Parent/guardian and employee notifications
GAMUT Policy exhibit updates can help LEAs fulfill obligations to send out required notifications
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Parent/guardian and employee notifications are an effective means for districts and county offices of education to communicate with families and staff regarding legal rights as well as policies, programs, activities and operations. Certain notifications are required by law, and others can be provided by local educational agencies to promote understanding, involvement and knowledge. Recent legislation has prompted new required notifications for LEAs to provide to parents/guardians and staff.
Parent/guardian notifications
Parent/guardian notifications are required at specific times during a student’s academic career, such as upon enrollment or entering a certain grade level, or when special circumstances occur. There are also required notices for special education and other notices that must be posted in classrooms and/or other LEA facilities. Districts are required to give notice of the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians at the beginning of each academic year, which must be provided by regular mail, electronically when so requested by the parent/guardian, or by any other method normally used by the district for written communication with families. They must include a request that the parent/guardian sign the notice and return it to the school or, if the notice is provided in electronic format, submit a signed acknowledgement of receipt of the notice to the school. CSBA recommends that parents/guardians of students who enroll during the school year be given all required parental notifications at the time of enrollment.

Certain federal programs require that notifications are presented in an understandable and uniform format. California law requires that whenever 15 percent or more of the students enrolled in a district school speak a single primary language other than English, all notices sent to the parent/guardian of any such student be written in English and the primary language and may be responded to in English or the primary language.

CSBA has recently updated sample Exhibit 5145.6 – Parental Notifications to clarify and enhance certain notifications and to include:

  • Completion and submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and California Dream Act Application before grade 12
  • Public hearing on alternative schedule in secondary grades prior to implementing alternative schedule
  • Effects, advantages and disadvantages of early entry before early entry to transitional kindergarten, if early entry is offered
  • Posting in all schools and offices, including staff lounges and student government rooms, uniform complaint procedures board policy and administrative regulation
  • Posting in a licensed child care and development center at a location accessible to parents/guardians, parent/guardian right to inspect and other specified rights
Employee notifications
LEAs are required to provide employees with notifications on a variety of topics at specified times, and when required by law, must ask employees to sign an acknowledgement indicating receipt of notification, which should be retained in each employee’s personnel file. Some notifications are for all employees, whereas others are applicable only to certificated, classified or administrative/supervisory personnel, and others are for individual employees under special circumstances. CSBA encourages LEAs to make notifications easily accessible to employees to facilitate efficient communication and ensure adherence to all state and federal requirements.

CSBA has also recently updated sample Exhibit 4112.9/4212.9/4312.9 – Employee Notifications, which includes notifications regarding:

  • Receipt of written notification that minor student has committed a felony or misdemeanor involving specified offenses
  • Duties of the liaison for homeless students
  • Permanent or probationary certificated employees whose services are terminated when, during the time between five days after the enactment of an annual Budget Act and Aug.15 of the fiscal year to which the Budget Act applies, the board determines that the district’s Local Control Funding Formula apportionment per unit of average daily attendance (ADA) for that fiscal year has not increased by at least two percent
  • Receipt of transfer student’s record regarding acts that resulted in suspension or expulsion
  • Layoffs for classified employees, including the March 15 notice requirement when laid off due to lack of work or lack of funds; layoffs due to lack of work or lack of funds when, during the time between five days after the enactment of an annual Budget Act and Aug. 15 of the fiscal year to which the Budget Act applies the board determines that the district’s local control funding formula apportionment per unit of ADA for that fiscal year has not increased by at least two percent; and when an employee’s position is eliminated due to the expiration of a specifically funded program
  • Disclosure of a document identifying an employee who is a victim of domestic violence

As reflected above, CSBA has addressed several changes to recent legislation that relate directly to notifying employees of potential layoffs. However, according to a 2012 report by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, most teachers who receive notices don’t end up losing their jobs As such, LEAs should take caution when communicating about layoff notices to employees, with sensitivity to employee concerns.

The recent updates to CSBA’s sample Exhibit 5145.6 – Parental Notifications and Exhibit 4112.9/4212.9/4312.9 – Employee notifications make now a great time for district and county boards to review and update their notification materials.