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538R - Reduction in Force

A. Guiding Principle

The school board values the work of each employee in providing a high quality educational program for all students. To this end, the superintendent of schools and the school board are committed to providing the staff necessary to fulfill the school division’s mission. However, when circumstances such as a decrease in enrollment, lack of funding, a budget reduction or adjustment, abolition or phasing out of programs or subjects, require a reduction in force, the reduction will follow an orderly and consistent process as outlined below.

The superintendent shall advise the board, at the earliest possible date, of the necessity to reduce staff and shall reassign or release current staff members in accordance with the provisions set forth in this regulation.

No new personnel may be employed in a position for which a license is required during a period of reduction in staff until all qualified, current employees have been reassigned in accordance with priorities listed below.

B. Priorities

If a reduction in the number of employees required becomes necessary, employees shall be retained in accordance with the following criteria, listed in order of priority:

1. Employment and/or Position Status

Full time employees, as designated in regulation 502R, Employee Designations, will be retained over employees identified as full time/part time employees.

Full time/part time employees, as designated in regulation 502R, Employee Designations, will be retained over employees identified as temporary part time.

2. Areas of Licensure, Endorsement, and/or Other Certification

Employees, in a position for which a license or certification is required either by the VA Department of Education or Frederick County Public Schools, who hold a current license with an appropriate endorsement for the position in which they are assigned will be retained over those who do not hold a current license with the appropriate endorsement.

Employees, in positions for which a license is not required by the VA Department of Education, who hold a specific license or certification required by Frederick County Public Schools for the position in which they are assigned will be retained over those who do not hold such a license or certification.

3. Seniority

The seniority of an employee shall be based on the number of years of continuous service in this school division. The start date of an employee’s continuous period of service shall be the date that the School Board approved the employee’s current employment with this school division. In instances in which employees were approved for employment on the same date, the employee employed first shall be determined by the following in order of examination:

1) Date of School Board personnel action.

2) Date the employee signed a contract.

3) Date the employee signed a letter of intent.

4) Date the employee was offered the position.

5) Date the employee was recommended for the position by the hiring administrator/supervisor.

If the date for any item in this list is unable to be determined, that item may not be used to designate seniority. In such a case the employee may not be considered more senior than anyone for whom the date on that item can be determined.

Employees on an authorized leave of absence will be regarded as having continuous service but will not be granted seniority credit for the period of absence.

For the purpose of determining a reduction in force, employees may gain seniority through service in this school division in any position. Service within the school division before the current period of continuous service will be counted on a one year for two basis. For example, an employee previously employed by FCPS for four years in a position, who resigns and later returns to the division, would be credited with two years prior service. For odd numbered years of service, the calculation will be rounded up.

If an employee is released under this regulation and later recalled as provided in section E below, that employee’s continuous service within the division immediately prior to termination will be counted on a year for year basis.

C. Appeals

Employees, in a position for which a license is required either by the Virginia Department of Education or Frederick County Public Schools, may appeal decisions to the superintendent of schools or the superintendent’s designee.

Employees, in a position for which a license is not required either by the Virginia Department of Education or Frederick County Public Schools, may appeal decisions to the assistant superintendent for administration or the superintendent’s designee.

D. Notification of Release

Employees who are to be recommended for release from employment under this regulation shall be advised by Human Resources at the earliest possible date. In all circumstances absent any extraordinary developments, notice will be provided within two weeks of the budget appropriation by the appropriating body or June 1, whichever is earlier. The board shall take final action on the recommendations for release. The employee shall be provided written notification of the board's decision.

E. Recall

As vacancies occur, employees shall be recalled in inverse order of their termination. For example, if two employees with the same assignment are released; one on May 15 and one on May 20, the one released on May 20 will be recalled first. Employees will remain on the recall list for a period of two years. It shall be the responsibility of the employee to maintain a current address on file in the human resources office.

Employees will be removed from the recall list for the following reasons:

1. refusal of an offer to return to the position from which the employee was removed under this regulation,

2. refusal of a position requiring a license either by the VA Department of Education or Frederick County Public Schools for which the employee holds such a license with an appropriate endorsement,

3. refusal of a position for which the school division has determined the employee holds the qualifications to perform the essential job functions,

4. acceptance of another full time or part time position within the school division,

5. failure to respond within five working days of receipt of the
division's offer to return to employment under items 1 thru 4 of this section,

6. resignation,

7. failure to maintain license and/or certification requirements to accept an offer to return to employment under items 1 thru 4 of this section, or

8. the end of the two-year period from the date of placement on the list.

Notification with respect to recall shall be made by Human Resources. Prior to the end of the current school year, notification will be by letter delivered by Human Resources. After the end of the school year when RIF notification was given, notification will be by certified mail.

Recalled employees’ placement on the salary scale will be in accordance with Regulation 522R, Salary Payment/Bonus.

F. Other

Employees released as a result of this regulation may participate in the health care plan while on the recall list. Employees who use this service will pay both their premium and the county’s contribution toward the cost of coverage. If continuation of group health insurance is elected by an employee released under this reduction‑in‑force regulation, such continued coverage shall be counted toward the maximum number of months for which the employee is eligible under COBRA provisions.



Cross Reference: Regulation 502R, Employee Designations
                          Regulation 522R, Salary Payment/Bonus



Legal Reference: 
Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-304.





Adopted: February 6, 1990
Approved: September 1, 1990
Amended: August 1, 1991
Amended: June 22, 2007
Amended: January 14, 2009
Amended: July 22, 2009