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Letters/Notices from the District, Personnel Actions

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School employees have a right to appeal or grieve certain personnel actions taken by the district. Examples are: 

  • Written reprimands
  • Evaluations
  • Contract Non-renewals
  • Mistreatment

The Teacher Employment Dismissal Act and/or the school district grievance procedure provides for the right to appeal these actions.

Resignations are considered to be a voluntary act, regardless of how they came about. Districts rarely allow an employee to rescind a resignation. Employees should not resign in the heat of the moment. If an employee is given a deadline of a few hours or a day or so to resign, the employee should respond that more time is needed to consult with an attorney. Give careful consideration before resigning and call The SCEA for advice.


TO ACCEPT/REJECT CONTRACT- School districts are required to notify employees IN WRITING of their recommendation to terminate employment, not renew a contract, or other similar actions. The letter from the district should include information about the right to appeal and the deadline. Employees who do not follow the instructions in the letter may jeopardize their right to appeal. The deadline to accept or reject a contract is ten calendar days from the date it was issued. If you don't sign and return the contract by the deadline, you have resigned your position with the district

TO FILE A GRIEVANCE - School employees who want to file an appeal or grievance MUST give written notice to the district within a certain number of days following the action giving rise to the grievance. If the district does not receive notice from the employee within the timeframe, they are under no legal obligation to allow the employee the opportunity to appeal or grieve. The deadline for employee grievances could be either calendar days OR work days. The employee should review the policy to make sure he/she understands the time limes and acts accordingly.

It is the responsibility of the employee to file an appeal or grievance within the timelines. If The SCEA staff or attorneys are assisting with a grievance or appeal, the employee remains responsible for ensuring timelines are met. If an employee is out on leave or is out for the summer, that has no bearing on the rules related to grievance deadlines, unless the teacher has requested an extension.

TO APPEAL NON RENEWAL OF CONTRACT - The number of days that an employee has to respond is 15 calendar days when the issue is termination or non-renewal of a contract (continuing contract teachers). Calendar days mean exactly that and it does not matter whether the district is closed (e.g. holidays, spring break). If the 15th day falls on a weekend or holiday, the employee should make sure they submit their notice prior to that date. If the employee submits their response on the 1st business day after the 15th, most districts would likely consider the notice as timely but it's best not to risk it..

THE CLOCK KEEPS TICKING DURING THE SUMMER. Even though a teacher is off for the summer, the business of the district continues and deadlines are based on the days the district office is open for business.


  • Employees should not delay in picking up certified letters from the post office. There is no way to avoid the letter or the reason the district sent it. Even if a teacher does not pick up the certified letter, the district has met its obligation of notice to the employee.
  • Unless otherwise stated, if the letter provides a deadline to respond, the deadline is linked to the date of the letter, not the date the employee receives it. Once again, this emphasizes the importance of picking up mail promptly.

A delay in picking up a letter could cause an employee serious employment jeopardy or they may miss an important deadline. It could also make it difficult for The SCEA to intervene.

If the district is recommending a teacher for formal evaluation next year, they are required to notify the teacher IN WRITING prior to or at the same time they offer a contract.

The district has until August 15 to notify you of your assignment.


The district has to provide a teacher with a contract on or by May 15 OR a written notice that they do not plan to offer one.

or a written notice that you will not receive one, you are, by state law, deemed to be employed just as if they had given you a contract. This applies only to continuing contract employees who have a Professional Certificate.

Do not refuse to sign a contract, because of a dispute over conditions attached to the contract. If you refuse to sign the contract and return it, it has the same affect as resigning. It is better to sign the contract and then appeal the conditions. The SCEA can assist you.

Regardless of notations on a contract like "conditions", etc., the type of contract HAS NOT CHANGED. Those words, added to a contract only serve to notify the employee that the district plans to impose something, usually formal evaluation or an improvement plan. Those actions have no affect on the type of contract the teacher is on, or the teacher's rights.

If the district approaches a teacher with a replacement contract, after the original contract has been signed and returned, the teacher should be very cautious! Once a teacher signs a contract, it is too late to reject it or appeal it. Regardless of the reason a replacement contact is issued (e.g. to correct a language error), the teacher should take all steps possible to make sure that he/she understands the contract, the contract is correct, it doesn''t reduce salary or increase days, and the teacher is in agreement with its terms. Call The SCEAfor help.

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