I attended a meeting where Director Sundquist and Howard Pripas, the Director of Labor and Employee Relations went over the principals contract. It is quite an interesting contract. Here's some highlights:
- Steve says the key change is the principal evaluation process which is being worked on and is due to be done by April 1 by the Principal Performance Evaluation Task Force. The evaluation would include student and school growth. To get the increase in pay, this evaluation system has to be completed by April 1, 2011.
- This contract takes principals from a 3-step salary range to their salary (beyond base pay) being determined through the annual opportunity to earn both a Performance Increment and a Student Achievement Bonus.
- The district had done assessments of what other Puget Sound area principals were being paid and did a market adjustment based on that research. In year one, the elementary principals (including K-8) will receive raises of 2.5%, and middle school principals 2% and high school principals 1%. In years 2-3, all principals receive a 1% raise. This is only for principals, not assistant principals. This money comes from the General Fund. The salary schedule is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011.
- The district wanted to give the raises based on the increased workload because of the SEA contract.
- There is this one weird thing (mentioned above) which is the Performance Increment. Basically, any principal that passes an assessment using the performance rubric during July 1 through June 30 (beginning July 1, 2011) gets a $2K per year thereafter. It seems odd that one year's evaluation gets you a bump for the rest of your career.
- Then there's the Student Achievement Bonus. Starting in Sep. 2011, a principals can earn up to $10K based on demonstrated growth in student achievement. The bonus amount will not be retained in a school administrator's base salary.
- More ways to earn more money: principals working in an "innovative/high growth" school go to work in a low performing/low growth school - $10K one-time bonus. (There may also be stipends.) Also if a principal working in an "innovative/high growth" school agrees to mentor and coach a principal in a lower performing, low growth school, he/she can earn $2500 bonus with up to $2500 for principal substitute coverage. (I'm not sure what that last phrase means.)
- As well there are bonuses for working on committees and taskforces plus opening/closing a school.
- Principals get 4-weeks vacation. They can also cash out a certain number of days.
Therefore, unless exigent or emergency circumstances exist, the Board of Directors, Superintendent and Senior leaders staff should refer complaints or problems about a Principal/Program Manager to the Principal/ Program Manager with the expectation that the Principal/Program Manager will address the complaint collaboratively, if appropriate, timely, and in a manner that best meets the needs of the educational setting.
If the person complaining is not satisfied with how the Principal/Program Manager handled the matter, he or she may pursue the issue with the Principal/Program Manager’s supervisor. The supervisor, after looking into the matter, may agree to the Principal/Program Manager’s determination, amend it further, or institute a different resolution. The supervisor may also utilize steps a - e above. The supervisor should then communicate his or her decision to the complainant as well as the Principal/Program Manager. And, the matter should end there unless there is another procedure in place to address the complainant’s issue (e.g., grievance procedure for represented employees, grievance procedure for non-rep employees, etc.)
In handling a complaint, it is recommended that the Principal/Program Manager do the following:
a. Review the problem/concern with the complainant(s);
b. Make prompt contact with the person(s) involved;
c. Investigate further if necessary;
d. If necessary or appropriate, refer, get advice from, or work collaboratively with Human Resources or Central Administration on the matter; notify the complainant if the matter has been referred to Human Resources or Senior leaders;
e. Make a determination and communicate the determination to the person(s) involved.
So it's a passing off from person to person. I will let you know that for either a teacher or principal, if you file a written complaint about a teacher or principal unless there is a formal investigation, your written complaint will NOT become part of their file. I couldn't get an answer of whether it is noted in a logbook anywhere the number of complaints that a teacher or principal receives.