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Faculty Handbook

Charles F. Hard Elementary School

This handbook has been developed to serve as a guide to information that will be frequently used by the teacher. It contains professional information for faculty and staff members for the daily operation of school. It can become an informative tool in your search to find necessary guidelines for your professional duties and assist in planning the educational program and experiences for your students.

Please refer to the Bessemer City Schools Curriculum and Instruction Procedures and Guidelines Manual and Professional Employee Handbook. Remember all resources are directed towards assisting you in providing excellence in education for each student and professional growth for the faculty and staff at Hard Elementary School.

We are a team at Charles F. Hard Elementary School. Together we will make a difference: students, faculty, support staff and the administration.

Dr. LaKeshya George, Principal


Absences or Tardiness
Notification of absences or tardiness should be reported promptly to the administrator. Vacations, personal, and professional leaves of absences require advanced approval.

Each administrator or supervisor should report absences to the Human Resource Office. Employee time sheets, signed weekly by the supervisor, should be kept on file for documentation and audit purposes. (Appendix C)

If an employee is absent for three or more days, medical documentation is required from a licensed physician; however, if chronic absentees are exhibited, the principal has the right to request medical and/or bereavement documentation.

Announcements will be made daily at 8:00 a.m. and at 2:45p.m. The office staff will attempt to keep interruptions to a minimum using this schedule. Students are to be attentive, sitting quietly and listening while announcements are being made.

Conflict of Interest
Faculty shall not engage in any other employment or in any private business during the hours required to fulfill assigned duties.

Dress Code
Employees are expected to dress in clothing appropriate for their work assignment. (BCS Professional Employee Handbook)

Evaluation of Performance
Bessemer City Schools is interested in helping all employees perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner. In order to accomplish this goal, employees shall be evaluated periodically. The primary goal of the evaluation program is the improvement of teaching and learning. Educate Alabama is used for all certified personnel including teachers, central office supervisors, principals, assistant principals, counselors and media specialist.

Arrival and Departure of Students

Arrival - School opens at 7:30 a.m. and the children are supervised at that time. If students arrive at school before 7:30 a.m., they should report to the cafeteria. Students who have completed breakfast will transition to their hallways beginning at 7:30 a.m. Classroom instruction begins at 8:00 a.m.

Departure - Walkers will be dismissed at 3:05 p.m. by the bell. Car and van riders will be dismissed by the bell at 3:00 p.m.

Teachers will escort car riders to their assigned location for dismissal. Teachers will check to ensure that their students have left the campus by 3:15 p.m. Please report any children who have not been picked- up by parents to the principal before leaving. Teachers who leave students unsupervised will receive a written notification.

Arrival and Departures of Teachers
Arrival - All certified staff are required to report to work by 7:45 a.m. unless morning duty is assigned for a specified week (Refer to the Duty Roster). During the week that personnel has been assigned for duty, certified staff must report to work by 7:30 a.m.

Departure- All certified staff are required to remain at work until 3:15 p.m. unless afternoon duty is assigned (Refer to the Duty Roster). Certified personnel assigned to duty may leave work at 3:30 p.m.

Arrival and Departure of Classified Staff
All classified staff are required to complete a 7.5 hour work day. Assigned work hours are contingent upon programmatic needs of the school.

It is the teacher's responsibility to maintain order in the classroom. Students will be under adult supervision at all times. Students should not be placed in the hallways unsupervised at any time.

A classroom discipline plan should be outlined and discussed with parents and students. A copy must be submitted via email to the principal.

Self- discipline is an important factor and should be developed in every child. Classroom discipline rules and consequences should be enforced by the classroom teacher on a daily basis.

Major Discipline Problems
According to school policy, no teacher can put a child out of the classroom. If a discipline requires intervention from the principal or counselor, the teacher should fill out a discipline form and send the student to the office. Once a child arrives in the office, the discipline measures will be handled as determined by the administration. If the discipline is a repeated offense, teachers must note action steps taken prior to an office referral. When the teacher has exhausted all means known to correct the problem and has been unsuccessful, administration will determine the appropriate disciplinary actions.

Students should be sent to the office for most aggressive behavior: fighting, threatening a teacher, possession of weapons and possession of a controlled substance as well as repeated offenses that consistently interrupts instruction.

