace. For example, harassment between men and women is not automatically unlawful sexual harassment merely because the words used have sexual content or connotations.  Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)

Hostile Environment

Verbal or physical conduct based on a person's sex, race, color, religion, or national origin constitutes unlawful harassment when the conduct:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U.S. 129 (2004); Nat’l Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Morgan; 536 U.S. 101 (2002); Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986); 29 CFR 1604.11, 1606.8

Quid Pro Quo

Conduct of a sexual nature also constitutes harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual.

29 CFR 1604.11(a)

Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Same-sex sexual harassment constitutes sexual harassment.  Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)

HARASSMENT POLICY

The School should take all steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate penalties, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under Title VII, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.  29 CFR 1604.11(f)

Prohibited Conduct

Employees shall not engage in conduct constituting sexual harassment of other employees. Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed by other employees are encouraged to come forward with complaints. School administrators shall investigate promptly all allegations of sexual harassment of employees by other employees, and the designated school officials shall take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against employees found to have engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment of employees.

Training

The School shall provide employee training, including information regarding the School’s policies and procedures relating to employment discrimination as follows:

  1. Equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment training to all new employees within 30 days of hire at the New Employee Orientation program; and
  2. Refresher training in equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment to all employees every two years thereafter.

Each employee who participates in an initial or refresher training program shall be required to sign a statement verifying attendance at or completion of the training program. This statement shall be maintained in each employee’s personnel file.

Texas Labor Code 21.010

CORRECTIVE ACTION

The School is responsible for acts of unlawful harassment by fellow employees and by nonemployees if the School, its agents, or its supervisory employees knew or should have known of the conduct, unless the School takes immediate and appropriate corrective action.  29 CFR 1604.11(d), (e), 1606.8(d), (e)

When no tangible employment action is taken, the School may raise the following affirmative defense:

  1. That the School exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassing behavior; and
  2. That the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998); Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, (1998)

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

An employee who believes he, or she, has been, or is being subjected to any form of sexual harassment shall have the following options with respect to pursuing his, or her, complaint:

  1. The employee may bring the matter to the attention of his/her immediate supervisor in accordance with the School's grievance policy, DGBA, with the following modification: The time line within which the employee must meet with his/her immediate supervisor may be extended from the 14 day period to a 30 day period when the grievance alleges sexual harassment. However, no procedure, or step, in that policy shall have the effect of requiring the employee alleging harassment to present the matter to a person who is the subject of the complaint. If this process results in a finding of sexual harassment, the employee who has engaged in sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with policy DCDB; or
  2. Within 30 days of the incident, or series of incidents causing the complaint, the employee may notify the Director of Human Resources who serves as the Title IX coordinator for employee issues. The Director of Human Resources shall undertake such confidential investigative measures as are deemed necessary to determine whether sexual harassment has occurred, and shall inform the Superintendent of the results. The Superintendent shall then determine and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee who has engaged in sexual harassment.

Adopted:          1/27/06
Amended:        5/23/07, 11/20/15
Reviewed:

DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES

The School is not eligible to receive a grant from any Federal agency unless the School provides a drug-free workplace by publishing a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the grantee's workplace and specifying the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition, and by establishing a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about the availability of information and assistance from the School’s Employee Assistance Program.  41 U.S.C. 702

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired employees shall not unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or be under the influence of controlled substances, illicit drugs, inhalants, or alcohol on school premises, or while conducting school business, or engaging in school activities off school premises.  41 U.S.C. 702(a)(1)(A); 28 TAC 169.2

CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATION

Employees who violate this prohibition shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Such sanctions may include referral to drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs, or employee assistance programs, termination from employment with the School, and referral to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution. Compliance with these requirements and prohibitions is mandatory and is a condition of employment.  41 U.S.C. 702(a)(1)(A)(D); 28 TAC 169.2

NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT

As a further condition of employment, an employee shall notify the Superintendent of any criminal drug statute conviction the employee incurs for a violation in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. Within 30 days of the Superintendent's receiving notice from any source of a conviction for any drug statute violation occurring in the workplace, the Superintendent, or designee, shall either (1) take appropriate personnel action against the employee, up to and including termination, or (2) require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug and alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved by a federal, state, or local health agency, law enforcement agency, or other appropriate agency.  41U.S.C. 702(a)(1)(B), 703

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

TSBVI recognizes alcoholism and drug dependence as treatable and will cooperate with employees who recognize that they have an alcohol, or drug problem, and voluntarily request assistance. Such employees are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the School's Employee Assistance Program.

