ST. LOUIS BOARD OF EDUCATION POLICY
The St. Louis Board of Education respects the rights and dignity of each employee by conducting its business in such a way that the rights and privacy of all its employees are protected within legal limitations.
While the board retains its authority and privileges as an employer, the superintendent of schools or his/her representative shall facilitate the flow of information about personnel entering, working in, or leaving the system.
Since employee performance and organizational communication are closely related, the Board of Education delegates to the superintendent of schools or his/her representative the authority to disseminate and retrieve employee information necessary to assist in making modifications required to achieve system goals.
Policy adopted: June 26, 1990
Revised: December 8, 1998
Information about staff is required for the daily administration of the school district, for implementing salary and other personnel policies, for budget and financial planning, for responding to appropriate inquiries about employees, and for meeting board, state (Section 168.128, RSMo. Supp. 1984), and federal educational reporting requirements. To these ends, the board authorizes and directs the superintendent of schools to develop and implement a comprehensive and efficient system of personnel records maintenance and control under the guidelines which follow.
1. A personnel file will be accurately maintained in the central administrative office for each present and former employee. These files will contain applications for employment; references; and records relative to compensation, payroll deductions, evaluations, and such other matters as may be considered pertinent to the purposes of this policy as cited above. File content for former employees shall be consistent with the state’s record retention guidelines.
2. The superintendent of schools will be the records manager for personnel files and will have the overall responsibility for maintaining and preserving the confidentiality of the files. The superintendent of schools may, however, designate the Human Resource Officer to perform the duties of records management on the understanding that this official shall be held responsible for granting or denying access to records on the basis of these guidelines.
3. All personnel records will be considered confidential and not open to public inspection, and access to files will be limited to school officials authorized by the superintendent of schools to use the files for purposes of this regulation as cited above. No other persons or agencies may have access to information in an employee’s file unless the employee has given written consent for the release of specific information to a specific person or agency, when such information is subpoenaed or ordered for release by a court of law or is otherwise required by law. The district will provide to parents upon their request the following information regarding the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers or paraprofessionals providing services to the parent’s child:
a. Whether the teacher or paraprofessional has met State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
b. Whether the teacher or paraprofessional is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and
c. the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.
4. Lists of names and home addresses of district employees may be released routinely to governmental agencies as required for official reports, representative bargaining units and others when deemed appropriate by the superintendent of schools.
5. An employee may have access to his own personnel file at all reasonable times (i.e., during regular school office hours) but with the exception that access will not be granted to references provided to the district on a confidential basis before employment. The right of access includes the right to make written objections to any information contained in the file. Any written objection must be signed by the staff member, and will become part of the staff member’s file.
6. No complaint, allegation, suggestion or evaluation may be placed in the personnel file unless it meets the following requirements:
a. Material relating to an employee’s conduct, service, character or personality shall not be placed in the employee’s personnel file unless the teacher is given the opportunity to acknowledge that he has read such material by affixing his signature on the actual copy filed, with the understanding that such signature merely signifies that he had read the material. However, if an employee does not avail himself of the opportunity of reading such material within 30 days after being informed of its existence, it may then be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
b. The employee shall have the right to answer any material filed and his/her answer shall be attached to the file copy. Action by the board in relation to the retention, promotion, or recommendation for dismissal of an employee will, in the main, be based only on material and information contained in that employee’s personnel file. The board condemns any possible practice of maintaining so-called “secret” files on employees. All personnel information at any location is reviewable by the employee as described above. The board may consider and use any information about the employee provided that the employee has been previously given the opportunity to acknowledge that he/she has read such material. This may be shown by the employee’s signature affixed to the document or by other evidence indicating that the employee was provided an opportunity to read the material. Affixing his/her signature in this regard is not an admission of guilt or concurrence with the contents of the document.
Legal: Section 168.128, RSMo. Supp. 1984
Revised: December 8, 1998
Revised: September 10, 2002