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This chapter reviews EPISD's management of district personnel in six sections:

A. Organization and Management
B. Personnel Policies and Procedures
C. Job Descriptions
D. Employment of Personnel
E. Recruitment of Teachers
F. Records Management

CURRENT SITUATION

EPISD board policy requires Human Resources to maintain accurate, up-to-date, and confidential employee personnel files. One of the primary reasons for keeping such records is to document years of service for state retirement and to maintain licensing and certification data.

Employee files in the Human Resources unit contain:

  • employee's application
  • assignment letter
  • certification information (certificates, permits, letters in reference to permits,
    TEA correspondence)
  • official transcripts
  • payroll authorization cards
  • Tuberculosis test card
  • contracts
  • salary notices
  • annuity information
  • personal data sheet - name, address, phone number
  • service record card
  • criminal record release form
  • social security and drivers license
  • oath of office
  • I-9 form
  • correspondence
  • copies of personnel change forms
  • appraisals

Personnel folders for more than 8,000 district employees and substitutes are stored in metal cabinets in the main office area of Human Resources. Other records maintained by Human Resources include an employee service record form, which is updated annually with a computer-generated label, an employee record card, a job description and an electronic record for each employee.

Only Human Resources staff have unlimited access to the files, although information in personnel records is subject to the requirements of the Texas Open Records Act. Personnel folders for inactive (retired, resigned, or terminated) employees are stored in metal cabinets and maintained in the unit for five years, after which they are microfilmed.

The district has purchased the Human Resources Unit document-imaging equipment (scanners) for use with IBM PCs. Imaging of employee's personnel records will begin as soon as problems with the scanning devices can be solved. At first, newly hired employees' documents will be imaged, as all files will be eventually.

FINDING

All EPISD employees must be evaluated annually using a written evaluation instrument. EPISD has adopted the state-developed Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) to evaluate its teachers. Each Texas school district was given two choices in selecting a method to appraise teachers (beginning with the 1997-98 school year) - a local teacher appraisal system developed by the district and designed to fulfill all legal requirements, or the PDAS system.

An employee's written appraisal must be completed by a specified date in May. The appraisal is signed and dated by the appraiser and the employee and submitted to Human Resources, which places the appraisal into the employee's personnel folder.

Two staff members in Human Resources are responsible for ensuring that each employee has an appraisal on file-the secretary to the director of Support Personnel and the secretary to the certification officer. As appraisals are returned to Human Resources, the employee's name is checked off a list of employees. For those employees that do not have an appraisal returned, a staff member contacts the employee's supervisor or principal by phone or mail with a reminder. During the year, and before appraisals are conducted, the certification officer sends a memo to employees and supervisors alerting them to the requirements and deadlines for appraisals.

When TSPR reviewed randomly selected files of employees in September 1998, all teachers were found to have appraisals up through 1996-97 on file (1997-98 appraisals had not been filed as the Human Resources staff was awaiting the return of some appraisals at the time of the on-site visit.) However, TSPR also found that appraisals for 1996 and 1997 for an associate superintendent and director were missing. State Education Code 21.354 specifically states that district funds may not be used to pay an administrator who has not been appraised in the preceding 15 months.

TSPR received a copy of a memo dated October 21, 1998 from EPISD stating that administrator evaluations for the 1995-96 school year through 1997-98 had been temporarily housed in the superintendent's office but now were in Human Resources. The only way the district can effectively monitor its appraisal process is to have all appraisals returned to Human Resources to be checked off "as completed" for that school year and filed in the employee's personnel folder. The importance of this monitoring cannot be overstated. Every year, some employee appraisals are received very late.

Recommendation 50:

Develop a policy and administrative procedures to ensure that appraisals are returned to Human Resources by a specified deadline.

Timely filing of employee appraisals with Human Resources should be enforced. A policy and procedures memo should be developed that clearly requires appraisers, supervisors, and employees to make sure that employees are appraised on time and a copy of the appraisal is returned to Human Resources on time.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The executive director of Human Resources meets with the certification officer, directors of Personnel Administration, and Support Personnel to develop procedures establishing deadlines for the receipt of appraisals in Human Resources, along with correspondence that will be sent to appraisers indicating deadlines and the importance of meeting them. April 1999
2. The executive director presents the procedures to the associate superintendent for Support Services for approval who then prepares a policy for the superintendent and board to approve. May 1999
3. The superintendent approves the policy and submits it to the board for approval. May 1999
4. The board approves the policy. May 1999

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation could be implemented with existing resources.