Information about the Employee Assistance Program's free, confidential services shall be provided to new employees during Orientation, posted throughout the workplace, and made available in the Human Resources Department.

[This notice complies with notice requirements imposed by the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act [41 U.S.C. 702] and notice requirements imposed by the Texas Workers' Compensation rules at 28 TAC 169.2]

Adopted:         5/30/91
Amended:       8/26/94, 9/29/95, 1/26/96, 11/20/15
Reviewed:       1/28/00, 1/31/03

ASSIGNMENT

A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern, or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, or counselor by the School unless the person holds an appropriate certificate, or permit. A School employee must have the appropriate credentials, as set forth by the State Board for Educator Certification, for his or her current assignment, unless the appropriate permit has been issued under 19 TAC 230, F Permits.

Education Code 21.003; 19 TAC 231.1(a)  [See DBA]

PRINCIPAL'S APPROVAL

The Principal of a program shall approve all teacher and staff appointments and reassignments for the program from a pool of applicants selected by the School, or of applicants who meet the hiring requirements established by TSBVI, based on criteria developed by the Principal after informal consultation with the faculty.  The Superintendent or designee has final placement authority for a teacher transferred because of enrollment shifts or program changes.

Education Code 11.202; Atty. Gen. Op. DM-27(1991)

PARENT NOTIFICATION

If the School assigns an inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher (as defined below) to the same classroom for more than 30 consecutive instructional days during the same school year, the Principal shall provide written notice of the assignment to the parents or guardians of students in that classroom.

The Superintendent shall provide the notice not later than the 30th instructional day after the date of the assignment of the inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher. The School shall make a good-faith effort to ensure that the notice is provided in a bilingual form to any parent or guardian whose primary language is not English. The School shall retain a copy of the notice and make information relating to teacher certification available to the public on request.

Inappropriately Certified or Uncertified Teacher

An "inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher" includes an individual serving on an emergency certificate or an individual who does not hold any certificate or permit. It does not include an individual who is:

  1. Certified and assigned to teach a class or classes outside his or her area of certification, as determined by SBEC rules;
  2. Serving on a certificate issued due to a hearing impairment under Education Code 21.048;
  3. Serving on a certificate issued pursuant to enrollment in an approved alternative certification program under Education Code 21.049;
  4. Certified by another state or country and serving on a certificate issued under Education Code 21.052;
  5. Serving on a school district teaching permit issued under Education Code 21.055; or
  6. Employed under a waiver granted by the Commissioner pursuant to Education Code 7.056.

Education Code 21.057; 19 TAC 230.231  [See DBA for parental notice under federal law]

Adopted:          11/9/79

Amended:        3/13/81, 3/12/82, 7/12/85, 1/23/87, 9/15/88, 9/22/89, 9/27/90, 11/30/90, 1/25/91, 5/28/92, 5/26/94, 11/18/94, 1/26/96, 5/24/96, 3/24/00, 1/31/03, 5/25/04, 1/27/06, 1/25/19

Reviewed:        5/25/05

Adopted: 1/26/99

DEFINITIONS

Within this policy:

1.An employee's "work location" or place of business means the office, or location, at which the employee most frequently performs the responsibilities of the employee's position.

2."duty point" means any location apart from the employee's work location to which the employee travels in order to perform the employee's job reponsibilities.

See Gov't Code 660.002

CONDUCTING BUSINESS ON SCHOOL CAMPUS

A TSBVI employee shall conduct school business only at the TSBVI campus, or assigned duty point, unless the employee is on travel status, or has receied prior written authorization from the Superintendent, or his/her designee.

See 1997 General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Section 8(3)

CONDUCTING BUSINESS AT ALTERNATE LOCATIONS

The Superintendent may authorize employees to conduct business at locations other than the TSBVI campus, or an assigned duty point, when performing the work at an alternate location:

1.Results in a measurable benefit to TSBVI which would not otherwise accrue if the employee were not allowed to work in the alternate work location; or the work to be performed is more efficiently performed at an alternate work location; and

2.Does not result in additional risk to the School, a decrease in employee efficiency, or an unacceptable decrease of services to other School employees, students, or other persons served by the employee.

PERSONAL RESIDENCE AS REGULAR PLACE OF BUSINESS, OR DUTY POINT

Except with the written authorization of the Superintendent, an employee's personal residence shall not be deemed to be that employee's work location, or duty point, for any part of the employee's regularly scheduled work hours.