Alternatives to Corporal Punishment
The following alternatives to the use of corporal punishment are recommended. As formerly with corporal punishment, these alternatives should also be viewed as last resort options when well-executed school and classroom management practices have not been effective.

Staff members shall not: hit, strike, grab, punch, or inflict other bodily pain on a student; deprive a student of meals, snack, rest, or necessary toilet use; or restrain a child unless it is specifically designed in an individualized education program.

The principal has the authority to:

  • Deny participation in special school and/or extra-curricular activities.
  • Assign before or after school detention with twenty-four (24) hour notice to parents.
  • Assign out-of-school suspension
  • Arrange for a proper evaluation under Section 504 or IDEA, if there is reason to believe the student's behavior is related to a disability.
  • Conference with parents on sanctions which will be established both at school and at home or contractual agreements whereby the student commits to self-controlling behavior.
  • Refer the student to a counselor, a social worker, psychologist, and/or clinical specialists.
  • Coordinate District services with social-service agencies such as Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health, etc. and/or with private institutions or agencies offering related appropriate services, providing there is no cost to the District.

It is essential that any of the above alternatives that involve disciplinary actions be conducted in accordance with Bessemer Board of Education Discipline Policy.

Faculty Bulletins
All faculty will receive information pertaining to professional growth, school awareness, and student alerts within a timely manner. Notifications may come via email, letter, faculty meeting, and/or morning and afternoon announcements.

Curriculum Bulletins
All teachers must provide parents with any updates regarding grading practices and/or policy, homework policy, and changes in curriculum and instruction.

Parent Bulletins
Parent Bulletins are written forms of communication between the school and the parents and are sent home at least monthly in the Homework/Communication Folders.

Classroom Bulletins
Bulletin boards are a motivational and educational tool in the classroom. They stimulate interest, instruct, organize visual materials and improve the learning environment.

Bulletin boards should reflect the units of study and student's interest in the classroom. Bulletin boards need to be up-dated and changed regularly to maintain student interest and an attractive appearance.
You are encouraged to use student work and teacher-made materials on bulletin boards.

Hall Displays
All bulletin boards (classroom, hall, etc.) will be changed on the last day of each month.
Supervision of Students
Students must be supervised at all times. Teachers must ensure that students are monitored in structured and non-structured (including restrooms and hallways) environments. It is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure that a staff member supervises his/her class if an emergency arises where classroom departure is warranted.

Cafeteria Standards of Behavior

  • Enter and exit in an orderly manner
  • Talk quietly
  • Keep hands off others' trays
  • Use good table manners
  • Get all you need before sitting down
  • Throw away trash when told
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Be safe
  • Follow Direction of cafeteria staff
  • Report problems to adults

Field Trips and Excursions
Field trips are defined as educational experiences conducted during the school hours and planned by the teacher to correlate with the regular classroom instructional program. Field trip packets must be submitted at least six weeks in advance in order to ensure that all information aligns with the curriculum as well as the guidelines established by Bessemer City School Board. Refer to the Bessemer City Schools .... Guidelines Manual for specific details regarding field trips.

Classroom Organization
Teachers are one of the significant role models in the lives of the children. If teachers use systematic planning and arrange their materials and supplies in an organized fashion, children will likewise learn to keep up with their things and become efficient organizers themselves.

The following suggestions are presented in an effort to help teachers become more efficient managers of their classroom and learning environment.

  1. Have a designated place for everything. From the first day of school, insist that everyone return books and items to the proper place.
  2. Throw away all worn charts and materials that no longer stimulate and motivate students to learn. 
  3. Enlist the help of children in keeping the classroom neat. Each student should have a task to perform. A job chart should be on the wall in each classroom.
  4. Make proper use of your filing cabinet which has been supplied to house important records.
  5. Eliminate clutter in classroom. Keep table areas, bookshelves and your desk neat.

Classroom Neatness
While classes are in session, teachers and students need to take pride in keeping the appearance of the classroom neat and orderly. This does not mean that they are to perform custodial duties; however, the work area, shelves and desks are to be kept neat and well organized. Books should be stored in proper places and paper should be kept off the floors. It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to set cleanliness standards with students to eliminate paper and dirt from the floor during the day.

