SB98: Public elementary & secondary school teachers; probationary term of service, performance evaluation.


VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER
An Act to amend and reenact § 22.1-303 of the Code of Virginia, relating to public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service; performance evaluation.
[S 98]
Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 22.1-303 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 22.1-303. Probationary terms of service for teachers.

A. A probationary term of service of at least three years and, at the option of the local school board, up to five years in the same school division shall be required before a teacher is issued a continuing contract. School boards shall provide each probationary teacher except probationary teachers who have prior successful teaching experience, as determined by the local school board in a school division, a mentor teacher, as described by Board guidelines developed pursuant to § 22.1-305.1, during the first year of the probationary period, to assist such probationary teacher in achieving excellence in instruction. During the probationary period, such probationary teacher shall be evaluated annually based upon the evaluation procedures developed by the employing school board for use by the division superintendent and principals in evaluating teachers as required by subsection C of § 22.1-295. A teacher in his first year of the probationary period shall be evaluated informally at least once during the first semester of the school year. The division superintendent shall consider such evaluations, among other things, in making any recommendations to the school board regarding the nonrenewal of such probationary teacher's contract as provided in § 22.1-305.

If the teacher's performance evaluation during the probationary period is not satisfactory, the school board shall not reemploy the teacher; however, nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to require cause, as defined in § 22.1-307, for the nonrenewal of the contract of a teacher who has not achieved continuing contract status.

Any teacher hired on or after July 1, 2001, shall be required, as a condition of achieving continuing contract status, to have successfully completed training in instructional strategies and techniques for intervention for or remediation of students who fail or are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments. Local school divisions shall be required to provide said training at no cost to teachers employed in their division. In the event a local school division fails to offer said training in a timely manner, no teacher will be denied continuing contract status for failure to obtain such training.

B. Once a continuing contract status has been attained in a school division in the Commonwealth, another probationary period need not be served in any other school division unless such probationary period, not to exceed two years, is made a part of the contract of employment. Further, when a teacher has attained continuing contract status in a school division in the Commonwealth and separates from and returns to teaching service in a school division in Virginia by the beginning of the third year, such teacher shall be required to serve a probationary period not to exceed two years, if made a part of the contract for employment.

C. For the purpose of calculating the years of service required to attain continuing contract status, at least 160 contractual teaching days during the school year shall be deemed the equivalent of one year in the first year of service by a teacher.

D. Teachers holding three-year local eligibility licenses issued prior to July 1, 2013, shall not be eligible for continuing contract status while teaching under the authority of such license. Upon attainment of a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license issued by the Department of Education, such teachers shall serve a probationary term of service of at least three years and, at the option of the local school board, up to five years prior to being eligible for continuing contract status pursuant to this section.

SENATE BILL NO. 98

Offered January 8, 2020
Prefiled December 5, 2019
A BILL to amend and reenact § 22.1-303 of the Code of Virginia, relating to public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service; performance evaluation.
Patron-- Locke

Referred to Committee on Education and Health

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 22.1-303 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 22.1-303. Probationary terms of service for teachers.

A. A probationary term of service of at least three years and, at the option of the local school board, up to five years in the same school division shall be required before a teacher is issued a continuing contract. School boards shall provide each probationary teacher except probationary teachers who have prior successful teaching experience, as determined by the local school board in a school division, a mentor teacher, as described by Board guidelines developed pursuant to § 22.1-305.1, during the first year of the probationary period, to assist such probationary teacher in achieving excellence in instruction. During the probationary period, such probationary teacher shall be evaluated annually based upon the evaluation procedures developed by the employing school board for use by the division superintendent and principals in evaluating teachers as required by subsection C of § 22.1-295. A teacher in his first year of the probationary period shall be evaluated informally at least once during the first semester of the school year. The division superintendent shall consider such evaluations, among other things, in making any recommendations to the school board regarding the nonrenewal of such probationary teacher's contract as provided in § 22.1-305.

If the teacher's performance evaluation during the probationary period is not satisfactory, the school board shall not reemploy the teacher; however, nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to require cause, as defined in § 22.1-307, for the nonrenewal of the contract of a teacher who has not achieved continuing contract status.

Any teacher hired on or after July 1, 2001, shall be required, as a condition of achieving continuing contract status, to have successfully completed training in instructional strategies and techniques for intervention for or remediation of students who fail or are at risk of failing the Standards of Learning assessments. Local school divisions shall be required to provide said training at no cost to teachers employed in their division. In the event a local school division fails to offer said training in a timely manner, no teacher will be denied continuing contract status for failure to obtain such training.

B. Once a continuing contract status has been attained in a school division in the Commonwealth, another probationary period need not be served in any other school division unless such probationary period, not to exceed two years, is made a part of the contract of employment. Further, when a teacher has attained continuing contract status in a school division in the Commonwealth and separates from and returns to teaching service in a school division in Virginia by the beginning of the third year, such teacher shall be required to serve a probationary period not to exceed two years, if made a part of the contract for employment.

C. For the purpose of calculating the years of service required to attain continuing contract status, at least 160 contractual teaching days during the school year shall be deemed the equivalent of one year in the first year of service by a teacher.

D. Teachers holding three-year local eligibility licenses issued prior to July 1, 2013, shall not be eligible for continuing contract status while teaching under the authority of such license. Upon attainment of a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license issued by the Department of Education, such teachers shall serve a probationary term of service of at least three years and, at the option of the local school board, up to five years prior to being eligible for continuing contract status pursuant to this section.