See 1997 General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Section 8(3)

PROHIBITION AGAINST ACCRUAL OF STATE COMPENSATORY TIME AND FLSA OVERTIME

No employee, whether or not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), shall accrue state compensatory time, or be authorized to accrue FLSA overtime for work conducted at any location other than the TSBVI campus, or assigned duty point.

In no event shall any employee accrue state compensatory time for work performed at the employee's personal residence.

See 1997 General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Section 2(6)(d)

PROCEDURES

The Superintendent shall adopt written procedures for determining when an employee will be approved to work at a location besides the TSBVI campus.

Adopted: 1/26/99

PERMANENT ALTERNATE WORK LOCATION

The Superintendent may authorize an employee to have a work location other than the TSBVI campus. Authorizing a work location other than the TSBVI campus:

  1. Must result in a measurable benefit to TSBVI which would not otherwise accrue if the employee were not allowed to work in the alternate work location; or enable the work to be performed more efficiently; and
  2. May not result in additional risk to the School, a decrease in employee efficiency, or an unacceptable decrease of services to other school employees, students, or other persons served by the employee; and
  3. For employees hired after October 1, 2004, may not involve an agreement for TSBVI to pay any costs necessitated by the employee's travel to and from administrative meetings on the TSBVI campus required by the employee's supervisor.

WRITTEN AGREEMENT

The Superintendent shall ensure that a written agreement is entered into with each employee prior to authorizing a work location other than the TSBVI campus. Each written agreement shall address each of the following topics:

  1. Determination of work schedule and requirements for reporting work activities;
  2. Designation of employee travel headquarters;
  3. Determination of arrangements for travel reimbursement, except as described in number 3., above;
  4. Determination of arrangements for all communications necessary for the employee to perform the duties of the position, including, but not limited to, communication by telephone, fax, and electronic mail;
  5. Arrangements for employee supplies, equipment and administrative support;
  6. Determination of times the employee is required to be present on the TSBVI campus;
  7. Determination of the relationship between employee travel time and time counted towards hours the employee is required to work; and
  8. Determination of any arrangements whereby the employee is allowed to use on-campus facilities for lodging.

Adopted: 3/30/99

Amended: 9/24/04

Reviewed:

PLANNING AND PREPARATION

Each classroom teacher is entitled to at least 450 minutes within each two-week period for instructional preparation including parent-teacher conferences, evaluating students' homework, and planning. A planning and preparation period may not be less than 45 minutes within the instructional day. During that time a teacher may not be required to participate in any other activity.

Education Code 21.404

DUTY-FREE LUNCH

Each classroom teacher, or full-time librarian, is entitled to at least a 30-minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction and supervision of students.

Education Code 21.405

Exception

If necessary, because of a personnel shortage, extreme economic conditions, or unavoidable, or unforeseen circumstances, and in accordance with commissioner rules, TSBVI may require a classroom teacher, or librarian, to supervise students during lunch no more than one day in any school week. Education Code 21.405

In determining whether an exceptional circumstance exists, TSBVI shall use the following guidelines:

  1. A personnel shortage exists when, despite reasonable efforts to use nonteaching personnel, or the assistance of community volunteers to supervise students during lunch, no other personnel are available.
  2. Unavoidable, or unforeseen circumstances exist when, because of illness, epidemic, or natural or man-made disaster, TSBVI is unable to find individuals to supervise students during lunch.

19 TAC 153.1001

Adopted: 3/7/80

Amended: 3/11/83, 9/21/84, 7/12/85, 10/25/85, 3/22/91, 5/26/94, 1/26/96, 5/24/96, 11/15/96

Reviewed: 3/24/00, 1/31/03

RESTRICTIONS ON WRITTEN REPORTS

The Board shall limit redundant requests for information and the number and length of written reports that a classroom teacher is required to prepare.

A classroom teacher may not be required to prepare any written information other than:

  1. Any report concerning the health, safety, or welfare of a student;
  2. A report of a student's grade on an assignment or examination;
  3. A report of a student's academic progress in a class or course;
  4. A report of a student's grades at the end of each grade reporting period;
  5. A textbook report;
  6. A unit or weekly lesson plan that outlines, in a brief and general manner, the information to be presented during each period at the secondary level or in each subject or topic at the elementary level;
  7. An attendance report;
  8. Any report required for accreditation review;
  9. Any information required by a district that relates to a complaint, grievance, or actual or potential litigation and that requires the classroom teacher's involvement; or
  10. Any information specifically required by law, rule, or regulation.