Teachers are expected to have parent conferences. They should be scheduled before school, after school or during your planning time. If this scheduling is a hardship on some parents, due to conflict with employment, please contact the principal, so that arrangements can be made. Telephone conferences are considered a form of communication and may be used to replace a face-to-face conference. Use the parent contact log to document the conferences held as well as the attempts to have conferences. All conferences must be held in the conference room which is located in the main office. Teachers are strongly discouraged to call parents or guardians to immediately take disciplinary action that will interrupt the instructional process.

Conference Period
Conference periods are designed for the following purposes: 1] planning, 2] preparing materials, 3] checking student work, and 4] assessing student performance for further instruction or intervention. Also, conferences between the principal and teacher; teacher and parent; or principal, teacher and parent will be scheduled on occasion for the purpose of discussing student related situations. Teachers are not to leave school during their conference period without the permission of the principal. Teachers are not to interrupt the instructional process of others. The principal reserves the right to protect learning for all students.

Teachers sending notices home with students are required to receive prior approval from the principal. Teachers are encouraged to send letters or written messages home with students explaining to the parents the learning activities in order to achieve a positive outcome. Teachers are also encouraged to make personal contacts (by phone or in person) with all parents to communicate student achievements as well as student problems. All correspondence from the office must be sent home on the date received. All contact must be documented in the parent contact log for documentation purpose.

All money collected by teachers must be receipted properly in the board assigned receipt books. If the amount collected is less than $5.00, money may be receipted on a funding log which will be distributed by the office staff. In the event that money is collected, all is due by noon (on the day of collection). Please do not leave money in a non-secured location. It is the sole responsibility of the staff member to replace any money if collected funds are lesser than the amount noted for collection. After money is submitted to the secretary, a master receipt will be written to the staff for documentation.

Faculty Meetings
Faculty meetings will be held on Mondays. All meetings are focused embedded in order to increase achievement and maintain order for effective operation of the school day. Each certified member will be given a one week notice prior to the meeting date. Faculty notes and reminders will be transmitted via email if a meeting is not warranted by administration.

Early Dismissals
Inclement weather denotes change within the instructional day. In such a case, all faculty and staff will be notified when school is dismissed early.

Telephone Calls
Teachers or staff members will not be interrupted or taken from their duties to answer the telephone unless there is an emergency. All telephone calls will be placed in the teacher/staff boxes. Check for messages during planning time or after school. Cellular devices should not be used during instructional time.

Telephones are to be used for business purposes. If personal calls must be made, they are to be kept to a minimum. Personal long distance calls are not to be charged to the school system. Long distance telephone calls related to the school system must be recorded and forwarded to the immediate administrator or supervisor. (BCS Professional Employee Handbook)

Job Description
Job descriptions are intended to describe, but not limit, the types of duties and responsibilities expected of employees. (BCS Professional Employee Handbook)

Leave of Absences
Each employee has the right to take an extended leave due to the illness of one's self and/or an immediate family member (Please refer to the Bessemer City School Employee Handbook for who constitutes an immediate family member) under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Personal Leave/Professional Leave/Sick Leave/Vacation Leave/ Vacation Leave
All employees are required to fill out a "Request to Leave" form for approval. All personal and professional leave forms must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the requested date of leave. Please understand that a request may or may not be approved by the principal and/or superintendent. Your submission does not constitute approval. Please refer to the Bessemer City School Employee Handbook.

Reporting Off of Work
All staff is required to contact Dr. George before 6:00 a.m. and no later than 6:30 a.m. Please do not call either person before 5:30 a.m. in the morning of nor after 10:00 p.m. the night before the reported day of request. It is the sole responsibility of the certified teacher to secure a substitute for his/her classroom. In a case of a true emergency, we will help to locate a qualified employee from the substitute list.

Unauthorized Leave
Unauthorized Leave will be handled on a leave-without-pay basis and may result in disciplinary action. (BCS Professional Employee Handbook)

Teacher Records and Documentation

Teachers are required to post their attendance each morning using Chalkable (INOW). If you do not have access to the network, send an attendance list to the office.

Lesson Plans
Weekly lesson plans are required of all teachers and must accommodate student needs. All lesson plans must be updated in Chalkable for review. Lesson plans must contain the four components: 1) objectives, 2) materials, 3) activities/strategies and 4) evaluation. Lesson plans must be current and available for review anytime. Collaboration among grade level teachers is strongly encouraged; however, each teacher is to have their own lesson plan. All lesson plans will be reviewed on a quarterly basis; however, each must be located in a centralized location near the front of the classroom. All must reflect daily instructional practices. Each daily objective must align with Common Core Standards along with our district's pacing guides (See Learning Target Mastery Checklist).

