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EMPLOYMENT OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

The Director recognizes that it is vital to the successful operation of Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf that positions created by the Director be filled with highly qualified and competent personnel. Any person employed in an instructional position requiring certification shall possess a valid certificate issued pursuant to Florida law.

The Director shall require an applicant for employment with a certificate from a district whose employment and/or certification requirements are not comparable to the District?s to complete all requirements for initial employment and certification.

For purposes of this policy, instructional staff includes classroom teachers, teacher assistants, consultants, and other instructional staff whose positions are included in the Blossom?s instructional salary schedule.

The Director shall also conduct employment history checks of all applicants for instructional staff positions. The employment history check shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, contacting any previous employer and screening the applicant through the use of the screening tools described in State law. If contact with a previous employer cannot be made, the Director shall document the efforts made to do so.

For any person newly employed as a member of the instructional staff after June 30, 1997, the initial annual contract shall include a 97-day probationary period during which time the employee?s contract may be terminated without cause or the employee may resign without breach of contract (F.S. 1012.33). Any instructional staff member’s misstatement of fact material to qualification for employment or the determination of salary shall be considered to constitute grounds for dismissal.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL

To be eligible for employment in an instructional staff position, an individual must be of good moral character, and, if required, hold a valid certificate issued pursuant to Florida law and the rules of the State Board of Education or the Department of Children and Family Services, except when employed pursuant to F.S. 1012.55 or under the emergency provisions of F.S. 1012.24. Previous residence in this State shall not be required in any school of the state as a prerequisite for any person holding a valid Florida certificate or license to serve in an instructional capacity. A person who is found through background screening, pursuant to Board Policy, to have been adjudicated guilty of a crime specified in F.S. 1012.315, or convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact with students.

Additionally, the following guidelines shall apply:

Category One

Felony sexual related crimes, lewd and lascivious crimes, and felony child abuse crimes.

The Director will not hire applicants who have been convicted of Category One offenses.

Category Two:
Felony crimes of violence and felony sale of controlled substances.

The Director will not hire the applicant if the conviction for a Category Two Offense was within the last 25 years. The Director will consider the applicant and carefully review the conviction for a Category Two offense if it was beyond 25 years.

Category Three:

Other felony crimes (except those designated under Category Five), any other misdemeanor crimes of a sexual nature, and misdemeanor crimes related to children.

The Director will not hire the applicant if the conviction for a Category Three, no exceptions.

Category Four:

Misdemeanor drugs, misdemeanor crimes of violence, and misdemeanor crimes involving weapons.

The Director will not hire the applicant if the conviction was within the last 5 years. The Director will consider the applicant and carefully review if the conviction was committed beyond 5 years.

Category Five:
Other misdemeanors, and felony crimes involving worthless checks.

The director will consider the preceding convictions in Category Five on a case by case basis.

The term conviction means a conviction by a jury or by a court and shall also include the forfeiture of any bail, bond or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed a felony or misdemeanor, the payment of a fine, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), the imposition of a deferred or suspended sentence by the court, adjudication withheld, finding of guilt or the date of entry into a pre-trial intervention, pre-trial diversion, or similar program, so long as such PTI/PTD program is completed by the end of the relevant waiting period.

A candidate whose employment application has been rejected due to conviction of a disqualifying criminal offense may appeal to the Advisory Board. Applicants appealing to the Advisory Board shall have the burden of setting forth sufficient evidence of rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, the circumstances surrounding the criminal incident for which an exemption is sought, the time period that has elapsed since the incident, the nature of the harm caused to the victim, and the history of the applicant since the incident, or any other evidence or circumstances indicating that the applicant will not present a danger if employment is allowed. In the case of rejection due to an adjudication of quilt for an offense listed in Section 1012.315, F.S., the only basis for appeal to the Advisory Board shall be mistaken identity. The decision of the Advisory Board is final. The Director shall establish procedures governing the appeal process.

Statutory Authority: Chapter 2008-108, Laws of Florida

History: New 10/14/08