The School may collect essential information, in addition to the information specified above, from a classroom teacher on agreement between the classroom teacher and the School.

PAPERWORK REVIEW

The Board shall review paperwork requirements imposed on classroom teachers and transfer to existing noninstructional staff a reporting task that can reasonably be accomplished by that staff. [See BAA]

Education Code 11.164

Adopted: 5/25/05

Amended:

Reviewed:

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Staff development shall be predominantly campus-based, related to achieving campus performance objectives, and developed and approved by the schoolwide committee [see BQA].

Training Specifics

The staff development provided by the School must be conducted in accordance with standards developed by the School and designed to improve education in the School.  

The staff development may include:

  1. Training in technology, conflict resolution, ethics, and discipline strategies, including classroom management, School discipline policies, and the Student Code of Conduct;
  2. Training that relates to instruction of students with disabilities and in the prevention, identification, response to, and reporting incidents of bullying, recognizing and preventing human trafficking and suicide prevention;
  3. Digital learning; and
  4. Instruction as to what is permissible under law, including opinions of the United States Supreme Court, regarding prayer in public school.

The digital learning training must discuss basic technology proficiency expectations and methods to increase an educator’s digital literacy, and assist an educator in the use of digital technology in learning activities that improve teaching, assessment, and instructional practices.

Education Code 21.451(b)-(d); (d-3), (g);  [Also see DH, DHB, DHG, DIA, and FFB]

The School may use schoolwide staff development that has been developed and approved through the district-level decision process.

Education Code 21.452(c)

Students with Disabilities

Staff development must include training that is evidence based, as defined by Section 8101, Every Student Succeeds Act (20 USC 7801), that relates to the instruction of students with disabilities and is designed for educators who work primarily outside the area of special education.

TSBVI is required to provide such training only if the educator does not possess the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the individualized education program developed for a student receiving instruction form the educator.  The School may determine the time and place at which the training is delivered.

In developing or maintaining such training, TSBVI must consult persons with expertise in research-based practices for students with disabilities, including colleges, universities, private and nonprofit organizations, regional education service centers, qualified School personnel, and any other persons identified as qualified by the School.

Education Code 21.451(d)(2), (e)-(f)

Suicide Prevention

Staff development must include suicide prevention training to all new TSBVI educators and other direct care staff on an annual basis, as part of a new employee orientation and to existing School educators on the following schedule adopted by TEA rule:

  1. Provide the training to all educators and direct care staff as a part of employee orientation at least once.
  2. Each subsequent school year, provide the training to all new educators and direct care staff as a part of new employee orientation.

The suicide prevention training must use a best practice-based program recommended by the Texas
Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) in coordination with TEA.  The training may be satisfied through independent review of suicide prevention training material that complies with guidelines developed by TEA and is offered online.

Suicide prevention training that was provided to existing educators by TSBVI on or after September 1, 2013, may be used to meet the requirements if the training program is on the recommended best practice-based list, or is an online program that meets the TEA guidelines for independent review.

The School shall maintain records that include the name of each educator who participated in the training.

Education Code 21.451(d)(3)-(d-2); 19 TAC 153.1013

Mental Health Support Programs

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in coordination with TEA and regional education service centers (ESCs), shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based practices in the areas specified below for implementation in public elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the general education setting. TSBVI may select from the list a program or programs appropriate for implementation:

  1. Early mental health intervention;
  2. Mental health promotion;
  3. Building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;
  4. Substance abuse prevention and intervention;
  5. Suicide prevention;
  6. Grief-informed and trauma-informed practices;
  7. Positive behavior interventions and supports and positive youth development; and
  8. Safe, supportive, and positive school climate.

“School climate” means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in the School, parents of those students, and personnel employed by TSBVI.

The programs on the list must include components that provide for training counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and other staff, as well as security officers and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:

  1. Recognize students at risk of committing suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;
  2. Recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others; and
  3. Intervene effectively with students described above by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.

Required Training

TSBVI shall provide training described in components 1-3, above for teachers, principals, and all other appropriate personnel.  The School may use a program from the DSHS list above to satisfy the training requirements.

TSBVI is required to provide the training in the elementary school only to the extent that sufficient funding and programs are available.  The School may implement a program on the list described at Health and Safety Code 161.325 to satisfy the training requirements. [See FFB]

If TSBVI provides the training, a School employee must participate in the training at least one time, and the School shall maintain records that include the name of each employee who participated in the training.

