Will Non-Certified Employees No Longer Be Allowed to Interact With Students Without Supervision?
Employees of school districts and charter schools without certificates who interact with students without supervision may be subject to discipline by the Arizona State Board of Education come this time next school year. The State Board has been working with ASBA and other organizations to develop a mechanism to provide some oversight to non-certified employees to decrease the possibility that an employee with a history of accusations of unprofessional conduct is hired in another district or charter school.
The proposal covers those employees or contractors required to possess a valid fingerprint clearance card but does not include transportation employees, food service employees or contractors, or maintenance workers. Details of proposed legislation have not been finalized, but the concept is to allow the board to impose discipline for unprofessional conduct on employees similar to what is imposed for teachers, including a suspension of their ability to be hired by a school district or charter school for up to five years, or a complete ban if they are convicted of a dangerous crime against children or sexual abuse or assault of a minor, or sexual misconduct with a minor. The board would need to adopt rules to govern the exact process.
The proposed system would be integrated with the current teacher certification system so that districts and charters would be able to check the status of an applicant much the same way that they verify teacher certificates today. To facilitate this oversight, school districts and charter schools would be required to provide information on both their certified and non-certified employees. Because school districts already provide information via the school district employee report (SDER), any administrative burden this creates is likely to be minimal when compared to the information gained.
Additionally, ASBA will continue to support legislation that allows school districts to receive information on ongoing investigations regarding applicants to the school district. ASBA is always ready to work with our partners in state government to make schools safer for our students in all respects, and we are wary of increased administrative responsibilities. However, these concerns must also be weighed against the damage a breach of the public trust created by employee conduct can do. In this case, some additional work is likely worth the added measure of safety for students. The 2020 Legislative session begins on January 13, 2020. The ASBA government relations team will keep the membership updated as this issue progresses.
Eight Teachers Across Arizona Win ASBA Black Caucus Book Drawing
Congratulations to the eight teacher winners in the ASBA Black Caucus drawing for classroom copies of the inspiriting and award-winning children’s book “Before She Was Harriet” by Lesa Cline-Ransome.
- Evelyn Kelly, Westwind Elementary, Pendergast ESD
- Jonna Mastropasqua, CAPE School, Pima Accommodation District
- Alexis Aguirre, Encanto School, Osborn ESD
- Christina Carter, Ehrenberg Elementary School, Quartzsite SD
- Michele Fournier, San Fernando Elementary School, San Fernando ESD
- Rex Foster, Independence High School, Glendale UHSD
- Michael Plutschuck, Chaparral Elementary School, Washington ESD
- Vanessa Arredondo, Salome Elementary School, Salome Consolidated ESD
We hope these books, based on the life of American hero Harriet Tubman, will be used to help students learn about her historic role as spy, nurse, liberator, suffragist and more. We also hope these books will be used to open the door to conversations about the kind of hero each child has the potential to be for someone else. In the words of Ms. Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Four Districts Pass Census Model Resolution
Thank you to the boards in Sedona, Flagstaff, Crane and Tempe ESD for passing the Census resolution. You can find a model school district resolution on the 2020 U.S. Census now available on ASBA’s new webpage dedicated to information and resources for members to use to keep their local community informed on the importance of participating in the upcoming Census in 2020. The new webpage includes quick facts, key dates, graphics, articles and other external resources.
Please email Heidi Otero, ASBA’s director of communications at email@example.com, if your board passes a resolution to celebrate your district on ASBA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
GCU & ASBA Present… Making Ties: Handling School Trauma Webinar Series in 2020
Grand Canyon University has partnered with the Arizona School Boards Association to offer this free, can’t-miss opportunity for anyone involved in K12 education. Participants will analyze what school trauma really means and dive deeper into how to deal with trauma in K12 schools.
Register for just one or all of the following web seminars:
|01/29/2020||Understanding Trauma in Our Schools||3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.||Register here|
|02/12/2020||Making the Case for Trauma-Informed Education Supports||3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.||Register here|
|03/04/2020||Systematic Approaches to Trauma-Informed Education Supports||3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.||Register here|
|05/06/2020||Trauma-Informed Education Supports: A Legal Perspective||3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.||Register here|
ASBA-ASA Annual Conference – Registration closes Dec. 6, 2019
Come early and attend our Pre-Conference on “Supporting the Whole Child,” learn more about our AMAZING keynote speakers, 24 breakout sessions, annual awards program, Corn Hole Tournament PLUS more!