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Policy 5005

Employment: Disclosures, Certification Requirements, Assurances & Approval

The board has the legal responsibility of employing all staff. The responsibility of administering the recruitment process is assigned to the superintendent. Prior to final action by the board, a prospective staff member shall present necessary documents which establish eligibility to work in the U.S. as required by federal immigration law.  The superintendent or designee shall certify that he/she has: “examined the documents which were presented to me by the new hire, that the documents appear to be genuine, that they appear to relate to the individual named, and that the individual is authorized to work in the U.S.” This certification shall be made on the I-9 form issued by the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The district shall report all new hires to the state Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support as required by P.L. 104-193, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

The district shall require that every prospective staff member sign a release form allowing the district to contact school employers regarding prior acts of sexual misconduct. The applicant shall authorize current and past school district employers including employers outside of Washington to disclose to the district sexual misconduct, if any, and make available to the district all documents in the employer’s personnel, investigative or other files related to the sexual misconduct. The applicant is not prohibited from employment in Washington State if the laws or policies of another state prohibit disclosure or if the out-of-state district denies the request.

Disclosure of Crime

Prior to employment of any unsupervised staff member or volunteer, the district shall require the applicant to disclose whether he/she has been:

  1. Convicted of any crime;
  2. Found in any dependency action under RCW 13.34 to have sexually assaulted or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor;
  3. Found by a court in a domestic relations proceeding under Title 26 RCW to have sexually or physically abused or exploited any minor;
  4. Found in any disciplinary board final decision to have sexually or physically abused or exploited any minor; or
  5. Convicted of a crime related to drugs: manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.

For purposes of this policy, unsupervised means not in the presence of another employee or volunteer and working with children under sixteen years of age or developmentally disabled persons. The disclosure shall be made in writing and signed by the applicant and sworn to under penalty of perjury. The disclosure sheet shall specify all crimes committed.

Background Check

Prospective unsupervised staff members shall have their records checked through the Washington State Patrol criminal identification system and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The record check shall include a fingerprint check using a complete Washington State criminal identification fingerprint card.

Unsupervised volunteers and employees without unsupervised access to children shall also be advised that they will be subjected to a name and birthdate background check with the Washington State Patrol.  Volunteers will undergo a criminal record check each school year.  Any criminal activity involving a minor will result in automatic denial.  Other crimes may result in denial depending on the severity of crime and number of convictions.

Applicants may be employed on a conditional basis pending the outcome of the background check and may begin conditional employment once completed fingerprint cards have been sent to the Washington state patrol. If the background check reveals evidence of convictions as identified above, the candidate will not be recommended for employment, or if temporarily employed, will be terminated. When such a background check is received, the superintendent is directed to consult with legal counsel.

Record Check Database Access Designee

The superintendent is directed to establish procedures for determining which staff members are authorized to access the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s record check data base. Fingerprint record information is highly confidential and shall not be re-disseminated to any organization or individual by district staff. Records of arrest and prosecution (RAP sheets) shall be stored in a secure location separate from personnel and applicant files and access to this information is limited to those authorized to access the SPI record check database.

Certification Requirements

The district shall require that certificated staff hold a Washington State Certificate, with proper endorsement (if required for that certificate and unless eligible for out-of-endorsement assignment), for the role and responsibilities for which they are employed. Failure to meet this requirement shall be just cause for termination of employment. State law requires that the initial application for certification shall require a background check of the applicant through the Washington State Patrol criminal identification system and Federal Bureau of Investigation. No salary warrants may be issued to the staff member until the district has registered a valid certificate for the role to which he/she has been assigned.

Each certified employee is personally responsible for maintaining a valid and current certificate.  Principals have an interest though, in ensuring the professionals in their buildings maintain their certification so they are able to maintain fully staffed schools.

Classified Staff

Classified staff who are engaged to serve less than twelve (12) months, shall be advised of their employment status for the ensuing school year prior to the close of the school year. The superintendent shall give “reasonable assurance” by written notice that the staff member will be employed during the next school year.

Board Approval

All staff members selected for employment shall be recommended by the superintendent. Staff members must receive an affirmative vote from a majority of all members of the board. In the event an authorized position must be filled before the board can take action, the superintendent has the authority to fill the position with a temporary employee who shall receive the same salary and benefits as a permanent staff member. The board will act on the superintendent’s recommendation to fill the vacancy at its next regular meeting.

Cross References:
5251 Conflicts of Interest
5006 Certification Revocation
5281 Disciplinary Action and Discharge
5520 Staff Development
5610 Substitute Employment
6530 Insurance

Legal References:
RCW 28A.320.155 Criminal history record information — School volunteers
RCW 28A.400.300 Hiring and discharging employees — Leaves for employees — Seniority and leave benefits, retention upon transfers between schools
RCW 28A.400.303 Record checks for employees
RCW 28A.350.050 Teacher must qualify before warrant drawn and issued or registered — All districts
RCW 28A.405.060 Course of study and regulations — enforcement — Withholding salary warrant for failure
RCW 28A. 405.210 Conditions and contracts of employment — Determination of probable cause for nonrenewal of contracts — Notice — Opportunity for hearing
RCW 28A.410.010 Certification — Background check
RCW 9.96A.020 Employment, occupational licensing by public entity — Prior felony conviction no disqualification — Exceptions
RCW 43.43.830-40 Background Checks- Access to Children or Juvenile Persons
RCW 50.44.050 Benefits Payable, Terms and Conditions
RCW 50.44.053 Definition of “reasonable assurance”
P.L. 99-603 Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
WAC 181-79A Preemployment Inquiry Guide (Human Rights Commission)
WAC 180-16-220 Supplemental Basic Education Program Approval Requirements
WAC 181-79A Standards for Teacher, Administrator and Educational Staff Associate Certification
P.L.104-193 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
WAC 181-82-105 Assignment of classroom teachers within districts
WAC 181-82-110 Exceptions to classroom teacher assignment policy
WAC 181-185 Professional Certification Continuing Education Requirement
WAC 392-300-050 Access to record check database
WAC 392-300-055 Prohibition of re-dissemination of fingerprint record information by education service districts or school districts
WAC 392-300-060 Protection of fingerprint record information by education service district and school districts
WAC 446-20-280 Employment — Conviction Records

Management Resources:
2010 October Issue
Policy News, October 2005 Public Disclosure
Policy News, October 2005 Sex Offender Reporting Requirements
Policy News, April 2004 School Employee Sexual Misconduct
Policy News, October 2001 Updates from the State Board of Education
Policy News, August 1998 District Must Report New Hires
Policy News, February 1999 Local Boards Decide Endorsement Waivers
Policy News, June 1999 School Safety Bills Impact Policy



La Center School District Adopted: September 25th, 2007; Revised December 13th, 2016