Health and Safety Code 161.325

Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Methods for increasing awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children [see BQ, School improvement plan, and FFG] must address employee training.

The training must be provided as part of employee orientation to all new employees. The training may be included in staff development under Education Code 21.451.

The training shall address:

  1. Factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
  2. Likely warning signs indicating a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
  3. Internal procedures for seeking assistance for a child who is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment, including referral to a social worker, or another mental health professional;
  4. Techniques for reducing a child’s risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment; and
  5. Community organizations that have relevant existing research-based programs and that are able to provide training or other education for employees, students, and parents.

TSBVI shall maintain records of the training that include the name of each employee who participated.

If TSBVI determines that the School does not have sufficient resources to provide the required training, the School shall work with a community organization to provide the training at no cost to TSBVI.

Education Code 38.0041

Human Trafficking

TSBVI will train nurses, school counselors, social workers, administrators and teachers to identify and assist victims of human trafficking, including referral for services.

Gov’t Code 402.035

Student Discipline

Each principal or other appropriate administrator who oversees student discipline shall, at least once every three school years, attend professional development training regarding Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter G. The professional development shall include training relating to the distinction between a discipline management technique used at the principal’s discretion under Education Code 37.002(a) and the discretionary authority of a teacher to remove a disruptive student under Education Code 37.002(b) [see FOA].

The professional development training may be provided in coordination with an education service center through the use of distance learning methods, such as telecommunications networks, and using available TEA resources.

Education Code 37.0181

Special Programs Training

Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies

A teacher shall attend a Texas adolescent literacy academy under 19 Administrative Code 102.1101 if:

  1. The teacher teaches at a campus that receives a rating that reflects unacceptable performance and that fails to meet the state system safeguard performance target in reading for one or more student groups; and
  2. The teacher teaches in general education, special education, or English as a second language for students in grade 6, 7, or 8, and:
    1. The teacher is a certified, full-time English language arts and reading teacher who instructs English language arts and/or reading for at least 50 percent of the teacher’s instructional duties; or
    2. The teacher is a certified, full-time content area teacher who instructs mathematics, science, and/or social studies for at least 50 percent of the teacher’s instructional duties.

A teacher described above is required to complete the training not later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the rating that reflects unacceptable performance is assigned.

A teacher who is required to attend an academy is eligible for a teacher stipend upon completion of face-to-face training if funds have been appropriated and are available for that purpose.  A teacher who completes online training is not eligible for a stipend.

The stipend shall not be considered in determining whether a district is paying the teacher the state minimum monthly salary [See DEA and DEAA].

Each school with teachers required to attend and complete Texas adolescent reading academies must maintain records to verify teacher attendance and completion in accordance with the School’s record retention policy.

Education Code 21.4551(c), (e); 19 TAC 102.1101

Automated External Defibrillators

TSBVI shall annually make available to employees and volunteers instruction in the principles and techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The instruction provided in the use of AEDs must meet guidelines for approved AED training under Health and Safety Code 779.002.  Each school nurse, assistant school nurse, athletic coach or sponsor, physical education instructor, cheerleading coach, and any other employee specified by the commissioner, and each student who serves as an athletic trainer, must:

  1. Participate in the instruction; and
  2. Receive and maintain certification in the use of an AED from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or a similar nationally recognized association.

Education Code 22.902

Extracurricular Activity Safety Training

The following persons must satisfactorily complete the extracurricular safety training program developed by the commissioner:

  1. A coach or sponsor for an extracurricular athletic activity;
  2. A trainer, unless the trainer has completed the educational requirements for licensure as a licensed athletic trainer set forth at 22 Administrative Code 871.7 and the continuing education requirements at 22 Administrative Code 871.12; and
  3. A physician who is employed by TSBVI or who volunteers to assist with an extracurricular athletic activity, unless the physician attends a continuing medical education course that specifically addresses emergency medicine.

The training may be conducted by TSBVI, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or a similar organization, or by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).

Education Code 33.202(b), (f); 19 TAC 76.1003

Records

 The Superintendent shall maintain complete and accurate records of the School’s compliance with professional development and TSBVI shall make available to the public proof of compliance and staff qualifications for each person employed by or volunteering for the School who is required to receive safety training.