Teachers are required to keep a master copy of the assessment administered for each area throughout the year. Students' reading and math assessments must be kept on file for the entire school year to document progress in each subject.

Grade Book
Teachers are required to use Chalkable (INOW) when recording and averaging student grades. Teachers must record grades on a weekly basis. Teachers should print weekly grades and store them in a binder/folder. Teachers are to print their grade book at the end of each month and submit to Dr. George.

Progress Reports
A mid-nine week progress report is a valuable means of teacher-parent communication. Parents are informed and given the opportunity to assist their children toward improvement prior to the end of the quarter. Teachers are required to print and send mid-quarter reports to parents of all students. Refer to the Faculty Calendar for Progress Report dates.

Specialty Area Programs
The certified teacher within each specialty area is primarily responsible for the implementation of their designated programs. All curriculum guidelines should be followed.

The classroom teachers in conjunction with the specialty area teachers are expected to adhere strictly to the schedule and to assist with discipline problems that arise during transition period.

Discipline problems occurring during the non-homeroom period will be handled by that teacher. No student should be returned to the classroom for any reason.

Please Note: State law requires that all students receive P.E. daily; therefore, no one can be punished by being removed from P.E. class.

Classroom teachers will walk their students to the specialty area and will supervise the students until the teacher greets them. At the end of the specialty class period, the teacher will supervise the students until the classroom teacher promptly arrives to the designated area.

Emergency Sub Folders
All teachers must have an emergency sub folder housed in their classroom, labeled, and located on the teachers' desk. The folder must contain the following:

  • Lesson plans for three days with materials copied
  • Class Roll
  • Daily Schedule/ Special Schedules
  • Lunch and P.E. Schedule
  • Transportation home (bus, vans, walkers/riders)
  • Students with special needs (meds, etc.)
  • Names of reliable students and neighboring teachers
  • Seating Chart 


Emergency drills are held in accordance with policies governed by the Bessemer Board of Education. Charles F. Hard Elementary conduct fire, tornado, and code red drills during the outlined school calendar in order to make sure that faculty, staff, and students are aware of procedures in case of an emergency.

Fire Drill
Fire drills will be held monthly. A series of short bells will sound and students will immediately exit the building of which his/her classroom is located. Code of Alabama (1975) € 16-1-44

Tornado Drill
Tornado drills (Seasonal Severe Weather Drills) shall be conducted as follows: One Drill in September through November and One Drill in January through March.

Code Red Drill
Code Red Drills (formerly known as Intruder and/or Lockdown drills) shall be conducted during the 1st Six Weeks of each semester (1 Drill per Semester) to enhance our student's knowledge on the process of this drill. Code of Alabama (1975) € 16-1-44

Bomb Threat
Bomb threats are considered serious. Teachers and students have been made aware of the school's procedure for this event. In an effort to keep each child safe and accounted for, no students will be allowed to leave school without proper authorization. If it becomes necessary to dismiss students, parents will be notified and the police will assist with procedure.

Please do not flood the school with telephone calls or visits during visits during this time.


A member of the school staff may not administer medication to students except as it is prescribed and requested in writing by the parent, guardian, or family physician. Parents are required to notify the principal in writing in the event a student must bring medication to school. Any student having in his/her possession medication other than specified daily dosage and who gives away, sells, or attempts to give away and /or sell medication, nonprescription or prescription, may be subject to disciplinary action. Source: Policy JGC and JGCA

In all school accidents, school officials will immediately notify parents. If the accident is of such a nature as to require immediate and medical attention or the services of a doctor when the parent cannot be reached, school officials shall act in loco parentis (in place of the parent) and do whatever the situation demands. School officials shall, make every effort to contact the family physician in the event of an accident. At all times, however, every effort shall be made to contact the parent. Source: Policy JGC and JGA

If an accident/incident occurs, faculty should immediately notify the school nurse or medical assistant and the principal or counselor. An incident form must be completed and submitted to the office within a twenty-four hour period.

Charles F. Hard Medical Assistants: Mekko Williams and Daphney Shade