Education Code 33.206; 19 TAC 76.1003(e)

Steroids

TSBVI shall require that each employee who serves as an athletic coach at or above the seventh grade level for an extracurricular athletic activity sponsored or sanctioned by the UIL complete:

1.   The educational program developed by the UIL regarding the health effects of steroids; or

2.   A comparable program developed by the School or a private entity with relevant expertise.

Education Code 33.091(c-1)

Concussions

At least once every two years, the following employees shall take a course from an authorized provider in the subject matter of concussions:

  1. A coach of an interscholastic athletic activity shall take a course approved by the UIL.
  2. An athletic trainer who serves as a member of TSBVI’s concussion oversight team shall take a course approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) or a course approved for continuing education credit by the licensing authority for athletic trainers.
  3. A licensed health-care professional, other than an athletic trainer, who serves as a member of a district’s concussion oversight team shall take a course approved by the UIL, TDLR, or the appropriate licensing authority for the profession.

The employee must submit proof of timely completion of an approved course to the Superintendent or designee.  A licensed health-care professional who is not in compliance with these training requirements may not serve on a concussion oversight team in any capacity. [See FM]

Education Code 38.158

RESOURCES FOR STAFF DEVELOPMENT

If the School receives resources from the commissioner's staff development account, it must pay to the commissioner for deposit in the account an amount equal to one-half of the cost of the resources provided to the School. 

Education Code 21.453(b)

Adopted:         3/7/80

Amended:       7/12/85, 10/25/85, 1/14/88, 9/15/88, 1/26/90, 9/27/90, 9/27/91, 5/26/94, 11/14/97, 1/24/02, 1/31/03, 5/25/05, 8/9/18

Reviewed:

Adopted: 11/14/97
Amended: 
Reviewed: 1/24/02

EMPLOYEE INFORMATION

TSBVI shall annually provide to each employee an educational pamphlet about:

  1. Methods of transmission and prevention of HIV infection;
  2. State laws relating to the transmission of HIV infection; and
  3. Conduct that may result in the transmission of HIV infection.

Health and Safety Code 85.111(a)

NEW EMPLOYEE

The educational pamphlet provided annually to employees shall be provided to a newly hired employee on the first day of employment.

Health and Safety Code 85.111(b)

Adopted: 11/14/97
Amended: 
Reviewed: 1/24/02

DMBA (TSBVI) - SPECIAL PROGRAMS TRAINING:  TRAINING RELATED TO VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that TSBVI develops and implements a comprehensive training program for instructional and other staff who work with students.  The intent is to establish a fundamental core of information, knowledge, and concepts directly related to the education of students with visual impairments which must be mastered by specified personnel employed at TSBVI. 

TRAINING PROGRAM CONTENT, LENGTH, AND REQUIREMENTS

The training program will consist of intensive training in the foundations of visual impairments covering the effects of visual impairment on development, building independence, eye anatomy, conditions and medications, working with parents, instructional strategies and adaptations, tactual adaptations, low vision adaptations, eligibility and services, the expanded core curriculum, adapted technology and orientation and mobility.  Components of the instruction will be a program of courses in Bridge as well as face to face training.  All required instruction and activities (homework, tests, etc.) must be completed within a twelve-month period after hire.

PROCEDURES

The Superintendent shall ensure that procedures are developed to implement this policy.

STAFF SUBJECT TO REQUIREMENT

The following staff shall be required to take TSBVI’s training program in foundations of visual impairment, except for those staff who hold the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) supplemental certification from the State Board of Educator Certification:

  1. Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs)
  2. Social Workers
  3. Speech Pathologists
  4. Outreach professional staff whose assignments do not require the TVI supplemental certification
  5. Physical and Occupational Therapists and OT/PT Assistants
  6. Teacher Aides (all levels)
  7. Job Coaches and other paraeducator Career Education staff.
  8. Health Center Director (training is optional for other nurses)
  9. Staff Development Coordinator
  10. Residential Directors
  11. Assistant Residential Director
  12. Dorm Managers
  13. Residential Instructors (not including overnight residential instructors)

If an employee changes positions so that the new position requires a higher level of training under the provisions of this policy, that employee shall complete the additional requirements within the timelines established by this policy.

Adopted:         5/8/81 (as DBA)

Amended:       6/29/84, 7/12/85, 1/23/87, 7/17/87, 11/12/87, 9/15/88, 6/1/89, 1/26/90, 5/28/92, 5/26/95, 9/29/95, 11/17/95 (as DBA), 11/14/97 (as DMBA), 9/22/00, 6/1/18